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Top Morning Stories December 15, 2010

Rep.-elect John Kuempel (R-Seguin)
Republican John Kuempel won yesterday's special election for the House seat vacated by his father.

Kuempel's Son Wins HD 44

The son of the late State Representative Edmund Kuempel, Republican John Kuempel, will take over his father's House seat.  The elder Kuempel, a Republican from Seguin, died of a heart attack following last month's election. His son John won Tuesday's special election for the House District 44 seat with about 66 percent of the vote.  The district covers Guadalupe, Gonzales, and Wilson Counties.  Republicans now have a 101 supermajority in the House.  KUT's political reporting partner, the Texas Tribune, has a post explaining what a supermajority means.  

APD Unveiling Fusion Center Today

Austin police are unveiling the new Fusion Center later this morning.  It’s officially called the Austin Regional Intelligence Center.  It’s a database system that will let APD share information more quickly with nearby law enforcement agencies, as well as state and federal agencies.  Some have raised concerns about privacy and civil liberties in connection with other fusion centers in Texas and across the country.

Post Office Rush For Holiday Gifts

If you have a gift to mail off for the holidays, keep in mind shipping deadlines are coming up if you want presents to arrive by Christmas Day.  The cut off day for domestic mail sent first class is Monday.  If you pay more to send it Express, you have until Wednesday at the latest.  For those sending off gifts to friends and family in the military, some post offices can do Express Mail until this Saturday to get it there by Christmas.  Find more holiday shipping deadlines here.