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Top Morning Stories January 4, 2011

More low-level radioactive waste may be allowed to be dumped in West Texas after a vote on the matter today.
Photo courtesy of J. Stephen Conn/via flickr
More low-level radioactive waste may be allowed to be dumped in West Texas after a vote on the matter today.

Judge Allows Radioactive Waste Vote Today

A Commission is scheduled to vote today on whether to allow up to 36 more states to dump their low-level radioactive waste in Andrews County in West Texas.  A federal judge yesterday lifted a restraining order that would have stopped today’s vote. 

A Travis County state district judge had approved that restraining order last week.  Some environmentalist groups were trying to delay the vote.  They argued the Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact Commissionviolated public comment rules.  Right now the dump site, run by Waste Control Specialists, can only accept waste from Texas and Vermont. 

Condo Fire Sparks Evacuation

About twenty people were displaced after a high rise condo fire last night.  Austin firefighters evacuated the entire Cambridge Tower building at MLK and Lavaca.  170 people live there.  The fire broke out just before eight last night on the eighth floor.  Fire officials say the cause was a candle that lit a Christmas tree on fire.  Two people were hospitalized and four were treated on the scene.  AFD says 70 firefighters responded.  A Cambridge employee told KUT most residents were allowed to return home last night.

More Time for Artists to Apply for Public Art Project 

The City of Austinis extending the deadline for artists to submit proposals to do the artwork for the future African-American Cultural & Heritage Facility on East 11th Street.  That gives artists a couple more weeks to apply.  The lucky artist will be given a $65,000 budget to work their magic.  The city's holding another information session tomorrow to help artists submit their proposals.  KUT's Erika Aguilar has reported on this public art project.  You can check out her story here.

Allergy Sufferers Beware

If your workplace is like the KUT Newsroom right now, you don't need us to tell you the mold count is high right now.  The cedar count is also in the medium to high range, according to the News 8 Austin Allergy count.  So make sure to take your meds before you walk out the door!