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Top Morning Stories January 7, 2011

A state panel is reviewing the Cameron Todd Willingham arson case today.
Photo courtesy of Jeffrey Beall/via Flickr
A state panel is reviewing the Cameron Todd Willingham arson case today.

Willingham Case Back in the Spotlight

A state panel in Austin today will hear from fire experts on the high-profile Cameron Todd Willingham arson case.  Willingham was convicted and put to death for an arson-ruled fire that killed his three daughters in 1991.  Some experts say the conviction was based on bad science.  The Texas Forensic Science Commissionis examining the fire science used in the case, and how scientific practices have changed since the 90s. 

Those watching the case have been waiting to hear testimony from fire expert Craig Beyler, who wrote a scathing report saying the fire should not have been ruled arson.  His appearance in front of the Commission was delayed after Governor Rick Perry shook up the Commission with new appointments in 2009.  

Putting CO2 to Work

KUT's political reporting partner the Texas Tribunehas a report this morning on how carbon capture projects are advancing in the state. Demand for CO2 is up in Texas because it can be used to squeeze oil out of formations deep in the earth.  From the Trib:

The idea of capturing carbon dioxide and pumping it underground is gaining traction in the power sector. It sounds like an exercise in environmental idealism: Take the heat-trapping gas — belched prolifically from coal plants, which generate 45 percent of the nation’s electricity — and bury it, benefiting the atmosphere and combating global climate change. Of course, it is something of an environmental conundrum that stowing the greenhouse gas underground can also help to produce more fossil fuels.   

Garrett Now in Charge of the Cowboys

Jason Garrett is now officially head coach of the Dallas Cowboys.   He proved himself worthy during his short time as interim coach. With a new four year contract, Garrett is the first former Cowboys player to lead the team.  It certainly helps that he has a good relationship with Owner Jerry Jones.  Here's what Jones had to say in a article:

  "I kidded Jason when he came in as interim coach, and I said, 'Doggone, you had to come in as a backup with the Cowboys to have some great days, and here you are having to kind of back in the door as an interim coach with us down and out," Jones said a formal press conference at Cowboys Stadium. "And I said, 'Some day, somehow, you're going to walk through that front door broad-shouldered, reach over there and grab it just like it was yours from the very beginning.'"    

 Jones said Garrett will have final say on his coaching staff and roster.