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Top Morning Stories January 21, 2011

Photo by Matt Largey for KUT News.
Fire expert Craig Beyler testifies before the Texas Forensic Science Commission at a meeting earlier this month. Today the Commission is reviewing testimony from Beyler and other fire experts on the Cameron Todd Willingham arson case.

Willingham Probe Continues

The Texas Forensic Science Commission will once again take up the Cameron Todd Willingham arson case today.  The panel will consider testimony it heard earlier this month from fire experts who differed on whether the original investigation was sound.  Some experts say investigators relied on flawed science and that the fire should not have been ruled arson. 

Willingham was convicted and executed for the 1991 arson ruled fire that killed his three children.  The Commission does not have the authority to overturn Willingham's conviction; they're just looking into the science used in the case.  Some believe Texas wrongly executed Willingham in 2004. 

AISD Bracing for Deep Cuts

Central Texas school districts are bracing for budget cuts deeper than what they'd been preparing for.  The state's first House budget draft showed proposed state reductions in public education spending around the order of about $10 billion.  The Austin American-Statesman is reporting the Austin Independent School District's  budget shortfall could be at more than a $100 million.  The Statesman also reports the district could eliminate more than 300 teaching positions.

APD Investigating Convenience Store Murder

Austin police say the suspect from a fatal convenience store shooting in southeast Austin yesterday remains at large.  Police say the suspect shot and killed the store clerk at All Star Grocery on Teri Road before getting away.  Police are still investigating and aren't sure if the motive was robbery.