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Top Morning Stories January 31, 2011

Texas school district leaders are meeting in Austin today to call on lawmakers to make education funding a priority.
Photo by KUT News
Texas school district leaders are meeting in Austin today to call on lawmakers to make education funding a priority.

Texas Schools Calling Out to State Lawmakers

School districts across the state are planning to lay off teachers and considering school closures.  Districts say they're left with few options as the state proposes to cut back billions of dollars in public education spending.  Today superintendents and school board members from across the state are meeting at Austin's Convention Center.  They're calling on lawmakers to make education a priority this legislative session, and not to make schools bear the burden of the state's mulit-billion dollar budget shortfall.


DPS Issues Another Warning Against Mexico Travel

The Texas Department of Public Safetyis again warning people not to travel to Mexico, especially in and around Tamaulipas State. 

"We recognize people travel and vacation in Mexico on a daily basis, but the increase in violence is a reality. Recent events show that drug-related violence does not spare innocent bystanders and that criminals will attack tourists," said DPS director Steven McCraw in a press release.

In the past year, the DPS has issued Mexico travel warnings four times.


Higher Fines for Disabled Parking Violations

A big pet peeve for many drivers is seeing a car in a handicap parking spot with no handicap card hanging inside.  Starting tomorrow, parking in a disabled parking space illegally becomes a criminal offense in Austin.  Right now the city handles this as a civil violation. 

Violations also include lending a disabled placard or using it when a disabled person is not in the car with you.  The change also means fines and court costs will go up to more than $500 for a first offense.  Right now fines and court costs range from $255 to $300. 

Winter Weather Coming to Austin

Did you enjoy the weather this weekend? Well, it won't be here for long.  Meteorologists say a major cold front will arrive tomorrowwith some of the coldest temperatures we've had all winter in Central Texas.  Temperatures will drop on Tuesday from 52 to 32 degrees throughout the day, and tomorrow night we'll have a blistering low of 22 degrees!