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Top Morning Stories March 30, 2011

texas department of family and protective services.jpg
Logo courtesy of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services
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A New York advocacy group filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services claiming the state's foster care system is broken and harmful for the children in it.

Texas Sued Over Foster Care System

Texas’ foster care system is under scrutiny.  A New York advocacy group filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday saying Texas’ foster care system harms thousands of children overseen by the state.  Bill Zeeble of KERA in Dallas reports the group says Texas should have more caseworkers and a better plan to care for children in need:

They’re forgotten, says the class-action suit, moved from foster home to crowded foster home for years, until they age out, unprepared for adulthood.

State officials deny the charge.  Patrick Crimmins, with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, says the suit is without merit.  You can read or listen to Zeeble's full story here.

How Much Will Zero Waste Cost Austin?

Austin's Zero Waste Plan likely will come at a cost to rate payers.  The City of Austin wants to reduce the amount of waste sent to area landfills by 75 percent by 2020 and 90 percent by 2040.  The City of Austin has been picking up home recyclables at the curb and will soon require apartments to do the same.

The city is also considering compost pick up and electronic recycling programs.  Solid Waste Services Director Bob Gedert told KUT rates would need to go up if new programs were added. 

You can hear more about the city's Zero Waste Plan and tell city officials what you think at a public meeting at City Hall tonight. An open house will be held from 5:30-6:30 p.m.  The city's presentation is from 6:30-8 p.m.

Texas A&M Advances to Final Four

The Texas A&M women's basketball team is headed to its first Final Four ever.  The Aggies beat top-seeded Baylor last night 58-46 in the NCAA Dallas Regional final.  As the Associated Press put it, A&M stunned the Bears when it mattered most:

Texas A&M (31-5) had lost eight straight games against its Big 12 rival, including the previous three this season. This time, coach Gary Blair's team lead from start-to-finish after [Sydney] Carter had a 3-pointer, an assist and a jumper in the game's first 2 minutes for a 7-0 lead. Carter finished with 22 points. "Tonight was our night, we didn't back into it," Blair said. "We won the game fair and square."  

The Aggies now play Stanford on Sunday in the national semifinal.