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Top Morning Stories April 5, 2011

Leander.jpg
Photo courtesy of Leanderisd.org
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Leander ISD Raising Awareness of Teen Suicide

Leander High School will have more counselors on hand today for students coping with the loss of a fellow student who took her life yesterday.  School officials believe it was an isolated incident. The school was also evacuated because of a bomb threat yesterday; officials say that was unrelated and nothing was found.  Leander ISD has posted several resources online for students who may be, or who know someone who may be, considering suicide:

The national suicide hotline is(800) 273-TALK (8255). Teens can also visit www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org. The hotline number in Travis County is 472-HELP (4357). In Williamson County, it is (800) 841-1255. Young people who have heard their friends talk about suicide should immediately tell an adult.

 

Council Members Opting Out of Cell Phone Stipend

The Austin American-Statesman is reporting most Austin city council members are dropping the cell phone stipend they get for doing city business on their personal phones.  This comes amid an investigation into whether council members have violated open government laws.

Several council members said they only became aware recently that they were receiving the stipends as part of their salaries, and they cited various reasons for telling city officials they no longer want the money. Some would not discuss how heavily open records discussions played in their decisions. "It appears to me that what they are likely doing is safeguarding against any argument that stipends might transform otherwise nonpublic messages or texts into public messages or texts," said Austin attorney Jim Hemphill of Graves Dougherty Hearon & Moody, who specializes in state open records laws and has represented the American-Statesman. Hemphill and other legal experts said opinions vary about whether records concerning government business conducted on a cellphone or other personal communication device must be made public. They also said it is unclear how stipends factor into such debates.  

Texas A&M Women Playing for National Title

The second-seeded Texas A&M women’s basketball team will fight for its first ever NCAA National Championship tonight. The Aggies will face second-seeded Notre Dame at 7:30 p.m. in Indianapolis, Ind.  Both teams overcame big obstacles to reach this point.  From AggieAthletics.com:

In order to advance to the national title game both teams defeated an opponent that it had lost to three times previous to the NCAA Tournament. Texas A&M was 0-3 this season against Baylor before downing the No. 1 seed in the regional final to advance to its first Final Four, while Notre Dame had dropped three contests to Connecticut before being victorious over the two-time defending national champion Connecticut in the national semifinal.