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Top Morning Stories May 5, 2011

Former Austin Police Officer Leonardo Quintana has lost his appeal to be reinstated to the force.
Image courtesy of the Austin Police Department.
Former Austin Police Officer Leonardo Quintana has lost his appeal to be reinstated to the force.

Arbitrator Upholds Quintana Firing

Former Austin Police officer Leonardo Quintana is not getting his job back.  An independent arbitrator has upheld his firing. Police Chief Art Acevedo fired Quintana (a second time) in October 2010 amid a domestic violence allegation. 

Acevedo first fired Quintana after a drunk driving charge in January 2010.  Quintana won his job back after an appeal for that first dismissal.  Quintana is the APD officer who fatally shot Nathaniel Sandersin May 2009.

UT Vice President with Long Ties to University Passes Away

Many in the UT community are mourning the loss of Shirley Bird Perry, senior vice president of UT. She passed away yesterday afternoon at her home after a long bout with cancer. Perry was 74. 

She graduated from UT and started her long career here in 1958 as program director for the Texas Union student center.  She served as a vice chancellor with the UT System from 1992 until 2004. 

UT President Bill Powers said in an email that he will miss her:

For those of you who had the pleasure of knowing Shirley Bird, you know what a great friend our campus community has lost.  She was a champion of the University of Texas, devoting nearly her entire working career to advancing its mission.  She was creative, strategic, and capable-a special person who embodied the soul of this special place.   Personally, I will always be grateful for the advice and encouragement she has given me throughout my presidency, and for the trust I could place in her instincts and vast knowledge of the history and inner workings of this great institution.

When Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke at the UT campus in 1962, it was Perry who arranged his stay in a guest room at the Texas Union. 

Armed Robbery at UT

If you go to school or work at UT you may have woken up to some security alerts on your phone.  UT officials say there was an armed robbery on campus overnight.  Here's the latest message from the university:

Around 12:45 a.m., two Hispanic males robbed one of our students at gunpoint near the Brazos garage. No one was hurt.  They were headed east on MLK when last seen.  The suspects are described as heavy set, one wearing a hat and red shirt, the other wearing a hat and white shirt driving a dark colored Honda Accord. Please be aware of your surroundings and report suspicious activity to UTPD at 512-471-4441.  

City Animal Shelter Says it's on Track for "No Kill" Status

The Town Lake Animal Center says it is on track to becoming a "no-kill" city animal shelter.  The city says to become a "bona-fide" no kill city, it has to save the lives of at least 90 percent of the animals at the shelter for the entire year.

The animal center says it reached that goal for the month of April.  February was the first month the Center exceeded the 90 percent goal.  Austin has a new Chief Animal Services Officer, who took over in March.