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Top Morning Stories May 24, 2011

Photo by Callie Hernandez for KUT News.
The City of Austin has released a menu of possible budget cuts for its 2011-2012 budget to close a $9.8 million budget gap.

City of Austin Releases Budget Cut Options

The City of Austin has released a menu of possible budget cuts for 2011-2012. The items on the table include: reducing hours at the Faulk Central Library, closing some neighborhood pools, delaying the hiring of 47 new police officers, and only hiring certified firefighters to cut hiring and training time. 

The city is trying to close a projected budget shortfall of $9.8 million. The list of cuts is not final. City Manager Marc Ott is gathering public input before proposing a budget to the city council in late July.

School Finance Plan in Limbo

The Texas House will not be debating public school finance this legislative session. The final bill eligible for amendments and debate on the topic was killed on a procedural move late last night. Now lawmakers are looking for additional bills to carry the legislation. It's needed to pass their proposed $4 billion in cuts from K-12 schools. 

This development means there are fewer ways to pass a school finance plan before the legislative session ends on Monday, and the chances of a special legislative session this summer just went up some.

Remembering the Memorial Day Flood

Austinites are marking the anniversary of the Memorial Day Flood. On this day 30 years ago a flood killed 13 people in Austin and caused $35 million in damages. The Memorial Day Flood caught people off guard. More than 10 inches of rain fell within four hours in some areas. You can listen to people’s vivid stories about that night in 1981 in a sound portrait produced by KUT's Erika Aguilar here.

ABIA Launches Limited Free Wi-Fi

Ever wanted to browse the Web at Austin's airport but didn't want to fork over the money? Well, now you can use Wi-Fi for free at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, but only for 30 consecutive minutes. ABIA already had paid Wi-Fi service and that will continue.