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Top Morning Stories July 11, 2011

Gas prices in the Austin area are up about eight cents from a week ago.
Photo by KUT News.
Gas prices in the Austin area are up about eight cents from a week ago.

Gas Prices on the Rise

There is still plenty of summertime left for those of you thinking about going somewhere for vacation. But if you’re going to take a road trip you may want to consider gas prices are up. AAA Texasreports the price for a gallon of regular unleaded in Austin jumped eight cents over the last week to $3.50. Statewide gas prices are averaging about $3.52. 

Lake Travis ISD to Name Interim Superintendent

Today the Lake Travis Independent School District's Boardis expected to name an interim superintendent. Superintendent Donald Rockwell "Rocky" Kirk resigned last week citing personal reasons. Kirk has served as the district's leader since 2002. Today the Board is also considering the hiring of a consultant to help out with the search for the next superintendent.

Funeral Today for Texas Rangers Fan

Thousands of people are expected today at a memorial service for Shannon Stone. The Brownwood firefighter fell to his death last Thursday at a Texas Rangers game when he tried to catch a baseball thrown into the stands by player Josh Hamilton.

The Associated Pressreports Stone was trying to catch the ball for his six year-old son. Firefighters from across the state and Texas Rangers executives are expected to attend the service.

Spain Beats U.S. in Davis Cup

Austin hosted its first everDavis Cupquarterfinal over the weekend. Spain’s tennis team beat the U.S. 3-1 at the Frank Erwin Center.  Spain picked up its third point before the fifth and final round- denying Andy Roddick a chance to play again in front of hometown fans. Spain will go on to play France in a Davis Cup semifinal in September.

Colonia Residents in Texas Face Major Health Risks

Along the U.S.-Mexico border thousands of Texans live in extreme poverty in impoverished villages. Emily Ramshaw, with KUT's reporting partner The Texas Tribune, took a deep look at these colonias in a two-part series: Part 1, Part 2.

At last count, nearly 45,000 people lived in the 350 Texas colonias classified by the state as at the “highest health risk,” meaning residents of these often unincorporated subdivisions have no running water, no wastewater treatment, no paved roads or solid waste disposal. Water- and mosquito-borne illnesses are rampant, the result of poor drainage, pooling sewage and water contaminated by leaking septic tanks. Burning garbage, cockroaches, vermin and mold lead to high rates of asthma, rashes and lice infestations. And the poor diet so intrinsically linked to poverty contributes to dental problems, diabetes and other chronic conditions, which residents of the colonias rarely have the health insurance, money or access to regular health care to treat.