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Top Morning Stories July 21, 2011

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Photo courtesy of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
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Texas executed Mark Stroman late Wednesday night. Stroman went on a racially motivated shooting spree shortly after 9/11, leaving two people dead and one injured.

Texas Executes Man Convicted in Post 9/11 Shootings

The State of Texas executed a man last night who went on a shooting spree after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.  Mark Stroman was put to death for killing Dallas-area convenience store clerk Vasudev Patel. Stroman also killed Waqar Hasan and injured Rais Bhuiyan. Stroman said he was targeting people who he thought were of Middle Eastern descent. 

Bhuiyan ,who survived being shot in the face, unsuccessfully tried to delay the execution citing his religious beliefs. He had requested mediation and a chance to speak directly with his attacker.

SBOE Hearing on Science Materials

The State Board of Education is holding a public hearing today on new science materials for public schools. The Board is considering supplemental science materials that students will use starting this fall. The SBOE has drawn heated public comment  in the past on debates over how science, and particularly evolution, should be taught to students.

SXSW Hires Security Expert

Many of you may remember just how large and rowdy the crowds were for South by Southwest in Austin last March. The Austin American-Statesman is reporting SXSW organizers have hired a security expert to help them try to make the festival safer next year:

Four months after a free Strokes concert at Auditorium Shores resulted in injuries, South by Southwest has hired Keith Still, professor of crowd dynamics at Buckinghamshire New University outside of London, to help make the festival a safer place. Still, who has helped develop crowd control plans for high-profile events including the Glastonbury Festival, the recent British royal wedding and the 2012 London Olympics, has been working this week with SXSW employees, Austin police and other first responders on how to prevent and manage dangerous situations like the one that occurred at the Strokes show, when an out-of-control crowd pushed through a gate.