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Top Morning Stories August 11, 2011

Logo courtesy of Travis County
Over 13,000 arrest warrants are being recalled for misdemeanors in Travis County. A justice of the peace says there were inequities in how the warrants were being handled.

Travis Justice of the Peace Recalling Misdemeanor Warrants

Travis County Justice of the Peace Precinct Two Judge Glenn Bass is recalling about 13,500 outstanding arrest warrants for class C misdemeanors. Judge Bass said he is recalling the warrants because he learned that the constable for Precinct Two was offering payment plans to some defendants, but not all of them. Bass also said the constable's office has slowed down working on the warrants because it has already met its budget for this year.

"The law does NOT provide a Constable the authority to offer payment options, cause a delay in the service of warrants, or to in any way step outside of the orders of a court," Bass said during a news conference. He has asked the County Attorney's office to investigate whether any laws have been broken. 

Defendants now have until October 1st to contact the court to take care of their cases and pay outstanding balances. Those who want to plead not guilty will have to post bond, which will be reduced from $500 to $200. Judge Bass says the warrants total just under $3.75 million in uncollected amounts. 

Texas Executes Man for Double Homicide

Texas executed its ninth prisoner of the year last night. Martin Robles was put to death for fatally shooting two rival gang members in Corpus Christi in 2002.  Those killed were 19 year-olds John Commisky and Jesus  Gonzalez.

Urban Rail Car on Display Today

An urban rail car will be on display today in Austin . Streetcar manufacturer Kinkisharyo is displaying its latest vehicle until 7 p.m. at 4th Street at Brush Square Park, north of the Convention Center.

“This is a great opportunity for Austinites to see and feel the possible future of our transportation system,” said Mayor Lee Leffingwell. 

The city is in the process of doing environmental studies for its proposed urban rail system. You can find more information on that plan here.