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Top Morning Stories September 12, 2011

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Jeff Heimsath for KUT News
Firefighters are in their second week of battling the Bastrop County Complex fire.

Update 9:04 AM:

The Texas Forest Service says the Bastrop County Complex fire is now 60 percent contained.

Bastrop Officials Revise Missing Persons List

While firefighters continue to battle the Bastrop County Complex fire, officials are trying to make sure everyone is accounted for. Bastrop County officials say as of last night eight people were still unaccounted for.  They’re asking these people to check in with them:

Barbara Bunklage

Mark and Ethel Ehato

Steve Ingram

Arlene Paige

Ted and Loraine Regan

Lindsey Walker

The people listed above or anyone who has information about them are asked to call (512) 332-8813 or (512)332-8856.

The number of missing people was at 17 yesterday but some of them have already checked in with authorities.

FEMA Offering Bastrop Residents Federal Aid

FEMA is providing assistance for some Bastrop residents to stay in hotels or motels, if their homes were destroyed, are inaccessible or unlivable. To be eligible for this aid, residents must register with FEMA. Other types of federal help include grants to make home repairs and to pay for other needs such as medical expenses.  Here's more info from FEMA on how to register:

You can register for FEMA assistance online at www.disasterassistance.gov or via smart phone at m.fema.gov. Applicants may also call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or (TTY) 1-800-462-7585. If you use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.  

Bastrop Area Schools Back in Class

Bastrop ISD and Smithville ISD will have classes today. Busses for both school districts will be picking up students at evacuation shelters.

Austin Sailor Killed in Afghanistan

As the nation took time to remember the 9/11 terror attacks on the 10th anniversary yesterday, the Department of Defense announced the death of an Austin sailor. 

The DOD says Petty Officer Brian K. Lundy died in Helmand Province, Afghanistan on Friday.  The hospital corpsman was 25 years old.  Military officials say Lundy died while conducting a dismounted patrol.  He was assigned to the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. 

The Department of Defense confirms that as of September 9th, 6,213 military personnel have died in the ongoing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.  553 were from Texas.

Redistricting Trial Continues

The second week of the trial in San Antonio over the state's new redistricting map  is scheduled to start today.  Democrats say the map dilutes the minority vote by splitting Hispanic and African American communities. Republicans disagree and say the map is fair. The map includes four new seats for Texas in the U.S. House.  The GOP-led Texas Legislature designed the map.