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Top Morning Stories October 4, 2011

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Chemical Plant Fire Under Investigation

Officials are investigating a massive fire at a chemical plant near Dallas.
The Associated Press reports firefighters monitored the blaze overnight, but it was mostly contained yesterday. The fire started Monday morning in Waxahachie. CNN reports officials are saying initial air quality reports show no danger to the public.

Morton Could Be Released Today

Michael Morton, who has spent 25 years in prison for his wife's murder, is expected to be set free as early as today. Williamson County prosecutors say new DNA evidence points to another suspect in the 1986 murder of Christine Morton.

DNA found on a bandana near the crime scene has been linked to a different murder in Travis County in 1988- when Morton was already in custody. Brandi Grissom, of our political reporting partner the Texas Tribune, has been following this case. You can read more about it here.

National Night Out

It's time to turn on your porch light and mingle outside with neighbors, local police, firefighters and EMS paramedics. Today's the 28th annual National Night Out. The event is designed to raise drug and crime prevention awareness, strengthen neighborhoods, and strengthen community/police relations. People will be cooking out, holding block parties and walks from 6-9 p.m.

Going on Around Town:

Today South by Southwest kicks off its first ever SXSW Eco. No it's not another music festival. It's a three-day conference for experts in the public, private and academic worlds to talk about "solutions for a sustainable world."

Today is HAAM Benefit Day. HAAM stands for the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians.  Some Austin businesses today will donate 5% of their proceeds to HAAM, which provides access to affordable health care for uninsured local musicians. They will be performing throughout the day at many retail stores, restaurants and more. The event runs all day and night.