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Top Morning Stories October 18, 2011

The National Weather Service says the ongoing drought will only exacerbate critical fire weather conditions Tuesday.
Photo by Emily Donahue for KUT News.
The National Weather Service says the ongoing drought will only exacerbate critical fire weather conditions Tuesday.

High Fire Danger Today

A wind advisoryis in effect for Central Texas until 6 p.m. We could see wind gusts up to 40 miles per hour. A red flag warningis in effect from noon until 7 p.m.  A dry cold front has arrived, bringing strong winds and drier air meaning any wildfires would spread fast. Today's also going to be a lot cooler than it's been lately. High temperatures will only be in the mid 70s.

Stars Raise Money for Wildfire Survivors

The stars were shining bright in Austin last night as a who’s who of country music came together to benefit the victims of last month’s wildfires in Bastrop County and across Central Texas.

By the time Ray Benson and Asleep at the Wheel took the stage at 7:30 p.m. the Frank Erwin Center was filled to capacity for one of the biggest concerts of the year. Unofficial estimates put the crowd at around 16,000 including 1,000 first responders.

Willie Nelson,George Strait, the Dixie Chicks and Lyle Lovett were also among the performers.

Local Musician Passes Away

The Austin American-Statesmanreports Austin rapper Octavis Berry died of a pulmonary embolism Friday. The 30 year-old performed as "Esbe the 6th St. Bully" in the groups Dred Skott and League of Extraordinary Gz. 

Described by friends as a passionate wordsmith who carried a notebook with him continually since his teens, the Lanier High School graduate first began to make noise on the local hip-hop scene in 2003 as half of the duo Dred Skott, alongside singer/producer Reggie Coby. "He was a good guy. A passionate and compassionate individual," Coby said. "We had a song on the 'Dred Skott For President' album about suicide, and I remember that conversation about how somebody's going to need this. So many people have told me how that song affected them." 

The paper reports funeral services will be held Friday morning at David Chapel Missionary Baptist Church .

Wrongly Convicted Man Drops Compensation Lawsuit

A Dallas man wrongly convicted of aggravated sexual assault has dropped a lawsuit against the state. That's according to the Associated Press. Johnnie Lindsey had claimed the state didn't give him the right amount of compensation for the 26 years he spent in prison.

The AP reports Lindsey dropped the suit after receiving an additional $408,000 in compensation. He had already been authorized $1.4 million. The state comptroller initially declined four years of compensation because Lindsey was serving a concurrent sentence in another case.

KUT's Jennifer Stayton spoke to Lindsey in June about what it was like to spend time behind bars for a crime he did not commit. You can listen to that interview here.