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Top Morning Stories October 26, 2011

A second unmanned drone is being sent to patrol Texas' 1, 254-mile border with Mexico.
Photo courtesy of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
A second unmanned drone is being sent to patrol Texas' 1, 254-mile border with Mexico.

2nd Drone to Patrol Texas-Mexico Border

U.S. Customs and Border Protection will soon have second drone to patrol the Texas-Mexico border. The Associated Press reports the Predator drone is scheduled to arrive in Corpus Christi next week. Officials had announced in July that the state would be getting another drone. Here are more details from the AP:

The new Texas drone will be based at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi with the existing one, which also patrolled the Gulf of Mexico. The Predator can fly for 20 hours without refueling, extending by many hours the surveillance capability of a helicopter. Flight crews control the planes remotely.

Pre-trial Hearing for Hasan Thursday

An administrative hearing will be held before a military judge tomorrow morning in the case of the accused Fort Hood shooter. The defense is asking whether Major Nidal Hasan is entitled to get different types of expert assistance at the expense of the government. Hasan is charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder for the November 2009 shootings.                

Austin Philanthropist, Educator Passes Away

A renowned Austin philanthropist and former University of Texas professor has died. The Austin American-Statesman reports Ronya Kozmetsky passed away Tuesday at the age of 90.

She was co-founder, along with her late husband George Kozmetsky, of the family's RGK Foundation. The foundation grew under her leadership to be a major donor to a wide variety of causes, including the treatment of disease, community organizations and education.   In later life, she donated millions to other causes, including the Dell Children's Medical Center and the Center for Child Protection. Mary Beth Rogers, chief of staff for the late Gov. Ann Richards, knew Kozmetsky for her support of education, culture and "anything to benefit women and children."

Funeral services are scheduled for Friday at Tarrytown United Methodist Church.

New Jersey to Host F1 Race

Austin isn't the only U.S. destination planning a Formula One auto race. New Jersey officials announced yesterday they will hold their first ever F1 race in 2013 along the Hudson River. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said no public funds would be used on that event. The AP has more on F1's return to the U.S.:


Formula One racing returns to the U.S. after a five-year absence next year with a race in Austin, Texas. Indianapolis last hosted a race in 2007; before that, Phoenix hosted three grand prix from 1989 to 1991, while Watkins Glen in upstate New York hosted the F1 from 1961 to 1980. Red McCombs, former owner of the San Antonio Spurs and Minnesota Vikings and one of the chief financial backers of the race in Austin, said the U.S. should be able to support two races after the five-year drought. "We think that's good. I don't think it will compete with us at all," he said, referring to the New Jersey race. "They're coming in 2013 and we'll be a year ahead of them. It just gives more focus on the sport."