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Top Morning Stories 11/23/11: Thanksgiving Travel

Thanksgiving Travel Up in Texas

If you’re flying out of Austin’s airpor todayt, officials suggest you arrive two hours early. At Austin Bergstrom International Airport things have quieted down. But there were long lines at security checkpoints around 5:30 a.m. And passenger traffic is expected to pick up at noon and again at 3 p.m.

AAA Texas predicts more than three million Texans are traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday. That’s a five percent increase over last year. For those traveling by car, gas prices have been dropping recently. The statewide average for a gallon of regular unleaded is $3.15. That’s what Austin gas prices are averaging too. But while gas prices have dropped they’re still about fifty cents higher than last year.

Practice Safe Turkey Frying!

It’s so close you can almost taste it! Central Texans are picking their turkeys, buying their trimmings and preparing for friends and family tomorrow. Thanksgiving Day’s one of the biggest cooking days of the year. And with more people deciding to fry their turkeys, more are at risk for fryer related-fires and injuries.

State Farm Insurance says its data for the past five years show Texas tops the list of states with the highest number of grease and cooking-related claims on Thanksgiving Day. Experts have some tips for safe turkey frying:

  • Don’t overfill the pot
  • Do turn off the flame when lowering the turkey into the oil.

Judge Suspended Amid Inquiry into Beating Video

The Texas Supreme Court has suspended a judge whose then-teenage daughter recorded him beating her in 2004. The video was posted earlier this year and went viral online. Here's more from the Associated Press:

Aransas County court-at-law Judge William Adams was suspended immediately with pay pending the outcome of the inquiry started earlier this month by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct, according to an order signed Tuesday by the clerk of the state's highest court. The order makes clear that while Adams agreed to the commission's recommended temporary suspension and waived the hearing and notice requirements, he does not admit "guilt, fault or wrongdoing" regarding the allegations.

APD Investigates a 23-year old Murder

Austin police are asking for the public's help in solving the 1988 murder of Debra Baker. She was found dead in her home at 1206 Dwyce Drive on Jan. 13. Mark Alan Norwood has been identified as a suspect in her murder. Investigators learned Norwood lived nearby in the 1400 block of Justin Lane in the late '80s. Police say Norwood also had been convicted of theft in April of 1988 in connection to some burglaries in that area .

Norwood was recently arrested in connection to the 1986 murder case of Christine Morton. The woman's husband, Michael Morton, served nearly 25 years in prison for the murder. Charges against him were dropped in October, 2011.

Detectives are asking anyone who knows Norwood, or bought property from Norwood in 1988 to call (512) 477-3588. Police believe Norwood stole items from Baker's home after the murder.