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AM Update 2/21/12: LCRA Talks Water, Charges in Fatal Wheatsville Wreck, F1 Hotel Rates Rise

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Photo by Ihwa Cheng for KUT News
LCRA's Water Operations Committee will meet today to discuss a new water plan which has many people divided.

LCRA Board to Discuss Water Management Plan

The Lower Colorado River Authority's (LCRA) Water Operations Committee is meeting today and on the agenda is the new Water Management Plan. The full LCRA board will discuss the new plan and possibly take action tomorrow.

The new Water Management Plan will determine how water is allocated from lakes Travis and Buchanan.  The amendments to the plan will give LCRA more flexibility to respond to severe droughts, said a statement on the LCRA website.

For those wishing to comment on the new plan, LCRA is asking them to do so at the meeting today, scheduled for 12:30 p.m. in the LCRA Board Room at 3700 Lake Austin Blvd. The board meeting tomorrow will begin at 9:30 a.m. Overflow seating is available in LCRA’s Redbud Center across the street; people can view the meeting in the Redbud Center but will need to be in the Board Room to address the board.

KUT’s Mose Buchele reports on the new plan, which has communities divided. Rice farmers want the plan to be phased in, whereas other people in Central Texas feel as though the farmers have already received enough concessions.

Driver in Fatal Wreck Charged

KXAN reports the woman involved in the fatal wreck on Guadalupe on Sunday was under the influence of heavy medication. The woman, Linda Dianne Woodman, told police she had been given morphine and Percocet.

Woodman, 59, has been charged with intoxication manslaughter said KXAN.

Woodman lost control of her Lexus SUV while traveling south on Guadalupe. She hit several signs, a building and then hit two people near 31st St., said KXAN. Dik Van Meerton, 61, died from his injuries and Sarah Lee Parker, 21, was hospitalized with critical injuries but has since been listed under fair condition.

According to Travis County inmate records, Woodman was in jail on Monday night with bail set at $55,000.

Weekend Causes Hotel Rates to Increase

According to the Austin American-Statesman, the rates for hotels have increased exorbitantly for Austin's F1 weekend this November.

A Super 8 motel near downtown is listing a rate of $475 a night on the day of the race. That’s not even including taxes. A week after the race the same room is listed for $77.05 with tax, reports the Statesman.

This type of rate increase is not a violation of the state’s price-gouging laws, says the Statesman. Such price-gouging laws only take effect when there is a state of emergency or disaster which is determined by the governor.

Central Texas has around 30,000 hotel rooms; Austin is expecting 120,000 people for the races, said the Statesman.

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