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The Lead: AISD Super’s Contract Extended, F1 Street Closures Slashed, More Election News

Good morning. Austin’s in for another warm, breezy and partly cloudy afternoon, according to the National Weather Service. Here’s some stories KUT News has been working on:

The Austin school board voted 7-2 to extend an employment contract with Dr. Meria Carstarphen, the superintendent who oversees the education of more than 86,000 Austin children in the largest school district in Central Texas. 

The city of Miami claims to have taken almost half of its homeless population off the streets in the last 10 years. In Austin, where homeless services are stretched to the limit, the City Council is looking for new solutions. Last night, council members met with officials from Miami. The challenges of one local homeless family that is struggling on the streets show how complex the problem can be.

Proposition 5 would amend the city charter to allow council members to directly hire their own staff instead of having the city manager make those appointments. … Prop 6 would allow the City Council, instead of the city manager, to hire the city attorney, which is already standard practice in many large cities.

A staff recommendations from the Lower Colorado River Authority, the agency that controls the water in the Highland Lakes, could lead to water being sent downstream next year for rice farming.

And here’s some more Austin and Texas stories from around the web:

  • Downtown Block Closures For F1 Weekend Drop From 28 to 11 as Festivals Merge (Statesman)
Experience Austin and Fan Fest will be held in the Warehouse District and on East Second Street. Eleven blocks will be closed to traffic downtown during the event, down from an original plan to close 28 blocks when they were separate. Still, the street closures — which are in addition to the routine closing of Sixth Street when pedestrian traffic gets thick — include three blocks on Congress Avenue from Nov. 16 to 19, setting up likely traffic headaches as downtown swells with race fans.

  • Fort Hood-Area Officials Worried Over Soldier Vote (Star-Telegram)
Election officials in the county where Fort Hood is headquartered say they're worried the Army is giving soldiers incomplete instructions for voting by mail.

  • Chief Says CLEAT Allegation is False (KXAN)
Acevedo claims an attorney for the Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas, or CLEAT, lied about him in a legal document when they accused him of creating a job for a former Austin police officer. It is an allegation that, if true, would be against the law.

  • UT Incubator Gets $247,000 Grant To Study Wet Lab Needs (Statesman)
A $247,000 federal grant will allow the Austin Technology Incubator and its partners to take the next step towards an $80 million complex of wet labs, a key element for the local biotechnology industry and the proposed medical school.

Wells has been a part of KUT News since 2012, when he was hired as the station's first online reporter. He's currently the social media host and producer for Texas Standard, KUT's flagship news program. In between those gigs, he served as online editor for KUT, covering news in Austin, Central Texas and beyond.
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