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The Lead: Early Voting Ending, Election Monitor Controversy

Good morning. The National Weather Service says we’re in for warm and muggy weather this weekend with highs in the 80s, until a weak cold front blows in on Sunday. Here’s some stories KUT News has been working on.

The county’s Highland Mall early voting location will stay open until 9 p.m. to accommodate more of those who wish to participate.

In 2011 lawmakers passed a law requiring the secretary of state to cross-check federal Social Security rolls when performing its regular deceased-voter checks. This check created several thousand “soft matches” — names on the federal document of people who’d died that were similar to names on Texas voting rolls.

Two schools in San Antonio have added radio frequency chips to all student ID cards. Those chips give off an electronic signal that can be easily monitored, so students can now be tracked in and outside of school. This method is causing some concern among parents and civil rights activists.

Staff Sgt. Patrick Rogers is a medic with the Texas National Guard. He is recovering from his injuries. Capt. Adam Musil of the 36th Infantry Division said that Rogers is happy and thankful for the recognition but was only doing what any other soldier would have done.

And here’s some more Austin and Texas stories generating attention online:

  • Ex-Lackland Trainees' Cases Aired at Hearing (Express-News)
Accusers in the Air Force's latest sexual misconduct case painted a picture Thursday of a training instructor nicknamed “El Toro,” or The Bull, who they said raped or had sex with former trainees, often when they were inebriated. Meggan Kantz, special agent with the Air Force's Office of Special Investigations, said Staff Sgt. Eddy Soto “had a thing for basic trainees,” according to people who knew him at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland.

  • City Council Denies Historic Zoning for Former Home of UT Professor (Daily Texan)
The council voted 5-2 Thursday to deny historical status to the former home of S. Leroy Brown, who in 1915 created WCM, Austin’s first broadcast radio station. The house, built in 1915, is located behind Phi Gamma Delta’s main house at 2707 Hemphill Park. … The fraternity wants to demolish the building and build underground parking, a soundproof room designated for parties and a new facility that would house fraternity members.

  • Can Iowa and Texas Legally Bar International Election Monitors? (Slate)
Is it illegal for Iowa and Texas to bar international election monitors? Sort of. OSCE members, including the United States, have agreed to “invite observers” from other OSCE countries to “observe the course of their national election proceedings, to the extent permitted by law.” At the same time, many states have statutes that forbid loitering, electioneering, or congregating within a certain radius of a polling place.

  • Feds Set Date For American Agents to Start Voting On Union (Star-Telegram)
Federal officials set a December date for passenger service agents at American Airlines to begin voting on union representation, but the Fort Worth-based carrier says it will now go to the U.S. Supreme Court to delay the vote yet again. The National Mediation Board announced Thursday it will hold the union representation vote from Dec. 4 through Jan. 15.

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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