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The Lead: Black Friday May Leave You in the Red, F1 Has a Winner

Good Monday morning. Austin’s in for “unseasonably warm” weather today, according to the National Weather Service. Here’s some stories that KUT News is working on, this so-called “Cyber Monday:”

“Some Central Texans have already been hard at work since Thanksgiving evening taking advantage of “Black Friday” holiday shopping deals.  And for many of them, that means whipping out the credit cards over, and over, and over again. … Some promise zero percent interest or thousands of rewards points, but with a catch buried in the fine print. compares credit cards offers. It has compiled a list of what it calls the ‘scariest’ offers of 2012.”

“When you hear the words “Texas Railroad Commission” you’d be forgiven for thinking the elected body governs railroads in the state of Texas. In fact, the Commission is in charge of regulating the state’s oil and gas industry. … Not surprisingly, a lot of Texans don’t understand why the State agency that regulates the oil and gas drilling is called the Railroad Commission.  The name change is something Railroad Commission Chair Barry Smitherman says he can get behind.”

“A recent vote by the Lower Colorado River Authority means that more water from the Highland Lakes could be sent downstream for rice farming early next year. It was a vote watched with anticipation down the entire Colorado River basin, but perhaps nowhere more than in Spicewood Beach — the Highland Lakes town that was the first community in Texas to run out of water amid last year’s drought.”

“Tucked away inside Austin Community College’s Eastview campus, culinary students serve five-course meals as part of their end-of-semester training.  KUT News checked out ACC’s teaching restaurant to see what was cooking. “

And here’s more stories with state and local ties:

  • Sebastian Vettel Secures 3rd-Straight Formula 1 Title (CBC)
“Vettel shook off a first-lap crash and other difficulties to finish sixth at the Brazilian Grand Prix, good enough to protect his lead over challenger Fernando Alonso and become F1's youngest three-time champion at age 25. ‘It's very difficult to find the right words, especially after the race today,’ he said. ‘Everything that could go wrong went wrong.’”

  • South Austin SWAT Standoff Ends Peacefully (KVUE)
“Austin police responded to a disturbance call involving gunfire just before 2 a.m. Monday on Palace Parkway near Dittmar Road in South Austin. Officers say a 40-year-old man had locked himself inside the home after shooting at a woman. The woman managed to get out safely and called police. When responding officers couldn't get the man to come out of the home, they dispatched the SWAT team. Around 6 a.m., nearly four hours after the initial 911 call, the man surrendered to police.”

  • Austinites Rejoice Over Trail of Lights' Return (YNN)
“The City of Austin canceled the beloved tradition in 2010 because it could no longer afford putting on the event. RunTex owner Paul Carrozza picked up the project in February. The total price tag is $1.2 million, and so far he has raised $850,000. ‘There's millions of lights and all the displays are back,’ Carrozza said. ‘We were able to raise enough corporate dollars to bring it back.’”

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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