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The Lead: Booming Growth in WilCo, Federal Courthouse Opens

Good morning. The National Weather Service predicts more warm and humid weather today. Here's KUT News' top overnight stories: 

“Williamson County is growing so quickly that the Austin city demographer, Ryan Robinson, says it could become as large as Travis County eventually. Robinson says that Williamson County, with its cities Round Rock, Cedar Park and Leander, is creating 1 of every 3 new jobs in the Austin metro area.”

“Judge Col. Gregory Gross ordered Hasan be shaved by force. Hasan’s lawyers appealed that order and asked that Gross be removed from the case, saying he was biased against their client. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces agreed, saying the order to shave Hasan was not the judge’s to make and that Gross at least appeared not to be impartial.”

“Proposed solutions included increasing no-refusal programs, adjustments to blood alcohol testing laws and a deferred adjudication program. Texas has one of the highest drunken-driving death rates in the nation, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving.”

“The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced a proposal to list the lesser prairie chicken, native to the grasslands of the Texas Panhandle, as ‘threatened’ under the Endangered Species Act. For StateImpact Texas, KUT’s Mose Buchele reports.”

And here's more overnight stories from Austin:

  • New Federal Courthouse Opens in Austin (Statesman)
“… Home is a new eight-story, 252,420-square-foot building of stone and glass bounded by Fourth, Fifth, San Antonio and Nueces streets. U.S. Magistrate Judge Andy Austin said the $123 million project came in on budget. Construction was paid for predominantly by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.”

  • Central Texas Women's Shelter Asks For The Public's Help (KEYE)
“Domestic violence is a growing problem throughout Central Texas. The Hays-Caldwell Women's Center has helped a record number of family violence, child abuse and sexual assault victims this year despite a heavy drop in state and federal money to support services – but the center is now pleading to the public for help.”

  • Police See Three Chases In Two Hours (KXAN)
“Austin police officers caught carjacking, burglary and car theft suspects overnight, after three separate car chases.”

  • Haunted House Financial Nightmare for Former Employees (KVUE)
“‘It just makes me sick,’ said Ecopocalypse founder Matt Sparks. ‘I'm going to be paying this back for a long time.’ The situation facing Sparks is far from the excitement he felt when he put all he had, about $20,000, on the line to create Ecopocalypse. Take the cost of the rented space, add it to the actor's paychecks, not to mention thousands in building materials and the $200,000 cost of Ecopocalypse quickly became a frightening thought of its own.”

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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