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The Lead: Austin Job and Population Growth; Comptroller Delivers Millions to Formula 1

Good morning! The National Weather Service says Austin’s in for a sunny and cool day, with highs inching up into the low 60s. Here’s some stories KUT News and our partners have been working on:

“Angelos Angelou, an economic forecaster, expects 130,000 people to move to Austin over the next two years. But Angelou warns there’s a kryptonite to this super story. ‘The only factor that can reduce our growth is transportation, if we don’t build our infrastructure, if we have gridlock just like the Silicon Valley did in the ’80s,’ Angelou said.”

“The Austin-area job market is expected to be among the strongest in the nation next year. That’s according to an employment outlook survey by the HR consulting firm Manpower. A quarter of companies in the Austin area said they plan to hire more employees in the first three months of next year.”

“A Nacogdoches County Court granted a temporary restraining order to Texas landowner Mike Bishop today. The order will prevent the company TransCanada from building the Keystone XL pipeline on Bishop’s land until a scheduled injunction hearing next week. The restraining order is part of an ongoing battle between Bishop and the company behind the pipeline.”

“Gov. Rick Perry on Tuesday indicated he would support a prospective ‘fetal pain’ bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks. Speaking at the Source for Women, a pregnancy crisis center in Houston, he said his goal ‘is to make abortion at any stage a thing of the past.’  The measure is being championed by Texas Right to Life, a state-based anti-abortion group, but a bill has not yet been filed.”

And here’s more stories from around the web:

  • City, County Officials and Activists Applaud Wage Floor For Incentive Deals (KVUE)
“On November 27th, the Travis County Commissioners Court passed a measure which requires that any future business or companies receiving incentives must offer their employees at least $11 an hour. … There are three Austin City Council members who want to see the city follow the county’s lead. These members are Mike Martinez, Laura Morrison and Kathie Tovo.”

“A Texas Planned Parenthood patient … filed suit against the state on Tuesday to ensure the provider is not left out of the women’s health program when the state takes it over on Jan. 1. … Planned Parenthood also filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday, challenging a ruling that allows Texas to exclude it from the state-funded program claiming the ruling places unconstitutional conditions on the provider’s eligibility to participate.”

  • Comptroller Authorizes $29.3 Million in Funds for Formula 1 (Statesman)
“State Comptroller Susan Combs has approved payment of $29.3 million from the state Major Events Trust Fund to organizers of November’s Formula One race, slightly less than what a group affiliated with Circuit of the Americas had requested in July. … The amount authorized by Combs isn’t based on actual tax revenue generated by the event. It is an estimation of tax revenue made by the comptroller’s staff and the Circuit Events Local Organizing Committee.”

  • Statesman Launching Priced Digital Apps; Mum on Paywall Rollout (Statesman)
“For non-subscribers, the Statesman’s iPad app (which will be relaunched as ‘News for iPad’) will cost $9.99 a month to access. An all-inclusive digital-only package including all apps and e-Editions will cost $14.99 a month. … Cox Media Group has made no formal announcement about a timetable for paywall plans. Statesman publisher Susie Ellwood said that the transition to more paid news models is ‘a work in progress.’”

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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