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The Lead: Texas Pols Sworn In, Last Night at the Alamo Drafthouse

Michael Stravato, Texas Tribune

Good morning. The National Weather Service says we can expect cloudy and cool weather today before a storm system moves in tonight bringing  chances for rain and, yes, even snow.

Swearing-in day: U.S. Senator Ted Cruz will be sworn into office today. Tea Party favorite Cruz won decisively over well-funded and politically connected Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst last year. Other congressional freshman being sworn in today include former Texas Secretary of State Roger Williams and former Texas House member Pete Gallego.

Plenty of familiar faces are being sworn back in too, including Rep. Lamar Smith, and Rep. Lloyd Doggett (now in newly-drawn District 35). And a friendly reminder: Travis County is now represented by a total of five members of Congress.

Legendary officer laid to rest: Today also sees funeral services for Austin police officer Houston McCoy. McCoy passed away in December. The 72 year-old was known for his role in ending Charles Whitman’s infamous shooting spree atop the UT tower, back in 1966.

McCoy’s services will be held at 1 p.m. in the First Baptist Church in Menard, Texas.

Last night at the Alamo: The curtain closes on Lamar Plaza as we know it. The last major tenant to operate out of the midcentury shopping center, the Alamo Drafthouse, shuts its doors today after a movie marathon.

The topper is a fundraising screening of Jackie Chan actioneer “Rumble in the Bronx,” to benefit homeless hunger organization Mobile Loaves and Fishes. “While Chan may be our hero of choice when it comes to movies, [Mobile Loaves and Fishes founder] Alan Graham is a real Austin hero,” the Drafthouse says. 

The Alamo and its sister business, The Highball, will reopen once Lamar Plaza is rehabbed and rebuilt, but will be the only two businesses to do so. 

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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