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Callie Richmond, Texas Tribune

Good morning. The National Weather Service says Austin can expect continued chances for rain and highs in the 60s today.

Lead Story: Former Williamson County district attorney Ken Anderson has denied any misconduct in the case of Michael Morton, the man who was wrongfully convicted of his wife’s murder and spent 25 years in prison.

Anderson, now a judge in Georgetown, is facing allegations that as a prosecutor he hid evidence that would have proved Morton’s innocence.

Callie Richmond, Texas Tribune

Good morning. The National Weather Service says Austin will see sunny and mild weather today with a high approaching 70 degrees. A band of severe thunderstorms is expected to blow in Saturday night.

Lead Story: In Georgetown, it’s day five of a court of inquiry seeking answers into the case of Michael Morton. Wrongly convicted for the murder of his wife, Morton spent 25 years behind bars before he was cleared by DNA evidence.

facebook.com/cprittexas

Good morning. Austin’s in for temperatures approaching 80 degrees, according to the National Weather Service. A cold front is expected to blow into the region this weekend, bringing with it chances for showers and thunderstorms.  

Lead Story: Leaders of the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas testified before a Texas house committee yesterday – but a couple of former leaders were noticeably absent.

George Burns, Oprah WInfrey Network

Good morning. The National Weather Service says Austin’s due for a high near 70, along with scattered clouds and maybe a stray thunderstorm.

Lead Story: Federal prosecutors say Lance Armstrong won’t face criminal charges, despite the cycling star’s confession last month to Oprah Winfrey that he did use performance-enhancing drugs.  

The U.S. Attorney in the case says the decision was made last year not to press charges, and Armstrong’s recent televised comments haven’t convinced prosecutors to re-open the case.

Nathan Bernier, KUT News

Good morning. The National Weather Service says Austin’s in for another day of slightly-warmer-than-average temperatures today, with light sprinkles this morning.

Lead Story: A ruling is set be issued to today on whether the appropriation of state school funds is constitutional.

Over 600 Texas school districts sued the state after lawmakers slashed public funding and grant programs by $5.4 billion dollars in 2011.

SXSW

In little over a months the city will swell as South by Southwest takes over downtown Austin. And the over 200,000 expected festival attendees have no shortage of events to attend: Today, SXSW released its film lineup, totaling 109 features.  

Film Conference and Festival Producer Janet Pierson writes that this year’s lineup “embraces love and the need/search/desire for connection.”

Texas Tribune

Good morning. The National Weather Service still has Central Texas under a Red Flag Warning until 6 p.m. tonight. The humidity will be low and the winds are high, meaning higher wildfire danger.

Austin’s in for otherwise nice weather today, with temperatures cooling to the 60s after this week’s warm streak.

Lead Story: The non-profit that got the biggest grant so far from the state’s troubled cancer-fighting agency is going out of business. The Clinical Trials Network of Texas says it has run out of money after the taxpayer-funded Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) began withholding payments.

Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Good morning! With highs in the upper-70s, Austin’s in for a cloudy, breezy and muggy day, according to the National Weather Service.

Lead story: An anti-abortion protest converged on the State Capitol Saturday afternoon. Among the speakers at the “Texas Rally for Life:” Attorney General Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and Gov. Rick Perry, who said he was working to “make abortion in any stage a thing of the past.”

Filipa Rodrigues/KUT News

Good morning! With highs in the upper-70s, Austin’s in for another day of well-above average temperatures, according to the National Weather Service. This weekend should see similar weather, albeit with a little more cloud cover. 

Speaking of the weather: Yesterday’s near record-high temperatures could mean many area plants are at risk of blooming too soon – which could mean a poor year for wildflowers, according to the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

Lead story: The chair of the Texas Senate's Health and Human Services Committee says she hopes Washington will allow Texas to receive $27 billion to expand Medicaid to people who can't afford private insurance.

Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority

A new pedestrian path has opened along a stretch of the 183A toll road, connecting Leander and Cedar Park. The five-mile, ten-foot-wide path cost $3.1 million dollars and opens in conjunction with the second phase of 183A construction.

The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority is in charge of the project, and spokesman Steve Pustelnyk says the CTRMA hopes people will use the path for recreation and commuting to work. 

Nathan Bernier, KUT News

The Austin ISD Board of Trustees will hold a public meeting to discuss a nearly $900 million bond proposal tonight at Crockett High School in South Austin. 

Erik Reyna/KUT News

The first draft of the Texas House budget comes in at $89.1 billion, and leaves $5.5 billion in unspent revenue.

"The filing of this budget will allow the House to formally begin a discussion about Texas’ priorities," said House Appropriations Chair Jim Pitts (R-Waxahachie), in a statement. "This bill recognizes the demands of population growth on public schools and Medicaid, and steadfastly maintains the House's commitment to fiscal discipline."

Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Thousands of people paid their final respects to legendary University of Texas football coach Darrell K Royal today. A public memorial was held at the Erwin Center and included a performance by Willie Nelson, and eulogies from UT-Austin President Bill Powers and current Longhorn coach Mack Brown.

“I asked him about what the best thing about coaching at Texas was, coaching football,” Brown said of Royal, “and he said, ‘25 million people care everyday about what you do.’ I said, ‘Coach, what’s the worst thing about coaching at Texas?’ and he said, ‘Twenty-five million people care about what you do everyday.’”

Check back here for results from all the races in Central Texas, except local elections including city propositions and bonds, Central Health, and school board races. 

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Disclosure: KUT is a media sponsor of the Austin Film Festival.

The Austin Film Festival kicks off tomorrow, and KUT News is featuring guest blogs from AFF staffers pointing to several festival highlights. Today we hear from festival founder and Executive Director Barbara Morgan on “family” themed films at the festival. But we’re not talking CGI pandas here - these films explore the bonds of family and community in a decidedly adult way:

As the Executive Director and founder of the Austin Film Festival, I have had the joy of “discovering” many films over the last nineteen years. The excitement that emanates from the perspective of these fresh voices is what makes my job unique. Anticipating the new talent which we get to introduce to the public is the inspiration that makes my job so thrilling. One of the themes which jumped out from this year’s crop of films was the idea of “family.” Each of these films is infused with the spirit of the most elemental aspect of the human existence.  Enjoy!

Liars, Fires and Bears

Nine year-old Eve, hardened by years of neglect as a foster child, never misses an opportunity. 

By

Update at 9:15 a.m. ET. Al Arabiya Says It Will Photograph Gadhafi's Body:

The al-Arabiya news network says it has "been granted permission to photograph Muammar Gaddafi's body." Note: There are still conflicting reports about Gadhafi's fate. Obviously, photos taken by journalists would help end any uncertainty. 

Photo by KUT News

UT Study Ranks it 2nd in Efficiency

A new study says UT Austin is tied with the University of Illinois for second in the nation when it comes to the most efficient public universities. The study was done by an associate dean in UT's College of Liberal Arts.

Photo courtesy of the Reagan County Sheriff's Dept.

AP: Warren Jeffs in a Coma

The Associated Press reports convicted polygamist religious leader Warren Jeffs is in a coma following complications from fasting. A source told the AP the coma was medically induced.

Photo by KUT News

Perry Targets Iowa

Governor Rick Perry will be making numerous campaign stops in Iowa in the next few days. The presidential hopeful entered the race on Saturday, and is now vying against other GOP hopefuls.

KUT's political reporting partner, The Texas Tribune, reports on how Perry is handling his controversial decision in 2007 to mandate that some young girls receive an HPV vaccine.

Image courtesy of Austin Energy

As record temperatures continue to bake Texas and air conditioning units run at full throttle across the state, Austin Energy is trying to reduce the potential impact of rolling blackouts.

Rotating power outages are preventive measures taken by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas. Austin’s utility will now spread the effect across 71 areas in Austin. On the above map, these areas are colored green. You can see a more detailed version of that map here.

The reason for this development: a flood of complaints when 20 percent of Austin Energy customers suffered extended (and repeated) power outages during rolling blackouts in February.

Photo by Matt Largey for KUT News.

Naser Abdo Indicted in Fort Hood Bomb Plot

The AWOL soldier accused of planning an attack on Fort Hood soldiers has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Waco. Naser Abdo is charged with possession of a firearm, possession of an unregistered destructive device and possession of ammunition as a fugitive from justice. The 21-year-old faces up to ten years in prison for each charge, if convicted.

 

Warren Jeffs Awaits Sentencing

Jurors are expected to decide on sentencing this week for Warren Jeffs. The 55-year-old polygamist religious leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was convicted last week on two counts of sexual assault against two underage girls he had taken as brides. He faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Navy Seal from Bastrop Dies

Photo courtesy of Houston-Tillotson University

Former Huston-Tillotson University President Dies

John Quill Taylor King, Sr., the longest serving president of Huston-Tillotson University, died yesterday. King, 89, served as president of the school from 1965 to 1988. He began his career at Huston-Tillotson College as an Instructor of Mathematics and Business Administration immediately after earning his Bachelor of Science degree from the school in 1947.

Photo by KUT News.

High Temperatures in Forecast, Hopes of Rain

Triple-digit temperatures are welcoming us into August with the 48th day of highs over 100. Austin residents had hopes Tropical Storm Don would bring rain over the weekend, but no such luck. Expect the next few days to be near record levels, around 104-106 degrees.

Perry's Inner Circle

Photo by KUT News.

City Taking a 2nd Look at WTP4

The Austin City Council  approved a resolution Thursday to look into how much it would cost the city to postpone construction of the rest of Water Treatment Plant No. 4  for five or ten years.

Photo courtesy of the Austin Police Department.

Another Run-In with the Law for Cedric Benson

Former University of Texas football player Cedric Benson has been released from Travis County jail. The Cincinnati Bengals running back was arrested early Sunday morning on a misdemeanor charge of assault causing bodily injury. 

Photo by Liang Shi for KUT News

City Council to Vote on Formula One

The Austin City Council is scheduled to take a vote today that could unlock state funding for the planned Formula One racetrack in Southeast Travis County. The council had postponed the F-1 vote last week.

People from around the nation were in New Braunfels this weekend for an annual extreme sports event for athletes with amputations. Athletes participated in competitions including skateboarding, kayaking, rock climbing and mountain biking.

Austin-based Hanger Orthopedic Group was the title sponsor of this year's Extremity Games.  It's organized by the Athletes with Disabilities Network.

Check out all of the talent in this video produced by Hannah Jones and KUT's Crystal Chavez:

 

Image courtesy Austin Fire Department

Wildfires Threaten More Areas of Texas

The Texas Forest Service says more parts of the state now need to be worried about the threat of wildfires. The agency says the area with significant fire potential will expand today to include parts of Central, North, and South Texas. That includes all areas west of line that curves down from just west of the Dallas-Fort Worth area, to Fredericksburg, to Del Rio. 

Photo by KUT News

House May Ease Graduation Requirements

The Texas House will take a final vote today on a bill that would ease graduation requirements for Texas students. Starting next year, high school students are required to take a total of 12 end-of-course exams called the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR), and they have to pass the exams in order to graduate.  In the bill the House will vote on today, high school students will have to pass fewer of the new state exams in order to graduate.

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