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AM Update: 'Hog Out' in Hardeman, Details on UT Athletics Firing, and Santorum's Austin Stop

These feral hogs are on the Texas "most wanted list," according to Ag Commissioner Todd Staples.
Photo courtesy US Fish and Wildlife
These feral hogs are on the Texas "most wanted list," according to Ag Commissioner Todd Staples.

Hardeman County Wins "Hog Out Challenge"

Hardeman County was named the winner of the 2011 statewide Hog Out Challenge, a state initiative that asked counties to abate the widespread presence of feral hogs. In the rural outback of Texas, roughly 2.6 million feral hogs have caused an estimated $500 million in damages. Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples says that feral hogs are heavy burden on the state

"I have put feral hogs on the Texas Most Wanted List.  We need to track down these destructive pests and eliminate them. Not only are feral hogs a costly nuisance to agricultural operations and wildlife habitats, but they are a serious threat to the traveling public and are increasingly find their way into urban areas and destroying residents' yards, public parks, gold courses and more."

The top five counties – Hardeman, Clay, Lavaca, Callahan and Goliad – that culled the most feral hogs split $60,000 in grant money. Hardeman will receive exactly $20,000 in grants to help fund initiatives that control the feral hog population.

Athletic Official Fired for "Inappropriate Conduct"

The Austin American-Statesman reports this morningthat Cleve Bryant, the former Associate Athletics Director for the University of Texas, was fired last year due “a pattern of inappropriate conduct. ”

In a letter informing Bryant of his termination, UT President William Powers Jr. said:

"[T]he university's investigation of the woman's complaint found that the associate athletic director for football operations violated the university's prohibition on sexual harassment by touching the woman inappropriately on July 15, 2010."

Powers continued that the investigation also revealed that two other women claimed that Bryant had kissed them inappropriately.

Byrant has denied all of the allegations, claiming that his accuser  "has manufactured every alleged incident because she either wanted a pay raise or was upset that she did not get one." Last year, UT paid the woman a $40o,000 a complaint filed with the school.

Bryant was dismissed from the University March 2011.

Santorum's Stop in Austin

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum will be in Austin this morning. He is holding a private fundraiser at the Headliner's Club in downtown Austin, reportsKVUE.

Tickets for the event start at $500 per person, while those who pay $1,000 will be able to attend a private reception with the candidate.

The former Pennsylvania senator comes to Texas on the heels of a recent poll that showed he had a towering lead over all other GOP hopefuls in the state of Texas.

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