KUT Morning Newspod April 14, 2011
Wildfires Threaten More Areas of Texas
The Texas Forest Service warns more parts of the state now need to be worried about the threat of wildfires. The agency says the areas with significant fire potential will expand today to include parts of Central, North and South Texas. That includes most of the western part of Texas from the Dallas-Fort Worth area to Fredericksburg to Del Rio.
In the past week, the Forest Service has responded to 81 fires that have burned about 442,000 acres. Central Texas will be under a fire weather watch from Thursday morning through Friday evening.
Last Day for Voter Registration
Thursday is the deadline to register to vote in the May 14 City of Austin general elections. Three Austin City Council seats are on the ballot. Incumbents Chris Riley, Randi Shade and Laura Morrison are up for re-election. Early voting will start on Monday, May 2. Travis County voters can find more information at TravisCountyTax.org.
New Bill Could Change Minority City Council Seats
State lawmakers are considering a bill that would force the City of Austin to adopt single member districts in which some council members would represent specific geographic areas. City leaders have tried half a dozen times in the past 20 years to make the switch. Austin voters may be asked to weigh in on the idea again next year.
The change would have a big impact on minority voters, who have maintained representation on the council for the past 30 years through an unwritten deal. On today’s newspod, KUT’s Matt Largey explains what’s known in Austin political circles as the “Gentleman’s Agreement.”