Kevin Lindsay

Photo by Mathew High

Did you like to go camping in triple digit heat? Would it be more appealing if campfires were banned? Apparently most people don't like to sweat in the dark, even if it's in a beautiful natural surrounding,  and that's helped blow a $4.6 million hole in the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's (TPWD) budget.

Now that the weather is more mild and burn bans are being lifted across Texas, TPWD is pleading for people to visit state parks and to make donations.  The agency is holding eleven news conferences across the state today, reminding people that close to half of state park revenue -- about $69 million of the operating budget -- comes from park entrance fees.

“A ‘triple whammy’ of record heat and drought, devastating wildfires and a corresponding decline in visitation and revenue has created a critical need for Texas State Parks,” announced TPWD exective director Carter Smith in a news release. “We are reaching out for help.”

Photo by KUT News

The Palmer Events Center will host a massive cooking effort today. H-E-B employees and volunteers expect to serve over 13,000 people there for the 21st annual Feast of Sharing.

Each plate is free of charge and includes traditional Thanksgiving dishes, including cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, and turkey.

While on site at the event, coordinators said volunteers were still welcome. Just show up and be ready to serve a lot of food.

Here's the event, by the numbers: 

Photo by kevin dooley

An Austin-based coin marketer agreed to pay out at total of $5 million in restitution to customers to settle a lawsuit filed by the Texas Attorney General's office. State attorneys charged that U.S. Money Reserve making of false claims in their commercials, in violation of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

Photo by Callie Hernandez/KUT News

City and state transportation officials are holding an open house this afternoon to take public input of the first ideas to improve the I-35 corridor through Central Austin.


After nearly two hours of public testimony, the Texas DMV, appointed by Governor Rick Perry, voted unanimously to strike down a state license plate celebrating the Sons of Confederate Veterans.  The group sought to use the proceeds to build new memorials honoring Southern soldiers.   From the beginning, the plate has sparked public controversy with the NAACP at the forefront of opposition.

Last month, Governor Perry expressed that he would not support the license plate.  In an interview with Bay News 9 after a fundraiser in Florida, Perry commented, "We don't need to be scraping up old wounds."