AM Update
8:12 am
Mon May 14, 2012

AM Update: Austin Election Recap, MoPac Toll Lanes Meeting, Drug Violence in Nuevo Leon

Low-Turnout Election Returns Incumbents to Council

Voters returned all four incumbents on the Austin City Council – including Mayor Lee Leffingwell – to the dais on Saturday.

The council members’ fates were revealed as soon as early voting totals were released, with the incumbents – Leffingwell, Place 2 council member Mike Martinez, Place 5 council member Bill Spelman, and Place 6 council member Sheryl Cole – all leading by comfortable margins.

Many of the council members commented on the exceedingly low-turnout in the election – just under five percent in early voting, and roughly the same amount on election day. Similarly, many of the council members also endorsed the idea of moving municipal elections to November, and moving to a form of geographic representation for the city council. Voters will most likely have a chance to vote on those proposals this November.

You can read all of KUT News’ election night coverage. And don’t put away that voter registration card just yet – early voting in Texas primary elections begin today. 

Public Meeting Over Proposed MoPac Toll Lanes

The Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO) is holding a public hearing today about federal funding they want to spend on making changes to MoPac.

The proposal would put a toll lane in each direction from Cesar Chavez to Parmer Lane — which CAMPO hopes would help traffic move faster.

The public hearing is at 6 p.m. in Room 3.102 the Thompson Conference Center on the University of Texas at Austin campus.

Three community meetings will also be held in the next two weeks and you can make your comments online.

More Violence Near U.S.-Mexico Border

Forty-nine bodies were found on a highway Sunday outside of Monterrey, Mexico about 75 miles southwest of the Roma, Texas border crossing, according to The Associated Press.

The bodies had been decapitated and the hands and feet were chopped off, making identification difficult. Forty-three men and six women were among the dead. A few had tattoos popular among drug traffickers.

State security with Nuevo Leon says the Zetas drug cartel took responsibility for the killings. Drug gangs often abandon bodies in public places as warnings to their rivals.

Officials believe the victims were killed within the last few days.