AM Update
9:34 am
Tue March 20, 2012

AM Update: Call for Caution After Storm, Coal Mining Rail Line to Mexico, Pinterest Goes to College

Caution Urged in Storm’s Aftermath

Storms pummeled the Austin area overnight. Mayor Lee Leffingwell has issued a statement “calling on Central Texans to be cautious and patient after storms moved through our city last night:”

“We need to be more patient on the road today, be aware of flooded streets and low water crossings, turn around, don’t drown,” said Mayor Lee Leffingwell. “City crews and Public Safety have been working throughout the night to ensure our safety and they have trained for this situation. If we are more cautious, and allow more travel time today we can avoid unnecessary accidents that could take Public Safety away from their tasks.”

“City crews are working quickly to restore power and traffic lights. Anyone in an emergency situation should immediately call 911,” said Mayor Leffingwell. Austin Energy customers should report all power outages by calling 322-9100.

You can read more on the storm’s effects here and here.

Rail to Move Coal from Texas to Mexico?

KUT News' reporting partner The Texas Tribune reports a company wanting to mine coal in Eagle Pass, Texas is seeking to build a rail line to transport coal to Piedras Negras, Coahuila, Mexico. The Dos Republicas Coal Partnership is a partnership between the North American Coal Corporation and its subsidiary Camino Real Fuels.

The Maverick County Environmental and Public Health Association is heading the fight against the mine and railway. According to The Tribune,

“Critics, including local residents, say that dust from the coal and discharge from the planned mine would pollute the air and water systems, and that blasting at the mine could lead to property damage and loss.”

The Tribune reports more than 6,000 Maverick County residents have signed a petition opposing the mine, and the Eagle Pass City Council and Maverick County Commissioners Court have approved resolutions opposing the project.

The Texas Railroad Commission is still months away from making a decision on the coal permit.

Pinterest Coming to College Classrooms

PBS’ MediaShift blog reports that Pinterest, the social application where users share and “pin” items of mutual interest is expanding into classrooms:

Robert Quigley at the University of Texas in Austin showed students what ad agency GSD&M did with its South by Southwest "survival board." (He also wrote up a tips piece for news users on Pinterest and now plans to have students create a Pinterest channel for a new social media-only news agency for college students that he has in the works.)

MediaShift goes on to discuss issues surrounding Pinterest as the app grows, including fair use
 standards and whether the sharing of copyrighted images could hamper its growth.