AM Update: City Elections Tomorrow, Central Texas Weather Rundown, World's Longest Guitar Solo
City Elections Tomorrow
Election Day is tomorrow for the Austin municipal elections. Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. Fourteen candidates are running for four seats on the Austin City Council, including mayor.
Perhaps the most closely watched aspect of the election is the challenge to Mayor Lee Leffingwell by former council member Brigid Shea. Shea accused Leffingwell earlier this week of violating campaign finance laws, and throughout the campaign, has maintained that Austin is becoming more unaffordable.
That's a common refrain among political challengers – that they will protect the citizenry's collective pocketbook better than the last guy. But in the case of Shea, currently a community strategist and consultant, the arrival of huge companies like Apple and Formula One cast her position in a different light.
Like Will Wynn before him, who welcomed The Domain, Leffingwell has encouraged business development and international companies to put down roots in Austin. Shea, however, characterizes herself as a tougher negotiator.
Before you vote, you can hear more from city council candidates via KUT News' YouTube interview series. Bring an form of ID or your voter registration, and remember to vote in your assigned precinct. More information can be found on the Travis County website.
Central Texas Weather Rundown: Rain, Power Outages and Tornadoes
The storms that rolled through Central Texas last night brought one to four inches of rain to the area.
A couple of cities (such as Johnson City and Driftwood, according to YNN) even received more than four inches, and the Lower Colorado River Authority says all that rain means creeks and rivers are flowing pretty quickly. Lake Travis is already up by more than nine inches over last week. Lake Buchanan is up by nearly five inches.
Austin Energy says the storm knocked out power to as many as 700 customers last night. But the lights were back on throughout the city by early this morning. The City of Austin is not reporting any road closures.
The weather was more severe in the Houston area. More than 6,000 CenterPoint Energy customers were still without power this morning.
Authorities report a tornado touched down in Weimar, about 85 miles west of Houston. City Emergency Management Coordinator Charles Rogers told the Associated Press that eight people were injured in the storm as they were in a trailer preparing food for a fundraiser at the a high school.
Rogers also told the AP that the apparent tornado derailed 25 cars on a freight train and damaged a hospital.
The rain could continue over the next few days. We’re expecting about a 30 percent chance of rain today and a 20 percent chance tomorrow.
This Weekend, Witness the World's Longest Guitar Solo
Didonato hopes to play his way past the current record (a staggering 24 hours and 18 minutes) this Sunday and Monday at Red 7. You can catch all the guitar glory for a dollar an hour, unless that is you stay for the entire event – in which case, as Didonato jokes, you’ll be paid $25.
The record attempt will be also streamed live so that an official Guinness Book judge won’t have to come in.
Red 7 will open its doors Sunday at 4 p.m. for all the face-melting action.