Wed February 27, 2013
The Lead: Earth, Wind (Damage) and Fire (Bans)
Good morning! Austin’s in for a sunny, dry and breezy day with a high in the mid 60s, according to the National Weather Service. No Red Flag warning for Austin today (signaling fire danger from high winds), but San Antonio and counties to the south are under a warning all day. Read more below about area burn bans.
Lead Story: Many Central Texans are still picking up after Monday's high winds. Gusts topping 50 miles an hour toppled fences and tore shingles from roofs.
Mark Hanna of the Insurance Council of Texas says the hundreds of claims already filed are just the beginning.
“This is just the first round of it. There are going to be people filing claims for weeks on end, and this really could be just the tip of the iceberg," Hanna said.
Burn Bans: Ongoing dry conditions have prompted officials across Central Texas to issue new burn bans.
Hays and Williamson Counties have now enacted bans on outdoor burning.
In Travis County, the ban has been extended until the end of next month.
School Ranking Overhaul: Gov. Rick Perry is voicing support for an overhaul of how schools are ranked in Texas. Currently, public schools are ranked on a scale ranging from academically unacceptable to exemplary.
Perry says he would like to see that changed to a ranking of A to F. In a speech Tuesday to the Texas Business Leadership Council, Perry also said he supports reevaluating the state’s standardized test, the STAAR exam.
House Bill 5, filed by State Rep. Jimmy Don Aycock, would adopt the new A to F ranking system and change the number of required STAAR tests from 15 to 5.
You can read more from The Texas Tribune.