The Lead
8:45 am
Thu February 21, 2013

The Lead: Red Flag Warning, European Trade & Texas, State’s Most Endangered Places

Lead Story: A Red Flag Warning is in effect for Travis County late this morning through this afternoon, due to strong winds. Outdoor burning is strongly discouraged.

The warning is due to the critical fire weather conditions expected today: a pacific cold front bringing breezy winds and dry air to Central Texas. The warning will be in effect from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. You can find more information via the National Weather Service.

Texas Push for European Trade Deal:  Texas stands to benefit from a potential free trade deal between the U.S. and the European Union. That’s according to a study by Waco economist Ray Perryman.

Britain's deputy ambassador to the United States Philip Barton was in Austin yesterday to unveil the report. It says a free trade deal would create 90,000 jobs in Texas, and pump $18 billion a year into the state’s economy.

“The thing that the U.K. and Texas share is partly around values, open and free societies, but it is also about having economies open and free trading,” Barton said. “And if we can have an agreement, it is going to be good for us and it is going to be good for Texas.”

Negotiating a free trade deal between the U.S. and the E.U. is not expected to be easy, especially when it comes to agricultural products. The E.U. restricts food made with genetically-modified organisms and poultry treated with chlorine. The U.S. does not.

You can read more from the Texas Tribune.

Texas’ Most Endangered Places: Preservation Texas is out with its tenth annual list of the state’s most endangered places.

The 2013 list, released at the Texas Capitol, looks back on the past ten years, at six places that have been saved, three that are lost and three others that Preservation Texas says are in danger of being lost.

Among those saved: views of the Texas Capitol.

“When you drive into Austin, there is nothing more magnificent than seeing the capitol,” said Preservation Texas President Charlene Orr.  “It’s a draw for anybody on the highways or going around here. You want to stop and go, what’s that great building? So…that’s why we needed to do that.”

Among the places that Preservation Texas considers threatened: the Duval County Courthouse, built in the South Texas city of San Diego in 1916.