The Lead
9:14 am
Tue February 12, 2013

The Lead: Virgin Airlines Coming to Austin, 'No-Refusal' In Effect

Good morning. The National Weather Service says Austin faces a chance of strong thunderstorms this morning. The day should warm to a high near 70.

Lead Story: Austin-Bergstrom International Airport has a new tenant: Virgin Airlines, which will be operating non-stop flights to San Francisco. And Mayor Lee Leffingwell is among those welcoming the announcement. 

In a press release, Mayor Leffingwell says:

“Austin and the San Francisco Bay Area share deep business ties, especially our world-class innovation and tech sectors. In order to facilitate tourism and subsequently keep Austin the thriving city we’re so proud of, I’ve been stressing for some time that we need more nonstop flights in and out of our airport.”

At his State of the City address last week, former Delta Airlines pilot Leffingwell pushed for a direct connection between ABIA and Europe.

‘No-Refusal’ in Effect: A reminder that Austin police will enforce a “no-refusal” policy during Mardi Gras tonight.

That means from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., suspected drunk drivers who refuse a breathalyzer test may be forced to give a blood sample. Another Mardi Gras no-refusal policy was in place over this past weekend, and APD says 18 people were arrested for drunk driving.

WilCo May Open Vote Centers: Williamson County leaders held a discussion last night regarding changes in how its residents can vote. 

A public hearing yesterday evening asked people what they think about getting rid of precinct voting locations and switching to Vote Centers like those used in Travis County. Under the vote center system, you can cast a ballot at any location on Election Day – just like during early voting.

County commissioners are expected to make a decision at their Feb 19 meeting.