Top Morning Stories 01/11/12: Commission Taking Up Bags Ban, Recovery Work Resumes in Bastrop
City Commission to Review Proposed Bags Ban
The City of Austin’s Solid Waste Advisory Commission is scheduled to take up a proposed plastic bags ban tonight. The draft ban would ban single-use plastic and paper bags starting in January 2013. And from this June to December businesses would have to charge ten cents a bag.
Tonight’s Solid Waste Advisory Commission meeting starts at six thirty at City Hall. The Austin City Council would still have to vote on the ban before it could take effect.
Recovery Work Resuming in Bastrop
Recovery work will resume in wildfire-damaged Bastrop County. Federal officials yesterday cleared Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative to get back to work clearing trees, picking up debris and putting up electric lines and meters in burned areas.
FEMA had temporarily stopped work in Bastrop last week as it studied the impact on the endangered Houston Toad. A Bluebonnet spokesman said the utility is committed to protecting the Toad’s habitat.
Abdo Bomb Plot Trial Delayed
The Associated Press reports the trial for a soldier accused of planning to bomb a restaurant filled with Fort Hood troops has been delayed until May.
Army Pfc. Naser Jason Abdo's trial was set for later this month. But U.S. District Judge Walter Smith granted the defense team's sealed motion for a new trial date.
"The court finds that the ends of justice, which will be served by allowing the defendant additional time in which to prepare this case, outweigh the best interests of the public and the defendant in a speedy trial," Smith wrote in his ruling issued Monday.
Abdo is facing multiple charges including attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction. If convicted, he faces up to life in prison.
Time to Ration Twinkies?
Also on AP: The maker of one of America's favorite snacks is filing for bankruptcy protection:
Hostess Brands Inc., the maker of Twinkies and Wonder Bread, is seeking bankruptcy protection, blaming its pension and medical benefits obligations, increased competition and tough economic conditions.
The Chapter 11 filing on Wednesday comes just two years after a predecessor company emerged from bankruptcy proceedings.
That company, called Interstate Bakeries and based in Kansas City, Mo., filed for bankruptcy protection in 2004. It emerged in February 2009.
Hostess Brands is headquartered in Irving, Texas. If you're a Twinkies fan, do not fear. Hostess recently tweeted this:
Don't derail your zombie plan quite yet. Twinkies will still be around for the foreseeable future!