Austin
8:58 am
Tue January 24, 2012

Top Morning Stories 1/24/12: Will Drought Dry Up Tourism?

Hearing on Drought's Effects on Tourism 

Texas lawmakers will hear testimony this morning on the effects of record-setting drought and wildfires on the state’s tourism industry. In December, Texas Parks and Wildlife announced that because of the heat and drought, state parks received fewer visitors. About 50 percent of the operating budget for state parks comes from visitor fees.

At this morning’s public hearing, the Texas House of Representatives' Culture, Recreation and Tourism Committee will also hear testimony on how to improve long-term funding for Texas parks.

Community to Discuss Single-Sex Schools Tonight

A community meeting will take place tonight in the Reagan High School cafeteria, located at 7104 Berkman at 6 p. m.  

As KUT has reported, combining the attendance zones of Pearce and Garcia Middle Schools will be considered.  If approved, male students would attend one school and female students would attend a different school. Parents will have the option to opt out and transfer their children to a different school. This is the second community meeting which will discuss single-sex schools for Northeast Austin.

Call for SXSW Volunteers

The South by Southwest Festival is calling for volunteers. A meeting is scheduled today at the Convention Center, 1st floor, Ballrooms A, B and C, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Volunteer hopefuls need to fill out an online registration form located on the SXSW website. Returning volunteers also need to complete a new registration form. The next step is to attend the meeting at the Convention Center, where registration will be approved.

For those who do not live in the greater Austin area and would like to volunteer, visit the Out of Town Volunteer section of the SXSW website. The festival is fast approaching, with SXSW Interactive set to start March 9.