SXSW
9:05 am
Thu February 2, 2012

Top Morning Stories 2/2/12: SXSW Wristbands For Grabs, Spicewood Water Woes

SXSW Wristbands For Sale this Morning at 10 am

South by Southwest begins wristband sales for its music festival this morning. Purchases can only be made online to people with an Austin area zipcode:

The initial round of 2000 wristbands will only be available to Austin residents and will be discounted to the price of $149 (includes tax). When the $149 wristbands sell out, 2000 more wristbands will go on sale to Austin residents for $175 (includes tax). The non-discounted price for SXSW 2012 wristbands is $225.

An individual can buy two wristbands – one must be in the name of the credit cardholder and the second must be assigned to an individual named at the time of purchase.

SXSW Film and Interactive kicks off March 9; SXSW Music starts March 13.  

LCRA Sold Spicewood Beach Water

Just weeks before the Spicewood Beach community – 40 miles northwest of Austin – ran out of water, the quasi state agency that owns and manages water for much of Central Texas allowed water to be trucked out.

As StateImpact Texas reports, the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) says it sold at least 1.3 million gallons of water from Spicewood Beach to two private water haulers last year. LCRA says it notified the two customers on January 4th that they could no longer withdraw water from the Spicewood Beach system.

LCRA began trucking water to Spicewood Beach earlier this week after wells went dry.

State Scrambles to Care for Mentally Ill Prisoners

The Texas Tribune highlights a ruling abridging the time Texas has to find hospital beds for mentally ill prisoners: 

Judge Orlinda Naranjo of Austin is poised to finalize a ruling this week that will require jails to send mentally incompetent inmates for treatment at a state hospital within 21 days of the time they are ordered committed.

She said in a letter last week outlining her expected ruling that the current average wait of six months for a spot at a state mental hospital violates the constitutional rights of inmates who have been found incompetent to stand trial and are awaiting psychological assessment and treatment. To comply with her ruling, the cash-strapped Department of State Health Services, which runs the hospitals, will have to find the room and the resources for all those inmates. 

“These economic decisions made by the state do not outweigh the incompetent detainees’ liberty interests,”Naranjo wrote.

Tribune reporter Brandi Grissom notes "The shortage of state hospital beds is a problem that local law enforcement officials have been grappling with for years as sheriffs cope with overflowing jails, in which many of the inmates are mentally ill."