News Brief
8:42 am
Wed August 17, 2011

Top Morning Stories August 17, 2011

City Council Reviews Next Year's Budget

Today the Austin City Council is having a budget work session to  hear a presentation on the city's proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year and to consider a proposed property tax rate for next year. The meeting will be at 9 this morning at City Hall.

Suspect Named in Offier-Involved Shooting

A suspect has been identified in the robbery of a South Austin Gas Station which resulted in two officers firing at the suspect. Logan Cook, 21, was shot at - but not hit - by the two police officers pursuing him after he approached one with a weapon.

The officers involved were Eduardo Pena with two years of service and Branden Kunkel with three years of service. Both have been placed on administrative leave while the Austin Police Department conducts an investigation. Cook is charged with Aggravated Robbery with a Deadly Weapon.

Perry and the Federal Stimulus

Governor Rick Perry's is taking a stance against the Obama administration's $800 federal stimulus plan as a talking point in his campaign. Ross Ramsey of KUT's political reporting partner, The Texas Tribune, reports on how the presidential hopeful's rhetoric matches his record:

In his 2010 book, Fed Up! Our Fight to Save America From Washington, Perry wrote this: "We are fed up with bailout after bailout and stimulus plan after stimulus plan, each one of which tosses principle out the window along with taxpayer money."

But the reality of Perry's relationship with fed-stim is complicated. Through the second quarter of this year, Texas has used $17.4 billion in federal stimulus money — including $8 billion of the one-time dollars to fund state expenses that recur over and over. In fact, Texas used the federal stimulus to balance its last two budgets.

Non-Convicted Sex Offenders Losing the Designation

Some people designated as sex offenders even though they were never convicted of a sex crime are having the brand stripped from their record. The Austin American-Statesman reports:

The change occurred after an 8-0 ruling by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in May affirmed what several federal courts previously had ruled: The parole board cannot unilaterally decide whether to brand a prisoner as a sex offender if he or she has not been convicted of a sexual offense.

By officials' earlier estimates, as many as 6,900 of the 80,600 parolees could be affected by the change. To review those cases would require perhaps as many as 1,000 hearings a week — an impossible number, some parole officials had said.