Top Morning Stories November 11, 2011: It's Veterans Day, Penn State Scandal Reaches San Antonio
Veterans Day Closures, Parade
City of Austin offices are closed today in observance of Veterans Day. That includes City Hall, public libraries, and all recreation, cultural and senior centers. Garbage, recycling and yard trimmings will be picked up as usual.
The City of Austin and Travis County Veterans Day Parade will start at 9 a.m. at the Ann Richards Congress Avenue Bridge and will make its way up to the Capitol.
Two Texas Soldiers Killed Overseas
First Lieutenant Dustin Vincent of Mesquite died November 3rd, when he came under small arms fire in Northern Iraq's Kirkuk, Province. He was 25 years old. Vincent joined the Army after graduating from college, and was assigned to Fort Riley, Kansas as an artillery officer. This was his first deployment to Iraq. Dustin Vincent leaves behind his wife, stepdaughter and his parents. Funeral arrangements are still being finalized.
Private First Class Cody Norris of Houston died Wednesday in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. The DOD says enemy forces attacked his unit with small arms fire. Norris was 20 years old. He joined the Army in October 2010 and this was his first deployment. Cody Norris was assigned to the 1st Infantry Division at Fort Riley, Kansas. His awards include the Army Commendation Medal and the Combat Infantryman Badge.
As of Thursday, the Department of Defense confirms that 6,293 U.S. service personnel have died in the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. 564 have come from Texas.
Penn State Sex Abuse Case Reaches San Antonio
Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky could end up facing charges in San Antonio as well. Sandusky has been charged in Pennsylvania with molesting eight boys over 15 years. MySA.com reports:
District Attorney Susan Reed and San Antonio Police Chief William McManus have discussed the possibility of building a criminal case against Sandusky stemming from his visit to San Antonio with the Penn State team in 1999 for the Alamo Bowl, authorities confirmed Thursday.
The Pennsylvania indictment against Sandusky specifically mentions an incident alleged to have happened in Texas:
“Victim 4 was listed, along with Sandusky's wife, as a member of Sandusky's family party for the 1998 Outback Bowl and the 1999 Alamo Bowl,” the indictment states. “... Sandusky did threaten to send him home from the Alamo Bowl in Texas when Victim 4 resisted his advances.”
Controversial Oil Pipeline Delayed
The State Department is delaying a decision on the controversial Keystone XL pipeline for at least a year. The proposed $7 billion pipeline would carry oil from tar sands in Alberta, Canada to Texas refineries. Here are more details about the delay from the Associated Press:
Nebraska rancher Bruce Boettcher was ecstatic when he learned the rumors swirling out of Washington were true: plans to build a 1,700-mile oil pipeline from Canada to Texas were on hold to study how environmentally sensitive areas in his state could be avoided.
He'd fought the project with neighbors whose land also sits atop the Ogallala aquifer, a massive underground water supply in the pipeline's path — and at the epicenter of the national debate. Nebraska officials including its Republican governor pushed against the project, as had environmentalists and national groups.
Until Thursday, when the U.S. State Department announced a delay in its federal permitting decision for the TransCanada Corp. pipeline, Boettcher wasn't sure if the protests and public hearings had made a difference.