News Brief
5:43 am
Fri October 14, 2011

Top Morning Stories October 14, 2011

Parents Can Chime in on School Overcrowding

The Austin Independent School District is going to address overcrowding at North Central Austin schools during a public meeting tomorrow. This is part of the district’s planning for how facilities should be used in the 2012-2013 school year. The Board will vote on that year's plan this December. Tomorrow’s meeting is from ten to noon at the Dobie Middle School cafeteria.

Family Mourning Death of Fallen Marine

Family and friends are gathering today for the funeral of a Marine from San Antonio. Texas Public Radio’s Eileen Pace has more: 

Marine Corps Lance Corporal Benjamin Whetstone Schmidt was killed last Thursday, Oct. 6, while on patrol in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. The 24-year-old, who was a Marine sniper, played football for Alamo Heights High School. He left school at Texas Christian University in 2008 to join the military.

A graveside service is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 14, at 2:30 p.m. at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery, followed by a memorial service at 4 p.m. at Pearl Stables.

Schmidt’s was the son of Becky Whetstone, is a former columnist with the San Antonio Express-News, and Dr. David Schmidt, who is the team physician for the San Antonio spurs and also does work with the San Antonio Sports organization and the Valero Alamo Bowl.

Wilco Hires New Family Violence Prosecutors

Williamson County District Attorney John Bradley has announced the hiring of three new employees to work felony family violence cases. The DA's office hired two new assistant district attorneys and a victim assistant. The victim assistant, Wanda Ivicic, was hired to create a new program to identify and assist family violence victims in Williamson County. DA Bradley released a written statement:

“With the addition of these staff members, the District Attorney’s Office will have a strong team to provide assistance to the victims of felony family violence,” said District Attorney John Bradley. “Over the last few years, the Legislature has changed Texas laws to increase the punishments for many family violence cases from a misdemeanor to a felony punishment. That means the responsibility for many of these cases has shifted from the County Attorney, who handles misdemeanors, to the District Attorney, who handles felonies. We are grateful to the county for proving this new support.”

You can read more about the new family violence team on the county's website.

Steven Seagal Sworn in as West Texas Deputy Sheriff

The Associated Press reports martial arts film star Steven Seagal has been sworn in as deputy sheriff in West Texas. Seagal took the oath Thursday in Hudspeth County. Apparently Seagal, star of films including "Hard to Kill" and "Exit Wounds," contacted the county sheriff asking about work opportunities. The AP reports Seagal has been a deputy sheriff in the past in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, just outside New Orleans.