News Brief
5:39 am
Fri September 2, 2011

Top Morning Stories September 2, 2011

Remembering Cactus Pryor

A memorial service for Austin broadcaster Richard "Cactus" Pryor will be held this afternoon. He died Tuesday from complications from a fall and broken leg. He was 88 years old. Cactus spent 65 years on Austin's airwaves, both TV and radio.

In 2007, he told his KLBJ-AM listeners that he had Alzheimer's disease. Austin writer Lee Nichols wrote an essay remembering Cactus, you can read that here. A celebration of Cactus’ life will be held at Riverbend Church of Austin at 2 p.m.

New Fuel Pump Stickers, Website

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples has announced new measures to crack down on gas stations that shortchange drivers by calibrating pumps to deliver less gas than people paid for. The state is putting new stickers on fuel pumps. The stickers direct people to a new website, accessible by cell phone, that lets drivers look up fuel pump inspection histories.  People can also file complaints through the website. Commissioner Staples raised the fine for retailers that shortchange customers.

Going out of town this weekend? Gas prices in Texas are up two cents going into the Labor Day holiday weekend.  The price for a gallon of regular unleaded is averaging $3.48 cents across the state. Austin drivers are paying about $3.50.

Austin American-Statesman Editor Resigns

Statesman editor Fred Zipp resigned Thursday. He's held the position since 2008. Zipp had a 32-year career editing newspapers in Texas and Florida. In an article online yesterday, Zipp said he felt the time had come for him to hand over the reins:

"The Statesman is fortunate to have a remarkably talented group of reporters and editors who are dedicated to telling Austin's story," Zipp said. "They need and deserve an editor who is unswervingly committed to the mission. I have felt my passion for the job wane and decided to leave so that others can pick up the fight."

The Statesman reports Managing Editor Debbie Hiott will serve as interim editor while a search is conducted.

Expect Delays in Downtown Austin

A few events will close some streets this weekend.  The Zilker Relays today will close part of Barton Springs Road. Tomorrow's UT football game against Rice starts at 7 p.m. and will  shut down some roads around the university.  For more detailed road closure information and to check out maps click here.

Slim Chance For Rain This Weekend

It appears Central Texas won't get much, if any, rain from a tropical depression that's forecast to become a tropical storm. Here's more from YNN Chief Meteorologist Burton Fitzsimmons:

Unlucky for us, it appears a ragged TROPICAL DEPRESSION #13 (soon to become TROPICAL STORM LEE) will be "Leaving" us hot and dry for the holiday weekend while neighbors to the east get soaked.  Looming right off the Louisiana coastline and nearly stationary, the storm packs sustained winds at 35mph with gusts up to 45mph as of 6am.  The official forecast calls for TROPICAL STORM status later today.  We're on the west/dry side of the storm and will find north-northeast winds becoming breezy at times, posing a higher fire threat just as many of us will be firing up our BBQ pits this weekend