Fri., Dec. 6, 2013
› No regular City Council meeting this week, but Thursday afternoon (Dec. 5) they'll meet as the Council Committee on Austin Energy: The agenda includes briefings on various AE programs and a proposed revised ordinance on disconnection/reconnection policies. See: "Council Preview: Only Reconnect."
› Some will also convene on Friday, Dec. 6 as the Central Corridor Advisory Group, to "consider the priority sub-corridor(s) to receive Austin's next transit investment" (i.e. urban rail).
› Monday morning, Dec. 9, brings the next chapter in the ongoing ordeal of Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg: a hearing before Bexar County district Judge David Peeples in the removal lawsuit brought by Travis County Attorney David Escamilla. See "Lehmberg's Next Ordeal."
› Austin Aquarium managing member Ammon Covino was sentenced on Monday to a year in federal prison for conspiring to illegally purchase lemon sharks and spotted eagle rays in Florida for display in Idaho. Meanwhile, his brother, Vince, says the Austin Aquarium is on target to open next week, though the site still lacks permits to do so, or to display protected animals. See "Aquarium," for more.
› Austin ISD released its annual State of the District address by video on Dec. 2. In it, Superintendent Meria Carstarphen praised increased graduation rates and declining removal statistics. However, there's still no word on when the board of trustees will deliver its annual superintendent evaluation – now three months late and counting.
› So much for the Circuit of the Americas just being for the one percent: Jeff Foxworthy (of "you might be a redneck" fame) has announced the venue will host the inaugural RedFest in 2014, his three-day celebration of all things bubba, headlined by Tim McGraw.
› The family of Cedar Creek High School student Noe Nino de Rivera filed a federal lawsuit last week against the Bastrop school district, Bastrop County, and the deputy who tasered Nino de Rivera during a Nov. 20 hallway altercation, causing him to fall and incur a serious head injury – he remains in a medically induced coma. Officials insist he was interfering with officers, but eyewitnesses reject that charge.
› At press time, a lawyer for condemned inmate Rodney Reed was arguing to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans that his death sentence should be overturned. Evidence points to another killer, his defenders argue.
› Lawyers for another Texas death row inmate, Larry Swearingen, on Wednesday argued before the Court of Criminal Appeals that never-before-DNA-tested items of evidence should face scientific scrutiny before Swearingen can be executed. For more details see Newsdesk, Dec. 4.
› T.R. Fehrenbach, the head of the Texas Historical Commission and renowned for his triumphalist history of Texas – Lone Star: A History of Texas and the Texans, and other books – passed away Sunday, Dec. 1, at the age of 88.