Breaking: Congress Avenue Closed

Expected until noon

News 8 Austin is reporting that Congress Avenue is closed from Cesar Chavez to 11th street, due to finding several dead birds -- several dozen -- by the Capitol building. It's expected that the street will be closed until noon while authorities look for the cause, including a possible gas leak. Watch for more details as they're available.

UPDATE: Adolfo Valadez from the Health & Human Services Department is addressing the press downtown; according to preliminary results they do not feel there is a threat to the public's threat. In examining the birds' death they are "maybe suspecting a poisoning."

APD says one block one both sides immediately east and west of Congress are also closed.

UPDATE 2: Our story hits the big time.

UPDATE 3: Final count of 63 grackles, sparrows and pigeons identified and collected, scattered along Congress. Valadez says "no threat to public health at this time." Congress to reopen "very shortly," as soon as authorities remove all their gear, says APD.

On a lighter note, one reporter asked if the Lege's return was reason for shutting the street down. Bodes well for the 80th, doesn't it? No word if Tom Craddick's ghoulish bash at the Austin Club last night inspired the group suicide.

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