The Austin Chronicle

News Ticker: April 19

By Brandon Watson, April 19, 2013, 2:00pm, Newsdesk

John Carona defaults on loans, Rick Perry shocks and awes, and the Blackstone Group has second thoughts. Confusion is on the News Ticker.

• Boston is on lockdown as authorities pursue Dzhokar Tsarnaev, identified as "suspect no. 2" in yesterday's FBI briefing. The first suspect, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was killed in a shootout after an overnight spree that resulted in the death of a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer. A third person of interest is reportedly in custody.

• While it is extraordinary that an Austin man survived both the Boston Marathon attack and the West explosion, it is absolutely shocking that Alex Jones has not yet identified him as a government operative.

Austin Parks and Recreation has lifted the burn ban in all city parks and nature preserves. Smoking is still banned, much to the chagrin of the Mayfield Park peacocks – who reportedly only settled there because that's where the flavor is.

• According to the Texas Workforce Commission, Austin's unemployment rate fell slightly during March. Congratulations are in order to Hyde Park's Snidely Higgenbotham for finally landing a job! We were beginning to lose hope.

• The Blackstone Group has decided that maybe it doesn't want to be BFFs with Dell Inc. after all.

• Sen. John Carona is having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad term. First, he failed to woo lawmakers with his gambling bill and then he yanked his payday lending bill after a huffy floor debate.

• Gov. Rick Perry bushwhacked House Republicans Wednesday by asking them to break Texas' constitutional spending limit. The bizarre incident fueled speculation that he will be the latest celebrity host of MTV's Punk'd.

• Undoubtedly, Hollywood types are already bandying leads for a made-for-TV movie about the Kaufman County murders. Karl Rove should be a shoe-in for the role of Eric Williams.

• The Boy Scouts have proposed lifting the gay ban on youths, while keeping the ban in place for adult leaders. This means that we will probably have to see Madonna in her merit badges again. Have they no compassion?

• For those who just squeezed blood out of their financial turnips, schadenfreude over the I.R.S. furlough dates will be forgiven.

• It's been a very, very, very long week. America deserves a cat video.

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