• Welcome aboard! New Council Members Randi Shade and Laura Morrison, along with returning incumbent Lee Leffingwell, were sworn in Wednesday at City Hall, as the new council forms in time to take its summer hiatus – and starts to get its arms around next year's budget.

• Not such a big box after all: Wal-Mart and Lincoln Properties announced Monday that the planned supercenter at Northcross, vigorously opposed by nearby neighborhoods, will be scaled back to under 100,000 square feet, with no immediate timeline for construction. See "Wal-Mart Puts Smiley Faces on Neighbors."

• The state Sunset Advisory Commission grilled Depart­ment of Public Safety officials over inefficient and inadequate management Tuesday in the wake of the fire at the Governor's Mansion – while an open records request for the fire-night video was withheld on grounds that it might provide security info to "terrorists." Right. See "DPS Turns to Secret Service for Security Advice."

• The U.S. Senate prepared to approve the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act amendments this week, following last week's House vote that would expand the president's authority for warrantless wiretapping. As of Wednesday, there was growing opposition in the Senate, which may at least delay passage. See "Point Austin."

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