• An Austin police officer will not be indicted in the fatal shooting of Nathaniel Sanders II, the District Attorney's Office announced Wednesday. See "No Criminal Indictment in Sanders Shooting."
• Pearce Middle School got its reprieve on Aug. 4 when Education Commissioner Robert Scott approved Austin ISD's repurposing plan for the East Austin campus. See "A Plan and the Man With Its Fate in His Hands."
• The Austin EMS union has registered its displeasure with City Manager Marc Ott's proposed 2010 budget. "It puts the public in danger by not allowing us to achieve minimum response times, and that's not what our mission is," said Austin-Travis Co. EMS Employee Association President Steve Stewart. Among their complaints: $3.7 million in new revenue from an EMS transport fee hike aren't folded back into the department. The council heard budget presentations Wednesday on EMS, among other departments.
• City Council has another full agenda this week, with topics ranging from Water Treatment Plant No. 4 to a new "fusion center" facilitating law enforcement info sharing. See "City Hall Hustle."
• The tolls of tollway construction: Strapped for cash, the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority said Tuesday it will shrink the length of the planned U.S. 290 East toll road, originally planned to run over six miles toward Manor; even so, the tollway will ultimately cost drivers more money.
• Water worries are on the rise, as record high temperatures and record low rainfall have left Lakes Travis and Buchanan – the two water supply reservoirs in the Highland Lakes – frighteningly low.
• Primary season has kicked off, with Gov. Rick Perry and challenger Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison signing up to clash in debates. So far, the candidates have accepted two invites – one sponsored by KVUE owners Belo Corp. and another by the Collin County Republican Party.
• The U.S. Senate this week is expected to extend the "Cash for Clunkers" aging car replacement program this week, but Sen. John Cornyn has called it "reckless spending," even though Texas has had its own vehicle replacement assistance program in place since 2001.
• "I'm running," Sen. Kirk Watson announced, toying with the media as he boasted of his placement on Austin Fit's list of the 10 fittest Austinites. But rumors of his possible run for the Governor's Mansion persist with the launch of www.draftwatson.com.
Quote of the Week
"My prayers are with you, because you stepped into a pickle vat."
– John Fleming, father of three Pearce Middle School graduates, addressing Superintendent Meria Carstarphen at Monday's AISD board meeting