• The City Council holds a special called meeting today, Thursday, Jan. 21, to hear about a proposed economic incentives program to lure Hanger Orthopedic Group into relocating to Austin. A public hearing is set for the next regular City Council meeting, Jan. 28. For more, see "Point Austin." Mayor Lee Leffingwell, meanwhile, will be attending the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Washington, D.C.

• Hot issues from the Jan. 14 City Council meeting are still hanging fire, as the Planning Commis­sion prepares to assemble a panel to further examine how density bonuses fit into the Down­town Austin Plan. See "City Hall Hustle."

• Beleaguered Criminal Appeals Judge Sharon Keller should not lose her seat for her conduct leading up to the 2007 execution of Michael Richard, a special judge has determined. See austinchronicle.com/newsdesk for more.

• Austin and Travis County commemorated the memory of Martin Luther King Jr. Monday, while the estimated death toll from Haiti's earthquakes swelled to a staggering 200,000. Donation and benefit info is available at austinchronicle.com/haiti.

Capital Metro rolled out its revised bus schedules and new fare rates this week. Single rides will now be $1, day passes $2, and 31-day Metro Passes $28. See a closer look at the Cap Metro changes in "Can't Get There From Here" and at www.capmetro.org.

• Who knew? After it previously ignored her as a marginal candidate, broadcaster Belo Corp. invited Republican gubernatorial hopeful Debra Medina to participate in a Jan. 29 debate after new polling by Rasmussen Reports gave her 12% support among likely primary voters. The poll showed that neither Gov. Rick Perry nor Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison has enough support to avoid a run-off.


• Oh, the pain. Massachusetts voters elected Republican Scott Brown, who once posed nude for Cosmopolitan, to fill Sen. Ted Kennedy's seat in an upset over anointed Dem Martha Coakley, and now Democrats in D.C. are trying to work out how they can pass health care reform with majorities of only 18 seats in the Senate and 78 in the House.

• Nice place to hang your hat for a spell. The LBJ School of Public Affairs has named Robert L. Hutchings as its new dean. The former U.S. National Intelligence Council chairman replaces James Steinberg, who left the dean's post to serve as the U.S. deputy secretary of state.

• High elbows in the Round Rock GOP primaries. Williamson County GOP founder John Gordon has failed in his attempt to get House staffer Alyssa Eacono thrown off the ballot in House District 52 on claims she isn't a resident in the district. They join former Texas State University System Assistant Vice Chancellor Larry Gonzales and former Texas Supreme Court clerk Stephen Casey in hoping to secure the nomination to challenge Democratic incumbent Rep. Diana Maldonado in November.

• Get out your handkerchiefs. Cedar allergy sufferers can expect a rough road ahead as the pollen count for cedar continues its upward climb this week and beyond, meteorologists warn.


Quote of the Week

"Her conduct ... does not warrant removal from office, or even further reprimand beyond the public humiliation she has surely suffered."

– From the findings of a special judge assigned to determine whether Judge Sharon Keller should be ousted from her seat on the state Court of Criminal Appeals for her role in the execution of a Texas inmate

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