• After 32 years on death row for the murder of Austin Police Officer Ralph Ablanedo, onetime honor student David Lee Powell was executed Tuesday evening in Huntsville.

• The Capital Metro board today (Thursday, June 17) is expected to announce its decision on two finalists vying to fill the CEO/president post at the troubled transit agency. See "Welcome to Capital Metro."

• The city moves closer to a November transportation bond election, as recommendations for an $85 million bond package were released this week and a public forum is scheduled for tonight (Thursday). See "City Hall Hustle."


• In a surprise move this week, former Austin Energy General Manager Juan Garza was booted out as GM of the Peder­nal­es Electric Co-op. Garza came aboard PEC in a caretaker capacity as the co-op struggled to emerge from controversy and corruption allegations.

• The run-off elections for the Austin Independent School District and Austin Community College boards of trustees were June 12, with Tamala Barksdale beating Julie Cowan for the AISD at-large Position 9 seat, while Vic Villarreal took the ACC Place 5 seat over David Reiter. See "ACC Run-off: Villarreal Takes the Day" and "AISD Race: Barksdale Prevails" for more.

• The AISD board of trustees voted June 14 to formalize its relationship with the Austin Achieve­ment Zone, a group of families and nonprofits based in the area of the St. John neighborhood. The group is applying for the first round of the federal government's Promise Neighborhoods initiative program, which could unlock planning grants to improve social services for children.


• Despite the defection of Nebraska and Colorado, the Big 12 Minus 2 lives on, this time with the University of Texas Longhorns drawing more money from TV revenues and the ability to kick off its own all-UT-all-the-time TV channel.

• The popular host of a long-running senior exercise program on Travis County Television passed away last week at the age of 88. Ruth Bolin – seen in this photo from the Seniorcise With Ruth website – was named Best Senior Exercise Guru in the Chronicle's 2006 "Best of Austin" issue; she will be missed.

• Think Gov. Rick Perry has heard the last of Debra Medina? Think again. The conservative former challenger for Perry's party nomination attended the Republican Party of Texas' state convention in Dallas last weekend, but her "states' rights" group, We Texans, was denied a booth on the floor.

Photo by John Anderson

Quote of the Week

"That's why I'm glad 24 is done."

– Newly elected AISD board member Tamala Barksdale, joking about the cancellation of the TV drama, which aired during the same time slot as the AISD board meetings

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