› City Council is taking its annual July break, but Mayor Lee Leffingwell, City Manager Marc Ott, and several city staff members just returned from a visit to a Formula One race in Silver-stone, England – described as a "junket" by critics – where they hoped to anticipate and avoid problems for the November race in Austin.
› Travis County Commissioners Court voted to adopt the city of Austin's revised limits on tax exemptions for historic homes – $2,500 for homes designated this year. The commissioners also raised the disabled and elderly homeowners exemption, a move estimated to cost the county roughly $1 million.
› Amado Pardo, the alleged ringleader of a large heroin-trafficking operation and face of Jovita's restaurant, as well as his brother, Jose, were denied bond by federal Magistrate Judge Mark Lane at a hearing Tuesday. See "Jovita's Defendant Not a Dealer, Lawyer Says."
› Two children, ages 5 and 7, died Tuesday in a fire that started in a car and moved into their Southeast Austin home. A second fire in East Austin left an elderly woman dead and two others with severe burns.
› Texas is running out of fresh water, but the state is considering using underground brackish water reserves for drinking. Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson proposes tapping the Permanent School Fund to pay for a desalination test project in New Braunfels.
› The UT System Board of Trustees is considering paying $6 million for the broadcast license for KXBT-FM and splitting KUT into a news station and a music station.
› Austin Police are asking for help solving the Monday morning murder of Alejandro Hernandez Jr., found shot and slumped over the steering wheel of his pickup truck in North Austin. Tipsters can call homicide detectives at 477-3588.
› Accused of failing to protect customer data, local think tank Stratfor will spend $1.75 million to settle a class action lawsuit after its servers were hacked and embarrassing emails were published by WikiLeaks.
› Health care officials are condemning Gov. Rick Perry's decision to ignore two key parts of the Affordable Care Act. Perry announced July 9 that he will not institute an insurance exchange or expand Medicaid, effectively rejecting $13 billion a year in federal health care funds.
› Texas' controversial voter ID bill finally made it to court on July 9, with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder slamming it as a poll tax.
› U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks has rejected a bid by Lance Armstrong to block the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency from going forward with charges that he doped throughout most of his career.
› The Texas Department of Criminal Justice announced it would begin using only a single drug, pentobarbitol, to carry out executions, after the supply ended for another drug in its current three-drug mix. See "Death Watch."