The Austin Chronicle


September 14, 2012, News

› With Mayor Lee Leffingwell voting no, City Council on Tuesday approved a $3.1 billion budget for the 2012-13 fiscal year, which takes effect Oct. 1. See "Council Passes Budget – Minus the Mayor's Vote."

› City Manager Marc Ott says more funding is needed to finish building the problem-plagued Water Treatment Plant No. 4. In a memo sent to council last Friday, Ott suggested unloading a 73-acre tract to help pay down debt.

› Council is considering offering incentives to California-based HID Global as the security technologies firm looks for a site to build a manufact­uring center. The Workers Defense Project rallied Wednesday on behalf of the construction workers who would build the plant. Council expects to vote on the deal Sept. 27.

› The MoJoe Room Bar & Grill in Lincoln Village will reopen Monday, Sept. 17, after a shooting in the parking lot Sept. 9 left five people wounded. The shooter went to a local hospital for treatment and was arrested.

Bimal Patel died Sept. 8 as a result of burn injuries he received in April when his wife, Shriya Biman Patel, allegedly lured him into the bathtub with the promise of a massage, then poured gasoline on him and set him on fire. Murder charges are pending.

› Define "chutzpah": Commissioner of Education Michael Williams has applied to the federal government for a waiver for Texas for some terms of No Child Left Behind – which is based on education policies developed in Texas under then-Gov. George W. Bush.

› The fairness of Texas' "Robin Hood" public education finance system is under siege again as the total number of school districts sending cash to the state swelled to 374, despite the fact that half of their students are economically disadvantaged.

Doug Allen, the former interim CEO at Capital Metro who helped to launch Austin's Red Line and former planning director for the Dallas Area Rapid Transit, on Sept. 10 took over as chief executive of the Virginia Railway Express, a commuter rail line connecting Northern Virginia to Washington, D.C.

Bob Gammage, former U.S. representative, Texas House member (and member of the "dirty 30"), and Texas Supreme Court judge, died Sept. 10. He was 74. Gammage last ran for office in 2006, when he lost the Democratic bid for governor to U.S. Rep. Chris Bell.

› The Obama post-convention bounce continues, even after weaker-than-expected job figures. National polls show him leading Republican challenger Mitt Romney by up to 6% and put him ahead in most key battleground states.

› Tuesday marked the 11th anniversary of the attacks of 9/11. In a gesture of solemnity, President Barack Obama and GOP challenger Mitt Romney agreed to pull all negative campaign ads for the day.

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