The Austin Chronicle


January 24, 2014, News

City Council returns today (Jan. 23) for its first formal 2014 meeting, with the heavy lifting likely to be the staff briefing on an economic incentives proposal for AthenaHealth Inc. to become a major corporate tenant in the Seaholm Power Plant development. See Council: From the Brow of Zeus.

› Tuesday, Jan. 28, is Election Day in northeast Travis County's HD 50. See voting info.

› The never-ending school finance lawsuit reopened on Jan. 21. Judge John Dietz, who already ruled the current system unconstitutional, heard new testimony that the Legislature failed to sufficiently fund schools last session.

› On Tuesday, the Travis County Commissioners Court once again declined to extend the Saxet Gun Show lease of the Travis County Exposition Center, after Saxet declined to require that all sales employ federal background checks. See Tuesday's online Newsdesk for more.

› Also on Tuesday, the state Department of Insur­ance issued its new regulations for health care navigators – mostly nonprofit staff helping Texans without health insurance to acquire same through the federal health care marketplace – and the rules are not as draconian as anticipated: fewer costs, milder training requirements.

› UT-Austin has announced a controversial plan to move Texas Student Media and all its outlets – including the Daily Texan and KVRX 91.7FM – under the management of the Moody College of Communications. While TSM has faced declining revenues for years, advocates fear that it will lose its editorial independence, and be less open to non-journalism students.

› UT's medical school has announced its first dean: Dr. S. Claiborne "Clay" Johnston, a neurologist and current UC-San Francisco associate vice chancellor – will start on March 1, with the school scheduled to open in fall 2016.

› Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Wendy Davis is swinging back at claims by her presumptive Republican opponent Greg Abbott that she blurred the details in her life story, such as exactly when she became a single mom. After issuing a new campaign biography, she fired back that the allegations are an attempt to divert the campaign away from meaningful issues.

› Both the federal district court and the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles have denied any relief for condemned inmate Edgar Tamayo, a Mexican national slated for execution Wednes­day as we go to press. Unless Gov. Rick Perry steps in, Tamayo will have been executed without any court reviewing his claim that Texas' failure to alert him of his right under international law to contact home-country officials prejudiced the outcome of his case. See more at Newsdesk online.

› Wednesday marked the 41st anniversary of the landmark decision in Roe v. Wade, which had the effect of legalizing abortion across the country. But the assault on abortion access continues: A new report from the Guttmacher Institute shows more than half of all U.S. women of reproductive age now live in states – such as Texas – that have acted to measurably restrict abortion access.

› Capital Metro's much-touted MetroRapid bus service launches Sunday, Jan. 26, after months of preparation, and Wednesday's repaving of Lavaca Street down­town. See our cover story.

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