• After a split (Thursday/Friday) meeting last week that raised plenty of sand, City Council was in the final stages of budget hearings Wednesday, with three budget adoption days (Sept. 8-10) scheduled next week. There's a work session on Wednesday, Sept. 10, and the next regular meeting is Sept. 28. See "Council."
• A voting rights trial began this week in Corpus Christi, as the Obama Administration challenges a 2011 Texas law requiring specific photo IDs to allow voting. Opponents of the requirement say it discriminates against minority and elderly voters, and the case could restore Justice Department preclearance of Texas election laws, under the Voting Rights Act.
• On Aug. 29, the Citizens Review Panel issued its review memo of an Oct. 2012 Austin Police Department police shooting on Sixth Street, in which an officer fired four times at a moving vehicle (no one was injured). The CRP called the circumstances "extraordinary," but said the shooting violated APD policy, and recommended better training.
• Does Austin's bag ban violate Texas law? The answer's still unclear after last week's opinion by the A.G.'s office, which said bag bans can't be passed for the purpose of "solid waste management." In short, the city's reason for enacting the ban will likely determine whether or not it's legal.
• So much for "Generation Me." AmeriCorps celebrates 20 years of the young and the restless Americans in public service, 9:30am Friday, Sept. 12, at the LBJ Auditorium in the largest swearing-in ceremony in Texas history – close to 1,000 in-person and over 80,000 members and alums via livestream, nationwide. OneStar Foundation, which administers AmeriCorps in Texas, celebrates its 10th anniversary, as well.
• A new trial date for convicted killer Mark Norwood has been set for Feb. 9, 2015. Norwood is accused of beating Debra Baker to death at her home in 1988. In January, he pleaded not guilty. He's already serving a life sentence for the 1986 murder of Christine Morton, a crime that bears a number of similarities to the death of Debra Baker.
• Gov. Rick Perry OK'd spending $12 million a month on sending the National Guard to the border, but the troops may be going hungry. The Food Bank RGV announced it has been contacted about providing food and gas for 50 deployed personnel.
• Charlie Strong's Longhorns lived up to their coach's name with a 38-7 win over North Texas in the first game after taking over from Mack Brown.
• Chronicle campaign forums kick off this week with City Council Districts 1 & 2. See "Campaign Snapshots" for details.