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Headlines

June 19, 2015, News

Will midnight approach at today's City Council meeting (June 18)? The 110-Item agenda is chock-full of tasty bits, including more money for WTP4 and the Waller Creek Tunnel, concrete pouring, granny flats, living wages, and the drainage fee. See "Council Preview," June 19.

A Travis County grand jury declined to issue indictments against APD Officers Adrien Chopin and Leonardo Cardenas for their actions in the 2013 shooting of Gene Vela. The Marine veteran was shot after the officers saw him through a sliding glass door holding a handgun equipped with a laser sight pointed at them. In March, Vela was found not guilty of two counts of aggravated assault on a public servant for the incident.

TxDOT, the city of Austin, and Sen. Kirk Watson announced Monday a plan – as yet unfunded – to attempt to alleviate I-35's notorious congestion by adding lanes to the upper deck and depressing parts of the highway as it passes through Downtown, among other improvements.

Blame It On Kimmel: County Attorney David Escamilla announced that he would not press DWI charges against District Judge Gisela Triana for a March arrest, after test results reflected she was below the legal limit for intoxication. Triana said she'd had a couple of drinks at a taping of Jimmy Kimmel Live at the Long Center.

Scott Henson announced Monday that he's taking over as executive director of the Innocence Project of Texas and moving IPOT headquarters from Lubbock to here in Austin. Henson, who runs the popular criminal justice blog Grits for Breakfast, wrote in a post that the new job serves as a bit of a homecoming; he worked as IPOT's policy director from 2008 until last year.

Gov. Greg Abbott gleefully tweeted a picture of the pen with which he planned to sign the state's new open carry and campus carry laws last Sat­ur­day – the same day James Boulware launched a heavily armed attack on Dallas police headquarters from a specially designed armored van.

Attorney General Ken Paxton may be headed to court – as the defendant. Lone Star Project Executive Director Matt Angle has filed complaints with the U.S. Attorneys for Northern and Eastern Districts of Texas, asking them to investigate Paxton's land deals in Collin County.

Did Texas DPS deliberately mislead lawmakers about federal involvement in Operation Strong Safety, the border surge to deal with an influx of Central and South American children across the Mexican border? The agency told lawmakers it was a joint operation with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, but CBP told Congress this week they were never a partner.

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