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People gathered at the Frisco Shop on Burnet Road on Tuesday to gather signatures for a CodeNEXT petition that would put the pending land use rewrite up for a vote in May. Organizers need 20,000 signatures to force a vote, and Ed English (center) said they'd gathered 200 that night. (Photo by John Anderson)

The speculation ends: Former City Council member Laura Morrison announced her mayoral campaign, as the first challenger to incumbent Mayor Steve Adler. Will there be more? Filing period doesn't end until Aug. 20, plenty of time to get your hopes up ….

Spencer Cronk will begin work as Austin's city manager on Feb. 12.

AISD's Board postponed a vote on Monday to rename five area schools named after Confederate figures. Trustees will vote on Feb. 26.

Attorney Charles Popper, who'd filed to challenge Judge Brenda Kennedy for her seat on the 403rd District Court, has suspended his campaign. A representative from his law office said Popper has no comment on the decision.

Capital Metro's Board was supposed to vote on a new president and CEO on Tuesday, but punted the decision to Friday. Board members will accept feedback until then via email: feedback@capmetro.org. Four candidates are vying for the position.

The Trump administration is kicking out nearly 200,000 people from El Salvador who have been allowed to live and work legally in the U.S. The Temporary Protected Status program shielded mostly undocumented Salvadorans, fleeing a deadly earthquake in 2001. The Department of Homeland Security announced the program will end in September 2019.

MLK Day Public Transit: Capital Metro bus service will run on a Saturday schedule on Mon­day. There will be no MetroRail, UT Shuttle, or E-Bus.

Austin State Hospital has received $15.5 million for a campus redesign. Dell Medical School will lead the mental health facility's transformation, which will include a center for brain health. The plan is part of the Health and Human Services Commission's release of $47.7 million to begin improving the state hospital system, a portion of the $300 million allotted by the Texas Legislature last session for that purpose.

After Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced he'd roll back an Obama-era policy restraining federal prosecutors from going after marijuana cases in legalized states, Austin's first cannabis dispensary said they remain committed to growing CBD medicine. Compassionate Cultivation CEO Morris Denton predicts DOJ will focus on states with liberal pot legalization. "We're not Colo­rado, and we're not California. We're Texas. We're conservative, and we're set on doing this right," he said.

It's Cedar Fever Time! Pollen from ashe juniper (aka cedar) trees began peaking to annual highs this week, expected to be steady until late winter.

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