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The Evening Brief: Sept. 6, 2012

Your evening reading: state to apply for No Child Left Behind waiver; Texas Republicans lead attack on Obama before his convention speech; TxDOT approves fastest speed limit in U.S.

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New in The Texas Tribune:

•   Texas to Apply for No Child Left Behind Waiver: "Texas plans to join the more than 30 states that have already asked for a waiver from the federal No Child Left Behind Act's requirements, according to a letter new state Education Commissioner Michael Williams sent school districts Thursday."

•   Joaquin Castro Charges Up Texas Delegates at DNC: "A day and a half after San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro’s rousing keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention, his congressional hopeful brother Joaquin Castro made an unscheduled appearance before the Texas delegation."

•   TxDOT Approves 85 MPH Limit for Stretch of Toll Road: "The Texas Department of Transportation has approved an 85 mph speed limit, the fastest in the country, for a toll road stretch under construction from Austin to Seguin."

•   After Voter ID Decision, What Happens Next?: "Attorneys for the state and the federal government will meet this month to iron out a timeline for the state's challenge to Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. The litigation is why the state isn't able to immediately file an appeal to last week's voter ID decision."

•   Democratic Leader: Speaker Led Mapping Discrimination: "A top Democratic leader in the Texas House, in a letter Wednesday, accused staffers in House Speaker Joe Straus' office of leading discriminatory conduct that got the Texas redistricting maps thrown out."

•   Jimmy Fallon Spoofs Look-alike Julián Castro's DNC Keynote: "It didn't take long for the Twitter-sphere to decide that Julián Castro, the keynote at Tuesday night's Democratic National Convention, had a look-alike other than his identical twin: comedian Jimmy Fallon. Fallon was more than happy to play along."

•   Interactive Map: Public Water System Shortages: "The drought that began in October 2010 has continued into 2012, and it has taken a toll on Texas' water supplies. This map shows communities that are at risk of running out of water within 180 days."


•   Texans lead GOP attack in Charlotte ahead of Barack Obama’s convention speech (The Dallas Morning News): "The GOP turned to Texas Thursday to put a damper on President Barack Obama’s prime-time speech later tonight at the Democratic National Convention. U.S. Senate candidate Ted Cruz and state Rep. Stefani Carter stood on the Republican front line, bashing Obama’s policies as out of touch and imploring voters to look beyond what even the GOP leaders admitted would be a 'spectacular speech.' 'I expect him to speak lyrically, poetically, to speak movingly,' Cruz said, before mocking Obama’s climate change stance. 'Indeed for a few hours, the oceans may stop rising. But then the speeches will be over,' he continued."

•   Ron Kirk calls on Texas delegation to keep the faith (The Dallas Morning News): "U.S. Trade Ambassador and former Dallas mayor Ron Kirk brought a message from Barack Obama to Texas Democrats: keep fighting. And then he added some of his own colorful language to underscore it."

•   Texas heat pushes electricity use to new monthly record (Reuters): "Texas power use in the first week of September has reached a higher level than in any previous September, according to the state's power grid operator, but the record may be short-lived as triple-digit temperatures are forecast to boost power demand again on Thursday and Friday."

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