Travis COUNTY

Austin American-Statesman - - COMMUNITY NEWS - — FARZAD MASHHOOD, AMER­I­CAN-STATES­MAN STAFF — HALEIGH SVO­BODA, AMER­I­CAN-STATES­MAN STAFF

Fol­low­ing a com­mit­ment from lo­cal ven­dors Tues­day to not sell them, Travis County Judge Sam Bis­coe on Fri­day banned the sale and use of fire­works with sticks or fins dur­ing the hol­i­day sea­son in un­in­cor­po­rated parts of Travis County.

The county’s com­mis­sion­ers had un­til Fri­day to pass a ban dur­ing the sell­ing sea­son of Dec. 20 to Jan. 1 if the area’s drought in­dex was dry enough. Be­cause it wasn’t, only the chair­man of the com­mis­sion­ers, Bis­coe, could en­act the ban by declar­ing a lo­cal dis­as­ter.

On Tues­day, ven­dors agreed to a self-im­posed ban of winged fire­works in the Austin area. Travis now joins Hays, Bas­trop, Blanco and Bur­net coun­ties to have bans on those fire­works. Wil­liamson County, where ven­dors have also said they won’t sell them, does not have a ban. The sale and use of fire­works is banned en­tirely in Austin and many other Cen­tral Texas cities and are not al­lowed in Travis County parks.

City of Austin of­fi­cials are invit­ing the pub­lic to visit the Peo­ple’s Gallery ex­hi­bi­tion at City Hall and cast a bal­lot for the “Peo­ple’s Choice” be­fore Dec. 31.

The “Peo­ple’s Choice” is se­lected from one of the top voted upon pieces for in­clu­sion in City Hall’s per­ma­nent col­lec­tion.

The 2012 Peo­ple’s Gallery ex­hi­bi­tion in­cludes 174 works in a va­ri­ety of me­dia.

It is free and open to the pub­lic for view­ing from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mon­day through Fri­day un­til Jan. 10.

The city will an­nounce the win­ning art­work at the open­ing re­cep­tion for the 2013 ex­hi­bi­tion in Fe­bru­ary, a city news re­lease said.

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