Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

TxDOT Breaks Ground on Major I-35 Improvements in South Austin

Driving on the main lanes of I-35 can involve a lot of weaving, slowing and stopping. In the words of State Sen. Kirk Watson, it’s a mess. And it’s about to get even messier, at least for the next four years or so.
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Updated at 8:40 p.m. ET

Vice President Joe Biden is confident that Bernie Sanders is going to endorse Hillary Clinton and that the Democratic party will unify.

"Oh, I've talked to Bernie, Bernie's going to endorse her, this is going to work out," Biden said in an interview with Rachel Martin, host of NPR's Weekend Edition. "The Democrats are coalescing even before this occurs."

Sanders was asked about Biden's comment in an interview with MSNBC on Thursday evening and said he wasn't quite ready to endorse Clinton.

A few weeks ago, I went back to the federal prison in Seagoville, Texas, for another conversation with Edgar Diaz.

Months after he was granted a new hearing because of new evidence, Adnan Syed, whose 2000 murder conviction was a key focus of the hit podcast Serial, has been granted a new trial, according to his attorneys.

Baltimore City Circuit Judge Martin Welch vacated Syed's conviction, saying in a memorandum that his attorney "fell below the standard of reasonable professional judgment" in handling his case.

Announcing the news Thursday, attorney Justin Brown tweeted in all-caps: "WE WON A NEW TRIAL FOR ADNAN SYED!!!"

U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter says the military is lifting a ban on transgender service members.

"Effective immediately, transgender Americans may serve openly, and they can no longer be discharged or otherwise separated from the military just for being transgender," he told reporters today at the Pentagon.

The fundamental reason for the change, Carter said, is "that the Defense Department and the military need to avail ourselves of all talent possible in order to remain what we are now – the finest fighting force the world has ever known."

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Dr. Leonard Scott co-founder/CEO of Tyscot Music and Entertainment.   

Tyscot Music and Entertainment  was founded in 1976 when dentist Leonard Scott and Craig Tyson started the label for the sole purpose of releasing their church choir's first album. Through the first decade, Tyscot's sales were consistent but modest.

Robert Stringer

Most prisons in Texas have no air conditioning, creating sweltering conditions affecting not just prisoners, but prison guards as well. KUT's Nathan Bernier learns more from Brandi Grissom, the Austin bureau chief for the Dallas Morning News. 

 

Flickr/biologycorner (CC BY-NC 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Penalties for the vendor behind this year's botched state student achievement tests total $1.4 million and Texas education officials say the penalties are likely to rise even further for the screw-ups with this year's STAAR exams – computer glitches, missing materials, disappearing answers, lost test results, student information leaked to public websites.

Pexels (Public Domain)

From Texas Standard:

It's been a nasty news cycle, dominated by images from Ataturk International Airport in Istanbul, a modern cosmopolitan hub connecting the west to the Middle East. Turkey has worked hard to cultivate an image as a haven in a dangerous region. So even though 41 people were killed and more that 200 injured in yesterday's suicide attacks, the airport has reopened, almost as if making a statement.

Pu Ying Huang/KUT News

A majority of Texas’ registered voters believe Muslims who are not U.S. citizens should be banned from entering the country, according to results of a University of Texas/Texas Politics Project poll released Tuesday.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton says the Fort Worth school district’s guidelines for transgender students violate state law.

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