Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

Uber/Lyft PAC Spent More Than $5 Million to Campaign For Prop 1 Last Month

The political action committee that put Proposition 1 on the ballot and is campaigning for it received about $6 million from ride-sharing companies Uber and Lyft in the past month. According to documents filed Friday with the Austin City Clerk’s office, Ridesharing Works for Austin raised that sum between March 29 and April 28. The campaign has spent the bulk of that money over the past month, in staff salaries, television advertising, direct mail and consulting work.
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"If I only knew then what I know now...." Sure, hindsight is 20/20. But if you could talk to your younger self, what advice would you give? What decisions would you make differently? During this graduation season,  Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton give their younger selves some words of wisdom about life and learning. Think of it as "Higher Ed's" 2016 commencement address.


From Divine Canines, this month's Get Involved spotlight non-profit:

Divine Canines provides free therapy dog services to more than 60 sites around Austin and Central Texas. Our specially trained dog-and-handler volunteer teams visit children and adults facing various physical and cognitive challenges, including mental illness, physical limitations and dementia. Clients who interact with our wonderful dogs benefit emotionally and physically, showing signs of improved mood, confidence, communication and trust. Our dogs love the attention and affection they get from our clients!

Gage Skidmore via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

This week on The Ticket 2016: The Texas Tribune's Jay Root is out of town again, but there's still plenty to talk about. First, KUT's Ben Philpott will go over this week's Trump Sweep in the Northeast with Republican strategist Matt Mackowiak. Then, he'll dive into the waters of political candidate cybersquatting.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The Zilker Tree turns 50 this coming winter, and it’s getting spruced up for the occasion. The Tree, which most of the year is actually one of Austin's moontowers, was taken down Friday morning and removed from Zilker Park to be sandblasted, repainted and touched up at a shop in New Braunfels.

The city still has 17 of its original 31 moonlight towers (the uninitiated might remember the towers from cameos in Dazed and Confused), and Austin Energy has contracted with tower restoration company Enertech Resources, LLC, to repair and restore all 17. They’ve fully restored one so far, but they have inspected all of them. None of the towers, more than a century old, have any major structural damage, said Carlos Cordova with Austin Energy.

Keith Allison/flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

In February, seven U.S. Marshals showed up at Paul Aker's home in Houston and arrested him. His crime? Failing to pay a nearly three-decades-old student loan debt. The story went viral, and caught the attention of Fusion reporter Rob Wile. He and his colleagues were curious: if this was happening in Houston – where there were 25 arrest warrants for outstanding student debt in 2015 – how prevalent was it elsewhere?


ErikaWittlieb/Pixabay (CC0 Public Domain)

From Texas Standard:

Although the United States has less than 5 percent of the world’s population, it has 25 percent of the world’s total prison population. That's not counting things like county lockups and city jails.

Federal prisons are overcrowded and in Texas, nearly 19,000 people are incarcerated in federal prisons alone. According to a report in USA Today the job of overseeing the prisoners is falling to nurses with little or no experience in security.


KUT Weekend brings you our favorite stories from the KUT newsroom. Updated Fridays!

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When it comes to imagination and happiness, it turns out there’s a lot going on. If you think, as William Arthur Ward said, “If you can imagine it, you can achieve it; if you can dream it, you can become it,” you might be in for a surprise when it comes to well-being.

In this edition of Two Guys on Your Head, Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke talk about why it’s important to manage our exceptions and goals, and enjoy the moments in the process of becoming, in order live happier lives.


Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

This year's heavy rains and severe thunderstorms have city officials asking Austin’s small business owners to set aside time to prepare for natural disasters and emergencies.

David Hook was working at his furniture store last year when floodwaters began seeping in from under the door. He was able to move a lot of the merchandise out of the water’s way.


A bipartisan group of senators has unveiled a new compromise plan to overhaul the way drug criminals are punished, making one last push for legislative reform before the presidential election all but forecloses action on Capitol Hill.

At a news conference Thursday, one of the plan's biggest supporters, Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., proclaimed, "This is the best chance in a generation to reform our federal drug sentencing law."

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2016 Murrow Awards