Jorge Sanhueza Lyon / KUT

How the City of Austin Makes Money (or Doesn't) Every Time the Weather Changes

Every time the weather changes, the City of Austin either makes money or takes a hit to its bottom line. That’s because Austin owns its own water and electric utilities. Their revenue is tied to what it’s like outside, and the weather this year has upset a lot of expectations.
Read More
Terry McCombs/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

When Sam Espinosa was a kid, it took a while for Austin Independent School District to learn he was homeless.

"My mom is a fairly private person – she was never one to let anyone else into,  you know, what we were going through," Espinosa says.

So, Sam and his five siblings became fairly good at pretending they had a place to live.

 


MARK RALSTON / AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Juan Gabriel, who died of a heart attack yesterday, was a master craftsman of epic love songs.

He built sparkling bridges and choruses that transformed forlorn love songs into anthems. We've written an obit over here, but Juan Gabriel's music speaks for itself.

Here are four songs you should listen to now.

Michael Rose/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

The Texas Department of Public Safety is asking for $1 billion to fund its border operations next year. But the state comptroller has been issuing warnings about a possible need for budgetary belt tightening.

But the department says it needs the money to buy new border cameras, replace aging vehicles, buy two helicopters, four planes and, perhaps most significantly, double the number of troops at the border – upping the number of troops at the border to 500.

 


Marjorie Kamys Cotera/Texas Tribune

From Texas Standard:

Along with other Texas lawmakers,  state Rep. Diego Bernal, a Democrat from San Antonio, has been getting an earful from all sides on problems with public education in Texas.

But rather than taking someone else's word for it, he did what no other lawmaker has yet to do – he visited every single school in his district, 55 in all.

 


We're not going to bury the lead here: Bob Ross' hair was actually straight. Just ask his longtime business partner Annette Kowalski, who knew Ross better than anyone — he had just gotten out of the Air Force, and was unsuccessfully trying to make a living as a painter, she says.

"He got this bright idea that he could save money on haircuts. So he let his hair grow, he got a perm, and decided he would never need a haircut again," Kowalski explains.

Recent studies and government reports continue to highlight what many American's know by their wallets: Rising income differences, debt and stagnant real wages are among the biggest problems besetting the nation.

That economic inequality is reflected in America's schools, right? Absolutely.

Greg Arellano

Instructor and general manager Victor Krusi isn’t your typical Skydiver. While he does leap out of planes at 100 miles-an hour speeds, he denies the stereotype of being an adrenaline junkie.


Note: This "Best of Higher Ed" episode was originally released on December 20, 2015.

Doubt. It can make us question some of our deeply-held beliefs. But is that necessarily a bad thing? In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger talk about the value that doubt can have for our learning and education.


A federal appeals court in Chicago ruled this week that a woman living in the United States illegally should not face immediate deportation simply because she was convicted of using a false Social Security number to work.

"It was wonderful to feel like I'd never have to be homeless again."

Myra Engrum is sitting in a McDonald's in Louisiana, steeling herself for another day of mucking out her flooded home. The parking lot is full of construction trucks and cars with a insurance company logos. A lot of meetings are happening here.

"I had over four and a half feet of water in my home, on the inside and outside," she says. "This is my first home that I ever purchased. I got the home right after Katrina."

Pages

_

Listen to the Next Gen Radio 2016 Stories

Take a listen to stories from the Next Generation Radio Texas program, a one-week, KUT-hosted student radio training project sponsored by NPR.