Politics
9:48 am
Wed April 23, 2014

Governor Perry Facing Possible Grand Jury Indictment

Gov. Rick Perry's veto of funding for Travis County's Public Integrity Unit could lead to a grand jury indictment.
Ben Philpott, KUT News

A Travis County grand jury is considering whether or not to indict Gov. Rick Perry over his veto of funding for the county's Public Integrity Unit.

Gov. Perry could be charged with several offenses, including bribery, coercion of a public servant, and abuse of power after vetoing more than $3 million in state money for the unit that investigates political corruption.

Perry's veto came as the result of an ultimatum given by Perry to Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg. Last April, Lehmberg was arrested for drunk driving. She pleaded guilty and served jail time, but refused to step down.

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West Plant Explosion
8:12 am
Wed April 23, 2014

Investigation: Disaster at West Fertilizer Plant Was 'Preventable'

A chemical trailer sits among the remains of the burning fertilizer plant in April 2013.
Reuters /Mike Stone /Landov

From StateImpact Texas:

A year after a deadly explosion at a fertilizer plant in Texas, a federal agency is releasing a report saying the disaster was preventable.

The Chemical Safety Board, which investigates chemical accidents and issues recommendations to ensure public safety, is presenting its preliminary findings tonight in the town of West, Texas, where the fire and subsequent explosion last year took 15 lives, injured hundreds, and destroyed homes and schools.

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Austin
8:40 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Mayor Leffingwell Gets a Breakfast Taco Intervention

Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell tries a migas taco from Veracruz All Natural.
Ilana Panich-Linsman, KUT News

Mando Rayo on his "Taco Intervention" with Mayor Leffingwell

Last month Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell made a much-debated statement while answering questions on Reddit: He said Taco Cabana makes some of his favorite breakfast tacos.

Mando Rayo, a self-described “taco journalist” in a city that takes its breakfast tacos very seriously, decided to press the issue. On Tuesday, Rayo picked up breakfast tacos from one of his favorite Austin taco spots, Veracruz All Natural, and hand-delivered them to Mayor Leffingwell’s office. 

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Mental Health
4:22 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Mental Health Support for Texas Inmates on Lawmakers' Agenda

Texas lawmakers hosted a hearing on April 22, 2014, to look into what else should be done to provide mental health services for inmates at state facilities.
Liang Shi, KUT News

Texas lawmakers are looking into whether more should be done to provide mental health services for inmates at state prisons.

Prison officials say inmates already have access to medication and individual or group counseling for mental illness. Texas Department of Criminal Justice Executive Director Brad Livingston says the legislature has provided enough mental health funding in recent years for prisoners and parolees. And, he says, it shows.

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Business
3:28 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Fast-Food CEOs Earn Supersize Salaries; Workers Earn Small Potatoes

According to a new report, YUM! (owner of KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut) compensated its CEO $22 million in 2013.
Paul Sakuma AP

Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 5:05 pm

At a time when fast-food workers make an average of about $9 an hour, what are the chief executives bringing home?

According to a new report, YUM! (owner of KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut) compensated its CEO $22 million in 2013.

Chipotle's CEO took home $13.8 million in total compensation. And McDonald's CEO compensation totaled $7.7 million. (Compensation includes salary, bonus and the value of exercised options.)

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Eanes ISD
2:34 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

A Little League Sports Complex is Causing a Major Ruckus in Westlake

An image from the Westlake Neighborhood Alliance website opposing Western Hills Little League's proposed complex. The proposed center's also been fought in court, but the builders say they don’t understand the concern.
nottherightsite.com

After three years, Eanes school officials and residents are still deadlocked over a proposed sports complex.  

In 2011, Eanes ISD board members agreed to lease 50 acres of district land to the nonprofit Western Hills Little League. The league agreed to pay $10,000 annually for the first four years, and then $50,000 annually (adjusted for inflation), for the remainder of the 50-year lease.

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Arts Eclectic
11:23 am
Tue April 22, 2014

See 100 Comedians at the Moontower Festival

Now in its third year, the Moontower Comedy and Oddity Festival is quickly becoming one of the largest comedy festivals in America. For this year's fest, around 100 comedians will come together from Austin and around the world to perform dozens of shows, including sketch, improv, and lots of standup comedey.

Headliners include The Kids in The Hall, Hannibal Buress, Mike Birbiglia, Maria Bamford and more. They'll perform at the Paramount Theatre, while several smaller venues host shows nearby.

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Education
10:05 am
Tue April 22, 2014

Supreme Court Upholds Michigan's Ban On Affirmative Action

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette speaks to reporters after arguing the case before the U.S. Supreme Court in October. He's with XIV Foundation CEO Jennifer Gratz, who was a plaintiff in a lawsuit against the University of Michigan's affirmative action policy.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 11:54 am

The Supreme Court has ruled that a Michigan ballot initiative to ban racial preferences in college admissions is constitutional, overturning a lower court decision.

In a 6-2 decision Tuesday, the justices said the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals was wrong to set aside the voter-approved ban as discriminatory.

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AISD
9:08 am
Tue April 22, 2014

Superintendent Meria Carstarphen Says Goodbye to Austin

Superintendent Meria Carstarphen photographed in 2009. Her final AISD board meeting was Monday evening.
KUT News

Wednesday will be Austin School Superintendent Meria Carstarphen’s last day with the district before she leaves for the same position in Atlanta.

Carstarphen attended her final school board meeting in Austin Monday night, where she was recognized for her contributions to the district over the past five years.

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Life & Arts
8:13 am
Tue April 22, 2014

Cine Las Americas Brings Films to Austin You Won't See Anywhere Else

A still from "Pelo Malo" / Bad Hair by Mariana Rondón.
Cine Las Americas

The 17th Cine Las Americas film festival gets underway today.

The nearly week-long fest focuses on films by or about Latinos, indigenous peoples of the Americas and those from Spain and Portugal. They’re films you probably won’t see making the rounds later on in theaters.

KUT sat down with the festival’s Executive Director – Eugenio del Bosque to learn more.

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ACL Music Festival
6:00 am
Tue April 22, 2014

Eminem, Outkast, Pearl Jam and Lorde Top 2014 ACL Music Festival Lineup

Rapper Eminem headlines the 2014 ACL Fest and indie sensation Lorde gets top billing
Ross Brown/shadyrecords.com

Calling it one of their most energetic lineups to date, the 13th annual Austin City Limits Music Festival also includes a blast of nostalgia.

Pearl Jam is headlining and The Replacements are top billed. Major hip-hop acts of the 2000s, Outkast and Eminem are also headliners. The festival also sees a significant number of electronic music acts with Calvin Harris and Skrillex headlining – and groups such as Major Lazer, Zedd, Phantogram, Chromeo and CHVRCHES in the big font. Beck rounds out the list of this year’s headliners.

Last year’s festival drew some criticism for a lack of female performers. However, this year’s top billing includes international superstars, Lana Del Rey and Lorde (though the latter will be for the second weekend only). Female acts such as St. Vincent, Iggy Azalea, Jenny Lewis, Nikki Lane, tUnE -yArDs and My Brightest Diamond also made the cut.

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In Black America Podcast
10:05 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

Black Stats: How African-Americans Measure Up in the 21st Century, Part II

Dr. Monique W. Morris, Ed.D

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Dr. Monique W. Morris, Ed.D. Co-founder/President of The National Black Women’s Justice Institute, and author of "Black Stats: African Americans by the Numbers in the Twenty-first Century."

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Bad Boyz Give Back
3:55 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

This Austin Biker Club Gave Kids an Easter They Won't Forget

Tamara Pruitt holds up one of several Easter baskets given away during the Bad Boyz and Girlz 4 Ever Motorcycle Club's raffle.
Jon Shapley for KUT News

Members of the Bad Boyz and Girlz 4 Ever motorcycle club gathered in East Austin Saturday for their fourth annual Easter celebration.

The motorcycle club, with the help of Boys and Girls Club of Austin, put on a family-friendly celebration including an Easter egg hunt, an Easter bunny, and a toy and bicycle give-away. Almost 70 children, most from nearby neighborhoods, came to participate.

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Lt. Governor Race
1:07 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

The Contradictory Message David Dewhurst Needs to Beat Dan Patrick

Lt. Governor David Dewhurst hopes latest attacks on Sen. Dan Patrick will bring a runoff victory in May.
Marjorie Kamys Cotera /Mark Graham for Texas Tribune

Texas is about five weeks away from several runoff elections that will set the final ballot for November. That includes the hard fought Lieutenant Governor's race between incumbent David Dewhurst, who's held the office since 2003, and state Sen. Dan Patrick

From the very beginning, this was a race about who was the most conservative candidate. So when Sen. Patrick launched his campaign last year, his first move was to paint himself as the conservative standard-bearer – while putting Lt. Governor Dewhurst's own conservative credentials in doubt.

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UT Medical School
12:09 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

Construction of UT's New Dell Medical School Kicks Off

A rendering of the new Seton Medical Center at The University of Texas, part of the cluster of complexes accompanying UT's new Dell Medical School.
youtube.com/user/setonfamily

Update: Among the speakers at today's dedication: UT-Austin President Bill Powers, Dell Medical School Dean Dr. Clay Johnston, and State Sen. Kirk Watson, who helped lead the push for the medical school.

“Make no mistake. Today isn’t just about three new buildings on our skyline," Sen. Watson said. "Our community will be different – healthier and stronger – thanks to this project we’re launching today."

Johnston said that the school's launch offers the chance to design everything from the ground up.

"We have a responsibility to take advantage of our newness, to test out different ways of doing things that could become models for the rest of the country."

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