Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Waller Creek Tunnel Will Work Despite Construction Flaws, City Says

In a letter to construction contractor S.J. Louis, the City of Austin calls the Waller Creek tunnel “diminished” and “defective,” and writes that shoddy construction has reduced “the primary purpose of the tunnel, food protection.” That might lead you to think the tunnel won’t serve its purpose to divert floodwaters away from downtown Austin. But in interviews Friday, city staff said the tunnel should work fine.

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Hundred of thousands of students, teachers, parents and victims rallied in Washington, D.C., and across the country on Saturday to demand tougher gun control measures, part of a wave of political activism among students and others impacted by school shootings.

The "March for Our Lives" protest in the nation's capital was organized by students after 17 people were killed in a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., last month.

Marchers around the world will call for stricter gun control laws Saturday, including many who are demonstrating for a cause for the first time.

More than 500,000 are expected in Washington, D.C., alone, site of the main "March For Our Lives." There are at least 837 other events happening internationally, according to the event's official website.

Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me! Drawing

3 hours ago

Today, when you make a gift, you will be automatically entered into a drawing for VIP Tickets to see "Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!" The sold-out show records live in Austin on May 3, at the Bass Concert Hall and one lucky person will receive two tickets to see the show.

Updated at 10:20 a.m. ET

The Trump administration released an order on Friday night that would disqualify most transgender people from serving in the military.

The new rules follow President Trump's calls last year for a complete ban on transgender military service. The White House said persons with a history or diagnosis of gender dysphoria — the medical diagnosis for those who receive treatment, often during their transition — are disqualified from serving except under "certain limited circumstances."

In this special edition of Two Guys on Your Head, Dr. Art Markman and Rebecca McInroy talk about the psychology of the current moment in Austin and how to negotiate moving forward following the traumatic events of this month.

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

Carlos Barria/REUTERS / Texas Tribune

Former U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is being courted as a candidate to be the next University of Texas System chancellor, a source familiar with the effort told The Texas Tribune. 

The news was first reported by The Wall Street Journal. Tillerson, a UT-Austin alumnus, left the State Department less than two weeks ago. Prior to joining President Donald Trump's administration, he served as CEO of Exxon Mobil. 

If chosen, he would replace Chancellor Bill McRaven, a retired Navy admiral. It's unclear whether Tillerson would except the job.

Eddie Gaspar/KUT

Heads up: You might hear a really big boom in downtown Austin this Sunday — followed by the collapse of a 10-story building.

Ashbel Smith Hall at 601 Colorado Street will be demolished in an implosion that's expected to begin at 8 a.m. Sunday. The time could change, depending on weather conditions. Police will block off the area beginning early Sunday.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

From Texas Standard.

A joint investigation by the Associated Press and the Houston Chronicle reveals something about Hurricane Harvey recovery that officials aren’t talking about – massive petrochemical contamination, a toxic impact of the storm that’s far more widespread than previously suspected.

Andrea Garcia for KUT

Over three weeks this month, a serial bomber killed two people and injured four more in Austin.

The first three bombs killed and injured people of color, raising fears that this was the deadly political statement of a racist. According to law enforcement, a video confession of the now-dead bomber does not mention race or politics as motives. But the deadly attacks in East Austin highlighted long-standing problems about Austin’s racial climate.