Economy
6:23 am
Tue March 3, 2015

In Houston, Falling Oil Prices Spark Fears Of Job Cuts Beyond Energy

Originally published on Tue March 3, 2015 5:10 am

In recent weeks, the price of gasoline has ticked up but regular unleaded still costs about a dollar less than it did a year ago. That's good for consumers, who have more money to spend. But in Houston, one way or another, the paychecks consumers depend on come from the oil business.

The world's three biggest oilfield service firms — Schlumberger, Halliburton and Baker Hughes — have announced a combined 22,000 layoffs in recent months. Those job cuts are worldwide, but many are falling in Houston, where all three companies have headquarters.

Read more
Music
6:59 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

Remembering Kent Finlay, "A Stealth Legend of Texas Music"

Kent Finlay in 2012
http://www.flickr.com/photos/fotosbyjimbo/6859126234

He was a songwriter who nurtured Texas music for decades from his honky tonk in San Marcos. Kent Finlay lost a battle to cancer Monday at the age of 77. He passed away at home. 

In 1974, Finlay opened the Cheatham Street Warehouse in San Marcos and hosted performances by artists such as Willie Nelson, Towns van Zandt, Guy Clark, George Strait and Stevie Ray Vaughan. 

"Kent is one of the stealth legends of Texas music," Texas music writer Joe Nick Patoski says. "As an arts patron, I don't think I've ever met anyone better." 

Listen to our conversation with Patoski about Finlay's life and legacy.

Read more
Health
2:53 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

Over-the-Counter Birth Control Could Reduce Unintended Pregnancies, Research Says

A new study published in 'Contraception' suggests the number of low-income women using birth control pills would jump if they were covered by insurance and made available without a prescription.
Monik Marcus/flickr http://bit.ly/ODQleE

About half of all pregnancies in the U.S. are unintended, and low-income women are more likely to have an unintended pregnancy.

A new study suggests that if birth control pills were covered by insurance and made available over the counter, the rate of unintended pregnancies would drop anywhere from seven up to 25 percent. 

The study, published in the journal Contraception, found that the number of low-income women using birth control pills would jump between 11 and 21 percent if they were both covered by insurance and made available without a prescription.

Read more
Texas Standard
1:45 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

Five Things All Texans Need To Experience

Texas wildflowers make Aasen's short list of the ultimate Texan experiences.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/texaseagle/

To celebrate Texas Independence Day, Texas Standard spoke to KERA’s Eric Aasen to get the top five experiences every Texan should try.

Why him?

It’s safe to say one of KERA‘s most popular blog posts ever was Eric Aasen’s 39 Things to Do In Texas Before You Die. People came out of the woodwork with reactions and recommendations for ventures he left off the list.

Read more
Ebola
7:16 am
Mon March 2, 2015

Nurse Treated For Ebola To Sue Texas Hospital

Nina Pham, 26, who became the first person to contract Ebola within the United States, tells the Dallas Morning News that she worries about continued health issues and will sue the hospital where she contracted Ebola.
Uncredited AP

Originally published on Mon March 2, 2015 4:09 am

Nurse Nina Pham tells the Dallas Morning News that while she is Ebola free, she suffers residual effects from contracting the disease from a patient she cared for last fall at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas.

Read more
Texas Women's History
5:00 am
Sun March 1, 2015

Texas Women's History Month (Week One)

Credit Gerald W. Williams Collection-2008

This month, KUT is partnering with the Ruthe Winegarten Foundation to celebrate Women's History Month. Every day, we'll bring you a short feature spotlighting a historic woman, movement, or group of women in Texas. 

In our first week, we'll look at the African-American women's suffrage movement in Texas; trailblazing writer Molly Ivins; Mollie Bailey, the "Circus Queen of the Southwest;" Ruthe Winegarten herself, and more. 

Read more
Get Involved
5:00 am
Sun March 1, 2015

Get Involved Spotlight: Creative Action

From Creative Actionthis month’s Get Involved spotlight non-profit: Our MissionThe mission of Creative Action is to spark and support the academic, social and emotional development of young people.

Creative Action serves more than 20,000 youth annually in seven area school districts. As the largest provider of creative youth development programs in the Central Texas area, Creative Action uses the arts to activate the academic, social, and emotional development of young people. Through interactive classroom performances, after school, summer camp, and teen programs, Creative Action's team of professional teaching artists inspire youth to be creative artistscourageous alliescritical thinkers and confident leaders in their community. By discovering their own voice, gaining confidence in sharing their perspectives, wrestling with big ideas, and deeply engaging in the world around them, youth become better prepared to work through social, emotional and academic challenges to become the next great thinkers, doers, and makers in our world.

Read more
Winter Weather
8:50 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

Possibility of Freezing Precip Prompts Central Texas Delays, Closures

12:30 p.m. update: The winter storm warning in effect for Travis and Williamson counties has been extended until 2:00 p.m. Saturday. Light freezing rain and freezing drizzle may still fall and continue to impact roads until then.

9:00 a.m. update: Austin Community College has now canceled all activities and closed all campuses for Saturday. Williamson County officials say that Ih-35 through Georgetown is closed in both directions because of icy conditions. The City of Austin's Parks and Recreation Department has announced that all of their department's facilities will open at noon today.

Saturday morning update (7:30 a.m.): A winter storm warning is in effect for Travis and Williamson counties until noon on Saturday. Freezing drizzle and freezing temperatures are expected to continue until noon today, making for hazardous driving conditions. Multiple accidents have been reported in Austin due to icy conditions. Austin and Travis County public safety officials are urging drivers to stay off the roads until temperatures start warming up.

Austin Community College campuses and centers will open at 11:00 a.m. Saturday. All classes and activities scheduled prior to then are canceled. Many area school districts, including the Austin Independent School District, have postponed or canceled events for today.

Read more
Two Guys on Your Head
3:21 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

Harnessing the Power of the Placebo

Credit ephedrasinica.org

There are a lot of factors that help to regulate our overall heath and wellness. If we are content in our life and relationships, we are more likely to be healthy.

If we exercise and eat well, we reap the benefits in our mind and body. And, as recent studies by Ted Kaptchuck and others show, if we take medications or supplements, even if they're nothing but rice powder and sugar, we can feel better.

In this edition of Two Guys on Your Head Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke talk about why taking placebos somehow makes us feel healthier.

Read more
Austin
3:16 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

Austin Coffee Shop Debacle Draws Attention to Public Breastfeeding Issue

A photo of James and Sandy Hughes taken Thursday. The couple hopes to let Austin know that they do, in fact, support breastfeeding mothers.
Courtesy of the couple

Stouthaus Coffee Pub in Sunset Valley faced major social media backlash this week when one of the owners asked a nursing mother to cover herself while dining with her friends Wednesday morning.

Afterwards, one of the women’s companions posted a one-star Yelp review of Stouthaus, calling out the owner Sandy Hughes for “shaming” her friend for breastfeeding.

Read more
KUT Weekend
2:00 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

Listen to Our Weekly News Podcast!

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

The Two-Way
11:37 am
Fri February 27, 2015

Leonard Nimoy, Mr. Spock On 'Star Trek,' Dies At 83

Actor Leonard Nimoy died Friday in Los Angeles at the age of 83.
Matt Sayles AP

Originally published on Fri February 27, 2015 3:02 pm

Updated at 1:16 p.m.

Actor Leonard Nimoy, best known for his role as Mr. Spock, the logical half-Vulcan, half-human in the original Star Trek series and several movies, has died at his home in Los Angeles, his granddaughter, Madeleine, told NPR. Nimoy was 83.

The cause was end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, she said.

NPR's Neda Ulaby, who is reporting on the story, tells our Newscast unit:

Read more
Business
8:38 am
Fri February 27, 2015

Why the Central Texas Construction Boom Isn't Benefitting Everyone

Unlike many workers, Armando Guerrero, 42, says he's staying with a smaller contractor because, while his wages are less than those at larger firms, his work is consistent.
Ilana Panich-Linsman/KUT News

It seems like everywhere you look, there's a construction site in Austin, complete with the unofficial state bird of Texas, the construction crane.

Some are calling it a boom, but it's a boom that’s not exclusive to Austin. Whether you drive south to San Marcos or north to Georgetown, there are new buildings popping up all over Central Texas.

That boom has certainly been good for the economy and overall employment numbers, but, for some smaller construction firms it’s been tough-going trying to compete with larger outfits that can afford to pay workers up to $35 an hour.

Read more
Technology
2:42 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

Why the FCC's Net Neutrality Vote Matters for Tech Start-Ups

The logo from a Battle for the Net campaign to protect net neutrality.

Today, the Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 in favor of regulations which enact so-called "net neutrality." The vote allows the agency to penalize “throttling” — leveraging Internet speeds to clients on a case-by-case basis — by broadband providers like Comcast and AT&T.

The FCC’s order prohibits a broadband provider from blocking (legal) content, slowing any speeds on the basis of content or providing “fast lanes” for preferred customers on any Internet-enabled device. As nearly 4 million public commentators argued, if left unabated, throttling could limit the ability of the “little guys.”

Read more
Texas Standard
11:31 am
Thu February 26, 2015

Texas Football: The Black Quarterback's Battle Against Racism

Vince Young, James Brown and Donnie Little talk to an LHN commentator about their experiences with the Texas Longhorns football team.
Courtesy of Longhorn Network

The quarterback is sacred in football. It's a job that wasn't entrusted to a black man at UT-Austin until 1978.

UT's first black quarterback was Donnie Little.

"It's more prevalent now in the last 10 years. You see more black quarterbacks in the NFL, all over. It wasn't like that when I came through," Little says.

Little sort of dismisses the racism he faced. He talks about it in a special Longhorn Network program in recognition of Black History Month.

Read more
Austin
11:17 am
Thu February 26, 2015

Adler Seeks Public’s Help in Lobbying for More Staff

Credit Jeff Heimsath/KUT News

From the Austin Monitor:

Mayor Steve Adler is trying to boost the chances that his 10 City Council colleagues will vote for a resolution directing the city manager to identify funding options for five new members of the mayor’s staff — at a projected annual cost of $490,645.

Even if Council approves the resolution today, it does not guarantee that his colleagues will vote to spend the money when the answers come back.

Last night, employing a tactic heretofore unseen by the Monitor, Adler sent out an email asking his supporters for help in approving a larger staff for his office. Adler took the unorthodox step of requesting that his supporters email other Council members to promote his plan.

Read more
Texas
9:43 am
Thu February 26, 2015

How Many Construction Workers Die in Texas Every Year?

Workers rights' supporters gathered at the J. J. Pickle Federal Building to commemorate construction workers who died while working.
Miguel Gutierrez, Jr./KUT News

Advocates for workers' rights say that Texas leads the nation in construction deaths. Some believe the majority of accidents, and even deaths, go unreported due to the legal status of many construction workers.

One of the few studies on the topic is from the Center for Public Policy Priorities, a left-leaning think-tank in Austin. In 2007, the CPPP found 142 documented deaths of construction workers in Texas. The second state with the most deaths was California with 81.

Read more
Islamic State
7:29 am
Thu February 26, 2015

ISIS Extremist Who Beheaded Prisoners Is Identified As Man From London

A central figure in videos released by the self-declared Islamic State has been identified as a man from West London. He's seen here dressed in black, threatening Japanese captives Haruna Yukawa (right) and Kenji Goto.
Kyodo/Landov

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 12:44 pm

The man who has been recorded in videos threatening and killing several Western hostages in the name of the self-proclaimed Islamic State is Mohammed Emwazi. He is from London and is a British citizen of Kuwaiti descent.

British security services have been aware of the identity of the militant many have dubbed "Jihadi John," the BBC says, adding that "they chose not to disclose his name earlier for operational reasons."

Read more
Arts Eclectic
2:56 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

See 'Monochrome for Austin' on the UT Campus

Monochrome for Austin
Credit Paul Bardagjy

Since 2008, the folks at Landmarks have been commissioning and installing public art across the University of Texas campus. Piece by piece, they're turning the university into a self-guided outdoor museum space.

The latest piece in the Landmarks series is also the largest. Monochrome for Austin, by artist Nancy Rubin, stands nearly 50 feet high and stretches across 24th street. It comprises around 75 kayaks, canoes, and small boats, arranged together to form an impressive whole that almost resembles a giant, otherworldly tree. The piece is so large that, when assembling it, considerations had to be made to ensure that it wouldn't block the path of any firetrucks.

Read more
Technology
2:18 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

FedEx, UPS Say They Won't Ship 'Ghost Gunner' Machines

Ryan Dixon, 35, is Managing Director of Defense Distributed, a pending status nonprofit corporation in Austin, Texas that manufactures machines designed to produce firearm parts.
Ilana Panich-Linsman/KUT News

While the technology now exists for people to 3D print parts and build untraceable “ghost guns” in their own homes, they need to order some of the manufacturing equipment from companies or organizations like Austin-based Defense Distributed.

Which means Defense Distributed needs to ship that equipment. But in the past week, both FedEx and UPS have said they refuse to allow DD's founder Cody Wilson to ship orders for Ghost Gunners, machines that allow people to manufacture firearms components.

Read more

Pages