NPR Story
3:46 pm
Wed May 6, 2015

Jim Wright, Former U.S. House Speaker, Dies At 92

Former U.S. Rep. Jim Wright was speaker of the U.S. House from 1987 to 1989.
Office of the Clerk, U.S. House of Representatives

Originally published on Wed May 6, 2015 3:19 pm

Jim Wright, the Fort Worth congressman who became speaker of the U.S. House but then resigned under fire, has died. He was 92.

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Wayback Wednesday
2:50 pm
Wed May 6, 2015

A Look Back at the Dicey Days of Beef, Before Brisket Was King

Brisket's hot now, but it wasn't always the hip, award-winning cut of beef it is today.
KUT News

Pitmasters across Texas may have mixed feelings about Aaron Franklin winning the James Beard Award for Best Chef in the Southwest this week, but it does mark the first time the prestigious culinary award’s honored a barbecue pitmaster.

But brisket, for which Franklin is well known, was not always so revered. This Wayback Wednesday looks back on the days before beef became haute cuisine, when you used the whole cow because you had to, not because you wanted to — back when beef was used for everything from "beef tea" to bread pudding.

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In Black America Podcast
2:09 pm
Wed May 6, 2015

Remembering Ron Banks, Founder of The Dramatics

The Dramatics. Ron Banks, front row, center.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with the late Ron Banks, singer and a founding member of the Detroit vocal group, which formed in the mid-1960s and continued to play for avid audiences around the country.

Banks’ sweet voice and smooth choreography helped distinguish the Dramatics, particularly in Detroit’s post-Motown scene of the 1970s, when the group enjoyed crossover pop success with songs such as”Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get” and “In the Rain.”

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Austin
10:42 am
Wed May 6, 2015

Travis County Commissioners Ponder Drunk-Tank Proposal

Perhaps better known colloquially as a drunk tank, a proposed sobriety center in Austin would serve as an alternative to Travis County Jail or local emergency rooms as destinations for people detained for public intoxication.
AlexVan/pixabay

From the Austin Monitor:

The Travis County Commissioners Court took another tentative step toward establishing a sobriety center in partnership with the City of Austin at its regular voting session. Perhaps better known colloquially as a drunk tank, the proposed sobriety center would serve as an alternative to Travis County Jail or local emergency rooms as destinations for people detained for public intoxication.

On Tuesday, the commissioners voted 4-0 to direct the brain trust behind the effort to come up with specific proposals for the center’s governance that the county and city can then consider. Commissioner Ron Davis abstained from the vote, citing unanswered questions about the exact role the city would play in the center’s establishment and operation.

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2015 Legislature
9:54 am
Wed May 6, 2015

Bill Scaling Back Tuition Benefits for Texas Veterans Moves Forward

On Tuesday, the Texas Senate passed SB 1735, which would scale back free tuition benefits for Texas veterans.
KUT News

The Texas Senate has approved a bill, SB 1735,  that would scale back free tuition benefits given to some military veterans and their dependents. Lawmakers expanded eligibility for the law, known as the Hazlewood Act, in 2009, but under the new bill it would be scaled back again.

State Sen. Brian Birdwell (R-Granbury), a veteran himself, says he wrote the bill because public institutions can’t afford to cover everyone who qualifies, so the state has to cut back to save the program for future veterans.

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2015 Legislature
8:52 am
Wed May 6, 2015

Abortion Coverage Would Get Dropped Under Texas Bill

The Texas Senate passed a bill on May 5, 2015, that would eliminate abortion coverage from health insurance plans in Texas.
msjacoby/flickr

On Tuesday, the Texas Senate tentatively passed a bill that would prohibit abortion coverage under many health insurance plans. It could get final approval today.

The bill would only allow coverage for abortions in cases where there’s a medical emergency. State Sen. Larry Taylor (R-Friendswood) says his measure gives Texans who don’t support abortion the choice not to pay for others to get the procedure.

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Education
7:39 am
Wed May 6, 2015

Some Texas Lawmakers Want to Decriminalize Truancy, But Those on the Frontlines Aren’t So Sure

Judge Yvonne Williams presides over truancy court cases in Travis County. She says some schools think she’s soft on students.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

Fourteen-year-old Karyme* has missed 14 days of eighth grade this school year. Her school, part of the Manor Independent School District, has taken her and her mother to court.

Now she and her mother stand in an Austin courtroom facing the presiding judge, Hon. Yvonne Williams.

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Science
4:48 pm
Tue May 5, 2015

How GPS Technology Could Help Scientists Build a Holodeck

It's still a ways off, but UT researchers say that their improved GPS technology coupled with a virtual reality headset could create a holodeck-like experience.
intel.com

If you use your smartphone for directions, you know how annoying it can be when the tracking device gets your locations wrong. Now a team of researchers at the University of Texas’ Cockrell School of Engineering say they may have fixed that problem.

But there’s more: They also think they’ve brought a science fiction dream closer to reality.

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Texas
2:49 pm
Tue May 5, 2015

Could Cinco de Mayo Become an Official US Holiday?

This monument of General Ignacio Zaragoza is to the south of Goliad, one of the oldest towns in Texas. Zaragoza was the hero of the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.
mlhradio/flickr

As time goes by, the Mexican holiday Cinco de Mayo seems to be turning more into a Texas celebration. Sure, Texas used to be Mexico — and that's in part why there's a shared tradition. But some wonder if the tradition could become exclusive to Texas.

Hernan Jaso likes to claim Texas should have some exclusivity to Cinco de Mayo because, "General Ignacio Zaragoza was born in what is now Goliad, Texas."

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The Two-Way
11:26 am
Tue May 5, 2015

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee Announces Presidential Run

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.
J. David Ake AP

Originally published on Tue May 5, 2015 11:56 am

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee announced Tuesday that he is seeking the Republican presidential nomination.

"It seems perfectly fitting that it would be here that I announce that I am a candidate for president of the United States of America," he told a crowd of supporters in his hometown of Hope, Ark., which is also Bill Clinton's hometown.

Huckabee, who previously ran for the presidency in 2008, hosted a television program on Fox News until January, when he ended the eponymous show to consider his political future.

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Texas
11:08 am
Tue May 5, 2015

House Approves Bill That Will Break Down Vaccination Exemption Data by School

Cooper Neill/Texas Tribune

The Texas House gave final approval Monday to a bill that would change how schools report how much of their student body is vaccinated. The bill passed, 98 to 40, but only after a loud and long debate.

Right now school districts anonymously collect data on how many kids are vaccinated and then report that data district-wide. Austin Independent School District has an overall vaccination exemption rate of 1.6 percent, for instance. The bill that passed out of the House Monday would break down the data for individual schools.

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Garland Shooting
6:45 am
Tue May 5, 2015

ISIS Claims Credit For Shooting In Garland, Texas

An FBI crime scene investigator documents evidence outside the Curtis Culwell Center on Monday in Garland, Texas.
Brandon Wade AP

Originally published on Tue May 5, 2015 10:05 am

The self-declared Islamic State is taking credit for a thwarted attack on a contest to draw the Prophet Muhammad in Garland, Texas.

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Texas Standard
2:31 pm
Mon May 4, 2015

What the Battle Over Music Streaming is Really About

johanl/flickr

From Texas Standard:

Last year, music streaming services like Pandora and Spotify generated more revenue than CD sales. Musicians say they aren’t happy with how much they’re getting in return, especially now that streaming companies like Amazon, Google, and even NPR, have formed a lobbying group to try to lower the amount they pay to musicians. 

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Texas Standard
2:05 pm
Mon May 4, 2015

Why Airports Are Getting Nicer While Planes Are Getting More Uncomfortable

skynoir/flickr

American Airlines recently unveiled its 787-8 Dreamliner. It carries 226 passengers, 198 of them in coach — and industry insiders have said if you’re not in first class, the airplane is uncomfortable for long trips. But the silver lining could be that when you get to the airport, you might almost mistake it for a shopping mall.

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Austin
12:53 pm
Mon May 4, 2015

As Austinites Move to City's Outskirts, Support Services Follow

As people move outside of Austin proper, some social services and non-profits are moving with them.
KUT News

Central Austin is experiencing what some have called an exodus of sorts: Higher housing prices and other factors have pushed entire communities out.

Over the last decade, some have migrated to northern suburbs like Round Rock and Pflugerville or south to Kyle, Buda and San Marcos. But up until now, the services many of those people rely on have stayed put in downtown Austin.

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Austin
11:59 am
Mon May 4, 2015

City Urged to 'Proceed Cautiously' When it Comes to Police Body Cameras

The city's Public Safety Commission, which advises the city council on police policies, is expected to tell the city to proceed with caution when it comes to police body cameras.
Nathan Bernier/KUT News

In the wake of high profile police shootings across the country, a lot of cities are considering equipping their police officers with body cameras

Today, Austin’s Public Safety Commission will vote on recommendations for Austin Police.

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Garland Shooting
10:31 am
Mon May 4, 2015

Garland Police: SWAT Team Officers Helped Kill 2 Gunmen Outside Cartoon Event

Officer Joe Harn, a Garland police spokesman, addressed reporters Monday morning.
Stella M. Chávez KERA News

Originally published on Tue May 5, 2015 7:33 pm

Garland police now say SWAT team officers were involved in the shooting that left two gunmen dead outside a Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest Sunday night.

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Texas
7:41 am
Mon May 4, 2015

Abbott: State Officials Probing "Senseless" Attack

Gov. Abbott called the shooting in Garland during a contest to draw a picture of the Prophet Muhammed a "senseless attack."
Marjorie Kamys Cotera/Texas Tribune

Gov. Greg Abbott said late Sunday that Texas officials are investigating a "senseless attack" in Garland that left two gunmen dead outside a contest featuring cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. 

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The Two-Way
7:23 am
Mon May 4, 2015

Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina Announces She's Running For President

Carly Fiorina speaks in Des Moines, Iowa, in January. So far, Fiorina is the lone notable Republican woman eyeing the White House.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Originally published on Mon May 4, 2015 10:02 am

Carly Fiorina, the former chief executive of Hewlett-Packard, says she will seek the Republican nomination for the 2016 presidential contest.

Fiorina made the announcement on ABC's Good Morning America and later via a simple tweet.

"I am running for president," Fiorina tweeted.

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Get Involved
5:00 am
Mon May 4, 2015

Get Involved Spotlight: Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Texas

From Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Texas, this month’s Get Involved spotlight non-profit:

Serving Central Texas for 30 years, the mission of Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Central Texas (RMHC CTX) is to create, find and support programs that directly improve the health and well-being of children.

RMHC CTX began providing temporary lodging and support services to hospitalized children and their families in 1985 in Austin’s first Ronald McDonald House®. For three decades, we have cared for thousands of families by providing a “home-away-from-home” at our Ronald McDonald House® and four Ronald McDonald Family Rooms®. Since 1993, we have also supported families who have lost a child through our Healing Hearts program, which provides burial assistance and bereavement support.

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