Austin
8:49 am
Tue May 26, 2015

With More Rain In Sight, Austin Begins Clean-Up After Memorial Day Floods

The intersection at Ninth Street and Lamar yesterday after Shoal Creek flooded.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT

While many in the Austin affected by yesterday’s flooding, the National Weather Service says Austin should expect more rain and thunderstorms this week, with chances as high as 50 percent this week on Friday.

A total of seven people are reported dead across Texas, including one in San Marcos, one in Wimberley, one in Cameron and three more in Houston. Twelve people are still missing from the Wimberley area.

The waters of Bull Creek, Shoal Creek and Waller Creek have all have receded below flood stage levels, but there are still over 30 low water crossings closed in Travis County – many near Bull Creek along Spicewood Springs Road. In total, there are still 460 low water crossings closed in the Austin area, including all low water crossings in Bastrop County.

9:35 a.m. The City of Austin warns residents that high water levels have resulted in untreated wastewater runoff, and anyone living within a half-mile of runoff sites (list here) should boil water before use or consumption.

Businesses along Lamar at Shoal Creek near 12th Street are cleaning up after the creek’s waters rose above street level, and some are unsure as to when they can reopen. KUT’s Kate McGee spoke with Jennifer Stayton this morning about the damage.

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Texas
3:55 pm
Mon May 25, 2015

Storms Cause Widespread Flooding in Austin (Updated)

Onlookers watch a swollen Shoal Creek with APD officers nearby.
Miguel Gutierrez Jr./KUT

Update Tuesday 4:30 a.m. Several additional area school districts have announced changes to their schedules for today because of flooding and road conditions:

  • Classes at Taylor High School have been canceled because of flooding in the building. All other Taylor ISD schools will operate on a two hour delay.
  • The following districts are operating on a two hour delay: Hutto, Jarrell, Luling, Lockhart, Manor (two hour delay for students; staff report at regular time).

Because of some track washouts, Capital Metro's MetroRail will operate only between the Howard and Downtown stations on Tuesday. Cap Metro says road conditions may also cause some bus route detours.

Earlier: After storms wreaked havoc through Central Texas Sunday, the area was hit again Monday afternoon, flooding roadways and causing power outages in Austin and surrounding areas. After reported tornado touchdowns mid-afternoon in several Central Texas counties, storms deluged the already-saturated Austin area with rain, causing flooding all over the city.

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2015 Legislature
3:54 pm
Mon May 25, 2015

Bill Restricting Abortion for Some Minors Gets First Approval from Texas Senate

The Texas Senate gave a first OK to HB 3994 on May 25, 2015. The bill restricts how certain minors can get an abortion in Texas.
Veronica Zaragovia/KUT

A bill (House Bill 3994) that would add restrictions to how minors can bypass the state’s parental consent law to get an abortion was approved by the Texas Senate today.

What’s called the judicial bypass bill received plenty of roadblocks from opponents, however. 

Before the bill was even brought up for a vote, opponents in the Senate had hours’ worth of questions about what the bill would require a minor and a judge to do.

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Politics
9:33 am
Mon May 25, 2015

House Will Take Up Abortion Insurance Coverage Ban

Todd Wiseman/Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune: In a dramatic turn of events, the House Calendars Committee on Sunday night reversed course and sent a controversial bill prohibiting health insurance plans sold on the Affordable Care Act's marketplace from covering abortions to the full chamber for a vote.

Earlier in the night, the committee voted not to place Senate Bill 575 by Republican Sen. Larry Taylor on the lower chamber’s calendar for Tuesday — the last day a Senate bill can be passed by the House. After fireworks on the House floor instigated by a lawmaker who believed he had entered into an agreement to get the bill to the full chamber, the committee reconvened and reconsidered its vote. 

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Weather
8:04 am
Sun May 24, 2015

One Confirmed Dead; Flooding in Central Texas as the Blanco River Rises to Historic Levels

Downed and damaged trees, property in Central Austin
Lizzie Chen

One fatality has been reported, officials say. The man's identity has not been released publicly.

Update Monday 8 a.m. We are reporting Monday's news here. A flash flood watch and a tornado watch are in effect for large parts of Central Texas as more severe weather is expected this afternoon and evening. Governor Greg Abbott is traveling to storm- and flood-damaged areas today, and we'll be covering his press conference in Wimberley at 1 p.m.

For information on how you can find or donate assistance, we are compiling a list here

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Arts Eclectic
6:00 am
Sun May 24, 2015

Ethan Azarian: 'Survive Yourself'

'The Warhols,' Ethan Azarian

For many years, musician and painter Ethan Azarian staged an annual show of his works in his own home; his "In-House Galleries" became a well-known holiday event in Austin. These days, the home-based shows are no more, and Ethan has started putting together a quadrennial solo show at what he calls "a real gallery," by which he means a gallery space that's not also his own living room.

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Education
5:50 pm
Sat May 23, 2015

Updated: UT Campus-wide Commencement Cancelled; Fireworks Ceremony Tentatively Rescheduled

The UT Tower glowed orange in honor of the 2015 graduates, under rainy skies that led to the campus-wide commencement ceremony's cancellation
Trey Shaar KUT News

Update Sunday 3:30 p.m. University officials say that the commencement fireworks ceremony has been rescheduled for 10 p.m. tonight (Sunday), weather-permitting. Check back here for updates.

The University of Texas at Austin has cancelled the outdoor commencement ceremony planned for 8 p.m. Saturday due to inclement weather. UT said just before 5 p.m. that lightning had impeded the set-up for the outdoor event and that the threat of continuing inclement weather led the university "regretfully" to cancel the ceremony. 

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2015 Legislative Session
10:44 pm
Fri May 22, 2015

After One More Gun Fight, Open Carry Passes Senate

Sen. Craig Estes, R-Wichita, Falls, center, and Sen. Don Huffines, R-Dallas, speak to Karina Davis the Senate Parliamentarian on March 16th, 2015.
Credit Marjorie Kamys Cotera/Texas Tribune

After more than six hours — and a testy debate that escalated dramatically when unusual alliances formed between a few Democrats and a group of Tea Party-backed Republicans — the Texas Senate approved a measure loosening state restrictions on handguns Friday.

The legislation allowing Texans with licenses to carry handguns openly eventually passed on a final 20 to 11 vote along party lines.

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KUT Weekend
1:30 pm
Fri May 22, 2015

Listen to Our Weekly News Podcast!

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

Texas Standard
1:29 pm
Fri May 22, 2015

Pixar Director Reveals Inspiration, Music for New Short

“Lava” screens before the new Pixar feature film “Inside Out.” It premieres June 19 – but Texas Standard has a sneak peek (or listen…)
Courtesy Pixar Animation Studios

From Texas Standard.

Pixar has produced hit after award-winning hit. Films including the “Toy Story” series, “Cars” and many others. The company has arguably set the standard for computer-generated animation.

Jim Murphy has been at Pixar since 1996. He’s been an animator for Academy Award-winning films including “Finding Nemo “ and “The Incredibles."

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Two Guys on Your Head
11:24 am
Fri May 22, 2015

Why Seeing Isn't Believing

Credit catalog.flatworldknowledge.com

Philosophers have long proposed that there is no objective reality. And now science agrees — at least as far as our personal experiences are concerned.

Perception is the process of interpreting our present environment through the lens of our past experiences. Everything we sense, think, feel, and even remember, actually arises in response to a combination of what is currently happening and our stored long-term memories. 

In this edition of Two Guys on Your Head, Dr. Bob Duke and Dr. Art Markman discuss the evolutionary advantages of flexible perception, and how this process can influence both our behavior and modern day society.

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2015 Legislature
10:27 am
Fri May 22, 2015

Bill Protecting Pastors Who Refuse to Marry Same-Sex Couples Gets First OK

A bill, SB 2065, that would protect churches and clergy who don't want to marry a same-sex couple, is one step short of heading to Gov. Greg Abbott for a signature.
Morguefile/flickr

Religious objections to gay marriage would be protected from lawsuits, if a bill passed by the Texas House becomes law.

It got a first OK Thursday by the House and is expected to get final passage today. 

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The Two-Way
6:56 am
Fri May 22, 2015

Uneasy Rider: The Origins Of Motorcycle Gangs And How They Remain A Force

Police officers observe the scene at Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco, Texas, the site of the recent motorcycle gang-related shooting.
Jerry Larson AP

Originally published on Fri May 22, 2015 10:52 am

Updated at 10 a.m. ET

The shootout involving motorcycle gangs last weekend in Waco, Texas, resulted in 170 arrests and put a spotlight on the gangs' history, which dates back to the 1940s.

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Shots - Health News
5:18 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

You And Yeast Have More In Common Than You Might Think

This fungus among us — baker's yeast, aka Saccharomyces cerevisiae — is useful for more than just making bread.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri May 22, 2015 3:02 pm

Rip open a little package of baker's yeast from the supermarket, peer inside, and you'll see your distant cousin.

That's because we share a common ancestor with yeast, and a new study in the journal Science suggest that we also share hundreds of genes that haven't really changed in a billion years.

Edward Marcotte, a biologist at the University of Texas at Austin, knew that humans and yeast have thousands of similar genes. But, he wondered, how similar are they?

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Texas Standard
3:35 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

UT Austin Says Longhorns Still Rule When it Comes to Fandom

flickr.com/cavalierhorn

From Texas Standard.

Are “Texas Football Fans Trending Away From Burnt Orange“… UT Austin Athletic Director Steve Patterson says 'no way.'

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Texas Standard
11:14 am
Thu May 21, 2015

The Next Fight in the Waco Shootout Will Be in Court

From Texas Standard

As the dust settles on the Twin Peaks parking lot after Sunday's deadly biker shootout, the showdown in the courtroom is just beginning.

Authorities in Waco no doubt have a challenge ahead of them — sifting through the physical evidence and countless statements regarding the encounter that left 9 dead. But the district attorney’s office is now tasked with how to prosecute the roughly 170 arrested and charged with engaging in organized crime.

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Life & Arts
10:56 am
Thu May 21, 2015

Matching 'Wits' with John Moe

John Moe during a May 2015 performance of 'Wits.'
Minnesota Public Radio/flickr

Wits, the live public radio show that brings comedians, actors and musicians to the stage, is coming to Austin's Paramount Theater this week.

Host John Moe has managed to combine two of his interests – acting on stage and creating public radio — into what has become a pretty good gig. He talked with KUT’s Jimmy Maas this week about how it all began while he was still the host of “Marketplace Tech” based in Minneapolis.

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Real Estate
10:31 am
Thu May 21, 2015

Austin Home Prices Hit Another Record in April 2015

Credit flickr.com/digallagher

Home prices in Austin hit another record last month.

The numbers come as new Census data confirms Austin has continued its explosive growth in recent years.

The Austin Board of Realtors says the median home price was up 14 percent in April 2015, compared to the same month last year, to $274,000. The number of homes sold also hit a record for the month of April.

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Texas Standard
4:23 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

How This Dallas Company Targets Display Window Ads to You

Glass-Media tweeted this photo of a Dallas restaurant window display.
Credit @GlassMediaTX

This story comes from Texas Standard.

Remember the movie Minority Report? It’s kind of like that…

Imagine you’re doing a little window shopping and suddenly the ad on a screen in front of you changes… a cold front has blown through, so instead of showing iced coffee, it shows a steaming cup of hot chocolate.

This is the type of advertising that a Dallas Startup is at the forefront of. Glass-Media’s technology also has some ability to recognize you – or at least tell your age and gender.

Daniel Black is the company’s co-founder and CEO.

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In Black America Podcast
2:55 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

We Could Not Fail: The First African Americans in the Space Program [Part II]

Richard Paul and Steven Moss

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. conclude his conversation with Richard Paul, an award-winning independent public radio documentary producer, and Steven Moss, Associate Professor of English at Texas State Technical College, co-authors of ‘We Could Not Fail: The First African Americans in the Space Program.’

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