Business
5:05 am
Thu January 24, 2013

How a Private Dell Deal Might Go

The computer giant Dell has its headquarters in Round Rock.
courtesy Dell Inc.

Update: This article has been edited to correct when Larry Stern saw fliers for Dell on the UT campus. It was not 1981, but some point later in the 1980s.

Dell says that recent talk of a buyout is only speculation, but there’s still a whole lot of speculating going on, including about how a possible deal might work, and what it might mean for Austin.

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Politics
5:05 am
Thu January 24, 2013

Education Budget-Building Begins

Budget hearings continue today at the Capitol.
Lizzie Chen, KUT News

When the House and Senate filed base budgets last week, advocates for programs that were cut in 2011, including public education, were upset the budgets didn’t restore funding. Lawmakers countered that the budget was expected to grow.

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Arts and Culture
5:36 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

An Unlikely Supreme Court Justice

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor will appear at BookPeople tonight.
Joy Diaz/KUT News

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor is in Austin today promoting her new memoir My Beloved World, which gives readers an intimate look into the circumstances that shaped her character.

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Politics
4:28 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

Luck of the Draw: Watson, Campbell Among Senators Required to Run Again in 2014

State Senator Donna Campbell (R-New Braunfels) pulls a number that determines whether she serves a two or four-year term.
Ben Philpott, KUT News

Legislative redistricting meant all Texas senators had to run for office in 2012. But since the Senate has staggered four-year terms, it had to pick about half of its members to run again two years from now.

Five senators now represent some part of Travis and Williamson counties. Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay, and Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, each got four-year terms. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, Charles Schwertner, R-Georgetown, and Donna Campbell, R-New Braunfels, got two-year terms.

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Austin
3:50 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

Get to the Chopper: Suggestions May Smooth Helicopter Service

Helicopter operations could change in time for Austin's 2013 F1 race.
twitter.com/Austin_Police

Whirlybirds, eggbeaters, choppers — whatever you want to call them — helicopters brought some kind of ruckus over 2012’s Formula 1 weekend. And now a group is looking at what can make for a less turbulent 2013.

Over 265,000 attendees descended on the Formula 1 track over race weekend, according to the Circuit of the America's count. And as F1 attracts its fair share of uber-wealthy racing fans, many skipped ground transportation altogether in favor of helicopters.

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Education
3:11 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

Texas A&M Announces Plan To Grow Engineering Program

Chancellor of the Texas A&M System John Sharp discusses conference realignment with Evan Smith at TribLive on September 29, 2011.
Bob Daemmrich/Texas Tribune

When Dr. M. Katherine Banks took over as the dean of Dwight Look College of Engineering at Texas A&M University and vice chancellor for engineering at Texas A&M University System last year, she encountered a few surprises.

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Austin
2:58 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

With Bag Ban Nearing, Keep Your Reusables Clean (and E. Coli Free)

A study from late last year says reusable bags can carry E. coli bacteria.
flickr.com/jennecy

Austin is a little more than a month away from its plastic bag ban, and some questions are still up in the air.

The Austin City Council approved the change last year, and the Single-Use Carryout Bag Ordinance stipulates that single-use bags for sacking groceries will soon be phased out – meaning Austinites must make use of reusable grocery bags. And as a precaution, shoppers should make sure their bags see more than the checkout aisle – try the laundry room.

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Military
2:33 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

Panetta Lifts Ban On Women In Combat Roles

In a May 9, 2012 photo, Capt. Sara Rodriguez, 26, of the 101st Airborne Division, carries a litter of sandbags during the Expert Field Medical Badge training at Fort Campbell, Ky. Female soldiers are moving into new jobs in once all-male units as the U.S. Army breaks down formal barriers in recognition of what's already happened in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Kristin M. Hall AP

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 7:04 am

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has decided to lift a ban that prohibited women from serving in combat, a congressional source tells NPR's Tom Bowman. The move opens up thousands of front-line positions.

Panetta is expected to announce the decision along with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Thursday.

Citing "senior defense officials," the AP adds:

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Labor
12:57 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

Union Membership Continues Decline; Now At Lowest Level Since 1930s

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 11:34 am

The Bureau of Labor Statistics says union membership continues to decline in the United States.

In 2012, American Union membership rate dropped to 11.3 percent from 11.8 percent in 2011. As The Washington Post reports, that's the lowest level since the 1930s.

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Environment
12:31 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

Texas Ranks Tenth in U.S. for Sustainable Building

UT's LEED Gold certified Student Activity Center.
University of Texas at Austin

Texas ranks tenth in the country in Leadership Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. That's according to a report issued by the U.S. Green Building Council, a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit that issues LEED certification.

The LEED 100-point scale rates the design, construction, and operation of buildings, neighborhoods, and homes to promote sustainable infrastructure. It looks at factors such as sustainability, water and energy efficiency, materials, indoor environmental quality, as well as design and innovation to issue one of four different levels of certification: Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum.

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Politics
11:55 am
Wed January 23, 2013

House Passes GOP's Debt-Ceiling Plan; Senate Democrats Offer Their Support

The House of Representatives (Jan. 3 file photo).
Kevin Lamarque Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 1:01 pm

Update at 1:25 p.m. ET: By a vote of 285-144, the House just passed a Republican plan that postpones for three months the federal government's next bump up against the so-called debt ceiling.

As we said earlier, the measure would head off another big battle over raising the government's borrowing authority — such as the one in 2011 that almost led to a government shutdown.

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Politics
11:16 am
Wed January 23, 2013

Beyonce-gate: National Anthem May Have Been Both Live & Taped

Pat Benic DPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 10:47 am

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Austin
10:43 am
Wed January 23, 2013

Report: Jovita's Propietor at Center of Heroin Bust Dies

Jovita's picture flickr.com/carlos

Amado “Mayo” Pardo, the 64-year old proprietor of Jovita’s swept up in a sprawling heroin bust last summer, has died, according to online reports.

Pardo’s attorney tells the Austin American-Statesman that Pardo died yesterday due to cancer and other health problems. He was due to stand trial in February.

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SXSW
9:55 am
Wed January 23, 2013

Nick Cave to Kick Off NPR Music's SXSW Showcase

Cat Stevens Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 9:54 am

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The Lead
8:51 am
Wed January 23, 2013

The Lead: Houston Campus Shooting, CPRIT Investigation, Keystone XL Pipeline OK’d in NB

A billboard for Houston-area gun shows. Three were injured in a shooting at a Houston college campus that began as an argument.
flickr.com/nakrnsm

Good morning! Stat safe on the roads, as dense fog this morning made for many interesting commutes. The National Weather Service says the fog should burn off mid-morning leaving Austin with an afternoon high in the mid-70s.

Lead Story: More reactions to the shooting at a Lone Star College campus in Houston, which left three injured.

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