Texas
10:59 am
Wed January 2, 2013

They Weren't in the Running, but They Still Won Votes

Todd Wiseman / Gage Skidmore / Bob Jagendorf for Texas Tribune

When 11 Travis County voters scribbled in "Mickey Mouse" for president on their ballots in November, the cartoon character didn't get any closer to becoming the first animated leader of the most powerful nation in the world. After all, counties don't count write-in votes for uncertified candidates.

In every presidential election, hundreds of names are written in by voters who choose not to vote for a major candidate. Among those names is a trove of living and deceased politicians, fictional characters and popular personalities. That trend continued in Texas in 2012.

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Politics
10:00 am
Wed January 2, 2013

Bipartisan Outrage as Superstorm Sandy Aid Vote Is Postponed

Nov. 6: Some of the damage from Superstorm Sandy on New York's Staten Island.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 3:01 pm

(We put a new top on this post at 3:45 p.m. ET.)

The House of Representatives will vote on aid for victims of Superstorm Sandy before Jan. 15, according to promises Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, made to legislators from the affected areas this afternoon. The speaker met with angry representatives at 3 p.m., seeking to quell their outrage over the postponement of a vote on federal help.

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Downtown
9:36 am
Wed January 2, 2013

Downtown's New Post Office Opens Today

The post office at Fifth Street and Guadalupe in happier days.
Wikimedia Commons user WhisperToMe, http://bit.ly/ZUddgq

Austin's new downtown post office is opening today at 823 Congress Ave.

The new 7,118-square-foot postal facility will provide full postal retail services and house PO boxes for postal customers with ZIP codes 78767 and 78768. The hours of operation will remain the same: 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, and closed on Saturday and Sunday.

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The Lead
9:01 am
Wed January 2, 2013

The Lead: Here Comes KUTX

Double your pleasure: KUT 90.5 changes to all news programming today, while KUTX 98.9 brings you music around the clock.
Nathan Bernier, KUT News

Good morning! You’ll need to bundle up: The National Weather Service says cold temperatures are sticking around today, with Austin looking at a high in the upper 40. Here’s what’s happening this chilly Jan. 2:

Here Comes KUTX: New Year’s Day has come and gone, but today marks a new start for KUT: Beginning today, KUT 90.5 FM changes from its current programming mix of news and music to around-the-clock news and information. KUT’s familiar music personalities – including John Aielli, Laurie Gallardo, Paul Ray, Jay Trachtenberg and company – begin broadcasting 24-hour music on KUT’s new frequency, KUTX 98.9 FM.

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Politics
8:06 am
Wed January 2, 2013

It's Not Over: Big Battles Ahead Even After 'Fiscal Cliff' Deal

President Obama was in the Oval Office late Tuesday night as the House finished voting on the "fiscal cliff" deal. After praising the passage, he left for Hawaii to resume a vacation with his family.
Aude Guerrucci/Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 1:59 pm

  • From 'Morning Edition': The upcoming battles

We're sorry to start the first work day of 2013 on a negative note, but here goes:

Though the House voted 257-167 late Tuesday to OK legislation that kept the federal government from going over the so-called fiscal cliff — and stopped income taxes from rising for about 99 percent of Americans — lawmakers didn't reach agreement on other very divisive issues.

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LGBT
5:27 am
Wed January 2, 2013

Could Same-Sex Marriage Come to Texas?

flickr.com/weho

In recent weeks, same-sex couples in Maine, Maryland and Washington have gotten the right to marry. That's after voters in each of those states approved ballot measures clearing the way for them.

That has some people wondering: Will same-sex couples in Texas be allowed to marry?

A ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court expected later this year has some in Texas thinking it could be possible.

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Politics
3:03 pm
Tue January 1, 2013

Tea Party Texan Cruz Gives GOP Hope In Hunt For Hispanic Votes

Sen.-elect Ted Cruz of Texas answers a question from a television reporter on Nov. 6 in Houston.
David J. Phillip AP

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 1:19 pm

Sen.-elect Ted Cruz of Texas is a bright young Hispanic star who will be sworn in this week in Washington. The Republican Party nationally hopes Cruz will be part of the solution to its growing problem luring Hispanic voters.

Almost nobody had heard of Cruz when he began his campaign for the U.S. Senate. But when he stepped in front of a microphone, he could light up a room in a way that made the other Republican candidates seem lifeless.

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Austin
1:51 pm
Tue January 1, 2013

A Near-Centenarian's Advice for 2013's First Baby

99 year-old Gus Herzik at his home in Austin.
Joy Diaz, KUT News

Usually on New Years' Day, news outlets will tell you about the first birth of the year.

While the spotlight shines on Austin's first baby of 2013, we invited Gus Herzik to welcome that lucky child with some words of wisdom. 

Herzik has learned plenty in his lifetime - he'll turn 100 years old later this year.

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Austin
12:18 pm
Tue January 1, 2013

Go Green With Your Evergreen: Christmas Tree Recycling

Most City of Austin customers can place their trees curbside.
flickr.com/jonny2love

As we wrap up the holiday season, the Christmas decorations will soon head to into storage.

The City of Austin is encouraging residents to recycle their live Christmas trees. If you have curbside collection, just put the tree there by 6:30 a.m. on your trash day. Make sure all decorations are removed. Trees over six feet should be cut in half.

If you live in an apartment or somewhere else where you don’t get curbside collection, you can drop trees off at Zilker Park this weekend or next weekend.

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Borderlands
11:29 am
Tue January 1, 2013

In Mexico, a New Plan to End Drug Violence

A Juárez municipal police officer keeps patrol while at a murder scene in the outskirts of Ciudad Juárez, Mexico on May 28, 2010.
Ivan Pierre Aguirre for Texas Tribune

NUEVO LAREDO, Mexico – The tank that has stood at the entrance to this Mexican border city since 2008 was not here on Christmas Eve. Neither was the machine gun turret that pointed down this gritty town’s main street.

But the masked soldiers remained. Residents say it is a sign that little law enforcement appears to exist except for the military officers who patrol the streets.

That could change, however, under policies announced recently by Enrique Peña Nieto, Mexico’s newly inaugurated president.

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Austin
10:21 am
Tue January 1, 2013

Commitment Day 5K Street Closures

Road closures for Commitment Day 5K.
City of Austin

The Commitment Day 5K is taking place in downtown Austin this morning. The race starts at 10 a.m. and is expected to last until 12 p.m.

South 1st Street will be closed from Barton Springs Road to Cesar Chavez Street. Cesar Chavez Street will be closed from Lavaca Steet to Mopac (Loop 1).

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Politics
10:16 am
Tue January 1, 2013

Ball in Boehner's Court After Senate Approves Fiscal Cliff Deal

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden make a statement regarding the passage of the fiscal cliff bill in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House late Tuesday evening.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 3:23 am

The House of Representatives voted 257-167 late Tuesday to pass a Senate-approved compromise deal that stops large tax increases for 99 percent of Americans, and delays massive spending cuts for two months.

The bill now goes to President Obama, who is expected to sign it into law.

NPR's S.V. Date is reporting on the deal for our Newscast unit. Here's what he says:

"The eventual deal was hammered out by Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and Vice President Joe Biden. It passed the Senate with overwhelming, bipartisan support.

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Immigration
10:15 am
Tue January 1, 2013

After 2012 Election, GOP Rethinking Stance on Immigration

Protesters opposed to Arizona's controversial citizenship legislation rally at the Texas Capitol in 2011.
flickr.com/joebehr

In 2012’s presidential election, 27 percent of Hispanics in the U.S. voted for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Until that number increases, Republicans will have a hard time winning a Presidential race – so party insiders say it’s time to soften the GOP’s position on immigration.

For Texas Senator John Cornyn, it’s about who’s the best fit to tackle the topic. He says if Republicans are going to seriously tackle immigration policy, Texas lawmakers are uniquely qualified to take the lead.

“I happen to believe that we in Texas understand a little bit more about some of these issues than people from other parts of the country – given our proximity to the border and given the nature of our population,” Cornyn says.

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Education
5:14 am
Tue January 1, 2013

UT Researcher Sees Racial Bias in Texas Social Studies

Marjorie Cotera, Texas Tribune

Interview with Professor Julian Vasquez Heilig

Public school students in Texas may or may not learn about important African-American and Latino historical figures because many of the lessons are optional, according to a recently published study by University of Texas researchers. And when it comes to Native Americans and Asian Americans in Texas, "it's almost as if they didn't exist," says the study's author, Professor Julian Vasquez Heilig

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Politics
3:50 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

Deal To Avert 'Fiscal Cliff' Appears Likely

The Capitol is illuminated in Washington, where the House and Senate remain in session. The two chambers will miss a deadline to avoid the "fiscal cliff" tonight, as 2013 begins.
Drew Angerer Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 9:01 am

  • NPR's coverage of President Obama's comments on the "fiscal cliff" talks

Update at 9:45 p.m. Deal Reached

Vice President Joe Biden was meeting late Monday with Senate Democrats to brief them on a proposed deal to stop sharp tax increases and spending cuts. A source told NPR the deal with congressional Democratic and Republican leaders includes a mix of both.

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