Weather
3:39 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

Texas Insurers Tally Their Losses in the 'War on Hail'

Hail that fell in Grand Prairie over the summer proved everything's bigger in Texas.
flickr.com/yumievriwan

Insurance companies doing business in Texas have counted their losses after reviewing the state’s  catastrophic weather events last year.

According to the Insurance Services Office, a catastrophic event is a weather or man-made event that causes at least $25 million or more in insured property losses and affects a significant number of people. Texas had seven catastrophic events in 2012, and it cost insurance companies some $2.3 billion in losses.

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Police
2:36 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

Austin Police: Change to Lineup Procedure Can Cut Down on False Arrests, Convictions

An example of a simultaneous "six pack" lineup. APD says it will only use simultaneous lineups in rare occasions now.
American Judicature Society

The Austin Police Department has announced some changes to its suspect lineup procedures.

APD investigators must now present photographs and live lineups sequentially to all adult victims and witnesses. This means investigators are now required to present each photograph or individual one at a time to a witness during a lineup – not all at once.

“We are not interested in wrongfully accusing or convicting somebody that is innocent,” Chief Art Acevedo said today at a press conference announcing the change. “It is not the fabric of this department. We’d rather go with zero arrests than arrest the wrong person.”

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Politics
1:23 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

Secretary Clinton Back At Work

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (at right, in front) in a photo released today (Jan 7, 2013) by the State Department. A spokesman says it was taken around 9:15 a.m. ET at a meeting with the department's assistant secretaries.
State Department

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 11:49 am

After nearly a month of health problems that culminated with a stay in a New York City hospital for treatment of a blood clot in a vein between her brain and her skull, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was back in her office Monday morning.

The State Department released a photo of the 65-year-old, soon-to-be-retired Clinton chairing a weekly meeting of assistant secretaries.

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Politics
11:44 am
Mon January 7, 2013

Obama Nominates Hagel For Defense, Brennan For CIA

The nominees: John Brennan (left), who is President Obama's choice to head the CIA; and former Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., who the president has asked to be secretary of defense.
STAFF Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 1:16 pm

  • NPR coverage of the Hagel/Brennan nomination announcements

President Obama this afternoon nominated former Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., to be his next defense secretary and counterterrorism adviser John Brennan to lead the Central Intelligence Agency.

In those two, the president said, he has chosen men with experience in the field and who "understand the consequences of decisions we make in this town" on the men and women who serve America around the world,

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Education
11:34 am
Mon January 7, 2013

Single-Sex Schools Back on AISD Agenda

Pearce Middle School would transition into a single-sex school, under an option considered by the AISD school board.
KUT News

The Austin school board is set to resume discussion on a boys-only school. The move comes just one month after the topic was postponed indefinitely.

The AISD board is set to discuss a total of three single-sex schools in a special meeting tonight: a School for Young Men and turning Garcia and Pearce Middle Schools into single-sex schools – one for boys and the other for girls.

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CIA
10:33 am
Mon January 7, 2013

Counterterrorism Adviser Brennan To Be Tapped for CIA

John Brennan, who President Obama wants to lead the CIA.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 8:46 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': NPR's Tom Bowman on the Hagel nomination

President Obama will announce today that he plans to nominate John Brennan to be the next director of the Central Intelligence Agency, an administration official with knowledge of the decision tells NPR's Tom Bowman.

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The Lead
9:02 am
Mon January 7, 2013

The Lead: Armstrong's Next Move, UT Track Coach Admits to Affair

Lance Armstrong may admit to doping, according to the New York Times.
flickr.com/rubenstein_

Good morning. This Monday should be relatively mild, with a high near 60. But beginning Tuesday, a strong storm system is expected to blow into the Austin area. The National Weather Service says rainfall totals of three to four inches are in the forecast, with up to six inches in isolated spots. 

Let us know what sort of rains you experience: email news@kut.org or tweet pics and messages to KUTnews.

Armstong’s end game: We noted late Friday evening a report from The New York Times that Lance Armstrong, the seven time Tour de France winner who saw his wins erased in a massive doping scandal, was considering admitting to use of performance-enhancing drugs.

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Health
7:13 am
Mon January 7, 2013

Why Exercise May Do A Teenage Mind Good

Members of the boys basketball team from Dimond High School in Anchorage, Alaska, celebrate their 2012 state championship victory. Psychological research shows that sports camaraderie improves teenagers' mental health.
Charles Pulliam AP

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 7:02 am

It's well known that routine physical activity benefits both body and mind. And there are no age limits. Both children and adults can reap big benefits.

Now a study published in Clinical Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, explores whether certain factors may help to explain the value of daily physical activity for adolescents' mental health.

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Politics
11:25 am
Sat January 5, 2013

As The Capitol Turns: Little Has Changed In Congress' New Season

House Speaker John Boehner swears in the newly elected members of the 113th Congress on Thursday.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Sat January 5, 2013 8:59 am

This week saw both a frantic finale to the much-unloved 112th Congress and, hours later, the swearing in of the new 113th. The cast of lawmakers and their leaders is mostly unchanged. The same can be said for Capitol Hill's never-ending drama over taxes, deficits and spending.

What was arguably this week's most sensational congressional moment did not even take place in Washington. On Wednesday in Trenton, N.J., Republican Gov. Chris Christie blasted the GOP-led House for closing down the last Congress without even considering a Superstorm Sandy disaster relief bill.

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9:02 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

NY Times: Lance Armstrong Considers Doping Admission

Lead in text: 
The New York Times is reporting that Lance Armstrong is considering a public admission of doping, in hopes of restarting his career as a competitive athlete.
For more than a decade, Armstrong has vehemently denied ever doping, even after antidoping officials laid out their case against him in October in hundreds of pages of eyewitness testimony from teammates, e-mail correspondence, financial records and laboratory analyses. When asked if Armstrong might admit to doping, Tim Herman, Armstrong's longtime lawyer, said: "I do not know about that.
University of Texas
5:44 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

Two UT Professors Win National Medals of Science

Allen Bard is a professor at the University of Texas.
University of Texas

Two professors at the University of Texas have won the National Medal of Science, the highest award given to scientists, engineers and inventors by the U.S. government. They are only the fourth and fifth UT faculty members to win the prize since 1962.

Doctor Allen Bard, a professor in the Chemistry Department at UT, received the award for his outstanding achievement in electrochemistry. He developed an electrochemical microscope that analyzes the chemical makeup of very small surfaces.

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Politics
5:30 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

StateWatch Texas: 2013 Legislature Preview

StateWatch Texas: your inside guide on everything under the dome - and how it hits home.
KUT News

The 83rd Texas Legislative Session begins Tuesday. Let’s go over a short list of the expected session priorities.

It's Always the Budget

The recession and Republican opposition to raising taxes ended with about $15 billion cut from the last budget.

Now state revenues are up, but Governor Rick Perry and other leading Republicans are calling for a constitutional amendment to restrict how quickly the budget can grow.

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Health
5:01 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

New Facility for Alzheimer's Patients Not Nearly Enough

A new facility for older Austinites is scheduled to open soon in south Austin. It will serve those with memory impairments like Alzheimer’s or dementia. The “Silverado Senior Living” plans to house 90 people.  Right now, the only facilities like it are in Round Rock.  But, the needs of Austin’s elderly population continue to grow at a fast pace.

Silverado Senior Living is a private facility. Loren Shook is the company’s CEO.  He says “there are thousands of people within the city of Austin that are suffering from this disease [Alzheimer’s] and we are very confident there is sufficient resources in the market for people to afford our services ”

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Wimberley
3:46 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

Lockdown Ends at Wimberley High School (Updated)


The approximate location of the situation in Wimberley. View Larger Map.

The high school in Wimberley was temporarily put on lockdown around noon today because a shooting near the school.

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Economy
3:30 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

As 2013 Begins, A 'Pretty Positive' Job Outlook

The health care sector added 45,000 jobs in December and is expected to see continued growth this year, economists say.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 1:40 pm

If you're searching for work in this new year, the Labor Department's final jobs report for 2012 suggests: The trend is your friend in 2013.

The jobs outlook is actually "pretty positive," said John Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, an employment consulting firm.

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