Gun Violence
1:04 pm
Wed December 26, 2012

N.Y. Website Posts Map of People With Gun Permits, Draws Criticism

At its website, the image is interactive so that users can see who has handgun permits and where they live." href="/post/ny-website-posts-map-people-gun-permits-draws-criticism" class="noexit lightbox">
The Journal News' map of gun owners in Rockland County, N.Y. At its website, the image is interactive so that users can see who has handgun permits and where they live.
The Journal News

Originally published on Wed December 26, 2012 1:49 pm

The website of New York's Journal News newspapers has posted an interactive map showing the names and addresses of people with licenses to own handguns in three counties just to the north of New York City — Westchester, Rockland and Putnam.

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Top Stories 2012
2:10 pm
Tue December 25, 2012

Top Stories of 2012: F1 in Austin

The F1 Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas drew rapturous response from race watchers.
Circuit of the Americas

Austin’s inaugural Formula 1 race may be remembered less for what it was than what it wasn’t: the traffic-choking, city-closing snarl many residents feared it would be.

Argument over what financial role – if any – the city would play regarding F1 were largely left in the rearview mirror; in 2011, the Austin City Council approved an arrangement with track promoters that let them tap the state’s Major Events Trust Fund, without the city having to pay into the fund first.

Instead, questions over Austin’s F1 readiness dominated headlines in 2012.

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Women's Health
2:15 pm
Mon December 24, 2012

Top Texas Stories of 2012: The War Over Women’s Health

Planned Parenthood supporters rally on the south steps of the Texas Capitol on March 8, 2011.
Bob Daemmrich, Texas Tribune

When state lawmakers pushed to remove Planned Parenthood from Texas’ Women’s Health Program as part of an anti-abortion agenda, some questioned whether the state could absorb the cost of the change.

We still don’t know, because at year’s end, the legal battle over whether Texas can exclude Planned Parenthood – currently the largest provider in the program– is still being fought.

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Austin
1:37 pm
Mon December 24, 2012

Santa's Helpers Deliver Toys to Dell Children's Hospital

Blue Santa volunteers unload presents at Dell Children's Hospital this morning.
Joy Diaz, KUT News

Audio: Blue Santa comes to Dell's Children's Hospital

Dozens of boxes full of toys made their way to Austin’s Dell Children’s Hospital this morning, courtesy of Operation Blue Santa.

Santa and his reindeer could not be there since many of the kids are too sick to risk having the animals nearby. So volunteers from the Austin Police Department made sure there was enough holiday cheer to go around.

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Gun Violence
12:05 pm
Mon December 24, 2012

Firefighters Responding to Blaze in New York Shot and Killed

Originally published on Mon December 24, 2012 1:38 pm

Two firefighters responding to the scene of a blaze near Rochester, N.Y., were killed today and another two were wounded when a gunman opened fire.

The apparent ambush in Webster, N.Y., was carried out by convicted murderer William Spengler, police believe. He was found dead at the scene, from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Spengler, 62, spent 17 years in prison for the 1980 murder of his grandmother.

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Lance Armstrong
11:46 am
Mon December 24, 2012

UK Newspaper Suing Lance Armstrong

Daniel Bayer via flickr.com/aspensnowmass

A British newspaper is suing Lance Armstrong for about $1.5 million over a settlement it reached with the  cyclist in 2004.

The Sunday Times paid Armstrong almost half a million dollars after he accused the paper of libel when it printed allegations that he used performance enhancing drugs.

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Texas
11:34 am
Mon December 24, 2012

Listen: DPS Wants Lawmakers to Approve Higher Trooper Salaries

State troopers make less money than many local law enforcement officers.
Daniel Reese for KUT News

Listen to audio version of this story.

Texas lawmakers will return to Austin Jan. 8 for the 2013 Legislative Session.

Officials with the Department of Public Safety hope lawmakers will approve salary increases for state troopers. A recent report by the State Auditor’s office found troopers are making less money than many police and sheriff’s officers across the state.

Trooper Robbie Barrera says she didn’t join the Department of Public Safety for the money.

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Energy
7:59 am
Mon December 24, 2012

Forget Fracking: 2012 Was A Powerful Year For Renewables

Wind turbines stand alongside an electrical tower at the National Wind Technology Center, run by the U.S. Department of Energy, outside Boulder, Colo.
Brennan Linsley AP

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 10:44 am

Natural gas may have reshaped the domestic energy market in 2012, lowering energy prices and marginalizing the coal industry, but America's shale boom hasn't undermined renewables.

In fact, while analysts were paying attention to fracking this year, a record number of solar panels were being slapped on roofs — enough to produce 3.2 gigawatts of electricity.

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Top Stories 2012
2:44 pm
Fri December 21, 2012

Top Stories of 2012: Lance Armstrong's Crash and Burn

Just layin' around: A tweet from Armstrong featuring his Tour de France jerseys drew the ire of the blogosphere.
twitter.com/lancearmstrong

Here’s one Austinite that’s probably ready for 2012 to end: Lance Armstrong.

Cyclist, cancer survivor and seven-time Tour de France winner Armstrong found himself enveloped by controversy this year that ultimately lead to the erasure of his wins.

In February, federal prosecutors announced they had dropped a two-year investigation into whether Armstrong participated in doping. But later that summer, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), a non-governmental watchdog of doping in sports, announced it was bringing its own charges of doping against Armstrong.

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Gun Violence
11:42 am
Fri December 21, 2012

Only 'A Good Guy With A Gun' Can Stop School Shootings, NRA Says

National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre at this morning's news conference in Washington, D.C.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 21, 2012 1:08 pm

(We retopped this post at 11:35 a.m. ET.)

Saying that last week's mass shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., could have been prevented or stopped if there had been armed, trained security personnel on site, officials of the National Rifle Association on Friday called for Congress to appropriate funds to put police officers in every American school.

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2013 Legislative Sesssion
10:24 am
Fri December 21, 2012

Texas Lawmakers Call for Blitz Play Against Alzheimer’s Disease

A state committee says funds for Alzheimer's research could be put to good use in Texas.
Lizzie Chen for KUT News

A state committee on Alzheimer’s disease that heard from former Texas football coach Darrell Royal and his wife has recommended the Legislature increase Alzheimer’s research funding, if possible.

It stressed that consistent funding can help make inroads in combating the disease and suggested tapping outside money to supplement what state government provides.

“There are significant opportunities for external funding sources,” concluded a report of the Joint Interim Committee to Study Alzheimer’s Disease. “These opportunities should be fully explored.”

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Politics
9:56 am
Fri December 21, 2012

Obama Taps Sen. Kerry For Secretary Of State

President Obama and Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., at the White House this afternoon.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 21, 2012 3:02 pm

  • President Obama nominates Sen. Kerry

President Obama announced this afternoon that he will nominate Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., to be his next secretary of state.

Kerry's long experience in the Senate (he was first elected in 1984) and especially in foreign affairs (he chairs the Foreign Relations Committee) mean the senator's "not going to need a lot of on-the-job training," Obama said.

We followed the short appearance at the White House by the president and Kerry and posted some highlights.

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Transportation
9:09 am
Fri December 21, 2012

Headed to the Airport? Get There Early

Passenger traffic is up this year at ABIA, and this year's holiday traffic is no exception.
Credit Photo by Mose Buchele/KUT News

If you're headed on a flight out of Austin today, you may want to heed official advice and get there 90 minutes early. Or maybe even a little earlier than that.

KUT's own Mose Buchele, a reporter for StateImpact Texas, sent us the photo above from the airport early this morning, well before the day's flight schedule had peaked. And it's only expected to get busier throughout the day. 

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Transportation Security Administration
3:35 pm
Thu December 20, 2012

TSA to Commission Independent Study of X-Ray Body Scanners

YouTube

Following months of congressional pressure, the Transportation Security Administration has agreed to contract with the National Academy of Sciences to study the health effects of the agency's X-ray body scanners. But it is unclear if the academy will conduct its own tests of the scanners or merely review previous studies.

The machines, known as backscatters, were installed in airports nationwide after the failed underwear bombing on Christmas Day 2009 to screen passengers for explosives and other nonmetallic weapons. But they have been criticized by some prominent scientists because they expose the public to a small amount of ionizing radiation, a form of energy that can cause cancer.

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Top Stories 2012
3:16 pm
Thu December 20, 2012

Austin’s Top Stories of 2012: Remembering Esme Barrera

A memorial was set up for Barrera at the Mexic-Arte Museum for Dia de los Muertos.
facebook.com/mexicarte

Tragedy can strike at any time.

Austin’s music community was painfully reminded of that lesson when a mainstay of the local music scene, Esme Barrera, was murdered at her home in the West Campus during the first hours of the New Year.

Nearly a whole year later, the District Attorney's office says sufficient cause exists to arrest her alleged murderer, if he hadn't killed himself soon after Barrera's murder. APD is now declaring the case closed. 

In the early morning of Jan. 1, Barrera was returning to her home on West 31st Street, near Guadalupe Street, from a celebratory evening of live music. Shortly after entering her house, she was killed.

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