Sports
4:21 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

Austin Toros in NBA D-League Finals

Tonight the Toros take on L.A. for the first game of the finals.
Photo courtesy NBA Development League

Game 1 of the NBA Development League finals is tonight at the Cedar Park Center.

The Austin Toros face the Los Angeles D-Fenders . The Toros are affiliated with the San Antonio Spurs.

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Capital Metro
2:37 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

Cap Metro Workers Should Keep Jobs Under Contractors

Contractors will take over employee management duties for Capital Metro in a few months.
Photo courtesy Van Sutherland via Flickr

This morning, Capital Metro bus drivers and mechanics met their soon-to-be employers. Representatives from the companies that Cap Metro is contracting out services with were at the bus garages at 4 a.m. for a quick meet and greet.

Yesterday, the Capital Metro Board of Directors voted to outsource hundreds of employees. Those include regular bus drivers and mechanics along with people who provide door-to-door services for the disabled.

A new law required Cap Metro either to outsource their workers or bring them in as state employees.

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City Council Elections
1:21 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

Video: Place 5 Candidate John Rubine

Comprising half of the 14 candidates for City Council, Place 5 is a crowded field.

Political newcomer John Rubine is one of the seven candidates running in Place 5 against incumbent Bill Spelman. KUT’s Wells Dunbar spoke with Rubine about a number of issues including Austin’s affordability, energy rate increases, and how he plans to improve voter turnout. You can listen to audio of our interview with Rubine, but above, we’ve posted an extended video version of our interview with him.

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City Council Elections
11:47 am
Tue April 24, 2012

Video: Place 5 Candidate John Duffy

Early voting for city elections begins Monday, April 30. There are 14 candidates running for four positions on the Austin City Council. Over the next week or so, we’re airing extended cuts from KUT's interviews with each of them.

In Place 5, self-described anarchist and Occupy Austin member John Duffy is running to unseat incumbent Bill Spelman. You can listen to the interview with Duffy that aired on KUT 90.5 FM; above, we present an extended version of that conversation.

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Environment
11:31 am
Tue April 24, 2012

Government Files First Criminal Charges In BP Oil Spill

Fire boats battle a fire at the off shore oil rig Deepwater Horizon in April of 2010.
U.S. Coast Guard Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 1:31 pm

"The first criminal charges in connection with the BP oil spill have been filed against a former BP engineer named Kurt Mix," NPR's Carrie Johnson reports exclusively.

Carrie just told our Newscast unit that Mix has been charged with obstruction of justice for allegedly deleting text messages after the spill. The texts were related to the amount of oil gushing into the Gulf. Mix will make his first appearence in court today.

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Austin
9:04 am
Tue April 24, 2012

Austin City Council Considers Austin Pets Alive Lease

The city council will discuss what will happen to the old Town Lake Animal Shelter.
Photo for KUT News by Ihwa Cheng

Today the Austin City Council will consider changes to a temporary lease agreement with Austin Pets Alive. Austin Pets Alive has been using a portion of the Town Lake Animal Center since the city shelter moved five miles east to the Austin Animal Center, and now the nonprofit wants to operate out of the entire building.

Also on the agenda at today’s work session, beginning at 9 a.m., is a resolution that would establish an advisory task force on drawing geographical districts for city council elections. The proposal is similar to what was proposed by the city's Charter Revision Committee.

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AM Update
8:12 am
Tue April 24, 2012

AM Update: Migration from Mexico, AISD Negotiations, McLeroy Visits 'Colbert Report'

Study finds hundreds of thousands of Mexican immigrants are leaving the U.S.
Flickr user Noah Jacquemin, bit.ly/127bpAP

Migration from Mexico to U.S. at Net Zero — Or less

Are more Mexican immigrants leaving the United States than entering? Maybe. A new report by the Pew Hispanic Center found net migration from Mexico to the U.S. has stopped—and perhaps reversed.

In an analysis of censuses and other data from both countries, researchers determined 1.4 million Mexicans immigrated to the U.S. from 2005 to 2010. Over that same five-year period, 1.4 million Mexican immigrants and their U.S.-born children moved from America to Mexico.

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City Council Elections
4:25 pm
Mon April 23, 2012

Hispanic Leaders Call for Change to 'Gentlemen's Agreement' - Just Not Yet

An agreement designating minority seats on the City Council recieved mixed reviews from Council Member Mike Martinez today.
Photo by Daniel Guerra for KUT News

A re-election rally held today for City Council member Mike Martinez focused on the long debated Gentlemen’s Agreement.  For decades, that unwritten, unenforceable agreement among Austin’s political players has stipulated that two seats on the City Council be reserved for one black member and one Hispanic member.

Martinez is one of four council members up for re-election in May; although neither Martinez or his surrogates mentioned his opposition in Place 2 by name, the incumbent is being challenged by Laura Pressley, an Anglo woman. Place 2 incumbent Sheryl Cole, the council member serving in the African-American seat “reserved” under the Gentlemen’s Agreement, is also being challenged by an Anglo candidate, Shaun Ireland.

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Education
1:54 pm
Mon April 23, 2012

Analysis: Half of Recent College Grads Jobless or Underemployed

Students from John Moores' University celebrate graduation.
Christopher Furlong Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 12:54 pm

It's hard out there for a college grad.

The AP analyzed government data and came up with this stunning figure: "Half of young college graduates [are] either jobless or underemployed in positions that don't fully use their skills and knowledge."

The whole story is worth a read, so we encourage you to click over, but here is the meat of the AP's analysis:

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Education
1:04 pm
Mon April 23, 2012

Adults in College: A Steady Trend

Enrollment data from across the nation shows many believe it's never too late to hit the books.
Photo by KUT News

A new report shows 38 percent of U.S. students who were enrolled in postsecondary classes during the Fall of 2011 semester were adults (under the definition of the study, an adult was at least 25 by October 15). That percentage is down slightly from 2010 but went up by more than 4 percent from 2009 to 2010. 

The study by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center shows adults looking for education are consistently choosing to enroll on a full-time basis over part-time. Adult students also prefer 4-year, public institutions. The center looks at data from more than 3,300 college institutions—representing 93 percent of student enrollment.

Meanwhile, the average age of a student at the University of Texas at Austin (22.5) is actually getting younger. 

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Arts and Culture
10:22 am
Mon April 23, 2012

Check Out Photos of Willie Nelson and His New Statue

The bronze likeness of Nelson is presented to the public.
Photo by Jeff Heimsath for KUT News.

Austin got its long-awaited glimpse at the new Willie Nelson statue on Friday.

The April 20th unveiling of the statue was captured by photographer Jeff Heimsath for KUT News. On hand for the commemoration of the eight-foot tall, one-ton statue was the Red-Headed Stranger himself, who treated the audience to a song.

AM Update
8:56 am
Mon April 23, 2012

AM Update: AISD Budget, Medical School Funding, and Ron Paul's Austin Appearance

The AISD Board is holding a hearing on the budget and its arrangement with teacher unions.
Photo by KUT News

AISD Budget Meeting Tonight

The Austin ISD Board of Trustees will meet tonight to discuss the 2013 budget, and policy on consulting with employee unions.

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Business
8:18 am
Mon April 23, 2012

Report Says Wal-Mart Hushed Bribery Campaign In Mexico

A van covered by a mural sits parked outside a Walt-Mart Super Center in Mexico City. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. hushed up a vast bribery campaign that top executives of its Mexican subsidiary carried out to build stores across Mexico, according to a published report by the New York Times.
Dieu Nalio Chery AP

Originally published on Sun April 22, 2012 7:17 am

In a massive investigation, The New York Times reported Saturday that Wal-Mart Stores Inc. silenced a vast bribery effort that top executives of Mexican subsidiary Wal-Mart de Mexico carried out in order to build stores across the country.

According to the report:

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Environment
5:16 pm
Fri April 20, 2012

Earth Day Weekend Roundup

Starting tomorrow and lasting through Monday, Austin celebrates Earth Day.
Photo courtesy flickr.com/usnationalarchives

Once a hippie holiday, now a fully mainstream observance (especially in Austin), Earth Day 2012 is coming this Sunday.  Get your credit card and your Djembe drum ready, because here in town, there are plenty of ways to celebrate Mother Earth, and give a little something back.

SHOPPING

Over 110 Austin businesses will donate five percent of their profits to environmental causes, such as Friends of Barton Springs Pool and the Hill Country Conservancy.  That makes Sunday a great time to do grocery shopping (Whole Foods and Wheatsville Food Co-Op are participating), go to the cleaners (at Eco Clean Garment and Laundry), or take your pet to the vet (at Austin Vet Care), to name a few participants. 

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Special Coverage
3:40 pm
Fri April 20, 2012

In Tribal Pakistan, Radio is a Lifeline

Locals listen to Radio Miransh in the North Waziristan Agency.
Photo by Tayyeb Afridi

Tayyeb Afridi is a journalist from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan, a region that borders Afghanistan. He visited KUT in May 2011 on a US Pakistan Journalism Exchange through the International Center for Journalists. You can read more of KUT News’ Pakistan coverage.

An international media development organization in Pakistan trained broadcasters from the country’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) on public service announcements during a training program held in Islamabad, Pakistan. Broadcasters from local radio stations attended the five-day, hands-on training exercise.

While PSAs are widely used elsewhere in the world, they have never been used by these stations in Pakistan.

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Capital Metro
2:09 pm
Fri April 20, 2012

Cap Metro Staff Makes Contractor Recommendations

Cap Metro staff has proposed separate contractors for regualr bus routes and its paratransit services, pictured above.
Photo courtesy Flickr user i-Ride Capital Metro

Today, Capital Metro staff met with the agency Board of Directors to make recommendations on new contractor bids. Monday, the board will make a final decision.

These are the last few steps towards a new labor structure for Capital Metro. The changes are required to comply with a new state law that requires transit employees to either become employees of the state or to become employees of a private contractor. The union that represents most of the employees chose the latter option so they could retain collective bargaining rights.

The board will need to choose one contractor for employees of fixed-route bus services and another for employees of paratransit services (door-to-door services for people with disabilities). The board could also choose to have one contractor employ workers of both services.

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Economy
1:37 pm
Fri April 20, 2012

Austin Area Unemployment Rate Down to Six Percent

While the Austin-Round Rock area added jobs in March, construction jobs went down.
Photo by KUT News

The unemployment rate is down again in the Austin area.

According to Workforce Solutions, the unemployment rate for March dropped to six percent — that’s just a tenth of a percent lower than in February but remains well below the state and national averages.

Workforce Solutions Capital Area Executive Director Alan Miller says things are moving in the right direction at a slow and steady pace.

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City Council Elections
12:36 pm
Fri April 20, 2012

Video: Place 2 City Council Candidate Laura Pressley

Early voting for city elections begins next Monday, April 30. There are 14 candidates running for four positions on the Austin City Council. Over the next week or so, we’ll hear from each of them.

For Place 2, Laura Pressley is running to unseat incumbent Mike Martinez. You can listen to the interview we aired with Pressley on KUT’s Morning Edition online; above, we present an extended version of our conversation.

KUT’s Matt Largey talks to Pressley about a few topics she thinks are priorities for the city, including the city’s corporate subsidies, the impact this has on Austin’s affordability, the rate increase proposed by Austin Energy, and whether to send Urban rail to voters this November.

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Arts and Culture
11:25 am
Fri April 20, 2012

13 Reasons To Visit Your Local Record Store Day On Saturday

Toledo, Ohio's Culture Clash Records is one of the many stores opening their doors this Saturday with exclusive new vinyl.
Courtesy of Roger Zender

Originally published on Sat April 21, 2012 8:24 am

Record Store Day is like a one-day-a-year time machine. On Saturday, April 21, independent record stores around the country will be mobbed by music fans anxiously lining up to get their hands on actual pieces of plastic with musical information etched onto either side. We can't help it. After spending the rest of the year getting access to just about any piece of music we want without ever interacting with another human being, Record Store Day brings out the collector in us all.

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Texas
9:55 am
Fri April 20, 2012

Texas Military Forces Open House This Weekend

The Texas Military Forces Open House returns this weekend.
Photo courtesy txmf.us

Camp Mabry is hosting its annual Texas Military Forces Open House April 21 and 22. It's a high-powered display of U.S. military technology, from the World War II-era to today. But the organizers say it's more than that.

The event initially occurred in the fall, which drew less than 5,000 people yearly, until Camp Mabry officials moved the event to spring in 2006. Last year, the attendance increased to 17,000 people, said Garrison Commander Major John Davis. 

"It's gotten really big and really popular in Austin and Central Texas area," Davis says. 

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