Business
2:25 pm
Tue May 1, 2012

Travis County Approves Apple Incentives Deal

Travis County joined the city and state in offering incentives to Apple today.
Photo courtesy flickr.com/cdnphoto

The Travis County Commissioner’s Court has approved an incentives package for computing company Apple to expand operations in Austin.

As reported earlier today,Travis County is estimated to give Apple between $5.4 and $6.4 million dollars in tax rebates over 15 years. This comes on top of Austin's estimated $8.6 million in tax rebates over the next ten years, and the state's $21 million in incentives. In return, Apple says it will bring well over 3,000 jobs to the Austin area.

County commissioners said Apple should consider economically disadvantaged individuals for employment. However, that’s not stipulated as part of the contract’s requirement.

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City Council Elections
1:20 pm
Tue May 1, 2012

Austin Early Voting: With These Totals, Your Vote Matters

Students smiling and laughing - but not voting - outside the Flawn Academic Center
Photo by Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Early voting in the Austin city elections is in full swing – i.e., characteristically low.

Turnout for Monday, April 30, the first day of early voting, shows a total of 2,174 votes. That’s only .37 percent of registered voters. One third of one percent.

Some areas are attracting more voters than others. North Austin’s Ben Hur Shriners Hall at 7811 Rockwood Ln., led the pack with 180 total votes. A Randall's grocery store in Northwest Austin, at Research Boulevard and Braker Lane, pulled in 175 votes. And the Travis County offices on Airport Boulevard nabbed 169 votes.

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University of Texas
11:23 am
Tue May 1, 2012

No Arrests at Second UT Sweatshop Protest

Protests calling for stricter monitoring of factories producing UT apparel continued this week.
Photo by Divya Darsi for KUT News

Two weeks after 17 students were arrested in a similar protest, members of the Make UT Sweatshop-Free Coalition conducted another sit-in yesterday.

The sit-in was held in the University of Texas Tower with more than 40 students participating. At about 5 p. m. yesterday, the students left the Tower after warnings from police they could be arrested, said the Austin American-Statesman. At 8 p.m. on Sunday night, a candlelight vigil of students, faculty and community members convened in front of UT Austin President Bill Powers’ house; the vigil was led by Pastor Jim Rigby.

As KUT News previously reported, the coalition wants UT to join the Workers Rights Consortium, an independent monitoring organization that conducts investigations of working conditions in factories. A statement on the WRC homepage specifically mentions their goal to protect the rights of workers who make clothes.

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Special Coverage
11:01 am
Tue May 1, 2012

Looking Back: How the World Quickly Learned About Bin Laden's Death

Iconic image: President Barack Obama and members of his national security team as they monitored the mission to capture or kill Osama bin Laden.
Pete Souza White House

Originally published on Tue May 1, 2012 8:18 am

One year ago today, we learned that al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden had been located and killed by U.S. Navy SEALs at a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

There's no shortage of stories and news related to that event, including these:

-- "After Bin Laden, Al-Qaida Still Present As Movement." (NPR's Dina Temple-Raston, on Morning Edition.)

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Arts and Culture
9:59 am
Tue May 1, 2012

What Makes Austin's Food Scene Great: A Conversation with Andrew Zimmern

Andrew Zimmern says the best part of Austin's food scene is the diners.
Photo courtesy of Austin Food & Wine Festival

Andrew Zimmern, the host of Travel Channel's Bizarre Foods (where he's made a name for himself eating exotic things like fermented beetle anus), heaped some praise on the local food scene at the Austin Food Festival this weekend. But while Zimmern is fond of many Austin chefs, farmers and restaurants, he saves the highest praise for Austinites themselves.

KUT: So tell us why you're here at this food festival in Austin.

Andrew Zimmern: "I think Austin has a very special food community in terms of diners. It's the diners and the Austinites that have created the atmosphere for all this amazing food here to flourish.

Every single person I've spoken to here at this festival, I think, gets it all wrong about Austin. Everybody puts the food and chefs first, and I think it's not chicken or egg, it's very matter-of-fact: the audience here in Austin is unique. They are willing to be experimented at, and they do not hold grudges against chefs that make mistakes or have failures, as long as that chef is willing to get back on their bicycle and start pedaling again.

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Street Closures
8:52 am
Tue May 1, 2012

Traffic Trouble: All Southbound Lanes Closed on I-35 Near U.S. 183

View Major IH-35 - Southbound Closure in a larger map

Update: All lanes have been reopened, reports TxDOT.

Original Post: The Texas Department of Transportation says all southbound lanes of North Interstate 35 are closed just south of the U.S. 183 exit because of a major crash.

Traffic is being detoured to the access road.

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AM Update
8:01 am
Tue May 1, 2012

AM Update: County Considers Apple Again, West Texas Wildfires, San Marcos Talks Alcohol in Parks

Travis County commissioners will review an Apple incentives deal this morning
Photo courtesy flickr.com/atmtx

County Considers Apple Incentives, Again

The Travis County Commissioners Court will review an economic agreement with computing giant Apple today.

The City of Austin has pledged an estimated $8 million in tax rebates to bring the company here, and the state’s Texas Enterprise Fund is offering another $21 million in incentives. But in order for those to go through, the county must also approve a deal to bring Apple here. It would involve Travis County giving Apple between $5.4 and $6.4 million dollars in tax rebates over 15 years. So far, the agreement has been discussed at several Commissioners Court meetings, but hasn’t been finalized yet.

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City Council Elections
7:18 am
Tue May 1, 2012

Video: Mayoral Candidate Brigid Shea

Early voting in the Austin city elections began this Monday, April 30. As part of KUT's interviews with all 14 candidates, KUT’s Matt Largey recently spoke with mayoral contender Brigid Shea on affordability, Austin Energy's rate redesign, and more. 

Also running for mayor are incumbent Lee Leffingwell and council meeting regular Clay Dafoe.  Election Day is May 12.

 

City Council Elections
4:40 pm
Mon April 30, 2012

Video: Mayoral Candidate Lee Leffingwell

On Election Day this May 12, Austin will elect a mayor.

KUT’s Matt Largey recently spoke with incumbent Lee Leffingwell, running for a second term as Austin mayor. The conversation covered affordability, transportation, geographic representation and Austin Energy’s rate redesign.

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Women's Health
2:18 pm
Mon April 30, 2012

Judge: HHSC Must Keep Planned Parenthood in WHP For Now

La'Tonya Ephraim speaks with Carrie Adney, a Women's Health Program client since last year, at Seton-Circle of Care Women's Services in Round Rock, TX.
Photo by Callie Richmond, Texas Tribune

A district judge in Austin has ordered Texas to temporarily stop its enforcement of a rule that would have removed 49 Planned Parenthood clinics from the state’s Medicaid Women’s Health Program starting May 1.

In a 25-page opinion, United States District Judge Lee Yeakel ruled that the Planned Parenthood organizations that filed the lawsuit proved there could be irreparable harm to their clinics that rely on Women’s Health Program funding to help uninsured Texans access cervical and breast cancer screenings, birth control and STD testing. Yeakel also expressed doubt that the state could find enough providers by Tuesday to replace the Planned Parenthood clinics with other health providers.

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Austin
12:13 pm
Mon April 30, 2012

Love and Dust: Scenes From the Austin Food and Wine Fest

The scene at Auditorium Shores this weekend.
Photo by Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Thousands of gourmets and tipplers gathered at the Austin Food and Wine Festival this weekend. 

There was, of course, wine, but there was also sushi, macaroons and even Frito pie. And there was a scene you’ll have a hard time finding again: 200 charcoal grills all fired up at once on the shores of Lady Bird Lake. The coals were burning for Fort Worth chef Tim Love's "Grills Gone Wild" hands-on demo, where attendees learned the art of searing, resting and slicing a steak.

"Now I cook them medium rare. Cause I’m an American. Not only am I an American, I’m a ... Texan. So remember that," Love said as he whipped up the crowd. 

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Capital Metro
10:39 am
Mon April 30, 2012

Fatality in Cap Metro Train Collision

An image of the collision this morning.
Photo courtesy Twitter user JenelleS_KVUE, http://yfrog.com/mnhspfwj

Update 1 p.m.: Capital Metro says complete rail service should be back on regular schedule by 1:15 p.m.

Update 10:30 a.m.: A 32 year-old man was killed in a Capital Metro rail collision this morning. Two children were also in the car with the unnamed man, and were taken to Dell Children’s Hospital. Capital Metro spokesperson Misty Whited tells KUT she’s learned the children are in stable condition.

127 passengers were aboard the train at the time of the collision, plus one train operator.

The collision occurred at a private drive crossing the Cap Metro rail line; out of 74 total crossings along the rail line, 13 are on private drives. Only two have crossing gates; the crossing at Oak Hill Drive (mapped below) did not have a gate, only a stop sign.

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Arts and Culture
10:09 am
Mon April 30, 2012

Caro's 'Passage Of Power': LBJ's Political Genius

Keystone Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 30, 2012 9:26 am

Robert Caro writes obsessively about power. Fittingly, it's Lyndon Johnson — catapulted suddenly into the presidency "in the crack of a gunshot" — who consumes him.

The Passage of Power, the fourth volume of Caro's massive biography of Lyndon Johnson, is released this week. Caro has dedicated decades to meticulously researching Johnson's life, and the previous books in the series have been almost universally hailed as a significant achievement in American letters.

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AM Update
8:19 am
Mon April 30, 2012

AM Update: Early Voting Starts, Education Committee Meets, Toros Win Title

Early voting begins today for four positions on the Austin City Council, including mayor.
KUT News

Early Voting Begins Today

Early voting begins today in the Austin city election. There are a total of 14 candidates running for four different positions, including mayor and three city council seats.

You can find information on the candidates and their views on Austin’s pressing issues at kutnews.org. You can stream interviews with candidates for the Place 5Place 2 and Place 6 seats, and beginning today, interview with Austin’s mayoral candidates. The City of Austin has also put videos for the council candidates including those vying for mayor.

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City Council Elections
7:45 am
Mon April 30, 2012

Video: Mayoral Candidate Clay Dafoe

Today, Monday April 30, is the start of early voting in the Austin city elections.

Four council positions are up for grabs, including Mayor. Three candidates are running for the top spot, including Clay Dafoe. KUT’s Matt Largey met with Dafoe and discussed his opinions on keeping Austin affordable, transportation, geographic representation, and his stance on limited government .

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food and wine festival
10:47 am
Sat April 28, 2012

First Austin Food & Wine Festival Gets Cooking

Gail Simmons says Austin is bursting with creativity.
Photo courtesy Austin Food & Wine Festival

Austin’s long been known as the Live Music Capital of the World. But these days the city’s also on the map for its food scene.  Today the first Austin Food and Wine festival kicks off at Auditorium shores. We sat down with Gail Simmons, a judge on Top Chef and a figure at Food and Wine magazine, about what’s on tap at the festival and why they chose Austin in the first place. 

KUT: What was it about Austin that attracted you and the festival here?

Gail Simmons: "Interestingly, I think both art and craft in Austin are alive and well. It's a young, energetic city, obviously partially because of the huge student culture here. And it's just full of great art and great design and great music. And it only makes sense that food would follow.

Over the last several years, we've seen a huge surge in great, creative young talent in the food world. There's been some great young chefs coming out of Texas, notably Tyson Cole at Uchi and Bryce Gilmore at Barley Swine just a year or two ago. Those are only two of them, certainly. But there seems to be a great energy here, a great mix of cultures and cuisines creating this signature style that Austin is really known for now.

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City Council Elections
4:33 pm
Fri April 27, 2012

Video: Place 6 Candidate Shaun Ireland

Early voting starts in the Austin City Council races this Monday, April 30, and political newcomer Shaun Ireland is running in Place 6.  

KUT’s Nathan Bernier recently spoke with Ireland about cutting spending at the city, the Austin Energy rate redesign, transportation, geographic representation and more. You can view an expanded version of the interview above; a condensed version of the conversation is posted at kut.org.

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City Council Elections
3:12 pm
Fri April 27, 2012

Video: Place 6 Candidate Sheryl Cole

Austin City Council member Sheryl Cole is up for re-election this May.

The Place 6 council member and Mayor Pro Tem recently came by the KUT studios to discuss her candidacy. KUT’s Wells Dunbar spoke with Cole about affordability and the Austin Energy rate redesign, transportation, and the question of geographic representation on the council.

You can listen to a condensed interview with Cole at kut.org; above, we present an expanded version of the discussion with Cole.

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City Council Elections
2:26 pm
Fri April 27, 2012

Audio: Place 2 Candidate Mike Martinez

Council member Mike Martinez recently stopped by the KUT studios.
Photo by Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Early voting in the Austin city elections begins Monday, April 30. 

As part of interviews with all 14 candidates running for the Austin City Council, KUT’s Matt Largey spoke with incumbent Place 2 City Council member Mike Martinez recently. The conversation covered ways to improve affordability and transportation, the ongoing Austin Energy rate redesign, and whether Austin should adopt a form of geographic representation.

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Sports
1:34 pm
Fri April 27, 2012

College Football Edges Closer to Playoffs

Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron, left, hands off to running back Trent Richardson during the BCS National Championship college football game against LSU in New Orleans last January.
Bill Haber AP

Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 12:16 pm

"Major college football is on the verge of implementing a playoff, its own version of the final four — two semifinals and a title game," The Associated Press writes.

Or, as The Wall Street Journal reports:

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