Austin
8:44 am
Sun January 15, 2012

Top Morning Stories Sunday, January 15, 2012: Conservative Leaders Back Santorum; MLK Day Coming

Texas Governor Rick Perry signs autographs in South Carolina ahead of next Saturday's GOP presidential primary. Photo by Jay Root of The Texas Tribune.

Evangelical Leaders Meeting in Texas Pick Rick.... Santorum, That Is

Read more
Austin
5:29 pm
Sat January 14, 2012

Honoring MLK With Community Service

Al Lemon (left) and Bruce Johnson volunteer to move furniture at the Austin Groups for the Elderly as part of the annual MLK Day of Service event.
Photo by Erika Aguilar/KUT News.

Some Central Texas volunteers gave up their Saturday morning to clean bathrooms and move furniture at Austin Groups for the Elderly. It was part of today’s MLK Day of Service.

“It’s a great way to help the elderly because they’ve done so much in the past to make it possible for us now," said Gwen Blackburn.

Read more
Austin
4:50 pm
Fri January 13, 2012

City Round-Up: Street Closures, Surplus Sales, and Parking Goes Mobile

View Larger Map

It wouldn’t be a weekend in Austin without a few street closures, but this one’s lasting a little longer than most. The city advises West 34th Street, between Medical Parkway and Lamar Boulevard will be closed for three months, as the city repairs pipes under the stretch of street.

The city has more information on street closures on their Special Events website.

Read more
2012 Presidential Election
4:43 pm
Fri January 13, 2012

Who's Buying the Rick Perry Action Figure?

The Rick Perry action figure comes in "regular man" and "executive" outfits.
Photo courtesy www.herobuilders.com

Rick Perry’s been immortalized in plastic.

Texas Public Radio reports that Texas governor and faltering Presidential candidate has been cast in plastic by a Connecticut-based boutique toy firm, Hero Builders. You can score a “Regular Man Rick Perry” for the low, low price of $39.95, or spring for the speaking “Executive” version of the Texas Governor for $69.95. (The doll “speaks” the infamous audio from Perry’s presidential debate where he couldn’t remember the third federal agency he would eliminate.)

Read more
Politics
2:01 pm
Fri January 13, 2012

Sonogram Before Abortion Law Can be Implemented Immediately

Texas is told a controversial requirement for sonograms before abortions can occur immediately.
Photo courtesy www.flickr.com/msjacoby

A ruling earlier this week affirmed that Texas can implement its controversial law requiring a non-medically necessary sonogram prior to an abortion while the law is being challenged in court.

Today, an order from a federal appeals court states the procedure can be required immediately, without the customary waiting period accompanying judicial decisions.

Read more
It's All Politics
1:14 pm
Fri January 13, 2012

Candidates Focus On S.C. And Florida; Evangelical Leaders Gather In Texas

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum campaigns Friday in Rock Hill, S.C.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 13, 2012 11:40 am

In Texas today, conservative Christian and evangelical leaders begin two days of meetings to discuss political strategy, and perhaps to coalesce around a Republican presidential candidate other than front-runner Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts.

NPR's Barbara Bradley Hagerty reports on the search for a so-called "Jesus candidate" and the evolving influence of Christian right leaders in the Republican Party.

Read more
Politics
12:00 pm
Fri January 13, 2012

Austin Takes Case Against Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) to John Cornyn

A YouTube free future? SOPA opponents fear a chilling effect on sites hosting user-generated content.
Image courtesy americancensorship.org

The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) has provoked a firestorm of controversy online.

Ostensibly drafted to crack down on piracy of films, music, and other items illicitly traded online, SOPA proponents like the Motion Picture Association of America argue the law will protect intellectual property. But opponents of the bill fear the legislation will effectively cripple the Internet by targeting the hosts of user-generated websites like YouTube instead of the offending uploaders; hoist huge legal uncertainties and liabilities onto websites and start-ups; and create potential security threats in the way it redirects traffic from so-called “rogue” websites.

The proposed SOPA legislation, introduced by Texas Rep.Lamar Smith, is a big deal in tech-savvy Austin. Today, members of Austin’s tech community are making the case to Sen. John Cornyn’s office that SOPA is a bad bill.

Read more
Opinion
10:23 am
Fri January 13, 2012

The Nation: Paul Won't Be A Third Party Candidate

Originally published on Fri January 13, 2012 8:06 am

Ben Adler is a blogger for The Nation.

Read more
Austin
8:21 am
Fri January 13, 2012

Top Morning Stories 1/13/12

Over 100 people signed up to sound off on Austin Energy's proposed rate increase.
Photo courtesy City of Austin

Public Speaks out on Energy Rate Hikes

More than a hundred people signed up to speak last night at the Austin City Council public hearing on a proposed electricity rate change. This is Austin Energy's first rate increase in 17 years, but some consumer groups say the rate hike is flawed.

Read more
Austin
5:46 pm
Thu January 12, 2012

City Council Passes Short Term Rentals Study

City Council members Bill Spelman and Laura Morrison didn't see eye-to-eye on the subject of a short term rental property audit.
Photo by Daniel Reese for KUT News

There were plenty of signs that today’s City Council meeting would be controversial. It wasn’t electricity rates, but debate over a study of short-term rentals (STRs) that ate up hours of council’s time this morning and afternoon. (That hearing on Austin Energy’s proposed rate increase is on for around 6 p.m.)

Avalanches of amendments were offered to the STR proposal by Bill Spelman and Chris Riley, but not enough for a unanimous vote. It passed 5-2, with Laura Morrison and Kathie Tovo voting no.

Read more
Texas
4:43 pm
Thu January 12, 2012

Stream the GOP US Senate Debate Tonight

Photo by Herzogbr/Flickr

Candidates in the Texas Republican primary for the U.S. Senate will debate formally in Austin for the first time tonight at 7pm. Kay Bailey Hutchison announced one year ago that she would not seek a fourth term.

Tonight marks the first appearance in a general debate by front runner, Lt. Governor David Dewhurst. ESPN college football analyst Craig James, who announced his bid for the seat last month, will also make his debate debut.

Read more
energy
3:50 pm
Thu January 12, 2012

Chamber of Commerce Keeps Keystone Pipeline Debate Flowing

Protesters and counter-protesters at an Austin hearing on the Keystone Pipeline, in September 2011.
Photo by Teresa Vieira for KUT News

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce took aim at the Obama administration this morning, with a call for the president to approve the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, which would end at the Texas Gulf Coast.

Chamber president and CEO Thomas J. Donohue claimed in his annual “State of American Business” address that “This project has passed every environmental test. There is no legitimate reason—none at all—to subject it to further delay.”

But the National Resources Defense Council says the Chamber is waging a “disinformation campaign” on the pipeline’s behalf.

Read more
Texas
1:01 pm
Thu January 12, 2012

Dublin Dr Pepper's Demise Sends Fans Scrambling

At ten and two and four no more: Sugar-sweetened Dr Pepper will no longer be bottled in Dublin, Texas.
Photo courtesy www.flickr.com/superamit

Imperial Sugar-sweetened Dr Pepper will no longer be bottled in Dublin, Texas.

The news was a shock to Dr Pepper fans in Austin and across the country, as conversations began bubbling up online regarding where to procure the suddenly scarce beverage.

As explained in a report by The Dallas Observer's Unfair Park blog, the shutdown stemmed from a legal dispute between Dr Pepper's parent company (who, as it happens, has their own cane syrup version of the soda) and the Dr Pepper Bottling Co. of Dublin, Texas (henceforth to be known as Dublin Bottling Works).

Read more
It's All Politics
12:23 pm
Thu January 12, 2012

In South Carolina, Perry Tries To Revive His Flagging Campaign

Originally published on Thu January 12, 2012 9:03 am

Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced his presidential campaign in South Carolina last August, but now his campaign may soon come to an end in the same state where it started. Ben Philpott of KUT News reports on Morning Edition that with the clock ticking down to the Jan. 21 primary, Perry is polling in single digits.

That means Perry has just over a week to convince South Carolinians to vote for him. Philpott spends some time on the campaign trail with Perry, reporting that those attending stops, like Lexington resident Glenn Gainey, know the deal.

Read more
Education
11:28 am
Thu January 12, 2012

Manor Lockdown Lifted, Separate Threat at Hendrickson High Cleared

Photo by Daniel Reese for KUT News

The lockdown at Manor High School has been lifted, after it was determined the "suspicious device" in question was a non-explosive replica of a military grenade.

Meanwhile, Pflugerville ISD police and the Pflugerville police department briefly investigated a threat at Hendrickson High School before giving the all-clear.

The following statement is from the Manor ISD website:

This morning an unauthorized adult brought a suspicious device onto the Manor High School campus. The device was only seen in the school parking lot and the person never entered the building. All students and staff were moved to Manor Middle School as a safety precaution. Travis County Sheriff’s Office has determined that the device was a replica grenade. Law enforcement and school officials are in the process of returning students to their campus. Students can be released to parents from Manor High School but we prefer that students remain on campus so instruction is not disrupted any further.

Read more

Pages