Health
11:49 am
Mon July 7, 2014

Leprosy Persists in Texas, But the Disease Is No Longer a Death Sentence

Debbie Mata is one of the few leprosy nurses in the country.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT

For thousands of years, people have had an image of what life with leprosy is like. You might think it's been eradicated, but leprosy — now referred to as Hansen's disease — still affects hundreds of people in the U.S. every year. Many of those victims are in Texas but, with treatment, a life with leprosy is no longer a death sentence.

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Politics
8:10 am
Mon July 7, 2014

Free Tickets Available for President Obama's Speech During This Week's Austin Visit

President Obama during his last visit to Austin for a Civil Rights Summit in April
LBJ Presidential Library and Museum

Update: President Barack Obama will give a public address during his visit to Austin this week.

Obama will be at The Paramount Theater on Thursday for a speech on the economy. Tickets are free and available to the public. They’ll be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis starting at 8:30 Tuesday morning at The Paramount (713 Congress Ave). The White House will only distribute a limited number of tickets.

Doors will open for the speech on Thursday at 9:45 a.m. Tickets are required for entry and are not for sale or re-sale. The White House says all attendees will go through airport-like security.

Original Story (July 2, 2014): Austin filmmaker Robert Rodriguez will host a fundraiser for President Obama on Wednesday, July 9, according to a Democratic Party source who wished to speak on background. Tickets for the event will range from $5,000 to the legal limit of $32,400. The proceeds will go to the Democratic National Committee.

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Get Involved
5:00 am
Mon July 7, 2014

Get Involved Spotlight: Animal Trustees of Austin

From Animal Trustees of Austinthis month's Get Involved Spotlight nonprofit:

For over twenty years, Animal Trustees of Austin (ATA) has dedicated itself to addressing one of our community’s most pressing needs: safe, affordable, high-quality veterinary care for pet owners of all incomes. We have a simple but powerful mission: to serve the animals and people of our community through compassionate, affordable treatment, and respect for all.

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In Black America Podcast
7:51 pm
Sun July 6, 2014

In Black America Podcast: 'Defining The Struggle'

Professor Susan D. Carle

 On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Susan D. Carle, professor at American University Washington College of Law and author of ‘Defining The Struggle: National Organizing For Racial Justice 1880 to 1915.’

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Education
2:35 pm
Fri July 4, 2014

Cigarroa Tells Powers to Resign or Be Fired

Clockwise, from top left: State Rep. David Simpson, R-Longview; University of Texas at Austin President Bill Powers; House Speaker Joe Straus; state Rep. Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie; and University of Texas System Regent Wallace Hall.
Credit Bob Daemmrich / Marjorie Kamys Cotera

University of Texas System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa has asked University of Texas at Austin President Bill Powers to resign ahead of the Board of Regents’ July 10 meeting or be fired at it, multiple sources confirmed to The Texas Tribune on Friday. The sources said Powers informed Cigarroa in writing that he will not resign, but is willing to discuss a timeline for his exit. 

UT-Austin officials said they could not comment on any private conversations between Cigarroa and Powers. Neither Powers nor Cigarroa could immediately be reached for comment. 

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KUT's Summer School
1:15 pm
Fri July 4, 2014

How Math and Memory Can Make or Break Your DJ Skills

DJ Orión Garcia, left, teaches KUT reporter Veronica Zaragovia what it takes to be a DJ at his home studio in Austin.
Sergio Padilla for KUT

It’s time for another class in KUT’s Summer School series!

So far, our reporters have learned how to glass blow, make wooden bowls and become a knight!

KUT’s Veronica Zaragovia visited some of Austin’s most talented DJs -- Orión Garcia of Peligrosa and Lorenzo Villareal of Dub Academy -- to learn what it takes to get behind the turn tables.

And as she learns, it takes far more than loving music to be a DJ. For starters, DJs are really good at math and have a vast memory. Find out if Veronica stands a chance.

Fourth Of July
12:02 pm
Fri July 4, 2014

Three Ways to Get Home Safely After Toasting Independence Day in Austin

The taps at Craft Pride on Rainey Street.
Jon Shapley for KUT News

The Austin Police Department will be monitoring the roads extra carefully this weekend, and enforcing a "no refusal" mandate; law enforcement will be able to quickly obtain a warrant to test the blood-alcohol level of any suspected drunk driver who objects to a Breathalyzer or blood test.

Fourth of July revelers who don’t think they’ll make fit drivers this weekend will have their pick of get-home-safe cards.

1. Capital Metro has some late-night options, including year-round Night Owl buses that run until 3 a.m. Monday through Saturday. Night Owl services travel five different routes between popular spots on 6th Street and city neighborhoods.

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Texas
10:49 am
Fri July 4, 2014

New Braunfels Marine Killed in Afghanistan Will Be Laid to Rest Monday

Sergeant Thomas Spitzer from New Braunfels, Texas.
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=833105386715921&set=a.157228300970303.36082.100000494026975&type=1&theater

The body of Marine Sergeant Thomas Spitzer returns home to New Braunfels on Friday.

He was killed in action in Afghanistan on June 25.
The New Braunfels community is taking his loss to heart, not just because he is a local son, but also because his is not the only loss the community has experienced in recent years.

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Fourth of July
9:31 am
Fri July 4, 2014

Photos: ABIA Celebrates the Fourth of July with a Showcase of WWII Bombers

Celebrating Independence Day this year the B-17 Red Raiders will host rare vintage WWII aircraft plus a noted local WWII aviator.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT

The Texas Raiders have descended upon Austin. No, it's not a football team. It's the codename for a group of  B-17 pilots who have brought four renovated World War II-era planes to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport this weekend to celebrate the Fourth of July.

The exhibition of rare planes including the P-51, a C-47 and a B-25. Tours and low-altitude flights over Austin are open to the public all weekend from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.at Atlantic Aviation

Check out our gallery above for a view from KUT's flight on the "Flying Fortress."

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Two Guys on Your Head
8:11 am
Fri July 4, 2014

Why We're More Influential Than We May Think

Credit http://www.wildfiresparks.co.uk

Being the incredibly social species that we are, we humans simply cannot avoid influencing one another when we interact. Influence is inevitable. 

The question then becomes, since influence is inevitable in human interaction, can we achieve the kind of influence that we intend to have, or that we might think we have in the world? 

On this week’s show, the Two Guys on Your Head, Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke, influence our understanding of the different functions and effects of influence in our lives.

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Immigration
4:31 am
Fri July 4, 2014

Deportation Threat Doesn't Diminish Young Migrants' U.S. Hopes

Ezequiel Vazquez and his 15-year-old son, Ilbaro, leave a government-run shelter in Guatemala City. Ilbaro was deported from the U.S. after spending six months in a Texas detention facility. He returned with a U.S.- issued duffel bag full of clothes, shoes, books and toys.
Carrie Kahn NPR

Originally published on Thu July 3, 2014 10:23 pm

The Obama administration says it will try to speed up deportations of tens of thousands of children who have illegally entered the U.S. from Central America in recent months. It's part of a stronger message the administration is hoping gets back to would-be migrants contemplating coming to the U.S.

But the message isn't getting through, and even those who have recently been deported say they will try again.

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Transportation
4:39 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Federal Highway Program Could Run Out Of Money Next Month

The White House has warned that without more money for the federal Highway Trust Fund, which helps states pay for road and infrastructure projects, construction delays will put thousands out of work.
Seth Perlman AP

Originally published on Thu July 3, 2014 2:35 pm

Congress has yet another problem it can't solve.

For years, the main federal transportation program has been spending more money than it takes in. This year, the Congressional Budget Office estimates the Transportation Department will disburse $45 billion while collecting only $33 billion for its Highway Trust Fund.

As a result, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx warned states on Tuesday that they will start seeing cuts of 28 percent in federal funding for roads and bridges next month unless Congress comes up with some extra money.

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Border & Immigration
2:35 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Perry Calls for Security & Federal Funds in a Congressional Hearing on Border Crisis

The Texas-Mexico border has become the focal point of a national debate on immigration after a surge in Central American immigrations.
Lorne Matalon Marfa Public Radio

The ongoing surge of Central American immigration into Texas was the focus of a field hearing Thursday of the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security. Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R - Austin) invited Governor Rick Perry to testify at the hearing in the Rio Grande Valley.

The governor laid out a four-point plan for handling the situation, including increasing National Guard operations, screening immigrants for medical conditions and federal reimbursement of the money Texas has spent on border security.

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Life & Arts
1:54 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Austin Author Meg Gardiner Thrills with 'Phantom Instinct'

Meg Gardiner's "Phantom Instinct" is one of a dozen thrillers by the Austin-based author.
Credit Photo by Stuart Boreham

Imagine there was a disaster. You were there. But you saw something no one else saw—something that would change everyone else's mind about what really happened. That is, if they believed you. Now, imagine there's another person who saw exactly what you saw. But no one believes him either. What would you do?

Austin author Meg Gardiner's new book, Phantom Instinct, pursues that question through 356 action-packed pages. She spoke to the Texas Standard's Emily Donahue.

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Food
1:21 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

H-E-B Cites the Presence of 'Foreign Materials' in Voluntary Beef Recall

H-E-B has issued a voluntary recall for some of its beef products.
Credit Photo courtesy of H-E-B

H-E-B has issued a voluntarily recall of 13 items due to the "possible presence of a foreign material." 

The San Antonio-based grocer said no customers have reported illnesses, but they recalled certain skirt steaks, beef fajitas and stew meats with packaging dates as early as June 9 as a precautionary measure. 

Below is a full list of  affected items.

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Fourth of July
12:38 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Here's Where You Can Celebrate the 4th of July in Central Texas

Looking to see some fireworks this Fourth of July? Take a gander at our list to find a show near you.
flickr.com/photos/rampantgaffer/

The Fourth of July is upon us once again.

It's a time for fireworks, parades, barbecues and, of course, plenty of red, white and blue. So, in honor of America's birthday, KUT has compiled a list of Independence Day parades featuring the best fireworks, food and festivities near you in Central Texas.

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Economy
10:22 am
Thu July 3, 2014

U.S. Added 288,000 Jobs In June, Labor Department Says

Originally published on Thu July 3, 2014 12:27 pm

Analysts' expectations of continued growth in the jobs report for June were surpassed by federal data issued this morning, as the Labor Department says U.S. employers added 288,000 jobs last month. The government released the numbers one day early because of the July 4 holiday.

Update at 8:35 a.m. ET: 288,000 Jobs Added

"Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 288,000 in June, and the unemployment rate declined to 6.1 percent," the Bureau of Labor Statistics says.

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Food
9:44 am
Thu July 3, 2014

Ranchers Approve Added Charge for Cattle Sales in Texas

Before the beef even hits a butcher's slab, Texas' so-called "beef checkoff" sends $2 towards industry groups for every cow sold, but some say the funds undercut small-scale ranchers.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tarale/6688989961/

From StateImpact Texas: 

Every time a cow is sold in Texas, a dollar of that sale goes to industry groups that use it to promote and research beef. It’s part of a national program called the “beef checkoff,” and that charge will now rise to two dollars in Texas after a statewide vote by cattle owners.

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Transportation
8:01 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

What is a Diverging Diamond Interchange and How Might it Help Traffic in Round Rock?

North Carolina Department of Transportation

State transportation authorities announced this week that they received the green light to build a $6.7 million "diverging diamond interchange" at I-35 and University Blvd. in Round Rock. That's an area that gets a lot of traffic, partly because it's near the only IKEA in Central Texas and the Round Rock Premium Outlets, among many other retail businesses.

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NSA
4:55 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

U.S. Privacy Board Says NSA Internet Spying Is Constitutional

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 4:34 pm

A bipartisan privacy board that was appointed by President Obama following the disclosures made by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden has released a report (PDF) that says the security agency's Internet spying is legal and constitutional.

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