development
11:20 am
Mon November 22, 2010

Firm That Made Cowboys Stadium Will Work on Austin's F1 Track

Dallas-based HKS, which designed and built this structure, among other sports complexes, will work on Austin's F1 track, scheduled to open in 2012.
Image courtesy Cliff Baise http://www.flickr.com/photos/cliffbaise/

HKS, an architectural firm in Dallas, announced this morning that it will lead the team assembled to build a new Formula One track in Austin. HKS designed and built the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington and the Dell Diamond in Round Rock.

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FOOD
10:47 am
Mon November 22, 2010

Owner of Famous Soul Food Restaurant "Dot's Place" Dies

A plate of home cooked food from Dot's Place. The owner of the famed Pflugerville restaurant passed away this weekend.
Image courtesy Yelp reviewer Enoch L. http://www.yelp.com/user_details?userid=1Em-8ZUB5v4r5DBm9tQgsw

Dorothy "Dot" Hewitt passed away at her home in Pflugerville on Saturday. She was 71. KXAN reports that Hewitt fought a long battle with leukemia.

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politics
9:05 am
Mon November 22, 2010

Gov. Perry on Fox News Sunday

In case you missed it yesterday, here's our Governor's Sunday TV appearance. He attracted some attention for calling Social Security a "Ponzi scheme" and not directly answering a question over whether he would support its dismantling.

Watch the latest video at video.foxnews.com

News Brief
5:28 am
Mon November 22, 2010

Top Morning Stories November 22, 2010

Closing arguments are today in former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's trial.
Photo by Erik Reyna for KUT News.

Lawyers to Make Final Pitches in DeLay's Trial


Closing arguments are set for today in Tom DeLay's money laundering trial in Austin.  Prosecutors say the former U.S. House majority leader helped illegally funnel $190,000 in corporate money to Texas candidates in 2002.  DeLay's attorneys say the money swap at the center of the case was legal.  He faces up to life in prison if convicted.


Dallas Firm to Design Formula 1

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News Brief
8:20 am
Sun November 21, 2010

Top Morning Stories November 21, 2010

University of Texas at Austin head football coach Mack Brown speaks to the media back in October when the team had hit a rough patch. Saturday night, the Longhorns were back to their winning ways.
Image from KUT news.

UT Longhorns Back on Winning Track

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Culture
4:41 pm
Fri November 19, 2010

TABC Weighs in on Four Loko

Retailers will not give credits to stores to help get the drink off their shelves.
Photo Courtesy of Kyle James

The Texas Alcohol Beverage Commission (TABC) has finally weighed in on caffeinated alcoholic beverages such as Four Loko, the soon-to-be-altered caffeinated alcoholic beverage that refuses to ride into the world of forgotten novelty. From the TABC’s press release on Friday:

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environment
3:57 pm
Fri November 19, 2010

City of Austin To Produce Reality TV Show On Reducing Waste

Image courtesy kingdesmond1337 http://www.flickr.com/photos/kingdesmond/

The City of Austin's Solid Waste Services Department says it's going to produce a new reality TV program called Dare to Go Zero. The show would air on City of Austin's government channel and is aimed at encouraging Austinites to throw less garbage into the landfill.  KUT News spoke with the City of Austin Solid Waste Services spokesperson Jennifer Herber about the project.

KUT News: What's this idea behind the reality show?

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Economy
3:44 pm
Fri November 19, 2010

Texas Economy Added Almost 48k Jobs in October, Unemployment Steady

Construction industry employment went up 8,800 in October
Photo Courtesy of Bill Jacobus

Texas total nonfarm employment was up by 47,900 jobs in October, according to a Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) press release. This number accounts for an impressive third of the 151,000 jobs the entire U.S. economy added in the same period.

“Every major industry added jobs in October with notable increases in Construction employment” said TWC Chairman Tom Pauken.

TWC also released that the unemployment rate stayed steady at 8.1 percent, a substantial percentage and a half less than the country’s, which is currently at 9.6.

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politics
3:39 pm
Fri November 19, 2010

Gambling Lobbyists Dream of Texas Casinos

Gambling lobbyists in Texas dream of building casinos as opulent as the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas.
Photo courtesy Talke Photography http://www.flickr.com/photos/talkephotography/

We already knew gaming lobbyists were pushing hard  to convince lawmakers that one answer to the whopping budget gap could be found at the Blackjack tables. But what kind of adult wonderland do these people envisage? 

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environment
1:33 pm
Fri November 19, 2010

Texas Ditches Internet for New Wave of Appliance Rebates

The Texas Comptroller is using USPS to run its next round of appliance rebates after a web-based effort in April fell flat.
Image courtesy Texas Comptroller

If you were thinking of buying an energy efficient appliance for Christmas, stop! Wait until after December 20, and the state of Texas will literally give you money to buy it. But after some embarassing problems last spring, you won't be able to file for your rebate online.

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transportation
12:20 pm
Fri November 19, 2010

Could Legislators Put the Kibosh on Red Light Cameras?

Image courtesy Josh Liba http://www.flickr.com/photos/jliba/

Anyone who's driven through a red-light at night and seen the flash of a camera knows the pain of anticipating the fine in the mail.  Since the City of Austin installed its red-light cameras in 2008, more than 28,000 citations have been issued.

In the 2009 and 2010 fiscal years, the city says it raked in almost $1.6 million dollars in fines from red light cameras. After expenses, the profit from those two years was $363,869. The city splits that 50/50 with the state.

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education
11:53 am
Fri November 19, 2010

Many Office Trash Cans at UT Are Starting to Look Like This

Photo by Nathan Bernier for KUT News

Office-dwellers at UT today let out a collective groan as plans to cut back on custodial services were announced. Laurie Lentz, the communications coordinator for UT Facility Services, explained that the changes will predominantly affect offices.

“Where you’re really going to see the change is in the individual offices. For those offices we are going to gradually phase in a monthly cleaning as opposed to a weekly cleaning schedule” said Lentz.

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kut news
10:46 am
Fri November 19, 2010

KUT News Audio Roundup

You won't read much about it on Engadget, but this electronic audio device has almost zero buffering time. Best of all, it's only a fraction of the price of an iPad.
Image courtesy monogatari http://www.flickr.com/photos/monogatari/

Here are some of the audio stories we've produced over the last 24 hours.

KUT's Erika Aguilar reports on body scanners at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. We don't have 'em yet, but most Texas airports do. And we'll be getting them soon.

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News Brief
6:39 am
Fri November 19, 2010

Top Morning Stories November 19, 2010

U.S. Rep. Charlie Gonzalez (D-Texas) is chosen to head the Congressional Hispanic Conference
Image courtesy of the Office of Representative Charlie Gonzalez

Hispanic Caucus Elects New Chair

San Antonio Democrat Charlie Gonzalez has been elected chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.  My SA news reports the Caucus unanimously picked Gonzalez.  The six-term lawmaker says he plans to reach out to five newly elected Hispanic Republicans and ask them to join the caucus.  Gonzalez starts his new leadership role when the 112th Congress convenes in January.

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education
5:44 pm
Thu November 18, 2010

Presenting Austin Community College's New Mascot

Image courtesy Austin Community College

Austin Community College unveiled its new mascot today, the Riverbat! They emailed us these photos this afternoon. Click on the image for a slideshow. 

Details on the event on their Facebook page

Tell us what you think in the comments below!

business
5:31 pm
Thu November 18, 2010

Gowalla On Disney Partnership: "We're not about coupons"

These are some of the pins that Gowalla users will be able to collect when they check in at Disney locations.
Image courtesy Gowalla

Austin-based Gowalla announced this morning that it's teaming up with Disney Parks to create a bunch of unique Disney themed locations for the social networking service.

Gowalla is an app that runs on smartphones and allows people to "check in" when they visit any location, from a restaurant, to a park, to a long line at a movie theater. Anyone can create locations, but some are custom made by Gowalla and have their own unique symbol. Checking in earns you a stamp on your virtual Gowalla passport.  Users can also earn pins and various other digital rewards.

KUT News called Gowalla today to talk about the new deal. We spoke with Andy Ellwood, their director of business development.

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education
4:57 pm
Thu November 18, 2010

Austin ISD Superintendent Delivers "State of the District" Address

Austin ISD Superintendent Meria Carstarphen delivered an annual speech to address the challenges facing the school district.
Photo by KUT News

The Austin Independent School District is making great strides academically but must better equip students to cope with future technology.  That's the assessment Superintendent Meria Carstarphen gave in her "State of the District" speech on the University of Texas campus this morning.  While noting that AISD schools have improved in meeting TAKS standards, the superintendent also said the problems are mounting for students and teachers.

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austin
4:09 pm
Thu November 18, 2010

University of Texas Students React to Four Loko Ban [VIDEO]

With Four Loko effectively banned by the FDA, how are college students reacting? KUT News hit the UT campus to find out.
Photo by Nathan Bernier for KUT News

The Food and Drug Administration issued a warning yesterday to the makers of potent caffeinated alcoholic drinks like Four Loko. The New York Times says the FDA warned them to remove the caffeine in 15 days or stop selling the products.

These popular bevearges are marketed heavily at college students. KUT News took a stroll outside our studios and talked to some undergrads about their impressions regarding the ban. Check out the video below.

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public safety
3:46 pm
Thu November 18, 2010

Round Rock Bomb Threat Came from Saudi Arabia

The Round Rock Independent School District says a bomb threat that led to the evacuation of two schools earlier this week originated in the Saudi Kingdom.

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austin
3:33 pm
Thu November 18, 2010

How Domestic Violence Can Lead to Homelessness

A homeless woman sits on a street corner. Advocates say many women find themselves homeless because they're trying to flee domestic violence.
Image courtesy Arty Smokes http://www.flickr.com/photos/artysmokes/

How Domestic Violence Often Leads to Homelessness

It's National Homelessness and Hunger Awareness Week, and the local non-profit SafePlace is hosting a discussion this afternoon about the relationship between domestic violence and homelessness. 

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