News Brief
6:02 am
Wed November 10, 2010

Top Morning Stories November 10, 2010

The Capital Metro Board will vote on new fares for 2011 Wednesday.
Photo by KUT News

Quintana Arrested For Domestic Dispute

Former Austin police officer Leonardo Quintana was arrested by Leander police yesterday.  He was charged with four misdemeanors connected to a reported domestic violence incident last year.  Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo fired Quintana (for the second time) over the incident late last month.  The first firing was for a DWI arrest.  An arbitrator ruled that punishment was too severe.  Quintana is the APD officer who fatally shot Nathaniel Sanders in northeast Austin last year.

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development
5:39 pm
Tue November 9, 2010

Austonian Becomes First Downtown Condo To Earn Four-Star Energy Rating

A view of Austin from the Austonian.
Photo courtesy Visualist Images http://www.flickr.com/photos/visualistimages/

People who live at the Austonian can now enjoy an exclusive distinction beyond the downtown condo's luxurious modeling. The Austonian has been granted a four-star energy ranking under Austin Energy's Green Building program. It's the first downtown condo to earn the recognition.

A statement issued today by the developer, Benchmark Development, lists the reasons why. Here are some highlights:

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economy
4:57 pm
Tue November 9, 2010

Austin's Economy Gets Newsweek Props But Does Trouble Loom?

Newsweek says Austin's economy is poised for recovery, but the analysis ignores the possibility of massive public sector job cuts.

Newsweek is the latest national publication to give Austin's economy high praise for being pretty awesome compared to everywhere else.

In its list of the 10 American cities best situated for the recovery, Newsweek repeats the familiar refrain of reasons why Austin's economy rules.

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austin
3:39 pm
Tue November 9, 2010

Cops Looking For People Who Vandalized Austin Cemetery

Vandals knocked over 25 gravestones last night at Austin Memorial Park Cemetery last night, according to city officials.
Photo courtesy City of Austin

Someone walked through Austin Memorial Park Cemetery last night kicking over gravestones and smashing amenities like a park bench, according to Austin police and Austin Parks and Recreation.

Preliminary estimates peg the damage at $20,000, according to Parks and Rec spokesman Victor O'Valle. He said about 25 gravestones were damaged.

"I think the emotional damage is probably the greatest damage that those vandals are causing," O'Valle told KUT News. "A lot of people spend their hard earned money to provide memorials for their loved ones."

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politics
2:59 pm
Tue November 9, 2010

Perry Orders Special Election in Kuempel's District For Dec. 14

Texas House District 44 will hold a special election on Dec. 12 after Representative Edmund Kuempel passed away last week.
Image of HD 44 courtesy Texas Legislative Council

Texas Governor Rick Perry has ordered a special election for December 14 in House District 44.  State Representative Edmund Kuempel (R-Seguin) died of a heart attack Thursday after being reelected there on November 2.

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immigration
2:11 pm
Tue November 9, 2010

Immigrant Students Reveal Undocumented Status To Support DREAM Act

Several students at the University of Texas at Austin revealed they were undocumented immigrants today to make a point about supporting a bill that could grant them a path to citizenship.
Photo by Nathan Bernier for KUT News

Undocumented immigrant students attending the University of Texas at Austin took the risky step of coming out before news cameras today to announce their status and call for swift passage of the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act (DREAM Act).

The DREAM Act would provide a six-year conditional path to citizenship for young people who qualify. They would need to complete a college degree or perform two years of military service.

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politics
1:03 pm
Tue November 9, 2010

Analysis of Gov. Perry's Appearance on The Daily Show

Governor Perry sent out this tweet last night after his appearance on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

George W. Bush isn't the only high profile Texas Republican on a book tour. Texas Governor Rick Perry, fresh off his reelection victory last week, is touring the East Coast in support of his new critique of the federal government, Fed Up! Our Fight to Save America from Washington.

Last night he appeared on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Here's the segment.

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music and arts
11:18 am
Tue November 9, 2010

Ransom Center Acquires Spalding Gray's Archives

Cover of Spalding Gray's performance notebook for 'Swimming to Cambodia.'
Image courtesy Harry Ransom Center

Writer and performance artist Spalding Gray's archives will be available to researchers at the University of Texas' Harry Ransom Center, the museum announced yesterday.  Gray died of an apparent suicide in 2004. He was 62.

The Ransom Center says the collection includes more than 90 handwritten performance notebooks and 100 private journals.

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politics
8:52 am
Tue November 9, 2010

Final Exam: Grading the Bush Years

Fmr. President George W. Bush's new memoir Decision Points goes on sale today. Take a listen to our award-winning documentary for a different take on his legacy.
Official photograph portrait of former U.S. President George W. Bush.

Former President George W. Bush's presidential memoir goes on sale today. The Dallas Morning News reports that hundreds are lined up this morning at a Border's store about a mile from Bush's home in Dallas.

More than 500 people, some of whom camped out overnight, had shown up this morning at the Borders at Preston Road and Royal Lane for a chance to meet the former commander in chief and buy his new memoir, Decision Points.

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News Brief
5:07 am
Tue November 9, 2010

Top Morning Stories November 9, 2010

The next Texas legislative session starts in January. Some bills already filed are to crack down on illegal immigration.
Ben Philpott/KUT

President Bush Kicks Off Book Tour

Former President George W. Bush will be at a Borders bookstore near his Dallas home today to sign copies of his newly released book "Decision Points".  In the book, President Bush writes about the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Hurricane Katrina.  

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politics
8:23 pm
Mon November 8, 2010

Howard Beats Neil by 16 Votes

Democratic incumbent Donna Howard has defeated her Republican challenger Dan Neil in House District 48.

Travis County Elections released final results tonight including provisional ballots (such as those cast by service members overseas):

Howard (DEM) 25,026 48.54%

Neil (REP) 25,010 48.51%

Ben Easton (LIB) 1,1518 2.94%

Travis County says results will be presented to the County Commissioners Court for final canvass on Wednesday at 1 p.m.

music and arts
4:47 pm
Mon November 8, 2010

Report: SXSW 2010 Pumped $113 Million into Austin Economy

A Japanese band called Geeks puts up a poster during SXSW 2010. A study today says the festival generated $113 million in spending for the Austin economy.
Photo courtesy JTImages http://www.flickr.com/photos/jmtimages/

South by Southwest's 2010 conference injected $113 million dollars into the city's economy, mainly from people who traveled to Austin to attend. That's according to a new economic report from GreyHill Advisors, whom SXSW commissioned to conduct the study.

You can read a five page executive summary of the report on GreyHill's website. Here are some highlights:

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politics
4:10 pm
Mon November 8, 2010

Bill Would Make "Sexting" By Minors a Misdemeanor

A new proposal would allow teens caught sending sexually explicit images on their cell phones to avoid child porn charges.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and State Senator Kirk Watson of Austin are proposing an initiative to help curb "sexting" in Texas. Sexting is a relatively recent phenomenon where teenagers exchange sexually explicit text messages or images.

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politics
3:36 pm
Mon November 8, 2010

Texas Lawmaker Files "Arizona Style" Immigration Bill

State Rep. Debbie Riddle (R-Tomball) filed a bill today that, if adopted, would see Texas implement a similar immigration law to Arizona's.
Image courtesy Debbie Riddle Campaign

Today was the first day to file bills for the 2011 legislative session and State Representative Debbie Riddle (R-Tomball) slept on the floor outside the Chief Clerk's office for two days to ensure she would be first in line.

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music and arts
2:38 pm
Mon November 8, 2010

Austin City Limits' Final Taping in Studio 6A Tonight

Lyle Lovett and Terry Lickona talk at KLRU studios before tonight's final taping of ACL in Studio 6A. ACL will resume tapings in February at the Moody Theater in downtown Austin.
Photo by David Brown for KUT News

Austin City Limits, the legendary live music TV show, has taped in the same building as KUT for the past 36 years, on the sixth floor of Building B in the Jesse H. Jones Communication Center at the University of Texas.

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education
1:33 pm
Mon November 8, 2010

Austin School Board to Hear That Few Want Schools Closed

The Austin ISD's Carruth Administration Center will host a school board meeting tonight during which trustees will be told that community input sessions yeilded little support for closing schools to deal with under crowding.
Photo by Nathan Bernier for KUT News

When the Austin Independent School District constructs a school, it doesn't always know how many children that building will have to serve in ten, twenty, or thirty years' time.

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city of austin
12:12 pm
Mon November 8, 2010

Candidate Drops Out of Race for City Animal Shelter Boss

Just hours before a public meet-and-greet scheduled for this evening, the City of Austin announced one of the five candidates for Chief Animal Services Officer has dropped out of the race.

City spokesperson Patricia Fraga told KUT News that Abigail Smith withdrew her name for "personal reasons." As executive director of a "No Kill" shelter in Ithaca, New York, Smith was a favorite of some "No Kill" advocates.

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News Brief
5:08 am
Mon November 8, 2010

Top Morning Stories November 8, 2010

University of Texas Professor Emeritus and theater historian Oscar Brockett passed away over the weekend.
Photo courtesy of UT Austin's Department of Theatre and Dance.

Oscar Brockett Passes Away

University of Texas at Austin Professor Emeritus and internationally known theater historian Oscar Brockett has passed away.  He died Sunday morning after suffering a stroke.  In the late 60s he wrote “History of the Theatre”.  The website for UT's Department of Theatre and Dance says:

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Storm
3:36 pm
Sat November 6, 2010

No FEMA Aid For Texas

These vehicles were swept into a Round Rock homeowner's backyard after the creek behind it flooded during Tropical Storm Hermine in September.
Photo by Erika Aguilar for KUT News.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will not be giving monetary help to Texas for the flooding that happened during Tropical Storm Hermine.

The decision is actually the second denial for Texas from FEMA.  The federal agency  initially turned down Texas in October.  Governor Perry now has a request into the Secretary of Commerce for a disaster declaration. If approved, Texas business owners could apply for loans through the Small Business Administration (SBA.)

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Music
4:41 pm
Fri November 5, 2010

FunFunFunFest Starts Tonight

Headliners this year include RJD2, Bad Religion, The Descendents, and Mastodon
Photo Courtesy of FunFunFun

The 5th annual FunFunFunFest is set to kick off tonight at Waterloo Park. The weekend long festival is a smaller, more eccentric alternative to the Austin City Limits Music Festival, and while it primarily focuses on music, other activities ranging from professional wrestling to veggie hot dog eating contests to comedy acts give the event more of a rollicking, carnival-like feel than its heavily-sponsored big brother.

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