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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Film
4:27 pm
Fri November 5, 2010

Actor Meryl Streep In Austin

Meryl Streep visited the UT campus to mentor acting students Friday. She spoke with KUT's Ian Crawford. Photo by Chris Kosho.

Meryl Streep has been nominated for more Academy Awards than any other actor in the history of the Oscars.  Her roles ranged from the drama of "Silkwood" to the romance of "The Bridges of Madison County" to the musical comedy of "Mamma Mia."  But Friday she took on the role of mentor in a question-and-answer session with some Master's acting students at U-T.  She spoke with KUT's Ian Crawford before the session.

Police
3:55 pm
Fri November 5, 2010

City Selects Semifinalists for Police Monitor

6 finalists were chosen from a pool of 66 applicants
Photo Courtesy APD

The City of Austin has selected six semifinalists today for the police monitor position. The nominees, who will be interviewed for the position on November 12th, are:

Cristina Beamud, who is the executive director of the City of Atlanta Citizen Review Board.

Rebecca Bernhardt, a contact researcher at the Laura and John Arnold Foundation in Houston. She is also a policy director of the Texas Defenders Service.

Ann del Llano, a family law attorney and owner of the Capitol City Solutions.

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Cheerleader
3:49 pm
Fri November 5, 2010

The Timberwolves are Headed to Indianapolis

The Cedar Park High School Timberwolf Band is headed to Indianapolis for the Bands of America Grand National Championships next week. The competition begins on November tenth and runs through the thirteenth. The band took first place at the Bands of America Super Regional competition in San Antonio on October 30, also receiving awards for Outstanding Music and Outstanding Visual.

NASA
2:46 pm
Fri November 5, 2010

Shuttle Launch Delayed Again

The launch was delayed due to a hydrogen leak.
Photo Courtesy of NASA

NASA has once again delayed the shuttle launch until the end of the month for repairs related to a hydrogen gas leak. As PC Magazine reports:

The hydrogen leak was discovered early this morning as the crew was fueling Discovery for a planned Friday launch. It occurred at the Ground Umbilical Center Plate (GUCP) that attaches to the external tank; the GUCP carries gaseous hydrogen safely away from the shuttle to a flare stack, where it burns off, according to NASA.

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Rick Perry
12:26 pm
Fri November 5, 2010

Media from Perry's FED UP! Tour

Perry has gone to FoxNews, Glenn Beck, the Today Show, NPR, and will appear on "The Daily Show" on Monday.
Photo by KUT News

As recently re-elected Governor Perry continues his promotional tour for his new book FED UP! Our Fight to Save America From Washington, we here at KUT thought it’d be a good idea to see how the third-termer was faring out there in the non-Texas states.

First, a NPR interview with the man himself:

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Politics
11:50 am
Fri November 5, 2010

Libertarians Secure Place on Ballot

The Libertarians are guaranteed automatic ballot access in 2012 Elections as well as the 2014 gubernatorial election
Photo Courtesy of The Libertarian Party of Texas

By garnering in excess of five percent of votes in several statewide races, The Libertarian Party of Texas has guaranteed its candidates automatic spots on state election ballots throughout 2014. As Independent Political Report reports:

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Culture
10:31 am
Fri November 5, 2010

Rollergirls Make Move to Austin Convention Center

The move is intended to triple capacity, as well make the bouts closer to downtown
Photo Courtesy of Jason Bechtel

The Texas Rollergirls, self-proclaimed “godmothers of modern flat track roller derby,” are leaving the Playland Skate Center and headed to the Austin Convention Center for the 2011 season. The group is hoping to roughly triple capacity, increase visibility for the organization, and enhance the fan-going experience with the move.

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News Brief
6:06 am
Fri November 5, 2010

Top Morning Stories November 4, 2010

Soldiers at a memorial in 2009 following the November 5th mass shooting at Fort Hood. Ceremonies will be held on post Friday to mark the one year anniversary of the shootings.
Photo by KUT News

Fort Hood Marks Anniversary of Shootings

Fort Hood is holding ceremonies today to mark the one-year anniversary of the shootings on post last year.  A private award ceremony will start at 10:00 a.m. to recognize soldiers and civilians who Army commanders say went above and beyond the call of duty that day. 

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Texas Legislature
5:04 pm
Thu November 4, 2010

Rep. Edmund Kuempel Dies At 67

Rep. Edmund Kuempel (R-Seguin) died Thursday morning from a heart attack. He has served the Texas Legislature since 1983.
Photo courtesy of the Texas House of Representatives.

Rep. Edmund Kuempel (R-Seguin) died Thursday morning at the University Medical Center Brackenridge after suffering a heart attack. He was at a convenient store on Riverside Drive when he complained of chest pain and his implanted defibrillator started firing. When EMS arrived, Kuempel was awake and alert, but lost consciousness on the transport to the hospital. He never regained consciousness.

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Politics
3:28 pm
Thu November 4, 2010

The End is the Beginning

House Speaker Joe Straus (R-San Antonio) takes a record-setting majority into the 2011 Legislature
Photo by Chris Kosho for KUT News

Texas Republicans established a post-Reconstruction record Tuesday night, claiming 99 of the 150 seats in the state House.

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