Fort Hood
5:27 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

New Details Emerge in Fort Hood Shooting

Lt. Gen. Mark Milley gave an update to press last night on the Fort Hood shooting at the Fort Hood main gate.
Fort Hood Public Affairs Office

This post contains Day 2 developments in the Fort Hood shooting. See our initial report on the shooting here.

Summary: Family counseling centers are set up at Fort Hood and at a location off post to help people process yesterday’s shooting. A chapel on the post was open all night for people who wanted to pray.

Four are dead and 16 are injured from a shooting at the Army post. The suspected shooter, 34-year-old soldier Ivan Lopez, is among the dead. He was killed by a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Lopez was an Iraq war veteran and was in the process of being diagnosed for post-traumatic stress disorder

KUT reporter Kate McGee traveled to Fort Hood yesterday. She talked with KUT Host Jennifer Stayton about the shooting:

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Killeen
2:01 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Fake Explosive Found & Destroyed in Killeen; Police Say No Known Link to Fort Hood

The evacuation radius in Killeen, Texas, bounded from North Second Street east to North 10th Street and from East Dunn Avenue to East Harrison Avenue.
facebook.com/KilleenPD

Update: Device an 'Intentional Fake'

KWTX-TV News in Waco reports that what appeared to be an improvised explosive device was an "intentional fake:"

The device, a piece of pipe with wires attached, was intentionally made to look like a pipe bomb but was, in fact, inert and contained no explosive hazard, Carroll Smith, Killeen police spokeswoman said.

Original story (1:38 p.m.): The town of Killeen, Texas – on high-alert after yesterday's shooting at nearby Fort Hood left four dead – evacuated an area north of downtown after police found what they say "appears to be an Improvised Explosive Device." On Facebook, Killeen Police shared initial details. Police say "there is no known connection between this incident and the recent tragedy on Fort Hood."

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Fort Hood
11:22 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Four Dead After Shooting at Fort Hood

Lieutenant General Mark Milley talks to reporters about the shooting at Fort Hood that left four people, including the shooter, dead and 16 wounded on April 2, 2014.
Kate McGee, KUT News

Four are dead and 16 are injured from a shooting today at the Fort Hood Army post. The accused shooter is among the dead, killed by a self-inflicted gunshot to the head. Just outside of Killeen, Texas, Fort Hood is about an hour north of Austin. 

Army officials have not released the identity of the shooter because his next-of-kin has not yet been notified, Lieutenant General Mark Milley said at a news conference Wednesday night. But NPR has confirmed his identity as 34-year-old soldier Ivan Lopez. 

"The events of the past have taught us many things at Fort Hood," Milley said. "We will get through this."

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Texas Abortion Law
6:18 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Abortion Rights Advocates File Second Federal Lawsuit Against Texas Law

Hundreds of demonstrators rallied inside the Texas Capitol on July 12, 2013, as the Texas Senate approved new abortion restrictions. Abortion rights advocates have filed a new lawsuit challenging provisions of the law.
Gabriel Cristóver Pérez for KUT News

A new federal lawsuit is challenging provisions of Texas' newest abortion law. This latest suit comes less than a week after a federal appeals court ruled certain provisions of the law were constitutional and could stand.

Abortion rights advocates are seeking an immediate court order that would block the requirement that abortion doctors receive admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of a clinic. But in this lawsuit, the challenge to that provision only applies to two clinics: one in McAllen and one in El Paso.  

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SXSW Crash
4:43 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

SXSW Crash Survivor Hopes To Walk At High School Graduation

South by Southwest crash victim Mason Endres speaks with reporters about her recovery at St. David's Rehabilitation Hospital.
Jon Shapley for KUT News

One of the victims of the car crash into South by Southwest crowds is now in the rehab stage of her recovery. 

Mason Endres can now hop on one leg and push herself in a wheelchair. But she’s still learning to walk again.

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Austin
4:32 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

PHOTOS: Disaster Response Drill at Austin-Bergstrom Airport

Ilana Panich-Linsman for KUT News

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport held a full-scale disaster response exercise on its airfield today, allowing first responders to practice their skills using an actual airplane.

The drill involved aircraft, firefighters, EMS responders, medical service vehicles and more. Several volunteers played the role of plane crash victims, complete with simulated injuries. Responders even tagged volunteers' bodies via a triage system, ranking them by the medical attention required.

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Views and Brews
3:10 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

The Great War and Its Legacy, 100 Years Later

Credit Wikimedia Commons

In partnership with the Harry Ransom Center, Views and Brews discussed the recent exhibition "The World at War, 1914–1918." The exhibit marks the centenary of the start of World War I, and seeks to recover the deeply personal experience of the war.

Listen back as Rabbi Neil Blumofe and Ransom Center curators Elizabeth Garver and Jean Cannon join KUT’s Rebecca McInroy to explore the layered causes, complicated effects and penetrating propaganda of a war that forever changed our relationship to grief, industry, faith and one another.

Texas Death Row
1:46 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Federal Judge Orders Execution Drug Disclosure

Texas Tribune

A federal judge in Houston on Wednesday blocked two Texas executions, deciding that the state prison system’s refusal to disclose detailed information about drugs that will be used to kill them violates the inmates' constitutional rights.

U.S. Judge Vanessa Gilmore issued a preliminary injunction that effectively blocked the Thursday execution of Tommy Lynn Sells and the execution of Ramiro Hernadez Llanas, which was scheduled for April 9.

The Attorney General’s office notified the inmates' attorneys and the court that the state's attorneys will appeal Gilmore’s decision.

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War and Poetry
12:37 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

With Poetic Intensity, Kevin Powers Tackles The Terror Of War

iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 6:03 am

"I am home and whole, so to speak," writes Kevin Powers in his debut poetry collection. "But I can't remember / how to be alive." At its most striking, Letter Composed During a Lull in the Fighting finds Powers — an Iraq veteran and the author of the acclaimed war novel The Yellow Birds — contending with conflicts endemic to the home front, struggling to "remember how to be alive" after having known so much death.

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Crime & Justice
11:04 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Texas Facing 'Judicial Vacancy Crisis,' Report Claims

A new report says Texas' 10 vacant seats judicial seats translate into backlogged cases.
Credit Flickr user Brian Turner, https://flic.kr/ps/VxiMo

Texas is in a judicial vacancy crisis according to a report released today by the liberal Center for American Progress in Washington and Austin-based Progress Texas.

The report shows Texas has the most vacant federal judge seats of any state, with 10 spots open as of March 19. The report warns those 10 vacancies could grow to 13 if no action is taken, since three more seats are set to open up next year.

Those 10 vacant seats translate into backlogged cases, with especially high caseloads along the U.S.-Mexico border, the report notes. The majority of current and future vacancies also happen to be concentrated in the southern and western parts of the state.

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Money in Politics
10:32 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Supreme Court Strikes Down Overall Limits On Political Contributions

People wait in line for the beginning of the 2013-2014 Supreme Court term in Washington on Oct. 7. The court heard the first major case on campaign contribution limits since 2010's landmark Citizens United.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 11:34 am

The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday struck down an overall cap on the amount that large campaign donors can give to parties and candidates in a two-year election cycle.

In a 5-4 decision split between conservatives and liberals on the high court, the court said the limits were a violation of the First Amendment.

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NPR News Investigations
8:48 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Can A Television Network Be A Church? The IRS Says Yes

Marcus and Joni Lamb, founders of Daystar, also host their own show, as seen in this screenshot from their network. With $233 million in assets, Daystar is the largest religious television network in America that also calls itself a church.
Daystar Television Network

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 9:06 am

Flip on Daystar television at any hour of the day and you'll likely see the elements of modern televangelism: a stylish set, an emotional spiritual message and a phone number on the screen soliciting donations.

Based in a studio complex between Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas, and broadcasting to a potential audience of 2 billion people around the globe, Daystar calls itself the fastest growing Christian television network in the world.

The Internal Revenue Service considers Daystar something else: a church.

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Politics
8:13 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Marijuana: A Potential Cash Crop for Texas Farmers?

Candidate for Commissioner of Agriculture, Kinky Friedman at the KUT studios.
Mike Lee, KUT

Vanishing salmon and fields trashed by trespassers are the most common agricultural side effects of marijuana growth in California, experts there say. The idea agriculture commissioner candidate Kinky Friedman promotes of a hemp farming utopia brought on by the legalization of marijuana in Texas, they say, might be more pipe dream than reality.

"It is the green thread that weaves its way through all of our lives," Friedman said of marijuana during an interview with The Texas Tribune's Evan Smith. "This is not about long-haired hippies smokin' dope. It is about the future of Texas."

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Arts Eclectic
7:19 am
Wed April 2, 2014

ACC Names Balcones Poetry and Fiction Prize Winners

'We Sinners'

Every year, Austin Community College gives out two national writing prizes, one for poetry and one for fiction. Both prizes are open to any English language book, with a panel of judges awarding a $1500 prize to the winning author. 

This year's award winners were both selected for their first books and will both be in Austin on April 9 to read from their prize-winning works. Hanna Pylainen was awarded the Balcones Fiction Prize for her debut novel We Sinners, which explores the obscure Finnish religious sect in which Paylainen herself was raised in Michigan.

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Crime & Justice
5:34 am
Wed April 2, 2014

15-Year-Old Found Safe After Search (Update)

Sianna Gholson
Photo released by Blanco Police Department

Update: An Amber Alert for a 15-year-old Blanco girl has been canceled. Blanco Police say Sianna Gholson was found safe.

Gholson was believed abducted Tuesday morning from Blanco High School.

But, again, she’s now been found and is safe.

Original Story (April 1, 5:53 p.m.): Authorities issued an Amber Alert Tuesday for a 15-year-old girl believed abducted from Blanco High School in Blanco, Texas at about 7:45 Tuesday morning.

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