Politics
1:38 pm
Thu April 28, 2011

Proposed Congressional Map Angers Democrats

A proposed map of Travis County's congressional seats following redistricting.
Image courtesy Office of Rep. Lloyd Doggett

A proposed map of new Congressional districts in Texas has one incumbent representative steaming mad.

U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Austin) issued a statement about the map earlier today, claiming it effectively splits Travis County up into four Congressional districts.

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Austin
1:11 pm
Thu April 28, 2011

Central Texans Head to Mississippi To Help With Tornado Relief

Storm damage in Smithville, one of the worst hit areas in Mississippi. Red Cross volunteers from Central Texas area headed to Mississippi to help.
Photo by Mississippi Emergency Management Agency

Five Central Texas residents left Austin for Jackson, Mississippi this morning to help provide food, first aid and mental health services to people whose communities were devastated by storms that spawned tornadoes. At least 32 people in north and central Mississippi were killed, according to the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA).

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Arts and Culture
12:16 pm
Thu April 28, 2011

Fun Fun Fun Fest Outgrows Waterloo Park, Moves To Auditorium Shores

Crowds watching Foot Patrol perform at Fun Fun Fun Fest 2009 in Waterloo Park. The festival will move to Auditorium Shores this year as it grows and as Waterloo Park temporarily shrinks for a public works project.
Photo by Miss Barbara http://www.flickr.com/photos/honeycombs/

After five years in Waterloo Park, Fun Fun Fun Fest is moving to Auditorium Shores. The annual music festival, which takes place in early November, features independent and underground rock, hip hop and electronic music artists. Check out this recap from last year.

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Austin
10:51 am
Thu April 28, 2011

Austinite Tries In Vain To Help Homeless Man Off Street

Downtown resident Geoffrey Smith tried, on his own, to help a homeless man get off the streets, but he found the same roadblocks that have been frustrating social advocates for years.
Photo by KUT

Downtown resident Geoffrey Smith is not a social worker.  He has lived in a high rise condominium for three years, and this spring, he tried to help a homeless man in his neighborhood get off the streets. But Smith encountered some of the same road blocks that have been frustrating homeless advocates for years. Here is the story, from a letter he wrote:

The man is a chronic alcoholic with a history of more than 10 years on the streets of Austin. He approached me one day, and he was shaking. I noticed he had been beaten up. He was completely shattered.

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News Brief
9:12 am
Thu April 28, 2011

Top Morning Stories April 28, 2011

The Texas House approved a redistricting map early Thursday morning.
Photo by KUT News

Texas Budget Having Trouble in the Senate

Senate budget writer Steve Ogden (R-Bryan) hasn't been able to round up the votes he needs to get the Senate's version of the state budget to the floor for debate. Remember the Senate has what's called the two-thirds rule, which means each bill must get the support of two thirds of the chamber before lawmakers even get a chance to try to pass it.

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Austin
2:09 pm
Wed April 27, 2011

Austin Considers Raising Your Water Bill With Sustainability Fee

Austin Water Utility's headquarters building downtown.
Photo by Nasha Lee for KUT News

Austin's Water Utility gave city council members their first look at the agency's budget needs for the 2012 fiscal year.  It includes a proposed fee that the utility says would help stabilize their revenue stream.

Water revenues are forecast to be $19 million below earlier estimates for the next fiscal year.  Utility director Greg Meszaros says the biggest factor is more people using less water.

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Austin
1:24 pm
Wed April 27, 2011

Austin Police Chief Slams Arizona-Style Immigration Law

APD chief Art Acevedo in a file photo from August 2010.
Photo by KUT News

Austinites might have to wait longer for police to respond in an emergency if the Texas Legislature adopts a law similar to Arizona's controversial anti-illegal immigration measure, Austin Police Department chief Art Acevedo said today.

"I'd rather spend my time responding to public safety threats than going after the day laborer at the Home Depot," Acevedo said in a media conference call hosted by the Law Enforcement Engagement Initiative.

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Austin
10:40 am
Wed April 27, 2011

Silver Alert for Missing Austin Man

Austin Police have issued a Silver Alert for 71-year-old Francisco Ortiz.
Photo courtesy Austin Police Department

Update at 3:24 pm:  The Silver Alert has been canceled. Austin police say Francisco Ortiz has been found safe and unharmed.

Earlier: Austin Police have issued a Silver Alert for a missing man.

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weather
8:40 am
Wed April 27, 2011

Amazing Cloud Fascinates Central Texans

A strange and unusual cloud rolled in over Central Texas last night, and people took out their cell phones to capture video of it. One person even set up a Facebook fan page that already has more than 2,000 "likes".

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News Brief
6:35 am
Wed April 27, 2011

Top Morning Stories April 27, 2011

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Officer Involved Shooting in Williamson County

At about midnight the Williamson County Sheriff's Office got several 911 calls of shots fired in the 200 block of Spotted Fawn Drive, west of the 130 toll way in Hutto. Deputies responded, along with a DPS trooper. 

A Williamson County Sheriff's Office spokesman told KUT that officers found a suspect who had barricaded himself in a shed, they ordered him out, and the suspect came out pointing a gun at authorities. Officers then fired at the suspect, and he was hit.  The suspect was taken to a Williamson County hospital and officials say he is currently in stable condition. 

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Education
4:39 pm
Tue April 26, 2011

Anti-Bullying Bill Passes State Senate

Photo by Nathan Bernier for KUT News

An anti-bullying bill that passed Texas Senate today would require school districts to adopt a policy to prohibit, prevent and investigate bullying, both in person and online.

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Texas
4:23 pm
Tue April 26, 2011

Legal Actions Taken Against Comptroller Over Privacy Invasion

Two Texas lawyers have filed a petition to request a permission to question Comb over the security breach, which exposed the personal information of 3.5 million Texans.
Image Courtesy of opensource.com http://www.flickr.com/photos/opensourceway/4638981545/

After state and federal investigations started over the State Comptroller's office's exposure of personal information for over 3.5 million people, now an outside group is joining in.  Two lawyers of the Texas Civil Rights Project are asking a Travis County court to give them permission to investigate the security lapse.

In response to the legal actions taken by the Texas Civil Rights Project, Combs emailed her response to KUT via her spokesperson.

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Business
2:56 pm
Tue April 26, 2011

Facebook Chooses Austin To Launch Daily Deals Service

Facebook has selected Austin, Dallas, Atlanta, San Diego and San Francisco to launch its own version of daily deals coupon sites like Groupon, Living Social, Localiter, and dozens of others.

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Texas
12:11 pm
Tue April 26, 2011

Six New Wildfires Erupt Across Texas

Austin is facing elevated fire weather conditions.
Photo courtesy by Texas Forest Service

Forecasters say this is the worst drought to hit the state in 45 years. Today, the dangerously dry weather is increasing potential for wildfires as volunteer fire departments battle fatigue to save their communities from the flames.

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