Austin
3:53 pm
Thu April 7, 2011

You Can Now File Non-Emergency Police Reports Online

APD's new website allows you to report non-emergency crimes online.

The Austin Police Department launched a new online reporting system today called CopLogic. It allows you to file the kind of non-emergency, low priority cases complaints you might normally report to 3-1-1.

In fact, APD says it processed more than 58,000 reports last year through 3-1-1.  That's an average of 158 calls a day. The new system, APD hopes, will improve the quality of reporting and case tracking.

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Health
1:58 pm
Thu April 7, 2011

State Issues Warning After Two Infants Drown In Bathtubs

Two bathtub drownings within a 12 hour period have prompted state officials to warn parents not to leave young children unattended by water.
Photo by lenifuzhead http://www.flickr.com/photos/lenifuzhead/

Two Texas infants died in bathtubs within a 12 hour period yesterday, prompting state officials to remind parents never to leave small children alone around any container of water.

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Arts and Culture
1:23 pm
Thu April 7, 2011

Alamo Drafthouse Promises To Clamp Down On No-Talking Policy

After recent complaints, the Alamo Drafthouse says it is revising its no-talking policy.
Photo by markonf1re http://www.flickr.com/photos/markonf1re/

The local food and film chain, the Alamo Drafthouse, says it is revising its famously strict no-talking-during-movies policy after a loud group of patrons ruined a screening of Rubber at the downtown Alamo Drafthouse Ritz last Friday.

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Business
12:14 pm
Thu April 7, 2011

Beanitos Maker To Create 150 Jobs In Austin Later This Year

Bean Brand Foods, the maker of Beanitos, says it is relocating its manufacturing facilty back to Austin.
Photo by Nathan Bernier for KUT News

Austin-based Bean Brand Foods, the maker of Beanitos bean chips, says it is looking for a 75,000 square foot facility in Central Texas to combine its manufacturing, warehousing, and administrative facilities. The locally based company says it will seek to hire 150 people towards the end of 2011.

Bean Brand Foods moved its manufacturing facility from Austin to San Bernardino, California in late 2010. But rising shipment costs and a desire to keep the plant closer to its Austin headquarters prompted the company to reverse course.

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Business
11:47 am
Thu April 7, 2011

Dell To Spend $1 Billion On Cloud Data Storage

Dell's Round Rock headquarters. The company employs about 16,000 people in Central Texas.
Photo by Dell

One of the largest employers in Central Texas, Round Rock-based Dell, announced this morning that it will spend $1 billion to build 10 data centers around the world as it seeks to expand into the growing cloud computing market.  Bloomberg reports this morning that the data centers would provide a wide range of services. 

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Arts and Culture
10:47 am
Thu April 7, 2011

Tibetan Monks Make Sand Art At Austin City Hall

Tibetan monks at work on their sand mandala in Austin City Hall.
Photo provided by the office of City Council Member Laura Morrison

A group of Tibetan monks is creating a work of religious art in Austin City Hall this week. They started on their sacred sand mandala on Monday and will continue through Friday.

On Friday at 5:30, the monks will dismantle the sand mandala and the public is invited to participate. Here's what that ceremony looked like when they did it in Omaha, Nebraska.

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Texas
8:24 am
Thu April 7, 2011

Top Morning Stories April 7, 2011

The Texas House will take a final vote today on a bill easing graduation requirements for high school students.
Photo by KUT News

House May Ease Graduation Requirements

The Texas House will take a final vote today on a bill that would ease graduation requirements for Texas students. Starting next year, high school students are required to take a total of 12 end-of-course exams called the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR), and they have to pass the exams in order to graduate.  In the bill the House will vote on today, high school students will have to pass fewer of the new state exams in order to graduate.

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economy
4:39 pm
Wed April 6, 2011

Austin Sales Tax Receipts Up 4 Percent Over Last Year

Photo by Callie Hernandez for KUT News

People bought more stuff in Austin this year than they did in the first three months of 2010, according to sales tax figures released today by Texas Comptroller Susan Combs.  The comptroller reports that Austin is receiving 4.35 percent more in sales tax revenue compared to January-March 2010. However, if you compare March 2010 with March 2011, the increase was a nominal 0.05 percent.

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Arts and Culture
3:45 pm
Wed April 6, 2011

Free Movies In Republic Square Park For Next Four Wednesdays

People watching Napoleon Dynamite in Republic Square Park in 2005
Photo by Austin Parks and Recreation Department

If you like to watch movies al fresco, but don't have the coin for Austin's newest drive in theater, you can join families in Republic Square Park for free films over four weeks in the spring.

Films begin at dusk. Vendors will sell food. A temporary playground will be set up for kids. Your dog is welcome if it's on a leash.

Here are the dates and titles.

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Politics
2:04 pm
Wed April 6, 2011

Dueling Sides of the Texas Budget Debate Make Noise at the Capitol

American's for Prosperity-Texas leader Peggy Venable warns lawmakers to cut state spending.
Photo by KUT News

Political battles are often fought on the right or left of a topic.  But today ideology was divided by the North and South sides of the Capitol.  

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Austin
1:04 pm
Wed April 6, 2011

Austin Police Will Be Testing Wearable Cameras

Austin police officers will be testing four types of wearable cameras that will record video and audio during incidents.
Photo by mn_francis http://www.flickr.com/photos/mn_francis/

The Austin Police Department announced today that its officers will begin testing four different wearable video cameras that can be activated by the cop when he or she is encountering a suspect. The police force has been stepping up its video recording capabilities ever since an officer killed a teenager in 2009 and failed to capture the shooting on his VHS-based dashboard camera.

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Texas
12:58 pm
Wed April 6, 2011

Senate Bill Would Widen Access to DNA Evidence

DNA evidence would be more accessible to prisoners appealing their convictions under a bill passed by the Texas Senate.
Image by Apers0n http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Apers0n

A bill passed in Texas Senate today would give prison inmates more access to DNA evidence, as they appeal their convictions.

The Associated Press reports the bill sponsored by State Senator Rodney Ellis (D-Houston) would require DNA testing, if the biological evidence hadn't been tested before our would yield more accurate results with newly-developed testing techniques.

As many as 40 inmates have had convictions overturned in the past few years, based on retesting DNA evidence.

Business
11:20 am
Wed April 6, 2011

Freescale Semiconductor Closing Japan Plant Early Due to Quake

Austin-based microchip maker Freescale Semiconductor is closing a Japan plant ahead of schedule because of the disaster in March.
Photo by Freescale Semiconductor

One of the largest companies based in Central Texas, Freescale Semiconductor, says it is closing a manufacturing plant in earthquake ravaged Sendai, Japan.

The company made the announcement in a statement posted on its website:

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Austin
8:28 am
Wed April 6, 2011

Top Morning Stories April 5, 2011

The Texas A&M women's basketball team beat Notre Dame Tuesday night to win the NCAA Women's Basketball title.
Logo courtesy of Texas A&M.

Texas A&M Wins First NCAA National Title

The Aggies' women's basketball team beat Notre Dame last night 76-70 to win its first NCAA national championship. A&M's Danielle Adams scored 22 of her 30 points in a strong second half, leading the team to the title. Both A&M and Notre Dame beat the No. 1 seeds to get to the national championship game.

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Politics
4:55 pm
Tue April 5, 2011

Senate to Pass Bill Regulating Homeonwners' Associations

The Texas Senate has passed a bill to restrict HOA's potential abuse of foreclosing on homeowners.
Photo by KUT News

Homeowners’ associations might not be able to turn the heat anymore on homeowners.

The Texas Senate passed SB 142, which restricts associations from exercising their rights to foreclose homeowners who didn’t pay dues and fees.

The bill, filed by State Senator Royce West (D-Dallas), aims to protect homeowners from potential abuse of foreclosure, especially on the families of soldiers serving overseas.

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