Education
3:43 pm
Tue March 22, 2011

Anti-Bully Pulpit

Bullies could be moved to another classroom or campus, under a proposed bill in the Texas Senate.
Photo by KUT News

A Texas Senate committee looked at legislation that would change definitions and solutions for bullying and cyber bullying issues. Sen. Wendy Davis (D-Fort Worth) authored a bill that provides the removal of a bully to another classroom or campus at the request of the victim. Currently, the student-victim of the bullying is moved.

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Arts and Culture
2:21 pm
Tue March 22, 2011

Five Pinetop Perkins Videos Worth Watching

Austin's living blues legend passed away yesterday of a cardiac arrest, and tonight, several blues players will pay tribute to him at Antone's nightclub. In case you can't make it, here are some interesting videos of Pinetop Perkins we came across on YouTube.

Pinetop accepting a Grammy this year for Best Traditional Blues Album

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Arts and Culture
1:28 pm
Tue March 22, 2011

Playing For Pinetop: Blues Legend To Be Remembered Tonight At Antone's

Pinetop Perkins, who passed away yesterday, will be remembered by his colleagues tonight during a live performance at Antone's.
Photo by Jack O'Diamonds http://www.flickr.com/photos/mississippi/

Legendary bluesman Pinetop Perkins, who passed away in Austin yesterday at the age of 97, will be remembered in a tribute concert tonight at Antone's. Perkins would often play Tuesday nights at Antone's before his death Monday of cardiac arrest, according to club owner Susan Antone.

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Education
12:02 pm
Tue March 22, 2011

Leander ISD Superintendent To Submit Job Cuts Proposal Tonight

Photo by Nicholas James Santiago http://www.flickr.com/photos/imnicholas/

After announcing yesterday that the Leander Independent School District should consider eliminating 250 positions to close a projected $29 million shortfall, Leander ISD Superintendent Bret Champion will make his case to the school board tonight. The meeting is slated to begin at 6:15 p.m.

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Education
11:30 am
Tue March 22, 2011

Expert Worries Public School Firings Will Discourage Potential Teachers

Teacher retention expert Ed Fuller worries potential teachers are being discouraged from entering the field by massive layoffs across the state.
Photo by ydhsu http://www.flickr.com/photos/ydhsu/

The sweeping state budget cuts that are prompting public school districts to lay off teachers in droves could discourage university graduates from entering the teaching field, according to a University of Texas educational researcher. 

"That's one of the things I really worry about," said Ed Fuller, a teacher retention researcher at the University of Texas at Austin's College of Education. "Because I think these cuts are going to send a message to people that education is not a profession to go into."

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News Brief
5:33 am
Tue March 22, 2011

Top Morning Stories March 22, 2011

The Leander Independent School District's Superintendent has released proposed budget cuts for the 2011-2012 school year.
Photo by KUT News.

Leander Superintendent Proposing Cutting 213 New Teachers

Leander ISD's Superintendent Bret Champion has laid out his proposed budget cuts for next school year.  He recommends not renewing probationary contracts for 213 new teachers completing their first full year with LISD.

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Arts and Culture
4:57 pm
Mon March 21, 2011

Blues Legend Pinetop Perkins Dies In His Austin Home

Pinetop Perkins, born Joe Willie Perkins, died in his Austin home today, according to AP reports.
Photo by kurtz http://www.flickr.com/photos/kurtz433/with/2304330751/

From the Associated Press:

Grammy-winner Pinetop Perkins, one of the last old-school bluesmen, has died at his home in Austin,Texas. His manager said woke up with chest pains and died of cardiac arrest at the age of 97.  Perkins was a fixture of Austin blues clubs, playing regular gigs up to last month. He played the piano with an aggressive style and sand with a distinctive gravelly voice.

Pinetop Perkins performed live at KUT's studio 1A in 2007.  You can listen to that interview and performance here.

sxsw 2011
4:40 pm
Mon March 21, 2011

Volunteers Needed Next Month To Help Clean Up The City

Some of the trash that made it into the can (barely) during SXSW 2010. Keep Austin Beautiful wants people to help them pick up the rest in early April.
Photo by Dean Terry http://www.flickr.com/photos/therefore/

Record breaking numbers of music fans swarmed the city for South by Southwest over the last few days, leaving behind a trail of beer cans and empty potato chip bags.  Keep Austin Beautiful is now trying to convince 4,000 people to help clean up anything still on the ground by Saturday, April 9.

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Business
3:55 pm
Mon March 21, 2011

Report: Austin Homes Taking Longer To Sell

Single family homes are sitting on the market 27 percent longer in February 2011 than the same time last year, according to a new report.
Ben Philpott

Single family homes are sitting on the market for 27 percent longer than they were in February 2011, according to a Multiple Listing Service (MLS) report issued today by the Austin Board of Realtors in cooperation with the Texas A&M Real Estate Center.

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Business
2:46 pm
Mon March 21, 2011

"Too Early To Speculate" How AT&T's T-Mobile Acquisition Would Affect Texas Jobs

AT&T, the first iPhone carrier in the US, wants to acquire T-Mobile USA for $39 billion, but it's too soon to say what that means for Texas jobs.
Nathan Bernier, KUT News

Dallas-based AT&T shocked investors yesterday with its offer to buy T-Mobile USA for $39 billion.  AT&T employs more than 36,000 people in Texas.  T-Mobile has more than 2,000 employees in Dallas alone, according to the Dallas Morning News.  We asked AT&T how the merger might affect jobs at what could soon be the largest cell phone company in the United States.

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SXSW 2011
1:21 pm
Mon March 21, 2011

After Biggest SXSW Ever, City Official Suggests We "Dial It Back"

A sign outside the bar Shangri-La on E. 6th St. yesterday thanked SXSW attendees for visiting and urged them to leave.
Photo by Nathan Bernier

The epic ten-day party that crashed down on Austin last week has grown to the point where it needs to be scaled back, according to City of Austin Music Programs Manager, Don Pitts.  "We need to curtail it, and I think dial it back some," Pitts said in a phone interview with KUT News.

"Some tougher standards should take place, and a lot of the events that we saw, the promoters or event producers were pretty inexperienced in handling those sizes of crowds," Pitts told KUT News.

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Politics
12:48 pm
Mon March 21, 2011

Voter ID Debate Begins in the Texas House

The highly partisan bill is expected to pass the Texas House this week
picture by KUT

UPDATE, 1:50 p.m.:  A point of order on Voter ID bill has been sustained. The bill is headed back to committee for a clean-up. The language in the bill said "Days"; the bill's analysis said "Business Days," so the bill was sent back to clarify the discrepancy.

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Health
12:13 pm
Mon March 21, 2011

1st Birthday for Federal Healthcare Bill

A birthday those opposed to the Federal Law aren't celebrating
Photo by KUT News

O.K.  We're actually a couple of days early, since the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was signed into law on March 23, 2010.  But advocacy groups have been celebrating/commiserating the anniversary for the last week…so we thought we'd give you a sampling of what's already out there.

Political parties are saying pretty much what each has been saying over the last year.  Democtrats seem to be keeping quite so far... but those on the "Right" are vocal about their displeasure.

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Austin
12:06 pm
Mon March 21, 2011

The Red Line, One Year Later

The Red Line will be one year old on March 22, 2011.
Photo by Mose Buchele for KUT News.

Capital Metro's Red Line train service turns one year old this Tuesday. Officials are pointing to higher rider numbers in recent months as proof that the commuter rail is catching on.

"Most of last year our average daily boarding were in the 800 to 900 range. In January that bumped up to about 1000, February to 1,200, and in March with some of the special service and huge crowds for South By Southwest we've seen much higher numbers just looking at the daily estimates so far," said Adam Shaivitz a spokesperson for the Transit Agency.

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Politics
11:51 am
Mon March 21, 2011

Bill Would Welcome Banner Ads On State Government Websites

HB 682 would allow state websites, like the Texas Education Agency's, to carry banner ads.
Photo by Nathan Bernier

As state lawmakers continue to brainstorm ideas for generating revenue to close a budget gap as large as $27 billion, one proposal suggests putting banner advertisements on state government websites. House Bill 682 would allow state agencies, departments, boards and commissions - except higher education institutions - to lease advertising space on their websites.

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