Texas
3:24 pm
Tue March 15, 2011

Perry, House Reach Rainy Day Fund Deal

State leaders agree on tapping some of the Rainy Day fund to get the state's budget through August.
Image by KUT News.

Governor Rick Perry and House leadership have struck a deal that would use $3.2 billion from the so-called "Rainy Day Fund" to help close the budget shortfall for the current fiscal year.

In a joint statement by the governor, House Speaker Joe Straus (R-San Antonio) and Comptroller Susan Combs, the remainder of the budget gap would be closed by $800 million in cuts and by using an additional $300 million that's come from increased state sales tax collections over the past few months.

Read more
Austin
3:11 pm
Tue March 15, 2011

City Candidates Get Ballot Positions Tomorrow

Candidate lists are finalized for May's Austin city council election
Image by KUT News

A total of 11 people have filed for the three Austin city council seats up for election this May.  With the filing period over, the city clerk will draw names tomorrow morning to determine the order that names will appear in on the ballot.

Read more
Politics
2:17 pm
Tue March 15, 2011

Busy Day Under the Dome

The Texas Capitol is abuzz with activity this afternoon.
Image by Liang Shi for KUT News.

A pair of House committee hearings are attracting a lot of interest at the State Capitol this afternoon.

The House Appropriations Committee is expected to take up debate on whether to tap the state's Rainy Day Fund to help fill the budgetary shortfall facing Texas for the current fiscal year.  Thanh Tan of KUT's political reporting partner, the Texas Tribune, tells us the committee room is packed. 

Read more
SXSW 2011
2:07 pm
Tue March 15, 2011

Get Your Car Off E. 6th St. By Midnight To Avoid Being Towed

Signs indicate when people need to move their cars off streets that will close. Posts and parking machines are wrapped in plastic to make removal of posters easier after SXSW ends.
Photo by Nathan Bernier

Comfortable shoes and iPad 2s are making way for synthesizers and neck tattoos as South by Southwest shift gears overnight from interactive to music.  The latter brings out much larger crowds, so the city is shutting E. 6th St. at midnight. Right now there are signs warning people to move their vehicles. Check out our Google Map of road closures after the jump.

Read more
Energy
11:40 am
Tue March 15, 2011

Japan Disaster Puts Texas Nuclear Deal on Hold

South Texas Project nuclear facility, in Matagorda Bay, is in the process of adding two more units.
Photo courtesy of the NRG Energy.

CPS Energy of San Antonio announced today that negotiations over buying power from the South Texas Project [STP] expansion have been put on hold.

NRG Energy is in the process of adding two more units to the South Texas Project nuclear facility in Matagorda Bay.  CPS Energy, NRG and the Japanese company Tokyo Electric Power Co. would be the owners of the expansion, but Tokyo Electric's participation is now in question after a massive tsunami  damaged one of its nuclear plants in Japan.

Read more
sxsw 2011
9:52 am
Tue March 15, 2011

Is Free Beer Enough To Win On the SXSW Trade Show Floor?

The trade show floor at SXSW is filled with companies competing for attention, but once they reel you in, are they delivering the message?
Photo by Nathan Bernier

Tech companies, ranging from independent iPhone app developers to multinational wireless providers, are competing for the attention of South by Southwest Interactive attendees who wander onto the trade show floor at the Austin Convention Center. Free beer and cotton candy are among the enticements, but once that traffic is built, is the message getting across?

Read more
News Brief
6:30 am
Tue March 15, 2011

Top Morning Stories March 15, 2011

Image courtesy of Google maps.

Radiation Fears Rising in Japan

People near Japan’s troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant have been evacuated as elevated levels of radiation are leaking from the plant.  Cooling systems at the plant have been failing since Friday’s massive 9.0 earthquake and tsunami.  NPR reports Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan ordered everyone within about 12 miles of the plant to evacuate.  

Read more
Texas
4:58 pm
Mon March 14, 2011

$300 Million More in State Coffers

State Comptroller Susan Combs told lawmakers Monday that the Texas wallet is a little greener than first thought.
Image by KUT News

Texas Comptroller Susan Combs says the state has more money to spend. 

In a letter to Texas lawmakers today, Combs says sales tax receipts in recent months had increased enough for her to raise her pervious revenue estimate by 300-million dollars for the current budget.  She also increased the amount of money lawmakers have to spend in the next budget. 

The increase helps a little but does not make a huge dent in the multi-billion dollar budget hole.

sxsw 2011
3:53 pm
Mon March 14, 2011

Social Media For The Social Good

People pack the streets around the Austin Convention Center for South by Southwest Interactive. One discussion today examined how social media can be used for social good.
Photo by Nathan Bernier

Non-profits are using tools like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Foursquare to grow their base of support, and at a South by Southwest Interactive panel this morning, representatives of those companies spoke about what's worked and what hasn't.

Read more
Education
12:46 pm
Mon March 14, 2011

Education Protesters Give Lawmakers Sardines

Photo by KUT News

Teachers, school officials, parents and students from across the state are once again flocking to the State Capitol today.  They’re jumping off the momentum from the thousands who showed up for an education rally on Saturday.  Monday's lobby day for the Texas American Federation of Teachers.  People will be handing out sardine cans to legislators. 

Read more
News Brief
6:24 am
Mon March 14, 2011

Top Morning Stories March 14, 2011

Image courtesy of Google maps.

Another Blast at Japan Nuclear Plant

All eyes are on Japan’s nuclear power emergency after Friday’s massive earthquake and tsunami.  Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano reports a hydrogen explosion happened at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant Monday.  It was similar to Saturday's blast at a different unit.  More on the explosion from NPR.org:

Read more
SXSW 2011
4:09 pm
Sun March 13, 2011

Marketing The Return Of Pee Wee Herman

Paul Reubens says the creative use of social media helped promote his Pee Wee character and connect with longtime fans.
Photo by Nathan Bernier for KUT News

 

Creative use of social media helped market the return of Pee Wee Herman to a national audience, according to the actor who created the character, Paul Reubens.

Reubens was interviewed at South by Southwest today byJoBlo.com editor-in-chief Mike Sampson. The two had a wide-ranging discussion about Reubens' three decade career and recent comeback. At least 200 people packed into a room at the Austin Convention Center room to hear Reubens speak as himself, not in his Pee Wee character.

Read more
SXSW 2011
3:12 pm
Sun March 13, 2011

Social Media Not A Cure-All For Racial Health Disparities

African-Americans in Texas are more likely than whites to die from a host of diseases including diabetes, cancer, and HIV. But efforts to educate minorities about health risks through social media have largely fallen flat. Broadband access is limited in minority communities, government red tape restricts state agencies, and public health groups often fail to engage effectively with their social media followers.

Read more
Sunday News Roundup
11:03 am
Sun March 13, 2011

Sunday Morning News Memo for March 13, 2011

Image via Media Tools, courtesy Google, DigitalGlobe, GeoEye

 

Japan Death Toll Soars

Read more
SXSW 2011
4:54 pm
Sat March 12, 2011

SXSW Screenburn Arcade Provides Stage For Startups

RockLive's Sam Shahidi poses with Mike Tyson to promote his startup's second iPhone game, Mike Tyson Main Event.
Photo by Nathan Bernier for KUT News

 

Would you pay $10,000 and set up a boxing ring in the Austin Convention Center to promote an iPhone game? For Sam Shahidi with RockLive in Irvine, California, it was a no brainer.

Read more

Pages