2010 midterm elections
3:10 pm
Mon November 1, 2010

Perhaps the Biggest Election Issue Not Being Talked About

Hard cash will be in short supply next legislative session, if the state comptroller's estimates hold true. But the issue hasn't received much attention from candidates on the campaign trail.
Tracy Olson/Flickr flickr.com/tracy_olson/

Texas is staring down the barrel of a budget shortfall that could reach $25 billion or higher. It's a staggering figure, considering that California was practically brought to its knees over a $20 billion budget deficit. That was in a state that spends twice as much as Texas.

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art
1:20 pm
Mon November 1, 2010

Photographer Says State Stole His Art for Inspection Sticker

Photographer David K. Langford says his photograph (pictured right) was inadvertently stolen by the Texas Department of Public Safety for a vehicle inspection sticker (left).
Images provided by David K. Langford and Texas DPS.

A photographer from Boerne, a town of 10,000 about 90 miles southwest of Austin, is suing the Texas Department of Public Safety over the art used on more than 4 million inspection stickers.  David K.

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entertainment
12:30 pm
Mon November 1, 2010

Halloween Post-Mortem

Thousands of people poured downtown on Saturday and Sunday nights to celebrate Halloween, including this man, who dressed up as Ronald McDonald.
Image courtesy Flickr user efohbe http://www.flickr.com/photos/49031772@N04/

Sixth Street was packed to the gills both Saturday and  Sunday night as costumed  revelers turned out in droves to celebrate Halloween. Flickr users efohbe and EgOiStE were among those out snapping dozens of pictures.  KVUE says "tens of thousands" showed up last night.

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education
11:35 am
Mon November 1, 2010

Eastside Memorial Teachers Organize Against Principal

An empty hallway at Eastside Memorial High. Teachers in the Global Tech High on the campus have filed a group grievance against their principal.
Photo by Nathan Bernier for KUT News

Austin School Trustees are holding a special meeting tonight to discuss a personnel matter that pits some teachers at Eastside Global Tech High against the school's principal.

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local media
11:29 am
Mon November 1, 2010

FCC Busts Austin Pirate Radio Station

Unlicensed local radio station KAOS was shut down last week by the FCC.

Federal Communications Commission agents descended on Austin pirate radio station KAOS FM last week. You can watch a video of the bust on KAOS's website.

In the video, FCC agent Stephen Lee tells the operator of KAOS that he would be let off with a warning if he complies with the request to shut down the pirate radio station.

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Traffic
10:05 am
Sat October 30, 2010

18-Wheeler Fire Shuts Down Ramps To Highway 183 In North Austin

Heavy traffic for Saturday morning drivers, as firefighters closed off part of US 183 to battle a tanker truck fire on the US 183-Mopac flyover. Drivers on the frontage road of Hwy 183 N were redirected to avoid the access ramp.
Photo by Erika Aguilar for KUT News.

UPDATE (1:00 p.m.):

Authorities are keeping the flyover ramp from northbound US 183 to Mopac closed, after this morning's fiery crash of a tanker truck. 

 The tanker truck was carrying a load of gasoline when it crashed around 6:00 a.m. Investigators believe the driver may have been going too fast on the ramp causing it to flip over.

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education
4:27 pm
Fri October 29, 2010

UT Breaks Ground on New Computer Science Building

UT-Austin broke ground today on a new $130 million complex for the computer science department.
Image courtesy University of Texas

Students and faculty in UT's computer science program are currently spread across seven different buildings. That will all change in 18 to 24 months when the new Bill and Melinda Gates Computer Science Complex opens.

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City
3:56 pm
Fri October 29, 2010

Mayors Show Support for Proposition 1

Austin Mayors Collected at City Hall to Show Their Support for Prop 1.
Photo by KUT News

A collection of mayors old and new congregated at City Hall today to show their support for the passage of Proposition 1. With early voting concluding at day’s end and the general election a mere four days away, the group hoped to leave a lasting impression on voters that will lead to the Proposition's passage.

Proposition 1 is a bond proposal that if passed would allocate $90 million to 45 mobility projects across the city.

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film
3:16 pm
Fri October 29, 2010

The Strange Demise of Jim Crow

The film producer of The Strange Demise of Jim Crow will be at the Carver Museum tonight to screen the documentary and talk about integration in Texas.
Screen capture from The Strange Demise of Jim Crow

Texas' shameful, racist past might seem like ancient history to some people, but it was only a generation ago that it was illegal for a white person to marry an African-American.

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security
2:06 pm
Fri October 29, 2010

All is Cool at Austin Airport Despite Security Panic Elsewhere

No heightened security at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, despite security concerns elsewhere in the US.
Image courtesy Dave Wilson http://www.flickr.com/photos/dawilson/

President Obama is scheduled to speak at 3:15 pm CST today about a potential terrorism plot being investigated on three continents. The scare involves suspicious packages shipped on cargo planes from Yemen to the United States, reports Philadelphia's ABC affiliate WPVI.

The investigation included two planes at Philadelphia International Airport. Officials tell Action News that a total of six packages were removed from the planes there.
 

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entertainment
12:49 pm
Fri October 29, 2010

How To Have a Happy Halloween in Austin

Throngs of costumed revelers will flood 6th street this weekend, like these guys did last year.
Image courtesy Chris Blackmor http://www.flickr.com/photos/cblackmor/

Two days left until kids will be knocking at your door requesting candy in exchange for not "tricking" your house with toilet paper. But the parties aren't waiting till Sunday. They start tonight and last all weekend.

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politics
12:35 pm
Fri October 29, 2010

Rally to Restore Sanity Comes to Austin

While Jon Stewart's "Rally to Restore Sanity" is making a big media splash, some question the political motivation for the event.
Photo Courtesy of the Austin Rally to Restore Sanity

The Rally to Restore Sanity will is not only happening in the nation’s capital this Saturday, but it's also going down in Austin. The uncharacteristic move to rally behind political moderatism will happen at the State Capitol.

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transportation
11:23 am
Fri October 29, 2010

City Council Inks Deal to Add Ten Miles of Bike Lanes

Austin City Council approved a deal with the Texas Department of Transportation yesterday that will build 10 miles of bike lanes in Austin.
Photo by Katie Hayes for KUT News

Bicycle enthusiasts are reacting with glee to an Austin City Council vote yesterday that approved a deal to build ten miles of bike lanes in Austin.

The deal between the city and the Texas Department of Transportation will see the two split the bill for $1.1 million. TxDOT's share of the cash is coming from the federal government's Transportation Enhancement Program.

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2010 midterm elections
10:57 am
Fri October 29, 2010

How to Make a Quick $140: Be an Election Worker for a Day

The Travis County Clerk's office is looking to hire 100 people to staff the polls on Election Day.
Photo by Nathan Bernier for KUT News

The Travis County Clerk says she's looking to hire dozens of people for Election Day.

“We have a critical need for about 100 election workers,” Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir said in a media release. “We’ve recruited quite a few precinct judges who are new to the process, and they need help finding clerks to work with them.”

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texas
4:47 pm
Thu October 28, 2010

Gunman Scare at Texas A&M Over "Replica Rifle"

A scare at Texas A&M University this afternoon after a bus driver called police and reported what he thought was a gunman carrying an AK-47-like weapon.

A&M campus police issued an alert and instructed students to "shelter in place". Uncertainty swirled for about an hour, as police searched for the reported 'gunman'. Adding to the concern was the scheduled ribbon cutting involving Fmr. President Bush Sr., his wife and daughter-in-law.

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Election 2010
3:57 pm
Thu October 28, 2010

Project Smart Vote Condemns Candidates

To say the president of the voter information group, Project Vote Smart, is miffed at Congressional candidates would be untrue.  He's down right MAD.  In an Op-Ed submitted to media outlets today, Richard Kimball says this year's candidates have avoided public scrutiny and overwhelmed citizens with a "bucketful of poppycock."  I could try to distil the cynical, scathing editorial, but honestly you should just read it for yourself (which you can below).  Vote Smart also has a video (below again) which shows some of the excesses received from candidates and political parties who have refused

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2010 midterm elections
3:53 pm
Thu October 28, 2010

Deciphering Political Polls is Tricky Business

Photo illustration by Nathan Benrier

It's a secret trick of the news business. Nothing interesting to report during an election campaign? Commission a poll! Congratulations, you just bought yourself a front page story.

Polls can have news value: they help voters understand trends and feel the direction of political winds, but not all polls are created equally, even if the media tends to report on them as if they were.

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Politics
3:21 pm
Thu October 28, 2010

Trail's End...Almost

Photo by KUT News

The "Texas Political Parlor" reviews the 2010 campaign ahead of Tuesday's election.

It seems hard to believe that the 2010 election campaign is nearly over. Not long ago, the campaign trail laid before us, untrodden and (mostly) untussled. Now we’ve ridden the trail, and the end is in sight.

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CRIMINAL JUSTICE
2:28 pm
Thu October 28, 2010

Death Row Inmate Freed After 18 Years Behind Bars

Anthony Graves was released from jail Wednesday after nearly two decades behind bars. All murder charges against him were dropped.
Photo courtesy Texas Monthly

The Burleson County District Attorney has dropped murder charges against Anthony Graves. Graves had been behind bars for nearly two decades for the murders of six people in 1992 in Somerville, TX, a small town of about 2,000 just an hour-and-a-half east of Austin.

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parks and recreation
2:13 pm
Thu October 28, 2010

Woman Given Lifetime Pass to Barton Springs Pool

82-year-old Patty Curtis was granted lifetime access to Barton Springs Pool today by Austin City Council.
flickr.com/photos/rutlo/

Austin City Council granted a rare privilege today to an 82-year-old Austin woman: a lifetime pass to Barton Springs Pool.

Patty Curtis started swimming at the pool in 1975 when she was 46-years-old.

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