City of Austin
5:07 pm
Thu February 10, 2011

Name That Department!

The City of Austin's Solid Waste Services Department is looking for a new name and the people of Austin have responded...creatively.
Erika Aguilar for KUT News.

Austin is a music town, sure, but naming a city department after Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst? Why not? More than 29,000 votes have been cast to rename the City of Austin’s Solid Waste Services Department the “Fred Durst Society of the Humanities and the Arts. ” 

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Transportation
4:44 pm
Thu February 10, 2011

I-35 Will Be Closed This Weekend At US 290/SH 71



View US 290 & I-35 Shutdown Fri-Sun in a larger map

Give yourself extra time this weekend if you plan to drive on Interstate 35 near Ben White. The Texas Department of Transportation is closing a stretch of the highway from Friday night until Monday morning to conduct work on ramps linking I-35 with US 290/SH 71.  Traffic will be diverted along the frontage roads.

The map above shows how traffic will be affected. Red lines are closures. Blue lines are closed to through traffic, important to know if you're trying to plan a route around the traffic mess.

Southbound lanes are scheduled to close around 10 pm on Friday.  Northbound lanes will close at 1 am Friday. Everything is supposed to reopen before 5 am on Monday morning.

Here's a more detailed explanation from the city's website.

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Environment
3:57 pm
Thu February 10, 2011

Texas Almost Doubled Computer Recycling in 2010

Image by Nathan Bernier for KUT News

Computer recycling in Texas almost doubled in 2010 compared the year prior, according to the state's environmental regulator. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality says 24.3 million pounds of old hard drives, motherboards and various other computer parts were diverted away from landfills last year.

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Texas
2:02 pm
Thu February 10, 2011

Texas Sets New Power Consumption Record, Power Watch Cancelled

Warm weather is ahead, but patches of ice remain. The cold weather prompted Texans to set a new winter power consumption record, according to ERCOT.
Photo by Nathan Bernier for KUT News

The state's power grid regulator, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), says Texas set a new record for winter peak demand. Between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m., the state was consuming 57,282 megawatts. That's almost 1,000 megawatts higher than the previous record from February 2nd.

At the same time, ERCOT is cancelling its request to consumers to reduce their energy consumption during peak hours.

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kut
1:36 pm
Thu February 10, 2011

How Would $531 Million In Cuts To Public Broadcasting Affect KUT?

KUT's Jay Trachtenberg delivers the "Song of the Day" on 90.5 FM. Funding to KUT would be cut by about $500,000 under a US House Budget proposal that cuts funding for public broadcasting.
Photo by Nathan Bernier for KUT News

Republican leaders in the US House unveiled a list of proposed spending reductions that would cut more than $74 billion from President Obama's budget request for the current fiscal year. House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers today said he would like to increase that cut to $100 billion.

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Obituary
6:34 am
Thu February 10, 2011

KUT's Founder Robert Schenkkan Dies

KUT founder Robert Schenkken passed away Wednesday.  It was his  hard work and fierce determination played a big role in public broadcasting as we know it today. He was also a driving force in the creation of public TV station KLRU. Schenkkan worked long and effectively for the enactment of the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967.  No funeral arrangements have been announced yet.

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News Brief
5:58 am
Thu February 10, 2011

Top Morning Stories February 10, 2011

KUT's Founder Bob Schenkkan Has Passed Away


Schenkkan died yesterday afternoon.  His hard work and fierce determination played a key role in public broadcasting as we know it today.  In the mid 1950s Schenkkan was a professor of Radio Television and Film at UT Austin’s School of Communications.  He was also a driving force in the creation of public TV station KLRU.  Schenkkan's efforts also led to the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967.  No funeral arrangements have been announced yet.


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Sports
5:28 pm
Wed February 9, 2011

Commentary: The North Texas Super Bowl XLV Experience

Sundance Square in Fort Worth was Ground Zero for ESPN's Super Bowl Coverage
Tom Uhler

John L. Hanson, Jr. has been on radio row at more Super Bowls than most Americans get to see on TV.  He is the host of KUT's In Black America and now lives in Mansfield, a suburb of Dallas.  He offers this recap of his North Texas Super Bowl Experience:

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Environment
5:25 pm
Wed February 9, 2011

Report: Austin Has Highest 5th Greenhouse Gas Emissions In US [Corrected]

Image by Nathan Bernier for KUT News

Correction: The National Geographic report cited in this story erroneously listed Austin as the having the highest greenhouse gas emissions per capita in the United States.  In fact, Austin has the fifth highest rate of the 19 cities listed. We regret the error. You can view the complete study here.

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Politics
3:01 pm
Wed February 9, 2011

Eminent Domain Bill Passes Senate, 31-0

The Texas Senate gives its okay to a new eminent domain protection bill
Image by Liang Shi for KUT News

The Texas Senate has unanimously approved a bill that would give property owners more rights, when the government wants to exercise eminent domain.  The bill was one of a handful of issues that Governor Rick Perry designated "emergency legislation," to bring it to the senate floor within the first two months of the legislative session.

Politics
2:24 pm
Wed February 9, 2011

Texas House Committees Posted

Speaker Straus had plenty of changes in the new committee list
Picture courtesy of The Texas Tribune

House Speaker Joe Straus has released his list of committees for the 82nd Texas Legislative Session.  The list has dozens of changes from the last session.  Which was expected after Republicans gained 25 seats since 2009 and now have a supermajority in the House.  Democrats lost chairmanships on high profile committees like Ways and Means (where tax bills originate) and Transportation (which is were road bills originate).

Here's the list and demographic breakdown:

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Weather
12:42 pm
Wed February 9, 2011

Freezing Weather Causes Wrecks, Delays Trash Pick Up

Folks on the UT campus are bundled up tight for today's cold weather.
Photo by Crystal Chavez for KUT News.

It’s frigid and windy in Central Texas! Don't expected it to get any warmer today.  Daytime highs will only be about 30 degrees.

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Business
11:06 am
Wed February 9, 2011

In Last 6 Months, 253 New Food Trucks Opened In Austin

Cory Nunez has sold pressed sandwiches out of his Austin Daily Press cart for more than a year. Upwards of 250 food truck operators have opened in the last six months in Austin.
Photo by Caleb Bryant Miller for KUT News

Today's bone chilling winds are no friend to the city's food trucks, but occasional bad weather is not stopping the rapid growth of mobile food vendors in Austin.

Austin-Travis County Health and Human Services, which runs food permitting and restaurant inspection, says 386 permits were issued since August 2010. Of those, 253 permit holders have actually opened new mobile food establishments.

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Texas
10:50 am
Wed February 9, 2011

Record Electricity Usage Expected In Texas Tomorrow

Photo courtesy of Miranda Martin/via Flickr

The state's electric grid operator, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), says it's expecting to set a winter record for power demand Thursday morning between 7 and 8 a.m. ERCOT is asking people to conserve power to help minimize the risk of rolling blackouts like the ones that swept across Texas last week.

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Austin
10:39 am
Wed February 9, 2011

If You Thought City Council Meetings Were Good.....

Austin's City Council holds a rare work session today before tomorrow's scheduled council meeting
Photo by KUT News

Then try a City Council Work Session!

In what may become a regular feature of Austin city business, the City Council meets today for a pre-council meeting "work session." The sessions, which may precede every Thursday council meeting, allow members to discuss council business in a public forum.

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