Texas
2:15 pm
Tue February 1, 2011

Feb. 1 Marks the 150th Anniversary of Texas Secession

Texas is expected to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Texas Secession Feb. 1, 2011.
Image courtesy Tom Gill, http://www.flickr.com/photos/lapstrake/2843067726/sizes/m/in/photostream/

Today marks the 150th anniversary of the resolution that allowed Texas to leave the United States and join the Confederacy in the weeks before the outbreak of the Civil War.

While there are no commemorations today of that decision that led to a sixth national flag flying over Texas, groups across the state will stage various events to mark the Civil War's 150th anniversary over the next four years.

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Austin
12:44 pm
Tue February 1, 2011

Homeless Feel the Chill

A homeless man huddles for warmth in downtown Austin.
Image by Erik Reyna for KUT News

The City of Austin has activated its emergency cold weather plan for the homeless.  City officials say the program will remain up and running for the duration of the frosty weather, which could last into Friday morning. 

The city's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management says those needing shelter should report to the ARCH or the Salvation Army downtown.  Busses will then transport shelter seekers to other warm places to bed down for the night.

Politics
11:15 am
Tue February 1, 2011

Howard-Neil House Hearing Underway

The first day of hearings in the election dispute between Donna Howard (left) and Dan Neil is underway at the Capitol.
Image courtesy of the Texas Tribune

Testimony is underway before a Special Master of Discovery and members of a House select committee to determine a winner in last November's House District 48 election.

Democratic incumbent Donna Howard won the election by 12 votes, following a recount.  But Republican challenger Dan Neil claims that a handful of votes were cast by people not eligible to vote in the Travis County house district.

News Brief
5:36 am
Tue February 1, 2011

Top Morning Stories February 1, 2011

Thousands of people were left without power early this morning.
Logo courtesy of Austin Energy.

Austin Power Outages

It's a windy, rainy morning as a cold front moves through Central Texas.  A wind advisory is in effect until 6 p.m.  Highs will only reach the mid 30s today.  Over 2,000 Austin Energy customers were without power as of about 8 a.m.  That's according to Austin Energy's Storm Map.  The outages are spread out across the city.  Crews are working to restore power.

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Sports
4:52 pm
Mon January 31, 2011

'Horns Men's Basketball Team Rises to #3 in Coaches Poll

The Longhorns Begin Big 12 Play at 6-0 For First Time In School History
Dave Wilson Photography http://davewilsonphotography.com/

After consecutive Saturdays with victories over highly touted opponents (#2 Kansas on January 22nd and #13 Missouri this past weekend), the Texas Longhorns Men’s Basketball team has surged to #3 in the Top 25 Coaches Poll.  The victory over Kansas in Lawrence snapped the Jayhawks’ 69-game home winning streak and gave Texas

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Austin
4:24 pm
Mon January 31, 2011

Egyptian ACC Professor Watching Unrest With Concern And Hope

Protestors on the streets of Cairo
Image courtesy Al Jazeera English http://www.flickr.com/photos/aljazeeraenglish/

Egyptian cities are bracing for major protests Tuesday as revolutionaries demand the ouster of that country's longstanding military dictatorship.  KUT News has been speaking with Egyptians in Austin since the turmoil began. Today, we spoke by telephone with Austin Community College professor Roy Casagranda. He grew up in Egypt and still has family in Cairo.

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Business
2:33 pm
Mon January 31, 2011

Austin's 1000-Plus Food Trucks Brace For Chill In Business

Food trucks like this one, Bits and Druthers, expect to take severe cuts to their sales when the artic chill moves in this week.
Image courtesy Speedye http://www.flickr.com/photos/speedye/

Temperatures are expected to dip into the upper teens this week as an arctic blast bares down on Central Texas. The deep freeze will make life tough for homeless people and their pets, and Austin's food truck entrepreneurs have also been suffering from winter weather.

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Texas
2:22 pm
Mon January 31, 2011

Judge Rules in Healthcare Lawsuit brought by Texas and 25 Other States

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott helped spearhead a lawsuit over the Healthcare Law adopted last year. A Florida federal judge ruled in favor Texas and 25 other states this afternoon
Image by Christopher Kosho for KUT News

A federal judge in Pensacola, Florida ruled today that a key element of the health care law passed by Congress last year is unconstitutional.

Austin
11:38 am
Mon January 31, 2011

59 Percent Of Austin's Inner City Residents Don't Live Near Park

People sit around a stage at Wooldridge Park in the summer of 2009. Almost two-thirds of inner city residents don't live near such amenities, according to a study.
Image by KUT News

Austin is a long way from achieving a goal set in 2009 of having a park within walking distance of everyone in the city. Fifty-nine percent of inner city residents do not live near those kind of open space amenities, according to the city's Urban Parks Stakeholders Group (UPSG).

The UPSG made this presentation to the City of Austin's Planning Commission last week, and it included some stark comparisons.

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News Brief
5:24 am
Mon January 31, 2011

Top Morning Stories January 31, 2011

Texas school district leaders are meeting in Austin today to call on lawmakers to make education funding a priority.
Photo by KUT News

Texas Schools Calling Out to State Lawmakers

School districts across the state are planning to lay off teachers and considering school closures.  Districts say they're left with few options as the state proposes to cut back billions of dollars in public education spending.  Today superintendents and school board members from across the state are meeting at Austin's Convention Center

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Austin
11:26 am
Sun January 30, 2011

Sunday Morning Update for January 30, 2011

Weather like this is going away this week, as an Arctic cold front is supposed to drop Central Texas into a deep freeze
Photo by KUTAustin

Enjoy today's warm weather, because temperatures are supposed to take a nasty, cold turn by midweek.  The high this afternoon is forecast to be in the mid 70s, but an

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Environment
4:29 pm
Fri January 28, 2011

Austin Falls Behind San Marcos In Multifamily Recycling

Image courtesy cote http://www.flickr.com/photos/cote/

If you were asked which Central Texas city was offers the best recycling service, what would your answer be? If you answered Austin, then you could be wrong.

As of February 1st, San Marcos residents living in multifamily units will become the first in Central Texas  to receive a single-stream recycling service. Single-stream recycling allows residents to mix recyclable paper, aluminum cans, glass and plastic in one 90-gallon bin.  Each apartment unit in San Marcos will be billed an extra $5.53 a month for the weekly service.

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Austin
4:05 pm
Fri January 28, 2011

Liz Carpenter Fountain Closes Till May 2011

A child plays in the Liz Carpenter Fountain. The fountain will be closed until May so city crews can upgrade the filtration system.
Photo by Nasha Lee for KUT News

The Liz Carpenter Fountain in Butler Park will be closed for the next few months, as work begins on upgrading it.  The City of Austin is making more than a million dollars worth of improvements to the fountain's filtration system. 

Higher-than-expected use caused the system to shut down in the past, leading to potentially unhealthy levels of bacteria in the water.  Work is expected to be finish on the fountain by May.

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Education
3:26 pm
Fri January 28, 2011

Zilker Parents Plan Protest Against School Closures Starting At 11:30 Tomorrow Morning

Image by Nathan Bernier for KUT News

Parents who have children in Zilker Elementary will march from their school to a lot next to Austin's Pizza on South Lamar Boulevard tomorrow. They are trying to raise awareness about a draft proposal by an Austin school district task force that could see Zilker closed and the children bussed to other facilities.

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Austin
2:13 pm
Fri January 28, 2011

APD Says 39 Pounds Of Marijuana Sent By US Mail To 2 Austin Addresses

Image courtesy APD

Police say they seized 39 pounds of "high quality" marijuana that was shipped to two separate addresses in Austin. The bust was conducted by an APD K-9 unit, an APD SWAT team, and United States Postal Inspectors.  You can see a slideshow of the alleged haul below.

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