Politics
2:27 pm
Mon January 17, 2011

Michael Williams Set to Make 2012 Senate Run

Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams
picture courtesy Michael Williams

 

Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams appears ready to make his campaign to replace U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison a full time job.  Ross Ramsey over at KUT's political reporting partner The Texas Tribune, says Williams will resign his commissioner's seat to focus his efforts on the race for higher office.

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Austin
12:43 pm
Mon January 17, 2011

Central Texans Honor Civil Rights Hero

Crowds gather on the UT campus today to honor MLK, Jr.
Photo by KUT News

Hundreds gathered around the Martin Luther King, Jr. statue on the UT campus this morning for a ceremony before the community march to Huston-Tillotson University. Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell, some state lawmakers and Austin school officials were there.

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News Brief
5:05 am
Mon January 17, 2011

Top Morning Stories January 17, 2011

Austin's first female council member, Emma Long, passed away over the weekend.
Photo courtesy of the City of Austin.

Funeral Services Pending for Emma Long

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Business
12:08 pm
Fri January 14, 2011

As Austin Gas Prices Rise To $2.91, Get Ready To Shell Out Even More

Image by Erik Reyna for KUT News

The latest fuel price report from AAA says Austin gas prices have risen to an average of $2.91 for a gallon of regular unleaded. That's up about 10 cents from last month and almost 30 cents higher than it was this week last year. And most signs point to gas prices climbing even higher.

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Austin
11:40 am
Fri January 14, 2011

Austin Resource Center for the Homeless Distributing 200 Blankets Today

Image by Erik Reyna for KUT News

People at the Austin Resource Center for the Homeless are handing out more than 200 blankets at 1 p.m. today. The cold weather has created a huge demand for blankets among homeless people, and Austinites have donated generously, ARCH interim executive director Mike Abkowitz told KUT News.

"We've been distributing blankets throughout the cold weather season, but we know there's just more and more need," Abkowitz said.

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Austin
11:19 am
Fri January 14, 2011

Abigail Smith Chosen As New Animal Shelter Boss, Begins March 15, 2011

Abigail Smith will run the Town Lake Animal Center starting March 15.
Image courtesy City of Austin

No a huge surprise here; Abigail Smith was already named the lone finalist for the job. But now it's official. City Manager Marc Ott just announced he has selected the director of a no kill animal shelter in Ithaca, New York to run the Town Lake Animal Center in Austin.

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Austin
8:15 am
Fri January 14, 2011

Top Morning Stories January 14, 2011

Photo by KUT News

Heightened Security for Top State Office Holders

In the wake of the Arizona shootings last weekend, eyes have turned to state legislatures, many which have convened in the past week, to see how lawmakers would react. Here in Texas, state police appear to have beefed up their presence at the Capitol building. As Ross Ramsey reports in today's Texas Tribune, "of course, this being Texas, if you present a concealed-handgun license, you can come into the Capitol with or without your weapon and skip security entirely. There are other checkpoints inside the Capitol if you want to enter the House and Senate galleries, where the public can sit and watch government in action. Firearms aren’t allowed there."

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Arts and Culture
5:02 pm
Thu January 13, 2011

2011 Session: Opening Day Time Lapse

Education
12:52 pm
Thu January 13, 2011

Schools Would Not Close In 2011 (And Other Misperceptions AISD Battles As It Seeks To Sell Closures)

About 700 people attended a public meeting at the Delco Center last night to discuss school closure options that could be considered by AISD.
Image by Nathan Bernier for KUT News

Emotions ran high at the first of two public meetings last night intended to give people an opportunity to respond to school closure options developed by an Austin Independent School District task force

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Politics
12:40 pm
Thu January 13, 2011

Sen. Hutchison Not Running in 2012

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison will not seek another term
Image courtesy office of Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison

Update at 1:30 pm:  Ross Ramsey of the Texas Tribune, KUT's political reporting partner, reports that Lt. Gov. Dewhurst told him, "I'm really focused right now on this session.  I've got my plate full."  Dewhurst said he will talk about his political plans after the session.

Earlier:  Texas Republican Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison announced this morning that she will not seek another term in the Senate in 2012, according to a press aide to the senator.

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Politics
11:29 am
Thu January 13, 2011

Tucson Shooting And Mental Health Cuts In 2011 Texas Legislative Session

A view of the Capitol dome from inside the Capitol building.
Image by KUT

The first wave of political rhetoric to follow Saturday's shooting in Tucson, Arizona speculated on whether Jared Loughner was influenced by far right extremism or socialist dogma.

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Politics
11:59 am
Wed January 12, 2011

Fight on 2/3rds Rule Delayed in Senate

There wasn't as much action under the Capitol Dome today, as some had expected.
Photo by KUT News

The Texas Senate was expected to take up its rules for the 2011 legislative session today.  But, they did not.  In fact they gaveled in and gaveled out in 10 minutes.  

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Austin
11:39 am
Wed January 12, 2011

Austin Sales Tax Revenue Up

Austin will be getting over $11 million in its January sales tax payment.
Photo by KUT News

The state comptroller's office reports that Austin will see a 13% increase in sales tax revenue for January.

Texas took in over $1.81 billion for December, a 9% jump over December 2009.  In a news release, Comptroller Susan Combs noted that this is the ninth straight month of year-to-year gains.  In her budget estimate released earlier this week, Combs predicted sales tax revenue to continue rising this year and through the next biennium.

Austin
8:59 am
Wed January 12, 2011

Wednesday Morning Update, January 12, 2011

With opening day pomp disposed of, both the Texas House and Senate get down to business today.
Photo by Dave Bernstein for KUT News

Senate Rules Vote

The Texas Senate will vote on the rules it will use for the 82nd Legislature today.  Key among the votes is the so-called "2/3rds Vote."  State Sen. Dan Patrick (R-Houston) is expected to lead a charge that eliminates the requirement that 2/3rds of senators voting can bring legislation to the floor.  Other Republican senators may try to exempt specific legislation, such as Voter ID, immigration, and some other legislation, exempt from the rule. 

AISD Facilities Input

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Morning Traffic Update
7:18 am
Wed January 12, 2011

Wednesday Morning Traffic Problems

UPDATE at 10:50am--Travis County Sheriff's deputies report that the person involved in this morning's standoff on SH-130 has been taken into custody.  No reports of any injuries.  The 130 toll road between SH 71 and FM 812 has been reopened.

An armed driver is reportedly inside his car on the 130 toll toad this morning. The driver is not believed to be a threat to the public. He has told law enforcement officials he only intends to harm himself and not others.  Highway 130 is closed right now between 71 and FM 812 because of the incident.

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