economy
11:16 am
Fri December 17, 2010

Latest Jobs Figures Show More People Employed In Austin Area

Austin continues to weather the economic storm, but how many public sector jobs will disappear with state budget cuts?
Image courtesy Stuck in Customs http://www.flickr.com/photos/stuckincustoms/

The Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos area added 17,700 jobs over the last 12 months, according to statistics released this morning by the Texas Workforce Commission. But because the size of the labor force also grew, the unemployment rate actually edged upwards to 7.1 percent in November 2010 compared to 7 percent in November 2009.

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News Brief
5:05 am
Fri December 17, 2010

Top Morning Stories December 17, 2010

If you're headed to Austin's airport be advised, today's expected to be one of the busiest days of the year.
Photo by KUT News.

Busy Day at Austin's Airport

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Texas
4:04 pm
Thu December 16, 2010

Avoid at Christmas: Fruitcake, Family Drama and Mexico

State officials say stay away from Mexico over the holidays
Picture by KUT

In a move that seems to be becoming a holiday tradition, the Texas Department of Public Safety released it's annual call for Texans to avoid Mexico over the holidays.  DPS sighted increased violence, kidnappings, assault and rape along the boarder as reasons Texans should stay away.

In a press release today, DPS Director Steven C. McCraw says that while the department knows people safely travel and vacation in Mexico on a daily basis, the increase in violence is also a reality.

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Austin
2:54 pm
Thu December 16, 2010

Cats and Dogs (and people) Sleeping Together...Mass Hysteria!

The Austin Humane Society gets ready to sleep with the animals
picture courtesy the Austin Humane Society

Workers and volunteers at the Austin Humane Society will spend the night at the shelter to honor all of the animals that will be homeless during the holidays.  The 5th annual sleep over starts tonight at 7 with a visit from Santa.  After the jolly fat guy poses for pictures with the shelter pets, the dogs will be allowed to run around an indoor dog park.  While all cats will be allowed to roam around the shelter as well.  Shelter staff and volunteers will spend the night all around the shelter, including dog kennels, cat rooms and play areas

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Arts and Culture
2:08 pm
Thu December 16, 2010

KOOP Radio Turns 16

KOOP went on the air 16 years ago in Austin.
Logo courtesy KOOP

The Austin city council passed a proclamation today to recognize KOOP radio's 16 years of public service broadcasting in Austin. KOOP delivers an eclectic mix of music and public affairs programming, all created and run by station volunteers.

Kim McCarson is the station's executive director, one of its few paid positions.  She says KOOP is the only cooperatively run station in the US.

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Austin
1:15 pm
Thu December 16, 2010

Remembering Jennifer Gale

Jennifer Gale was ever-present at Austin city council meetings
Photo courtesy flickr.com/Patrick Dentler

The Austin city council opened today's council meeting with a tribute to Jennifer Gale.  Gale was ever-present at council meetings and ran for Mayor and several other elected positions over the years.  She was also homeless.  Gale was found dead two years ago tomorrow in front of a church near the UT-Austin campus.

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2012 Presidential Election
11:54 am
Thu December 16, 2010

Tea Party Caucus Announced

Sen. Patrick (R-Houston) hopes to strengthen Tea Party voice at Texas Capitol
Dan Patrick

The Tea Party played a big role in this year's national and state elections.  Now, one Texas lawmaker hopes to strengthen the loosely structured group's voice at the Texas Capitol.  In a release today, Tea Party caucus chair Sen. Dan Patrick (R-Houston) announced the first 49 members of the caucus.  Sen. Patrick said he wants the caucus to keep the power the party showed at the polls going during the 2011 legislative session.

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Health
10:42 am
Thu December 16, 2010

Texas Healthcare Lawsuit Heard Today

Abbott and Texas hope to get ruling against new healthcare law
Photo courtesy Texas Attorney General

Attorneys General from Texas and 19 other states appeared in federal district court in Florida today to argue over the constitutionality of President Obama's new federal healthcare law.  Today’s oral argument was the final court proceeding for the suit.  U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson is expected to rule on the law’s constitutionality sometime next year.

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News Brief
5:35 am
Thu December 16, 2010

Top Morning Stories December 16, 2010

Senior Juliann Faucette helped the Longhorns reach the NCAA's Volleyball Championship Final Four.
Photo courtesy of Texassports.com

City May Support Payday Lending Legislation

The City of Austin will consider a resolution today to endorse state legislation to regulate payday and auto title loan lenders.  These lenders often have high interest and fees that consumer advocates say can trap people in a spiral of debt.  Right now there is a loophole that allows these stores to run without oversight.  If the resolution is passed, the city would officially endorse Rep. Eddie Rodriguez's House Bill 212. 

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Texas
9:52 pm
Wed December 15, 2010

Amber Alert for McAllen Toddler

Police in McAllen have issued an Amber Alert for two-year-old Terry Bennett
Photo courtesy AmberAlert.gov

Police in McAllen have issued an Amber Alert for Terry Onne Bennett.

FOOD
4:50 pm
Wed December 15, 2010

Trailer Of Lights Canceled, Folks Bummed

An event at Seaholm Power Plant that was supposed to feature local food trucks like Austin Daily Press and Hey Cupcake! along with other artists and vendors has been canceled due to "red tape", according to a blog post by organizer Tiffany Harelik.

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Austin
4:32 pm
Wed December 15, 2010

Get Your Picture Taken With Santa At The Airport For Free

Image courtesy Joe Shlabotnik http://www.flickr.com/photos/joeshlabotnik/

If you want a picture of your kid with Santa but can't brave the mall before catching a flight out of town, Austin-Bergstrom International Airport has got you covered.

ABIA is hosting Santa at the airport at various times throughout the day from December 17th until the 20th. He'll be behind security, so you'll have to be a ticketed passenger. There is no cost to having your picture taken, but you'll probably have to look at Southwest Airline's logo, as they're sponsoring the event.

Transportation
4:10 pm
Wed December 15, 2010

Goodbye Free Downtown Parking?

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

Our buddy over at the Austin Business Journal, Jacob Dirr, is reporting that the Austin Transportation Department (ATD) wants you to pay for parking downtown until midnight and end free parking on Saturdays.  ATD also wants to extend meter enforcement citywide from 5:30 p.m. until 6 p.m., reports the ABJ.

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Transportation
3:41 pm
Wed December 15, 2010

ZipCar Hourly Vehicle Rentals Coming To UT-Austin

A ZipCar in Washington DC. The company is bringing its hourly car rental service to the UT campus next month.
Image courtesy citta-vita http://www.flickr.com/photos/koshalek/

Students, faculty, and staff at the University of Texas at Austin will be able to rent one of eight ZipCar vehicles positioned throughout campus starting in mid-January. ZipCar is a private company that rents full sized cars on an hourly basis.

ZipCar will be competing with Car2Go, which rents tiny smart cars. Car2Go was only available to city workers for a year under a pilot program. It now offers car rentals to everyone in the city.

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Austin
2:04 pm
Wed December 15, 2010

Easily See Average Income, Education, Racial Makeup Of Your Neighborhood

The New York Times has produced this map that plots data from the US Census Bureau's American Community Survey on a map. It lets you see the results of your neighborhood down to the census tract, providing a fascinatingly high level of granularity.

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