Transportation
3:09 pm
Fri December 10, 2010

Austin Traffic Fatalities 20 Percent Lower This Year

MoPac as seen from the Far West bridge/overpass. Traffic fatalities in Austin are 20 percent lower compared to this time last year, APD says.
Image courtesy mirsasha http://www.flickr.com/photos/mirsasha/

The Austin Police Department just announced the 47th and 48th traffic fatalities of the year.  This time last year, there had been 58 traffic deaths reported in Austin. It's a decrease of about 20 percent.

The 47th fatality was a 76-year-old man who crossed the center line while driving down Anderson Mill Road and smashed into another vehicle just after 4 pm yesterday. Police don't believe alcohol or speed was a factor.

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Business
2:46 pm
Fri December 10, 2010

Former Pedernales Electric Cooperative Manager Guilty Of Felony Theft

The Gillespie County Courthouse in Fredricksburg where Bennie Fuelberg was found guilty today.
Image courtesy Devil's Rancher http://www.flickr.com/photos/cvreeland/

A man who once ran Pedernales Electric Cooperative, the largest member-owned electric utility in the country, was found guilty today of charges related to funneling money to his brother and the son of a former PEC director.

A Gillespie County jury of nine women and three men found Bennie Fuelberg was guilty of money laundering between $100,000 and $200,000, misapplication of fiduciary duty in excess of $200,000, and theft of property in excess of $200,000.

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Austin
1:45 pm
Fri December 10, 2010

35,000 Local Children Will Get Free Coats Tomorrow

The annual Coats For Kids Program reports a record breaking number of donations this year. More than 35,000 coats will be distributed to low income children tomorrow at the Palmer Events Center.

All the coats are new or gently used.

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Fort Hood
11:57 am
Fri December 10, 2010

Accused Fort Hood Shooter Undergoing Mental Evaluation

The family of Staff Sgt. Amy Kreuger mourns her death at a ceremony marking the one year anniversary of the November 2009 Fort Hood shootings.
Image courtesy 807MDSC http://www.flickr.com/photos/807thpao/

Three psychological experts appointed by the Pentagon have been examining the Army Major accused of killing 13 people during a shooting rampage last year at Fort Hood.

Nidal Hasan's lawyer, John Galligan, told KUT News that the evaluation started on Wednesday. The experts will determine whether Hasan is fit to stand trial.  Galligan objects to the evaluation because he says he hasn't received all evidence in the case, including some held by the White House. He is prohibited from attending the evaluation.

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Austin
11:09 am
Fri December 10, 2010

KUT Audio News Roundup

Some of the audio news we've produced over the last 24 hours.

As Austin Lures Business, Some Fear For Blue Collar Workers

Facebook, Hangar Orthopedics, and solar power giant SunPower are a few of the big fish Austin has recently reeled in, but as KUT's Mose Buchele reports, for all that success, the long-term unemployment trends for large swaths of Austin's workforce look dire.

Economists Predict Solid Growth For 2011

What might the future hold for Austin’s economy? A panel of economists, hosted by the Austin Chamber of Commerce Thursday, tried to answer that question. KUT's Matt Largey was there.

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Politics
10:40 am
Fri December 10, 2010

State Rep. Berman Wants To Jail Bureaucrats Who Enforce New Health Law

State Rep. Leo Berman's proposed legislation would put government workers in the clink if they tried to enforce the new health care bill.
Image courtesy Still Burning http://www.flickr.com/photos/stillburning/St

The same Texas state representative whose interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper went viral after he expressed doubt that President Obama was born in the US is attracting more attention for his proposal that health care officials be imprisoned for enforcing the new health care law.

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News Brief
6:09 am
Fri December 10, 2010

Top Morning Stories December 10, 2010

Photo courtesy of the Teacher Retirement System of Texas.

Teacher Retirement System Earns 12.6% Return Rate

The Teacher Retirement System of Texas Trust Fund earned 12.6 percent this year.  TRS says it ranks first among its pension fund peers across the nation.  The fund's total value is more than $100 billion, up about $9 billion from September 2009.  The return meant a big pay out for the TRS' investment team.  They were awarded $9.7 million in performance bonuses.

Prison System Bracing for Cuts

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Transportation
3:38 pm
Thu December 9, 2010

Google Map Shows Where CapMetro Buses Could Run In Cedar Park

This map shows roughly where the proposed new line would run, but a Google Map (link below) shows it in much greater detail.
Image courtesy CapMetro

Austin's public transit agency Capital Metro has announced that it will begin a one-year trial service to the exurb of Cedar Park.

Cedar Park City Council still has to vote on the measure at its next meeting on December 16. Under the deal, Cedar Park and Austin Community College would pay CapMetro almost $117,000.

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Politics
2:56 pm
Thu December 9, 2010

The ATM in the Lobby

Lawmakers can raise money for their campaigns until 30 days before the Legislature convenes.
KUT News

Big receptions hosted by members of the Legislature in the month-plus since the election have been fairly common. Some of the guest lists have been things in common, too.

Of the 181 members of next year’s Texas Legislature, 89 have held fundraising receptions in the five weeks since the November election. So reports Jason Embry in the Austin American-Statesman.

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fort hood
2:38 pm
Thu December 9, 2010

WWE Will Tape Star-Studded Wrestling Show At Fort Hood on Saturday

CM Punk at WWE's 2009 Tribute to the Troops. The 2010 edition will be taped at Fort Hood this weekend.
Image courtesy WWE

World Wrestling Entertainment is taping its annual "Tribute to the Troops" at Fort Hood this year.  A press release from Fort Hood's public affairs office says it will feature an all star cast.

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Business
2:12 pm
Thu December 9, 2010

Economic Forecasters Expect More Jobs In Austin Even With State Cutbacks

Four economists offered their predictions for next year at an event sponsored by the Austin Chamber of Commerce
Image courtesy Austin Chamber of Commerce

Job growth in the private sector will more than make up for anticipated government job cuts next year, according to a series of economic forecasts presented today by the Austin Chamber of Commerce.

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immigration
1:37 pm
Thu December 9, 2010

DREAM Act In Limbo, Undocumented UT Students Bummed

Image courtesy Kevin Dooley http://www.flickr.com/photos/pagedooley/

Texas has a large share of students with no legal immigration status in the US. Many of them come to this country with their parents, and grow up learning English and assimilating to American culture. The Texas Comptroller estimated that about 3 percent of students are undocumented immigrants.

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Texas
1:11 pm
Thu December 9, 2010

Dallas Ordinance Targets Panhandlers During Superbowl

Dallas City Council voted to ban panhandling 24/7 in its downtown business district, partly they don't want Superbowl visitors to be approached by the homeless.
Image courtesy skys the limit2 http://www.flickr.com/photos/52949402@N03/

Dallas is getting revved up to host Superbowl XLV on February 6, 2011, and yesterday the Dallas City Council voted to prohibit people from begging for change in the downtown business district.

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City Council
12:57 pm
Thu December 9, 2010

Council Approves New Library Funding, Considers Housing Projects

Callie Hernandez, KUT News

Austin City Council members are voting on some big items today.

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