Politics
11:17 am
Thu December 2, 2010

Gov. Perry Will Make Chuck Norris An Honorary Texas Ranger

Chuck Norris at a Mike Huckabee campaign rally in 2008. Gov. Perry will name Norris an honorary Texas Ranger this afternoon.
Image courtesy Aaron Webb http://www.flickr.com/photos/aaronw79/

For years, Chuck Norris played a Texas Ranger in the TV series Walker, Texas Ranger.

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austin
10:55 am
Thu December 2, 2010

KUT Audio News Roundup

Image courtesy Roadsidepictures http://www.flickr.com/photos/roadsidepictures/

A look at some of the audio pieces KUT produced in the past 24 hours.

Plans for MoPac on Display

The City of Austin plans to revamp MoPac and yesterday, KUT's Mose Buchele reported on the options and the politics behind them.

Hospice, Housing for People Living With Aids

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Music and Arts
10:02 am
Thu December 2, 2010

Emerging Artists Wanted For Public Art Project In East Austin

The circled "open space" is the area where the public art project will be at the African-American Culture and Hertigate Facility.
Diagram courtesy of the City of Austin.

The City of Austin is accepting proposals from artists interested in creating public art at the future African-American Culture and Heritage Facility.  The complex will be located on East 11th Street off of Branch Street.

Download the Request for Proposals (pdf) from the City of Austin's Art In Public Places (AIPP) program here.  The deadline to pitch your public art project is midnight, January 10.

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News Brief
6:18 am
Thu December 2, 2010

Top Morning Stories December 2, 2010

State Rep. Donna Howard (D-Austin) sits and watches results trickle in at the Driskill Hotel where the Democratic Party was holding its Election Night party Nov. 2nd. Howard won by 16 votes, but Republican challenger Dan Neil asked for a recount.
Photo by Jeff Heimsath for KUT News

HD 48 Recount Underway

A Travis County committee has started recounting the votes in the House District 48 race.  The recount could be done by this afternoon.  Initial voting results showed Incumbent Democrat Donna Howard won re-election by just 16 votes.  Her Republican challenger Dan Neil requested the votes be counted again.

Residents Returning to Ciudad Mier

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Music and Arts
4:43 pm
Wed December 1, 2010

Fun Fun Fun Fest Recap Captures Magic of Festival

This cool montage of last month's Fun Fun Fun Festival in downtown Austin's Waterloo Park does a wonderful job of representing the mood and atmosphere of the music festival.

economy
4:09 pm
Wed December 1, 2010

Austin Is Top American City On Most Dynamic Cities List

Image by Nasha Lee for KUT News

Austin is the 26th most dynamic city in the post-recession world, according to a new report by the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program.

The Global MetroMonitor report looks at cities' economic output and employment and ranks them based on how much they "punch above their weight."

Austin was the only American city in the top 30. Istanbul topped the list.

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Environment
3:37 pm
Wed December 1, 2010

Lake Austin Will Drop By Twelve Feet Next Month

Lake Austin will drop by 12 feet next month to help fend off invasive plants.
Image courtesy atmtx http://www.flickr.com/photos/atmtx/

Annoying, non-native plants are growing out of control in Lake Austin, and the city is asking the Lower Colorado River Authority to drop lake levels next month to help fend them off. Lake Austin is a stretch of the Colorado River between the Mansfield and Tom Miller dams.

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health
3:12 pm
Wed December 1, 2010

Mayor Leffingwell Doesn't Like Austin-Branded Camel Cigarettes

The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids says this is the imagery Camel is using on its city branded cigarettes.
Image courtesy Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

As we told you last week, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids says RJ Reynolds will start selling limited edition Camel cigarette packs this winter. The packaging will feature the symbols of America's hippest locales, Williamsburg, San Francisco, Las Vegas, and of course, Austin, Texas.

That's not sitting well with many elected officials from those municipalities. Now you can add Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell to the list of disgruntled public authorities.

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Austin
2:25 pm
Wed December 1, 2010

Woman Accused Of Stealing From Local Non-Profits Surrenders

Louanne Aponte in happier days, before the scandal broke.
Image courtesy Family Connections

The former executive director of the local non-profit Family Connections, Louanne Aponte, is in Travis County police custody and headed back to Austin. Aponte is accused of misappropriating more than $327,000 from the organization between 2004 and 2009.  She is also accused of stealing from other local charities.

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health
1:25 pm
Wed December 1, 2010

Austin Has Third Highest HIV Infection Rate in Texas

Antiretroviral drugs help many HIV patients live longer, healthier lives.
Photo illustration courtesy Pigi Mazzoli http://www.flickr.com/photos/pigi/

Here's a grim statistic to chew on this World AIDS Day: Austin has the third highest percentage of people living with HIV in Texas. We used to fourth, behind Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio, respectively. But as of 2009, we've displaced San Antonio for the third spot.

Here are the HIV infection rates from 2009, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.  

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Education
12:41 pm
Wed December 1, 2010

Walkout and Protest at University of Texas Over Budget Cuts

Image by Nick Robertson for KUT News

A group of students, faculty, and staff walked out of their buildings and held a loud marching demonstration this morning on the University of Texas campus.  They were protesting existing and future budget cuts brought on largely as a result of the state's budget gap, a shortfall that could exceed $20 billion.

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Texas
11:59 am
Wed December 1, 2010

Atheist Bus Ads Appear In Fort Worth Just In Time For Christmas

An atheist group in Fort Worth is causing a stir with some Christians for these bus ads.
Image courtesy the Dallas-Fort Worth Coalition of Reason

An atheist group called the Dallas-Fort Worth Coalition of Reason has purchased what they call "Godless Ads" on busses in Tarrant County.

The ads remind people that "Millions of Americans Are Good Without God." They appear on both sides of the bus. Similar billboard ads appeared in Austin this summer. The parent organization, the United Coalition of Reason, has also helped pay for ads in cities like Detroit, Philadelphia and Washington DC.

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Politics
11:45 am
Wed December 1, 2010

Recount Underway in House District 48

House District 48 includes large sections of West Austin and the Hill Country.
Image courtesy Texas Legislature

State Rep. Donna Howard (D-Austin) could find out this week if she will keep her seat or surrender it to her Republican challenger, sports radio host Dan Neil.

Howard won the November 2 election by a narrow 16 votes. Neil requested a recount. This morning, the Travis County Clerk emailed us this press release to let us know the recount has begun.

House District 48 Recount Underway

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Texas
10:51 am
Wed December 1, 2010

Jailed FLDS Leader Warren Jeffs is Back in Texas

Former FLDS leader Warren Jeffs arrived in San Angelo, Texas last night to face charges that he raped a child.
Image courtesy Texas Attorney General's office

The Texas Attorney General sent us a news release this morning announcing that Warren Jeffs, former leader of theFundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS), arrived in the West Texas town of San Angelo at 9 o'clock last night.

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Austin
10:11 am
Wed December 1, 2010

Local Audio News Roundup

Image courtesy Zeetz Jones http://www.flickr.com/photos/zeetzjones/

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

Incentive Funds Under Fire

KUT's Ben Philpott reports on growing criticism of two economic development funds under Governor Perry's control.

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