economy
5:06 pm
Wed December 8, 2010

People Buying More In Austin Than Last Year But Less Than 2008

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

The latest sales tax collection numbers show the state collected $10.56 million in Austin last month. That's an increase of about 0.11 percent from the $10.54 collected in the same month last year. But it's substantially less than the $11.56 million in sales tax collected in Austin in November 2008.

The numbers suggest the Austin economy is more active than it was 12 months ago, but still has yet to recover from the pain inflicted by the national recession.

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Parks and REc
4:36 pm
Wed December 8, 2010

Liz Carpenter Fountain Will Close For Five Months Starting January

Children splashing in the Liz Carpenter Fountain this summer. The fountain will be closed for repairs for five months starting in January.
Image by Nasha Lee for KUT News

The Liz Carpenter Fountain in Butler Park is a victim of its own success. Austin Parks and Recreation assistant director Kelly Snook says when the splash fountain was first installed three years ago, they never expected that 400 to 1,000 people a day would use it.

"We've had many, many more bathers than we anticipated. The existing filtration system, pump and all the equipment is simply not large enough to accommodate the capacity," Snook told KUT News.

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business
4:06 pm
Wed December 8, 2010

Yet Another Daily Deals Website Launches in Austin

Groupon and similar sites like Localiter, GivShop, LivingSocial, TheLunchDeal, EverSave, and ADealio are already competing to appeal to Austin spendthrifts. Do we really need another website offering daily deals?

The answer is yes, if you ask Boston brothers Casey and Jesse Rankin. They run the site DealGator. They announced today they are expanding service to include more cities, including Austin. But wait, they say, their service is different!

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FOOD
2:53 pm
Wed December 8, 2010

Eat Local Week Continues Until Saturday

Watch this video by KUT's Peter Babb to get inspired for the remaining four days of Eat Local Week. It's an event sponsored by Edible Austin magazine that encourages Austinites to learn about and indulge in locally produced food. Proceeds go to Urban Roots, a non-profit that helps high needs kids learn about sustainable agriculture.

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Education
1:37 pm
Wed December 8, 2010

Comptroller Says New Online Tool Lets You Compare School Thrift

Texas Comptroller Susan Combs
Image courtesy Comptroller's Office

As state leaders look for places to trim spending underneath a looming budget shortage that could surpass $20 billion, the Texas Comptroller Susan Combs today unveiled a new online tool that she says will allow anyone to rate how well schools are using money.

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Austin
12:35 pm
Wed December 8, 2010

Why Don't We Have Backup Power To Keep Us On Air During Outages?

A look up to the top of the CMB building where KUT is housed. Our transmitter has a backup generator, but our studios do not.
Photo by Nathan Bernier for KUT News

During our mini-crisis this morning, when the power was cut to several dozen buildings at the University of Texas and KUT went off the air, some people on were wondering, "Why don't y'all have some backup power?"

Our 100,000 watt transmitter does have a backup generator, which is why you would have heard silence if you tuned in this morning between 7 and 8:30. If the transmitter lost power, you would have heard nothing but radio static.

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Austin
12:07 pm
Wed December 8, 2010

KUT Audio News Roundup

Image courtesy Scorch07 http://www.flickr.com/photos/scorch07/

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

Public Hearing Will Address Shipping Radioactive Waste to Texas

A public hearing in Austin tomorrow will address a proposed rule allowing 36 other states to ship their low-level radioactive waste to west Texas. As KUT's Erika Aguilar reports, the rule has environmentalists and the new governor of Vermont raising their eyebrows.

State Looks To Preserve World War II Internment Camps

69 years ago yesterday, the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor propelled the US into World War II. The War also led to the internment of thousands of Japanese, German and Italian Americans. As KUT's Matt Largey reports, researchers are now trying to preserve and memorialize those sites in Texas.

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Austin
7:42 am
Wed December 8, 2010

Power Restored at UT Campus, KUT Back On Air

Employees wait for power to be restored in Communications Building B on the UT Campus
Photo by Crystal Chavez for KUT News

Update at 9:40am: Apologies for the ill-timed site maintenance, our hosting service chose the wrong time to take the site offline.  Power has been restored to the UT campus and KUT is back on the air.  Thanks for bearing with us while we dealt with the situation.  UT says the cause was an animal getting into the switching gears at the University power plant.

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News Brief
5:24 am
Wed December 8, 2010

Top Morning Stories December 8, 2010

Elizabeth Edwards getting ready for an interview with KUT News in 2007.
Photo by Tiffany Jenkins for KUT.

Elizabeth Edwards Passes Away at 61

Elizabeth Edwards, the estranged wife of former Senator and Vice Presidential hopeful John Edwards, died Tuesday at her home in North Carolina.

Mrs. Edwards was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004, the day her husband’s running mate conceded defeat to George W. Bush in that year’s presidential election.

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Business
4:30 pm
Tue December 7, 2010

Company Will Let You Rent Private Jet For $999

Image courtesy JetSuite

It might be too down market for the ultra-rich who read magazines like Elite Traveler and JetSet, but those who live off a mere seven-figures a year may be interested in a new service coming to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.

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Transportation
4:04 pm
Tue December 7, 2010

Austin Flight Involved In Near Miss At Boston Airport Over Thanksgiving

A plane touches down at Logan International Airport in Boston. Officials released flight control video yesterday showing how an Austin flight was involved in a near miss on the runway over Thanksgiving.
Image courtesy Pylon757 http://www.flickr.com/photos/10037058@N08/

This happened on November 24, but news organizations are just getting air traffic control video showing how a flight from Austin narrowly missed disaster at Boston Logan International Airport.

JetBlue flight 1264 arrived safely with 91 passengers on board, but the pilot turned right instead of left while taxiing to the gate, reports WCVB Boston.

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business
3:36 pm
Tue December 7, 2010

Texas Ranks 17th In Percentage of Women Owned Businesses

This map shows the concentration of women-owned businesses across the country. Texas ranks 17th.
Image courtesy US Census Bureau

Texas has the second highest number of women-owned business in the country, according to new US Census Data released this afternoon. But the percentage of women-owned businesses in Texas still falls slightly below the national average.

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health
1:53 pm
Tue December 7, 2010

This Guy Needs $800,000 For A Double Lung And Kidney Transplant

Hutto resident Jason Brady needs a double lung and kidney transplant to survive, but can't afford the $800,000 cost.
Image courtesy NFT

A man from Hutto is appealing for public help to pay for the double lung and kidney transplant he needs to survive. Jason Brady was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when he was just 3 months old.

CF is a "life-threatening genetic disease that causes mucus to build up and clog some of the organs in the body, particularly the lungs and pancreas," according to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

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