Austin
9:32 am
Fri June 5, 2015

Ready to Hit the Pool? You May Have to Wait.

Barton Springs, along with several other pools, aren't quite recovered from the Memorial Day flooding.
Audrey McGlinchy/flickr

School’s letting out for summer, and swimming pool season’s getting underway. But some of Austin’s pools aren’t ready for swimmers, at least not yet.

During last week’s floods, images circulated of Barton Springs Pool looking like a raging river. The water’s receded since then, but now, small islands of drying mud float atop murky, green water.

But there aren’t any swimmers. “Just a few ducks and some divers,” said Andrei Mellin, who was in town visiting from Cincinatti. He and his family showed up to Barton Springs, towels in hand, only to find out that the pool isn’t open.

Read more
The Two-Way
4:28 am
Fri June 5, 2015

EPA Finds No Widespread Drinking Water Pollution From Fracking

Workers use perforating tools to create fractures in rock. An EPA study finds that "fracking" to reach and extract deep pockets of hydrocarbons has not caused widespread drinking water pollution.
Brennan Linsley AP

Originally published on Fri June 5, 2015 7:01 am

The Environmental Protection Agency says it has found no evidence that hydraulic fracturing — better known as fracking — has led to widespread pollution of drinking water. The oil industry and its backers welcome the long-awaited study, while environmental groups criticize it.

Read more
2016 Election
2:10 pm
Thu June 4, 2015

'It's Time,' Perry Says in Announcing 2016 Candidacy

Rick Perry, criticizes the current administration as he announces his candidacy for the Republican nomination for president on June 4, 2015.
Bob Daemmrich/Texas Tribune

Emphasizing his humble roots and military service, former Gov. Rick Perry made official Thursday what he has been hinting at for some time: He's running for president in 2016. 

"It's time," he said to a few hundred flag-waving supporters. "It's time to create real jobs; to raise wages; to create opportunity for all; to give every citizen a stake in this country; to restore hope — real hope to forgotten Americans."

Read more
Gender Divide
1:07 pm
Thu June 4, 2015

In Austin's All-Boys Middle School, Young Men Find, and Become, Role Models

Bryce Gable works out at track practice after a school day at Gus Garcia Young Men's Leadership Academy, an all-boys middle school.
Ilana Panich-Linsman/KUT News

Raising children isn’t easy, especially if you’re doing it on your own.

At Gus Garcia Young Men’s Leadership Academy, the new all-boys school in East Austin, many of the students are being raised by single moms or grandmas. Principal Sterlin McGruder recognizes that.

"I feel it's important [that] I’m in the cafeteria, I'm in the hallway, I'm in the classrooms, so that they can have a conversation with me," McGruder says. "They don’t have the male role model at home. They need that male role model who they can talk to. You can tell they're yearning."

Read more
Texas Standard
12:34 pm
Thu June 4, 2015

Terrorism Gone Viral: House Committee Hearing on ISIS and Social Media

jacobfg/flickr

From Texas Standard

"Terrorism Gone Viral: The Attack in Garland, Texas and Beyond," was the title given to the discussion in the House Committee on Homeland Security. The committee is chaired by Texas Congressman Michael McCaul.

Federal officials wanted to use the attack on the Curtis Culwell Center to illustrate the militant group, the self proclaimed Islamic State's, use of social media to recruit westerners.

Read more
2016 Presidential Election
7:05 am
Thu June 4, 2015

Rick Perry Makes It Official: He's Running for President, Again

Gov. Rick Perry on the House dais in his final speech to the Texas Legislature on Jan. 15, 2015.
Bob Daemmrich, Texas Tribune

Former Texas Governor Rick Perry has (as expected) declared he's pursuing the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. Perry announced first online this morning (in this web video and new website), ahead of his in-person announcement later in North Texas.

Read more
Austin
2:37 pm
Wed June 3, 2015

Early-Morning Running Group Helps Homeless Get Back on Their Feet

'Back on My Feet' provides running gear for homeless participants in their thrice-weekly early-morning runs.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

Austin is a running- and jogging-friendly city. It also has a homeless population of about 2,000. An Austin non-profit group is combining the two to help people break the cycle of chronic homelessness.

Back on My Feet is a program that uses running as a starting point to help people who are homeless change the way they see themselves, as well as find jobs and housing. The program started in Philadelphia in 2007, and its Austin chapter began in 2013.

Read more
Wayback Wednesday
2:04 pm
Wed June 3, 2015

Looking Back at Aqua Fest, One of Austin's Early Festivals

A young skier during the Austin Aqua Festival in the 1970s.
Texas Archive of the Moving Image

In light of the descending extreme sports — or "action" sports, if you're partial to that label — festival coming into town this week, today's Wayback Wednesday looks back at Austin's first sports-music hybrid festival, the Austin Aqua Festival. 

Founded by the city's chamber of commerce, the annual festival, which ran from 1962 to 1998, aimed to boost tourism during the slower summer months. As the years went on, Aqua Fest drew huge crowds (more than 200,000 at its peak in the '80s) and drew national acts and local favorites, like Dolly Parton and Willie Nelson.

But, it also enraged some communities along Lady Bird Lake, most notably Hispanic communities in East Austin, who protested noisy speedboat races near Festival Beach, and those in Bouldin Creek, who didn't like the idea of motorcycle races careening through their neighborhood. Ultimately, the fest ended in 1998 after years of declining attendance, but below is a look at the proto-X-Games, proto-ACL known as Aqua Fest.

Read more
Memorial Day Floods
11:27 am
Wed June 3, 2015

Texas Employees Have One Month to Apply for Disaster Assistance Money

People who've lost work in Texas after the Memorial Day Floods could qualify for Disaster Unemployment Assistance through the Texas Workforce Commission.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT

In the roughly 13 years that Tom Keyser has owned Ino’z Brew & Chew in Wimberley, he’s been flooded three times, and last month’s flooding was the worst.

"This water level inside the building and in the restaurant itself was the highest it’s ever, ever been," he said. 

The restaurant got 18 inches of water in areas including the kitchen and main dining area, which meant Keyser and his partner had to close down the restaurant for five days. That was tough for him, his partner and their 35 employees.

Read more
In Black America Podcast
11:26 am
Wed June 3, 2015

Homeownership and America's Financial Underclass: Flawed Premises, Broken Promises, New Prescription

A. Mechele Dickerson is a nationally recognized bankruptcy law scholar and a global media expert on consumer debt. She is the author of Homeownership and America's Financial Underclass: Flawed Premises, Broken Promises, New Prescriptions.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with A. Mechele Dickerson, Law professor at the University of Texas School of Law, and author of ‘Homeownership and America's Financial Underclass: Flawed Premises, Broken Promises, New Prescriptions.

Read more
Memorial Day Floods
8:13 am
Wed June 3, 2015

Attorney General Warns Texans in Disaster Zones Against Scammers

Residents of Hays, Harris and Van Zandt Counties may be eligible for help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency after the Memorial Day Floods.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

In May, Texas had the highest monthly rainfall total in its history, but the hundreds of people affected by flash flooding are finding out that they may not have had the right type of insurance coverage. The Insurance Council of Texas is warning Texans that a homeowner policy doesn’t cover everything.

"A lot of people think this homeowner policy is good for flooding. It’s not," says Mark Hanna, a spokesperson for the  Insurance Council of Texas. "You need to get a separate flood insurance policy. That’s going to protect you against any type of rising waters."

Meanwhile, residents of Hays, Harris and Van Zandt Counties may be eligible for help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Residents can register online at disasterassistance.gov.

Read more
Affordable Care Act
5:08 pm
Tue June 2, 2015

More Texas Women, Hispanics Insured Under ACA, Report Suggests

A June report from the Episcopal Health Foundation and Rice University’s Baker Institute suggests the uninsured rates among Texas Hispanics and women have dropped the most since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
KUT News

Some Texans may have benefited more than others from the Affordable Care Act, according to research by the Episcopal Health Foundation and Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy.

Since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the rate of uninsured Hispanics has dropped 38 percent. As of March this year, less than a quarter of Hispanics still didn't have health insurance.

Read more
Texas Standard
2:46 pm
Tue June 2, 2015

A Wimberley Summer Camp Rushes to Recover from Floods Before Campers Arrive

Photo via Brenda Salinas/Texas Standard

This Sunday, 150 girls ages six to 16 will say goodbye to their parents, grab their trunks and move into their summer cabins at Rocky River Ranch. The 50-year-old camp is a place preserved in time. When alumni drop off their little sisters and daughters, director Shanna Watson asks them if anything looks different.

Read more
Texas Standard
2:45 pm
Tue June 2, 2015

Weather Is 'Not Political,' Says Texas Climatologist

chiotsrun/flickr

From Texas Standard:

It seems that every major weather event is followed by a conversation about climate change, and the Memorial Day floods in Texas are no different. These historic storms have left more than 20 dead in Texas and Oklahoma, and Governor Abbott has declared around 70 counties as disaster zones.

Of course the climate change conversation is called out as insensitive by some, like Texas Senator Ted Cruz who thinks it’s wrong to “politicize a natural disaster." For others, it’s a tragic necessity.

Read more
Memorial Day Floods
7:53 am
Tue June 2, 2015

As San Marcos Flooded, Two Men Risked Their Lives to Save a Stranded Family

Chris Gutierrez (left) and Daniel Navarro found a woman and her three children stuck in their car in the San Marcos floodwaters.
Mose Buchele/KUT News

It’s been about a week since devastating floods swept through Texas, bringing destruction and even death.

The floods also set the scene for acts of heroism.

As the waters have receded, some of those stories have surfaced. One of them took place early Sunday morning on Memorial Day weekend on River Road in San Marcos.

Daniel Navarro and his stepfather Chris Gutierrez were searching for a family member and came across a woman and her three children stranded in their car in the floodwaters. Navarro and Gutierrez tell us what happened next.

Read more
Austin
4:16 pm
Mon June 1, 2015

One-Fifth of Austin's Musicians Live Below Federal Poverty Level, Census Says

A musician busks on South Congress in Austin.
Miguel Gutierrez Jr./KUT News

The City of Austin today released results from its first comprehensive census of the local music industry. The data backs up what many local musicians have been saying lately: It’s tough, and seems to be getting tougher, for musicians to support themselves in the Live Music Capital of the World.

“I think it’s common knowledge that it’s really hard to make money as a musician,” says Don Pitts, who manages the city’s music and entertainment division. “But I think when you see it in this data-only context, at first, it takes the emotion out of it. But then you see the actual numbers, and it brings the emotions back in.”

Read more
Austin
2:17 pm
Mon June 1, 2015

How Bird Flu Has Grounded Your Late-Night Whataburger Taquito Addiction (Updated)

Due to an egg shortage, Whataburger's cut back its breakfast hours.
Carlo Nasisse for KUT News

Update June 20: Whataburger announced that its restaurants have returned to normal breakfast hours of 11 p.m. to 11 a.m. 

The company said in its press release that it's secured "additional egg supply" and that they no longer have an egg shortage. This story will be updated with any new information.

Original story: Last night, Whataburger, the beloved Texas bastion of burger-dom, announced in a statement that it will cut its breakfast hours by more than half, after a recent outbreak of avian influenza threatened its egg suppliers.

Read more
Austin
12:27 pm
Mon June 1, 2015

Most DWI Arrests Occur in Central, East Austin

James Palinsad/flickr

There have been at least 41 traffic fatalities so far this year in Austin, which is nearly double the number during the same period last year. And, in many of these crashes, alcohol and impaired driving are factors. A new analysis of DWI data is providing a better picture of where the problem spots are.

Over the last decade, there have been nearly 200 deaths in Austin due to drunk driving. A new analysis by Civic Analytics shows suspects in 724 of the 6,033 DWI arrests live in District 3, which includes East Austin and parts of South Austin. 

Read more
Get Involved
5:00 am
Mon June 1, 2015

Get Involved Spotlight: Sustainable Food Center

From Sustainable Food Center, this month’s Get Involved spotlight non-profit:

 

Sustainable Food Center cultivates a healthy community by strengthening the local food system and improving access to nutritious, affordable food.  SFC envisions a food secure community where all children and adults grow, share and prepare healthy, local food.

Read more
Higher Ed
2:00 pm
Sun May 31, 2015

Higher Ed: More Rest = Better Learning

Credit Dawn Endico/flickr

Caffeine-fueled all-nighters to finish up that paper or cram for a final exam: For some students, that's a regular part of their studying routine in higher education. They come to equate intense periods of hard work with more successful achievement and learning. But some research indicates slowing down that work flow might actually be the best recipe for deeper learning. In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger have a lively discussion about the benefits of a slower pace.

Read more

Pages