Affordable Care Act
12:50 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

In Austin and Across the Country, It's Deadline Day for Obamacare

The healthcare.gov website. The deadline to begin signing up for Affordable Care Act insurance is 11 p.m. CST tonight.
Credit KUT News

Austin nonprofits are trying to sign up as many people as possible before tonight’s deadline to apply for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

Insure Central Texas has four enrollment centers in the Austin area. Program director Elizabeth Colvin says the demand for their services is exceeding their capacity; this morning they had 100 people lined up by the time they opened at 6 a.m.

The deadline to begin signing up is 11 p.m. tonight. Colvin advises people to at least start the application this evening, as those who do start then can finish the process at a later time.

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Albuquerque Protest
11:58 am
Mon March 31, 2014

Albuquerque Protest Of Fatal Police Shootings Turns Into Chaos

Riot police faced off with protesters Sunday, during a demonstration against recent police shootings in Albuquerque, N.M. The march lasted at least nine hours.
Russell Contreras AP

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 1:54 pm

An hours-long protest against recent police shootings spun out of control late Sunday in Albuquerque, N.M., as officers in riot gear reportedly used tear gas and other methods to break up crowds. Hundreds of people took part in the rally, which spread over several streets.

Protesters eventually clashed with police, who threw gas canisters and charged at members of the crowd to break up the gathering, according to The Associated Press, which quotes the city's Mayor Richard Berry calling the situation Sunday night "mayhem."

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Education
11:34 am
Mon March 31, 2014

The Carstarphen Tenure: Austin Schools Superintendent Looks Back

AISD Superintendent Meria Carstarphen at a board meeting in 2011. Carstarphen has been in charge of the district since 2009.
KUT News

Editor's note: Austin ISD Superintendent Meria Carstarphen is leaving to become Atlanta's school superintendent. Read more about Carstarphen's departure and what that means for AISD.

In December 2013, on the eve of what would be Carstarphen's final State of the District address, KUT looked back at her time leading AISD.

Original story (Dec. 3, 2013): Austin ISD Superintendent Meria Carstarphen’s releases her 2013 State of the District today – a movie where the superintendent highlights the district’s achievements and challenges over the past year.

It’s Carstarphen’s fifth State of the District since she became superintendent in 2009.

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Rangers' Opening Day
10:54 am
Mon March 31, 2014

Frozen Beer! Bacon On A Stick! Choomongous? Presenting Texas Rangers’ New Foods

The Choomongous -- it's humongous! It's named after Shin-Soo Choo, the new Rangers outfielder. It's a two-foot-long sandwich topped with Asian beef and spicy slaw.
Metroplex Sportservice/Texas Rangers

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 1:06 pm

Opening day for the Texas Rangers is Monday. The Rangers play the Phillies at 1:05 p.m. And Tanner Scheppers is the Rangers’ Opening Day starter, replacing Yu Darvish, who’s on the disabled list and dealing with stiffness in his neck.

We’re not going to preview the season right now. What we are interested in, though, is what’s new to eat. And the answer is … big! The bigger, the better. 

The Rangers unveiled their menu last week. Here’s a look at what you can eat at Globe Life Park in Arlington.

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Education
5:56 am
Mon March 31, 2014

Can You Opt Your Child Out of Texas Standardized Tests?

STAAR testing begins Monday, but some parents in Texas are choosing to keep their kids home as part of the growing Opt Out movement.
Nathan Bernier, KUT News

Standardized testing in Texas begins today and some parents across the state are choosing to opt their children out of the testing process.

Last week, a Waco family made news when they publicly told their school district they did not want their fourth grader taking the state tests because they were morally opposed to testing. 

Under state law, that's illegal. 

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In Black America Podcast
6:33 pm
Sun March 30, 2014

Interview: Dr. Quincy T. Mills on Black Barbers and Barber Shops in America

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Dr. Quincy T. Mills, Associate Professor of History at Vassar College and author of "Cutting Along the Color Line
: Black Barbers and Barber Shops in America."

Today, black-owned barber shops play a central role in African American public life. The intimacy of commercial grooming encourages both confidentiality and camaraderie, which make the barber shop an important gathering place for African American men to talk freely.

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Unrest in Ukraine
10:23 am
Sat March 29, 2014

Russia Says It Doesn't Plan To Invade Ukraine

Senior high school students wearing Soviet-era navy uniform march during a daily ceremony of changing the guard of honor at the WW II Memorial to the Heroes of the defense of Sevastopol 1941-1942 in Sevastopol, Crimea, Saturday. Russia says it doesn't plant to invade mainland Ukraine.
Olga Maltseva AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat March 29, 2014 11:32 am

The Russian troops who are holding Crimea won't be sent into Ukraine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says. "We have absolutely no intention of — or interest in — crossing Ukraine's borders," Lavrov told a Russian TV station Saturday, according to a translation by Reuters.

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Affordable Care Act
4:22 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

Sebelius Blames Texas Opposition for State's Lagging Obamacare Signups

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius speaks in Austin on March 28, 2014, days before the deadline to sign up for health insurance through the federal marketplace.
Veronica Zaragovia, KUT

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was in Austin today, as part of the final push for people to sign up for health insurance ahead of a Monday deadline. She also came to urge Texas leaders to expand Medicaid eligibility. 

During her comments, Sebelius said although everything is bigger in Texas, having the highest rate of uninsured in the U.S. is nothing to boast about.

To chip away at the roughly 25 percent of Texans without health insurance, Sebelius renewed her call for Texas leaders to expand Medicaid eligibility.  

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Arts Eclectic
2:33 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

Mother Falcon's Music Laboratory

For the past few years, the band Mother Falcon has been operating a summer camp for young musicians. The many members of the band are still pretty young themselves, but when they were even younger, they spend their summers at various music camps, so the idea of starting their own seemed like a natural.

They aim to encourage creative musical thinking, guided by their camp motto, "Musicality over Technicality." During each week-long session, the students are divided up into bands with diverse instrumentation, where they'll hopefully encourage one another to experiment and broaden their creative horizons. Each sessions ends with a showcase concert by the kids, during which they'll play original songs, covers, and do a little jamming. 

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Austin
1:42 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

Austin Area Under Severe Thunderstorm Watch Until 7pm

National Weather Service

The National Weather Service has issued a severe thunderstorm watch for Bastrop, Burnet, Blanco, Hays, Lee, Llano, Travis and Williamson counties until 7 p.m. 

The watch means conditions are right for strong winds and large hail, if storms develop.

Affordable Care Act
8:57 am
Fri March 28, 2014

Obamacare's National Enrollment Looks OK, But States Matter More

Maygan Rollins, a field organizer with Enroll America, talked health insurance options with Jerry Correa during a recent campaign in Miami.
Lynne Sladky AP

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 11:23 pm

With this year's deadline to register for individual health insurance just a weekend away, much attention is being lavished on two numbers — the 6 million Americans who have signed up so far, and the percentage of those folks who are (or aren't) young.

But experts say the national numbers actually don't mean very much.

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Life & Arts
8:38 am
Fri March 28, 2014

App Teams Up with César Chávez Film to Tap Into Huge Hispanic Market

Pantelion Films

Update:

A version of the story below by KUT's Veronica Zaragovia aired on WBUR's Here & Now today. Listen to the story here.

Original story:

An English-language film about civil rights activist César Chávez is out in theaters today. It’s out at the same time as a smartphone app that translates the movie into Spanish in real time.

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Affordable Care Act
8:01 am
Fri March 28, 2014

Ahead of Obamacare Deadline, Austin Nonprofit Rushes to Help Last Minute Sign-Ups

Elizabeth Colvin of Insure Central Texas helps Obamacare consumers at the Foundation Communities Highland Mall center on March 27, 2014.
KUT

The White House says it’s reached its goal of getting six million people signed up for health insurance through the federal marketplace.

But so far, only a fraction of the uninsured in Texas has signed up.

A March 31 deadline looms to at least begin an application for health insurance. Most without insurance after the deadline will have to pay a tax penalty. To help people avoid that, nonprofits in Austin are keeping their doors open late to help last-minute customers.

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Austin ISD
9:12 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

Austin School Superintendent Carstarphen Leaving for Atlanta

AISD Supt. Carstarphen is leaving Austin ISD for Atlanta Public Schools.
Photo by Nathan Bernier for KUT News

Austin ISD Superintendent Meria Carstarphen has been named as the sole finalist for the superintendent job in Atlanta, Georgia.

She was chosen from a list of four candidates for the position.

Carstarphen came to Austin ISD in 2009. The district has faced significant challenges during her tenure, including $60 million in funding cuts after the 2011 Legislative session.

In a statement today, Carstarphen said Austin had risen to meet those challenges.

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Education
9:09 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

Dallas Cowboy Teaches Pflugerville Kids About Healthy Breakfast

Dallas Cowboy George Selvie visited a Pflugerville elementary school Thursday to encourage students to eat a healthy breakfast.
Credit Lynn Romero for KUT News

Some kids in Pflugerville got a special, guest visitor today. George Selvie, Dallas Cowboys Defensive End, was at Ruth Barron Elementary Thursday morning encouraging kids to eat a healthy breakfast.

"It's important for us because, as in recent years, they're saying now kids are obese so having the opportunity with Fuel Up to Play 60 to come out here and talk to the kids, letting them know that eating healthy is great, you know their gonna try to go out there and do it," said Selvie.

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