Lucia Duncan http://kut.org en Austin Police Show Off Seized Cash, Guns and 'A Tremendous Amount of Heroin' http://kut.org/post/austin-police-show-seized-cash-guns-and-tremendous-amount-heroin <p>Pounds of pot, kilos of cocaine and bundles of bills were on display at an Austin police station today.</p><p>The department&rsquo;s organized crime division was showing off what it obtained from three major drug seizures over the past month. APD Assistant Chief Sean Mannix said officers also captured more than six-and-a-half pounds of tar heroin.</p><p>&quot;In talking to the other officers and detectives, supervisors in the room, none of us in our memories can remember a seizure of heroin that large in the city of Austin,&rdquo; said Assistant Chief Mannix. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s a tremendous amount of heroin.&quot;</p><p> Tue, 27 Mar 2012 20:47:28 +0000 Lucia Duncan 3923 at http://kut.org Austin Police Show Off Seized Cash, Guns and 'A Tremendous Amount of Heroin' 'Spend the City's Money' at Bond Workshop Tonight http://kut.org/post/spend-citys-money-bond-workshop-tonight <p>&ldquo;How would you turn $1.49 billion worth of potential bond projects into a bond package of up to $400 million?&rdquo;</p><p>That&rsquo;s the question the City of Austin is asking a bond development workshop, tonight at 6:30 p.m.</p><p>The city is considering a bond election this November, and KUT News has reported on <a href="http://kutnews.org/post/city-austin%E2%80%99s-15-billion-wish-list">the $1.5 billion &ldquo;wish list&rdquo;</a> serving as a starting point for talks, a needs assessment from city departments outlining different projects. Now the city is in the process of whittling that number down to something it can present to voters.</p><p> Mon, 26 Mar 2012 15:28:04 +0000 Lucia Duncan & Wells Dunbar 3912 at http://kut.org 'Spend the City's Money' at Bond Workshop Tonight AM Update: Discrimination Against Overweight Job Applicants, STAAR Test Begins, Baylor's NCAA Bow http://kut.org/post/am-update-discrimination-against-overweight-job-applicants-staar-test-begins-baylors-ncaa-bow <p><strong>Victoria Hospital Bans Overweight Job Applicants</strong></p><p>KUT&nbsp;News&#39; reporting partner, The Texas Tribune, <a href="http://www.texastribune.org/texas-health-resources/health-reform-and-texas/victoria-hospital-wont-hire-very-obese-workers/">reports</a> a hospital in Victoria, Texas, bans job applicants from employment for being too overweight.</p><blockquote><p>The <a href="http://citizensmedicalcenter.org/">Citizens Medical Center</a> policy, instituted a little more than a year ago, requires potential employees to have a body mass index of less than 35 &mdash;&nbsp;which is 210 pounds for someone who is 5-foot-5, and 245 pounds for someone who is 5-foot-10. It states that an employee&rsquo;s physique &ldquo;should fit with a representational image or specific mental projection of the job of a healthcare professional,&rdquo; including an appearance &ldquo;free from distraction&rdquo; for hospital patients.</p></blockquote><p> Mon, 26 Mar 2012 13:15:24 +0000 Lucia Duncan & Carlos Morales 3910 at http://kut.org AM Update: Discrimination Against Overweight Job Applicants, STAAR Test Begins, Baylor's NCAA Bow AM Update: Federal Drug, Money Laundering Charges for Sixth St. Club Owner http://kut.org/post/am-update-federal-drug-money-laundering-charges-sixth-st-club-owner <p><strong>Sweeping Drug Bust Targets Nightclub Owner, Family</strong></p><p>Ten individuals connected to a downtown Austin club circuit were arrested yesterday on drug trafficking, money laundering, and firearms charges.&nbsp;</p><p><a href="http://www.yassineenterprises.com/">Yassine&nbsp;Enterprises</a>, which owns Pure, Spill, Kiss &amp; Fly, Stack Burger Bar, Treasure Island, Hyde, Fuel,&nbsp;Malaia&nbsp;and&nbsp;Roial, is at the center of a coordinated effort between Austin police, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, the FBI, IRS, and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.</p><p>The investigation dates to 2007, and those taken into custody yesterday include&nbsp;Yassine&nbsp;Enterprises owner and President Hussein Ali&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mikeyassine.com/">&quot;Mike&quot;&nbsp;Yassine</a>, his brothers&nbsp;Hadi&nbsp;Ali&nbsp;Yassine&nbsp;and Mohammed Ali&nbsp;Yassine, their assistant&nbsp;Marisse&nbsp;Marthe&nbsp;Ruales&nbsp;and six others.&nbsp; Cocaine distribution and over $200,000 in money-laundered cash are two charges in the investigation, and authorities suspect the clubs involved were fronts for these and other illegal activities.</p><p> Fri, 23 Mar 2012 14:36:18 +0000 Tolly Moseley, Lucia Duncan & Carlos Morales 3903 at http://kut.org AM Update: Federal Drug, Money Laundering Charges for Sixth St. Club Owner Racial Profiling Report Reveals Fewer Stops, But Questions Remain http://kut.org/post/racial-profiling-report-reveals-fewer-stops-questions-remain <p>A report on racial profiling shows the number of people stopped by the Austin Police Department for traffic violations dropped in 2011.</p><p>In 2011, police executed 5,050 vehicle searches on Hispanics, 3,505 searches on whites, and 3,037 searches on African-Americans.</p><p>&ldquo;Austin police officers made 179,882 motor vehicle stops in 2011 compared to 232,848 in 2010,&rdquo; the report reads:</p><blockquote><p>The primary reason for a motor vehicle stop is a traffic violation such as speeding, an illegal turn, expired registration and other violations of the transportation code.</p> Thu, 22 Mar 2012 18:26:08 +0000 Lucia Duncan & Wells Dunbar 3897 at http://kut.org Racial Profiling Report Reveals Fewer Stops, But Questions Remain Arrest in Firebombing of State Sen. Wendy Davis' Office http://kut.org/post/arrest-firebombing-state-sen-wendy-davis-office <p>The investigation into the firebombing of state Senator Wendy Davis&#39; Fort Worth office on Tuesday has already nabbed a suspect.</p><p>At a press conference this morning, broadcast by WFAA in Dallas, Fort Worth police officers said last night they arrested a 40-year old homeless man, Cedric Steele. He faces charges of arson.</p><p> Wed, 21 Mar 2012 16:41:29 +0000 Lucia Duncan 3887 at http://kut.org Arrest in Firebombing of State Sen. Wendy Davis' Office AM Update: Call for Caution After Storm, Coal Mining Rail Line to Mexico, Pinterest Goes to College http://kut.org/post/am-update-call-caution-after-storm-coal-mining-rail-line-mexico-pinterest-goes-college <p><strong>Caution Urged in Storm&rsquo;s Aftermath</strong></p><p>Storms pummeled the Austin area overnight. Mayor Lee&nbsp;Leffingwell&nbsp;has issued a statement &ldquo;calling on Central Texans to be cautious and patient after storms moved through our city last night:&rdquo;</p> Tue, 20 Mar 2012 14:34:54 +0000 Lucia Duncan & Wells Dunbar 3876 at http://kut.org AM Update: Call for Caution After Storm, Coal Mining Rail Line to Mexico, Pinterest Goes to College Filling the $30 Million Gap in the Texas Women’s Health Program http://kut.org/post/filling-30-million-gap-texas-women%E2%80%99s-health-program <p>Texas Governor Rick Perry has vowed that the Texas Women&rsquo;s Health Program will continue &ndash; but questions persist as to where the state will find the money to do so without Washington.</p><p>Gov. Perry has tasked the Texas Health and Human Services Commission to work with state legislators to come up with the 30 million dollars needed to fund the program, which provides cancer screenings, health examinations and contraception to tens of thousands of low-income Texas women.</p><p>The funds are needed to replace federal Medicaid money that has been pulled out of the program due to a new Texas law that bars clinics that provide abortions or are affiliated with clinics that provide abortions from receiving funding. The federal funds have been pulled because Washington argues the law &ndash; designed to keep Planned Parenthood from participating in the program &ndash; is illegal.</p><p>Sherri Greenberg is a Professor at UT&rsquo;s LBJ School of Public Affairs. She told KUT News it&rsquo;s not going to be easy to find the money, given the cuts that were made to the health department in the last legislative session.</p><p> Mon, 19 Mar 2012 18:45:13 +0000 Lucia Duncan & Wells Dunbar 3865 at http://kut.org Filling the $30 Million Gap in the Texas Women’s Health Program AM Update: Texas' Middling Corruption Grade, Sidewalk Cafe for Congress Ave., Flash Flood Warning http://kut.org/post/am-update-texas-middling-corruption-grade-sidewalk-cafe-congress-ave-flash-flood-warning <p><strong>Texas Gets a Low Grade in Corruption Protection</strong></p> Mon, 19 Mar 2012 13:45:15 +0000 Carlos Morales & Lucia Duncan 3859 at http://kut.org AM Update: Texas' Middling Corruption Grade, Sidewalk Cafe for Congress Ave., Flash Flood Warning AM Update: Texas Women's Health Program Update, State Class Sizes Increasing, St. Patty's Day http://kut.org/post/am-update-texas-womens-health-program-update-state-class-sizes-increasing-st-pattys-day <p><strong>Federal Funding for Texas&#39;s Women&#39;s Health Program to be Phased Out</strong></p><p>Texas officials got the letter they expected from the federal government Thursday: federal funding for the state&rsquo;s Women&rsquo;s Health Program will be phased out in the near future. The program provides basic health screenings and contraceptive coverage to more than a 100,000 low-income women in Texas.</p> Fri, 16 Mar 2012 13:21:35 +0000 Lucia Duncan & Tolly Moseley 3852 at http://kut.org AM Update: Texas Women's Health Program Update, State Class Sizes Increasing, St. Patty's Day AM Update: Voting Rights Act Challenged, UT's 'Cyborg' Research, SXSW Thefts http://kut.org/post/am-update-voting-rights-act-challenged-uts-cyborg-research-sxsw-thefts <p><strong>Texas Challenges Voting Rights Act</strong></p><p>Texas is challenging the constitutionality of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act that requires the state to get pre-clearance from the Justice Department for any change to voting procedures. Yesterday Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott filed that <a href="https://www.oag.state.tx.us/newspubs/releases/2012/031412txvotingrights.pdf">petition</a> to a three-judge panel in Washington.</p> Thu, 15 Mar 2012 14:00:25 +0000 Lucia Duncan 3845 at http://kut.org AM Update: Voting Rights Act Challenged, UT's 'Cyborg' Research, SXSW Thefts AM Update: The Boss Speaks Tomorrow, Federal Funds to Fight Homelessness, County Workers Get a Raise http://kut.org/post/am-update-boss-speaks-tomorrow-federal-funds-fight-homelessness-county-workers-get-raise <p><strong>Springsteen Delivering Keynote at SXSW Music</strong></p><p>Need another sign South by Southwest Music is underway?&nbsp;</p><p>Bruce Springsteen will give his&nbsp;SXSW&nbsp;keynote speech&nbsp;tomorrow at the Austin Convention Center, noon.&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="http://kut.org/">KUT</a>&nbsp;will stream the talk live, and later than night, Bruce Springsteen and his E Street Band will&nbsp;<a href="http://sxsw.com/node/10421">perform</a>&nbsp;in Austin via a special ticket drawing.</p><p>You can follow KUT&rsquo;s continuing SXSW coverage <a href="http://kutnews.org/term/sxsw">on this blog</a> and at <a href="http://kut.org/category/sxsw-2012/">kut.org</a>.</p><p> Wed, 14 Mar 2012 13:22:39 +0000 Tolly Moseley & Lucia Duncan 3838 at http://kut.org AM Update: The Boss Speaks Tomorrow, Federal Funds to Fight Homelessness, County Workers Get a Raise AM Update: Texas Names New Data Contractors, NCAA Women's Basketball, Imagine Austin Meeting Tonight http://kut.org/post/am-update-texas-names-new-data-contractors-ncaa-womens-basketball-imagine-austin-meeting <p><strong>New Contracts Consolidate State Data</strong></p><p>The Texas Department of Information Resources&nbsp;<a href="http://www.dir.texas.gov/about/pressroom/Pages/DataCenterServices.aspx">announced</a>&nbsp;it has signed new contracts consolidating the state&rsquo;s data management and IT operations, dumping an existing contract with IBM.</p><p>The largest contract goes to a Dallas-based unit of the Xerox Corporation, known as ACS State and Local Solutions. In a&nbsp;<a href="http://news.xerox.com/pr/xerox/xerox-creates-data-centers-and-cloud-IT-services-for-Texas.aspx?ncid=23112">press release</a>&nbsp;on its website, the company says this is the largest project of its kind in the country.</p><blockquote><p>Under an $848 million, eight-year contract, Xerox will help the Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR) streamline IT operations of state agencies by refreshing technology and combining operations from 28 separate facilities to two centralized data centers. The transformation will reduce the cost of running multiple data centers, and improve security and disaster recovery capabilities.</p></blockquote><p> Tue, 13 Mar 2012 13:10:08 +0000 Lucia Duncan 3830 at http://kut.org AM Update: Texas Names New Data Contractors, NCAA Women's Basketball, Imagine Austin Meeting Tonight Apple to Create 3,600 Texas Jobs for $21 Million in Incentives http://kut.org/post/apple-create-3600-texas-jobs-21-million-incentives <p>The Austin campus of tech-giant <a href="http://www.apple.com/">Apple </a>is set to expand and offer thousands of new jobs, under an incentives package announced by Gov. Rick Perry today.</p><p>Perry&rsquo;s Texas Enterprise Fund is offering Apple a package totaling $21 million over ten years to &ldquo;more than double&rdquo; the size of its Texas workforce. The agreement would add over 3,600 jobs. The governor&#39;s announcement characterizes the new positions as &quot;supporting the company&rsquo;s growing operations in the Americas with expanded customer support, sales and accounting functions for the region.&quot;</p><p>In addition to creating the new jobs, Apple will also invest $304 million in improvements to their Northwest Austin campus.</p><p> Fri, 09 Mar 2012 17:44:39 +0000 Wells Dunbar & Lucia Duncan 3812 at http://kut.org Apple to Create 3,600 Texas Jobs for $21 Million in Incentives Cyclo-Cross Bike Racing Coming to Austin http://kut.org/post/cyclo-cross-bike-racing-coming-austin <p>Austin was selected to host the 2015 Cyclo-Cross National Championships. A<a href="http://www.usacycling.org/usa-cycling-awards-2014-16-cyclo-cross-national-championships.htm"> press release</a> on the USA Cycling website says the event will be held at Zilker Park.</p><blockquote><p><span class="homearticlebody">The beautiful urban park will offer an exciting venue near the heart of downtown Austin, a thriving city with a strong cycling community recently rated one of the <em>Top 20 Most Bike-Friendly Cities in America</em> by Bicycling Magazine.&nbsp; </span></p> Tue, 06 Mar 2012 18:51:34 +0000 Lucia Duncan 3786 at http://kut.org Cyclo-Cross Bike Racing Coming to Austin AM Update: SXSWedu Starts, Juvenile Justice System Studied, MoPac Open House Tonight http://kut.org/post/am-update-sxswedu-starts-juvenile-justice-system-studied-mopac-open-house-tonight <p><strong>SXSWedu Starts Today</strong></p><p><a href="http://sxswedu.com/">South by Southwest edu starts today</a>. The conference, in its second year, brings together education professionals and business and policy leaders to discuss innovations in learning. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is one of this year’s keynote speakers.</p> Tue, 06 Mar 2012 15:04:04 +0000 Lucia Duncan 3783 at http://kut.org AM Update: SXSWedu Starts, Juvenile Justice System Studied, MoPac Open House Tonight AM Update: Leslie in Hospice, Bastrop Judge Resigns, More Police at SXSW http://kut.org/post/am-update-leslie-hospice-bastrop-judge-resigns-more-police-sxsw <p><strong>Austin Homeless Icon Leslie Transferred to Hospice</strong></p><p>Local transgendered celebrity, Leslie Cochran, was transferred out of hospital care and into an area hospice provider this weekend says community activist and friend, Debbie Russell. Russell says Leslie remains in critical condition and is receiving comfort care.</p> Mon, 05 Mar 2012 15:07:22 +0000 Lucia Duncan & Carlos Morales 3779 at http://kut.org AM Update: Leslie in Hospice, Bastrop Judge Resigns, More Police at SXSW WikiLeaks Publishes Stratfor Emails http://kut.org/post/wikileaks-publishes-stratfor-emails <p>Today&nbsp;WikiLeaks&nbsp;began releasing&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2012/02/27/147491262/wikileaks-starts-posting-millions-of-security-firm-stratfors-emails">&quot;The Global Intelligence Files&quot;</a> &ndash; more than five million emails from Austin-based global security think tank <a href="http://www.stratfor.com/">Stratfor Global Intelligence</a>.</p><p>In a statement on its website,&nbsp;WikiLeaks&nbsp;says the files, which date from July 2004 to late December 2011, contain details of the inner workings of the private intelligence agency, links between government and private intelligence, and commentary on&nbsp;WikiLeaks&nbsp;itself. Wikileaks&nbsp;says it partnered with 25 media organizations and activists in publicizing the files.</p><p>WickiLeaks&nbsp;has not disclosed the source of the emails, but the publication follows the <a href="http://kutnews.org/post/hackers-warn-reprisal">hacking of&nbsp;Stratfor&#39;s&nbsp;servers</a> last December by individuals aligned with cyber-activists <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anonymous_(group)">Anonymous</a>.</p><p> Mon, 27 Feb 2012 15:35:01 +0000 Lucia Duncan & Wells Dunbar 3733 at http://kut.org WikiLeaks Publishes Stratfor Emails AM Update: AISD Budget Talks, Health Reform Hits Texas House, Advances in Nerve Repair http://kut.org/post/am-update-aisd-budget-talks-health-reform-hits-texas-house-advances-nerve-repair <p><strong>Austin&nbsp;ISD&#39;s&nbsp;Preliminary Budget for 2012-2013</strong></p><p>At tonight&#39;s <a href="http://archive.austinisd.org/inside/board/">Austin ISD&nbsp;School Board</a> meeting, administrators will present a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.boarddocs.com/tx/austinisd/Board.nsf/files/8RNTKA77B5E4/$file/Attachment%20%231%20FY2013%20Prelim%20Budget%20Primer-online.pdf">2012-13 preliminary budget</a>&nbsp;that increases spending slightly while assuming the district will lose $8.7 million in federal money and $53.6 million in state funding. The <em>Austin-American Statesman</em> reports:</p><blockquote style="background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255); "><p>The preliminary $724 million spending plan increases expenses 2.9 percent over the current budget and holds the property tax rate steady at $1.242 per $100 of valuation. It includes $14.2 million for an across-the-board 3 percent pay raise and $1.1 million to jump start an early childhood center at Linder Elementary School in Southeast Austin, among other goals. To hit those targets, budget officials say the district plans to dip into reserves for $32.5 million.</p></blockquote><p>Austin&nbsp;ISD&nbsp;will present a revised budget on April&nbsp;16th&nbsp;and a public hearing is scheduled for April&nbsp;23rd. The board will vote on the budget on June&nbsp;18th.</p><p> Mon, 27 Feb 2012 14:21:06 +0000 Lucia Duncan 3732 at http://kut.org AM Update: AISD Budget Talks, Health Reform Hits Texas House, Advances in Nerve Repair Top Morning Stories 2/2/12: SXSW Wristbands For Grabs, Spicewood Water Woes http://kut.org/post/top-morning-stories-2212-sxsw-wristbands-grabs-spicewood-water-woes <p><strong>SXSW&nbsp;Wristbands For Sale this Morning at 10 am</strong></p><p>South by Southwest&nbsp;begins wristband sales for its music festival this morning. Purchases can only be made&nbsp;<a href="http://wristbands.sxsw.com/">online</a>&nbsp;to people with an Austin area&nbsp;zipcode:</p> Thu, 02 Feb 2012 15:05:09 +0000 Lucia Duncan & Wells Dunbar 3579 at http://kut.org Top Morning Stories 2/2/12: SXSW Wristbands For Grabs, Spicewood Water Woes