Carlos Morales en Are Minority Students Being Targeted in UT-Austin’s West Campus? <p>Racial issues are one again simmering the University of Texas at Austin.</p><p>Students marched on the UT campus earlier this week to protest what some are calling racially motivated attacks, where balloons allegedly filled with bleach were dropped from apartment balconies in the West Campus area near UT.</p><p>While the perpetrator or perpetrators of the attacks is unknown, and therefore their intentions are unclear,&nbsp;<a href="" style="color: rgb(1, 143, 226); text-decoration: underline; " target="_blank">KVUE&nbsp;reports</a>&nbsp;Austin police “have spoken to victims who were involved in four separate and similar incidents involving liquid-filled balloons dropped on people of color.” And the incidents have once again created a focus on racial climate for African-American students on campus.</p><p>“I won’t say that it’s easier being on campus, because people still look at you like you don’t belong here,” says Reva Davis, vice president of the <a href="" target="_blank">Black Student Alliance</a>. “And you can walk into a classroom and you’ll still feel uncomfortable — whether you’re a freshman or senior — being a person of color. It doesn’t get easier, you just find ways to deal with and cope with it.”</p><p> Thu, 04 Oct 2012 22:19:34 +0000 Carlos Morales & Wells Dunbar 5255 at Are Minority Students Being Targeted in UT-Austin’s West Campus? The Best Way for Texans to Fight Mosquitoes <p>With one confirmed West Nile virus-related <a href="">death in Travis County</a>, and spraying for mosquitos <a href="">in Dallas</a>, many Central Texans are wondering what they can do to keep mosquitos away.</p><p>Some have turned to some quirky alternatives to make sure mosquitos keep away – including a bracelet makers say acts as a mosquito repellent.</p><p>According to one product’s <a href="">website</a>, these bracelets essentially work by producing an “aura” of plant-based oils that act like a protective shield – something they say mosquitos won’t like at all. But according to Dr. Phil Huang, the medical director for the Travis County Health and Human Services, such bracelets might not be that effective.</p><p> Mon, 20 Aug 2012 18:45:41 +0000 Carlos Morales 4906 at How the Midwest Drought is Affecting Texas Farmers <p>While Texas has partially recovered from drought conditions&nbsp;<a href="">thanks to heavy rain</a>, the Midwest is going through one its worst drought years in decades. And conditions may impact some&nbsp;&nbsp;&ndash; but not all&nbsp;&nbsp;&ndash;&nbsp;Texas farmers&rsquo; pocketbooks.</p><p><a href="">According to</a> the&nbsp;<a href="">United States Department of Agriculture</a>, the nation is going through the worst agricultural drought&nbsp;since 1988. For corn and soybean growers it&rsquo;s been especially harmful, since more than three-quarters of those crops are considered to be in a drought area. But that could actually prove to be beneficial for Texas.</p><p>&ldquo;With the Midwest suffering from drought, that&rsquo;s driving prices up,&quot; says Bob Rose, chief meteorologist with the<a href="" target="_blank">&nbsp;Lower Colorado River Authority</a>. &quot;So that means the market price for the corn, for many of the farmers in Texas and our area, is going to be very good.&quot;</p><p> Fri, 20 Jul 2012 15:59:48 +0000 Carlos Morales 4726 at How the Midwest Drought is Affecting Texas Farmers Amazon Sales Tax Charges Texas <p>In less than 48 hours, online retailer <a href="" target="_blank"></a> will start charging Texas sales tax on products you buy from its site.</p><p>Texas will become only the sixth state to charge sales tax on Amazon purchases. The switch comes after an agreement was made between the Texas Comptroller&rsquo;s office and the online retailer. In 2010, the comptroller&rsquo;s office claimed Amazon owed the state $269 million in uncollected sales tax. Under the <a href="" target="_blank">new agreement</a>, Amazon will create at least 2,500 jobs&nbsp; in the state and will also bring at least $200 million in capital investment.&nbsp;<br /><br />For many brick-and-mortar operations the move will level the playing field. Jason Brewer is with the <a href="" target="_blank">Retail Industry Leaders Association</a>, a national trade group.</p><p> Fri, 29 Jun 2012 21:43:58 +0000 Carlos Morales 4593 at Amazon Sales Tax Charges Texas Contract OK'd for Lady Bird Lake Boardwalk <p>The Austin City Council approved a $21.7 million construction contract for the Lady Bird Lake boardwalk today.</p><p>The project, largely funded via a bond election<a href="" target="_blank">&nbsp;back in 2010</a>, will close a 1.1-mile gap in the hike and bike trail around Lady Bird Lake with a boardwalk that&#39;s both partially over land and over water.</p><p>To help allay costs, which were initially pegged at&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">$17.4 million</a>,&nbsp;the city will reallocate $5.8 million from the 2010 Bond Street Reconstruction Program. The city will also receive a $3 million donation from the&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Trail Foundation</a>, a trail advocacy group.</p><p> Thu, 28 Jun 2012 20:25:07 +0000 Carlos Morales 4580 at Contract OK'd for Lady Bird Lake Boardwalk After Long Wait, City Panel Moves to Sell East 12th Street Properties <p><iframe frameborder="0" height="350" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src=";msid=201079182274657105434.0004c315a26aeb2d83f1d&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;t=h&amp;ll=30.272601,-97.727219&amp;spn=0.002293,0.002275&amp;z=18&amp;output=embed" width="425"></iframe><br /><em><small>View <a href=";msid=201079182274657105434.0004c315a26aeb2d83f1d&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;t=h&amp;ll=30.272601,-97.727219&amp;spn=0.002293,0.002275&amp;z=18&amp;source=embed" style="color:#0000FF;text-align:left">E. 12th Street Properties</a> in a larger map</small></em></p><p>Two tracts of land on East&nbsp;12th&nbsp;Street were the focus of a special meeting today by the Urban Renewal Board, a panel whose responsibility is to &quot;<a href="">eliminate slum and blighting influence</a>&quot; in parts of the city. &nbsp;The board took possession of the properties years ago in an effort to revitalize the neighborhood. Critics have accused the board and other&nbsp;agencies&nbsp;of <a href="">taking&nbsp;too long </a>to turn over the properties, and have questioned their role in the face of&nbsp;<a href="">Eastside gentrification</a>.</p><p>The&nbsp; board voted to sell two tracts of property on East 12th Street two completely different ways. The stretch of land on the 1100 hundred block will be sold to the highest bidder.</p><p>The lot on the 1300 hundred block will be opened for a request of proposals. That means the board will take into consideration not only the how much money is being offered for the land, but also what the developer plans on doing with it and how that could affect the neighborhood. The board could take a lower bid if they think the development plan is a better fit for the area.</p><p> Fri, 22 Jun 2012 19:59:28 +0000 Carlos Morales 4538 at Map: Juneteenth Parade in East Austin <p>Tuesday, June 19th&nbsp;marks the 147th anniversary of <a href="">Juneteenth</a>, marking the abolition of slavery in Texas.</p><p>To celebrate the day, when enforcement of President Lincoln&rsquo;s Emancipation Proclamation reached Texas, a parade will wind its way through east Austin.</p><p>It&rsquo;s the 16th annual parade put on by the volunteer-based <a href="">Juneteenth Committee</a>. For coordinator Gwendolyn Doyle, the event is more than a simple celebration.</p><p> Mon, 18 Jun 2012 17:21:02 +0000 Carlos Morales 4494 at Map: Juneteenth Parade in East Austin City Council Update: A Seaholm Change at Council <p>City Council unanimously approved changes to the development agreement governing the renovation of the historic&nbsp;Seaholm&nbsp;Power Plant and its surrounding area.</p><p>The revisions come at the request of&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Seaholm&nbsp;Power LLC</a>, the group overseeing the site&rsquo;s redevelopment. As&nbsp;Seaholm&nbsp;Power managing partner John&nbsp;Rosato&nbsp;told City Council, the biggest change will allow the plant to build office space at the site.</p><p>Under the original 2008 master development agreement, ground-floor office space in the iconic, Art Deco building was prohibited. But developers argued the location and economic changes since 2008 made the space more conducive to retail. Several citizens spoke against the change, arguing the public should have greater access to the unique structure.</p><p> Thu, 07 Jun 2012 22:04:50 +0000 Carlos Morales 4427 at City Council Update: A Seaholm Change at Council AM Update: City Elections Tomorrow, Central Texas Weather Rundown, World's Longest Guitar Solo <p><strong>City Elections Tomorrow</strong></p><p>Election Day is tomorrow for the Austin municipal elections. Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. <a href="">Fourteen candidates</a> are running for four seats on the Austin City Council, including mayor.</p><p>Perhaps the most closely watched aspect of the election is the challenge to Mayor Lee Leffingwell by former council member Brigid Shea. Shea accused Leffingwell earlier this week of <a href="">violating campaign finance laws</a>, and throughout the campaign, has maintained that Austin is <a href="">becoming more unaffordable</a>.&nbsp;</p><p>That&#39;s a common refrain among political challengers &ndash;&nbsp;that they will protect the citizenry&#39;s collective pocketbook better than the last guy.&nbsp; But in the case of Shea, currently a community strategist and consultant, the arrival of huge companies like Apple and Formula One cast her position in a different light.&nbsp;</p><p> Fri, 11 May 2012 12:54:49 +0000 Tolly Moseley, Carlos Morales & Laura Rice 4212 at AM Update: City Elections Tomorrow, Central Texas Weather Rundown, World's Longest Guitar Solo Video: The Five Weirdest Austin Election Commercials <p>With early voting in the Austin city elections <a href="">finished</a>, and a scant four days left until Election Day, campaign ads are increasingly ubiquitous.</p><p>But where&rsquo;s the fun in what&#39;s on the airwaves? Most broadcast spots are feel-good, soft-focus spots that have been focus-grouped within an inch of life. No, it&rsquo;s in the wilds of the Interwebs the Austin politico finds the most entertaining (if not exactly illuminating) clips.</p><p>KUT News has combed the digital wastelands to find the strangest campaign ads for this Saturday&rsquo;s City Council contest. And since sometimes, the <em>WTF?</em> is hiding in plain sight, we&rsquo;ve including some broadcast spots in this roundup of the five weirdest videos in the Austin city election:</p><p> Wed, 09 May 2012 17:01:41 +0000 Carlos Morales & Wells Dunbar 4195 at Video: The Five Weirdest Austin Election Commercials AM Update: Border Patrol Overhaul, Radioactive Texas Dump Questioned, Austin Budget Talks Continue <p><strong>New Border Patrol Strategy Focuses on Intelligence</strong></p><p>The U.S. Border Patrol unveiled a&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">new plan</a>&nbsp;for tightening America&rsquo;s borders yesterday.</p><p>The 2012-2016 Border Patrol Strategic Plan includes tactics and technologies developed over the past few years like&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">unmanned aircraft systems</a>&nbsp;&ndash; aka, drones &ndash; but also more focus on preventing risk.</p><p>The past few years have been a period of unprecedented&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">growth in resources</a>&nbsp;for the Border Patrol. Right now, there are more law enforcement officers on the border &ndash; more than 21,000 &ndash; than at any time in Border Patrol history.</p><p> Wed, 09 May 2012 13:04:47 +0000 Laura Rice & Carlos Morales 4191 at AM Update: Border Patrol Overhaul, Radioactive Texas Dump Questioned, Austin Budget Talks Continue AM Update: Central Texas Flood Watch, Sheriff Race Centers on Immigration, Lege Revisits Medicaid <p><strong>South-Central Texas Flood Watch</strong></p><p><a href="" target="_blank">The National Weather Service</a> has issued a <a href="" target="_blank">flash flood watch</a> for South-Central Texas, beginning today and lasting into Tuesday evening.</p><p>The flash flood impact should be highest overnight tonight into Tuesday morning. According to the <a href=";warncounty=TXC453&amp;firewxzone=TXZ192&amp;local_place1=Austin+TX&amp;product1=Hazardous+Weather+Outlook" target="_blank">advisory</a>, average rainfall is estimated between one and two inches, with higher totals reaching into three to five inches.</p><blockquote><p>&ldquo;A flash flood watch is in effect for Monday evening through Tuesday afternoon for the area North and West and I-35 and HWY 90. There is a chance for locally heavy rain and flash flooding Thursday and Friday. Otherwise no hazardous weather is expected at this time.&rdquo;</p></blockquote><p> Mon, 07 May 2012 12:42:44 +0000 Laura Rice & Carlos Morales 4172 at AM Update: Central Texas Flood Watch, Sheriff Race Centers on Immigration, Lege Revisits Medicaid AM Update: H-E-B Recall, Crash Investigation Clears MetroRail, New Driver's License Requirements <p><strong>H-E-B Recalls Meals</strong></p><p>Central Texas-based grocery store&nbsp;<a href=";_DAV=default" target="_blank">H-E-B</a>&nbsp;has announced a &ldquo;<a href="" target="_blank">voluntary and precautionary recall</a>&rdquo; for its Asian Ready-to-Eat meals. According to the grocer: &nbsp;</p><blockquote><p>The recall involves 19 Ready-to-Eat&nbsp;entrées&nbsp;and meals sold in 40 stores in Texas including one store in Houston. The product was available at the Grab &#39;N Go section in H-E-B Delis. The product(s) come in a 4 ounce, 8 ounce, 12 ounce, 24 ounce black plastic containers with a clear lid, single serve sizes and to-go containers &hellip; Any product sold prior to 5/3/12 is affected and should be returned to any H-E-B store for a full refund.</p></blockquote><p> Fri, 04 May 2012 13:51:54 +0000 Laura Rice & Carlos Morales 4160 at AM Update: H-E-B Recall, Crash Investigation Clears MetroRail, New Driver's License Requirements AM Update: Tuition Rising at UT, A&M, Cameras Fail in Train Crash, Help Decide Bond Spending Tonight <p><strong>Tuition Going Up at UT, Texas A&amp;M</strong></p><p>Tuition at schools in the&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">University of Texas</a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Texas A&amp;M systems</a>&nbsp;could have their tuition raised this week.</p><p>The University of Texas System regents will meet today to consider&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">increasing rates</a>&nbsp;(page 37 of agenda) at all nine of its campuses over the next two years. If the recommendations are approved, tuition for in-state residents at UT Austin would increase 2.6 percent annually for two years. Out-of-state tuition would increase 3.6 percent. The raise in tuition would raise an estimated $25 million. Rates at Texas A&amp;M&#39;s main campus in College Station&nbsp;<a href=",2012%29.pdf" target="_blank">would not go up</a>&nbsp;(page 14), but all other A&amp;M campuses would see a ten dollar per credit hour increase for undergraduate classes.</p><p> Wed, 02 May 2012 13:03:43 +0000 Laura Rice, Tolly Moseley & Carlos Morales 4140 at AM Update: Tuition Rising at UT, A&M, Cameras Fail in Train Crash, Help Decide Bond Spending Tonight AM Update: Early Voting Starts, Education Committee Meets, Toros Win Title <p><strong>Early Voting Begins Today</strong></p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Early voting</a>&nbsp;begins today in the Austin city election. There are a total of&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">14 candidates</a>&nbsp;running for four different positions, including mayor and three city council seats.</p><p>You can find information on the candidates and their views on Austin&rsquo;s pressing issues at You can&nbsp;stream&nbsp;interviews with candidates for the&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Place 5</a>,&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Place 2</a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Place 6</a>&nbsp;seats, and beginning today, interview with Austin&rsquo;s mayoral candidates.&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">The City of Austin</a>&nbsp;has also put&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">videos</a>&nbsp;for the council candidates including those vying for&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">mayor</a>.</p><p> Mon, 30 Apr 2012 13:19:55 +0000 Carlos Morales & Laura Rice 4121 at AM Update: Early Voting Starts, Education Committee Meets, Toros Win Title AM Update: Army Bases Go Green, Food & Wine Fest, and Austin Toros Force Game Three <p><strong>Army Bases in Texas Going Green</strong><br /><br />Fort Hood and other Texas Army bases are working to become more energy efficient, according to an <a href="" target="_blank">article</a> in the <a href="" target="_blank">Texas Tribune</a>.<br /><br /> By 2020 the Central Texas base aims to reduce its waste to &ldquo;<a href="" target="_blank">net </a><a href="" target="_blank">zero</a>.&rdquo; Brian Dosa, Fort Hood&rsquo;s director of public works, believes it won&rsquo;t be an easy task. &nbsp;</p><blockquote><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s really as much about behavior change as it is about technology,&rdquo; said Dosa. Recycling rates at soldiers&rsquo; housing complexes, for example, are low, he said.</p></blockquote><p> Fri, 27 Apr 2012 13:24:59 +0000 Carlos Morales 4110 at AM Update: Army Bases Go Green, Food & Wine Fest, and Austin Toros Force Game Three AM Update: Romney Leads Obama in Texas, State Seizes Yassine Properties, Moontower Fest Kicks Off <p><strong>Romney Leads Obama in Texas</strong></p><p>Republican presidential candidate <a href="" target="_blank">Mitt Romney</a> would beat <a href="" target="_blank">President Obama</a> in Texas if an election were held today. At least that&rsquo;s what a <a href="" target="_blank">recent survey</a> from <a href="" target="_blank">Public Policy Polling</a> has found.</p><p>The group surveyed nearly 600 Texans and 400 Republican primary voters and found that 50 percent would vote for Romney.&nbsp; Forty-three percent said they would choose Obama. &nbsp;The seven-point spread is a significant drop from the last presidential race in Texas when, in 2008, republican nominee John McCain captured the state by <a href="" target="_blank">13 points</a>.</p><p> Wed, 25 Apr 2012 13:25:28 +0000 Carlos Morales & Tolly Moseley 4094 at AM Update: Romney Leads Obama in Texas, State Seizes Yassine Properties, Moontower Fest Kicks Off AM Update: AISD Budget, Medical School Funding, and Ron Paul's Austin Appearance <p><strong>AISD&nbsp;Budget Meeting Tonight<br /><br /> </strong>The Austin ISD Board&nbsp;of Trustees will meet tonight to discuss the 2013 budget, and policy on consulting with employee unions.</p> Mon, 23 Apr 2012 13:56:34 +0000 Laura Rice & Carlos Morales 4079 at AM Update: AISD Budget, Medical School Funding, and Ron Paul's Austin Appearance AM Update: Willie Nelson Immortalized, Cap Metro Fatality, LCRA Reduces Staff <p><strong>Willie Nelson Statue Unveiled</strong></p><p>A statue of famed country musician <a href="" target="_blank">Willie Nelson</a> will be unveiled today.<br /><br /> The eight-foot tall, one-ton statue will stand on the plaza located on Willie Nelson Boulevard (aka Second Street) and Lavaca&nbsp;Street, at the foot of the Austin City Limits Live Theater. Capital Area Statues has worked on the project over the past several years and as board president Lawrence Wright <a href="" target="_blank">describes it</a>, the statue will be another fixture of Austin&rsquo;s culture.</p><p>&ldquo;This gift to Austin will become an instant, iconic representation of our great city and its love affair with music.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p><p> Fri, 20 Apr 2012 13:14:41 +0000 Tolly Moseley, Carlos Morales & Laura Rice 4072 at AM Update: Willie Nelson Immortalized, Cap Metro Fatality, LCRA Reduces Staff AM Update: APD's Cisco Statement, Houston Baby Abduction, Trader Joe's (Finally) Comes to Austin <p><strong>APD&#39;s&nbsp;</strong><strong>Official Statement on Cisco the Dog&nbsp;</strong></p><p>The Austin Police Department has issued a <a href=";utm_source=twitterfeed&amp;utm_medium=twitter">statement</a> regarding the controversial <a href="">shooting of Cisco the dog</a> on Saturday.</p><p>The incident, which drew national press and inspired a<a href=""> Justice for Cisco Facebook page</a> that currently holds over 60,000 likes, led both Cisco&#39;s owner Michael Paxton and APD Chief Art Acevedo to <a href="">speak with </a><a href="">KLBJ-FM</a> yesterday. In the interview, Paxton says: &quot;Obviously there&#39;s a breakdown of training here.&nbsp; You don&#39;t approach an unarmed man in his driveway with weapons drawn.&quot; (In March, KUT News <a href="">reported</a> on ramped up weapons training at APD, set to start in April).</p><p>Acevedo said: &quot;I&#39;m sorry on behalf on all the members of the department.&nbsp; We know the pain&#39;s real.&quot;</p><p> Wed, 18 Apr 2012 12:55:18 +0000 Tolly Moseley & Carlos Morales 4055 at AM Update: APD's Cisco Statement, Houston Baby Abduction, Trader Joe's (Finally) Comes to Austin