Bobby Blanchard http://kut.org en You Can Bike on Austin Highways (And Yes, It’s a Horrible Idea) http://kut.org/post/you-can-bike-austin-highways-and-yes-it-s-horrible-idea <p><strong>Update</strong>: A sprawling discussion <a href="http://redd.it/1jg5pv">on the Austin page of&nbsp;Reddit</a>&nbsp;- prompted by <a href="http://i.imgur.com/HGAlkwx.jpg">a photo</a> of bicyclists on I-35 - has renewed interest in this topic. Read on for more details.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Original story </strong>(April 3, 2013): Despite general public perception – and all standards of common sense – it’s actually legal to ride bicycles on the state highway.</p><p>Recently, users on the Austin page of Reddit <a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/Austin/comments/1b8oy4/so_these_guys_were_on_mopac_yesterday_and_moving/">got into a heated discussion</a> about the legality of riding a bike on Mopac, when one user posted <a href="http://imgur.com/MrhMDei">a photo</a> of a couple people doing just that.</p><p> Thu, 01 Aug 2013 17:50:32 +0000 Bobby Blanchard 7171 at http://kut.org You Can Bike on Austin Highways (And Yes, It’s a Horrible Idea) UT Tightens Security for Commencement, Bans Bags http://kut.org/post/ut-tightens-security-commencement-bans-bags <p>In response to recent national events, the University of Texas is putting additional safety procedures in place at the commencement ceremonies.</p><p>Backpacks, tote bags or any other kind of bag larger than 12 inches on any side will not be allowed into commencement. Anyone carrying a big this large will be turned away. Additionally, smaller bags including purses, camera cases and diaper bags will be inspected and searched.</p><p> Wed, 15 May 2013 10:30:00 +0000 Bobby Blanchard 7665 at http://kut.org UT Tightens Security for Commencement, Bans Bags First Look at UT Medical School: New Hospital on Red River, Erwin Center Could Be Demolished http://kut.org/post/first-look-ut-medical-school-new-hospital-red-river-erwin-center-could-be-demolished <p><strong>Update:&nbsp;</strong>The full University of Texas System Board of Regents has voted to move forward with a plan for the future of its flagship campus – including the medical school. The plan passed without discussion.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Update </strong>(May 8, 11:51 a.m.): A committee of the UT System Board of Regents approved an update to the university's master plan, including plans for UT's medical school, new teaching buildings and more. The plan could eventually move the Frank Erwin Center.</p><p> Thu, 09 May 2013 17:33:20 +0000 Bobby Blanchard & Laura Rice 7662 at http://kut.org First Look at UT Medical School: New Hospital on Red River, Erwin Center Could Be Demolished Fallen Texas Peace Officers Honored at Capitol http://kut.org/post/fallen-texas-peace-officers-honored-capitol <p>Earlier today, law enforcement officers took part in a memorial for the 25 Texas police officers who died in service over the past two years.</p><p>Every two years, the <a href="http://www.pomf.org/">Peace Officers Memorial Foundation of Texas</a> hosts a candlelight vigil and a memorial ceremony and parade in May.&nbsp;The parade started at the Congress Avenue Bridge and ended at the Capitol, marched by a procession of color guard teams, police motorcycles, cyclists and pipe and drum corps.&nbsp;</p><p> Mon, 06 May 2013 20:52:26 +0000 Bobby Blanchard 7635 at http://kut.org Fallen Texas Peace Officers Honored at Capitol Map: Pecan St. Festival, Cinco de Mayo, More Weekend Events Close Off Parts of Downtown http://kut.org/post/map-pecan-st-festival-cinco-de-mayo-more-weekend-events-close-parts-downtown <p>This weekend, parts of downtown Austin will be closed Saturday and Sunday for different events.</p><p>The <a href="http://www.marchofdimes.com/texas/events/10224_3134333435.html" target="_blank">March for Babies</a> will start at 9 a.m. Saturday morning. Registration for those who want to march starts at 8 a.m. at Auditorium Shores. The march raises money for children who are born too early. As a result of the march, Congress Avenue and a few other streets will be closed in the morning on Saturday.</p><p> Sat, 04 May 2013 14:41:24 +0000 Bobby Blanchard 7605 at http://kut.org Map: Pecan St. Festival, Cinco de Mayo, More Weekend Events Close Off Parts of Downtown 'UT Remembers' Honors Students, Staffers Lost Over the Year http://kut.org/post/ut-remembers-honors-students-staffers-lost-over-year <p>The University of Texas at Austin tower will be mostly dark tonight in honor of the 205 members of the UT community who died over the past year.</p><p>Dimming the tower is part of UT Remembers, an annual event that pays tribute to the UT students, faculty members, staffers and retirees who died in the past year. The following events are scheduled today:</p> Fri, 03 May 2013 12:37:54 +0000 Bobby Blanchard 7604 at http://kut.org 'UT Remembers' Honors Students, Staffers Lost Over the Year Texas Civil Rights Project Files Suit Against Private Corporation Running Dawson State Jail http://kut.org/post/texas-civil-rights-project-files-suit-against-private-corporation-running-dawson-state-jail <p>The <a href="http://www.texascivilrightsproject.org/">Texas Civil Rights Project </a>and Prison Legal News have filed a lawsuit against Corrections Corporation of America, claiming the company is withholding evidence of mismanagement and mistreatment of prison inmates.</p><p>The lawsuit claims that Corrections Corporation of America covered up the deaths of seven inmates at the Dawson State Jail in Dallas. Earlier this year, the death of an infant at the prison made headlines statewide. Bob Libal, director of Grassroots Leadership, said the lawsuit will shine light on the private prison industry.</p><p> Wed, 01 May 2013 19:55:34 +0000 Bobby Blanchard 7576 at http://kut.org Texas Civil Rights Project Files Suit Against Private Corporation Running Dawson State Jail That’s a Whole Lot of PowerPoint: Austin’s 2014 Budget Videos Play Out Over 200 Wonky Minutes http://kut.org/post/s-whole-lot-powerpoint-austin-s-2014-budget-videos-play-out-over-200-wonky-minutes <p></p><p>The City of Austin’s trying something different this budget season: City department officials have made 20 videos that clock in at over 200 minutes, available on the city's&nbsp;<a href="http://www.youtube.com/user/austintexasgov?feature=watch">YouTube channel</a>.</p><p>The videos include everything from a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ofpJgFHEk3k">basic overview</a>&nbsp;of how revenue from taxes and utilities equate to city services, to a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=POyGhSw8Cdc">25-minute financial forecast</a>&nbsp;of public utility Austin Water. Each department’s financial forecast presentation is available online, so anyone who wants <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3b_9NGNt7Oo">the lowdown on</a>, say, the Public Works department, can get it.</p><p> Mon, 29 Apr 2013 22:20:28 +0000 Bobby Blanchard 7545 at http://kut.org That’s a Whole Lot of PowerPoint: Austin’s 2014 Budget Videos Play Out Over 200 Wonky Minutes Austin Offers 'Emergency Cards' - for When the Language Barrier Could Mean Life or Death http://kut.org/post/austin-offers-emergency-cards-when-language-barrier-could-mean-life-or-death <p>The City of Austin’s Commission on Immigrant Affairs unveiled emergency cards Friday designed to help first responders assist people who don’t speak English.</p><p>The business card-sized rectangles allow those people to hand over basic personal and medical information to emergency responders. This includes information such as name, allergies and other vital information needed in emergency situations.</p><p> Fri, 26 Apr 2013 23:57:39 +0000 Bobby Blanchard 7526 at http://kut.org Austin Offers 'Emergency Cards' - for When the Language Barrier Could Mean Life or Death Longhorn Kenny Vaccaro Drafted by New Orleans Saints http://kut.org/post/longhorn-kenny-vaccaro-drafted-new-orleans-saints <p>University of Texas at Austin senior and defensive back Kenny Vaccaro will start donning gold and black instead of burnt orange.</p><p>Vaccaro was drafted 15th overall in the NFL draft last night by the New Orleans Saints. He will be the first Longhorn to play for the home of jazz since the Saints took Heisman trophy winner Ricky Williams in 1999.&nbsp;</p><p>Vaccaro&nbsp;said (and tweeted) that he is excited to be a Saint.</p><p></p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>WHO DAT!!!!!!!</p> Fri, 26 Apr 2013 12:12:13 +0000 Bobby Blanchard 7520 at http://kut.org Longhorn Kenny Vaccaro Drafted by New Orleans Saints Austin Wants Your Old Drugs http://kut.org/post/austin-wants-your-old-drugs <p>The City of Austin is offering a free, easy and anonymous way to dispose of expired prescription drugs.</p><p>The city will host its annual drug take-back day this Saturday at three locations around town, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.&nbsp;The three take-back locations in Austin are Cornerstone Church, City of Austin Household Hazardous Waste Facility and Barton Creek Square Mall. At these locations, residents can anonymously drop of drugs and syringes in a way that is environmentally safe.</p><p> Thu, 25 Apr 2013 00:38:00 +0000 Bobby Blanchard 7486 at http://kut.org Austin Wants Your Old Drugs Group Files Complaint Against 'Misleading' Austin School Bond http://kut.org/post/group-files-complaint-against-misleading-austin-school-bond <p><a href="http://www.tctunion.com/">The Travis County Taxpayers Union</a> filed an ethics complaint with the <a href="austinisd.org">Austin Independent School District</a>, saying the proposed <a href="https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/682643-aisd-bond-summary.html">$892 million bond initiative</a> on election ballots next month asks too much of taxpayers.</p><p>The group's treasurer, Donald Zimmerman, said the district’s current budget already covers the increase in maintenance cost that the proposition requests. Zimmerman also alleged that AISD acted unethically by providing an estimated cost to average taxpayers on signs promoting the bond.</p><p> Mon, 22 Apr 2013 21:38:33 +0000 Bobby Blanchard 7449 at http://kut.org Group Files Complaint Against 'Misleading' Austin School Bond APD Chief Disappointed by U.S. Senate Gun Vote http://kut.org/post/apd-chief-disappointed-us-senate-gun-vote <p>The Austin police chief says he’s disappointed by the U.S. Senate’s <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/04/17/177638177/senate-rejects-expanded-background-checks-for-gun-sales">failure to approve</a> a new gun control measure.&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">The legislation would have required federal background checks for all gun purchases, including those at gun shows and online.</span></p><p>Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo sees the votes against Senate passage as defying what most citizens support.</p><p> Thu, 18 Apr 2013 10:12:00 +0000 Bobby Blanchard & Trey Shaar 7405 at http://kut.org APD Chief Disappointed by U.S. Senate Gun Vote APD Announces End to Warrantless Blood Draws http://kut.org/post/apd-announces-end-warrantless-blood-draws <p></p><p>The Austin Police Chief is ordering &nbsp;officers to stop getting warrantless blood draws from drunk driving suspects. The policy change&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">comes after <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/04/17/177666177/supreme-court-backs-warrants-for-blood-tests-in-dui-cases">a ruling Wednesday from the U.S. Supreme Court</a> that police in most cases must try to obtain a search warrant from a judge before ordering blood tests.</span></p><p></p><p>Texas Law allows a warrantless blood draws in certain cases, but Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo is calling on his officers to stop doing that, at least for the time being.</p><p> Thu, 18 Apr 2013 00:04:08 +0000 Trey Shaar & Bobby Blanchard 7403 at http://kut.org APD Announces End to Warrantless Blood Draws Gov. Perry Calls for $1.6 Billion Business Tax Cut http://kut.org/post/gov-perry-calls-16-billion-business-tax-cut <p></p><p>On tax day, Gov. Rick Perry called for tax cuts for businesses amounting to $1.6 billion&nbsp;over the biennium.</p><p>Perry called for $1 million tax deduction for business earning under $20 million annually. He also called for a five percent cut on the franchise tax, which all corporations chartered in Texas pay.</p><p> Mon, 15 Apr 2013 22:14:36 +0000 Bobby Blanchard 7366 at http://kut.org Gov. Perry Calls for $1.6 Billion Business Tax Cut Study Names Austin’s Most Popular Music Genre http://kut.org/post/study-names-austin-s-most-popular-music-genre <p></p><p>A&nbsp;study&nbsp;from Canada has reaffirmed Austin's reputation as a scene for aspiring musicians. But they should be sure to play an acoustic guitar.</p><p><a href="http://martinprosperity.org/media/MySpace%20Part03%20Whitepaper_Final.pdf">The study</a>, which was released early this month from researchers at&nbsp;<a href="http://martinprosperity.org/">The Martin Prosperity Institute</a>&nbsp;in the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.rotman.utoronto.ca/">Rotman&nbsp;School of Management</a>&nbsp;at&nbsp;the <a href="http://www.utoronto.com/">University</a><a href="http://www.utoronto.com/">&nbsp;of Toronto</a>&nbsp;in Canada, used data garnered from&nbsp;<a href="http://www.myspace.com/">Myspace</a>&nbsp;to create music profiles of different cities across the United States. Austin was one of the fifteen cities examined in the study.&nbsp;</p><p> Mon, 15 Apr 2013 18:21:54 +0000 Bobby Blanchard 7360 at http://kut.org Study Names Austin’s Most Popular Music Genre UT-Austin Seeks Dean For New Medical School http://kut.org/post/ut-austin-seeks-dean-new-medical-school <p>Eighteen people will make up a search committee for the University of Texas at Austin's Dell Medical School's founding dean.</p><p>Like most search committees, the one for the inaugural medical school dean is composed of local deans at UT, professors and students. This search committee also has deans from other universities in the UT System and members from Seton Healthcare Family and Central Health, who are partners in the new medical school initiative.</p><p> Fri, 12 Apr 2013 23:38:39 +0000 Bobby Blanchard 7337 at http://kut.org UT-Austin Seeks Dean For New Medical School Weekend Road Closures, Events: Longhorn Run, Art City Austin http://kut.org/post/weekend-road-closures-events-longhorn-run-art-city-austin <p>Road closures this weekend will keep drivers away from city hall and a few roads surrounding the University of Texas at Austin. Art City Austin and the Longhorn Run are both this weekend.</p><p>Art City Austin is pitched as a hybrid of an art festival and a block party. The festival features an outdoor art fair, local food trailers, live music and more. <a href="http://artallianceaustin.volunteerhub.com/Events/Index" target="_blank">Volunteers are still needed.</a> Fri, 12 Apr 2013 21:21:00 +0000 Bobby Blanchard 7336 at http://kut.org Weekend Road Closures, Events: Longhorn Run, Art City Austin Casinos in Texas? It Might Happen Sooner Than You Think http://kut.org/post/casinos-texas-it-might-happen-sooner-you-think <p>Texas voters would decide&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">whether or not casinos would be allowed in the state, if state lawmakers approve&nbsp;</span><a href="http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/tlodocs/83R/billtext/pdf/SJ00064I.pdf#navpanes=0" style="line-height: 1.5;" target="_blank">a referendum</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;that would amend the state Constitution.</span></p> Mon, 08 Apr 2013 22:50:00 +0000 Bobby Blanchard 7268 at http://kut.org Casinos in Texas? It Might Happen Sooner Than You Think Harry Ransom Center Names New Director http://kut.org/post/harry-ransom-center-names-new-director <p>The University of Texas announced Stephen Enniss, the current head librarian of the<a href="http://www.folger.edu/" target="_blank">&nbsp;Folger Shakespeare Library</a>, has been named the new director of the <a href="http://www.hrc.utexas.edu/" target="_blank">Harry Ransom Center.</a></p><p>“The Ransom Center is among the finest research libraries in the country with unparalleled holdings and a storied past,” Enniss said in a statement. &nbsp;"I am honored to join my new colleagues there in helping to extend further its important and ongoing cultural work.”</p> Mon, 08 Apr 2013 18:01:15 +0000 Bobby Blanchard 7261 at http://kut.org Harry Ransom Center Names New Director