Luke Quinton http://kut.org en New Branch of Texas A&M Could Shake up Fort Hood's Economy http://kut.org/post/new-branch-texas-am-could-shake-fort-hoods-economy <p></p><p>The Army announced recently that it plans <a href="http://http//www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=195799319">to eliminate combat brigades</a>&nbsp;at 12&nbsp;military bases. That’s a total of 80,000 soldiers. The cutbacks come as communities are already dealing with government furloughs. But military towns are trying to keep the old boom and bust economy a thing of the past.</p><p>Fort Hood is like a city. When it became a base in the 1940s, it cleared out 1,200 farms. Now it’s home to more than 40,000 assigned soldiers and tens of thousands of civilian workers. The base brings $25 billion to the Texas economy each year.</p><p> Wed, 17 Jul 2013 14:40:00 +0000 Luke Quinton 8370 at http://kut.org New Branch of Texas A&M Could Shake up Fort Hood's Economy What’s in Texas' $500 Million Testing Contract with Pearson? http://kut.org/post/what-s-texas-500-million-testing-contract-pearson <p><strong>Update:</strong>&nbsp;<span style="font-family: Times; line-height: normal; ">The Texas State Auditor has uncovered problems with the $462 million contract between the Texas Education Agency and the testing company, <a href="http://www.pearsoned.com">Pearson</a>. The auditor <a href="https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/727346-tea-and-pearson-report.html">released a report</a> Tuesday. It found TEA doesn’t have a process or the training in place to monitor the contract.</span></p><p> Tue, 16 Jul 2013 22:14:02 +0000 Luke Quinton & Kate McGee 7858 at http://kut.org What’s in Texas' $500 Million Testing Contract with Pearson? After Rallies, 3 Signs of Ramped Up Security on Capitol Grounds http://kut.org/post/after-rallies-3-signs-ramped-security-capitol-grounds <p>In the wake of last week and yesterday's rallies at the Capitol, the security detail under the dome has made some distinct changes to deal with <a href="http://www.kutnews.org/post/live-blog-following-abortion-protests-texas-capitol">large scale protests</a>&nbsp;as the second special session begins.</p><p> Tue, 02 Jul 2013 17:13:20 +0000 Luke Quinton 8264 at http://kut.org After Rallies, 3 Signs of Ramped Up Security on Capitol Grounds Voting Rights Act Partially Overturned; Texas Implements Voter ID Law http://kut.org/post/voting-rights-act-partially-overturned-texas-implements-voter-id-law <p>The Supreme Court has overturned a portion of the Voting Rights Act. Texas Attorney General&nbsp;Greg&nbsp;Abbott says this morning’s decision means a Texas voter ID law "will take effect immediately."&nbsp;<em>Scroll down for updates.&nbsp;</em></p><p class="p1">The high court struck down <a href="http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/vot/misc/sec_4.php">Section 4</a> of the act, which establishes a formula to identify portions of the county (primarily the South) where changes to elections must be approved by the Department of Justice. That was to ensure minority voting rights weren’t infringed upon.</p><p class="p1">From the court's opinion:</p><blockquote><p class="p1">"Coverage today is based on decades-old data and eradicated practices. The formula captures States by reference to literacy tests and low voter registration and turnout in the 1960s and early 1970s. But such tests have been banned for over 40 years. And voter registration and turnout numbers in covered States have risen dramatically."</p></blockquote><p class="p1">The court didn’t do away with Section 5 of the act – the portion that allows the Department of Justice to reject state laws it sees as discriminatory. Instead, the court says the new standards should be created, instead of the expanded coverage called for under Section 4. &nbsp;</p><p> Tue, 25 Jun 2013 22:39:12 +0000 Luke Quinton, Wells Dunbar & Kate McGee 8218 at http://kut.org Voting Rights Act Partially Overturned; Texas Implements Voter ID Law HB 5 Passes, but Number of High-Stakes Tests? Still High http://kut.org/post/hb-5-passes-number-high-stakes-tests-still-high <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-153998f1-3538-3891-6e65-e4bb84316471" style="font-size:13px;font-family:'Courier New';color:#000000;background-color:transparent;font-weight:normal;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;text-decoration:none;vertical-align:baseline;">When Gov. Rick Perry signed House Bill 5 this week, it signaled that the waves of complaints from parents opposed to high stakes testing, had caught hold. But one irony is that most people — even most journalists — still don’t know the actual&nbsp; number of test students take</span>.</p> Tue, 11 Jun 2013 22:26:00 +0000 Luke Quinton 8081 at http://kut.org HB 5 Passes, but Number of High-Stakes Tests? Still High Chamber of Commerce Looks to Reinvigorate Austin's 'Brand' http://kut.org/post/chamber-looks-reinvigorate-austins-brand <p>Is Austin's "brand" being diluted?&nbsp;</p><p>The <a href="http://www.austinchamber.com/index.php">Austin Chamber of Commerce</a> had a round-table discussion today that asked exactly that. The consensus was upbeat, but Jack McDonald, CEO of <a href="http://silverbackeg.com/index.html">Silverback Enterprise Group</a>, said a lack of affordable housing will be a more serious concern this decade ahead.</p><p> Thu, 06 Jun 2013 22:48:08 +0000 Luke Quinton 8030 at http://kut.org Chamber of Commerce Looks to Reinvigorate Austin's 'Brand' Austin's Uninsured Food Workers Might Get Some Relief http://kut.org/post/austins-uninsured-food-workers-might-get-some-relief <p><span style="background-color: transparent; font-family: Arial; font-size: 15px; line-height: 1.15; ">Austin's food scene is booming, but how are its workers faring?</span></p><p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="background-color: transparent; font-family: Arial; font-size: 15px; line-height: 1.15;">The city has long had </span>HAAM<span style="background-color: transparent; font-family: Arial; font-size: 15px; line-height: 1.15;"> (Health Alliance for Austin Musicians) as a stopgap for musicians without health care. As Austin’s food scene rises to national prominence, Karla </span>Loeb<span style="background-color: transparent; font-family: Arial; font-size: 15px; line-height: 1.15;"> and her partner Brian </span>Stubbs<span style="background-color: transparent; font-family: Arial; font-size: 15px; line-height: 1.15;"> have seen a similar need for the city's chefs, busboys, servers and even farmers.</span></p><p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.15;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;"> Mon, 03 Jun 2013 16:15:18 +0000 Luke Quinton 7955 at http://kut.org Austin's Uninsured Food Workers Might Get Some Relief Austin Police Cracking Down on Hazardous Driving Memorial Day http://kut.org/post/austin-police-cracking-down-hazardous-driving-memorial-day <p dir="ltr" id="docs-internal-guid-23e918ec-c8ca-674b-9383-a6dd3954a4b7" style="line-height:1.15;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;">&nbsp;</p><p>Last year’s Memorial Day weekend saw 191 car crashes, one death and 99 injuries, said Austin Police Chief&nbsp;Art Acevedo.&nbsp;</p><p>This year,&nbsp;APD, state police, and nearby counties are collaborating to counter hazardous driving, in an effort to make holiday weekends less destructive on Central Texas roads.</p><p> Tue, 21 May 2013 21:39:47 +0000 Luke Quinton 7825 at http://kut.org Austin Police Cracking Down on Hazardous Driving Memorial Day Mayor Ponders Privatizing Airport to Shoulder Cost of Urban Rail http://kut.org/post/mayor-ponders-privatizing-airport-shoulder-cost-urban-rail <p>Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell says he’s considering a plan to lease out the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport to help pay for future urban rail projects.</p><p>The <a href="http://www.faa.gov/airports/airport_compliance/privatization/">list of airports that have successfully gone private</a> is a short one.</p><p> Thu, 25 Apr 2013 22:08:14 +0000 Luke Quinton 7515 at http://kut.org Mayor Ponders Privatizing Airport to Shoulder Cost of Urban Rail Map: Where Are Fertilizer Plants in the U.S.? http://kut.org/post/map-where-are-fertilizer-plants-us <p><iframe frameborder="0" height="350" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="https://www.google.com/fusiontables/embedviz?viz=MAP&amp;q=select+col5+from+1Nc4pLvfGv7quBbbB9khS5wQe8Jm7XHUmHXahwr0&amp;h=false&amp;lat=33.81986179755039&amp;lng=-97.87103322500002&amp;z=4&amp;t=3&amp;l=col5&amp;y=2&amp;tmplt=2;output=embed" width="425"></iframe><br><em><small><a href="https://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&amp;ll=30.551618,-97.753601&amp;spn=0.262546,1.329346&amp;t=h&amp;z=10&amp;source=embed" style="color:#0000FF;text-align:left">View Larger Map</a></small></em></p><p>If the astounding explosion in West caught most Texans off-guard, it might be because they weren't aware that a chemical facility holding tremendous amounts of a deadly explosive fuel could operate within the confines of a town, incredibly close to homes and schools.</p><p> Thu, 18 Apr 2013 17:42:44 +0000 Luke Quinton 7412 at http://kut.org Freeze May Have Hurt Peach Crop http://kut.org/post/freeze-may-have-hurt-peach-crop <p>After <a href="http://kutnews.org/post/why-fredericksburg-could-be-great-peach-crop-year">predictions of a bumper crop</a>, freezing temperatures hit Fredericksburg this week, forcing peach growers to use drastic measures to protect the fragile blooms.</p><p>Some lit hay bale fires and paid for helicopters to push warmer air down onto their crops.</p><p> Thu, 28 Mar 2013 21:51:52 +0000 Luke Quinton 7133 at http://kut.org Freeze May Have Hurt Peach Crop Why Fredericksburg Could Be In For a Great Peach Crop This Year http://kut.org/post/why-fredericksburg-could-be-great-peach-crop-year <p>Fredericksburg peach trees are just starting to bloom, and growers in the Hill Country are cautiously optimistic about this year’s crop.</p><p>The cool weather early in the year that can lead to especially sweet peaches also can ruin them if there’s a cold snap too late in the season.</p><p> Thu, 21 Mar 2013 23:37:18 +0000 Luke Quinton 7043 at http://kut.org Why Fredericksburg Could Be In For a Great Peach Crop This Year What This Ten Pound Satellite Can Accomplish Will Surprise You http://kut.org/post/what-ten-pound-satellite-can-accomplish-will-surprise-you <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">How big is a satellite? Well, that depends. The University of Texas’s </span><a href="http://lightsey.ae.utexas.edu/facilities/satellite-design-lab/" style="line-height: 1.5;">Satellite Design Lab</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> just won a competition for its “cube satellite.” So just how small is a cube?</span></p><p>“The dimensions of the spacecraft are essentially the size of a loaf of bread,” said <a href="http://lightsey.ae.utexas.edu/personnel/brumbaugh/">Katharine Brumbaugh</a>, a Ph.D. student at the satellite lab. Her team’s cube satellite, Armadillo, just won a competition run by the Air Force, beating out nine other universities in the “cubesat” category.</p><p> Fri, 08 Mar 2013 11:51:00 +0000 Luke Quinton 6879 at http://kut.org What This Ten Pound Satellite Can Accomplish Will Surprise You Bodybuilding Champ Turned Austin Attorney Feels Burn in Racketeering Trial (Update) http://kut.org/post/bodybuilding-champ-turned-austin-attorney-feels-burn-racketeering-trial-update <p><strong>Update</strong>: Austin attorney Marc G. Rosenthal was convicted by a federal jury late&nbsp;last week.&nbsp;</p><p>A statement from the Southern District of the U.S. Attorney's Office <a href="http://www.fbi.gov/sanantonio/press-releases/2013/federal-jury-convicts-austin-attorney-marc-g.-rosenthal-in-connection-with-south-texas-bribery-scheme">reads in part</a>:&nbsp;</p><p></p><blockquote><p style="margin-bottom: 0.75em; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; ">After a four-week trial, jurors convicted Rosenthal of conspiring to bribe a state district judge, bribe witnesses in both state and federal court cases, file fraudulent personal injury cases in both state and federal courts, and deprive the citizens of Cameron County, Texas, of the right to honest services of an elected official.</p></blockquote><div>Rosenthal's sentencing is scheduled in June.&nbsp;</div><p><strong>Original Post</strong> (1:49 p.m.): The ongoing saga of Marc G. Rosenthal continues winding its way down the rabbit hole. The Austin attorney, and <a href="http://www.rosenthalwatson.com/#!marc-rosenthal">former Mr. Texas bodybuilding champion</a>, is currently on trial in Corpus Christi, accused of leading a conspiracy that turned trials in his favor.</p><p> Mon, 04 Mar 2013 18:50:13 +0000 Luke Quinton 6603 at http://kut.org Bodybuilding Champ Turned Austin Attorney Feels Burn in Racketeering Trial (Update) Killeen, Fort Hood Brace for Cutbacks http://kut.org/post/killeen-fort-hood-brace-cutbacks <p>The automatic federal spending cuts set to take effect tomorrow could have a big impact on Texas. Specifically, cuts to army bases could cost the state’s economy nearly $2.5 billion.</p><p>For many people in Killeen, next to <a href="http://kutnews.org/term/fort-hood">Fort Hood</a>, the spending cuts are just abstract numbers. For Cheryl Eliano, president of the Fort Hood branch of the <a href="http://www.afgelocal1920.org/">American Federation of Government Employees</a>, they’re all too real.</p> Thu, 28 Feb 2013 11:12:38 +0000 Luke Quinton 6777 at http://kut.org Killeen, Fort Hood Brace for Cutbacks Sniper Chris Kyle Buried in Austin http://kut.org/post/sniper-chris-kyle-buried-austin <p><span style="font-family: 'Arial Unicode MS'; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal; ">The funeral procession for ex-Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle drew hundreds to the Texas State Cemetery today. Crowds of spectators <a href="http://www.kutnews.org/post/photos-chris-kyle-funeral-procession-arrives-austin-update">filled overpasses along the motorcade's procession route</a>, from Midlothian, Texas to Austin, in order to offer their respects.</span></p><p style="margin-bottom: 16px; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal; font-family: 'Arial Unicode MS'; ">Howard Herring served in the Marine Corps in the sixties. Today was his first funeral service as a member of the Patriot Guard, a group of motorcycle riders who attend military funerals as guests of the family. Herring summed up the mood of many in attendance.</p><p> Tue, 12 Feb 2013 22:37:31 +0000 Luke Quinton 6563 at http://kut.org Sniper Chris Kyle Buried in Austin Fort Hood Community Reacts to Expansion of Same-Sex Benefits http://kut.org/post/fort-hood-community-reacts-expansion-same-sex-benefits <p><span style="font-size: 10pt; line-height: 15.75pt;">The Pentagon says it will extend some benefits to same-sex domestic partners of military servicemembers. This comes a year and a half after the repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy.</span></p> Tue, 12 Feb 2013 11:00:00 +0000 Luke Quinton 6551 at http://kut.org Fort Hood Community Reacts to Expansion of Same-Sex Benefits Half of All Texans Have No Savings http://kut.org/post/half-all-texans-have-no-savings <p>State leaders routinely hail the "Texas Miracle" that's created one of the strongest economies in the country.&nbsp;</p><p>Everyone mentions the growth and job opportunities across the Lone Star State, but a recent study by <a href="http://cfed.org/">the Corporation for Enterprise Development</a> shows that many Texans are striving on the edge of poverty. Thu, 31 Jan 2013 18:39:57 +0000 Filipa Rodrigues & Luke Quinton 6420 at http://kut.org Half of All Texans Have No Savings PolitiFact: Perry Kept Half of His Campaign Promises http://kut.org/post/politifact-perry-kept-half-his-campaign-promises <p></p><p>Governor Perry delivered his <a href="http://kutnews.org/post/five-takeaways-gov-perry-s-state-state-speech">seventh&nbsp;State of the State speech</a> to the Texas Legislature Tuesday. In it, he laid out his priorities for the session – from water to taxes transportation. &nbsp;</p><p>KUT’s&nbsp;Emily Donahue checked in with PolitiFact Texas' Gardner Selby, whose team reckons&nbsp;<a href="http://www.politifact.com/texas/article/2013/jan/28/perry-fulfills-makes-progress-64-percent-his-campa/">Perry kept a little over half</a>&nbsp;of his campaign promises.&nbsp;</p> Wed, 30 Jan 2013 12:31:00 +0000 Luke Quinton 6389 at http://kut.org PolitiFact: Perry Kept Half of His Campaign Promises Fees Waived for Water Coolers' Return to Hike and Bike Trail http://kut.org/post/fees-waived-water-coolers-return-hike-and-bike-trail <p>The familiar orange water coolers are poised to return to Austin’s hike and bike trail, after the city council agreed today to waive permitting fees for the businesses that operate the watering stations.</p><p>RunTex has been bringing water to Lady Bird Lake since 1990, but the <a href="http://kutnews.org/post/water-under-bridge-coolers-returning-hike-bike-trail">coolers were removed last November</a> after concerns about their security and sanitation.&nbsp;</p><p>Paul Carrozza of <a href="http://site.runtex.com/index.php/category/calendars/events/">RunTex</a>&nbsp;estimates that his store spends $100,000 a year transporting water and ice to the trails. The store spends $3,000 a month in paper cups alone.&nbsp;</p><p> Thu, 17 Jan 2013 22:24:14 +0000 Luke Quinton 6232 at http://kut.org Fees Waived for Water Coolers' Return to Hike and Bike Trail