Trey Shaar http://kut.org en Perry Calls for Security & Federal Funds in a Congressional Hearing on Border Crisis http://kut.org/post/perry-calls-security-federal-funds-congressional-hearing-border-crisis <p>The ongoing surge of Central American immigration into Texas was the focus of a field hearing Thursday of the <a href="http://homeland.house.gov/">U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security</a>. Committee Chairman <a href="http://mccaul.house.gov/">Michael McCaul&nbsp;</a>(R - Austin) invited Governor Rick Perry to <a href="http://governor.state.tx.us/news/press-release/19879/">testify</a> at the hearing in the Rio Grande Valley.</p><p>The governor laid out a four-point plan for handling the situation, including increasing National Guard operations, screening immigrants for medical conditions and federal reimbursement of the money Texas has spent on border security.</p><p> Thu, 03 Jul 2014 19:35:25 +0000 Trey Shaar 10730 at http://kut.org Perry Calls for Security & Federal Funds in a Congressional Hearing on Border Crisis Two Texans Weighing White House Bids Applaud Supreme Court Ruling http://kut.org/post/two-texans-weighing-white-house-bids-applaud-supreme-court-ruling <p>The offices of U.S. Senator Ted Cruz and Governor Rick Perry were quick to release statements lauding Monday’s <a href="http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/13pdf/13-354_olp1.pdf">Supreme Court decision on contraception</a>. The ruling said family-owned and other closely held companies can opt out of an Affordable Care Act provision requiring they provide insurance coverage of birth control.</p> Tue, 01 Jul 2014 00:20:03 +0000 Trey Shaar 10710 at http://kut.org Two Texans Weighing White House Bids Applaud Supreme Court Ruling Latest Surge at Texas Border: Politicians Cruz, Abbott, Davis & Perry http://kut.org/post/latest-surge-texas-border-politicians-cruz-abbott-davis-perry <p>Texas politicians are getting a close-up look at how border authorities are handling <a href="http://kut.org/post/texas-volunteers-turn-out-aid-migrant-children">an influx of Central American immigrants</a> – many of them children who came here without family members.</p><p>Sen. Ted Cruz and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott got a tour Monday of one facility housing immigrant children after they’re processed near the border: <a href="http://www.jbsa.af.mil/">Joint Base San Antonio</a>, where children wait for judicial hearings or to be placed with relatives.</p><p>Both Abbott and Cruz blame the increase in immigrants on the Obama administration’s <a href="http://www.dhs.gov/deferred-action-childhood-arrivals">deferred action for childhood arrivals</a> policy, which offered a delay of immigration proceedings for children brought to the U.S. before 2007.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/155863207&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p> Mon, 23 Jun 2014 21:16:20 +0000 Trey Shaar 10658 at http://kut.org Latest Surge at Texas Border: Politicians Cruz, Abbott, Davis & Perry Justice Department Announces Settlement With Austin Over Firefighter Discrimination Claims http://kut.org/post/justice-department-announces-settlement-austin-over-firefighter-discrimination-claims <p>The City of Austin and the U.S. Justice Department have <a href="http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2014/June/14-crt-615.html">agreed to a settlement</a> in a complaint over hiring practices at the Austin Fire Department (AFD).</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The settlement follows an investigation finding that the AFD selection process had the effect of unfairly discriminating against African-American and Hispanic applicants.</span></p><p>Under the agreement, which still needs approval by a federal court, the Austin Fire Department would change its hiring process to bring it in compliance with <a href="http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/statutes/titlevii.cfm">Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.</a>&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">Title VII forbids the use of employment practices such as written tests resulting in disparate impact against any group, based on factors like race or national origin.&nbsp;</span></p><p> Tue, 10 Jun 2014 00:16:50 +0000 Trey Shaar 10566 at http://kut.org Justice Department Announces Settlement With Austin Over Firefighter Discrimination Claims Why a Conservative Christian Group Joined Austin Marijuana Marchers http://kut.org/post/why-conservative-christian-group-joined-austin-marijuana-marchers <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Marijuana advocates will march on the Texas Capitol Saturday as part of the annual </span><a href="http://mychronicrelief.com/worldwide-marijuana-march-texas-capitol/" style="line-height: 1.5;">Worldwide Marijuana March</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">. In Austin, the marchers will include members of </span><a href="https://www.facebook.com/TexasMammas" style="line-height: 1.5;">Mothers Advocating Medical Marijuana for Autism</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;(MAMMA), a newly-founded organization which describes itself as a conservative Christian group calling for the legalization of medicinal marijuana use in Texas.</span></p><p>“We are working now with <a href="http://www.rampgop.org/">Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition</a>. They’re a group out of Harris County. They are drafting a bill,"&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;says MAMMA co-founder and executive director&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Thalia</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;Michelle. "W</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">e believe that </span><a href="http://www.mpp.org/" style="line-height: 1.5;">Marijuana Policy Project</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> will also be introducing a medicinal cannabis bill."</span></p><p> Fri, 02 May 2014 23:23:01 +0000 Trey Shaar 10350 at http://kut.org Why a Conservative Christian Group Joined Austin Marijuana Marchers Travis County Opens Criminal Investigation of UT Regent Wallace Hall http://kut.org/post/travis-county-opens-criminal-investigation-ut-regent-wallace-hall <p>University of Texas System Regent Wallace Hall is now the subject of a criminal investigation.</p><p>The Public Integrity Unit of the Travis County District Attorney’s Office has opened an investigation into Hall after receiving a complaint from a legislative committee considering impeachment proceedings against the regent.</p><p>Hall is accused of improper handling of student records as part of extensive open records requests of UT-Austin documents. Critics have accused Hall of <a href="http://kut.org/post/ut-officials-barred-deleting-emails-lawmaker-calls-it-witch-hunt-update">conducting a "witch hunt"</a> on behalf of Gov. Rick Perry <a href="http://kut.org/post/ut-president-bill-powers-survives-regents-scrutiny-keeps-job">to oust UT-Austin President Bill Powers</a>.</p><p> Fri, 25 Apr 2014 21:32:01 +0000 Trey Shaar 10300 at http://kut.org Travis County Opens Criminal Investigation of UT Regent Wallace Hall Report: Central Texas Home to Some of the State's Most Established Gangs http://kut.org/post/report-central-texas-home-some-states-most-established-gangs <p>The Texas Department of Public Safety released its annual report on criminal gang activity in Texas this week.</p><p>This year’s <a href="http://www.dps.texas.gov/director_staff/media_and_communications/2014/pr041714.htm" target="_blank"><em>Texas Gang Threat Assessment </em></a>found that gangs continue to pose a substantial threat to public safety. Central Texas is home to some of the most established gangs in the state. The report estimates that with more than 4,600 gangs, overall gang membership in this state is more than 100,000.</p> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 16:40:00 +0000 Trey Shaar & Maria Roque 10249 at http://kut.org Report: Central Texas Home to Some of the State's Most Established Gangs Bill Clinton Speaks at UT Austin's LBJ Summit http://kut.org/post/bill-clinton-speaks-ut-austins-lbj-summit <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Former President Bill Clinton spoke Wednesday night </span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">at </span><a href="http://www.civilrightssummit.org/" style="line-height: 1.5;">the Civil Rights Summit</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;at the&nbsp;</span><a href="http://www.lbjlibrary.org/" style="line-height: 1.5;">LBJ Presidential Library and Museum</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> in Austin. The summit, </span><a href="http://kut.org/post/four-presidents-will-be-austin-lbj-civil-rights-summit" style="line-height: 1.5;">gathering four U.S Presidents</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> and dozens of other speakers, marks the </span>50th<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> anniversary of </span><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_Rights_Act_of_1964" style="line-height: 1.5;">Pres. Lyndon B. Johnson’s Civil Rights Act</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Clinton lamented last year’s decision from the U.S. Supreme Court to weaken another part of the </span>LBJ<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> legacy, the Voting Rights Act. Clinton singled out the Texas law requiring voters to show photo ID.</span></p><p> Thu, 10 Apr 2014 00:28:43 +0000 Trey Shaar & Wells Dunbar 10184 at http://kut.org Bill Clinton Speaks at UT Austin's LBJ Summit Fort Hood Update: Timeline, Overview of Shooting Released by Army http://kut.org/post/fort-hood-update-timeline-overview-shooting-released-army <p>Investigators probing <a href="http://kut.org/post/four-dead-after-shooting-fort-hood">last week's shooting at Fort Hood</a> presented their first clear narrative today of what they think happened.</p><p>U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command's Chris Gray confirmed the shooting spree started after Spc. Ivan Lopez <a href="http://kut.org/post/fort-hood-update-argument-likely-triggered-shooting">had a verbal altercation</a> with a colleague over a request for leave.</p><p>"Within minutes of the altercation, the subject brandished a .45 caliber semi-automatic handgun and fired multiple rounds, killing one soldier and wounding 10 additional soldiers," Gray said.</p><p> Mon, 07 Apr 2014 21:08:11 +0000 Nathan Bernier & Trey Shaar 10144 at http://kut.org Fort Hood Update: Timeline, Overview of Shooting Released by Army Snakes or No Snakes, Safety Tips for Texas Bluebonnet Pictures http://kut.org/post/snakes-or-no-snakes-safety-tips-texas-bluebonnet-pictures <p>With spring in full swing, it's time for wildflower pictures – including photos among Texas' iconic state flower, the bluebonnet.</p><p>But something's taking the bloom off this wildflower season: images of snakes among the flowers.</p><p> Mon, 07 Apr 2014 18:54:22 +0000 Wells Dunbar & Trey Shaar 10142 at http://kut.org Snakes or No Snakes, Safety Tips for Texas Bluebonnet Pictures 15-Year-Old Found Safe After Search (Update) http://kut.org/post/15-year-old-found-safe-after-search-update <p><strong>Update: </strong>An Amber Alert for a 15-year-old Blanco girl has been canceled. Blanco Police say Sianna Gholson was found safe.</p><p>Gholson was believed abducted Tuesday morning from Blanco High School.</p><p>But, again, she’s now been found and is safe.</p><p><strong>Original Story </strong>(April 1, 5:53 p.m.): Authorities&nbsp;issued an Amber Alert Tuesday for a 15-year-old girl believed abducted from Blanco High School in Blanco, Texas at about 7:45 Tuesday morning.</p> Wed, 02 Apr 2014 10:34:20 +0000 Trey Shaar & Laura Rice 10081 at http://kut.org 15-Year-Old Found Safe After Search (Update) Accused Driver in SXSW Crash Faces 20 Aggravated Assault Charges http://kut.org/post/accused-driver-sxsw-crash-faces-20-aggravated-assault-charges <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The man charged with capital murder in the </span><a href="http://kut.org/post/two-dead-after-driver-plows-sxsw-crowd-suspect-custody" style="line-height: 1.5;">crash into a crowd</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> at South by Southwest is now also charged with 20 counts of aggravated assault.</span></p><p>21-year-old Rashad Owens has been jailed since the March 13 crash. <span style="line-height: 1.5;">Police say Owens was speeding away from a traffic stop when he drove through a barricade onto a street crowded with pedestrians.</span></p><p> Tue, 01 Apr 2014 21:31:45 +0000 Trey Shaar 10080 at http://kut.org Accused Driver in SXSW Crash Faces 20 Aggravated Assault Charges U.T. Sports Law Expert Says Student Athletes Deserve Compensation http://kut.org/post/ut-sports-law-expert-says-student-athletes-deserve-compensation <p>This week, a regional director of the National Labor Relations Board&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/2014/03/27/295144724/board-rules-athletes-at-northwestern-university-are-employees" style="line-height: 1.5;">ruled</a>&nbsp;that Northwestern University athletes can <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/03/26/294885843/labor-board-rules-northwestern-players-are-employees">legally form a union</a>.</p> Thu, 27 Mar 2014 23:53:10 +0000 Trey Shaar & Laura Rice 10051 at http://kut.org U.T. Sports Law Expert Says Student Athletes Deserve Compensation Man Shot by Austin Police Sgt. This Week Was Armed with BB Gun http://kut.org/post/man-shot-austin-police-sgt-week-was-armed-bb-gun <p><strong>Update</strong>:&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">Austin Police made clear Thursday&nbsp;that the weapon in the hand of man who was shot this week by an APD sergeant was a pistol that fires BBs or pellets. Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo spoke about that pistol in the hours after Tuesday’s shooting.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">“When the sergeant sees it, he sees the suspect put it behind his back, allegedly, and then puts it back forward. The suspect at one point yells, ‘it’s a bb gun,’ or says, ‘it’s a bb gun, it’s a bb gun.’”</span></p><p> Thu, 20 Mar 2014 23:35:46 +0000 Wells Dunbar & Trey Shaar 9989 at http://kut.org Man Shot by Austin Police Sgt. This Week Was Armed with BB Gun President Obama Coming to Austin for Civil Rights Summit http://kut.org/post/president-obama-coming-austin-civil-rights-summit <p>President Obama is planning to be in Austin on April 10 to deliver the keynote address at a <a href="http://civilrightssummit.org">Summit on Civil Rights</a>.&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">The event at the </span><a href="http://www.lbjlibrary.org" style="line-height: 1.5;">LBJ&nbsp;Presidential Library and Museum</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> commemorates 50 years since President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act.&nbsp;</span></p><p>“I think we see the Obama Administration has taken active part in the national dialogue about the progress we’ve made over the past 50 years since the passage of the Civil Rights Act,"&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">says&nbsp;</span><a href="http://www.utexas.edu/law/faculty/rn332/" style="line-height: 1.5;">Ranjana&nbsp;Natarajan</a>,<span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;a civil rights expert and professor at the University of Texas School of Law</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">.</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;"They’ve been working on policies to further that process, whether it’s healthcare or criminal justice reform."</span></p><p> Fri, 28 Feb 2014 00:23:58 +0000 Trey Shaar 9869 at http://kut.org President Obama Coming to Austin for Civil Rights Summit Austin OKs Economic Incentives for Dropbox, Websense (Update) http://kut.org/post/austin-oks-economic-incentives-dropbox-websense-update <p><strong>Update</strong>:&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">Dropbox and Websense will receive economic incentives to expand in Austin.</span></p><p>The Austin City Council voted 5-2 today to offer the two tech companies approximately $700,000 in incentives.&nbsp;The money comes on top of $6 million from the Texas Enterprise Fund.&nbsp;</p><p> Thu, 20 Feb 2014 22:54:39 +0000 Andrew Huygen & Trey Shaar 9752 at http://kut.org Austin OKs Economic Incentives for Dropbox, Websense (Update) Weather May Be Behind Travis County Infant Death Increase http://kut.org/post/weather-may-be-behind-travis-county-infant-death-increase <p>In the first six weeks of 2014, the <a href="http://www.traviscountytx.gov/Medical_Examiner/">Travis County Medical Examiner's Office</a> has had five cases of infants dying while on the same sleep surface as one or more adults. Forensic&nbsp;Nurse Leanne Courtney says that's more than in all of each of the previous two years.</p><p>"There were four, both for 2013 and 2012;&nbsp;however, the total amount of infant deaths last year were eight, but so far this year, we're creeping up towards that number, so we really want to emphasize to parents and caretake<span style="line-height: 1.5;">rs</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> about the risks of unsafe sleeping </span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">environments," Courtney said.</span></p><p> Thu, 20 Feb 2014 01:19:17 +0000 Trey Shaar 9813 at http://kut.org Weather May Be Behind Travis County Infant Death Increase Another Winter Blast for Austin; Freezing Drizzle a Possibility http://kut.org/post/another-winter-blast-austin-freezing-drizzle-possibility <p>Austin's looking at another chance of frozen precipitation Thursday morning.</p><p>Air temperatures are expected to go below freezing overnight in the wake of the region's latest cold front. <a href="http://www.srh.noaa.gov/ewx/">National Weather Service</a> forecaster Pat McDonald says there’s a chance of freezing drizzle. But the chance is low – about 10 percent, and accumulation isn't expected.</p> Wed, 05 Feb 2014 22:08:16 +0000 Trey Shaar 9723 at http://kut.org Another Winter Blast for Austin; Freezing Drizzle a Possibility Steady Increase in Number of Travis County Residents Living with HIV http://kut.org/post/steady-increase-number-travis-county-residents-living-hiv <p>More people are living with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus in Travis County.</p><p>Between 2006 and 2012, the number of people with HIV has increased 41 percent -- to <a href="http://austintexas.gov/news/prevalence-hiv-and-aids-austintravis-couinty-shows-increase-2006">5,084 people</a>. During those years, the overall population of Travis County increased only by about 17 percent.</p><p>Dr. Phillip Huang, Medical Director of <a href="http://austintexas.gov/department/health">Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services</a>, says much of the increase is because of life-sustaining HIV drugs.</p><p> Mon, 03 Feb 2014 23:23:45 +0000 Trey Shaar 9704 at http://kut.org Steady Increase in Number of Travis County Residents Living with HIV Delays & Closures Mount as Winter Weather Tangles Austin Traffic (Update) http://kut.org/post/delays-closures-mount-winter-weather-tangles-austin-traffic-update <div><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><strong>Update: </strong>Temperatures went up above freezing this afternoon, giving the roads a chance to thaw out and dry up. Skies have cleared, setting us up for another cold night with a hard freeze, but with no precipitation in the forecast.&nbsp;</span></p><p><strong>Earlier:</strong> UT Austin has announced it will remain closed the rest of the day.</p><p><span style="color: rgb(110, 113, 115); font-family: Verdana, Geneva, Tahoma, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: 15px;">"Student and employee safety is our top concern and we understand the frustration that many on the Forty Acres feel about today’s weather-related delays," UT said in a statement <a href="http://utaustin.tumblr.com/post/74850319792/todays-decision-to-close-campus">published </a>on its Tumblr page. "</span><span style="color: rgb(110, 113, 115); font-family: Verdana, Geneva, Tahoma, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: 15px;">We’re very sorry for any trouble, inconvenience or problems that our students and employees faced related to our decisions."</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Read on for more information on closures and delays.</span></p><p><strong>Previously</strong>: Freezing rain began falling on the Austin area this morning after local school and government officials had announced their initial decisions about whether to operate today and when. In some cases, people already had set out on the roads for work and/or school when officials reconsidered earlier decisions and announced&nbsp;closures and delays.</p><p>Austin Police reported responding to 80 crashes between 5:00 and 7:30 A.M. By later in the morning, that number had grown to 214 crashes – about 40 per hour,&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/ArtAcevedo" target="_blank">according to Austin Police Chief Art&nbsp;<span style="padding-bottom: 0px !important; background-color: transparent !important;">Acevedo</span></a>. At last check, that number had rose to 260.</p> Tue, 28 Jan 2014 22:55:33 +0000 Trey Shaar & Kate McGee 9654 at http://kut.org Delays & Closures Mount as Winter Weather Tangles Austin Traffic (Update)