Nathan Bernier http://kut.org en Despite a Rate Cut, Travis County Could Still See a Property Tax Increase Next Year http://kut.org/post/despite-rate-cut-travis-county-could-still-see-property-tax-increase-next-year <p></p><p>Travis County residents could see a property taxes increase in the<a href="http://www.co.travis.tx.us/planning_budget/FY15/fy15-prelim-budget.pdf"> $901 million proposed budget</a> for 2015. The increase, however, isn’t because of rising property values, but because of the demand for countywide services.</p><p>The budget calls to build out integral services for the ever-expanding county, but may lower the tax rate. County officials will debate and hear public comment on the budget before the final Sept. 23 vote.<iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/160793069&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe> Tue, 29 Jul 2014 12:41:00 +0000 Nathan Bernier 10893 at http://kut.org Despite a Rate Cut, Travis County Could Still See a Property Tax Increase Next Year Listen to Our Weekly News Podcast! http://kut.org/post/listen-our-weekly-news-podcast <p></p><p><strong style="line-height: 1.5;">KUT Weekend </strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;">brings you our favorite stories from the </span>KUT<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> newsroom. Updated Fridays!</span></p><ul><li><a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/kut-weekend/id724557617"><strong style="line-height: 1.5;">Subscribe in iTunes</strong></a></li><li><strong><a href="http://podcast.kut.org/category/news/weekly-podcast/feed/">Subscribe&nbsp;via RSS</a></strong></li><li><strong><a href="https://soundcloud.com/kut-weekend">Subscribe via Soundcloud</a></strong></li><li><a href="http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/kut-news/kut-weekend"><strong>Subscribe in Stitcher</strong></a></li></ul><p><iframe width="100%" height="166" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/160279342&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false"></iframe> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 19:17:48 +0000 Nathan Bernier 8495 at http://kut.org Listen to Our Weekly News Podcast! Fort Hood Memorial Moves Forward But Still Needs Money http://kut.org/post/fort-hood-memorial-moves-forward-still-needs-money <p>People trying to build a memorial for victims of the 2009 shooting at Fort Hood hope a ground breaking ceremony they held Tuesday will help raise the last amount of cash they need to complete the project.&nbsp;</p><p>It's been almost five years since Army psychiatrist Nidal Hasan opened fire at the Army post, killing 13 people and wounding more than 30. Hasan, 43, was sentenced to death last year by a military jury.</p><p> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 01:01:51 +0000 Nathan Bernier 10838 at http://kut.org Fort Hood Memorial Moves Forward But Still Needs Money A Vegan Turned Butcher Explains How To Cure Your Own Meat http://kut.org/post/vegan-turned-butcher-explains-how-cure-your-own-meat <p>It’s time for another edition of <a href="http://kut.org/term/summer-school">KUT’s Summer School</a>. Every Friday this summer, we head out to learn new skills from people in Austin who are experts in their field. Today’s subject? Meat curing.</p><p>Our instructor is a butcher who used to be a vegan for almost ten years:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.saltandtime.com/">Salt and Time Butcher Shop and Salumeria</a>&nbsp;co-owner Ben Runkle.&nbsp;</p> Fri, 18 Jul 2014 20:50:00 +0000 Nathan Bernier 10809 at http://kut.org A Vegan Turned Butcher Explains How To Cure Your Own Meat Aaron Franklin on Barbecue, a New Expansion and Those Long Lines http://kut.org/post/aaron-franklin-barbecue-new-expansion-and-those-long-lines <p class="p1">People stand in line for up to five hours to eat at&nbsp;<a href="https://franklinbarbecue.com/">Franklin&nbsp;Barbecue</a>. The Austin restaurant, run by Aaron Franklin and his wife Stacey,&nbsp;has earned national praise for serving slow-smoked Central Texas barbecue within the Austin city limits.&nbsp;</p><p class="p1">Franklin Barbecue has been closed for the past couple of weeks for an expansion that includes a new smokehouse. It is scheduled to reopen Tuesday, July 8. Aaron Franklin swung by the KUT studios to talk about it. You can read the interview below or listen to it here.&nbsp;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/157744480&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p> Tue, 08 Jul 2014 00:58:52 +0000 Nathan Bernier 10745 at http://kut.org Aaron Franklin on Barbecue, a New Expansion and Those Long Lines Free Tickets Available for President Obama's Speech During This Week's Austin Visit http://kut.org/post/free-tickets-available-president-obamas-speech-during-weeks-austin-visit <p><strong>Update: </strong>President Barack Obama will give a public address during his visit to Austin this week.</p><p>Obama will be at The Paramount Theater on Thursday for a speech on the economy. Tickets are free and available to the public. They’ll be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis starting at 8:30 Tuesday morning at The Paramount (713 Congress Ave). The White House will only distribute a limited number of tickets.</p><p>Doors will open for the speech on Thursday at 9:45 a.m. Tickets are required for entry and are not for sale or re-sale. The White House says all attendees will go through airport-like security.</p><p><strong>Original Story </strong>(July 2, 2014): Austin filmmaker <a href="http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001675/">Robert Rodriguez</a> will host a fundraiser for President Obama on Wednesday, July 9, according to a Democratic Party source who wished to speak on background. Tickets for the event will range from $5,000 to the legal limit of $32,400. The proceeds will go to the <a href="http://www.democrats.org/">Democratic National Committee</a>. Mon, 07 Jul 2014 13:10:50 +0000 Nathan Bernier & Laura Rice 10722 at http://kut.org Free Tickets Available for President Obama's Speech During This Week's Austin Visit What is a Diverging Diamond Interchange and How Might it Help Traffic in Round Rock? http://kut.org/post/what-diverging-diamond-interchange-and-how-might-it-help-traffic-round-rock <p>State transportation authorities announced this week that they received the green light to build a $6.7 million "diverging diamond interchange" at I-35 and University Blvd. in Round Rock. That's an area that gets a lot of traffic, partly because it's near the only IKEA in Central Texas and the <a href="http://www.premiumoutlets.com/outlets/outlet.asp?id=73">Round Rock Premium Outlets</a>, among many other retail businesses.</p> Thu, 03 Jul 2014 01:01:06 +0000 Nathan Bernier 10724 at http://kut.org What is a Diverging Diamond Interchange and How Might it Help Traffic in Round Rock? Austin City Council Calls for Legalizing Medical Marijuana http://kut.org/post/austin-city-council-calls-legalizing-medical-marijuana <p>The Austin City Council is calling on the Texas legislature to legalize medical marijuana. The council <a href="https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/1210536-city-of-austin-resolution-on-medical-marijuana.html">passed this resolution Thursday</a>,&nbsp;sponsored by council members Bill Spelman and Mike Martinez, who's running for mayor. The resolution calls for the city to change its state legislative agenda to include support for "legislation to legalize the use of medical marijuana."</p> Sat, 28 Jun 2014 00:17:01 +0000 Nathan Bernier 10698 at http://kut.org Austin City Council Calls for Legalizing Medical Marijuana Austin City Council Unanimously Backs Urban Rail Proposal http://kut.org/post/austin-city-council-unanimously-backs-urban-rail-proposal <p>By a unanimous vote – Austin city council endorsed<a href="http://www.austintexas.gov/edims/document.cfm?id=212285"> a package of proposed transportation projects</a> Thursday night, including a <a href="http://kut.org/post/project-connects-14-billion-proposal-austin-urban-rail">$1.4 billion dollar urban rail line</a>.&nbsp;</p><p>The Austin City Council limited public comment on urban rail to 30 minutes for each side, which angered some public transit advocates who support the concept of urban rail but reject the <a href="http://mediad.publicbroadcasting.net/p/kut/files/201405/LPA_MAP.jpg">proposed route</a> of the plan.&nbsp;</p><p> Fri, 27 Jun 2014 01:02:43 +0000 Nathan Bernier 10690 at http://kut.org Austin City Council Unanimously Backs Urban Rail Proposal Council Holds Key Vote on Austin Urban Rail: A Look at What's at Stake http://kut.org/post/council-holds-key-vote-austin-urban-rail-look-whats-stake <p>A proposal to build a $1.4 billion urban rail line in Austin faces a key vote today in the city council. The 9.5 mile urban rail line would run from Riverside Drive and Grove, through downtown to Highland Mall.</p><p>Supporters of the plan say that route is going to see a lot of growth over the next few years. Opponents wonder why it’s not going in where things are already happening. Like, along Lamar or Guadalupe.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/156132940&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p> Thu, 26 Jun 2014 15:48:29 +0000 Nathan Bernier 10683 at http://kut.org Council Holds Key Vote on Austin Urban Rail: A Look at What's at Stake Advisory Group Gives Urban Rail Green Light http://kut.org/post/advisory-group-gives-urban-rail-green-light <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">A proposed urban rail line is one small step closer to becoming a reality after a panel of local officials, business leaders and citizens voted overwhelmingly to recommend the <a href="http://kut.org/post/project-connects-14-billion-proposal-austin-urban-rail">$1.38 billion proposal</a>. The <a href="https://austintexas.gov/department/project-connect-central-corridor-advisory-group">Central Corridor Advisory Group</a> voted 13-1 in favor of&nbsp;<a href="http://projectconnect.com/">Project Connect</a>'s 9.5 mile plan. </span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">"The last time we put this option before voters was 14 years ago," Mayor Lee Leffingwell said. "I've been conscious all along that we had to put a good and appealing project before the voters. I think this recommendation will do that."</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The lone dissenting vote was from public transit advocate Julie Montgomery of <a href="http://aura-atx.org/">AURA</a>. </span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Among her concerns is that parts of the proposed route are not in areas where urban rail is in high demand.&nbsp;</span></p><p></p><p> Sat, 14 Jun 2014 00:14:13 +0000 Nathan Bernier 10608 at http://kut.org Advisory Group Gives Urban Rail Green Light Report: Stratfor Hack Orchestrated by FBI Informant http://kut.org/post/report-stratfor-hack-orchestrated-fbi-informant <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The computer hack of Austin-based&nbsp;</span><a href="http://www.stratfor.com/" style="line-height: 1.5;">Stratfor</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> in 2011 resulted in credit card numbers and damaging emails being leaked online. A </span><a href="http://www.dailydot.com/politics/hammond-sabu-fbi-stratfor-hack/" style="line-height: 1.5;">new investigative report from the Daily Dot </a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">examining still-sealed court records found that the FBI knew about the hack, because one of its informants helped to orchestrate it.</span></p><blockquote><p>In addition to directly facilitating the breach, the FBI left Stratfor and its customers—which included defense contractors, police chiefs, and National Security Agency employees—vulnerable to future attacks and fraud, and it requested knowledge of the data theft to be withheld from affected customers. This decision would ultimately allow for millions of dollars in damages.</p></blockquote><p>Daily Dot reporter Dell Cameron was a lead reporter on the story. Listen our interview with him here.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/153950749&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> Wed, 11 Jun 2014 23:57:14 +0000 Nathan Bernier 10583 at http://kut.org Report: Stratfor Hack Orchestrated by FBI Informant National Instruments Cancels Project That Would Have Created 1,000 Jobs http://kut.org/post/national-instruments-cancels-project-would-have-created-1000-jobs <p><a href="http://www.ni.com/company/" style="line-height: 1.5;">National Instruments</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> is cancelling a project that would have created 1,000 jobs in Austin over a decade.</span></p><p>The $80 million expansion project of NI's headquarters <a href="https://plus.google.com/105762292728267085318/about?gl=us&amp;hl=en">on North&nbsp;Mopac Boulevard</a>&nbsp;received millions in economic incentives from the city, county and state. All those agreements have also been canceled.</p><p>"We want to continue to leverage our investments and drive for growth," National Instruments spokesperson&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">Stacy Schmidt says. "</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">But in the current economy and the challenges in the test and measurement industry, we're choosing not to move forward at this time."</span></p><p> Tue, 10 Jun 2014 00:48:37 +0000 Nathan Bernier 10567 at http://kut.org National Instruments Cancels Project That Would Have Created 1,000 Jobs The X Games Are Here in Austin http://kut.org/post/x-games-are-here-austin <p>For the next three days, the streets of downtown Austin will be full of flips – Ninja flips, inward flips and varial kickflips – as dozens of professional skateboarders, BMXers and other athletes descend upon Central Texas for the first ever <a href="http://xgamesaustin.com/">X Games Austin</a>.&nbsp;</p><p>Housed in the <a href="http://austin360amphitheater.com/">Austin360 Amphitheater</a> with a large “X” marking the spot, the X Games arena features an ESPN Clubhouse and a video gaming venue along with a full schedule of skateboard and BMX competitions. Musicians including Kanye West and The Flaming Lips will also be in town with the athletes, along with a roster of local acts. (KUT's sister station KUTX is a media sponsor of the X Games, and is hosting its own stage of Austin performers at the fest.)</p><p> Thu, 05 Jun 2014 16:52:20 +0000 Nathan Bernier & Audrey McGlinchy 10544 at http://kut.org The X Games Are Here in Austin More Places For Low Income Texas Children to Get Free Meals During Summer http://kut.org/post/more-places-low-income-texas-children-get-free-meals-during-summer <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">More low-income Texas children have access to free and reduced price lunch over the summer than they did in 2012, according to </span><a href="http://frac.org/pdf/2014_summer_nutrition_report.pdf" style="line-height: 1.5;">a new report</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> by the Food Research and Action Center (</span>FRAC<span style="line-height: 1.5;">), based in Washington D.C.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">FRAC says Texas added 297 "summer meal sites" across the state in 2013. Those are places at schools or non-profit organizations where children whose families make less than 185 percent of the<a href="http://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty/14poverty.cfm"> federal poverty level</a> can get reduced-price meals through the federal&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><a href="http://www.fns.usda.gov/sfsp/summer-food-service-program-sfsp">Summer Food Service Program</a> or the <a href="http://www.fns.usda.gov/nslp/national-school-lunch-program">National School Lunch Program</a>. Children from families earning less than 130 percent of the federal poverty level get free meals.</span></p><p> Tue, 03 Jun 2014 01:01:13 +0000 Nathan Bernier 10528 at http://kut.org More Places For Low Income Texas Children to Get Free Meals During Summer This Urban Rail Supporter Wants You to Reject Austin's Current Proposal http://kut.org/post/urban-rail-supporter-wants-you-reject-austins-current-proposal <p>Some die-hard public transit supporters say Austin’s 9.5 mile,<a href="http://kut.org/post/project-connects-14-billion-proposal-austin-urban-rail"> $1.38 billion urban rail proposal</a> is misguided, too expensive, and follows a poorly traveled <a href="http://www.projectconnect.com/connect/sites/default/files/Central%20Corridor%20Urban%20Rail%20Recommendation%20050214.pdf">route</a>.&nbsp;</p><p>"Why would a city our size put in something that is so pricey on a very weak route?" former Capital Metro board vice president <a href="https://twitter.com/LHenry_rch">Lyndon Henry </a>says. "This is insane."</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/151752482&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p> Thu, 29 May 2014 00:12:52 +0000 Nathan Bernier 10511 at http://kut.org This Urban Rail Supporter Wants You to Reject Austin's Current Proposal This Downtown Austin Bridge Could Be Named A National Landmark http://kut.org/post/downtown-austin-bridge-could-be-named-national-landmark <p>An easy-to-miss bridge on W. Sixth Street could be added to the <a href="http://www.nps.gov/nr/">National Register of Historic Places</a>. The <a href="http://bridgehunter.com/tx/travis/west-sixth/">West Sixth Street Bridge </a>sits over Shoal Creek,&nbsp;<a href="http://goo.gl/maps/6igmW">between West Avenue and Wood Street</a>&nbsp;(<span style="line-height: 1.5;">near Hut's Hamburgers).&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">It was built by hand in 1887.&nbsp;</span></p><p>"It doesn't look like much when you go over it, and people use it all the time."&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">says&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Joanna</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Wolaver</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, executive director of the <a href="http://www.shoalcreekconservancy.org/">Shoal Creek Conservancy</a>. "</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">But if you take a minute to walk down the dirt path to the Shoal Creek trail, it's just gorgeous."&nbsp;</span></p><p>Last Saturday, the <a href="http://www.thc.state.tx.us/sbrmeeting">Texas Historical Commission</a> approved <a href="http://www.thc.state.tx.us/public/upload/preserve/national_register/draft_nominations/Austin%2C%20Sixth%20Street%20Bridge%20NR%20SBR%20Draft.pdf">an application</a> to recommend nomination of the bridge to the National Register of Historic Places.&nbsp;The U.S. Parks Service will have the final say and&nbsp;could decide by the fall.&nbsp;</p><p> Wed, 21 May 2014 00:43:14 +0000 Nathan Bernier 10461 at http://kut.org This Downtown Austin Bridge Could Be Named A National Landmark Texas Agriculture Group Wants Tighter Controls on Ammonium Nitrate http://kut.org/post/texas-agriculture-group-wants-tighter-controls-ammonium-nitrate <p>A Texas agriculture industry group is calling for more stringent reporting by people who possess the fertilizer ammonium nitrate. The <a href="http://www.txag.net/">Texas Ag Industries Association (TAIA)&nbsp;</a>wants people with fewer than&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">10,000 pounds of the chemical to disclose to state officials how much they're storing and where.</span></p> Tue, 20 May 2014 00:24:52 +0000 Nathan Bernier 10451 at http://kut.org Texas Agriculture Group Wants Tighter Controls on Ammonium Nitrate Bastrop Sheriff's Deputy Avoids Charges in High School Taser Case http://kut.org/post/bastrop-sheriffs-deputy-avoids-charges-high-school-taser-case <p>A Bastrop County Sheriff's deputy who <a href="http://kut.org/post/bastrop-student-coma-days-after-being-tased-sheriffs-deputies">Tased a 17-year-old</a> in the hallway of Cedar Creek High School last year will not face any charges.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The teenager, </span>Noe<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> </span>Niño<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> De Rivera, spent almost two months in a medically induced coma and is now in a residential rehabilitation center in the Hill Country. He is believed to have suffered a permanent brain injury.</span></p> Wed, 14 May 2014 01:13:10 +0000 Nathan Bernier 10412 at http://kut.org Bastrop Sheriff's Deputy Avoids Charges in High School Taser Case PHOTOS: After 34 Years, Austin's Tamale House Closes http://kut.org/post/photos-after-34-years-austins-tamale-house-closes <p>Customers lined up today for their last taste of tacos from Tamale House #3 on Airport Boulevard. Owner Robert "Bobby" Vasquez died last week, and the restaurant announced <a href="https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=1442499652664275&amp;id=1400522703528637&amp;stream_ref=10">on Facebook</a> it would close the location after 36 years. <a href="https://twitter.com/TamaleHouseEast">Tamale House East</a> on East 6<sup>th</sup> St. will remain open.</p><p>"Everybody misses the place," said Connie Salazar, the long-time companion of Vasquez. "I'm going to miss him too."</p> Thu, 08 May 2014 00:21:19 +0000 Nathan Bernier 10374 at http://kut.org PHOTOS: After 34 Years, Austin's Tamale House Closes