Ryland Barton http://kut.org en Texas Education Could Get Hit Hard by Federal Sequestration http://kut.org/post/texas-education-could-get-hit-hard-federal-sequestration <p>Texas classrooms could be hit hard by federal sequestration cuts&nbsp;–&nbsp;automatic, across-the-board cuts to federal programs that will go into effect on March 1 if Congress doesn’t pass a deficit reduction bill.</p><p>In Texas, the largest cuts would happen to public education, with $517 million dollars automatically cut according to the <a href="http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&amp;rct=j&amp;q=&amp;esrc=s&amp;source=web&amp;cd=1&amp;cad=rja&amp;ved=0CDIQFjAA&amp;url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.tea.state.tx.us%2FWorkArea%2Flinkit.aspx%3FLinkIdentifier%3Did%26ItemID%3D2147507365%26libID%3D2147507356&amp;ei=YNoeUcnADYKlqgHK04DgBA&amp;usg=AFQjCNFuzdRfstEqbOWoOtCYeEBUIxHnuw&amp;sig2=Pyh3fzdJ9mUT7j7Vd2nndQ&amp;bvm=bv.42553238,d.aWM">Texas Education Agency</a>. Mon, 18 Feb 2013 18:53:40 +0000 Ryland Barton 6628 at http://kut.org Texas Education Could Get Hit Hard by Federal Sequestration Marble Falls Bridge to be Demolished with Explosives http://kut.org/post/marble-falls-bridge-be-demolished-explosives <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The Texas Department of Transportation has received approval to use explosives to demolish the 80-year-old U.S. 281 bridge over Lake Marble Falls in March. Workers have already begun to take down streetlights, guardrails and parts of the bridge structure.</span></p><p>Kelli Reyna with TxDOT says that using explosives will speed up the process.</p><p> Sat, 16 Feb 2013 00:35:09 +0000 Ryland Barton 6629 at http://kut.org Marble Falls Bridge to be Demolished with Explosives HeyRide Bought Out by San Francisco Rival http://kut.org/post/heyride-bought-out-san-francisco-rival <p><a href="http://www.side.cr/">SideCar</a>, a San Francisco company that uses smartphones to connect car owners with people who need a ride, has acquired <a href="http://www.heyride.com/">HeyRide</a>, an Austin company that tried to do the same thing.</p><p>HeyRide <a href="http://kutnews.org/post/city-tells-ride-sharing-app-cease-and-desist">received a cease and desist order</a> in November from the city of Austin. The city said the startup operated like a cab service but didn’t take the same safety and regulatory precautions.</p> Thu, 14 Feb 2013 22:35:22 +0000 Ryland Barton 6613 at http://kut.org HeyRide Bought Out by San Francisco Rival Bill Introduced to Legalize Gay Marriage in Texas http://kut.org/post/bill-introduced-legalize-gay-marriage-texas <p>State Rep. <a href="http://www.house.state.tx.us/members/member-page/?district=90">Lon Burnam</a>, D-Fort Worth, has filed a bill that would authorize same-sex marriage in Texas. The bill would also recognize civil unions made in other states.</p><p>An October 2012 <a href="http://www.texastribune.org/2012/10/31/uttt-poll-economy-immigration-top-texas-issues/">UT /Texas Tribune poll</a>&nbsp;found 69 percent of Texans support some form of recognition for same-sex relationships.</p> Thu, 14 Feb 2013 22:21:58 +0000 Ryland Barton 6612 at http://kut.org Bill Introduced to Legalize Gay Marriage in Texas Toyota Settles Its Recall Lawsuit with Texas http://kut.org/post/toyota-settles-its-recall-lawsuit-texas <p>Toyota has settled with Texas and 29 other states that investigated the car company for dangerous defects that came to light in 2009.</p><p>The states investigated whether Toyota adequately disclosed that voluntary recalls included popular models like the Camry, Tundra and Prius.</p><p>Toyota is now required to enhance safety procedures, pay back customers, and pay $217,000 in attorneys’ fees for the state of Texas.</p> Thu, 14 Feb 2013 21:42:44 +0000 Ryland Barton 6610 at http://kut.org Toyota Settles Its Recall Lawsuit with Texas More Austinites Looking for Food http://kut.org/post/more-austinites-looking-food <p>Calls to the area’s <a href="http://www.unitedwayaustin.org/navigation-center/">health and human services hotline</a> asking for information about food pantries were up 55 percent over the past year, according to <a href="http://www.unitedwayaustin.org/02/2013/food-needs-household-expenses-dominate-needs-in-greater-austin/">a report</a> released this week by <a href="http://www.unitedwayaustin.org/">United Way for Greater Austin</a>.</p><p>The nonprofit group says the jump represents calls from people who can’t provide food for their families that day or within the week.</p> Wed, 13 Feb 2013 23:53:02 +0000 Ryland Barton 6586 at http://kut.org More Austinites Looking for Food State Parks Still Deep in Drought http://kut.org/post/state-parks-still-deep-drought <p>Despite recent rains, Texas state parks continue to feel the effects of the ongoing drought. That’s according to Texas Parks and Wildlife’s executive director Carter Smith, who spoke today at the House Natural Resources Committee Meeting at the State Capitol.&nbsp;</p><p> Wed, 13 Feb 2013 00:44:42 +0000 Ryland Barton 6568 at http://kut.org State Parks Still Deep in Drought Dell Keeps Pushing for Buyout http://kut.org/post/dell-keeps-pushing-buyout <p>Round Rock-based Dell is defending its decision to go private, despite growing concerns from some major shareholders.</p><p></p><p>Dell issued <a href="http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/826083/000119312513046524/d483619ddefa14a.htm">a statement</a> today reasserting that taking the computer maker private is the best move for the company. "In the course of its deliberations, the Special Committee of Dell’s Board considered an array of strategic alternatives," the statement reads. "The Board concluded that the proposed all-cash transaction is in the best interests of stockholders."</p> Tue, 12 Feb 2013 01:27:33 +0000 Ryland Barton 6553 at http://kut.org Dell Keeps Pushing for Buyout Moody's: TX School Finance Ruling 'Credit Negative' http://kut.org/post/moodys-tx-school-finance-ruling-credit-negative <p>The<a href="http://www.moodys.com/"> Moody’s credit rating agency </a>says last week’s Texas school finance ruling could have a negative effect on the state’s credit rating. &nbsp;Last week, <a href="http://kutnews.org/post/judge-states-education-funding-system-unconstitutional">a state district court ruled</a> that the present school finance system is unconstitutional, in part because it inadequately funds public schools.</p><p>Moody’s is not downgrading Texas’ coveted triple-A credit rating, but the report suggests that could all change if the state is forced to tap its reserves to overhaul the school finance system.</p><p> Sat, 09 Feb 2013 01:17:26 +0000 Ryland Barton 6533 at http://kut.org Moody's: TX School Finance Ruling 'Credit Negative' Bill Filings Down in 2013 Texas Legislature http://kut.org/post/bill-filings-down-2013-texas-legislature <p>The 2013 Texas Legislature is running behind last session when it comes to bill filings, according to legislative reporting service Telicon.</p><p>The firm reports 476 fewer bills have been filed this legislative session, compared to this time in the 2011 session. The 27 percent drop is partially to blame on 2011 being a big year for ideological legislative filings, said UT government professor Jim Henson.</p><p> Mon, 04 Feb 2013 23:17:18 +0000 Ryland Barton 6456 at http://kut.org Bill Filings Down in 2013 Texas Legislature Fire Marshal Cracks Down on Code Violations http://kut.org/post/fire-marshal-cracks-down-code-violations <p><a href="http://www.co.travis.tx.us/fire_marshal/">The Travis County Fire Marshal </a>is cracking down on buildings that violate the fire code. Last week the Fire Marshal’s office issued twelve violation notices for six buildings in North Austin. Each structure had been built without a permit and occupied prior to approval.</p><p> Sat, 02 Feb 2013 01:34:00 +0000 Ryland Barton 6445 at http://kut.org Fire Marshal Cracks Down on Code Violations Immigration Overhaul Good for Business? http://kut.org/post/immigration-overhaul-good-business <p>Yesterday’s <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/itsallpolitics/2013/01/25/170287564/bipartisan-senate-group-kick-starts-immigration-battle">bipartisan Senate proposal </a>to overhaul the immigration system has drawn praise and criticism from both sides of the aisle. In Texas, one question remains: is immigration good or bad for business?&nbsp;</p><p>The proposal from eight U.S. Senators calls for increased border security and a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants currently in the country.</p><p> Tue, 29 Jan 2013 01:40:33 +0000 Ryland Barton 6374 at http://kut.org Immigration Overhaul Good for Business? Charges Dropped in Shooting at Lone Star College (Updated) http://kut.org/post/charges-dropped-shooting-lone-star-college-updated <p><strong>Update (Jan. 28, 11 a.m.): </strong>The Associated Press is reporting that prosecutors have dropped assault charges against a man injured in a shooting last week at Lone Star College.</p><p>Another man, 22 year-old Trey Foster, who was not injured in the incident is facing resisting arrest and two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Mon, 28 Jan 2013 17:06:37 +0000 Ryland Barton & Laura Rice 6292 at http://kut.org Charges Dropped in Shooting at Lone Star College (Updated) Former Nightclub Owners Sentenced to Federal Prison http://kut.org/post/former-nightclub-owners-sentenced-federal-prison <p>Two of three brothers convicted in Austin of a federal money-laundering conspiracy have been sentenced.</p><p></p><p>Hussein Ali "Mike" Yassine was sentenced to more than 12 years in federal prison, while Hadi Yassine drew a 5 year prison term today. Prosecutors accused the two of using their nine downtown Austin bars to launder more than $200,000 in what they believed to be proceeds from drug trafficking.</p><p>Yassine Enterprises used to be Austin's biggest nightclub operator. Their portfolio of bars included&nbsp;Malaia, Treasure Island and Pure.</p><p> Sat, 26 Jan 2013 01:14:10 +0000 Ryland Barton 6356 at http://kut.org Former Nightclub Owners Sentenced to Federal Prison City Kicks Off 'Welcome to Austin' Orientation Session http://kut.org/post/city-kicks-welcome-austin-orientation-session <p>The City of Austin has started a new program to welcome foreigners moving to town.</p><p>The <a href="http://austintexas.gov/internationalwelcome">Welcome to Austin</a> program provides language resources, offers local advice and teaches newcomers how to navigate the city's local schools, law enforcement and public transportation. Here's a <a href="https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/562287-welcome-to-austin-orientation-session-schedule.html">look at the agenda</a>.</p><p> Fri, 25 Jan 2013 22:51:09 +0000 Ryland Barton 6348 at http://kut.org City Kicks Off 'Welcome to Austin' Orientation Session Union Grove ISD Votes for Armed Teachers http://kut.org/post/union-grove-isd-votes-armed-teachers <p>A small school district in East Texas became the second in the state to allow some staff members to carry concealed handguns. The school board at <a href="http://uniongroveisd.org/">Union Grove ISD</a> – just outside Longview – voted this week to allow trained staff members access firearms in the event of an armed intruder.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">“It is up to the discretion of the local board," said&nbsp;</span><a href="http://www.tea.state.tx.us/" style="line-height: 1.5;">Texas Education Agency</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;spokesperson Debbie&nbsp;Ratcliffe.&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">"There’s a provision in the Texas Penal Code that basically says schools are a gun free zone unless the school board adopts a policy that permits it.”</span></p><p> Fri, 18 Jan 2013 23:39:56 +0000 Ryland Barton & Nathan Bernier 6255 at http://kut.org Union Grove ISD Votes for Armed Teachers Industry Leader: Texas Businesses Can't Find Qualified Applicants http://kut.org/post/industry-leader-texas-businesses-cant-find-qualified-applicants <p><a href="http://www.txbiz.org/">Texas Association of Business</a> president Bill Hammond testified in the ongoing school finance trial yesterday, saying that Texas businesses can’t find applicants that have the academic and professional skills required. Hammond says that the most educated segment of Texas’ workforce is the soon-to-be retired.</p><p> Fri, 18 Jan 2013 23:04:13 +0000 Ryland Barton 6254 at http://kut.org Industry Leader: Texas Businesses Can't Find Qualified Applicants Commisioners Court to Weigh in on Gun Shows (Update) http://kut.org/post/commisioners-court-weigh-gun-shows-update <p><strong>Update:&nbsp;</strong><span style="line-height: normal; font-size: 13px; font-family: Arial; ">The Travis County Commissioners</span><span style="font-family: Helvetica; line-height: normal; "> <a href="http://www.co.travis.tx.us/commissioners_court/agendas/voting_session_agenda.asp" target="_blank">scheduled to take action today</a> on a controversial proposal to ban gun shows at the Travis County Expo Center and other county-owned facilities.&nbsp;</span></p><p style="margin-bottom: 5px; line-height: normal; font-family: Helvetica; ">Commissioners will take up the topic at 10 a.m.</p><p><strong>Original Post&nbsp;</strong>(Jan. 7, 6:04 p.m.):&nbsp;There’s a gun show at the Travis County Exposition Center about once a month, but that may come to an end. On Tuesday, Travis County commissioners will <a href="http://www.co.travis.tx.us/commissioners_court/agendas/2013/01/backup/Item_backup_20130108/vs20130108_item_22.pdf">consider a measure </a>that would no longer allow gun shows on county land or at county facilities.</p><p> Tue, 15 Jan 2013 14:57:22 +0000 Ryland Barton & Filipa Rodrigues 6088 at http://kut.org Commisioners Court to Weigh in on Gun Shows (Update) Texas Secessionists: Petition Response Should Be 'Torn to Pieces' http://kut.org/post/texas-secessionists-petition-response-should-be-torn-pieces <p>The White House has responded to a petition requesting the right for <a href="https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/peacefully-grant-state-texas-withdraw-united-states-america-and-create-its-own-new-government/BmdWCP8B">Texas to secede from the union</a>. It was signed by more than 125,000 people.</p><p>The White House said that the Founding Fathers who created the Union “did not provide a right to walk away from it.”</p><p> Tue, 15 Jan 2013 01:38:45 +0000 Ryland Barton 6177 at http://kut.org Texas Secessionists: Petition Response Should Be 'Torn to Pieces' Dewhurst Calls for Armed Teachers http://kut.org/post/dewhurst-calls-armed-teachers <p>In the wake of school shootings -- Texas Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst says he wants government-funded weapons training for teachers. &nbsp;Dewhurst is asking State Senators to explore such a program and provide recommendations.</p><p></p><p>"The training involved with the concealed handgun law license is not sufficient in my judgment to have that person trained for an event involving an active shooter," Dewhurst said.</p><p> Sat, 12 Jan 2013 01:17:51 +0000 Ryland Barton 6162 at http://kut.org Dewhurst Calls for Armed Teachers