Texas http://kut.org en West Gets $4.8 Million to Fix Water System http://kut.org/post/west-gets-48-million-fix-water-system <p>The Texas town of <a href="http://www.cityofwest.com/">West</a> is getting <a href="http://governor.state.tx.us/news/press-release/19588/">$4.85 million more</a> to help recover from the fertilizer plant explosion that happened one year ago this week. Fifteen people were killed and more than 160 injured in the blast on April 17, 2013.&nbsp;</p><p>Governor Perry authorized the funding a day before a ceremony to mark the first anniversary of the disaster. West Mayor Tommy Mushka didn't question the timing of the grant.</p><p>"It shows a lot of cooperation between local, state and federal that we can come together and secure these funds within one day of the anniversary and move forward," Mushka told KUT.&nbsp;</p><p> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 23:43:50 +0000 Nathan Bernier 10236 at http://kut.org West Gets $4.8 Million to Fix Water System Before the West Explosion, There Was Texas City http://kut.org/post/west-explosion-there-was-texas-city <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">April&nbsp;17&nbsp;marks exactly a year since one of the biggest industrial disasters in American history: the </span><a href="http://kut.org/post/officials-15-dead-200-injured-west-texas-explosion" style="line-height: 1.5;">explosion at the fertilizer plant in West, Texas</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> that left 15 people dead, another 150 injured, and large parts of the town flattened and destroyed.</span></p> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 20:35:42 +0000 David Brown 10234 at http://kut.org Before the West Explosion, There Was Texas City Fighting Stigma of Mental Illness Goal of New Texas Nonprofit http://kut.org/post/fighting-stigma-mental-illness-goal-new-texas-nonprofit <p>Improving mental health practices for Texas and reducing the stigma associated with mental illness is the goal of a new statewide institute. Its focus will be on children, veterans and criminal justice policies.</p><p>The <a href="http://mfi.org/MFI2012_MentalHealthInstituteSurvey.pdf" target="_blank">Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute</a> opened its doors today. Tom Luce, its chief executive officer, says the nonprofit will do research to improve access to mental health care in Texas –&nbsp;and not just after emergencies like the recent Fort Hood shooting.</p> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 18:13:32 +0000 Veronica Zaragovia 10232 at http://kut.org Fighting Stigma of Mental Illness Goal of New Texas Nonprofit A 'Roller Coaster' Year For Texas Town Rocked By Blast http://kut.org/post/roller-coaster-year-texas-town-rocked-blast When firetrucks blew through the small town of West, Texas, on the evening of April 17, 2013, sirens screaming, naturally everybody was curious. People got in their cars and went to see the fire at the West fertilizer plant. For 10 minutes, they watched from cars and backyards as the fire grew ever bigger. A few moved as close as they could because they were filming on their smartphones. At no time did it occur to anybody that they might be in danger.<p>And then — a massive explosion. The men fighting the fire at the plant never had a chance. Tue, 15 Apr 2014 09:41:23 +0000 Wade Goodwyn, NPR 10215 at http://kut.org A 'Roller Coaster' Year For Texas Town Rocked By Blast Abortion Rights Groups Ask Appeals Court to Reverse Ruling on Texas Law http://kut.org/post/abortion-rights-groups-ask-appeals-court-reverse-ruling-texas-law <p>Abortion rights <a href="https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/1107663-petition-hospital-admitting-privileges-april-10.html" target="_blank">advocates have filed a petition asking</a> a federal appeals court to reconsider its stance on a part of Texas' new abortion law.</p><p>The groups that filed the petition include the American Civil Liberties Union, Planned Parenthood and the Center for Reproductive Rights. They’re asking the full Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider whether it’s constitutional to require abortion doctors to receive admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of their clinics.</p><p> Thu, 10 Apr 2014 20:07:50 +0000 Veronica Zaragovia 10194 at http://kut.org Abortion Rights Groups Ask Appeals Court to Reverse Ruling on Texas Law China's Embrace of Tequila Affects TX, Mexican Markets http://kut.org/post/chinas-embrace-tequila-affects-tx-mexican-markets <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-bottom: 1em; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.35; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px;">SHANGHAI — A whiff of tequila may conjure images of blue-green agave fields in the Mexican countryside, a raucous Texas dance hall or even a college frat house after a homecoming game.</p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-bottom: 1em; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.35; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px;">But there’s a new tequila haven emerging across the globe, and it’s the most populous city in the world — Shanghai.</p><p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px; line-height: 1.35;">China is already the largest and fastest-growing market for alcohol of all kinds, but pure tequila was banned until June, when Chinese President Xi </span>Jinping<span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px; line-height: 1.35;"> signed a deal with Mexican President Enrique </span>Peña<span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px; line-height: 1.35;"> </span>Nieto<span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px; line-height: 1.35;"> that reconciled a decade-long tension&nbsp;between the two countries. They signed several deals on trade, energy, mining, intellectual property and, of course, tequila, the latter of which opened up a promising new market.</span></p><p> Thu, 10 Apr 2014 17:57:13 +0000 Victor Hugo Michel & Cathaleen Qiao Chen 10193 at http://kut.org China's Embrace of Tequila Affects TX, Mexican Markets Update on Mexican-American Studies Course in Texas Public Schools http://kut.org/post/update-mexican-american-studies-course-texas-public-schools <p><strong>Update: </strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;">High schools in Texas are one step closer to getting state-funded materials to teach courses in Mexican-American studies after a vote today by the Texas State Board of Education.&nbsp;</span></p> Wed, 09 Apr 2014 22:49:56 +0000 Veronica Zaragovia & Nathan Bernier 10172 at http://kut.org Update on Mexican-American Studies Course in Texas Public Schools LISTEN: Texans Share Their Experiences in the Civil Rights Movement http://kut.org/post/listen-texans-share-their-experiences-civil-rights-movement <p>This week, civil rights leaders and politicians including President Barack Obama and three former presidents – Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush<span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;–&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;gather at Austin's&nbsp;</span>LBJ<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> Library and Museum to commemorate the </span>50<sup>th</sup><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> anniversary of the Civil Rights Act.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The occasion also has many Texans reflecting on their own experiences growing up in the Jim Crow-era south.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/143920673&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></span></p><p> Wed, 09 Apr 2014 21:07:37 +0000 Rhonda Fanning 10180 at http://kut.org LISTEN: Texans Share Their Experiences in the Civil Rights Movement Setting A New Standard, Texas Style http://kut.org/post/setting-new-standard-texas-style <p>In the 21st century, as Texas goes, so goes the rest of the country? &nbsp;Many think so. &nbsp;And not just Texans. &nbsp;As a recent <a href="http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2154995,00.html">Time magazine</a> story proclaimed, "(i)t's not an accident that three of the five fastest growing cities are in Texas. It's more like destiny."</p> Wed, 09 Apr 2014 16:25:10 +0000 KUT Staff 9756 at http://kut.org Setting A New Standard, Texas Style 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 Fort Hood Update: Obamas to Attend Memorial Service Wednesday http://kut.org/post/fort-hood-update-obamas-attend-memorial-service-wednesday <p>President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama are expected to attend a memorial service Wednesday to honor the three soldiers killed in last week’s <a href="http://kut.org/post/four-dead-after-shooting-fort-hood" target="_blank">shooting at Fort Hood</a>.</p><p>Obama visited Fort Hood in November 2009 under similar circumstances following the shooting by Maj. Nidal Hasan that left 13 dead and 32 wounded. Hasan was convicted in August 2012 of those killings and was sentenced to death.</p><p>The Obamas were already planning to travel to Texas this week. On Thursday, the President will speak at the LBJ Presidential Library’s Civil Rights Summit to mark the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act. Mon, 07 Apr 2014 12:25:39 +0000 Maria Roque & Laura Rice 10137 at http://kut.org Fort Hood Update: Obamas to Attend Memorial Service Wednesday Details Released About Soldiers Killed in Wednesday's Fort Hood Shooting http://kut.org/post/details-released-about-soldiers-killed-wednesdays-fort-hood-shooting <p>Fort Hood officials are releasing more information about the three soldiers killed in a <a href="http://kut.org/post/four-dead-after-shooting-fort-hood" target="_blank">shooting at the post on Wednesday</a>.</p><p><strong>Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Michael Ferguson</strong>, 39, was from Mulberry, Florida. He had been in active-duty military service since 1993 and worked in transportation.</p><p>Ferguson served two tours in Kuwait and one each in Iraq and Afghanistan.</p><p><strong>Staff Sgt. Carlos A. Lazaney-Rodriguez</strong>, 38, was from Puerto Rico. He entered active-duty service in 1995 and worked with the medical teams.</p><p> Sat, 05 Apr 2014 17:43:25 +0000 Laura Rice 10126 at http://kut.org Details Released About Soldiers Killed in Wednesday's Fort Hood Shooting The Artist Formerly Known As President George W. Bush Unleashes His Inner Rembrandt http://kut.org/post/artist-formerly-known-president-george-w-bush-unveils-new-portraits-today Since he left office, former President George W. Bush has devoted part of his free time to painting – everything from his dog Barney to self-portraits. A year after a hacker revealed some of his works-in-progress, Bush had his first real art show Friday at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Dallas.<p>The exhibit, titled "The Art of Leadership: A President's Personal Diplomacy," opens to the public Saturday. It features portraits of 24 world leaders, including Tony Blair, Vladimir Putin and the Dalai Lama.<p> Fri, 04 Apr 2014 15:29:27 +0000 Eric Aasen 10121 at http://kut.org The Artist Formerly Known As President George W. Bush Unleashes His Inner Rembrandt What It's Like in Killeen After the Latest Fort Hood Shooting http://kut.org/post/what-its-killeen-after-latest-fort-hood-shooting <p>At Fort Hood in Killeen, people are accustomed to the idea of death. At any given point, around ten percent of soldiers from the post are deployed overseas.</p><p>This week, soldiers, families and residents were reminded of <a href="http://kut.org/post/new-details-emerge-fort-hood-shooting" target="_blank">how close to home tragedy can strike</a> – when Ivan Lopez <a href="http://kut.org/post/four-dead-after-shooting-fort-hood" target="_blank">opened fire killing three</a> others and wounding 16 before turning the gun on himself.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/143030426&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p> Fri, 04 Apr 2014 13:34:00 +0000 Kate McGee 10120 at http://kut.org What It's Like in Killeen After the Latest Fort Hood Shooting Answers Sought After Deadly Fort Hood Shooting http://kut.org/post/answers-sought-after-deadly-fort-hood-shooting The Army&#8217;s top civilian official says the soldier accused in the Fort Hood shooting this week was deployed for the final months of the Iraq war but did not see combat.<p>Three people died and 16 were wounded before the shooter committed suicide. At least three military personnel remain in critical condition.<p>Army Secretary John McHugh testified Thursday that the soldier appeared to have no connections to extremist groups.<p>The soldier is identified by others as Ivan Lopez. Thu, 03 Apr 2014 19:02:49 +0000 10116 at http://kut.org Answers Sought After Deadly Fort Hood Shooting