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Gage Skidmore via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

This week on The Ticket 2016: The Texas Tribune's Jay Root is out of town again, but there's still plenty to talk about. First, KUT's Ben Philpott will go over this week's Trump Sweep in the Northeast with Republican strategist Matt Mackowiak. Then, he'll dive into the waters of political candidate cybersquatting.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The Zilker Tree turns 50 this coming winter, and it’s getting spruced up for the occasion. The Tree, which most of the year is actually one of Austin's moontowers, was taken down Friday morning and removed from Zilker Park to be sandblasted, repainted and touched up at a shop in New Braunfels.

The city still has 17 of its original 31 moonlight towers (the uninitiated might remember the towers from cameos in Dazed and Confused), and Austin Energy has contracted with tower restoration company Enertech Resources, LLC, to repair and restore all 17. They’ve fully restored one so far, but they have inspected all of them. None of the towers, more than a century old, have any major structural damage, said Carlos Cordova with Austin Energy.

Keith Allison/flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

In February, seven U.S. Marshals showed up at Paul Aker's home in Houston and arrested him. His crime? Failing to pay a nearly three-decades-old student loan debt. The story went viral, and caught the attention of Fusion reporter Rob Wile. He and his colleagues were curious: if this was happening in Houston – where there were 25 arrest warrants for outstanding student debt in 2015 – how prevalent was it elsewhere?


ErikaWittlieb/Pixabay (CC0 Public Domain)

From Texas Standard:

Although the United States has less than 5 percent of the world’s population, it has 25 percent of the world’s total prison population. That's not counting things like county lockups and city jails.

Federal prisons are overcrowded and in Texas, nearly 19,000 people are incarcerated in federal prisons alone. According to a report in USA Today the job of overseeing the prisoners is falling to nurses with little or no experience in security.


KUT Weekend brings you our favorite stories from the KUT newsroom. Updated Fridays!

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When it comes to imagination and happiness, it turns out there’s a lot going on. If you think, as William Arthur Ward said, “If you can imagine it, you can achieve it; if you can dream it, you can become it,” you might be in for a surprise when it comes to well-being.

In this edition of Two Guys on Your Head, Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke talk about why it’s important to manage our exceptions and goals, and enjoy the moments in the process of becoming, in order live happier lives.


Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

This year's heavy rains and severe thunderstorms have city officials asking Austin’s small business owners to set aside time to prepare for natural disasters and emergencies.

David Hook was working at his furniture store last year when floodwaters began seeping in from under the door. He was able to move a lot of the merchandise out of the water’s way.


Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

When she’s not driving for ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft, Sara Kaminsky works as a personal trainer. In fact, I exited her Toyota Corolla with a brochure for Shakeology, a weight loss program that helped Kaminsky shed more than 100 pounds over two years.

I confessed that I needed to get in shape. “I could help you with that,” said Kaminsky. But mostly she helped me with a free ride Thursday morning to my nearest polling station, at Maplewood Elementary School.


Photo via Flickr/carlos-pacheco (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Cowboys, longhorns, barbecue – all part of the state's identity. But before barbecue became part of the legend, there was the original. But where was the original, exactly?

Where there’s smoke there’s Daniel Vaughn, barbecue editor for Texas Monthly. His research revealed what could conceivably be the first barbecue joint in Texas was born not too far from Lockhart, the town largely considered to be a barbecue mecca in the state.


Mark Goebel/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

In recent weeks there have been reports of the crumbling infrastructure of the state’s Child Protective Services – an agency responsible for the well-being of 12,000 of the most neglected and abused kids in Texas.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera / Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune: Former House Speaker John Boehner has never been much of a fan of U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz.

He made that clearer than ever Wednesday.

“Lucifer in the flesh,” Boehner said of Cruz during an appearance at Stanford University, according to the student newspaper. “I have Democrat friends and Republican friends. I get along with almost everyone, but I have never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life."

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The Lower Colorado River Authority manages the water used in much of Central Texas and parts downstream. For most of the last several years it’s been worried about drought  – but not anymore. Earlier this week, the LCRA opened floodgates below Lake Travis for the first time since 2007 to allow excess water out. Now, the abundance of water is bringing its own set of challenges to the agency.


Miguel Guitierrez Jr. / KUT

At the City of Austin’s budget season opener Wednesday, council members heard again of Austin’s two cities: the city’s widening economic divisions amidst claims that the city is “an economic star.”

“This is extraordinary growth,” economic consultant Jon Hockenyos told council members as he pointed out a 4.6 percent increase in jobs last year, plus an anticipated 7 to 8 percent gain in personal income in the coming year. “It is hard to imagine any other community that has consistently grown in the aggregate that the Austin metro area has.”

Marhsa Miller / LBJ Library

As he addressed attendees of the Vietnam War Summit at the LBJ Library Wednesday night, Secretary of State John Kerry reflected on his time both fighting in the Vietnam War and fighting against it. Kerry's address focused on how far the country has come in achieving diplomatic relationships with Vietnam, but he also said the country still has some lessons to learn from the war. 


Jimmy Maas / KUT

What’s on your city flag? If your city has one at all, it’s likely an official seal with wording. More likely, you have not given a city flag any thought at all. But there is one man who wants to change that for his town.

Cedar Park Mayor Matt Powell is on a mission to create a lasting legacy for his city, something citizens can look upon for generations: a city flag.


Headshot courtesy of the author

How's this for a catchy book title: "If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t You Happy?”  

Author and UT McCombs School of Business Professor Raj Raghunathan admits it’s a provocative title, and maybe a little tongue-in-cheek. But, he says the book is really trying to answer that question. Why are people who are smart—successful, high achievers—not as happy as you might expect? Listen below to an interview with Raghunathan about the links between happiness and intelligence.


Austin History Center

Today's Wayback Wednesday looks back at Austin's onetime Victorian-era literary magazine, The Rolling Stone. The DIY-minded rag published short stories, cartoons and other Onion-esque items, but it is largely known as the first creative sandbox for its publisher, William Sydney Porter.

Porter, a North Carolina transplant who moved to Austin in the late 1880s, worked as a druggist and as a clerk at the General Land Office before he took a job at the First National Bank as a teller. It was during his time as a teller that he started The Rolling Stone in 1894. 

Jay Godwin / LBJ Library

Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger stopped by the LBJ School of Public Affairs at UT Austin Tuesday night to talk about the Vietnam War. His appearance was part of a three-day Vietnam War Summit sponsored by the LBJ Presidential Library. Kissinger, who remains a controversial figure in American History, addressed his critics and defended his decisions.

Eric Kayne for the Texas Tribune

Donald Trump had such a big win in Pennsylvania Tuesday night that several media outlets announced him the winner just moments after the polls closed. But, unlike other states, that big win didn’t keep Texas Senator Ted Cruz from claiming a victory – of sorts.


Jorge Sanhueza Lyon/KUT

City of Austin Manager Marc Ott has reprimanded Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo, docked him five days pay and warned him he could be fired for continued insubordination for his comments surrounding the shooting of David Joseph earlier this year, according to a report from the Austin American-Statesman.

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