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Qiling Wang for The Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune:

Students, alumni and spectators eagerly snatched up more than 4,500 donated dildos Tuesday evening at the University of Texas at Austin, preparing to assuage their frustration over a new state law allowing handguns to be carried on public university campuses.

Scott Ball, via Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune: Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump says he is open to a "softening" in laws dealing with people who are in the country illegally, offering a pivot away from the hardline immigration views he espoused throughout the primaries. 

Trump made the remarks during a taping Tuesday afternoon of a town hall in Austin with Fox News host Sean Hannity. 

Thomas Hawk/Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

The federal government announced that it's phasing out its use of privately run prisons and now, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) is warning that it too could close prisons, lay off 1,200 employees and stop providing certain inmate services – but not because of privatization.

Mike Ward, Austin bureau chief for the Houston Chronicle, says, like other states, Texas has fewer inmates now than in recent years.

 


Ashika Sethi

David Williamson tried to deny his fate for a long time.

As the son and grandson of professional taxidermists, Williamson was hesitant to follow in his family’s footsteps.


ICCNS/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Marla Torrado and Felipa Puente are taking a tour of a Texaco station in the Dove Springs community of Austin. The predominantly low-income neighborhood is a far cry from downtown’s flagship Whole Foods Market and the city’s most Instagrammed restaurants. Dove Springs is situated in the southeast part of the city. To social scientists it’s a well-known food desert. There are few restaurants – mostly fast food – and just one large grocery store on the neighborhood’s edge, that’s difficult to reach without a car.

But residents like Torrado and Puente are leading a movement to bring healthy food to every corner – or corner store. The store owner is showing them some of the healthier food items that need restocking: bags of brown rice, dried beans, and whole grain cereal.

Torrado is the local food retail organizer for the Healthy Corner Store Initiative. Go Austin Vamos Austin, or GAVA, is spearheading the effort – it’s a grassroots coalition of nonprofits and community members.

 


Illustration by Todd Wiseman

Ramping up its fight over the rights of transgender people, Texas is expected to file a lawsuit 

Tuesday against the federal government over a regulation prohibiting discrimination against transgender individuals in some health programs. 

Graphic by Gage Skidmore / Todd Wiseman

Not much specific.

Austin Police are not releasing details of Trump's route, but we do know where he's going and when he's scheduled to be there.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Austin ISD offers Advanced Placement courses and tests at all of its schools, but the percentage of students who score high enough on the AP tests to receive college credit varies from campus to campus. 


Spencer Selvidge for KUT News

Capital Metro has released the first draft of its Connections 2025 project. It’s an effort to redesign Austin’s public transit system over the next 10 years.


Michel Marizco/Fronteras Desk (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

When Sasha Von Oldershausen moved from New York City to Presidio, Texas, a few years back, her friends told her to get a gun and lock the doors. They imagined her moving to the stereotypical lawless Southwest.

But Von Oldershausen knew better – in the vast majority of the tiny Texas towns that dot the borderlands, crime rates are low, the landscape is indescribably beautiful and the sense of solitude is profound. Then ,she discovered she wasn't nearly as alone as she thought. Texas Monthly writer Sasha Von Oldershausen recounts her experience in her article "Nothing To Fear But Fear Itself."

Von Oldershausen says she experienced firsthand the capabilities of Border Patrol's surveillance methods while walking on a trail near the Rio Grande one day.

 


SaveJeffWood.com

From Texas Standard:

Jeff Wood was supposed to die this week.

He was sentenced to death for the 1996 murder of a convenience store clerk, even though it's been well established that he never killed anyone. A friend of his killed a Kerrville gas station clerk in a botched robbery and Wood was waiting in a truck outside the store.

He was still held accountable for the crime under the Texas' law of parties. Similar to laws of accomplice liability in other states, Texas law says that anyone who "solicits, encourages, directs, aids, or attempts to aid the other person to commit the offense" is criminally liable as well.

But on Friday, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals stayed Wood's execution. The court ordered that his case should be re-tried – not because of any issue with the law of parties, but because of potentially flawed testimony from a psychiatrist nicknamed Dr. Death.

 


Jorge Sanhueza Lyon / KUT

Texas elections officials have a big task ahead of them. After a federal court ruled the state’s voter ID law was discriminatory, Texas now has to explain its tweaks to the law ahead of Election Day in November.


Todd Wiseman / Texas Tribune

Today the Sunset Advisory Commission – which evaluates the effectiveness of state agencies and decides whether they should be disbanded or reformed – will meet to look at one agency that’s managed to avoid  reform for years: the Railroad Commission of Texas. 


Note: This "Best of Higher Ed" episode was originally released on September 20, 2015.

What happens when you mix together liberal arts and democracy and then throw in a little media coverage? You get a fascinating discussion about the intersection of those three storied institutions.


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

IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Omran Daqneesh is in the back of an ambulance, sitting alone in a padded orange seat. The young Syrian's hair is a messy mop of dust. There’s blood on the seat’s headrest behind him. Blood masks half his face and his entire body is covered in dirt. The video circulated by Aleppo Media Centre shows a man in a reflector jacket carrying Daqneesh into the ambulance amidst shouts. He places the boy down on the seat, where Daqneesh wipes his hand over his face. He takes his hand away and looks at the blood that's left there.


galleryhip.com

What does intelligence really mean? How do we define and gauge actual smarts? Does a high IQ predict success?

In this episode of Two Guys on Your Head, Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke talk about the history and development of intelligence tests; as well as what these tests can actually tell us about one's ability to achieve.


Gage Skidmore via flickr

Donald Trump is holding a rally Tuesday in Austin, his first public event in Texas as the Republican presidential nominee.

Trump was already scheduled to visit Texas on Tuesday for private fundraisers in Fort Worth and Austin. His campaign announced Friday he will also attend the rally, which is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Luedecke Arena.

Jorge Sanhueza Lyon / KUT

This week, Austin is hosting the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance Gay Softball World Series – that’s the NAGAAA GSWS for short – but its friends just call it the "NAGAAA World Series."

And it has many friends. The series started 40 years ago between two softball teams from New York and San Francisco. It’s since blossomed into the behemoth softball tournament that arrived in town this week.


US Army Corps of Engineers/flickr

Not everyone can get vaccinated. Some people are allergic to vaccines, others are receiving treatment for diseases like cancer, and some people are just too young. But doctors and state health authorities require public school students to be vaccinated—unless their parent signs a waiver exempting them from immunizations. The number of those exemptions is rising in Texas.


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