News http://kut.org en Listen to Our Weekly Podcast! http://kut.org/post/listen-our-weekly-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/145370258&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true"></iframe></p><p> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 21:27:37 +0000 Nathan Bernier 8495 at http://kut.org Listen to Our Weekly Podcast! Anti-Corruption Unit Chief: No Davis Docs Passed to FBI http://kut.org/post/anti-corruption-unit-chief-no-davis-docs-passed-fbi <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: 15.199999809265137px;">The agency charged with prosecuting state public corruption cases wrapped up an investigation into state Sen.&nbsp;<a data-tooltip="/directory/wendy-davis/quicklook/" href="http://www.texastribune.org/directory/wendy-davis/" style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 137, 144);">Wendy </a><a data-tooltip="/directory/wendy-davis/quicklook/" href="http://www.texastribune.org/directory/wendy-davis/" style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 137, 144);">Davis</a>&nbsp;last year without finding any issues worth pursuing, its director said, and did not uncover anything it believed it should refer to the&nbsp;FBI.</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: 15.199999809265137px;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 1.35;">The Public Integrity Unit of the Travis County District Attorneys Office closed an investigation into a complaint made against Davis’ law firm last year. </span><span style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 1.35;">The&nbsp;</span><em style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 1.35;"><a href="http://www.dallasnews.com/news/politics/headlines/20140417-fbi-probe-of-ntta-includes-wendy-davis-file-travis-das-office-says.ece" style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 137, 144);">Dallas</a></em><em style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 1.35;"><a href="http://www.dallasnews.com/news/politics/headlines/20140417-fbi-probe-of-ntta-includes-wendy-davis-file-travis-das-office-says.ece" style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 137, 144);"> Morning News</a></em><span style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 1.35;">&nbsp;reported Friday that documents related to Davis’ legal work as a lawyer for the North Texas Tollway Authority are part of an FBI inquiry into the agency's board members, citing a letter from the Public Integrity Unit about its own closed investigation into Davis.</span></p><p> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 18:42:02 +0000 Aman Batheja, Texas Tribune & Jay Root, Texas Tribune 10254 at http://kut.org Anti-Corruption Unit Chief: No Davis Docs Passed to FBI How Halloween Flood Survivors are Recovering From Post-Traumatic Stress http://kut.org/post/how-halloween-flood-survivors-are-recovering-post-traumatic-stress <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">On the surface of the Onion Creek neighborhood, there’s progress.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The community is slowly recovering from 2013's deadly Halloween floods. Many families are back in their homes, even though most homes have yet to be fully rebuilt. But scratch the surface, and people are still suffering the psychological effects of that night.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Often when we hear about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), it's in the context of war. But David Evans, CEO of Austin/Travis County Integral Care, says PTSD can affect those who survive any traumatic experience.&nbsp;</span><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/145276760&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 17:20:08 +0000 Joy Diaz 10251 at http://kut.org How Halloween Flood Survivors are Recovering From Post-Traumatic Stress Austin Police File More Charges Against SXSW Crash Suspect http://kut.org/post/austin-police-file-more-charges-against-sxsw-crash-suspect <p>The Austin Police Department has filed four more charges against the suspect <a href="http://kut.org/post/fourth-person-dies-sxsw-crash">accused of killing four people </a>and injuring more than 20 people <a href="http://kut.org/post/two-dead-after-driver-plows-sxsw-crowd-suspect-custody">in downtown Austin on March 13</a>.&nbsp;</p><p>Roger Wade with the Travis County Sheriff's Office confirms that 21-year-old Rashad Charjuan Owens now has 25 aggravated assault with a deadly weapon charges filed against him as of April 17. He's also been charged with capital murder.</p> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 16:54:43 +0000 Veronica Zaragovia 10252 at http://kut.org Austin Police File More Charges Against SXSW Crash Suspect Report: Central Texas Home to Some of the State's Most Established Gangs http://kut.org/post/report-central-texas-home-some-states-most-established-gangs <p>The Texas Department of Public Safety released its annual report on criminal gang activity in Texas this week.</p><p>This year’s <a href="http://www.dps.texas.gov/director_staff/media_and_communications/2014/pr041714.htm" target="_blank"><em>Texas Gang Threat Assessment </em></a>found that gangs continue to pose a substantial threat to public safety. Central Texas is home to some of the most established gangs in the state. The report estimates that with more than 4,600 gangs, overall gang membership in this state is more than 100,000.</p> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 16:40:00 +0000 Trey Shaar & Maria Roque 10249 at http://kut.org Report: Central Texas Home to Some of the State's Most Established Gangs Council Withdraws Mid-Year Evaluation of City Manager http://kut.org/post/council-withdraws-mid-year-evaluation-city-manager <p><em>This story comes to us from our city hall reporting partner, the <a href="http://austinmonitor.com">Austin Monitor</a>.</em></p><p>It seems that some City Council members were planning on giving&nbsp;City Manager Marc Ott&nbsp;– and perhaps others – a piece of their minds in private Thursday, but due to the absence of&nbsp;Mayor Pro Tem Sheryl Cole,&nbsp;Mayor Lee Leffingwell&nbsp;was able to at least postpone that confrontation.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The executive session agenda for Thursday included four unusual items, each to do a mid-year evaluation of one of the Council’s appointees: </span>Ott<span style="line-height: 1.5;">,&nbsp;</span><strong style="line-height: 1.5;">City Auditor Kenneth Mory, Municipal Court Clerk Rebecca Stark&nbsp;</strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;">and</span><strong style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;City&nbsp;Clerk&nbsp;Jannette Goodall.</strong></p><p> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 15:27:35 +0000 Mike Kanin & Jo Clifton 10250 at http://kut.org Council Withdraws Mid-Year Evaluation of City Manager Why Being Put On Hold is So Frustrating http://kut.org/post/why-being-put-hold-so-frustrating <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Horrible music, incredible wait times and an inscrutable</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;labyrinth of phone prompts: We've all experienced the frustrations of being on hold. Even when we're on hold for a minute or so, blood pressure can spike when an automated voice answers the phone.</span></p><p>Why is being on hold so annoying? <a href="https://www.utexas.edu/cola/depts/psychology/faculty/markman">Dr. Art&nbsp;Markman</a>&nbsp;and<a href="http://www.music.utexas.edu/directory/details.aspx?id=36">&nbsp;Dr. Bob Duke</a>&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">will be with you shortly to explain it.&nbsp;</span></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/145302963&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 13:14:23 +0000 Rebecca McInroy & Alicia Choina 10248 at http://kut.org Why Being Put On Hold is So Frustrating It's Good Friday – But Some Area School Districts Are Holding Classes http://kut.org/post/its-good-friday-some-area-school-districts-are-holding-classes <p>Most Austin area school districts are closed today for the Good Friday holiday. But some students will be attending class.</p><p>That’s because they’re making up days off for bad weather earlier in the school year.</p><p><strong>DO have school:</strong></p><ul><li><strong><a href="http://burnet.txed.net">Burnet ISD</a></strong>&nbsp;will have regular school hours today.</li><li><strong><a href="http://www.delvalle.tx.schoolwebpages.com/education/district/district.php?sectionid=1">Del Valle ISD</a></strong> is holding classes today.</li><li><strong><a href="http://www.dsisd.txed.net">Dripping Springs ISD</a></strong> is holding classes today and on Memorial Day to make up for canceled classes.</li><li><strong>Eanes ISD</strong> is holding classes today. The rest of the school year will continue as planned.</li><li><strong><a href="http://www.lockhartisd.org">Lockhart ISD</a></strong>&nbsp;will hold regular school hours today and on Memorial Day.</li><li><strong>Manor ISD</strong> is holding classes today as a make-up. There will not be classes on Memorial Day.</li><li><strong><a href="http://www.tsd.state.tx.us">Texas School for the Deaf</a> </strong>will have regular school hours today.</li><li><strong><a href="http://www.wimberleyisd.net">Wimberley ISD</a> </strong>is also holding classes this Good Friday.</li></ul><p><strong>DO NOT have school:</strong></p><ul><li><strong>Austin ISD</strong> is off today. AISD has no make-up days scheduled for the rest of the school year. Fri, 18 Apr 2014 11:38:50 +0000 Laura Rice & Maria Roque 10247 at http://kut.org It's Good Friday – But Some Area School Districts Are Holding Classes Year Since West Fertilizer Plant Explosion is One 'Full of Questioning' http://kut.org/post/year-west-fertilizer-plant-explosion-one-full-questioning <p>It’s been one year since a fertilizer plant exploded in the town of West, Texas – just north of Waco.<br />15 people were killed and more than 150 were injured.&nbsp;Dozens of buildings were also destroyed in the blast.</p><p>A year later there are many signs of recovery and rebuilding in the small town.<br />But,&nbsp;for some, the rebuilding process has been difficult.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">West resident Loretta </span>Volcik<span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;says overall, the past year has been filled with one thing: Questioning.</span></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/145217851&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p></p><p> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 22:09:29 +0000 Kate McGee 10246 at http://kut.org Year Since West Fertilizer Plant Explosion is One 'Full of Questioning' Abortion Doctors File Lawsuit Against Dallas Hospital For Revoking Privileges http://kut.org/post/abortion-doctors-file-lawsuit-against-dallas-hospital-revoking-privileges <p>Two Texas doctors that offer abortions are challenging a hospital for revoking their admitting privileges.<br /><br />Read <a href="https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/1115261-stamped-ughd-original-petition-pdf.html" target="_blank">the petition here</a>.</p> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 21:14:35 +0000 Veronica Zaragovia 10245 at http://kut.org Abortion Doctors File Lawsuit Against Dallas Hospital For Revoking Privileges Federal Judge Expects Texas Abortion Lawsuit to Reach Supreme Court http://kut.org/post/federal-judge-expects-texas-abortion-lawsuit-reach-supreme-court <p>On Wednesday, a federal judge in Austin turned down a request to temporarily block a requirement of Texas' controversial new abortion law for clinics in El Paso and McAllen. But the judge is allowing the lawsuit to move forward – and predicts it will ultimately travel all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.</p> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 18:59:47 +0000 Veronica Zaragovia 10242 at http://kut.org Federal Judge Expects Texas Abortion Lawsuit to Reach Supreme Court What's Been Done to Prevent Another West? http://kut.org/post/whats-been-done-prevent-another-west <p><em>WBUR's "Here and Now" aired this story today. <a href="http://kut.org/post/whats-being-done-prevent-another-fertilizer-plant-explosion">See more here.</a></em></p><p><a href="http://stateimpact.npr.org/texas/2014/04/17/whats-being-done-to-prevent-another-west/">From StateImpact&nbsp;Texas:&nbsp;</a></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">WEST, TX - Trucks and bulldozers are still working here, the site of an explosion a year ago today. A </span><a href="http://stateimpact.npr.org/texas/2013/04/22/after-west-fertilizer-explosion-concerns-over-safety-regulation-and-zoning/" style="line-height: 1.5;">deadly blast tore</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> through this small community, killing fifteen and injuring hundreds. Homes and schools were destroyed, with the damage estimated to be over a hundred million dollars.&nbsp;</span></p><p>There's a lone charred tree that still stands at the location of the blast, but other than that, the site is mostly empty. Crosses and memorials that read "West Strong" and "West is the Best" line the road.</p><p>The explosion at the West fertilizer plant was one of the worst industrial disasters in Texas history. So what's Texas doing to prevent it from happening again?</p><p>"Well, technically, nothing has been done," says state Rep. Joe Pickett (D-El Paso), chair of the House Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee. Pickett says since West happened <a href="http://stateimpact.npr.org/texas/2013/05/01/hearing-on-west-fertilizer-explosion-shows-lack-of-regulation-and-coordination/">near the end of the legislative session</a>, he didn't want to rush in any "knee-jerk" rules or regulations.<iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/145081521&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 17:44:24 +0000 Terrence Henry 10240 at http://kut.org What's Been Done to Prevent Another West? Video: Austin Notables Read Poetry by Kealing Middle School Students http://kut.org/post/video-austin-notables-read-poetry-kealing-middle-school-students <p>To commemorate National Poetry Month, we've been airing poems by the students of <a href="http://www.kealinghornets.org/">Kealing Middle School'</a>s Blank Page writing program every day this April.</p><p>We're pretty proud of the lineup of talented Austinites we got to read those poems, including Patty Griffin, Dana Wheeler-Nicholson, Kathy Valentine, KUT's own John Aielli, and even Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell. Check out a video of our distinguished poetry readers below.</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/MPqFwTCAqDs?feature=player_detailpage" width="560"></iframe></p><p> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 13:39:06 +0000 Mike Lee 10235 at http://kut.org Video: Austin Notables Read Poetry by Kealing Middle School Students 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 hundreds 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 Muska 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," Muska 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, more than 150 injured, and large parts of the town flattened and destroyed.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Shocking as it was, the West explosion is not the worst industrial disaster in American history. That&nbsp;anniversary is&nbsp;today, April&nbsp;16 – marking 67 years since the Gulf Coast town of Texas City was razed.</span>&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/145022210&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 20:35:42 +0000 David Brown 10234 at http://kut.org Before the West Explosion, There Was Texas City