News

Filipa Rodrigues/KUT News

An annual study released by researchers at the Texas A&M Transportation Institute shows just how universal the experience of sitting in traffic is for Austin commuters. Capital city drivers spent a total of 51 million hours delayed on the road in 2014, putting Austin at number 29 on a list of cities with the worst traffic delays.

How Austin Got Its Municipal Flag

15 hours ago
Mike Fluitt/Citizen News, via Austin History Center, PICA 11952

Turns out, some people don’t like Austin’s flag.

But, while some have proposed more vexillologically sound alternatives to the city’s banner, the typically panned flag has weathered relative obscurity, features elements that pre-date the establishment of the United States and was even once at the center of a federal lawsuit.

Todd Wiseman/Texas Tribune

The Texas agency that handles child abuse and neglect cases started using a system this week aimed at identifying the riskiest cases.


On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Dr. Edward D. Irons, noted educator, financial and business executive, and author of ‘Only By Grace.’

Irons spent more than sixty years as a university educator; a business, government and educational executive; a management and financial consultant to business, banks and to the U.S. and foreign governments including the United Nations Economic Commission on Africa. He served on a number of corporate boards and numerous nonprofit organizations.

Ebony Stewart's 'Hunger'

20 hours ago

Spoken word artists Ebony Stewart has been a big part of the Austin slam poetry scene for about a decade, but she's never created a full-length solo show until now. Her new one-woman show, Hunger, has been a long time coming, she says. 

The show is based on Ebony's difficult relationship with her own father."It basically stems from the idea of me trying to get over my daddy issues," she says. "I feel like I am constantly mourning not having the father that everyone else has." The title Hunger refers her need and desire for a positive male role model. "I crave my dad," Ebony says.  "I crave having that experience or that relationship, or being reared by a man."

John Shapley/KUT

Austin Mayor Steve Adler has announced a plan for ending homelessness among military veterans in Austin by Veterans Day this year.

Eli Reed/Magnum Photos

From Texas Standard:

Eli Reed's new book "A Long Walk Home" is the first career retrospective of his work.


Courtesy of Mike Kriegshauser

Few state flags are more recognizable than the Lone Star State's, but the City of Austin's municipal flag is much less of a standout. It's even hard to find a picture of the Austin city flag online.

So, when Austin graphic artist Michael Kriegshauser saw a TED Talk on municipal flag design, he made it his priority to create a new flag concept for Texas’ capital city.

Does It Pay To Be A Woman In Texas?

Aug 25, 2015
Todd Wiseman & Mikhail Popov/Texas Tribune

From Texas Standard:

State officials like to brag about the strong economy here and the thousands of people who move here every month. But some of the major inequities in the Texas economy are consistently underplayed, like the fact that in Texas, women don't make as much money as men who are doing the same job. One report estimates that women are paid just 79 cents for every dollar men make in Texas.


Jenna VonHofe/KUTX

On any given night here in Austin you can find dozens of live music shows to attend.  But, according to the Austin Music Census, you're most likely to be watching a male performer on stage. Male performers outnumbered their female counterparts in the survey four to one – though women are doing a more equitable share of work behind the scenes.

Still, man or woman, musicians and the venues themselves are having a hard time grappling with Austin’s ever-rising cost of living.


Veronica Zaragovia/KUT News

The City of Austin filed a lawsuit Monday against the Travis Central Appraisal District, arguing that the agency significantly undervalued Austin’s commercial and vacant properties in its assessments for the past several years. Mayor Steve Adler announced the suit today at a press conference, where he appeared along with Travis Chief Appraiser Marya Crigler of TCAD. 

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

A $37 million program to reduce childhood obesity in Texas didn’t actually achieve any of its desired results, according to a new study from the University of Texas

The Texas Fitness Now program gave grants to the state’s poorest middle schools from 2007 to 2011, when the program ended due to budget cuts.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

Austin has seen a staggering rise in traffic fatalities this year. There have already been more road deaths so far in 2015 than there were during all of last year, and about half of these fatal crashes involve alcohol or intoxication.

To understand more about how the Austin Police Department is going after drunk drivers, I spent a night following an officer on his DWI enforcement unit during his patrol.

It was a long night. 

Housing Works via YouTube

The new school year starts today for thousands of students across Austin, but a growing number of students in Austin public schools don’t have a home. Last year, more than 2,600 students in the Austin Independent School District were counted as homeless, which is up from just over 2,000 in 2012.


flickr.com/mattzor

Last week, members of the Austin City Council heard a proposal to halt the practice of putting fluoride in the city’s water supply, but, ultimately, they found no persuasive evidence of any harm from the practice.

However, the City of San Marcos is still very much in the middle of a battle over its water fluoridation program – a battle that’s gotten all the way to the Texas Supreme Court.


Andrew Weber/KUT News

Most students in the Austin Independent School District returning to school today are minorities, but many of those students won’t see a minority teacher in front of the classroom. State data show there's a large diversity gap between teachers and students in all Austin high schools and middle schools.

Every single Austin middle and high school has more white teachers than teachers of any other ethnicity. Individually, schools have teaching staffs that are anywhere from 46 to 87 percent white. Last year, 25 percent of the district's middle and high school students were white. 

paulapoundstone.com

From Texas Standard:

Comedian Paula Poundstone’s star began to rise in the 1980s – when she first started to appear on HBO standup specials. Since then, she’s gained a reputation for her quick, frank-speaking style and her preference for menswear. She’s probably best known by NPR listeners for her regular appearances on “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me.”

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

Marjorie Kamys Cotera/Texas Tribune

Attorney General Ken Paxton has been in the headlines a lot as of recent. Not in the way his predecessor and current boss Greg Abbott used to (typically, by announcing that he was suing the federal government), but rather by vowing to fight against indictments on three securities fraud felonies for actions he took during his time as a state senator.

Pixabay user Unsplash/CC0 Public Domain

From Texas Standard:

Weather experts have a way with words – like 'polar vortex' and 'superstorm' – and now, 'Godzilla' El Niño. Of course, forecasting is an imperfect science, but if predictions hold, Texas could soon see some serious rainfall.

For now, most of the state has been pretty dry so it may be the perfect time to make a few repairs and plans in preparation for potential downpours.

Kimberly Lankford is a contributing editor with Kiplinger. She joined the Texas Standard to advise us on how to prioritize.

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