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In Black America Podcast
9:08 am
Tue December 9, 2014

In Black America Podcast: Author Joe Henry on the 'Furious Cool' of Richard Pryor

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson, Jr. speaks with Joe Henry, co-author of "Furious Cool: Richard Pryor and The World That Made Him."

Richard Pryor was arguably the single most influential performer of the second half of the twentieth century, and was the most successful black actor/comedian ever. Controversial and somewhat enigmatic during his life, Pryor’s performances opened up a whole new world of possibilities, merging fantasy with angry reality in new, unthinkable ways . Now, Henry's groundbreaking book brings him to life again both as a man and as an artist, providing an in-depth exploration of his talent, his lasting influence and an insightful examination of the world he lived in and the myriad influences that shaped both his persona and his art.

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Austin
8:33 am
Tue December 9, 2014

Holiday Gift Program Extends to Seniors in Greater Austin

This year, the national Be a Santa to a Senior program will provide gifts for seniors in the greater Austin area for the first time.
Image courtesy flickr.com/hapal

The population of seniors in the greater Austin area is growing dramatically, and with that growth comes an increase in a number of services for the elderly. One example of that increased need takes place around Christmas time.

This year, more than 500 seniors in the greater Austin area, from South Austin up to Georgetown, will feel a little less alone during the December holidays because the for the first time, the national Be a Santa to a Senior program will distribute gifts here.

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Texas
8:21 am
Tue December 9, 2014

Gov.-Elect Abbott Lays Out His Priorities for His Term in Office

Attorney General Greg Abbott, seated next to his wife, Cecilia Abbott, lists his priorities for his term in office as future governor of Texas.
Veronica Zaragovia/KUT

Texas Gov.-elect Greg Abbott says his staff is ready to get to work when the 2015 legislative session begins in January. At a press conference on Monday, he laid out his priorities.

Education started off the list. Abbott says he wants more pre-kindergarten classes and improved reading and math skills by the time students reach the third grade. He says he also wants to elevate the quality of Texas universities.

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Austin ISD
1:50 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

How Austin ISD is Trying to Fight Gender Stereotypes and Embrace Diverse Families

The Welcoming Schools curriculum from the Human Rights Campaign trains teachers and students about including LGBTQ students and families.
Credit WelcomingSchools.org

Kristina Kramer has taught at Blazier Elementary in Southeast Austin for ten years. But it wasn’t until she started a new program called Welcoming Schools that she realized:

“I did little things that were excluding students in my classroom," Kramer says. 

When Kramer says when she sent letters home with students, she says she'd address the letters as “'Dear Parents' instead of, 'Dear Parents and Guardians.' Or not thinking about other people who could be caregivers in a child’s home."

She brought the issue up at a school-wide meeting, too, when they wanted to send home a note to all students’ families.

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Politics
12:08 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Parade Of Open-Carry Bills Exposes Divide In Ranks

Tarrant County open carry gun owners rally at the Republican Convention on June 5, 2014.
Credit Bob Daemmrich via Texas Tribune

As momentum grows behind a push to let Texans carry handguns openly, the biggest fight may be among Second Amendment advocates themselves.

A conflict is emerging over how far changes to the current state law should go, and some gun-rights supporters fear that the divide may sink efforts to lift handgun restrictions during the legislative session that begins in January.

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2014 Mayoral Runoff
11:36 am
Sun December 7, 2014

WATCH: The Civic Summit 2014 Austin Mayoral Debate

Austin mayoral candidates Mike Martinez (left) and Steve Adler.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT

KUT, KLRU and the Austin Monitor co-hosted a debate earlier today between Mike Martinez and Steve Adler. One of them will be Austin’s next mayor and will lead 10 city council members through the first years of a new form of city government.

A continuación usted podrá escuchar una traducción del debate entre los candidatos para presidente municipal, los señores Mike Martinez y Steve Adler. La votación temprana termina el Viernes 12 de Diciembre. El día de la elección formal es el 16 de Diciembre.

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Austin
5:26 pm
Sat December 6, 2014

PHOTOS: Austin Protesters Rally for Larry Jackson Jr.

Tommy Hawthorne shows his support for Larry Jackson and other victims of police shootings.
Filipa Rodrigues/KUT

More than 100 people gathered Friday night at the Travis County courthouse to rally for Larry Jackson Jr. and other victims of police shootings. Jackson died after being shot by former Austin Police Detective Charles Kleinert last year.

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Texas
4:42 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

Texas Prisons Make Family Visits Easier

Credit Sean Hobson via Texas Tribune

Hoping to weave stronger social safety nets for inmates after they are released, the Texas prison system is making it easier for family members to visit loved ones behind bars.  

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Texas Standard
2:28 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

How Texas is Fighting Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery

A map illustrating potential human trafficking cases from 2007 to 2012. Currently, nearly one in 100 calls to the National Human Trafficking Hotline come from Texas.
Polaris

Slavery still exists in Texas – it just isn't always easy to see. But a new project hopes to bring awareness to a problem that often hides in plain sight.

The Texas Slavery Mapping Project is a two-year initiative to gather data about human trafficking in the state. The project, a partnership between the Institute of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault at the University of Texas at Austin and Austin-based Allies Against Slavery, just received a $500,000 grant from the Governor's Office to research existing data and compile resources for survivors. 

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Politics
2:27 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

How Same-Sex Marriage Could Come to Texas, Sooner Than You Think

Both Conservatives and Progressives took to the Capitol as the U.S. Supreme Court began hearing the DOMA and Prop 8 cases in 2013.
KUT

County clerks in Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio could keep their doors open around the clock, should the state receive a ruling lifting a ban on same-sex marriages in Texas.

San Antonio-based U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia is expected to deliver a ruling that could have thousands of gay couples rushing to gain marriage licenses before a higher court could overrule.

Texas Standard speaks with John Wright, freelance journalist and publisher of Lone Star Q, about what county clerks offices could see.

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Austin Film Scene
2:22 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

There's Something Strange About Austin's Newest Film Festival: It's All About Sci-Fi

Zack Imbrogno and Maxxe Sternbaum in APT 3D, an Endocrine Entertainment production.
Photo courtesy of Endocrine Entertainment.

Austin has a brand-new film festival and it’s all about science fiction. The first-ever Other Worlds Austin Sci-Fi Film Festival is happening this weekend.

I know what you’re thinking – just what Austin needs – another film festival. But that’s exactly what Other Worlds Austin Director of Programming Bears Fonté thought.

“I had a science fiction film a couple years ago that wound up playing about 40 film festivals. So as I was going around the country with the film, I just saw so many great science fiction films and I was like, this isn’t playing Austin and I want to do that, I want to bring those films to Austin and give those filmmakers a chance to play in front of an audience that’s going to be really receptive," Fonté says.

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Austin Police
10:34 am
Fri December 5, 2014

Kleinert Pleads Not Guilty to Manslaughter in Death of Larry Jackson, Jr.

On July 26, 2013 APD Det. Charles Kleinert fatally shot Larry Eugene Jackson, Jr. after the two entered into a physical altercation following a foot chase.
Trey Shaar/KUT

A former Austin Police detective has pled not guilty to manslaughter charges in the 2013 death of Larry Jackson, Jr. Charles Kleinert entered a plea of not guilty in a Travis County courtroom this morning and was released on bond after being indicted by a grand jury earlier this year.

His trial is set to begin on Apr. 20.

Jackson’s mother, Billie Mercer, was at the hearing, and said she didn’t want the trial of her son’s death to become a lightning rod for racial divides in Austin.

“I don’t like all the violence,” Mercer said in response to the recent flare-ups after high-profile cases in which officers weren’t indicted after involvement in the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO and Eric Garner in New York. “I’m glad this isn’t a bunch of. . . fighting and tearing up the neighborhood. No, I’m not for that. I just want justice in the court system.”

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Energy & Environment
10:18 am
Fri December 5, 2014

If El Nino Ever Arrives, It Likely Wont Bring Much Rain

El Nino heats up parts of the ocean, and begins a pattern that can bring rain to North America.
NOAA

The Climate Prediction Center is out with an update on El Nino.  The weather pattern is often associated with heavy rains, so watching for its arrival has become something of an obsession in drought-stricken parts of the country like Texas.

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Two Guys on Your Head
9:50 am
Fri December 5, 2014

How Self-Delusion Can Lead to Self-Discovery

Credit www.siliconstrat.com

Merriam-Webster defines delusion as “a belief that is not true; a false idea.”

Being tagged as delusional can carry a negative connotation, but delusions can also breed positive outcomes, allowing a person to self-define in a way that could allow them to step out of their behavioral wheelhouse and reinvent themselves.

On this episode of Two Guys on Your Head, Dr. Bob Duke and Dr. Art Markman sit down with KUT’s Rebecca McInroy to explore human perception, how we objectively measure reality and how perception can sometimes lead to delusion.

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Austin Mayoral Race
7:49 am
Fri December 5, 2014

Adler Maintains Lead Over Martinez in New Austin Monitor Mayoral Poll

Poll courtesy The Austin Monitor.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon, KUT News

This story comes to us from our city hall reporting partner, the Austin Monitor.

According to a poll conducted this week among 942 likely Austin voters, mayoral candidate and attorney Steve Adler maintains a commanding lead over his runoff opponent, City Council Member Mike Martinez. When asked who they would be likely to vote for in the Dec. 16 runoff election, 56 percent of respondents said Adler, compared to 39 percent for Martinez. Only 5 percent said they were undecided.

Public Policy Polling of Raleigh, North Carolina, conducted the poll on Dec. 2 and 3. The poll was commissioned by the Austin Monitor and was made possible through a generous donation by Texas Disposal Systems.

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Austin
10:31 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Austin Protestors Show Solidarity With Ferguson, NY Demonstrators

People participate in a protest at the Texas State Capitol Building following the events in New York regarding Eric Garner and in Ferguson, Missouri around Michael Brown.
Jenna VonHofe/KUT

At the Texas Capitol Thursday night, protestors gathered to show solidarity with demonstrators in New York, Ferguson, Missouri and other cities around the nation, demanding police be held accountable in several high-profile deaths at the hands of officers.

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Ebola
5:49 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Texas Infectious Disease Experts Recommend Google App For Fighting Ebola

The Dec. 1, 2014 report of the Texas Task Force on Infectious Disease has been released, and contains 17 issues and recommendations for the state to follow.
Lizzie Chen for KUT News

A group of Texas experts on infectious disease has submitted a report with advice on how to handle any future outbreaks of viruses like Ebola.

The Texas Task Force on Infectious Disease chose technology as one of its priorities. Dr. Brett Giroir, the task force director, says they ended up working with Google on an app, which allows someone being monitored to enter his or her temperature and a public health official would have access to that.

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Border & Immigration
5:40 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Texas Border Security Surge Is Combating Criminal Activity, Official Says

Posters on Texas-Mexico border operations were displayed at the Texas State Capitol this week.
KUT News

The Department of Public Safety says the number of people crossing the Texas-Mexico border has fallen dramatically since DPS expanded its operations there earlier this year.

Steve McCraw, the director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, told a panel of House lawmakers that monthly apprehensions have dropped by about 25,000 people between June and now.

"Clearly we’ve had an impact," McCraw said. "There’s no question we’ve had an impact in the Rio Grande Valley."

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Texas
4:51 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Remembering Former Lawmaker Ray Farabee's Life of Service

Credit KUT

The Texas Capitol will take on a somber mood Friday, as friends and family take time to honor the life of Former Texas State Senator and KUT Board Member Kenneth "Ray" Farabee. A memorial will be held in the Senate chamber Friday, December 5 at 2 pm. Farabee died at his Austin home on November 20. He was 81.

Farabee was born and raised in Wichita Falls, Texas, at the base of the High Plains.

But it was in Austin where he would make his mark, first as a leader in student government at the University of Texas at Austin and later in the Texas Senate.

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In Perspective
1:59 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

How AI Articulates & Expands Our Understanding of Human Intelligence

Saad Faruque via Flickr, flickr.com/photos/cblue98

In this edition of In Perspective we teamed up with Views and Brews for a discussion on various elements of and debates over artificial intelligence, discussing what it actually means to think; how knowledge of computers' inner-workings affect our understanding of the human brain; and the future of artificial intelligence. 

Listen back as KUT's Rebecca McInroy discusses all things A.I. with philosopher Dr. Galen Strawson, computer scientist Dr. Peter Stone and novelist-poet Dr. Louisa Hall

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