Introducing ATXplained

Nov 20, 2015

Every day at KUT, we try to think about what you want to know. That’s what drives the decisions we make about the stories we tell. But we wanted to try an experiment to bring you, the audience, closer to the news and storytelling we do at KUT.

So we’re starting a project called ATXplained. Get it? Say it faster. There you go.

The project starts with a simple question: What are you curious about?

KUT News

Employees of a Colorado-based non-profit will soon move to Austin to begin studying the city’s various commuting woes as part of a partnership finalized Thursday.

In this edition of Two Guys on Your Head, Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke talk about how to exit conversations, and keep group discussions from being co-opted.

Photo provided by Kimberly.

This week, Travis County Commissioners approved the sale of seven and-a-half acres of county-owned property in East Austin to be donated to the local Salvation Army for a new women and children’s shelter adjacent to the current Austin Shelter for Women and Children. From Sept. 2013 to Sept. 2014, that shelter served 120 women and 249 children in crisis who needed a place to stay and services to get back on their feet.

Kimberly is one of the many women who sought help at the shelter (she asked that we not use her last name, as her children attend local schools). But, before things started unraveling, Kimberly was working and had a house and two children. Here, you can listen to Kimberley's story in her own words.

Mose Buchele/KUT

Austin’s creeks and waterways are part of what’s attracted people to this part of the world for thousands of years.  But, of course, they also create flooding hazards. When one heavy rain on top of another sends tons of debris into the creeks, that flood risk becomes even more difficult to control.

Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune: Weeks after a Houston-area mother sparked an uproar over a caption in her son’s textbook that inaccurately described African slaves as “workers,” the State Board of Education tentatively approved several changes to its textbook adoption process.

Bob Daemmrich/Texas Tribune

The legal case against Rick Perry was back in court Wednesday. The hearing before the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals could decide what, if any, charges remain against the former Texas governor.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Michel Martin, weekend host of NPR’s All Things Considered.

In 2006 Martin came to NPR and launched Tell Me More, a one-hour daily NPR news and talk show that aired on NPR stations nationwide from 2007-2014 and dipped into thousands of important conversations taking place in the corridors of power, but also in houses of worship, and barber shops and beauty shops, at PTA meetings, town halls, and at the kitchen table.

Image via Wikimedia Commons/Mstyslav Chernov (CC BY-SA 4.0)

From Texas Standard:

In the aftermath of the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, two terrorist suspects were killed – including one woman who activated a suicide belt – and seven more suspects are being held by French officials as a result of a raid this morning in a suburb north of Paris.

Gage Skidmore/Texas Tribune

State officials including Governor Greg Abbott continue to push the federal government to stop allowing Syrian refugees in to the country. Some are also trying to figure out how Texas can keep those refugees out of the state.

Image via Flickr/Ricardo S. Nava (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Since the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson last August, the reputation and trust afforded to police officers nationwide has been questioned. Smartphone videos and body cameras have changed everything.

Despite the perception of an increase in complaints about the use of police force, the Dallas Police Department claims a dramatic drop in the number of complaints.


Image via Hannah McBride/Texas Standard

From Texas Standard:

In times like these, the arc of history is often invoked to make sense of the present. So the narrative goes, the so-called Islamic State arose in the vacuum left after America’s misadventures post-9/11.

Recently, Jon Meacham’s book has been in the news for revelations that George Herbert Walker Bush – Bush 41 – thought his son, W. – Bush 43 – was badly served by Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney. That’s news, especially since the narrative used to be that 43 was just doing his father’s bidding, retribution for an unfinished war.


Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT

The Austin City Council has completed almost one year in its new configuration as a 10-1 system – with ten Council members representing ten different districts alongside one mayor.

Now, a new study out of UT Austin is trying to find whether the 10-1 system had an affect on voter turnout and civic engagement.

Nathan Bernier/KUT

In a rare move, thehe State Board of Education preliminarily voted Wednesday against an amendment from the State Board of Educator Certification to change superintendent job requirements. Last month, the SBEC voted to loosen requirements so school boards can hire candidates who have no classroom experience. 

Sarah Jasmine Montgomery for KUT

The City of Austin earned a gold-level designation this week from one of the nation's leading cycling advocacy groups, the League of American Bicyclists. That's one level below the highest designation of platinum.

KUT's Nathan Bernier asks cycling journalist Ian Dille what the city has done to earn the praise and what more it can do to encourage cycling as an alternate way of getting around.

Image via Flickr/LBJ Foundation, Photo by Lauren Gerson (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

France is in its second day of bombing ISIS targets after last week’s terrorist attacks in Paris. The country is targeting the group’s stronghold in Raqqua. Tuesday, Russia declared a downed passenger jet in Egypt the work of ISIS, due to what Vladimir Putin said was a homegrown bomb. The Russian government issued a $50 million reward for more information on who's behind the attack, and launched cruise missile strikes on the Syrian provinces of Aleppo and Idlib.

Image via Texas Tribune/Michael Stravato

From Texas Standard:

Jasmine Johnson, a 20-year-old expectant mother, gave birth in January. She didn't just bring home a baby girl after her visit to the hospital – she also brought home a $1,500 medical bill she couldn’t afford.

Filipa Rodrigues/KUT News

Here’s a comforting thought: During your morning commute, there’s always one City of Austin employee watching you. Well, watching your car, at least, and the traffic you may or may not be stuck in.

Turns out, that employee may be getting some company in the future, as the city is now considering adding more people to its so-called Transportation Management Center.

Alfredo Mendez [CC BY-SA 4.0]/flickr

From the Austin Monitor: In the midst of a heated debate about requirements for fingerprint background checks and fees for transportation network companies such as Uber and Lyft, the City Council Mobility Committee has tossed a slew of additional proposals into the pot.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon, KUT News

Hundreds of thousands of Texas women may have attempted to self-induce abortions, according to a “first of its kind” study released Tuesday by the Texas Policy Evaluation Project (TxPEP). The study, which estimates between 100,000 and 240,000 women have attempted self-induction, also indicates that these rates of self-induction may be higher in Texas than in other U.S. states.