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Austin
7:46 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

Gay Rights Group Gives Austin Policies Top Score

A banner at the city-owned Long Center welcomes people celebrating gay pride in 2010.
Austin Chronicle https://flic.kr/p/88nevS

Austin received the highest possible score in a new report card measuring city policies toward lesbians, gays, bisexual and transgender people. The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) scored 353 cities nationwide, including 22 in Texas, and gave Austin a score of 100 out of 100.

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Women's Health
5:00 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

Texas Launches Women's Health Website for Low-Income Care Consumers

The new state-run Healthy Texas Women website is aimed at helping low-income women find health services after many clinics have closed across the state.
Veronica Zaragovia/KUT

More than 20 women’s health clinics in Texas have closed since a new abortion law went into effect last year, but a new website is aimed at helping low-income women find health services.

The services include cancer screenings, access to birth control and help to stop smoking. Texas lawmakers say they’re available largely because of $113 million in state funding set aside in 2013, and they’re also funded by Medicaid dollars.

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Climate Change
4:13 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

Climate Deal Puts Spotlight on Carbon Capture Technology

A new deal between the U.S. and China would reduce carbon emissions from the two countries over the coming years.
Credit Jonathan Warner/Flickr

The deal that the U.S. and China have struck to curb carbon emissions has been hailed as a breakthrough by many concerned with climate change, and panned by politicians opposed to President Obama. But it's also captured the interest of a group of researchers -- some in Texas -- who specialize in carbon capture and sequestration technology.

The deal is short on specifics. But it commits the U.S. and China to continue investing in carbon capture, use and storage. That’s technology that filters CO2 from coal power plants and then pumps the carbon underground. Texas has been doing it for decades to get oil out of the ground in a process called enhanced oil recovery.

“It’s always poor form for Texas to do too much boasting, but the source of expertise for injecting CO2 for enhanced oil recovery lies mostly in Texas," says Susan Hovorka, a senior researcher scientist at UT’s Bureau of Economic Geology, who works on carbon sequestration.

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Health
3:41 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

KUT Presents: Texas and the Affordable Care Act, Year Two

What's the future of the ACA in Texas?
Courtesey of Dell Medical School

Open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act starts Nov. 15. In Texas, questions remain about the law and its effects.

On Nov. 18 at 6 p.m., KUT will host a discussion on how the law is changing health care in Texas and what's ahead for the second year of the health insurance marketplace.

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Texas Standard
3:00 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

'A Sudden Light' Explores Fathers and Sons Across Five Generations

Susan Doupé Photography

Every family has a history – but few have a history as tangled as the one in Garth Stein’s new novel, “A Sudden Light.”

The Riddell family is driven by regret and bitterness – even a hint of madness. One 14 year-old boy finds himself thrust into the middle of it all, on a summer trip to the family homestead.

Stein speaks with Texas Standard’s Emily Donahue about his newest novel, the controversy surrounding his previous novel, “The Art of Racing in the Rain,” and what it was like to write a book spanning five generations of the same family.

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2014 Elections
7:04 am
Wed November 12, 2014

Abbott Picks Hispanic Republican as His First Nomination as Governor-Elect

Texas Governor-elect Greg Abbott introduced his pick for secretary of state, Judge Carlos Cascos of Cameron County, at the Capitol on Nov. 11, 2014.
Veronica Zaragovia/KUT

Governor-elect Greg Abbott says he has a plan to unite Texas, and it includes whom he appoints to key state offices.

In fact, Abbott began reaching out to minority groups as part of his landslide election victory. He says he’ll continue those efforts to communicate with minorities as governor.

He says he recently attended a Texas Legislative Black Caucus meeting, and he’s picked a Hispanic to be the next secretary of state, pending senate confirmation -- Judge Carlos Cascos of the Rio Grande Valley.

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Veterans Day
6:11 pm
Tue November 11, 2014

Austin Senior Day Center Honors Veterans With Visit From ROTC Cadets

Veteran Nicholas Valdez served as an infantryman in the Army during the Korean War. He was honored on Nov. 11, 2014 at AGE of Central Texas in Austin.
Veronica Zaragovia/KUT

In Texas and across the country today, military veterans are being honored for their service. Here in Austin, some senior vets got a visit from University of Texas Air Force cadets at AGE of Central Texas, a non-residential adult day center.

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2015 Legislative Session
12:24 pm
Tue November 11, 2014

Bill Filings Begin: Four Things to Look for in the 2015 Texas Legislature

The Texas Legislature convenes on Jan. 13, but what will lawmakers be considering?
Liang Shi for KUT

It's that time of the biennium.

The 84th Texas Legislature is just a few short months away, and state lawmakers are already filing their bills for the first Rick Perry-less session this side of the millennium. So far, the bills include legislative pet projects like texting and driving bans, open carry initiatives and tax cuts. Other proposals target tougher statewide issues like transportation funding and state budgeting.

You can find a roundup of issues that state lawmakers are considering below.

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Affordable Care Act
10:46 am
Tue November 11, 2014

Texas Obamacare Plans Cost More in Big Cities Than in Rural Areas

A new report suggests that Texas residents in big cities will pay slightly more than those in more rural areas for health insurance plans on the federal marketplace.
healthcare.gov

Open enrollment for health insurance on the federal marketplace begins on Saturday. A new report suggests that if they buy a plan through the marketplace, Texas residents in big cities will pay slightly more than those in more rural areas.

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Veterans Day 2014
8:36 am
Tue November 11, 2014

What's Open, What's Closed and What's Going on to Honor Veterans

Patricia Ray and Linda Palerma placed a flag by the war memorial in honor of their husband and father, respectively, who died in the Vietnam War. Ilana Panich-Linsman/KUT News

Today is Veterans Day, and with that in mind we've got a rundown of all the parades, speeches and other events to honor Central Texas veterans in Austin, Georgetown and San Marcos.

In addition, we've got the full list of city office closures as employees observe Veterans Day. Check out the full list of events and closures below.

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In Black America Podcast
6:26 pm
Mon November 10, 2014

In Black America Podcast: Dr. Allison Willis on How Race Affects Parkinson’s Treatments

Credit University of Pennsylvania Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics

On this edition of "In Black America," producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Dr. Allison Willis, assistant professor of neurology and epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania.

In her study Dr. Willis finds that African Americans with Parkinson’s Disease are less likely than whites with the disease to receive deep brain stimulation surgery to reduce tremors.

Parkinson’s Disease affects more than 2 million Americans, and deep brain stimulation surgery has been shown to be effective but involves extensive pre-operative testing and may include costs not covered by many insurance plans, including Medicare.

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Affordable Care Act
5:11 pm
Mon November 10, 2014

Texans Urged to Update Income Information on Obamacare Website

A certified application counselor helps a health insurance consumer at Insure Central Texas in Austin's Highland Mall on Nov. 10, 2014.
Veronica Zaragovia/KUT

Starting next week, people can once again start enrolling for health insurance on the federal marketplace. Consumers should expect a number of differences when they go on healthcare.gov this time.

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Arts Eclectic
4:01 pm
Mon November 10, 2014

See and Hear 'Yakona'

The award-winning documentary film Yakona, about the San Marcos River, tells its story without words; it's made up mostly of shots of the river itself, often from under the water. Without dialogue or narration, the film's music is often called upon to convey emotion or to inform the narrative

Yakona's score, by Austin composer Justin Sherburn, is therefore vital to the film, and this month, he'll perform that score live for two screenings of the documentary.

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Fun Fun Fun Fest
1:26 pm
Mon November 10, 2014

Fest-Goers Turn to Chargebacks After Friday's Fun Fun Fun Fest Line Snafu

Fun Fun Fun Fest attendees waited hours in the will call line that stretched as far as City Hall to get into the festival on Friday.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT

The Fun Fun Fun Fest will call line blew up the Internet on Friday night.

The hours-long line that backed up across Lady Bird Lake inspired a parody twitter account, a couple of irate Reddit threads and prompted an apology from the fest’s organizers, Transmission Entertainment.

The variables that caused the backup stretch almost as far as the line itself – the festival’s queue this year formed into one line, as opposed to multiple lines like in previous years, because of construction at Auditorium Shores; the will call line was understaffed; talks between the City of Austin and Transmission broke down as they were trying to find a quick fix for the line. The list goes on. And so did the line. Until about 8 p.m., when organizers dissolved the front gate and allowed people a chance to catch the last Friday acts free of charge.

For some, (including this reporter) it was a footnote to an otherwise pleasant festival experience. Others, it seemed, wanted revenge.

Since Transmission has kept a strict no refund policy since 2006, some are turning to credit card chargebacks, a work-around that could refund those with un-scanned tickets on the grounds that they didn’t get what they paid for.

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Life & Arts
11:39 am
Mon November 10, 2014

This Army Parachuter Strapped a Camera to His Head to Land in DKR Stadium

The U.S. Army Golden Knights parachute into Darrell K. Royal Stadium before a football game between the University of Texas Longhorns and the West Virginia Mountaineers on Saturday afternoon.
Jenna VonHofe/KUT

In a Veterans Day tradition, the U.S. Army Golden Knights parachuted into Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium ahead of the Longhorns' game against West Virginia on Saturday.

One of the Golden Knights, Staff Sergeant Brandan Parra strapped a GoPro camera to his head for the jump (he also raises a Texas flag on the way down). Check out the video:

Perry Indictment
11:16 am
Mon November 10, 2014

Bipartisan Group of Lawyers Wants Perry Case Dismissed

Gov. Rick Perry addresses the media following his court hearing on Nov. 6, 2014. At far left is attorney Tony Buzbee.
Bob Daemmrich/Texas Tribune

From The Texas Tribune:

A bipartisan group of lawyers led by former Texas Solicitor General James C. Ho filed an amicus brief Monday in Austin, asking a judge to dismiss the case against Gov. Rick Perry

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2014 Elections
5:15 pm
Fri November 7, 2014

Clearing the Way for Tovo, Riley Withdraws from District 9 Council Runoff

Council member Chris Riley (left) and Council member Kathie Tovo at an October candidate forum.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT

Current Austin City Council Member Chris Riley is withdrawing from a runoff election with another current Council Member, Kathie Tovo.

In Tuesday's election for the District 9 seat, Tovo won 49.05 percent of the vote -- just shy of the 50 percent needed to avoid a runoff. Riley earned 40.41 percent and the third candidate, Erin McGann, won 10.53 percent.

In a statement announcing his withdrawal, Riley congratulated Tovo on a hard-fought campaign.

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Arts Eclectic
3:17 pm
Fri November 7, 2014

See '17,000 Observations' at Laguna Gloria

Lucky Dragons, Rendering for 17,000 Observations at The Contemporary Austin – Laguna Gloria, Austin, Texas, 2014

This Sunday afternoon, LA-based art collaborative Lucky Dragons will present a new site-specific work at the Contemporary Austin at Laguna Gloria. Titled 17,000 Observations, the work will comprise both a sculpture and a live music performance.

Sarah Rara and Luke Fischbeck of Lucky Dragons visited Laguna Gloria for inspiration (at one point camping onsite for 24 hours), and created the two components of the work specifically for the space. The sculptural aspect is a mobile made up of several round mirrors, which will rotate freely and reflect the surrounding forest in new and interesting ways. The music performance is inspired by the birds who live in and around Laguna Gloria; it'll be performed by several musicians placed at different spots. As one wanders the area, he or she will hear different elements of the piece.

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Austin
1:39 pm
Fri November 7, 2014

Austin City Council Seeks to Further Limit City's Role in Secure Communities Program

Speakers at Thursday's Austin City Council meeting emphasized that deportations hurt families.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon, KUT News

The Austin City Council is taking steps to limit its role in Federal Secure Communities, a program that relies on partnerships among federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to deport undocumented immigrants. The program has been criticized for detaining and deporting individuals charged with misdemeanors, rather than serious crimes.

On Thursday night, the council voted unanimously to instruct city staff to make amendments to a proposed interlocal agreement with Travis County. The new language would require the Travis County Sheriff's Office to only honor detainer requests from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) when there are judge-issued arrest warrants or probably cause of crime.

The amendments, proposed by Council Member Mike Martinez, were intended to “either minimize the impact of Secure Communities on Austin families, or increase transparency around the program” and its impact.

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