Andrew Weber

Web Producer

Andrew Weber is a web producer for KUT News. A graduate of St. Edward's University with a degree in English, Andrew has previously interned with The Texas Tribune, The Austin American-Statesman and KOOP Radio.

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Austin City Council members are considering regulations for ridesharing companies Uber and Lyft. If passed, the City would collect fees from these companies, and also impose fingerprint-based background checks on drivers. On Thursday, Uber launched a campaign against the Council member who initiated these regulations.

C. Jung, P.B. Allen, A.D. Ellington/Nature Nanotechnology

Imagine a test that could tell you instantly whether or not you had a case of strep throat, or just a bad cold. No doctors. No waiting. No hassle.

That’s the idea behind research from UT Austin’s Ellington Lab, published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology. The so-called “DNA walker” developed by Cheulhee Jung, Peter Allen and Andrew Ellington isn’t the first ever created – DNA walkers are fairly common in nanotechnology – but its mechanics are different than any other ever devised.

Texas Portal to History

Believe it or not, this month is Passport Awareness Month – the two-fortnight campaign in which the State Department encourages citizens to renew or apply for their passports. At worst, it’ll take six weeks to get a passport; at best, three weeks.

Wally Gobetz/flickr

After 82 years in the shadow of the school’s iconic tower, the University of Texas removed the controversial Jefferson Davis statue yesterday from its Main Mall.

The university also removed the statue of Woodrow Wilson. 

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.

The Wilson Quarterly

This afternoon, the Austin City Council’s Public Utilities Committee and Health and Human Services Committee are both taking on an issue that’s trickled through, and sometimes flooded, City Hall: fluoridation of water.

The issue’s prevalence has ebbed and flowed over the years in city politics, but two Austinites, both with the surname Taylor, at opposite ends of the spectrum helped water fluoridation boil over into the national spotlight.

UT Austin's Briscoe Center

After months of controversy swirling around the statues memorializing Confederate leaders on UT’s campus, the group tasked with helping President Greg Fenves decide their ultimate fate handed up their recommendations on Monday.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

The group tasked with providing solutions to the controversy surrounding statues of Confederate figures on the University of Texas at Austin campus has submitted its suggestions to the school’s president, Gregory Fenves.

Man Ray, via the J. Paul Getty Museum

Forty-two years ago today, Vander Clyde died of a drug overdose in Round Rock.

Clyde, who performed as Barbette, wasn’t an archetypal Round Rocker (if there is such a thing) in the sense that, for a stretch of his 68-year life, he was a sensation in Paris’ vaudeville scene, became the muse of a proto-surrealist avant garde poet and filmmaker, and went on to become a circus director for Ringling Barnum Circus.

Have you ever wondered about if you could recycle your paper coffee cup? Or if the cap from that Topo Chico you had would gum up the recycling sorter? Have you wondered the fate of that plastic bag you filled with recyclables and tossed into the blue bin with trepidation? 

Well, today was your lucky day, Internet user. 

This morning Austin Resource Recovery took to Reddit for an "Ask Me Anything" (AMA) to answer Austinites' burning recycling questions — offering a glimpse of a possibly forthcoming composting program and tips on what exactly to do with all those plastic bags you've been hoarding. Check out the highlights below.

Milton Hinnant/The Dallas Morning News

Tomorrow, the Dallas Cowboys start a month-long training in Oxnard, Calif., ahead of the 2015-2016 season. The state of California has long been a staple base of operations for the Cowboys – California Lutheran College in Thousand Oaks served as the team’s longest-serving venue for camp from 1963 until 1989, and the state’s hosted 10 camps since 2001.

But, before the Cowboys migrated back to California for camp, the team spent its most productive (and controversial) summers right here in Austin, when the team used St. Edward’s University as a base of operations during their Super Bowl runs of the 1990s.

Austin History Center

In the early hours of Tuesday morning, the Iranian government and six other nations, including the U.S., agreed to a deal that would limit the country’s nuclear program in what some see as a historic moment for the country’s foreign relations.

Since country’s regime change, relations between Iran and the U.S. have been peppered with crises. However, shortly before the overthrow of the Shah in January of 1979, the U.S. hosted his family and Austin’s Bergstrom Air Force Base (now Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, even hosted the exiled Crown Prince Reza Pahlavi in 1978.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

Last week’s Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges represents a monumental step in the movement for LGBTQ equal rights, but it wasn’t the final footfall in Texas. As the case's lead plaintiff Jim Obergefell put it last week in a rally at the State Capitol, issues surrounding employment and fair housing protections aren’t codified in Texas state law.

But, in Austin, the city council passed a sexual preference employment protection in August of 1975, and a “public accommodations ordinance” that banned discrimination based on sexual preference in 1976. So why, despite those progressive policies, did an Austin organization lead an initiative to allow discrimination on the basis of sexual preference? 

Austin City Council

This week’s Wayback Wednesday looks simultaneously back at and forward to a one-time staple of Austin life: the ‘Dillo. The once-beloved bus line transported folks around town from its inception in the 1970s until the lines hit their last stops in 2009.

The bus was, as Richard Linklater might say, a “spiritual sequel” to the streetcar lines that traversed the Downtown corridor as early as the 1870s, but, like the city’s first gamble with mass transit, the ‘Dillo could soon see a resurgence with the help of private sector backing.

The lines started initially as a downtown-circulating park-and-ride program in the 1970s. The city officially backed the program known as the “Armadillo Express” in 1983, allocating $88,650 from the budget for five buses. Backed by downtown businesses and the Downtown Austin Alliance, the Armadillo Express was officially dedicated in May of 1984.

Grace Murray Stephenson, Austin History Center, PICA 05476

Friday marks the 150th anniversary of the day that brought freedom to 250,000 African-Americans from slavery in Texas, commonly known as Juneteenth.

While President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 is recognized as the declaration that freed U.S. slaves, Confederate states didn’t recognize the Union decree. So, even after the war ended at Appomattox in April of 1865, Texan slaves weren’t freed until June 19, 1865, when Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger read aloud a Union proclamation that officially ended slavery in Texas.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUTX

Affordability and Austin aren’t necessarily synonymous, especially when it comes to housing.

The city’s seen an unprecedented level of growth over recent years, much of that due to the oft-maligned cohort known as millennials, of which, according to a Fannie Mae survey, Austin has the largest concentration in the U.S. at 27 percent.

Austin’s not alone. More and more millennials are flocking to urban cores in cities across North America, and one researcher from the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, chose to investigate housing, labor and lifestyle issues surrounding millennials in Austin, and other cities, with a survey called "Generationed City."


One hundred fifty years ago this week, the city of Austin, and a large portion of Texas, was effectively lawless. As news of the Confederacy’s loss of the Civil War hit Texas in the spring of 1865, many state and municipal officials abandoned their posts out of fear they’d be prosecuted by the Union. One of these officials was Pendleton Murrah, the state’s governor, who fled to Mexico and died in August of that year.

With that in mind, a fortuitous band of former Rebels decided to ride on the state’s capital, perpetrate the largest raid in Texas’s history and ride off to Mexico with all the gold in the state’s coffers.


The YouTube video that surfaced last weekend of an Austin Police officer pepper-spraying a suspect on Sixth Street has many questioning use of force by APD. In 2014, the department documented 147 incidents of the use of pepper spray, but when can they use it, how is it justified and how exactly does the review process work?

Let's take a look at APD's guidelines.

Texas Archive of the Moving Image

In light of the descending extreme sports — or "action" sports, if you're partial to that label — festival coming into town this week, today's Wayback Wednesday looks back at Austin's first sports-music hybrid festival, the Austin Aqua Festival. 

Founded by the city's chamber of commerce, the annual festival, which ran from 1962 to 1998, aimed to boost tourism during the slower summer months. As the years went on, Aqua Fest drew huge crowds (more than 200,000 at its peak in the '80s) and drew national acts and local favorites, like Dolly Parton and Willie Nelson.

But, it also enraged some communities along Lady Bird Lake, most notably Hispanic communities in East Austin, who protested noisy speedboat races near Festival Beach, and those in Bouldin Creek, who didn't like the idea of motorcycle races careening through their neighborhood. Ultimately, the fest ended in 1998 after years of declining attendance, but below is a look at the proto-X-Games, proto-ACL known as Aqua Fest.

Carlo Nasisse for KUT News

Update June 20: Whataburger announced that its restaurants have returned to normal breakfast hours of 11 p.m. to 11 a.m. 

The company said in its press release that it's secured "additional egg supply" and that they no longer have an egg shortage. This story will be updated with any new information.

Original story: Last night, Whataburger, the beloved Texas bastion of burger-dom, announced in a statement that it will cut its breakfast hours by more than half, after a recent outbreak of avian influenza threatened its egg suppliers.