Andrew Weber

Freelance reporter

Andrew Weber is a freelance reporter and associate editor 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
5:36 pm
Wed July 3, 2013

That Low-Flying Plane Over Austin Was Just Doing Some Exercises

U.S. Navy

City officials have confirmed that a military training operation took place over Austin today.

A U.S. Navy E-6, similar to a commercial Boeing 707, flew over Austin during a touch-and-go drill, a common exercise in which a pilot lands and takes off again without stopping. The plane was from Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma. 

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Austin
1:04 pm
Wed July 3, 2013

Looking for a Cheap Pabst Blue Ribbon? Austin's Hipster Map Can Help

The Strange Attractors play a gig at Beerland in 2008. Beerland's Red River location ranks high on the hipster heat map.
flickr.com/chrontourage

Hipsters are hard to find.

Or are they?

When they're not shopping for vintage vinyl or eating Moroccan soul food, they're probably at some place you've never heard of. But, thanks to Yelp's Wordmap, the uninitiated can now track the movements of ever-elusive Austin hipster.

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Politics
12:01 pm
Wed July 3, 2013

House Committee Cuts Off Debate, Passes Texas Abortion Bill (Update)

Stephanie Argos, left, and Griselda Melgares of Katy, Texas, came to the Capitol to support House Bill 2 on July 2, 2013.
Veornica Zaragovia for KUT News

Update: A Texas House panel voted early this morning along party lines to pass a bill to put more restrictions on abortion in the state. While the committee heard hours of testimony, more than one thousand people who signed up to speak, weren’t given the opportunity.

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Austin
10:15 am
Wed July 3, 2013

Why This Could Be a Great Summer Season for Fireworks in Austin

Less stringent fireworks regulations and favorable conditions could make this season a profitable one for Texas fireworks retailers.
flickr.com/bougher7

With a little help from mother nature and the Texas Legislature, fireworks retailers might see a sales boom in the Austin area this Fourth of July.

Last month, Gov. Perry signed HB 1813, which allows Texans to transport and possess fireworks in cities, eliminating previous fines that ranged from $50 to $2,000.

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Austin
2:13 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

Austin: One of the Snobbiest Cities in the U.S.?

The Driskill Hotel and its "grand dame charm" was one reason Austin was ranked as one of the top 20 "snobbiest" cities in the United States.
flickr.com/jeffgunn

Sure, Austin's got idiosyncrasies, which is a nice way of saying Austinites are "weird."

But, according to a survey from Travel & Leisure, Austinites have also earned another, less flattering, label: Snobby. 

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83rd Texas Legislature
5:40 am
Mon July 1, 2013

As New Special Session Starts, So Does Debate Over 'Blocker Bills'

Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

In the Texas legislature, every rosebush has a thorn.

So-called rosebush bills, or blocker bills, have a unique role that allow senators to delay a debate on a bill, or block a bill’s movement altogether.

It’s typically a tactic used by the legislative minority, but two bills filed by Sen. Kevin Eltife, R-Tyler, could serve as hurdles for lawmakers in the second special session that begins Monday.

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Austin
1:25 pm
Fri June 28, 2013

Map: HIV Testing Centers and Cases Across Texas

A map from a group called AIDSVu provides the number of HIV cases, as well as treatment and testing centers, in each county, based on CDC data.
Courtesy of AIDSVu

A new interactive map illustrates cases of HIV and possible treatment and testing centers. The map was compiled by the non-profit AIDSVu, using city, county and federal data.  

National HIV Testing Day was this week, providing a chance to increase awareness about testing and treatment efforts among at-risk populations and inspire who may be living with the disease to seek help in managing it. 

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Texas
1:49 pm
Sat June 22, 2013

Tortured & Left for Dead, Burundi Man Lives to See World Refugee Day

Desire Nizigiyimana was a judge in his home country of Burundi. He fled after the government persecuted him because of a controversial decision to release a political prisoner.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Every year, the United Nations commemorates the creation of the UN Refugee Agency with World Refugee Day, a day that serves to draw attention to those displaced by conflict and persecution.

KUT News spoke with Desire Nizigiyimana about his experience in the Burundi civil war.

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Austin
1:58 pm
Fri June 21, 2013

Watch: A Drone's-Eye View of Downtown Austin

The picture above is from footage captured by Colin Guinn of DJI Innovations, a company that manufactures UAVs right here in Austin. Though Guinn has seen an uptick in UAV sales, the FAA still has not created uniform federal regulations for them.

The prospect of drone-dotted skies across Texas isn’t such a far-off thought.

The technology exists, and Gov. Rick Perry even signed a law regulating their use last week.

While the legislation provides some oversight, it carves out some strange exceptions. And the burgeoning industry is waiting for the FAA to establish federal regulation.

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Austin
4:06 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

What Could Home Decor Say About Couples' Relationships?

A UT study will examine the implications of home decor choices can mean for couples living together.
flickr.com/julishannon

Moving in is a big step in any relationship. But once you cross that threshold, what you do with your home — design, spacing, the abundance of personal items like photos — could have larger implications for partners. 

UT graduate student Lindsay Graham and psychology professor Sam Gosling have begun a study that collects data from couples' homes to discover how choices can effectively create a sense of "home" for both partners and express their senses of self individually.

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Politics
2:42 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Survey Says Texas Tea Party Can't Be Ignored

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (pictured) has risen to Tea Party prominence nationally. A recent survey of Texas voters shows that the party is here to stay.
flickr.com/gageskidmore

A new poll suggests the Tea Party movement is more than a flash in the pan in Texas politics. 

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Austin
5:09 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

With Tube Rentals, East Austin Beach Not So 'Secret' Anymore

The word is getting out about Austin's "Secret Beach."
flickr.com/philpool

Some secrets, it seems, are worth sharing.

This Memorial Day, a company called East Side Tubes began offering tube rentals and shuttle service just west of the Longhorn Dam on the Colorado River – services similar to those on the San Marcos River or the Comal River in New Braunfels. But new tubers may arrive to the chagrin of those frequenting the area colloquially known as “Secret Beach.”

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Texas
10:38 am
Thu June 13, 2013

Parole Could Come for Minors Convicted of Capital Murder

A Senate committee voted a bill that requires a mandatory life sentence for 17-year-olds convicted of capital murder. The bill would also require a possibility of parole after 40 years.
Liang Shi for KUT

Texas lawmakers have approved new mandatory sentencing for minors convicted of capital murder.

It would require a life sentence with the opportunity for parole for 17-year-olds convicted of the crime, after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down mandatory life without parole for minors last year.

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Austin
2:39 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

County Commissioners Say Maintaining Roads Costs Counties

Travis County Commissioners say a bill before the legislature could alleviate county maintenance of highways like US-183
flickr.com/carlos/

Gov. Rick Perry’s addition of transportation to the special session yesterday may mean more funding for Texas highways.

But Travis County Commissioners sent a letter today to the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor and Speaker of the House arguing the Texas Department of Transportation relies too heavily on Central Texas counties to fund improvements to the state highway system.

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Education
2:55 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

Study Calls for Expansion of Texas' Summer Lunch Program

A new study says that expansion of summer lunch programs could rake in $47 million in federal reimbursements.
flickr.com/USDAGov

A new report spotlights the success and shortfalls of summer lunch programs for Texas students.

The Food Research and Action Center found that the number of lunch programs across the state grew by 17 percent last year. However, these programs only reach about 11 percent of low-income children receiving school lunches.

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Austin
11:45 am
Fri June 7, 2013

COTA Continues Push for Austin X Games With Video Pitch

The Circuit of the Americas [COTA] and hordes of extreme sports enthusiasts are fighting hard to bring the Summer X Games to Austin next summer.  COTA has now produced a video showing just how extreme Austin can be.

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Technology
9:15 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Austin Bitcoiners Bring Online Currency Offline, Into Stores

Bitcoin is a web-based currency that uses transactions to create a finite, controlled number of bits that can be used as online credit.
flickr.com/dekstop

Bitcoin is blowing up, both in the successful and not-so-successful sense.

The currency is as volatile as a Texas summer is miserably hot. But the volatility’s not stopping Austin movers and shakers from capitalizing on the craze.

Last week, a Bitcoin startup that will help grow the online currency popped up in Austin. But some Austin Bitcoin’ers are trying to moving the currency offline and into the real world.

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Austin
4:42 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

Update: 24-Hour Trails Open for Bikers, Not Hikers

The city's 24-hour hike and bike trail pilot program begins Saturday.
Andrew Weber for KUT News

Austin bikers will have the trails all to themselves for a few months, at night anyway.

The city clarified today that the 24-hour hike and bike trail is only open for those on bikes, not those looking to hike, walk or jog on the Butler Trail, Johnson Creek and Shoal Creek greenbelts.

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Austin
2:34 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

KUT News Tries Out Austin's 'Budget in a Box'

It's time to play everyone's favorite game!

The city's Budget in a Box gives folks outside city hall a chance to learn about the city's budgeting process, then try on the shoes of a city budgeter, cutting, padding and managing programs and agencies that keep the city humming along.

KUT News acquired a copy of the game and we gave a two reporters and a few interns the chance to give the budgeting process the old college try. Click the video below to see how we fared.

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Health
10:05 am
Wed June 5, 2013

Texas Ranks 39th in National Survey of Senior Health

According to a national study, Texas has one of the highest rates of poverty among senior citizens.
flickr.com/safari_vacation

Texas and its capitol city are increasingly touted as great retirement destinations. But according to a recent study, the state ranks 48th in money spent on senior healthcare and 39th overall, in a national survey by United Health Foundation.

The study from the health care giant found that 820,000 Texas seniors were physically inactive, which led to nearly 20 percent of seniors spending at least a week in intensive care in the final six months of their lives.

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