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
3:56 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Austin, Get Ready for This Giant, Mechanical Newborn Baby Head

A rendering of the Psychokinetic Child. Under construction in Austin, the head is headed to Nevada for Burning Man.
kineticchild.com

Sure, art can be “heady” in the metaphorical sense. But few projects both metaphorically and literally embody that adjective like the Psychokinetic Child: a 20 foot tall, three-dimensional baby head.

Currently under construction, the exterior of the head will feature a fully mechanized mouth and eyes. But it's on the inside where things  get interesting: the curious may walk inside the baby’s head to contemplate five shrines to objects familiar to modern life – homes, clothes, cars, chairs and phones.

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Austin
9:21 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Austin to Host Summer X Games

The Summer X-Games will descend upon the Circuit of the Americas track starting next May.
flickr.com/mustmoto

It’s official. Austin will host the Summer X Games starting next year.

This morning ESPN announced a four-year agreement to bring the games to the Circuit of the Americas starting in May of next year, beating out Chicago, Charlotte and Detroit.

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Austin
4:22 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Here's What Can Get You Kicked Out of the Texas Capitol

Thousands of activists on both sides of the abortion debate convened on the south steps of the Capitol on Monday. Protest has been vocal in the legislature’s special sessions.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon, KUT

Decorum is the word these past few weeks at the Texas Capitol.

In the Legislature's special sessions, protest has been vocal - both outside the Capitol dome and in House and Senate chambers. Today in the House, five opponents of HB 2 were reportedly arrested by DPS troopers for failing to adhere to the chamber’s decorum. In the Senate, the so-called “citizens’ filibuster” ended the first special session with a deafening crescendo, blocking an omnibus abortion bill in its final moments.

But how does the state define decorum?

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Politics
4:55 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

Watch: Abortion Rights Advocate Gets Personal - Then Gets Kicked Out

There's been countless explosive moments in Texas' ongoing legislative battle over abortion — but few moments like this posted to YouTube. 

Yesterday, the Senate Health and Human Services Committee heard testimony on Senate Bill 1, which would restrict abortions across Texas. Some 13 hours of testimony later, committee chair Sen. Jane Nelson called on abortion rights advocate Sarah Slamen, whose two minutes included pointed descriptors of the committee members themselves – language that got her ejected.

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Politics
11:02 pm
Mon July 8, 2013

Gov. Perry: 'I Will Not Seek Reelection'

Gov. Rick Perry delivering the 2013 State of the State in January. Perry announed plans for his political future today.
Filipa Rodrigues, KUT News

Gov. Rick Perry – the longest serving governor in Texas history – has announced he will not seek reelection to a fourth term.

After first being elected to the Texas House in 1984 (as a Democrat), Perry ascended to Lieutenant Governor, and then moved up when George W. Bush left for the White House in December 2000.

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Politics
2:21 pm
Mon July 8, 2013

Perry Leaving Governor's Office: Texas Politicos React

Attorney General Greg Abbott (L) and Gov. Rick Perry at a press conference in 2012. Abbott is widely considered a Republican frontrunner for governor.
Ben Philpott, KUT News

Gov. Rick Perry’s announcement this afternoon that he will not seek another term in office has created an outpouring of reactions from Texas politicians  on both sides of the aisle.

KUT News is compiling those reactions, primarily from the Texas politicians Perry’s announcement is affecting deeply – those seeking higher office. 

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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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