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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UT Longhorn Football
5:11 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

Mack Brown Suspends WR's, Says Horns Have 'Another Run' Left in Them

At a press conference on June 3, 2013, UT Football Coach Mack Brown said the Longhorns will look to bounce back from last year's 9-4 season.
Andrew Weber for KUT News

As summer heats up, the Texas Longhorns are taking to the practice fields.

Today, UT Football Coach Mack Brown said, this year, the team is looking to rebound from last year’s lackluster season, that the team will move forward with Quarterback David Ash firmly at the helm and that wide receivers Cayleb Jones and Kendall Sanders will be suspended for the Horns' first game against New Mexico State.

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Austin
3:05 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

7 Arrested in Central Texas Drug Busts

U.S. Attorney Robert Pitman (center) and Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo (left) at a press conference on May 30, 2013.
Andrew Weber for KUT News

Austin is no longer a “sleepy college town,” according to Police Chief Art Acevedo.

Austin Police and the U.S. Attorney's office say as Austin grows, so does the risk of drug trafficking. Today, they announced two big busts – one involving a year-and-a-half investigation into a cartel-connected cocaine ring and another that yielded over 20 pounds of methamphetamine.

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Education
4:47 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

Group Rallies Against Possible Eastside Memorial Plan

Johnston High School alumni say Johns Hopkins may not be able to serve the students of Eastside Memorial because they are unfamiliar with the community.
Photo by Nathan Bernier for KUT News

Alumni from Johnston High School, now known as Eastside Memorial High School, are voicing concern over the likely takeover of their former campus by John Hopkins University. Austin ISD signed a contract with Johns Hopkins as part of a state-mandated effort to revive sagging test scores at the school. But Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams still has to approve the plan, or shut down the campus.

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2013 Legislative Session
4:27 pm
Mon May 27, 2013

Legislature Debates Drones, Guns and Money as Special Session Looms

Lawmakers are gearing up for a likely special session, but that hasn’t stopped them from trying to squeeze as many bills as they can out of the regular session.

But as the Sine Die bell nearly tolls, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst has gone as far to personally ask the state’s highest executive for a special session.

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Austin
12:38 pm
Mon May 27, 2013

City Looks for Feedback on Austin's Food Scene

Austin's food scene may be booming, but the city is looking for input on how to combat food deserts and develop urban agriculture.
flickr.com/austins_only_paper

For the uninitiated, Austin food isn’t exactly orthodox. Like any big city, the culinary range is vast and eclectic – from tapas to tandoori, gourmet donuts to the ubiquitous breakfast taco.

But while Austin’s food scene may be a draw for taste buds here and abroad, it’s also a preeminent moneymaker – with an economic impact of over $4 billion, according to a study released last month. The city may savor that tax revenue, but it’s also asking citizens for ideas to improve Austin’s food culture as foodies look forward.

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Austin
1:54 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

How Many 'Austin Bashing' Bills Made It Out of the Lege? (Update)

With five Austin-centric bills this session alone, lawmakers are keeping a keen eye on the Austin City Council this legislative session.
flickr.com/atmtx

Update: The legislative session adjourns Monday – and Austin City Council members can breathe a collective sigh of relief.

All of the bills below disappeared into the legislative black hole – that is, they either never made it out of committee, or were never cleared for a vote.

Update (March 26): Here’s some additional bills that meet the Austin City Council’s definition of “Austin bashing” – legislation that would defang local policies.

  • HB 1858, Rep. Paul Workman (R-Austin)

The bill would ban cities from restricting the removal of trees if a developer or land owner deems the tree to be a fire hazard. Opponents worry the bill provides a work-around the city’s Heritage Tree Ordinance, and point to an additional piece of Workman legislation, HB 3087, as creating additional development loopholes for removing trees.

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Austin
4:41 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

City Council OK’s COTA Bid to Lure X Games to Austin

The Circuit of the Americas Track could be the next venue for the Summer X Games. The games are currently held across multiple venues in Los Angeles, like L.A. Live.
flickr.com/g155

Update: Today the Austin City Council gave the go-ahead to the Circuit of the Americas’s attempt to secure a three-year Summer X Games contract.

The city approval allows COTA to seek state money and incentives under the Events Trust Fund during the bid process for the games. It also includes $150,000 in fee waivers for police overtime and trash clean-up.

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Austin
6:05 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Photos: Boardwalk Trail at Lady Bird Lake

A Public Works employee speeds by the under-construction boardwalk trail.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

The city’s Public Works department has given a midterm progress report on the Boardwalk Trail at Lady Bird Lake. 

It’s over a mile of extensions and renovation to the Lady Bird Lake Hike and Bike Trail east of Congress Avenue, including newly-created boardwalk sections that will extend over the lake on concrete piers. 

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2013 Legislative Session
5:45 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Perry, Interrupted, Meets With Medicaid Advocacy Group

Reynaldo Gutierrez, center, was one protester who got a meeting with Gov. Perry earlier today.
Andrew Weber for KUT News

A Texas advocacy group took some less than subtle steps today to get a meeting with the governor.

Members from the healthcare advocacy group Texas Organizing Project interrupted Gov. Rick Perry multiple times during a speech at the Texas Global Business Summit this afternoon, repeating a call for Texas to accept federal Medicaid dollars.

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Austin
3:50 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

Council Tables Independent Oversight For Austin Energy

A split City Council groudned the idea of an independent board for Austin Energy today.
I-Hwa Cheng, KUT News

The City of Austin cooled the idea of creating a board to oversee Austin Energy.

The original idea was to form a board whose members are more knowledgeable than city council members are about the electric utility industry, but after concerns that its members would be insufficiently accountable to voters, the plan changed, leaving the proposed board with less authority.

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Austin
5:58 pm
Mon May 20, 2013

Cap Metro Could Raise Rates

Click the image above to view Cap Metro's infographic of possible fare increases.
Courtesy of Capitol Metropolitan Transit Authority

You may have to dig out another quarter to board a bus in Austin.

Capital Metro Transit Authority met today to hear a proposal that could bump up fares over the next two years.

Though the transit board won’t approve anything until September, the possible move to raise rates by 25% could net as much as $2.2 million annually. 

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Transportation
8:59 am
Fri May 17, 2013

Austin's Bike-Sharing Program Delayed

Austin could see bike-share programs like this one in Milan some time this year.
flickr.com/EnvironmentBlog

Austin is full of bike lovers. But not everyone has the wheels with which to whip around town. Enter: bike sharing. 

Just not yet.

Annick Beaudet of the Public Works department tells KUT News that the program has seen “complications,” and that a launch planned for this spring – which would’ve coincided with May as National Bike Month – will be delayed.

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2013 Legislative Session
6:57 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

Gay Rights Groups Say Measure Lets Texas Colleges Discriminate Against LGBT Student Groups

An amendment in a bill regulating the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board could contain a provision that some say would exclude GLBT students from campus groups
flickr.com/alexander_shenkar

Today, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board bypassed a potential legislative sunset, meaning state legislators will not shutter the group’s doors under the Sunset Act.

That bill, however, also contains a contentious little provision in the form of an amendment – a provision that some say would allow college groups to discriminate on the basis of sexual preference and religion.

The amendment from Rep. Matt Krause, R- Fort Worth, would allow officially recognized, religious college organizations the right to ban those who “demonstrate opposition to the organization’s stated beliefs and purposes,” according to language in the amendment.

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2013 Legislative Session
5:45 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

Michael Morton Act Signed Into Law

Gov. Perry shaking hands with exonoree Michael Morton, who helped spur a legislative effort to mandate evidence sharing in criminal trials.
Andrew Weber for KUT News

Governor Rick Perry signed the Michael Morton Act this afternoon,  a law that will require prosecutors in criminal cases to share evidence with defense attorneys.

The Governor characterized Texas as a “law and order” state and that the new law will allow judicial process to be as transparent and as open as humanly possible when it goes into effect in September of this year.

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Texas
12:15 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

'Hate Map' Collects, Charts Texas' Racist, Homophobic Tweets

The Hate Map project collects insensitive tweets, the blue represents "some hate," while the red represents "most hate"
Hate Map

Language on social media is honest, instant and, sometimes, inappropriate.  And the Internet’s elephantine memory holds on to every last questionable comment.  

Researchers at Humboldt State University used Twitter’s geo-coding to tag over 150,000 tweets from the better part of the past year to map what they call the “Geography of Hate,” an interactive database of hateful language all over the US.

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Business
11:35 am
Wed May 15, 2013

Chamber of Commerce Looks to Sell Austin Internationally

The State Department and Austin Chamber of Commerce welcomed 26 ambassadors this week in an effort to bring more business to the Capital City.
Andrew Weber for KUT News

The Austin Chamber of Commerce is looking to sell Austin abroad.

Yesterday, the chamber and the State Department invited 26 ambassadors from around the world joined top tech companies like Google, Apple, Samsung and AT&T at the Driskill Hotel, in a tour aimed at bringing more international businesses to Austin.

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Austin
12:01 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

Last Seen, Moving Slowly, on the UT Campus: a Robotic Couch

(Clockwise from bottom left) Robotics and Automation Society members Gilberto Rodriguez, Cruz Monrreal, Kevin Gilbert, Rachel Smith, Christopher Haster and Christopher Davis.
Andrew Weber, KUT News

We’ve seen the future – and it is automated.

We have automated vacuum cleaners, cars and even warplanes. So it was only a matter of time until the practice moved to home furnishings. And Sunday before last, at 5 a.m., the UT Robotics and Automation Society (RAS) debuted the latest – and most peculiar – automation application: a robotic couch.

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Austin
4:59 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

Travis Co. Stares Down Wildfire Season with New Plan, Chopper

Travis County is taking renewed efforts to prevent wildfires like those in Bastrop in 2011.
Jeff Heimsath for KUT News

Central Texas isn’t taking any chances when it comes to wildfires.

Today, Travis County unveiled a new STAR Flight helicopter designed to fight wildfires, and tomorrow the city and the county are teaming up for a series of public meetings for their “Community Wildfire Protection Plan.”

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AISD Bond Package
3:53 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

AISD Responds to Bond Election

Austinites voted last weekend to fund up to $490 million for Austin schools, but fell short of the $892 requested across four propositions
KUT News

Austin Schools Superintendent Meria Carstarphen said voters sent a message to the school board in this Saturday’s bond election: Work with what you have.

Carstarphen said that the $490 million approved for Austin schools will help the district focus on what she called “critical needs.” But she added that voters’ rejection of Propositions 2 and 4 could mean that AISD will use cost-saving measures.

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2013 Legislative Sesssion
1:15 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

House Votes to Limit Drone Use

As drones become more prevalent outside the military, Texas lawmakers want to regulate their use.
flickr.com/eschipul

The Texas House passed a bill last night that could limit the use of aerial drones by both law enforcement and private citizens.

Rep. Lance Gooden, R-Terrell, points out that police need a warrant to enter private property, and says his bill would provide the same requirement for law enforcement using drones.

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