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
12:42 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

A Timeline of Obama’s Visits to Austin (Photos)

President Obama, speaking outside the State Capitol in 2008.
KUT News

President Barack Obama’s got a thing for Austin.

The President is kicking off his “Middle Class Jobs and Opportunity Tour” in the Capitol City today. The White House says Austin was picked as the place to start the tour, because it leads the country in manufacturing and tech job growth. (And we’re sure Austin’s reputation as a Democratic city in a solidly Republican state doesn’t hurt either.)

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Austin
2:03 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Austin's Jails Get Slammed on Yelp

In Austin and abroad, citizens have taken to Yelp to review jails and prisons.
flickr.com/duluoz_cats

Update (June 23, 2014): More reviews are in – and since this post was written, Travis County Jail's Yelp rating has risen a whole star. It now has a 2.5 rating.

Here's more Austin Yelp news:

Listen: The Worst Yelp Reviews of Barton Springs and Mount Bonnell

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

Original story: With the news that Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg may be leaving the hoosegow, corrections officers may be looking over their shoulders, hoping that the county’s highest ranking law officer doesn’t write them a bad review.

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Austin
12:52 pm
Fri May 3, 2013

May the 4th Be With You, Austin: Star Wars & Free Comics Collide

A stormtrooper idles outside the Texas Capitol. This May 4th, comics fans and Star Wars aficionados will both find cause for celebration.
flickr.com/jdhancock

Obi-Wan Kenobi lied.

When the Jedi Master said “The Force will be with you, always,” he wasn’t exactly correct. Around the country, the force get its own special day: May the 4th.

Yep, that’s right, young Padawans. Tomorrow is National Star Wars Day. And this year it falls on the first Saturday of May, which – as any devotee of pulp yarns will tell you – is another storied celebration in the pantheon of nerddom: Free Comic Book Day.

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College Football
8:59 am
Thu May 2, 2013

A&M OKs $450M Remodel of Kyle Field Into Texas' Biggest Stadium

The Texas A&M Board of Regents voted to expand Kyle Field into the most "expensive" and "extensive" field in college football.
kylefield.com

Update: The Texas A&M Board of Regents approved the university’s $450 million plan to redevelop Kyle Field into the biggest stadium in Texas (by seating capacity). Demolition work on the existing stadium is slated to begin in November this year, with plans for a grand opening in time for the 2015 football season.

You can read a press release, and view a photo gallery here.

Original post (May 1): Football is big at Texas A&M and it could be getting bigger – even bigger than it is at UT Austin.

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Austin
8:15 am
Thu May 2, 2013

'Trash Dance:' Documentary Puts Austin Waste Workers in Limelight

A scene from the climactic, nighttime performance in "Trash Dance."
trashdancemovie.com

If the film "Trash Dance" has a mantra, it’s simple: Power to the people. Those people and that power, however, don’t conjure up the familiar themes of power through politics but, strangely enough, dance.

And garbage trucks. 

The film follows choreographer Allison Orr’s work with Austin Energy and Solid Waste Services to make meticulously synchronized dance routines featuring everyday utility service vehicles. So it’s power to the people, who give you power and haul your trash.

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Austin
12:34 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

The X Games Could Come to Austin Next Summer

Motocross jumping could become a familiar sight at the Circuit of the Americas, if Austin secures a three year X Games contract.
flickr.com/mustmoto

Update: It's official: The X Games are coming to Austin. Read more here from KUT News.

Original post: Austin could be getting extreme in the summer of 2014.

The Circuit of the Americas announced yesterday that the 1500 acre racetrack and concert venue is on a list of four finalists to host the 2014 Summer X Games and enter into a three-year contract with ESPN, the event’s sponsor.

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Texas
3:35 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

It's Willie Nelson's 80th Birthday

Willie Nelson celebrates his 80th birthday today.
flickr.com/photos/whittlz

It’s official: the Red Headed Stranger is an octogenarian.

Willie Nelson, the Crown Prince of Texas Country, turns 80 today. And it seemed as mellow an affair as one would expect from Willie – despite a busy week.

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Austin
3:29 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

New Hike & Bike Trail Toilet Celebrates With a First Flush

Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Runners and bikers can breathe a sigh of relief – now that they can relieve themselves in a brand new, site-specific restroom on the Lady Bird Lake Hike and Bike Trail.

The new restroom features stylized concrete and carefully placed rebar. But it’s also sited on one of the most populated sections of the trail – the Johnson Creek trailhead, just below the MoPac bridge.

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West Plant Explosion
2:39 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

How Austin is Helping West, TX – And How You Can Too (Update)

As citizens from West continue to rebuild, events and charities in Austin continue to contribute to victims' relief efforts.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

As families begin the long rebuilding process in West, Texas,  relief efforts are still in full swing. But while the community of West may no longer need blood or clothes or supplies – for the moment, at least – they still need money. The town incurred an estimated $100 million in damages following the fertilizer plant explosion.

To continue our coverage of ways Austinites can help those in West, here is an updated list of some West charities, events and benefit programs:

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Austin
5:46 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Spring Showers: More Oak Wilt?

Austin live oaks and red oaks could see higher levels of oak wilt infection this summer.
flickr.com/photos/nieve44/

Austin live oaks have benefited from recent rains, but that rain could also put them at risk for oak wilt, a fungus that spreads quickly through trees’ root systems and can kill them in as little as six weeks. 

Chris Dolan, head of oak wilt prevention for the City of Austin Arborist’s office, said oak wilt enters a tree through open wounds from pruning and forms “fungal mats,” which infect trees and make them susceptible to parasites.

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West Plant Explosion
1:57 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Looking for West, TX Benefits in Austin?

Benefits this week will go to organizations like the American Red Cross to support relief efforts following the explosion in West last week.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

For now, those rebuilding the community in West, Texas following last week’s fertilizer plant explosion don’t need clothing or blood donations – they’ve received a massive outpouring of support from the Central Texas area and beyond.

What they need is money.

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Austin
11:00 am
Wed April 24, 2013

City Conference Looks to End Unfair Housing Practices in Austin

Texas Workforce Commission investigator Robert Sumner said that these seminars benefit those fighting unfair housing practices in Austin and across the state.
Andrew Weber for KUT News

The City of Austin investigates about a hundred claims every year of so-called “unfair housing.” That’s when people are denied a place to live based on their race, disability or other factors.

The City of Austin and the Texas Workforce Commission held a conference yesterday in an effort to prevent that.

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Austin
9:37 am
Wed April 24, 2013

Grass is Greener for Austin's Zero Waste Future

The City of Austin looks to reduce waste in the city to 90 percent by 2040.
flickr.com/photos/nananio

Austin’s one of the few cities in Texas where you might start composting to avoid being ostracized by friends.

Whether its groundwater, tap water, urban farming, salamander saving or the bag ban, the city’s got a whole slew of unique, environmentally-friendly idiosyncrasies. Even some of the trucks that haul trash to the landfill are green, running on natural gas.

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Texas
5:34 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

Texas Joins Suit Against EPA

Attorney General Greg Abbott is one of 12 attorneys general who want the Supreme Court to review the EPA's regulation of greenhouse gasses
Filipa Rodrigues, KUT News

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott was among the state AG's with an Earth Day gift for the Environmental Protection Agency: A lawsuit.

Abbott is one of 12 attorneys general asking the U.S. Supreme Court to hear a case that claims the agency created “absurd” regulations of greenhouse gasses under the Clean Air Act.

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West Plant Explosion
3:02 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

For West First Responders, Much-Needed Relief in Sight

American Red Cross volunteers in West on April 18, one day after the explosion.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Of the 14 confirmed fatalities in the West fertilizer plant explosion, 10 were first responders. Most were from West, but some were from nearby service districts like Abbott, Mertens and Navarro Mills, and one was a fire captain in the Dallas Fire Department who lived in West.

Of the town's 33 volunteer firefighters, five were killed and 11 were hospitalized in the explosion.

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Austin
10:54 am
Mon April 22, 2013

The Top 10 Austin Top 10 Lists

The Internet's list makers ceretainly haven't given up on Austin.
flickr.com/dingatx

If you asked the Internet, it might tell you that Austin's a hipster-loving, small business-starting, traffic-riddled, undiscovered yet overrated place that keeps it weird. The web's traffic-baiting list-makers rank Austin as a leader in categories from fitness friendliness to porn consumption per capita.

But you're not asking the Internet, you're asking KUT News. And, as has been done a couple times now, KUT News has compiled a list of lists honoring, tweaking and trashing Austin over the past few months. Here's the third installment of The Top 10 Austin Top 10 Lists:

  • Big time for small business: Business website Thumbtack.com saluted Austin for business-friendly regulations and low licensing fees, ranking the city tops in the U.S. for small businesses. But the crowning stems partially from the state’s spartan regulation, as the survey also named Dallas-Fort Worth and San Antonio in its top 10.
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Austin
5:08 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

Austin Police on 'Heightened Alert' for MotoGP

Police Chief Art Acevedo advises Austinites to stay "vigilant" in light of the attacks in Boston.
Andrew Weber for KUT News

Austin Police say they will step up security this weekend as the city gets ready to host a major international sporting event.

Moto GP comes to the Circuit of the Americas for three days, and organizers say they expect tens of thousands of people to show up. Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo says the explosions at the Boston Marathon will lead to more awareness this weekend as the motorcycle racing fans roll in.

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2013 Legislature
3:41 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

Texas Nursing Homes Seeking More From Medicaid

Nursing Home professionals and some of their elderly patients gathered today at the Capitol to ask state lawmakers to give more for Medicaid funding.
Andrew Weber for KUT News

Nursing home professionals from all over Texas gathered today at the Capitol, asking lawmakers to expand Medicaid funding to care for more of the state’s seniors.

Paul Gerharter is director of nursing at Touchstone Communities, a provider of nursing home care in Central and South Texas. He says state budgets have lessened the number of nursing homes in the midst of a growing need for long-term care.

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2013 Legislative Session
6:20 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

Could Your Elected Officials Be Next in Line for Drug Testing?

Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr. authored a bill that would require drug tests for newly elected officials.
flickr.com/animalvegetable

Lawmakers could be the next group on the state payroll to undergo drug screenings.

The Senate Committee on State Affairs heard testimony on SB 612 today, which would require drug testing for elected officials.

State Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr., D-Brownsville,  told fellow Sen. Joan Huffman, R-Houton, in committee this morning that his bill would serve as a counterpoint to bills that would drug test citizens who get state benefits.

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Texas
5:25 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Amazon Gives Texans Their Wine Online

Now the close to 300 vineyards in Texas can ship wine in and out of state on Amazon's massive online marketplace.
flickr.com/dionnehartnett

Ordering the most recent Jodi Picoult novel or maybe a nice throw blanket on Amazon?

Now you can get a robust, full-bodied cabernet to complement them both.

Today, Amazon opened up their wine delivery service up to the Lone Star state, offering over 350 wines and 2,200 labels from across the world.

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