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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flickr.com/concerttour

Austin's got another music festival. 

Today, iHeartRadio announced a one-day country festival, featuring Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean and Lady Antebellum, among others. 

The Clear Channel-sponsored, Bobby Bones-hosted festival will descend upon the Frank Erwin Center on March 29th, making it the second country music fest planned for May 2014, after Jeff Foxworthy's Natty Light-sponsored Red Fest at Circuit of the Americas. 

Spencer Selvidge for KUT

The Longhorns welcomed new head football coach Charlie Strong today in a press conference at Darrell K. Royal Stadium. And if the presser had a theme, it was simple: Integrity. 

Strong told reporters he respected the foundation of Mack Brown's tenure, that the coach was a man with integrity, and that players must perform, both on and off the field, with integrity and accountability. Ultimately, Strong says his goal is to bring the Longhorns back into the national title conversation.

"The bricks are there," Strong said. "And I just need to put another brick on top of it." 

facebook.com/OfficialAndisArmy

Well-known Austin attorney and activist Andi Sloan has died of complications from pneumonia, after a 7-year battle with cancer. 

While Sloan worked as an attorney and executive director of the Texas Advocacy Project, she was best known for her work lobbying California-based pharmaceutical company BioMarin to release an experimental drug to treat breast and ovarian cancer with her group Andi's Army.

flickr.com/grahamsblog

What do twerking, Sharknado and the government shutdown have in common? 

They're all some of the top trends in Google searches in Austin this year, according to the search giant's 2013 Zeitgeist report. Austin's searches didn't do much to keep it weird. For the most part, the searches were fairly nationalized, unlike previous years, with one exception.

With that in mind, here's the list of Austin's 2013 top Google searches:

flickr.com/goiowastate

Now that Mack Brown's officially resigning, Longhorn fans can breathe a sigh of relief, or of sorrow, after four years of lackluster play from UT football. But, despite latter day streakiness as a coach, Brown leaves the program second in all-time wins and an overall record of 158-47, including the 2005 BCS championship.

Brown's shoes won't be easy to fill, but there are plenty of high profile coaches in the running to do just that. Here's a list of the rumored replacements. 

University of Texas Athletics

UT fans might have missed the bit of good news from Longhorn athletics this weekend. With the bad news of Mack Brown's retirement comes a bit of good news: the Longhorns Volleyball team will head to the Final Four tournament. 

In an impressive shutout win against Nebraska, the top-ranked Horns extended their playoff match win streak to 23, the second longest in school history, according to UT Athletics

Courtesy of CTRMA

 

Construction crews will install temporary highway lighting along MoPac tonight, and will also remove existing light poles that in the way of the construction of the forthcoming MoPac express lanes. A full map of construction is available online.

The project will add North and Southbound express lanes between Parmer Lane and Cesar Chavez.  

Photo by KUT News

After much speculation, University of Texas President Bill Powers confirmed that Steve Patterson will succeed DeLoss Dodds as athletic director of the university later this fall, who is retiring after 32 years as the school's A.D. 

Patterson's resume includes a stint with the championship-era Houston Rockets, the Houston Aeros hockey team, the Portland Trailblazers and played an integral role in helping bring an NFL franchise back to Houston in the Houston Texans. In a statement released this afternoon, however, Powers praised his most recent work at Arizona State University. 

Callie Hernandez for KUT News

In Austin, it's a constant: Traffic.

There’s recent statewide and local efforts to mitigate congestion – which will take substantial investment and extensive construction. So despite proposals in the pipeline, traffic will continue to be a slow-going, fast-growing problem.

So, it got us wondering: What are the worst intersections in Austin? 

Courtesy of Sustainable Food Center

The Sustainable Food Center's East Austin farmer's market had a perennially irritating problem: Poison ivy was blocking a portion of the market's space. They couldn't use chemicals or herbicides — it wouldn't exactly jive with their goal of sustainability. 

So they got creative, turning to a four-legged, environmentally (and people) friendly alternative: Goats.

Now, Austin parks may be looking to adopt the strategy to beautify green spaces across the city, as well.

A Republican Bexar County judge who narrowly won his election in 2010 announced today that he will run next year as a Democrat. 

In a written statement, Judge Carlo Key of San Antonio, who is running for re-election to County Court Position 11 in San Antonio, cited ideological extremism as the reason for his departure from the Republican Party of Texas. 

Austin Police Department

An Austin Police officer was involved in a fatal crash this morning on U.S. Highway 290 near Sawyer Ranch Road.

In a written statement, APD identified the officer as Lieutenant Clay Crabb, a veteran officer who began his tenure with the Austin Police Department in 1998 after four years with the San Angelo Police Department. Crabb, 42, was on his way to work when a truck struck the driver's side of his vehicle. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the other vehicle was not seriously injured.

Crabb was awarded 16 commendations in his service including the Superior Service Citation and the Master Peace Officer Ribbon.

Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

South By Southwest Music announced the first salvo of artists gracing the badge-laden official stages.

The list includes just over 180 bands from all over the world, including 26 Austin acts including Whiskey Shivers, Shakey Graves, The Sour Notes and Wild Child.

The festival will begin on March 7 and all three phases — Film, Interactive and Music — will wrap up on March 16.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon, KUT News

If you’ve been to Austin City Limits Music Fest, you’ve seen them. And while they’re not the band, they are on stage and they are very talented, in their own way.

They've worked with everyone from Wu-Tang Clan to Green Day, from Black Sabbath to Jack White. They even braved the harsh cold of President Obama’s 2012 inauguration this past January.

They’re the sign language interpreters of LotuSIGN, and you can find them emphatically interpreting bands' lyrics and sounds at performances across the country. And while there’s plenty of air guitar and air piano, LotuSIGN means business.

KUT News

According to a new report, the number of prescriptions veterans received for powerful opiates has surged since the U.S. invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq.

Central Texas veterans' prescriptions have jumped by nearly 340 percent, leading to increased risk of abuse, drug overdose and death, according to a report from the Center for Investigative Reporting.

Since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the agency charged with helping veterans recover from war [the Department of Veterans Affairs]instead masks their pain with potent drugs, feeding addictions and contributing to a fatal overdose rate among VA patients that is nearly double the national average.

facebook.com/statefairoftx

Update: The Associated Press reports a deep fried Cuban roll took top honors at the State Fair of Texas’ “Big Tex Choice Awards” this year: That's shredded pork, ham, cheese, pickles and sauce, rolled in dough and thrown in a deep fat fryer.

Another foodstuff profiled below – Fried Thanksgiving Dinner (which is exactly like it sounds) – took the prize for “Most Creative” entrée. The State Fair opens Sept. 27.

Facebook.com/AustinAquarium

After construction violations from the city's code compliance office last month and a recent guilty plea to animal trafficking charges from one of the owners of the new Austin Aquarium, the University of Texas' Texas Advanced Computing Center has put a potential partnership with the effort to bring an aquarium to North Austin on hold. 

Brothers Vince and Ammon Covino have been embroiled in legal squabbles since opening up aquariums in Portland, Oregon and Boise, Idaho in 2012 and 2011, respectively.

vimeo.com/alamodrafthouse

Talking or texting at any movie theater is frowned upon, but at the Alamo Drafthouse it’s an actionable offense.

For years, the Austin-based theater chain has kept audiences tight-lipped with its pre-show “Don’t Talk/Don’t Text” PSAs and ejection policies – often resulting in viral success.

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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