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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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.

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.

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.”

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.

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.

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.)

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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:

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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