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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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.

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.
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.

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.

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.

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.

Tamir Kalifa for KUT News

Has the afterglow worn off?

The doting South by Southwest masses have slinked back to Williamsburg and Echo Park, doubtless telling tales about this “locals only” barbecue joint called The Salt Lick. But as they stumble out of their Austin-induced atrophy, some might ask the harsh question: Is Austin really that great?

flickr.com/bsterling

Texas’ official motto is “friendship.” And the state’s long drawn on its welcoming ways to attract tourism and convention crowds from all over.

One example of Texas hospitality is its event trust funds: the Major Events Trust Fund and the Events Trust Fund. (And that’s not counting the Motor Sports Events Trust Fund and the Special Events Trust Fund.)

Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

UPDATE 5:59 The Senate Committee on Education heard SB 1575 this afternoon from educators and parents supporting the so-called voucher program that would give parents money to move their children from public to private schools. 

The bill’s author Senator Donna Campbell of New Braunfels said that parents and students should have a choice in schooling and claim that failing public schools set back children across the state.

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