Ann Choi

Intern for KUT News

Pages

Austin
3:14 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

All Austin Restaurants Will Start Composting Food Scraps by 2017

An Austin composter takes his pile's temperature.
flickr.com/smreilly

Taking out the trash is a thing of the past: All Austin restaurants will have to start composting by 2017, and restaurants 5,000 square feet and up only have until 2016. The Austin City Council approved the ordinance change today.

Don’t worry: your favorite restaurant isn’t tearing up the parking lot and turning it into a compost heap. Restaurants will be allowed take their pick of private contractors to pick up their food scraps and haul them off for composting.

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West Plant Explosion
4:15 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

Support Pours Into West, Texas

Christy Garcia waits in line to donate blood in Waco. "I cannot do much, but this I can do," says Garcia.
Mary Kang for KUT News

A massive explosion at a fertilizer plant shocked the 2,800-person town of West, Texas. The impact could be felt miles to the south, in Waco.

“We heard a loud thunder – but it was clear outside so we knew it wasn’t thunder,” said Dennis Gomez, a student at Baylor University. “We felt the apartment shake. We just looked at each other and knew it wasn’t good.”

Gomez was one of the hundreds who waited in line for a few hours to donate blood at Carter BloodCare in Waco the morning after the explosion.

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Austin Energy
4:27 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

Groups Urge City to Hold Vote on Independent Austin Energy Board

A coalition of activists, environmentalists and public citizens expressed concerns over City's move that would take away public accountaiblity
Ann Choi KUT News

A group of activists are adamant that only elected officials make up Austin’s Utility board.

Today at City Hall, a coalition of environmental groups urged the city council not to vote for an ordinance that would have non-elected individuals oversee the city-run utility, Austin Energy.

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Education
10:00 am
Fri April 5, 2013

Interactive Map: A Closer Look at Austin's English Language Learners

Check out the interactive version of this map, below.
Map Data @2013 Google

About 850,000 students in Texas are English language learners. That’s one in every six students, and their numbers are growing fast.

Last year, the State of Texas spent an average of $234 per English learning student.  By contrast, the Austin school district spent nearly $1,300 dollars per English learning student. That's five times the state average.

The maps below show the geographic distribution of the multilingual population of Austin ISD Area, by percent, as compared to Student Enrollment in AISD Bilingual or ESL programs, ages 5-17.

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Austin
3:28 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

APD: 250 More Cops by 2017?

Austin Police are teeing up their budget request to the City Council.
Nathan Bernier for KUT News

The Austin Police Department is recommending the city hire as many as 250 more officers by 2017 to meet population growth. The suggested number came from a study by the Police Executive Research Forum.

Austin follows a rough ratio of two officers per thousand residents as a staffing guideline. Currently there’s just over 1,700 APD officers meeting the staffing guideline. 

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Education
11:56 am
Mon April 1, 2013

A Closer Look at Austin's English Language Learners

AISD's dual language program comes at a cost, but educators say it helps English learners and native speakers alike in learning the ropes.
flickr.com/cryptic_star

About 850,000 students in Texas are English language learners. That’s one in every six students, and their numbers are growing fast.

Last year, the State of Texas spent an average of $234 per English learning student.  By contrast, the Austin school district spent nearly $1,300 dollars per English learning student. That's five times the state average.

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Texas
12:56 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Meet the Texas Conservation Corps

Texas Parks and Wildlife Director Brent Leisure swears in corp volunteers today.
Ann Choi, KUT News

A youth organization that worked as a secondary emergency-response team during the Central Texas wildfires has a new name.

Environmental Corps, a service program for American YouthWorks, is now the Texas Conservation Corps. American YouthWorks CEO Pac Smith announced the rebranding today, as nearly two dozen new members were sworn in at the Capitol.

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Texas
3:44 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

Interactive Map: Travis is Texas' Second Fastest Growing County

Booming production of oil and gas is just one of the reasons for the rapid population growth in Texas.

The U.S. Census Bureau reports Andrews County, near oil-rich Midland, is the state’s fastest growing county. But in second place, Travis County has attracted more than 71,000 people within two years.

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Women's Health
7:48 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Capitol Rally Shows Support for Planned Parenthood

Stephanie March addresses a rally for Planned Parenthood at the Capitol.
Ann Choi/KUT News

Planned Parenthood supporters marched on the Texas Capitol today to protest cuts to women’s health programs. Planned Parenthood says it had to close 51 clinics across Texas after state lawmakers cut it out of a program that funds health screenings and other basic services for low-income women. 

Their keynote speaker at today’s rally was Stephanie March, an actor from Dallas who appears on Law & Order: SVU.

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Lance Armstrong
4:44 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

Livestrong: We Are Bigger Than Our Founder

Livestrong Foundation marks its 16th anniversary this year
flickr.com/sfxeric

The Livestrong Foundation says it is bigger than its founder and it will survive past the scandal surrounding Lance Armstrong.

“I have to tell you that over the past months, I felt most indignant when our team’s credibility has been called into question as a result of something that had nothing to do with them," Andy Miller, the non-profit's vice president, said at the foundation's annual meeting today in Chicago.

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Austin
2:30 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Texas Retailers Sue Austin Over Single-Use Bag Ban (Update)

Businesses cannot provide single-use plastic bags starting Friday.
flickr.com/velkr0

Update: Alexandria Bruton, Public Information Specialist with the City of Austin, has issued the following statement on the bags lawsuit: 

“Although the City has not yet been served with the lawsuit, we are familiar with the allegations and we are prepared to defend the ordinance. We stand behind the intent of the ordinance and do not believe it poses a hardship to affected businesses. The City is committed to working with businesses to help them comply with the ordinance and offers a number of resources to make this process as easy as possible.”  

Original post: Austin’s ban on single-use bags starts Friday. But a business group hasn’t stopped fighting against it.

The Texas Retailers Association has filed a lawsuit against the city, arguing the ban is against the state's Health and Safety Code. “We are bringing this suit regarding a state statue that we only fairly recently became aware of, which says no local government may pass an ordinance that prohibits or restricts baggage or containers like plastic bags," association president Ronnie Volkening said. 

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Austin
2:15 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

Willie Nelson (or His Statue, At Least) Joins Austin Bag Campaign

Mayor Lee Leffingwell speaking at a press conference kicking off Austin's reusable bag awareness campaign.
Ann Choi, KUT News

Correction: The City of Austin disputes the expense of social media outreach in its reusable bag campaign. See the update below for more. 

Austin’s plastic bag ban goes into effect in eight days, and city officials are pulling in a celebrity endorsement for their campaign: Willie Nelson.

Or, his statue at least. 

"One bag just like the one Willie Nelson is holding literally can replace hundreds … six hundred or so … thin plastic bags that you see today,” city council member Mike Martinez said at a press conference in front of the bronze Nelson statue outside the ACL Live theater downtown.

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Women's Health
3:33 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

New Poll: Texans Support Funding Family Planning Services

The Texas Freedom Network says contrary to lawmakers, Texas voters support family planning services
Ann Choi, KUT News

A new poll finds support for state-funded family planning from Texans across race, religion and party affiliation.

The survey by the Texas Freedom Network Education Fund found more than 70 percent of registered Texas voters support family planning funding such as birth control. The finding includes groups thought to be more socially conservative, like Republican women, Hispanics and Catholics.

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The Lead
9:09 am
Thu February 14, 2013

The Lead: Vote on Independent Austin Energy Board, SXSW Film Wristbands on Sale

Some wonder if city council should be tasked with managing a utility the size of Austin Energy
Joy Diaz, KUT News

Happy Valentine's Day! The National Weather Service says Austin is looking to stay sunny with high 60s in this afternoon. 

Lead Story: Austin City Council votes today on a measure that could create an independent board to oversee Austin Energy. The resolution is sponsored by Mayor Lee Leffingwell, Mayor Pro Tem Sheryl Cole and Council Member Bill Spelman. 

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Health
8:52 am
Thu February 14, 2013

Another Way to Celebrate Valentine's Day: Learn CPR

When CPR is performed immediately after cardiac arrest occurs, a victim's survival rate can triple.
flickr.com/leppre

If your Valentine goes into cardiac arrest during dinner, Austin-Travis County EMS wants you to know how to help.

Austin-Travis County EMS is hosting free, hands-only CPR training sessions at Barton Creek Square mall from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. today. 

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Texas
2:24 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Photos: The Chris Kyle Funeral Procession Arrives in Austin (Update)

Supporters outside the Texas State Cemetery waited for Kyle's motorcade to arrive.
Luke Quinton for KUT News

Update: The funeral procession of Chris Kyle arrived in Austin around noon. Crowds of watchers lined  Interstate 35 and the Texas State Cemetery with flags and signs.

The procession was escorted by a motorcade which included 200 motorcycles, motor coaches, police cruisers, military personnel and first responders.

At least two Patriot Guard Riders who were riding ahead of the procession on its way to Austin were involved in an accident near Bell County according to Texas Department of Public Safety officials. They remain hospitalized.

Original Story:
Former Navy SEAL and "American Sniper" author Chris Kyle will be buried in Austin today.

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Austin
12:28 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Problems, Expenses and Delays for Bartholomew Pool

Bartholomew Pool was built in the 1960s.
City of Austin

The City of Austin’s Aquatic Division manages over 50 public pool facilities. The Bartholomew Pool, in particular, has demanded significant time and funding from the city since 2009.

Now, the city says the pool will need even more time and money before it's ready to reopen.

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Education
11:18 am
Wed February 6, 2013

Texas Lawmakers Take Stance on Gays Joining Boy Scouts (Updated)

The Boy Scouts of Amercia, one of the largest private youth organizations in the U.S., has prohibited gays from joining.
flickr.com/imcomkorea

Update: The Boy Scouts of America board delayed its vote on whether to end a ban on gay membership until May. 

Original Story (8:13 a.m.):More than 40 elected officials from across Texas have signed an open letter encouraging the Boy Scouts of America to maintain its current membership policy—which doesn’t allow gay members or scout masters.

Gov. Rick Perry made his stance on the issue clear last weekend. Now, lawmakers including Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Stapes are signing on to show their opposition to a change to the policy. A rally and prayer vigil at the Boy Scouts National headquarters in Irving has also been scheduled for this morning.

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Immigration
4:01 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

Rep. Joaquin Castro: A Path to Citizenship is Coming

Texas has the most at stake in the immigration debate, U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro said at the TAB conference in Austin.
Ann Choi/KUT News

With immigration reform on the agenda in Washington, U.S. Congressman Joaquin Castro of San Antonio predicted today that some sort of path to citizenship will be created for undocumented workers. 

At the annual Texas Association of Business conference today, Castro said the current immigration system creates a second class of people who can never gain citizenship. However, he believes that society's changed views on immigration ultimately will lead to change in policy. 

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University of Texas
1:55 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

Powers: 'Smarter Systems' Could Save UT-Austin $490 Million

The Committee says UT lags behind in faculty salaries, graduate student funding, undergraduate scholarships, and facilities amongst other public unviersities.
KUT News

University of Texas at Austin President Bill Powers says UT could save up to $490 million dollars over a decade by changing its operations system.  

Powers presented the cost-cutting recommendations, "Smarter Systems for a Greater UT "at a press conference today. The recommendation came from a committee of local business leaders Powers put together last April. The committee put forward measures raising the prices of housing, food and parking, outsourcing some parts of UT’s operation and commercializing UT-generated technology.

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