Austin Feldman

Intern for KUT News

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Transportation
6:43 am
Thu April 4, 2013

MetroRail Service Back Up & Running After Disruption (Update)

Some MetroRail Service was suspended Wednesday.
KUT News

Update: Capital Metro says MetroRail service is back up and running as normal this morning – all the way from Leander to downtown Austin.

Derailed freight cars have been removed from the tracks.

Original Story (April 4, 2013): CapMetro has resumed MetroRail service to the MLK station from their Kramer, Howard and Leander Stations. Trains will run as schedule for the foreseeable future while buses will shuttle passengers between MLK and downtown.

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Austin
9:51 am
Wed April 3, 2013

Weather Roundup: Inches of Rain Fall on Central Texas

A flooded Lamar Boulevard yesterday.
Reddit user bfv13

Rain fell hard on Central Texas Tuesday evening and again last night. And, according to our weather partner, more is in the forecast. YNN reports there's a 50 percent chance for showers and storms later today.

The National Weather Service reports the 24-hour rain total was 2.88 inches at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. One of the highest reported totals was 5.03 inches at the Colorado River in Smithville.

You can check the precipitation report for the last 24 hours from the National Weather Service here.

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2013 Legislative Sesssion
3:25 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

Perry, Cruz, Castro Bros. Face Off Over Medicaid Expansion (Update)

From left: U.S. Sens. John Cornyn, Ted Cruz and Gov. Rick Perry argued against expanding Texas Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Update: The biggest Republicans in Texas stood side-by-side today and argued against expanding Texas Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz said it doesn’t matter if the federal government has offered to cover the full cost of the expansion for the first three years and 90 percent thereafter.

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Austin
10:19 am
Wed March 20, 2013

One Week Left to Apply for Austin's New Municipal Civil Service Commission

City workers rally at City Hall in 2011. Most city employees have greater labor protections under Prop 10 passed in November.
KUT News

There is one week left to apply for the five-member Municipal Civil Service Commission. It's part of Proposition 10 that Austin voters approved in November. It establishes a municipal service system for most city employees.

According to the City of Austin, the Municipal Civil Service Commission will help to establish certain personnel rules. The commission will then make final decisions on appeals of disciplinary actions by most City of Austin employees. The commission is expected to hear cases from city employees or are fired, demoted or denied a promotion.

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Austin
2:57 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

Austin Cops Cracking Down on Aggressive I-35 Drivers Next Week

Austin Police will be looking for aggressive I-35 drivers starting Sunday.
flickr.com/rutlo

The Austin Police Department wants to curb aggressive driving on Interstate 35. Starting Sunday, March 17, APD and other law enforcement agencies will increase their operations along the I-35 corridor. The crackdown will continue until Saturday, March 23.

APD says they’ll be looking for those who speed, tailgate, pass emergency vehicles, and fail to signal or wear a seat belt.

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SXSW
11:47 am
Wed March 13, 2013

First Welcome to SXSW Visitors? Austin's Compost Fire Stench

Before SXSW visitors flying into Austin reach downtown, they're greeted by the smell of burning compost near the airport.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Austin Water is still working with the fire department to extinguish an ongoing compost fire at the Hornsby Bend Biosolids Plant.

The fire started at the waste management facility more than two weeks ago, on Monday, Feb. 25. While water utility officials have seen a reduction of smoke from the smoldering heaps – especially with help from a rainy weekend – the surrounding area still smells.

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Austin
12:32 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

Go Fly a Kite: Zilker Kite Festival

The 85th annual Zilker Kite Festival happens this Sunday.
flickr.com/sonicpenguin

Kites will be flying high over Zilker Park as the Zilker Kite Festival returns to Austin this Sunday. This year marks the 85th edition of the festival—making it the oldest festival of its kind in the nation.

The festival was founded in 1929 by the Exchange Club of Austin and has been held at Zilker Park since it opened in 1936. The festival will last from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.

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Austin
1:30 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

What's the State of the Austin Music Industry?

Street performers play during SXSW 2012. Austin Music People says the city gains $1.7 billion from live music and related tourism.
Jeff Heimsath for KUT News

Austin Music People this week presented "The State of the Austin Music Industry" – a biennial white paper that looks at the economic and cultural impacts of what it means to be the “Live Music Capital of the World."

Austin Music People or "AMP" aims to promote the Austin music industry by bringing local leaders together with Austin music professionals to address the needs of both groups and to determine what can be done to foster the city’s rapid growth and thriving entertainment culture.

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Texas
12:27 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

Jeb & George P. Bush Talk Texas Education Reform (Update)

Jeb Bush speaking to the Texas Senate Committee on Education this morning.
Ben Philpott, KUT News

Update: This morning, Jeb Bush had much to say on education reform and potential strategies Texas can use to ensure student achievement. His main point was, basically, if you want success, you have to fund it.

“A lesson we learned is put money behind the reforms and you’ll get better results," Bush said. "There’s enough money in the system. This whole argument that somehow we’re not funding schools adequately and I know it’s a big debate here. I would argue that maybe we should be funding the first things first. Put the priorities where you want to see the results and you’ll get a significantly better result.”

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FOOD
10:23 am
Sat February 23, 2013

Study: Something Fishy About Austin Seafood - It's Mislabeled

All 10 sushi restaurants Oceana examined in Austin and Houston were found to sell mislabeled fish.
Jenn Hueting/Oceana

According to a new study from ocean conservation advocates Oceana, one-third of the nation’s seafood is mislabeled.

Oceana collected 1,200 seafood samples from 674 retail outlets in 21 states to determine if they were honestly labeled. Mislabeling occurred anywhere from 87 percent (red snapper) to seven percent  (salmon) depending on the kind of fish.

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Austin
11:23 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Fighting Crime by Fixing 'Broken Windows' in Rundberg Area

Austin Police have committed to "restoring" the Rundberg Neighborhood.
Erika Aguilar, KUT News

The Austin Police Department is taking steps to improve the Rundberg area as part of the Restore Rundberg Project. APD is conducting a Vehicle Abatement initiative: tagging and towing vehicles that are in violation of city ordinances and state laws.

It might seem trivial for police to address crime with efforts that target illegally parked cars, but University of Texas at Austin Associate Professor of Sociology and Consultant to the Restore Rundberg Project David Kirk says that it addresses a bigger sociological issue known as the Broken Window theory.

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Austin
10:33 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Handbag Drive Gives Domestic Violence Victims Handle on Hope

Each handbag is equiped with a discreet purse tag featuring the Project's hotline number before being delivered to shelters across Texas.
Texas Advocacy Project

The Texas Advocacy Project and the Travis County Sheriff’s Office are launching its annual “Handbags for Hope” drive.

The sixth annual installment of the drive asks Austin-area residents to donate new and gently used handbags to give to domestic violence victims.

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Business
7:55 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Austin Company NetSpend Acquired for $1.4 Billion

Austin-based NetSpend is being acquired for $1.4 billion.
netspend.com

One of the largest public companies in Central Texas is changing hands. Austin-based NetSpend Holdings Inc. has agreed to be acquired by Total System Services (TSYS) for around $1.4 billion.

TSYS is a payment processing company based in Columbus, Georgia. It provides credit solutions to financial institutions, businesses, and governments in more than 80 countries.

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Austin
6:16 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Mount Bonnell May See Changes - Public Meeting Tonight

Relax: No change is being proposed to Mount Bonnell's view.
flickr.com/atmtx

Update: For all those interested in voicing their opinions over potential changes to the iconic Austin destination, you can do that today at 6:30 p.m. during a public meeting at the Mayfield House and Nature Preserve.

Original Story (Feb. 8, 12:40 p.m.): Alluring Austin overlook Mount Bonnell may see some slight changes.

The Austin Parks and Recreation Department is partnering with the West Point Society of Central Texas to make updates at the historic park. The City of Austin is holding a community engagement meeting to field public input on the potential changes to the park.

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Texas
10:05 am
Mon February 18, 2013

Two Bryan Firefighters Killed, Two Expected to Survive Injuries

Eric Wallace, left, and Greg Pickard, right, died battling a fire in Bryan.
City of Bryan

Two Bryan Firefighters remain in serious but stable condition today after a deadly fire on Friday. Two other Bryan firefighters were killed.

Fire Lieutenant Eric Wallace, 36, died in the line of duty and Fire Lieutenant Greg Pickard, 54, passed away late Saturday afternoon as a result of his injuries. Firefighters Ricky Mantey and Mitch Moran are being treated for burns at a Galveston hospital.

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Austin
7:27 am
Mon February 18, 2013

Livestrong Marathon Organizers See Little Effect From Armstrong Scandal (Updated)

The 2013 Livestrong Marathon was held this weekend.
flickr.com/benmillett

Update: Omar Martinez, 27, was the overall winner at this year's Austin Marathon. He finished the 26.2 miles in just over 2 hours and 35 minutes. Kyle Smith, 26, was the fastest finisher from Austin. He came in 4th place overall.

Thirty-one year old Mariko Neveu of Austin took first place among the women. She finished in just over 2 hours and 55 minutes.

You can check your own, your friend's, or any other competitor's time at the Austin Marathon results page.

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Sports
11:45 am
Wed February 6, 2013

Why Texas Might Limit Full-Contact Football Practice

Full-contact football practices could be curtailed under a House proposal.
flickr.com/shutterdog

With all  the talk of football player safety at the professional level, it's not surprising that some Texas lawmakers are talking about requiring more precautions for younger athletes.

Texas currently allows 30 days of full-contact practice for high school and middle school athletes, but this could soon change.

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SXSW
3:35 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

City to Step Up Permit Enforcement Over SXSW

Enhanced permit enforcement could mean more violations for businesses, vendors, and venues over SXSW.
Jeff Heimsath for KUT News

Planning to put an event on this South By Southwest? Well, you'll need a permit for that.

With just over a month until Austin’s South by Southwest festival begins, the city’s special events office has received a flurry of permit applications – everything from noise permits, to food service, to construction permits for big soundstages.

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Education
9:30 am
Wed January 30, 2013

AISD STAAR Passing Rate Higher/Lower Than Statewide

AISD elementary school students had higher passing rates than the statewide rate but middle schoolers had lower passing rates.
Austin Feldman

Austin elementary school students performed strongly in the new State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) exams. Middle schoolers didn't do quite as well.

Overall, the AISD passing rates for the STAAR—the standardized test that replaces the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS)—ranged from 82 percent in third and fourth grade reading to 58 percent in eighth grade social studies. Passing rates for most tests topped 70 percent.

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Sports
9:19 am
Thu January 24, 2013

Prosecutor: No Charges for Longhorns McCoy, Hicks (Update)

Case McCoy (left) and Jordan Hicks have been reinstated to the Longhorns football team.
UT Football, KUT News

Update: Case McCoy and Jordan Hicks will not face charges stemming from an alleged sexual assault in San Antonio on the eve of the Alamo Bowl.

The San Antonio Express-News reports: 

[Bexar County] Assistant District Attorney Cliff Herberg said his office reviewed details of the investigation into Jordan Hicks and Case McCoy, but that no case was formally filed. Police informed the district attorney's office that the investigation is closed, Herberg said.

Original post (Jan. 14, 8:14 a.m.): University of Texas at Austin football players Case McCoy and Jordan Hicks have been reinstated to the team after they were suspended for violating team rules.

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