Austin Feldman

Intern for KUT News

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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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Environment
12:31 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

Texas Ranks Tenth in U.S. for Sustainable Building

UT's LEED Gold certified Student Activity Center.
University of Texas at Austin

Texas ranks tenth in the country in Leadership Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. That's according to a report issued by the U.S. Green Building Council, a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit that issues LEED certification.

The LEED 100-point scale rates the design, construction, and operation of buildings, neighborhoods, and homes to promote sustainable infrastructure. It looks at factors such as sustainability, water and energy efficiency, materials, indoor environmental quality, as well as design and innovation to issue one of four different levels of certification: Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum.

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Texas
9:49 am
Mon January 21, 2013

Four Texans Linked to Algerian Hostage Crisis

Map Data @2013 Google

There's been a lot of confusion in the aftermath of the four-day long hostage crisis at a remote Algerian natural gas production facility. KUT News takes a look at the information and tries to sort out the information relevant to Texas.

The siege ended in a violent standoff Saturday, after security forces stormed the natural gas production facility, leaving a preliminary count of 58 hostages dead. That number is likely to go up as more information becomes available. The New York Times reports “there are a good 20 bodies,” some badly burned, left to be identified.

Details are murky about who survived and who was lost during the siege, but what is known is that out of the reported 685 Algerian and 107 foreign workers at the plant, at least four Texans have been linked to the crisis.

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Austin
12:24 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

On Tap at U.S. Mayors Conference: Guns, Jobs and … MC Hammer?

Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell is heading to D.C. this week
Raymond Thompson for KUT News

If you’re looking for Mayor Lee Leffingwell this week, you may have to head beyond the dais. Mayor Leffingwell is joining fellow municipal leaders in Washington D.C. beginning Jan. 17, attending the U.S. Conference of Mayors 81st Winter Meeting.

Leffingwell will be listening to featured speakers including Vice President Joe Biden and members of  President Barack Obama’s cabinet, discussing issues facing America's mayors today.

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SXSW
10:48 am
Wed January 16, 2013

SXSW 2013: Several Films to Premiere in Austin

We're getting a first look at some of the films that will draw crowds at SXSW 2013.
Jeff Heimsath for KUT News

It's SXSW season, folks.

The South by Southwest Film Conference and Festival has announced part of the line up of films to premiere at the 20th edition of the festival.

The film festival will open with the world premiere of the Steve Carell comedy, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone. Carell, as Burt Wonderstone, partners with Steve Buscemi, to play superstar Las Vegas magicians whose careers face jeopardy when rival street-magician, Jim Carrey, begins outperforming the duo. Festival goers can catch the film one week before the theatrical release, March 15.

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Lance Armstrong
8:36 am
Wed January 9, 2013

Lance Armstrong's Celebrity Confessor: Oprah

Next week, Oprah Winfrey hosts Lance Armstong for a talk many expect will turn confession.
Winfrey photo flickr.com/vtkproductions; Armstrong photo Wikipedia user Haggisnl, bit.ly/WyMQEy

From his home in Austin, Lance Armstrong will speak with Oprah Winfrey for his first interview since having his seven Tour de France titles vacated.

It was a rough 2012 for Armstrong: He saw his wins vacated once he stopped fighting doping charges from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency last summer. USADA then issued a scathing report detailing alleged doping throughout Armstrong’s career. The fallout lead to Armstrong’s formal separation from the cancer organization he founded, Livestrong.

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