Carlos Morales

Intern

Intern for KUT News

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AM Update
8:25 am
Wed April 11, 2012

AM Update: Funeral, Escort for Slain Officer, Ron Paul Stays Put, Poor Prognosis for Gulf Coast

Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell (l) and Police Chief Art Acevedo (r) will speak at services for APD Officer Jaime Padron.
Leffingwell photo by Carlos Morales for KUT News; Padron photo courtesy APD; Acevedo photo by KUT News.

Funeral, Motorcade for Officer Padron Today

Mayor Lee Leffingwell and Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo are among the scheduled speakers at the funeral of a fallen APD officer today.

APD Senior Police Officer Jaime Padron will be laid to rest today. Padron was killed Friday while responding to a call at an area Wal-Mart early Friday morning, April 6.

Funeral services for Padron start at 11 a.m. at Shoreline Church on Burnet Road. The funeral will be with complete police honors. At the conclusion of the services, Padron’s body will be taken to San Angelo for burial.

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Austin
8:47 am
Mon April 9, 2012

AM Update: Funeral for Fallen Officer, Ron Paul's Texas Tour, Wal-Mart and Workers Compensation

Officer Jaime Padron was killed in shooting early Friday morning at an area Wal-Mart.
Images courtesy Austin Police Department

Funeral for Slain Officer

The public is invited to salute fallen Austin Police Officer Jaime Padron.

Padron was shot to death on Friday while responding to a call at a North Austin Wal-Mart.

Visitation is tomorrow from 6 to 8:00 p.m. at Cook-Walden Funeral Home at 6100 North Lamar Blvd. The funeral will be held this Wednesday at 11 a.m. at Shoreline Church on Burnet Road. Austin Cops for Charities, a local group that provides aid and support for the family of Austin officers, has created a donation fund for Padron’s family.

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AM Update
8:59 am
Fri April 6, 2012

AM Update: APD Officer Killed, More Abuse Allegations at State Hospitals, First TV Fest Comes to ATX

APD Chief Art Acevedo says an officer was killed early this morning.
Photo by KUT News

APD Officer Killed

An Austin Police Officer is dead after being shot while trying to arrest a suspect early this morning.

The officer was called to the Wal-Mart on Parmer and I-35 at around 2:20 a.m. When the officer arrived, police say he made contact with the suspect and the man immediately began to fight with the officer. Police say the suspect then pulled out a semi-automatic pistol and shot the officer at point-blank range in the neck area.

In a press conference, Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo said that two Wal-Mart employees tackled the suspect after he shot the police officer.  

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Environment
12:50 pm
Wed April 4, 2012

Austin Water Announces $125 Million Repair Program

Get ready to see a lot more of this: Austin Water announced a five-year pipe repair program today.
Photo by Carlos Morales for KUT News

Austin Water launched “Renewing Austin” today, a five-year program to replace 75 miles of old cast-iron waterlines. 

The announcement was made this morning at a construction site downtown, where old pipes were already being replaced.

“We’re going to try to replace about 15 miles of those projects every year for at least the next five years,” said Austin Water Director Greg Meszaros. “And hopefully much beyond that, and so we’re going to be investing ... millions dollars over the next five years to replace those projects that are high priority for us.”

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AM Update
8:15 am
Wed April 4, 2012

AM Update: Baylor Takes NCAA Title, Ron Paul's Primary Results, Texas Book Fest Name New Director

The Baylor Lady Bears made history last night, with a tourney win capping an undefeated season.

Baylor Women's Win NCAA Championship

Baylor University's women’s basketball team clinched the NCAA national championship last night, besting Notre Dame 80 to 61.

The win sent the Lady Bears into the history books, topping off their undefeated season and making them the first NCAA basketball team ever to win 40 games in a season.

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AM Update
7:40 am
Mon April 2, 2012

AM Update: Powers Defends UT Admissions, Baylor Women in NCAA Final, Leffingwell’s April Fools Prank

UT's race-conscious admissions policy has drawn increased scrutiny.

Powers Speaks Up for UT Admission Policies

University of Texas president William Powers Jr. defended UT’s admissions process, which looks at race as a factor, in The New York Times this weekend.

Powers applauded the university's "holistic review" policy, which allows it to look at more than just grades.

“If a company had 100 applications for five positions and just took the five with the highest grade point average without looking at anything else, I think people would be stunned,” he said. “Grades are important, but there are other important indicia, like leadership and diligence. Grades don’t tell us who is going to have a proclivity, or aptitude, for geosciences, fine arts or teaching.”

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AM Update
7:55 am
Wed March 28, 2012

AM Update: Downtown Wayfinding Takes Off, 'Daily Texan' Trayvon Martin Cartoon, New Lifeworks Campus

The city is seeking input on draft wayfinding recommendations tonight.
Photo by Daniel Reese for KUT News

Weigh In on Downtown Wayfinding

The City of Austin is hosting a community forum tonight on the Downtown Austin Wayfinding Program, asking residents to sound off on the “draft philosophy” of the plan.

What is wayfinding? It’s an effort to better direct commuters and visitors through downtown, pointing pedestrians and cyclists to the best travel paths, and drivers to parking spots. The city states:

Over the past few months, the Downtown Wayfinding Project team has analyzed existing conditions in and around Downtown Austin and interviewed stakeholders in the community to gain an understanding of how commuters, residents, visitors, and tourists move through downtown. From that, the team has drafted a philosophy for navigating Downtown Austin that will serve as a foundation for developing acomprehensivewayfinding system.

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Transportation
11:48 am
Mon March 26, 2012

‘Bulb-Outs’ Coming to South Congress

Pedestrians crossing South Congress will soon have less unprotected space to navigate.
Photo courtesy flickr.com/atmtx

In an effort to improve pedestrian safety and calm traffic, the city’s putting the squeeze on South Congress.

Construction starts today on an eight to 12-month project to “bulb-out,” or extend curbs on streets intersecting South Congress, shortening the crossing distance for pedestrians from 90 feet to 57 feet. The bulbs will take the form of concrete islands providing "pedestrian refuges," according to the city.

Of course, construction means traffic delays. The city states “One lane of traffic will be closed on S. Congress in the area where the contractor is working and one lane of traffic will be closed on the cross-streets with detours for the cross-streets.” Does that mean the bulbs are calming traffic already?

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AM Update
8:15 am
Mon March 26, 2012

AM Update: Discrimination Against Overweight Job Applicants, STAAR Test Begins, Baylor's NCAA Bow

A Victoria hospital is under fire for its ban on overweight applicants.
Photo illustration by Todd Wiseman, Texas Tribune

Victoria Hospital Bans Overweight Job Applicants

KUT News' reporting partner, The Texas Tribune, reports a hospital in Victoria, Texas, bans job applicants from employment for being too overweight.

The Citizens Medical Center policy, instituted a little more than a year ago, requires potential employees to have a body mass index of less than 35 — which is 210 pounds for someone who is 5-foot-5, and 245 pounds for someone who is 5-foot-10. It states that an employee’s physique “should fit with a representational image or specific mental projection of the job of a healthcare professional,” including an appearance “free from distraction” for hospital patients.

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AM Update
9:36 am
Fri March 23, 2012

AM Update: Federal Drug, Money Laundering Charges for Sixth St. Club Owner

The owner of several Sixth Street bars is accused of operating a drug and money laundering syndicate
Photo courtesy flickr.com/ kevharb

Sweeping Drug Bust Targets Nightclub Owner, Family

Ten individuals connected to a downtown Austin club circuit were arrested yesterday on drug trafficking, money laundering, and firearms charges. 

Yassine Enterprises, which owns Pure, Spill, Kiss & Fly, Stack Burger Bar, Treasure Island, Hyde, Fuel, Malaia and Roial, is at the center of a coordinated effort between Austin police, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, the FBI, IRS, and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

The investigation dates to 2007, and those taken into custody yesterday include Yassine Enterprises owner and President Hussein Ali "Mike" Yassine, his brothers Hadi Ali Yassine and Mohammed Ali Yassine, their assistant Marisse Marthe Ruales and six others.  Cocaine distribution and over $200,000 in money-laundered cash are two charges in the investigation, and authorities suspect the clubs involved were fronts for these and other illegal activities.

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AM Update
8:03 am
Wed March 21, 2012

AM Update: The Supreme Court and Texas Death Row, Pro Day at UT, Ron Paul’s Illinois Results

Two Texas Death Row inmates have hopes set on yesterday's U.S. Supreme Court ruling.
Photo illustration by Todd Wiseman, Texas Tribune

Supreme Court Decision Affects Death Row Inmates?

Two Texas death row inmates, including one who is set to be executed next week, hope a ruling yesterday from the U.S. Supreme Court will give them another chance to prove their innocence or that their crimes don’t warrant the death penalty.

KUT’s reporting partner, The Texas Tribune, reports the high court’s ruling in a case out of Arizona, Martinez v. Ryan, could expand appeals access for inmates:

The nation’s highest court ruled that the failure of initial state habeas lawyers to argue that their client’s trial counsel was ineffective should not prevent the defendant from making that argument later on.

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AM Update
8:45 am
Mon March 19, 2012

AM Update: Texas' Middling Corruption Grade, Sidewalk Cafe for Congress Ave., Flash Flood Warning

Texas doesn't make it easy to follow the money, according to a study on corruption safeguards.
Photo courtesy Andrew Magill, flickr.com/amagill

Texas Gets a Low Grade in Corruption Protection

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AM Update
8:25 am
Mon March 12, 2012

AM Update: Celebrating Leslie's Life, UT Makes March Madness Cut, Rain to Continue

Leslie Cochran flashes the "Hook 'Em" sign.
Photo by Valerie Romness

Austinites Bid Farewell to Leslie Cochran at Memorial

Family, friends and fans of Leslie Cochran, Austin’s cross-dressing, homeless icon who died last week, celebrated his life yesterday.

The rain held and the sun came out for the hundred or so people gathered at Lady Bird Lake wearing tiaras, boas, and even Speedos. Marita Heydon was one of them. She shared a story about first seeing Leslie camped outside of a drugstore protesting the fact that they had mistreated him.

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SXSW
9:07 am
Mon March 5, 2012

AM Update: Leslie in Hospice, Bastrop Judge Resigns, More Police at SXSW

Austin Homeless Icon Leslie Transferred to Hospice

Local transgendered celebrity, Leslie Cochran, was transferred out of hospital care and into an area hospice provider this weekend says community activist and friend, Debbie Russell. Russell says Leslie remains in critical condition and is receiving comfort care.

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Texas
8:55 am
Fri February 24, 2012

AM Update: 'Hog Out' in Hardeman, Details on UT Athletics Firing, and Santorum's Austin Stop

These feral hogs are on the Texas "most wanted list," according to Ag Commissioner Todd Staples.
Photo courtesy US Fish and Wildlife

Hardeman County Wins "Hog Out Challenge"

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austin
9:02 am
Mon February 13, 2012

Top Morning Stories 2/13/12: Districts React to STAAR, Texas on Top in Exporting

At their headquarters on West Sixth tonight, AISD will consider the role the STAASR test should play in determining students' grades.
KUT News

STAAR-Crossed Educators Take Second Look at Test

Districts from across Texas are finding ways to curtail a component of the STAAR exam that makes the test  count towards students' grade-point averages and class rank, according to the Austin American-Statesman. The move comes in the wake of a growing unease with the role of standardized testing.

While the exam is required by law to compose 15 percent of a student's grade in each course, no specific guideline for doing so exists. With that leeway, individual districts are taking the reins into their own hands. Georgetown and Pflugerville, for example, have set minimum scores on end-of-course exams at 60 and 69, respectively.

In Austin, AISD has polled parents on several potential courses of action. Currently, all of the proposed options would affect class rank.  But now with the actions of surrounding districts, AISD is poised to change how they'll incorporate the scores.

The Austin school board will meet today to discuss end-of-course exams. The meeting is at 6:30 p.m., Carruth Administration Center Board Auditorium, Room B100, 1111 W. Sixth St.

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Texas
8:41 am
Mon February 6, 2012

Top Morning Stories 2/6/12: Perry's Public Return, Testing Foes Sharpen Criticism

Rick Perry and supporters in Iowa. Perry's speech tonight will mark his first public appearance since returning to Texas.
Photo by Ben Philpott for KUT News

Governor to Speak at Reagan Dinner

Gov. Rick Perry will be the keynote speaker tonight at the annual Williamson County Reagan Dinner.

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Austin
8:45 am
Mon January 30, 2012

Top Morning Stories 1/30/12: AISD Out of Financial Emergency?

Austin ISD is expected to lift a declaration of financial exigency at a board meeting tonight.
Photo by KUT News

School Board to Withdraw Financial Exigency

The Austin ISD board is expected to withdraw the district's declaration of financial exigency at a board meeting tonight. AISD declared itself to be in a state of fiscal emergency last February, which allowed the district to cut more than 1,000 positions. The district says they now have enough money in reserve to cover an anticipated deficit year. 

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Austin
8:52 am
Mon January 23, 2012

Top Morning Stories 1/23/12: Public Hearing on AISD Bond Money

AISD Headquarters located on 1111 W. 6 street.
Photo by KUT News

AISD Public Hearing on Bond Money

During the Austin ISD’s school board meeting tonight there will be a public hearing on how to spend the 2008 Bond Program's contingency funds. The 2008 bond initiative gave the district $343 million to spend on projects to meet new health requirements and to upgrade technology.

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