Crystal Chavez, KUT News

Morning Edition Producer

Crystal Chavez has been at KUT since January 2007.  She currently produces the Central Texas content for Morning Edition and starts her day in the newsroom at 4:30 a.m.  Crystal is a 2005 graduate of the University of Texas at Austin’s College of Communication.  Her hometown is Corpus Christi, Texas.

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News Brief
5:24 am
Wed December 8, 2010

Top Morning Stories December 8, 2010

Elizabeth Edwards getting ready for an interview with KUT News in 2007.
Photo by Tiffany Jenkins for KUT.

Elizabeth Edwards Passes Away at 61

Elizabeth Edwards, the estranged wife of former Senator and Vice Presidential hopeful John Edwards, died Tuesday at her home in North Carolina.

Mrs. Edwards was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004, the day her husband’s running mate conceded defeat to George W. Bush in that year’s presidential election.

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News Brief
6:06 am
Tue December 7, 2010

Top Morning Stories December 7, 2010

The Associated Press reports a mental evaluation is scheduled for Army Major Nidal Hasan this week; it could happen today.
Sketch courtesy of Pat Lopez.

Mental Exam Scheduled for Hasan

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News Brief
6:09 am
Mon December 6, 2010

Top Morning Stories December 6, 2010

TCU will play Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl on New Year's Day.

A Handful of Texas Teams are Going Bowling

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News Brief
5:08 am
Fri December 3, 2010

Top Morning Stories December 3, 2010

The recount results are in and Incumbent Democrat Donna Howard is still the winner in the Texas House District 48 race.

Howard Wins Recount

The recount is over for the Texas House District 48 race.  The recount shows Incumbent Democrat Donna Howard won re-election to her seat by just 12 votes.  That's a narrower win than the original vote tally, which had her ahead by 16 votes after Election Day.  Howard's Republican challenger Dan Neil requested the recount.  But the race may still not be over.  Neil has another option to challenge the results. 

Aponte Indictments Reveal More Theft

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News Brief
6:18 am
Thu December 2, 2010

Top Morning Stories December 2, 2010

State Rep. Donna Howard (D-Austin) sits and watches results trickle in at the Driskill Hotel where the Democratic Party was holding its Election Night party Nov. 2nd. Howard won by 16 votes, but Republican challenger Dan Neil asked for a recount.
Photo by Jeff Heimsath for KUT News

HD 48 Recount Underway

A Travis County committee has started recounting the votes in the House District 48 race.  The recount could be done by this afternoon.  Initial voting results showed Incumbent Democrat Donna Howard won re-election by just 16 votes.  Her Republican challenger Dan Neil requested the votes be counted again.

Residents Returning to Ciudad Mier

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News Brief
6:31 am
Wed December 1, 2010

Top Morning Stories December 1, 2010

Photo courtesy of Sully Pixel, http://www.flickr.com/photos/jonathansull/68997406/

World AIDS Day

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News Brief
6:08 am
Tue November 30, 2010

Top Morning Stories November 30, 2010

The City of Buda is holding a public workshop tonight to get input on its long range plan for growth and development.
Photo by KUT News.

Planning the Future of Buda

The City of Buda, just south of Austin in Hays County, is growing fast.  City officials are looking for input on Buda’s long range comprehensive plan.    Think of it as a “blue print” for the future of the city.  People can give their input at a public workshop tonight at Buda Elementary starting at six thirty. 

Domestic Violence Shelter Full

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Transportation
5:20 pm
Mon November 29, 2010

See What Austin's Urban Rail Vehicle Could Look Like

Oregon Ironworks is building this urban rail vehicle for Portland and Tuscon. The City of Austin is considering building an urban rail system of its own.
Photo by Caleb Bryant Miller for KUT News

The City of Austin showed off an urban rail car at the Palmer Events Center today. The vehicle is already being manufactured for the cities of Portland and Tuscon.

It’s part of the ongoing campaign to get Austinites on board for an urban rail line that would run from the Mueller neighborhood through downtown to the airport. 

Building the line would cost $1.3 billion, and city council is considering asking taxpayers to approve a bond package in 2012.

News Brief
6:03 am
Mon November 29, 2010

Top Morning Stories November 29, 2010

Online retailers are hoping to see sales go through the roof today for the industry created holiday Cyber Monday.
Photo by KUT News.

Houston Going Green?


When it comes to "green" cities, Houston may not be the first city to come to mind.  But as our political reporting partner, the Texas Tribune reports, the oil capital is embarking on several environmentally friendly initiatives.  Houston has opened a weekly farmers market, is the nation’s largest municipal buyer of green power, and has a competitive program to encourage businesses to save water and energy.

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Shopping
1:51 pm
Fri November 26, 2010

Austinites Scoring Black Friday Deals

Photo by KUT News.

Lines varied from store to store but people were out in force getting a start to their Christmas shopping.  Shoppers told KUT the lines depended on what store you went to…and at what time.


La France Yarbrough said checkout was pretty fast at an Austin Walmart at about 3:30 a.m. He bought a new 42 inch TV before heading to Best Buy to look for a bluetooth.

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News Brief
6:29 am
Fri November 26, 2010

Top Morning Stories November 26, 2010

Cody Johnson rushed for 107 yards during the Texas A&M game Thanksgiving night. The Longhorns fell to the Aggies, 24-17.
Photo courtesy of MackBrown-TexasFootball.com

Horns Lose to the Aggies


The Texas Longhorns wrapped up a losing season with a loss to Texas A&M last night.  The no. 17 Aggies beat Texas 24-17.  The loss means the Horns more than likely will not play in a bowl game.  With a 5-7 finish this year, Head Coach Mack Brown has a lot of evaluating to do of his players... and coaches.


Brrr! It's Cold Out There

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Texas
1:20 pm
Wed November 24, 2010

Longhorns Must Beat A&M To Play a Bowl Game

Longhorns head coach Mack Brown
Photo by KUT News

The Aggies are in town tomorrow for one of the biggest rivalry games in college football.  Longhorn fans are hoping Texas plays with confidence following last weekend’s Florida Atlantic win.  Texas A&M is ranked 17. 

Head Coach Mack Brown praised Texas A&M's defense and acknowledged he’s not happy being the underdog going into the Thanksgiving Day game. 

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News Brief
5:58 am
Wed November 24, 2010

Top Morning Stories November 24, 2010

Republican Dan Neil is requesting a recount for the Texas House District 48 seat.

 Neil Seeking a Recount

Republican Dan Neil is asking for a recount. Neil lost the race for the Texas House District 48 seat to incumbent Donna Howard by 16 votes.  Neil’s campaign manager told KUT he filed the paperwork for the recount yesterday. 

Jury Deliberations Day 3

Today will be the third day of jury deliberations in former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's trial.  Before going home yesterday, jurors said they were making progress. 

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Events
12:53 pm
Tue November 23, 2010

Thousands Expected at Feast of Sharing

Stirring up the food for the 2009 Feast of Sharing. Today's event is expected to bring out thousands.
Photo by Gretch Sanders for KUT

Many Austinites will be celebrating Thanksgiving a little early today.  The 21st annual H-E-B Feast of Sharing is from 4- 8 p.m. at the Palmer Events Center.  The event is free and open to the public.  Santa himself is rumored to be making an appearance.

Thousands are expected to attend.  So what does it take to feed that many people? H-E-B says there will be:

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News Brief
6:36 am
Tue November 23, 2010

Top Morning Stories November 23, 2010

The Austin School Board has approved performance measures Superintendent Meria Carstarphen would have to meet this year to get up to $25,000 in bonuses.
Photo by KUT News.

AISD Action on Superintendent Bonuses, Student Transfers

Austin Independent School District Superintendent Meria Carstarphen could get a bonus of up to 25-thousand dollars if she meets certain performance measures this school year.  The school Board approved those measures during their meeting last night.  To get the bonus, Carstarphen would have to meet objectives including:

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News Brief
5:28 am
Mon November 22, 2010

Top Morning Stories November 22, 2010

Closing arguments are today in former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's trial.
Photo by Erik Reyna for KUT News.

Lawyers to Make Final Pitches in DeLay's Trial


Closing arguments are set for today in Tom DeLay's money laundering trial in Austin.  Prosecutors say the former U.S. House majority leader helped illegally funnel $190,000 in corporate money to Texas candidates in 2002.  DeLay's attorneys say the money swap at the center of the case was legal.  He faces up to life in prison if convicted.


Dallas Firm to Design Formula 1

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News Brief
6:39 am
Fri November 19, 2010

Top Morning Stories November 19, 2010

U.S. Rep. Charlie Gonzalez (D-Texas) is chosen to head the Congressional Hispanic Conference
Image courtesy of the Office of Representative Charlie Gonzalez

Hispanic Caucus Elects New Chair

San Antonio Democrat Charlie Gonzalez has been elected chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.  My SA news reports the Caucus unanimously picked Gonzalez.  The six-term lawmaker says he plans to reach out to five newly elected Hispanic Republicans and ask them to join the caucus.  Gonzalez starts his new leadership role when the 112th Congress convenes in January.

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Environment
12:52 pm
Thu November 18, 2010

WTP4 Heats Up Austin City Council Meeting

City Council is taking some key votes Thursday to move Water Treatment Plant 4 forward.
Graphic courtesy of the City of Austin.

Speaker after speaker spoke out for and against Water Treatment Plant 4 during this morning's Austin City Council meeting.  Council members are voting on about $300 million remaining in construction contracts for the plant.  (Take a closer look at the contracts on the council agenda here)

Bill Bunch, executive director of the Save Our Springs Alliance, repeated his plea to council members to vote against the project.  He thinks it’s a waste of money:

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News Brief
6:09 am
Thu November 18, 2010

Top Morning Stories November 18, 2010

Defense testimony continues today in Tom DeLay's trial. The defense is focusing on when the former U.S. House majority leader learned about the money swap at the center of the money laundering case.
Photo by Erik Reyna for KUT News.

TCEQ Sunset to be Released

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News Brief
5:28 am
Wed November 17, 2010

Top Morning Stories November 17, 2010

The makers of Four Loko have announced plans to pull the caffeine out of their caffeinated alcoholic drinks.
Photo courtesy of Kyle James, http://www.flickr.com/photos/jameskm03/5162509741/

Back to Class in RRISD Following Bomb Threat

Students at Deerpark Middle School and Live Oak Elementary School in the Round Rock Independent School District are having classes as usual today.  The schools were evacuated yesterday after a bomb threat was made on the Internet. Superintendent Dr. Jesus H. Chavez posted this update online last night:

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