Divya Darsi

Intern

Intern for KUT News

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AM Update
8:21 am
Thu May 10, 2012

AM Update: UT Law School's New Dean, Sales Tax Revenues Rise, Fat Lady Sings for San Antonio Opera?

Former UT Law Dean Larry Sager tendered his resignation last December. He now works as a faculty professor.
Photo courtesy of Marsha Miller for the University of Texas

UT Announces New Dean of Law School

Ward Farnsworth, an associate dean at Boston University’s Law School, will replace Interim Dean Stefanie Lindquist as leader of the law school on June 1.

Before joining Boston University, Farnsworth clerked for Richard Posner on the 7th U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals and Anthony Kennedy on the U. S. Supreme Court.

Farnsworth say his first order of business is "learning from the faculty, the alumni and the rest of the community down there about their views and abilities, and how we can use them to advance the mission of the school," reports the Alcade.

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Texas
11:55 am
Tue May 8, 2012

Davy Crockett, King of the Auction House

A letter from David Crockett, drafted some six months before his death at the Alamo, is for sale.
Letter image courtesy rrauction.com

A letter written by famed frontiersman Davy Crockett on the eve of his trip to Texas is being sold at auction.

The letter, dated September 30, 1835, is Crockett’s reply to a dinner invitation. The reply was written while he was still living in Tennessee, before he moved to Texas and about six months before Crockett’s death in the Alamo, according to RR Auction.

Crockett had recently lost his seat in Congress and displayed his distaste for politics in the letter. He states his desire not to attend a political dinner and only accepts due to the social nature of the event.

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AM Update
8:20 am
Tue May 8, 2012

AM Update: Voter ID Trial Delayed, Longhorns Arrested Downtown, Paul Qui Wins James Beard Award

In 2011, Gov. Rick Perry signed SB14, Texas' Voter ID law.
Photo courtesy flickr.com/texasgovernor

Texas’ Voter ID Law in Legal Limbo

Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Justice ruled that if Texas does not hand over requested documentation by Wednesday, the trial on Texas’ Voter ID Law will most likely be delayed. A delay in the trial means that Texas will not see the law implemented in time for the November election, according to the Texas Tribune.

The trial was scheduled to start July 9, until yesterday’s decision. The DOJ is specifically requesting information on voters and state databases; the state has until Wednesday to comply, says the Tribune.

KUT News previously reported that the DOJ had previously used demographic and census data to argue the  law would have a disproportionate impact on minority citizens.

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AM Update
8:05 am
Thu May 3, 2012

AM Update: Texas State Joins Sun Belt Conference, Cyclists Ride for Safety, Lawmakers Talk Taxes

A “ghost bike” represents a cyclist killed while on a ride. In a demonstration tonight, cyclists hope to spur changes that will help prevent crashes involving cyclists.
Photo courtesy Jason Thompson via the Please BE KIND to Cyclists Facebook page

Texas State University Celebrates Move to the Sun Belt Conference

Texas State University is holding a reception for students today to mark the upcoming move to the Sun Belt Conference. The reception will give students an opportunity to meet and visit with head coaches and athletic administrators to discuss the move.

Texas State University President Denise Trauth announced yesterday that the university will join the Sun Belt Conference in 2013-2014 season.

Right now, eleven schools participate in the Sun Belt Conference. Georgia State will also join the conference in 2013. Texas State and Georgia State will join Arkansas State, Arkansas-Little Rock, Florida Atlantic, Florida International, UL-Lafayette, UL-Monroe, Middle Tennessee, North Texas, South Alabama, Troy and Western Kentucky.

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City Council Elections
1:20 pm
Tue May 1, 2012

Austin Early Voting: With These Totals, Your Vote Matters

Students smiling and laughing - but not voting - outside the Flawn Academic Center
Photo by Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Early voting in the Austin city elections is in full swing – i.e., characteristically low.

Turnout for Monday, April 30, the first day of early voting, shows a total of 2,174 votes. That’s only .37 percent of registered voters. One third of one percent.

Some areas are attracting more voters than others. North Austin’s Ben Hur Shriners Hall at 7811 Rockwood Ln., led the pack with 180 total votes. A Randall's grocery store in Northwest Austin, at Research Boulevard and Braker Lane, pulled in 175 votes. And the Travis County offices on Airport Boulevard nabbed 169 votes.

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University of Texas
11:23 am
Tue May 1, 2012

No Arrests at Second UT Sweatshop Protest

Protests calling for stricter monitoring of factories producing UT apparel continued this week.
Photo by Divya Darsi for KUT News

Two weeks after 17 students were arrested in a similar protest, members of the Make UT Sweatshop-Free Coalition conducted another sit-in yesterday.

The sit-in was held in the University of Texas Tower with more than 40 students participating. At about 5 p. m. yesterday, the students left the Tower after warnings from police they could be arrested, said the Austin American-Statesman. At 8 p.m. on Sunday night, a candlelight vigil of students, faculty and community members convened in front of UT Austin President Bill Powers’ house; the vigil was led by Pastor Jim Rigby.

As KUT News previously reported, the coalition wants UT to join the Workers Rights Consortium, an independent monitoring organization that conducts investigations of working conditions in factories. A statement on the WRC homepage specifically mentions their goal to protect the rights of workers who make clothes.

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AM Update
8:01 am
Tue May 1, 2012

AM Update: County Considers Apple Again, West Texas Wildfires, San Marcos Talks Alcohol in Parks

Travis County commissioners will review an Apple incentives deal this morning
Photo courtesy flickr.com/atmtx

County Considers Apple Incentives, Again

The Travis County Commissioners Court will review an economic agreement with computing giant Apple today.

The City of Austin has pledged an estimated $8 million in tax rebates to bring the company here, and the state’s Texas Enterprise Fund is offering another $21 million in incentives. But in order for those to go through, the county must also approve a deal to bring Apple here. It would involve Travis County giving Apple between $5.4 and $6.4 million dollars in tax rebates over 15 years. So far, the agreement has been discussed at several Commissioners Court meetings, but hasn’t been finalized yet.

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AM Update
8:39 am
Thu April 26, 2012

AM Update: Lakes Travis & Buchanan Low, Ron Paul Speaks at UT, Perry Endorses Romney

Lake Travis remains low due to dry conditions in April, despite the rains we received in March.
Reshma Kirpalani, KUT News

Lakes Travis and Buchanan Still Low

According to the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA), lakes Travis and Buchanan remain low –less than half full to be exact.

Texas saw an increase in rainfall last month but that hasn’t been enough to raise water levels in the Highland Lakes. As of April 25, lakes Travis and Buchanan combined are about 48 percent full; that’s much lower compared to last April when the lakes were 71 percent full.

The record-setting drought last year hit the Highland Lakes hard; the lack of rain brought the amount of water flowing into the lakes, called inflows, to a record low. The rains this March caused inflows to surpass the historical average, but with dry weather this month the inflow levels have not hit their normal average.

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AM Update
8:04 am
Thu April 19, 2012

AM Update: Student Occupiers Arrested at UT, Honoring Walter Cronkite, Discussing Wildfire Response

Protesters were arrested for occupying UT President Bill Powers' office yesterday.
Photo by Nathan Bernier for KUT News

UT Students Protest for Workers Rights

The Daily Texan reports a total of 19 protesters, not all of them students, were arrested yesterday for occupying UT President Bill Powers’ office. They were there in protest against alleged sweatshop-like conditions where UT apparel is produced.

The protesters are members of the Make UT Sweatshop-Free Coalition and included 17 students and two members who are not students.

According to the Texan, the demands of the protestors was a request for the University to switch to the Workers Rights Consortium, an independent monitoring organization that conducts investigations of working conditions in factories. A statement on the WRC homepage specifically mentions their goal to protect the rights of workers who make clothes.

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AM Update
8:50 am
Tue April 17, 2012

AM Update: School Finance Heads to Court, Surge of Undocumented Children, LBJ's Battleship

Lawsuits arguing Texas school funding is unconstitutional have been given an October date.
flickr.com/59937401@N07

Schools Finance Lawsuits Get Court Date

A tentative trial date is set for four Texas school finance lawsuits.  State District Judge John Dietz has set the trial for October 22.

Hundreds of school districts from across the state are unhappy with the way Texas distributes money. Attorney Mark Trachtenberg, who represents 86 of those districts, says state funding cuts have contributed to depriving districts of the resources they need to meet standards set by the state itself.

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Elections
2:31 pm
Thu April 12, 2012

Register This: Local Voter Registration Ends Today

A detail of a voter registration form.
Image courtesy Travis County

Austin’s Mayoral and City Council elections are just about a month away – and if you haven’t registered to vote, time is running out.

The last day to register to vote in Austin's May contests is this Thursday, April 12. You can find the voter registration form here, along with instructions where to mail the form. To register in person, visit the Travis County Clerk’s office, located at 5501 Airport Boulevard.

To check your registration status and verify that it’s current, click here. Need to make updates to your voter registration? Check out this page for more information.

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City Council
10:29 am
Thu April 12, 2012

City Council Preview: Of Pedicabs and Charter Changes

A pedicabber counts his cash during South by Southwest 2012.
Photo by Jeff Heimsath for KUT News

It’s relatively light work for the Austin City Council today, what with a scant 40-item agenda and nary a single zoning item. Still there’s a few items of interest for intrepid council watchers.

Pedal Power: On the agenda are a couple of items regarding pedicabs, those ubiquitous, people-powered cabs pedaling all over Austin’s entertainment districts. The biggest change is a moratorium on new pedicab permits for six months.

Items 21 and 22 include new rules over how pedicabs can operate in the Sixth Street area. In addition to defining acceptable areas of operation, other possible changes include how customers may pay a pedicabber:  both customers and pedicabs must form lines, and a customer may only hire the pedicab at the front of the line.

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AM Update
8:37 am
Thu April 12, 2012

AM Update: NCAA Cites Baylor, Labor Woes and Council Endorsements, Dental Board Faces Accusations

Women's Basketball tourney winners Baylor has been disciplined following action by the NCAA.

NCAA Finds Baylor Guilty of Infractions

On Wednesday, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) found Baylor University guilty of violating recruiting rules.

The NCAA mainly focused their three-year investigation on the men’s and women’s basketball teams.

In a statement by the NCAA, Baylor men’s basketball coach, Scott Drew, was cited for failure to monitor the program and will be suspended during the first two conference games.

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AM Update
8:46 am
Tue April 10, 2012

AM Update: MoPac Improvement Money, Pflugerville Utility Rates, Tornado Damage in Dallas

The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority hopes to gain funding for the MoPac Improvement Project.
Photo by flickr.com/alphachimpstudio

MoPac Improvement Plan Makes Move for New Funding

The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority has offered a preliminary proposal to acquire $135 million for the MoPac Improvement Plan.

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) notified Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization board (CAMPO) of an unexpected funding windfall of $135 million. During a CAMPO work session last night, CTRMA requested that they receive the new funding to begin the improvements to MoPac.

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AM Update
8:55 am
Thu April 5, 2012

AM Update: Governor Perry Touring North Texas, Nidal Hasan Trial, Assault Suspect Arrested

The aftermath of severe weather which produced multiple tornadoes in North Texas.
Photo Courtesy of National Weather Service

Governor Perry to Tour Tornado Damaged Areas

Governor Rick Perry is scheduled to take an aerial tour of the Dallas-Fort Worth area damaged by tornadoes today. Perry plans to tour Lancaster, one of the hardest hit areas by the storms, according to the Texas Tribune.

The National Weather Service estimates up to a dozen tornadoes touched down in North Texas on Tuesday—one of those tornadoes was rated an E-F-3 with winds of up to 165 miles-per-hour.

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