Erika Aguilar, KUT News

Reporter

I started working at KUT November 2007. If you're a weekend NPR listener, you may have caught my reports on KUT during "Weekend Edition" or "All Things Considered". I keep tabs on what happens on Saturdays in Austin and other environment, science and development  news.

I came to KUT after working behind scenes in the newsroom at KEYE-TV in Austin. I'm a proud Texas State Bobacat. I love to write, be creative, clicking away on the internet, reading history books, anything outdoors, and I always love a rich conversation. Drop me line if you've got an interesting story to tell.

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Wildfire
4:41 pm
Wed November 17, 2010

Wildfire Burning At Fort Hood Training Range

Fort Hood firefighters are working to put out an approximately 700-acre fire burning in a training range at the army post. It started around 2 p.m. today.  The fire is burning at the Dalton Mountain Training Range, in the north end of the post, and is currently moving south to the Lone Star Range. 

Read the press release from the Fort Hood Public Affairs Office, here.

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Storm
3:36 pm
Sat November 6, 2010

No FEMA Aid For Texas

These vehicles were swept into a Round Rock homeowner's backyard after the creek behind it flooded during Tropical Storm Hermine in September.
Photo by Erika Aguilar for KUT News.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will not be giving monetary help to Texas for the flooding that happened during Tropical Storm Hermine.

The decision is actually the second denial for Texas from FEMA.  The federal agency  initially turned down Texas in October.  Governor Perry now has a request into the Secretary of Commerce for a disaster declaration. If approved, Texas business owners could apply for loans through the Small Business Administration (SBA.)

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Texas Legislature
5:04 pm
Thu November 4, 2010

Rep. Edmund Kuempel Dies At 67

Rep. Edmund Kuempel (R-Seguin) died Thursday morning from a heart attack. He has served the Texas Legislature since 1983.
Photo courtesy of the Texas House of Representatives.

Rep. Edmund Kuempel (R-Seguin) died Thursday morning at the University Medical Center Brackenridge after suffering a heart attack. He was at a convenient store on Riverside Drive when he complained of chest pain and his implanted defibrillator started firing. When EMS arrived, Kuempel was awake and alert, but lost consciousness on the transport to the hospital. He never regained consciousness.

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parks and recreation
10:35 am
Thu November 4, 2010

Devil's River Land Deal for TPWD Off The Table For Now

TPWD wanted to trade this piece of land for some land it owns plus $7.9 million. But the deal is off the table for now.
Photo courtesy of Laurence Parent.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Commissioners decided yesterday to delay considering the Devil's River land deal at their regularly meeting this week. Instead, TPWD staff has been asked to continue working on the project and to explore other ways the agency can aquire land for a new state park or preserve in the Devil's River area.

Commission chairman Peter Holt of San Antonio released this statement in a TPWD press release:

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Environment
5:33 pm
Tue November 2, 2010

TPWD Postpones Vote On Devil's River Land Deal

Devil's River State Natural Area is located on east side of the river. TPWD is looking to sell this piece of land for a ranch downstream.
Photo courtesy of © Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

Texas Parks and Wildlife officials have postponed a vote this week that would have finalized a land deal along the Devil's River in Val Verde County near Del Rio.

The vote was postponed pending a public briefing planned for tomorrow at the Texas Parks and Wildlife commission's Conservation Committee.

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2010 midterm elections
1:16 pm
Tue November 2, 2010

Travis County Clerk Reports Minor Voting Problems

Voting started at 7 a.m. today in Travis County.   The County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir, who oversees elections, said there were a couple of problems early with some precincts.

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Traffic
10:05 am
Sat October 30, 2010

18-Wheeler Fire Shuts Down Ramps To Highway 183 In North Austin

Heavy traffic for Saturday morning drivers, as firefighters closed off part of US 183 to battle a tanker truck fire on the US 183-Mopac flyover. Drivers on the frontage road of Hwy 183 N were redirected to avoid the access ramp.
Photo by Erika Aguilar for KUT News.

UPDATE (1:00 p.m.):

Authorities are keeping the flyover ramp from northbound US 183 to Mopac closed, after this morning's fiery crash of a tanker truck. 

 The tanker truck was carrying a load of gasoline when it crashed around 6:00 a.m. Investigators believe the driver may have been going too fast on the ramp causing it to flip over.

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