Filipa Rodrigues

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Austin
3:52 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

City Hopes for a Smooth Rollout Ahead of Brazos Street Conversion

City of Austin officials say one-way streets are good for moving cars through, but two-way streets are better for accessing your destination.
flickr.com/photos/mrlaugh

Austin's downtown traffic flow will change starting next month. The City of Austin is converting Brazos Street from one way to a two way street between East Cesar Chavez and East Sixth streets. 

Austin Transportation Department Director Rob Spillar says a number of cities have gone through this process to slow traffic.

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Austin
5:51 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Group Unveils the First Nativity Scene On Display at the Capitol

The organizers will set up the nativity scene the ground level of the capitol just below the main rotunda.
Filipa Rodrigues/KUT

Several Austinites gathered today for the unveiling of the first nativity scene at Texas State Capitol. 

Trey Trainor of the privately-funded group Texas Nativity Scene Project says it's the first on display in the state's history.

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Same-Sex Marriage
6:25 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Federal Court Holds Off on Decision Against Texas' Same-Sex Marriage Ban

In October, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review same-sex marriage cases from five other states, allowing gay marriage in Utah, Indiana, Oklahoma, Virginia and Wisconsin.
Filipa Rodrigues/KUT

Texas' gay marriage ban will remain in effect for now. U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia declined today to permit immediate same-sex marriages in Texas. 

In February, Judge Orlando Garcia ruled Texas’ same-sex marriage ban violated the U.S. Constitution’s promise of equal treatment under the law, but placed a hold that prevented same-sex couples from immediately getting married. Today, Judge Garcia declined a request to lift that stay on marriages, citing an impending appeal in the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

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Gender Divide
2:40 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

VIDEO: Meet the Principal of Austin ISD's First All Boys Middle School

This story is part of an occasional series from KUT called Gender Divide, which will tell stories about the communities in Austin ISD's new single-sex middle schools, while also exploring the debate over single-sex education.

When you walk into the Gus Garcia Young Men's Leadership Academy in East Austin on any given morning, the first thing you hear is the echo of young men's voices bouncing off the walls of the building's large atrium. The atrium is like the heart of the building, connecting arteries of hallways and classrooms in the seven year old campus. 

Walking those hallways, it's hard to avoid shaking hands. Young men will approach you, wearing the Gus Garcia Uniform. They introduce themselves and declare they are, "a Gus Garcia man." It's an approach and attitude Principal Sterlin McGruder has instilled in the more than 400 students since it opened its doors as a single-sex school in August. 

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Austin
5:26 pm
Sat December 6, 2014

PHOTOS: Austin Protesters Rally for Larry Jackson Jr.

Tommy Hawthorne shows his support for Larry Jackson and other victims of police shootings.
Filipa Rodrigues/KUT

More than 100 people gathered Friday night at the Travis County courthouse to rally for Larry Jackson Jr. and other victims of police shootings. Jackson died after being shot by former Austin Police Detective Charles Kleinert last year.

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Politics
4:53 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

Texas Leads State Coalition Lawsuit Against Presidential Immigration Action

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, announcing a lawsuit over the Obama administration's executive order on immigration policy.
Filipa Rodrigues/KUT

Texas is part of a lawsuit filed by 17 states over President Obama's executive action on immigration. The lawsuit was filed Wednesday afternoon in the Federal District Court in Texas and names the heads of immigration enforcement agencies as defendants. 

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Austin
4:57 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

Google Fiber Unveils Prices for Austin

Google Fiber is set to launch sometime in December in South and Southeast Austin.
Filipa Rodrigues/KUT

Google Fiber announced plans and pricing for high speed 1-gigabit Internet service in Austin today.

Mark Strama, Austin’s Google Fiber head of operations, also introduced a scaled-down version of Internet service with no monthly fee as an "extraordinary value to folks who might not be connected to the internet today."

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Google Fiber
10:36 am
Fri November 21, 2014

Google Announces Fiber Plan For Low-Income Homes

Unlocking the Connection will provide training, devices and Internet to connect HACA residents to high speed internet.
Filipa Rodrigues/KUT

Yesterday, the Housing Authority of the City of Austin and Google Fiber announced the launch of the the first so-called "digital inclusion program," that provides free Internet access to low-income residents. It's estimated to connect 4,300 affordable housing residents across the properties owned and operated by the housing authority.

"Closing the digital divide means that every child has a chance to succeed in the 21st century global economy," said U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro at an event yesterday.

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Texas Standard
3:45 pm
Wed November 5, 2014

Political Junkie's Ken Rudin on 2014's Republican Win

Republicans swept the statewide elections last night. Already, controversial national issues are on the table for the next session, including immigration, border security, education and health. However, this is good time to be a Republican in Texas. And pundits expect at least two people with Texas connections could be preparing themselves for a presidential run. Guessing any names, anyone? 

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Google Fiber
4:12 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

Google Announces December Fiber Signups for South Austin

A map of the area in South and Southeast Austin that will be eligible for Google Fiber service.
Google Fiber

After months of anticipation, Google announced today that it will open up signups for its gigabit-speed Google Fiber Internet service in December, starting with neighborhoods in South and Southeast Austin.

“We can only launch one seventh of the city at the time,” Mark Strama, head of Google Fiber’s Austin operations, said of the slow rollout. “The network will include 3000 miles of new fiber optic cables. It’s like going to Canada and back.”

According to Strama, new users that live in South and Southeast Austin can signup for Google Fiber by the end of the year. The company says the process is taking longer because the fiber network had to be planned and designed from scratch.

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Austin
4:15 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

Photos: First Responders Gather to Remember Travis County Deputy Jessica Hollis

Several officers with the Travis County sheriff’s office are at the Hill Country Bible Church Austin, to pay respects to Travis County Deputy Jessica Hollis.
Filipa Rodrigues/KUT

Funeral Services for Travis County Deputy Jessica Hollis were held today at the Hill Country Bible Church. The seven-year veteran was swept away by flood waters last week while checking a low water crossing near Lake Austin, where she was found last Friday.

Hundreds of people and first responders from as far away as Burnet County, San Antonio, New Braunfels and Jonestown shared memories and stories to memorialize Hollis at the Hill Country Bible Church in Pflugerville.

Texas Standard
3:10 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

Take a Look at the Largest Collection of 'Gone With The Wind' Memorabilia Ever Assembled

David O. Selznick purchased the rights of Margaret Mitchell's ode to the Old South, Gone With the Wind for $50,000, on July 7, 1936.
Filipa Rodrigues/KUT

Today, the Harry Ransom Center is celebrating the 75th anniversary of the quintessential film "Gone With the Wind," with an exhibition entitled "The Making of 'Gone With The Wind.'"

From on-set photographs to audition footage to fan mail, the Ransom Center's collection hosts an immense collection of memorabilia from producer David O. Selznick's personal collection.

With more than 300 original items, the exhibit is the largest and most comprehensive exhibit on the film, says Steve Wilson, curator of the exhibition and the museum's curator for film. He recently discussed the exhibit with Texas Standard. 

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Education
12:34 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

Group Says Any East Austin School Closures Would Be Unconstitutional

TCRP's report says under-enrollment reflects Austin's failure to overcome its history of racial segregation.
Filipa Rodrigues/KUT

The Texas Civil Rights Project is warning any plans to close schools in East Austin would be discriminatory and would violate students' constitutional right to available education.

Earlier this summer, AISD released a report identifying 18 East Austin as under-enrolled, operating at less than 75 percent capacity. But AISD says that it currently has no plans to close any schools.

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Education
4:32 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

PHOTOS: Garcia Academy Rings in the New School Year with a Tie-Tying Tutorial

A student begins his windsor knot.
Filipa Rodrigues/KUT

Students attending the Gus Garcia Young Men's Leadership Academy in northeast Austin were taught how to tie their uniform ties today.

The school is one of two newly-reconstituted, single-gender schools in the district, along with the Bertha Sadler Means Young Women's Leadership Academy. Both schools rang in their inaugural academic years yesterday. KUT joined the students as they perfected the intricacies of the windsor knot, led by the school's Principal Sterlin McGruder and Austin Independent School District Interim Superintendent Paul Cruz. 

Austin
8:19 am
Sat June 21, 2014

PHOTOS: Hillary Clinton Book Tour Comes to Austin's Long Center

Hillary Clinton appeared at the Long Center last night to promote her book "Hard Choices."
Filipa Rodrigues, KUT News

More than 2,000 people came to the Long Center for a conversation with Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Clinton made Austin her 10th stop on her book tour promoting "Hard Choices," an autobiography covering a series of political events and crises  Clinton faced during her four years as Secretary of State.

The keynote address was full of lessons and accomplishments from Clinton's term. It mentioned her failures as well. 

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Austin
8:05 am
Thu March 27, 2014

Map: Texas Relays and Urban Music Festival Street Closures

An unidentified runner in the 2012 Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays. The track and filed event returns to Austin starting Thursday.
KUT News

If it's springtime in Austin, it’s festival season.

Austin will be busy again this weekend with the return of the Texas Relays and more activities around town, That also meaning several street closures and traffic delays. 

The 87th annual Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays return to the University of Texas today. More than 6,000 college and high school athletes from all over the country will be at the Mike A. Myers Track and Soccer Stadium from Wednesday through Saturday.

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Austin Police
9:03 pm
Sat February 22, 2014

APD Chief Apologizes for Sexual Assault Comment After Jaywalking Jogger Arrest (Update)

Amanda Stephen is detained by two Austin Police officers. Her arrest was filmed, creating a social media firestorm.
Credit Chris Quintero

Update: Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo apologized Saturday for comments he made during a press conference about the arrest of a jogger for jaywalking near the UT campus. During that press conference, Acevedo said that "In other cities there's cops who are actually committing sexual assaults on duty, so I thank God that this is what passes for a controversy in Austin, Texas."

In his apology statement Saturday, Acevedo said that "the comparison was a poor analogy, and for this I apologize." You can read the full apology here.

Original Story (Feb. 21, 4:58 p.m.): Austin Police arrested a woman jogging by the UT Campus Thursday morning for not providing identification after being stopped. The incident was caught on video by a UT student, Chris Quintero, who witnessed the woman being taken into custody. 

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Travis County
1:41 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

Travis County Employees Could Lose Individually Reserved Parking

Travis County employees could lose indvidually reserved parking under a new propsal.
flickr.com/spike55151

This story has been corrected. See below.

The Travis County Commissioners Court discussed a proposal Tuesday that could cut individual permit parking for some downtown employees, replacing it with open, or "zoned," parking lot parking. 

The county aims to eliminate a three year-long waitlist for parking that has 320 employees still angling for a spot.

Travis County auditor Nikki Riley told the commissioners the county pays $120,000 a year for additional spaces so certain employees can have reserved spots. "We are firmly convinced that if we go to zoned parking, we would be able to eliminate the waiting list," she said.

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SXSW 2014
10:15 am
Tue February 11, 2014

SXSW is Due $755K Worth of City Waivers & Payments - Here's a Breakdown

A street scene from SXSW 2013.

This year, the City of Austin is planning to cover over $750,000 worth of fees and services for South by Southwest . 

The proposal, which the Austin City Council is set to vote on Thursday, includes up to $274,320 worth of fee waivers – ranging from $30 sound permit fees to $89,000 worth of litter control services. Any fees already paid by SXSW would be reimbursed to the company. The city would also authorize payments for $481,324 worth of city services – the bulk of which is $340,000 in additional police costs.

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Micro-units
10:30 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Tiny Apartments Could Be Big Answer to Austin's Housing Crunch

A micro-unit development in Seattle. Austin is calling for a zoning study to ensure micro-units don’t face big hurdles.
Seattle Department of Planning & Development

Micro-units – apartments of 500 square feet or less – might be Austin's next big building trend.

As the city's population continues to climb, troubles have mounted with providing affordable housing. To address the issue, the Austin City Council is asking the city manager to study the feasibility of micro-unit projects.

"Micro-units will allow people to live closer to downtown at a more affordable cost," says council member Bill Spelman.

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