Filipa Rodrigues

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Texas
12:54 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

Pecan Pie Named Texas State Pie, Plus 8 More Official State Oddities

Lawmakers proposed that only Texas pecans can be used in pecan pies statewide.
flickr.com/h-bomb

The Texas House of Representatives named pecan pie as the state's official pie on Wednesday.

State Rep. Marsha Farney (R-Georgetown) sponsored the resolution. She's a first-year representative and this was her first bill.

So, despite the simplicity of the topic, other lawmakers gave her a hard time in a sort of rite of passage. They asked for amendments including making it illegal to use chocolate in the recipe and requiring only Texas pecans be used in pecan pies statewide.

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Texas
10:31 am
Thu April 4, 2013

FEMA Gives Texas $31.2 Million for 2011 Wildfires

The wildfires in 2011 were fueled by the worst one-year drought in Texas history.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has given Texas $31.2 million to help cover the costs of the devastating wildfires that spread across the state in 2011. The money will go to help the recovery in Bastrop and at least nine other wildfires during that year.

FEMA says the funding covers about 75 percent of the overall costs including materials, equipment, meals, air support and logging.

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Health
7:19 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Austin and Travis County Partner for National Public Health Week (Update)

National Public Health Week goes from April 1 to April 7.
flickr.com/proimos

Update: The Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Department is holding a meeting this afternoon to present and outline key goals and objectives of the Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP).  The action-oriented plan is designed to improve the health of Austin and Travis County residents. It will highlight community health issues like obesity and access to primary care.

The meeting is scheduled for 3 p.m. at City Hall.

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Texas
1:45 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

Report: Texas Gang Threat Rising

According to the assessment, Mexican cartels are using Texas gangs to help smugle people, drugs and weapons across the border.
flickr.com/vpickering

The Texas Department of Public Safety has released its 2012 Gang Threat Assessment, providing an overview of gang activity throughout the state.

The annual report says that current gang membership across Texas likely surpasses 100,000 individuals – and it's still increasing.

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Education
8:39 am
Tue April 2, 2013

TEA's Williams Set to Speak on Senate Education Bills

TEA Commissioner Michael Williams will address how the state rates schools.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams is set to address the state Senate Education Committee this morning as lawmakers discuss several bills affecting schools.

Williams is expected to speak about school accountability ratings and how districts are trying to close achievement gaps between minority and white students.

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Sports
4:51 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

Photos: The Texas Relays Are Back

The 2013 Texas Relays will be held at the Mike A. Myers Track & Soccer Stadium.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

With the 86th annual Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays underway, thousands of visitors will enjoy Austin throughout the weekend.

The Relays feature high school and college track and field athletes from across the country. The Texas Relays will conclude Saturday at the Mike A. Myers Track and Soccer Stadium on the UT Campus.

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UT Sports
1:04 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

All Eyes on UT Men's Swim Team, Starting NCAA Competition Today

Longhorn Swimmers will compete for the title throughout the weekend.
flickr.com/sumofmarc

The Texas Longhorns men's swim team starts in NCAA competition in Indianapolis today. The 10-time champion Horns will compete for the top national spot and individual titles throughout this weekend.

The Horns finished no worse than second place during the last five NCAA team championships. 

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Texas
10:38 am
Thu March 28, 2013

TxDOT Providing Funds to Keep Texas Air Traffic Towers Open

Officials estimate that keeping Texas' 13 towers open for smaller airports would cost a total of $7 million a year.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Due to sequestration-related budget constraints, the Federal Aviation Administration has announced plans to close 149 air traffic control towers around the country, including Texas.

But after Gov. Rick Perry’s asked the Texas Transportation Commission to step in with 90 days of temporary emergency assistance for Texas control towers, TxDOT decided to fund continued service of the control towers when federal funding goes away.

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Austin
8:49 am
Wed March 27, 2013

Photos: Austin Rallies For and Against Gay Marriage Promote Same Goal - Family

Attendees at two opposite rallies at the Texas State Capitol Tuesday both sought the strengthening of families.
Tyler Pratt for KUT News

The U.S. Supreme Court continues its examination of same-sex marriage today, taking up arguments in one part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

Yesterday, as the court took a look at Proposition 8 – the constitutional ban on gay marriage in California– two rallies hit the Texas State Capitol: one to promote traditional values and another to support same-sex marriage.

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Texas
8:54 am
Tue March 26, 2013

'Faith and Family,' 'Light the Way to Justice' Rallies at Capitol

The U.S. Supreme Court is hearing arguments starting today, in two cases related to same-sex marriage.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

As the U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments today over same-sex marriage, here in Austin, people on both sides of the issues surrounding the cases will gather at the Capitol. 

Governor Rick Perry is expected to be the featured speaker at the "Faith and Family" rally in support of so-called "traditional values."

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Austin
8:53 am
Tue March 26, 2013

It’s Official: Barton Springs Pool is Reopening This Saturday

Barton Springs Pool is scheduled to reopen Saturday after being closed since mid-December.
KUT News

Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story erroneously said the repairs to the bypass tunnel and dam at Barton Springs Pool was part of the Master Plan process.

Barton Springs Pool is scheduled to reopen this Saturday.

The swimming hole has been closed since December, as the city made repairs to the pool's bypass tunnel and the dam on the downstream side of the pool.

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Waller Creek
4:40 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

Photos: Waller Creek Tunnel Project at Waterloo Park

The tunnel will feature a 30 foot deep pool to serve as a "shock absorber" for floodwaters.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

City officials say they're making progress on the Waller Creek Tunnel Project.

Construction crews at Waterloo Park have wrapped up excavating the tunnel and are moving on to building a treatment plant that will help filter floodwaters.

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Texas
9:40 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Williamson County Named Healthiest in Texas

The county health rankings are a checkup on nearly all of the nation's counties, including 221 in Texas.
flickr.com/jstephenconn

Williamson County is ranked as the healthiest county in the Lone Star State, according to a collection of  county health rankings

The study from the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation shows that Williamson County is the healthiest county in Texas this year, ahead of Collin County in Northeast Texas.

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UT Men's Basketball
8:26 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Longhorns Lose to Houston in Opening CBI Game

The Longhorns finish their first losing season since 1997-98.
KUT News

UT Men’s Basketball team lost their opening game in the College Basketball Invitational against Houston last night. The Texas basketball season had already come to an end for the Horns without making it to the NCAA playoffs - their first shut out since the 1997-98 season.

Houston Cougars’s Daniel House set the final score to 73-72 after a mid-range jump shot with only 17 seconds left.

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University of Texas
6:32 am
Wed March 20, 2013

UT Officials Barred From Deleting Emails – Lawmaker Calls it a 'Witch Hunt' (Update)

UT-Austin president Bill Powers in late 2011. A UT spokesperson says campus officials are complying with a rule to preserve all email communication.
Todd Wiseman, Texas Tribune

Update: A leading state lawmaker blasted the University of Texas System Regents yesterday over the group's treatment of University of Texas at Austin President Bill Powers.

State House Appropriations Committee Chair Rep. Jim Pitts (R-Waxahachie) spoke Tuesday during the first meeting of a special panel on higher education governance.

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Sports
8:11 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Baylor Lady Bears Paw Their Way to Top Seed in NCAA Tournament

The Lady Bears seek to become the fourth team to win back-to-back titles.
flickr.com/shockmotion

The defending champion Baylor women’s basketball team is again the No. 1 overall seed in the women’s NCAA tournament.

The first game for the Lady Bears is Sunday against No. 16 seed Prairie View A&M.

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SXSW
8:40 am
Sat March 16, 2013

Map: SXSW 2013 Street Closures and Transportation Options

Update: South by Southwest Film and Music continue through the weekend.

Original Story (March 7, 4:10 p.m.): Austin’s just 24 hours away from South by Southwest’s annual Film and Interactive conferences – meaning thousands of people are arriving this moment.

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SXSW
9:09 am
Thu March 14, 2013

Photos: Rockers at the Paramount for Dave Grohl's 'Sound City'

"Sound City" director Dave Grohl will give the SXSW Music keynote speech this morning.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Nirvana drummer and Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl was at the Paramount Theater yesterday for the South by Southwest screening of his new film "Sound City".

The documentary features the famed LA studios of the same name, where Nirvana, Queens of the Age, Rage Against the Machine and hundred of other bands recorded albums.

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SXSW
10:58 am
Wed March 13, 2013

Photos: SXSW Interactive Awards

Aisha Tyler hosting the 2013 South by Southwest Interactive awards last night.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

South by Southwest Interactive powered down last night, although not before a blowout closing party at Stubb’s Bar-B-Q and the SXSW Interactive Awards.

The 16th Annual Interactive Awards held at the Hilton Austin Downtown honored winners across 15 different categories. Emcee Aisha Tyler kept the jokes coming at a rapid clip, imploring honorees (with mixed success) to keep their acceptance speeches Tweet length. And bluegrass performers The Austin Steamers kicked the festivities off with a Texas twang.

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SXSW
5:28 pm
Mon March 11, 2013

Photos: SXSW Monday, March 11

A duo of jazz musicians play on Sixth Street during SXSW.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

With badge pickup for the music portion of South by Southwest open, a changing of the guard is afoot.

While the crowds at Austin Convention Center are as thick as ever, spillover into the streets of downtown Austin is relatively quiet at this point.

“This year it seems a little bit calmer that last year, so far,” Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo said.  “Music starts tomorrow, so we anticipate things to start heating up.”

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