Ian Crawford, KUT News

News Editor

Ian Crawford joined KUT as News Editor in 2008, after spending over four years as a reporter/anchor at KLBJ Radio in Austin.  He began his broadcasting career while still in high school in Southern Oregon.  During high school and college at the University of Oregon, he worked at times as a reporter, news anchor, sports play-by-play reporter, music host and commercial producer before moving to Texas in 2003.

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Politics
5:13 pm
Tue July 19, 2011

Texas AG Asks Court for Redistricting Preclearance

The Texas Legislature subdivided Travis County into five congressional districts. The federal review process began today, as Attorney General Greg Abbott asked a federal court in Washington, DC to preclear the state's redistricting plan.
Image courtesy of the Texas Legislature

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott asked a federal court today for preclearance for the redistricting plans passed by the state legislature last month.

The request to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia included documents to demonstrate that the redistricting plans were in line with the Voting Rights Act. 

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Sunday Roundup
9:14 am
Sun July 17, 2011

Sunday Morning Roundup

The local organizing committee for F1 racing in Austin shifted into a higher gear Saturday.
Image courtesy of the Circuit of the Americas

You probably didn't feel it, but it was a little cooler in Austin yesterday. The high of 99 degrees at Camp Mabry broke a two-week string of triple-digit temperatures. But the break's over, with temperatures expected to cruise back to the 100-degree mark.

F1 Committee Speeds Up Race Progress

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Transportation
11:19 am
Wed July 13, 2011

Cap Metro To Examine Naming Rights

Capital Metro's Audit and Finance Committee will look at hiring a consultant to see if selling naming rights to rail stations and park and ride lots would generate more agency revenue.
Photo by Callie Hernandez for KUT News

Tight budget times have agencies, companies, families, everybody… looking for creative ways to either spend less money or make more. Capital Metro’s starting to explore that “make more money” option.

The transit agency hired a consultant to look into the value of the naming rights to its rail and “park and ride” stops.  Cap Metro’s Audit and Finance Committee’s meeting at 12 noon today to start talking about the naming rights option, and to see much they might be able to make off the venture. 

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Police
2:48 pm
Tue July 12, 2011

Police Monitor Issues Annual Report

Photo by KUT News

The Austin Police Monitor's office has issued it's annual report. According to a City of Austin news release, the 88-page report shows a six percent decrease in the number of contacts the office had between 2009 and 2010.

Of those contacts, 526 resulted in some form of complaint being filed against one or more members of the Austin Police Department.

The Police Monitor's office is charged with receiving complaints from the public and from department employees about Austin police.

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Texas
11:33 am
Wed July 6, 2011

Hasan Referred to Court-Martial

A soldier drops to one knee during a memorial service for the victims of the 2009 Ft. Hood shootings attended by President Obama. The accused gunman in the shooting will face a court-martial trial.
Photo by KUT News

Army Major Nidal Hasan, the psychiatrist accused in the 2009 Fort Hood shootings, will face trial before a general court-martial.

The post's commander, Lieutenant General Donald Campbell, officially announced his decision this morning. In the order for court-martial trial, Campbell authorized the death penalty as a potential punishment.

Hasan is accused of opening fire at Fort Hood on the afternoon of November 5, 2009. 13 people were killed in the gunfire. 31 others were wounded. Hasan was shot and wounded by police officers. He was paralyzed from the waist down.

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Austin
4:17 pm
Thu June 30, 2011

Police Announce Watercraft Ban, No Refusal Weekend for the Fourth

Austin Police say they're cracking down on drunk drivers this weekend and banning personal watercraft from Lake Austin on Monday.
Photo by Nasha Lee for KUT News

Austin police have announced a ban on Lake Austin for wet bikes, motorized surfboards and other personal watercraft on the Fourth of July.

The prohibition lasts from sunrise to sunset Monday. Police will be cruising the lake to make sure people are complying with the ban. Boats are still allowed to cruise the lake on the Fourth.

Meanwhile, APD's "No Refusal" weekend has gone statewide. Over 200 law enforcement agencies across Texas will be doing blood draws on suspected drunk drivers who don't submit to a voluntary blood or breathalyzer test.

Environment
1:02 pm
Thu June 30, 2011

Austin Takes Nominations for Tree of the Year

Today's the last day to nominate a tree to be honored as Austin's "Tree of the Year" for 2011.
Photo by KUT News

"I think that I shall never see/A poem as lovely as a tree," wrote Joyce Kilmer almost a century ago. The City of Austin is taking nominations for the loveliest of trees to honor as the 2011 "Tree of the Year."

Today's the last day to nominate a tree to be this year's honoree. The tree can be in any part of Austin. It can be any species of tree, but there are some eligibility requirements.

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Austin
6:28 pm
Tue June 28, 2011

W Hotel To Shut Down Temporarily, Replace Glass Panels

The W Hotel and Residences in downtown Austin, where glass panels on the exterior of the building have shattered and fallen from the building three times in as many weeks.
Photo by Matt Largey for KUT News

Updated 10:20pm: The developer of the W Hotel in downtown Austin says the hotel will close temporarily, and all the glass panels on the building's exterior balconies will be replaced. 

That's after more panels shattered and fell from the building Tuesday.

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Austin
1:02 pm
Fri June 24, 2011

Irrigation System for Pease Park Trees Vandalized

A view of Pease Park.
Photo by Lindsay Sorensen http://www.flickr.com/photos/dystopian/

Members of the Pease Park Conservancy think someone has it in for some of the park's trees.

The group helps care for the trees in the park that hugs Shoal Creek between 15th and 24th Streets. The group planted several new trees on the west side of the park, to replace some wind-damaged trees. They also set up "bubblers," an irrigation system that uses a trickle of water to keep the tree roots moist during the hot, dry summer.

Yesterday, some conservancy members noticed that 44 of the trees were showing signs of stress. Then they saw that the bubbler system wasn't working. Then they found out why.

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Longhorns Baseball
4:17 pm
Mon June 20, 2011

'Horns Head Home

The baseball season is over for UT.
Photo courtesy flickr.com/srsphoto

The Longhorns' baseball season is over.

North Carolina shut out Texas, 3-0, this afternoon at the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska. The loss eliminates the Longhorns from the tournament. Left fielder Jonathon Walsh had two of Texas' four hits in the game.

The 'Horns finish the season with a record of 49 wins and 19 losses.

Meanwhile, Texas A&M plays an elimination game against California tomorrow afternoon at 1:00 p.m in Omaha.

SUNDAY ROUNDUP
9:29 am
Sun June 19, 2011

Sunday Morning Roundup for June 19

Here's one way to beat the heat. (You could feel cooler just looking at it!)
Photo by Emily Donahue for KUT News.

Happy Father’s Day to dads near and far away. We hope your day is a special one filled with anything but ties and bad after shave lotion. Temperatures will fly past the century mark in Austin again today, so we also hope the whole family finds a way to keep cool. (Maybe like the one in the picture. That looks like fun!)

TOVO ELECTED TO AUSTIN COUNCIL

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Longhorns
10:14 pm
Sat June 18, 2011

UT Drops World Series Opener

Texas faces elimination Monday afternoon at the College World Series in Omaha
Image courtesy flickr.com/parl

The road to another college baseball championship got longer for the Texas Longhorns Saturday night.

Florida beat the 'Horns, 8-4, in the opening round of the NCAA College World Series at TDAmeritrade Park in Omaha, Nebraska. Texas scored three times in the third inning to take an early 3-0 lead. Florida tied the game in the lead an inning later and never looked back.

The loss puts Texas in a precarious position. One more loss sends them back to Austin empty-handed. Their next game will be against North Carolina Monday afternoon.

AUSTIN COUNCIL RUNOFF
9:55 pm
Sat June 18, 2011

Tovo Beats Shade

Kathie Tovo unseated incumbent Randi Shade in Saturday's Austin City Council runoff election
Photo by Erika Aguilar for KUT News

Kathie Tovo has been elected to the Austin City Council.

Tovo defeated incumbent Randi Shade in today's runoff election, 56-44%. Turnout between early voting and Election Day was 9.5%, according to the Travis County Clerk's office.

The race became contentious, with each side trading barbs about public safety funding, city support for Formula One racing and election law violations 33 days since the city general election.

Tovo will be sworn in on June 28, alongside reelected Council Members Laura Morrison and Chris Riley.

Austin Council Runoff
9:16 pm
Sat June 18, 2011

Challenger Takes 4400-vote Lead in Runoff

Kathie Tovo speaks to supporters in downtown Austin Saturday night, as runoff election results show her with an 11-percent lead over incumbent Randi Shade
Photo by Katrina Tollin for KUT News

Kathie Tovo still holds a commanding lead over incumbent Randi Shade in the latest runoff election results.

With 60.77%t of the Election Day ballots counted, Tovo continues to have a 56-44 percent lead over Shade for Place Three on the Austin city council. Tovo has 20,297 votes. Shade has 15,893 votes.

The race became contentious, with each side trading barbs about public safety funding, city support for Formula One racing and election law violations 33 days since the city general election.

 

Austin council Runoff
8:52 pm
Sat June 18, 2011

Tovo Lead Widens

Council Member Randi Shade greets supporters at a West Austin restaurant Saturday night. Latest results put her 11 percent behind challenger Kathie Tovo in the council runoff.
Photo by Mose Buchele for KUT News

With 30 percent of Election Day ballots counted, challenger Kathie Tovo has widened her lead over incumbent Randi Shade in the Place Three City Council runoff.

Tovo has 16,612 votes, between early voting and today's balloting, for 56% of the votes. Shade has 13,021 votes, giving her 44%.

The winner will be sworn in for a three-year term on June 28.

Austin Council Runoff
8:24 pm
Sat June 18, 2011

Tovo Leads by 10

Randi Shade supporters at El Arroyo Restaurant in West Austin Saturday night
Photo by Mose Buchele for KUT News

Kathie Tovo maintains her 10-point lead over Randi Shade in the latest runoff election results.

In the second batch of results, Tovo still has a 55-45% lead over the incumbent in the race for Place Three on the Austin City Council. 13,648 votes have been counted for Tovo so far, with Shade getting 11,183 votes.

The winner will get a three-year term on the council that begins June 28.

Click on the audio player to hear reaction from Council Member Randi Shade to the early results.

Austin
7:06 pm
Sat June 18, 2011

Speedy Delivery

Photo by KUT News

Kathie Tovo has taken an early lead over Randi Shade in today's Austin runoff election.

In the first printout from the Travis County Clerk's office, issued just after 7 p.m., Tovo has a 55-45 percent lead from early voting results just released.

Austin
9:35 am
Sat June 18, 2011

Council Race Runoff Election Today

Polls will be open till 7:00 tonight in the Austin City Council runoff election
Photo by KUT News

Voting is underway in the Austin City Council Place three runoff election. Polls will be open until 7:00 p.m.

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Texas
2:17 pm
Wed June 8, 2011

Feds Sue State Agency for Unpaid Overtime

The Labor Department claims the Texas Department of Family & Protective Services and a Child Protective Services office owes some employees over $1 million in unpaid overtime.
Photo by Ian Crawford for KUT News

The U.S. Department of Labor has filed suit in federal court in Austin, claiming that the state's Department of Family and Protective Services and the Child Protective Services Division in Austin owes some employees overtime pay. Over $1 million, to be specific.

The Associated Press reports that the lawsuit, filed today, alleges that about 800 current and former investigators and case workers were told not to record all the hours they worked.

Labor Department investigators conducted a three-year investigation after a complaint was filed.

 

Texas
6:22 pm
Mon June 6, 2011

Fire Crews Battle SW Travis Co. Fire

An aerial view of April's 100-acre Oak Hill Fire. Firefighters in Southwest Travis County are working to keep a blaze near Reimers Ranch from growing past 60 acres.
Photo courtesy of the U.S. Air Force

A fire kindled by an arcing power transformer near Reimers Ranch Sunday rekindled this afternoon.

Asst. Chief John Durham with Lake Travis Fire & Rescue says no structures have been threatened by the 60-acre blaze. Some horses had to be moved out of the fire's path, but no injuries have been reported.

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