Jennifer Stayton

Host, Morning Edition

I feel very lucky to have been born and raised right here in Austin, Texas. An English teacher at my high school, St. Stephen’s Episcopal School, once suggested to the class that we tune in to KUT 90.5 for Paul Ray’s “Twine Time.” I have been a public radio fan ever since.

My original career path – Psychology – took a back seat to radio after I started volunteering at the Williams College student radio station during my time there.

I have worked for commercial and public radio stations in sales, music, production, and news. I stopped along the way to get a Master’s Degree from Syracuse University in Radio-Television-Film. I have been the anchor and host of “Morning Edition” on KUT since May of 2004.

When I am not napping (that 3:30 a.m. alarm comes awfully early during the week!) I enjoy time with my husband Charles, stepdaughter Samantha, and our cat and hamster. I also enjoy watching UT Longhorn football and and experiencing all that is cool about Austin.

Ways to Connect

The phrase "liberal arts" often goes hand in hand with discussions about higher education. But really, what are the liberal arts? Are they liberal? Are they arts?

How about none of the above? In the latest episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger explore what comprises liberal arts. Think it's literature, history, science, maybe the study of a foreign language? Think again and listen on.

creative commons

The old saying goes something like this: "If a tree falls in the forest, and no one is around to hear it it, does it make a sound?" A variation on that might go: "If someone asks a question, and no one is around to hear it, what good does it do?"

A lot, as it turns out. In the latest episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger exchange questions and answers about the art and importance of questions to learning.

creative commons

Welcome to the first episode of KUT's newest podcast, "Higher Ed." Each week, KUT's Jennifer Stayton will talk with Dr. Ed Burger, President of Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, about higher education, lifelong learning, and exercising the brain. But if you're thinking this is going to be just another boring chat with a talking head.... think again and listen on!

National Weather Sevice

12:30 p.m.update: The National Weather Service has canceled the Winter Storm Warning that had been in effect for Hays, Travis, and Williamson counties until midnight tonight. A less severe Winter Weather Advisory is now in effect for the area until 4:00 p.m. 

A winter storm warning remains in effect for the Hill Country until midnight tonight. Caution is still advised on area roads as temperatures have been hovering right around freezing all day.

UPDATE 11/26/14: Visiting judge Doug Shaver rejected a request Tuesday for additional DNA testing in Rodney Reed’s case.

Judge Shaver said the additional DNA testing would delay Reed’s execution. His execution date was moved from January to March 5th.

ORIGINAL STORY: A Texas court will hear testimony today about whether or not to allow DNA testing of additional evidence in the murder case of Rodney Reed. He was convicted in 1998 of the 1996 murder of Stacey Stites near Bastrop, Texas. Reed says he is innocent.

Some of Stites' family members are convinced law enforcement got the wrong man, and that law enforcement should look within their own ranks to find Stites' real killer.

Update (10:15 p.m.): The National Weather service has now placed Travis and Williamson counties under a flash flood warning until midnight tonight. A flash flood warning means flash flooding is occurring or imminent in the warning area.

Earlier: The National Weather Service has extended a flash flood warning for Hays, Travis, and Williamson counties until 10:15 p.m. Heavy rain has continued this evening. Parts of the Austin area have already received between two and five inches of rain today. The City of Austin is also keeping an eye on Onion Creek's water levels. It was the scene of devastating floods a little over one year ago.

Update (7:36 p.m.): The flash flood warning has been extended until 10:15 p.m. by the National Weather Service because of thunderstorms producing heavy rainfall.

Areas under the advisory include Wimberley, San Marcos, Dripping Springs, Austin, Pflugerville, Taylor, Round Rock, Granger, Georgetown and Cedar Park.

Update (5:05 p.m.): The National Weather Service has extended the flood advisory for eastern Travis County and eastern Williamson County until 7:00 p.m.

Credit: KUT News

The U.S. Supreme Court is allowing Texas' voter ID law to be enforced for the Nov. 4 election. The law requires voters to show one of seven forms of approved identification when voting.

Update: The National Weather Service has extended flood advisories for rivers and creeks in central Travis County and south central Williamson County until 9:30 a.m.

Flooding at Bull Creek at Loop 360 is minor, but has reached 7 and a half feet. Officials advise drivers to be cautious when approaching the F.M. 2222 bridge.

Waters may run high at Gilleland Creek, Shoal Creek, Walnut Creek and Wilbarger Creek for the next few hours.

Update (5:35 a.m.): The National Weather Service has issued an urban and small stream flood advisory for Central Travis County and South Central Williamson County until 7:30 a.m. Friday.

The National Weather Service canceled a flash flood watch that been in effect for Central Texas through the early morning hours of Friday. However, there is still a 40% chance of rain in the forecast for today.

The combination of heavy rains again and an already-saturated ground could potentially produce some problems with flooding. Thursday's downpours brought several inches of rain to parts of the region and caused low-water crossing closures across the area. Thirty-one low water crossings are still closed Friday morning

Courtesy of Southwestern University

Students of all ages are gearing up to head back to class this week.

With that in mind, KUT’s Jennifer Stayton spoke with Southwestern University President Dr. Edward Burger about his book “The Five Elements of Effective Thinking,” the role of failure in academia, the proliferation of online classes and technology in education and how students can “find their fire."

Wikimedia Commons

James “Pa” Ferguson was the 26th governor of Texas. He was the first and, for 97 years, was the only sitting Texas governor to have charges brought before him.

The indictment of Gov. Rick Perry on two felony counts has many invoking Pa Ferguson’s name and, while there are similarities in the accusations leveled against them – both were accused of withholding state money for political reasons – that’s where most of the similarities end.

KUT’s Jennifer Stayton spoke with Executive Director of the Briscoe Center for American History at U.T.-Austin Don Carleton about Ferguson’s indictment, his demeanor as governor and the similarities and differences in the charges faced by both governors.

Leslie Abbott Photography.

Good guys and bad guys are always easy to sort out in thrillers, right? Not so fast. In the murky waters of Jeff Abbott's latest novel Inside Man, the roles are not always so clear cut or easily defined.

Timothy A. Hazel, U.S. Navy

President Jimmy Carter is one of four U.S. presidents attending the Civil Rights Summit at the LBJ Library and Museum in Austin this week.

President Carter, who served from 1977 to 1981, grew up in Southern Georgia during some of the worst days of Jim Crow. The 39th president of the U.S. is also promoting a new book, "Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence and Power," in which he discusses what he calls discrimination and violence against women and girls worldwide – what he calls "the most serious and unmet worldwide challenge" of our time.

National Weather Service

A winter weather advisory is in effect for Central Texas, including Bastrop, Burnet, Caldwell, Hays, Travis and Williamson counties, until 6:00 p.m. Tuesday. A winter weather advisory means periods of freezing rain, sleet, or even snow could cause some travel difficulties. We have about a 40% chance of a light wintry mix of precipitation during the morning. Read more for a list of delayed start times.

National Weather Service

Update: Rain is expected to continue today through the Austin area but our chances of freezing precipitation have gone down considerably.

While sleet is still possible, forecasters don’t expect any of that frozen precipitation to accumulate.

Corey Van Pelt is a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Austin/San Antonio. He says the outlook is warmer and drier as the week continues.

“It looks like by tomorrow afternoon this upper low moves through, so then we’ll get some drier weather behind it. It’ll still be cool though, Wednesday and Thursday mornings we’re expecting temperatures down in the 20's in the morning but then they warm back up into the 50's during the today. And it looks like by next weekend we’re back in the 60's, close to 70.”

Richard Glinka

You know Frank Tavares. You just don't know that you know Frank Tavares.

For over 30 years, Tavares has been the authoritative but friendly voice of those NPR underwriting announcements. You know, the ones that say "Support for NPR comes from …"

Starting this month, Tavares will be stepping away from those duties to make way for a new voice. Sabrina Farhi, the new voice of NPR underwriting, will be based at the group's headquarters in Washington, D.C. Tavares lives and teaches in Connecticut, and records the announcements remotely.

Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Voting in elections. Volunteering. Calling up elected officials. All ways to be civically involved. All things that Texans don't exactly do in large numbers.

A study earlier this year by the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life at the University of Texas at Austin found Texas ranks near the bottom on almost every aspect of civic engagement. The state's civic health is bad. The Institute is gathering people together Saturday, Nov. 9, to try to come up with some good medicine.

Institute Director Regina Lawrence talked with KUT's Jennifer Stayton before the conference about how to best get people off the civic sidelines and into the game:

Larry Tye

It's a bird … it's a plane … it's … you guessed it: Superman.

The high-flying Son of Krypton has been been a cultural force for 75 years and, while he's graced the panels of comic books and the silver screen, his humble beginnings and evolution over the years have reflected changing political and cultural tides, says Superman biographer Larry Tye.

Ludwig sterling fotography

A little about Gary Powell: the Austin musician and producer has produced 147 albums, which have sold 45 million copies in 69 countries. That's a lot of numbers for a music guy. But Gary Powell is not apologetic about numbers in his profession. As a matter of fact, he says "money is good." And he is committed to helping his students at the University of Texas' Butler School of Music find their way in the rapidly-changing music business.

A Grammy-winner who’s produced albums for Walt Disney Records and children's artist Joe Scruggs, Powell says musicians need to learn how to create a "sustainable" career: one that provides food, shelter, health care, transportation, and some funding for retirement.

Ben Philpott, KUT News

After 21 hours of talking - whether it was an official filibuster or not is still up for debate - Republican U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas departed the Senate floor Wednesday.