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

Filipa Rodriques/KUT News

Hard to imagine a city other than Austin as the capital of Texas, right? According to Austin author and historian (and doctor) Jeff Kerr, Austin's status as the capital city –  and just a city at all – was in peril several times after Texas declared its independence in 1836.

Nathan Bernier for KUT News

Much of Central Texas, including Bastrop, Burnet, Caldwell, Hays, Travis, and Williamson counties, is under a flash flood watch through Tuesday morning. A flash flood watch means flash flooding is possible in or near the watch area.

The National Weather Service says parts of Central Texas can expect between an inch and three inches of rain during the watch period. But isolated patches of up to five inches of rain are not out of the question.

Photo courtesy of the Walter Cronkite papers at the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History at the University of Texas at Austin.

“Another day, and another dollar or two. This is a gloomy day with the skies unable to make up their minds about the whole thing. They look like they’re constipated with rain, but nothing happens. I know how they feel.”

So wrote journalist Walter Cronkite in one of the hundreds of letters he wrote home to his wife, Betsy, while he was working overseas as a war correspondent during World War II.

2010 NPR by Doby Photography

Neal Conan has been hosting National Public Radio's weekday afternoon call-in show "Talk of the Nation" since 2001. The 63-year-old journalist has been with NPR for over 30 years. He said one of the reasons he took the hosting job was because he figured after all those years, nothing could happen in a radio studio that would surprise him.

He was wrong.

A doctor who wants to determine a patient's health will gather all kinds of data - temperature, blood pressure, pulse, weight, blood test results, and the like - to come up with an overall picture of how the patient is doing.

The Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life at the University of Texas at Austin kind of did the same thing to determine the civic health of Texas. Bad news: this patient's not in good shape.

Charles Mead

Everybody who has a cat, or knows someone who has a cat, has some version of "Cats Behaving Badly." Cats who pee around the house, cats who vomit anywhere and everywhere or cats who claw and scratch their way out of our hearts and perhaps our houses.

But why do cats do that?

Some say that's just cats being cats. Jackson Galaxy doesn't believe that. Galaxy has made a career out of being a cat "whisperer" and a cat "behaviorist." He's not really sure what to call his job, but he is sure he has a special connection to cats and can help humans and cats love more and claw less.

Nathan Bernier for KUT News

UPDATE: The National Weather Service has issued a Flash Flood Warning for Western Caldwell, Hays, and South Central Travis counties until 3:00 p.m. Saturday afternoon. A Flash Flood Warning means that flash flooding is already happening or highly likely in the warning area.

Gittings Photography

You think moving a piano is a pain now: Try doing it over rough terrain ... with no moving van.

Some of the women who came with their families to Texas in the early days of the 1800's insisted on bringing their pianos with them. While many of these women came from more genteel Southern backgrounds, the rough and rugged environment in Texas did nothing to dampen their spirits or enthusiasm.

Photo courtesy of Wendi Aarons.

Sometimes it can be hard to find the right words to show Mom how much you appreciate her. Mother's Day is Sunday, and  a group of Austin writers and storytellers is taking to the stage this week with their personal stories of motherhood, mothering, and being mothered.

Sarah Lim

You might be familiar with the case of Michael Morton. He's the Georgetown, Texas man who spent more than 20 years in prison for killing his wife. But he didn't do it. And it was DNA testing that eventually freed him.

Raymundo Ruiz

Ricardo Ainslie says the Mexican border city of Juarez used to be kind of like the state of Texas - with a strong, independent spirit.

But he says the violence of the drug cartels and the government's war hit just about everyone who lives there, and left the city vulnerable and paranoid. Eleven thousand people were killed in Juarez between January of 2008 and December of 2012.

Photo by Filipa Rodrigues/KUT News.

Mirabelle Garret works in economic development in the Rio Grande Valley. In 1983, she takes a business trip to Austin and is the victim of a brutal attack in her hotel room. How brutal? Mirabelle is stabbed twelve times; a plastic garbage bag is stuffed down her throat; and she is hit in the face and temporarily blinded. Mirabelle thought she was going to die. But she lived. And worked hard to heal.

University of Texas at Austin

Imagine this scenario: your throat aches; you're sneezing; and you feel chilly and fatigued. A cold? Maybe. The flu? Possibly. You sneeze into a specially formulated tissue, and the resulting color transformation in the tissue gives you your answer.

Louisa Hall left the leafy suburbs of Philadelphia for Texas. And it was this move that prompted her to set her first novel back in those environs - both the good and bad of them.

Remember some of those catchy old commercial jingles: "plop, plop fizz, fizz".... or "you deserve a break today?' Well, a fragmented mass media audience and ever-evolving technologies may be making those a thing of the past.

Bob Garfield is an advertising critic, author, consultant, and co-host of NPR's "On the Media" (quick plug: you can hear it Sunday mornings at 9:00 on KUT 90.5). He says companies have to trade in the old rules of reaching the mass market with the a new set of rules that mimic the way people treat each other. 

Meredith Zinner

Domenica Ruta had a childhood some kids would envy- ice cream for breakfast; shopping trips and movies instead of school sometimes; no real rules at home. But for every dream moment like those, there were the nightmares, too - a drug addicted mother; the constant threat of violence; and the joking encouragement to become a teen mother.

Listeners to the "TED Radio Hour" Saturday afternoons at 2:00 and Thursday nights at 10:00 on KUT will hear a new voice on the show. NPR's Guy Raz takes over as host of the show this month.

KUT’s Jennifer Stayton talked with Raz about the new version of the show. The first episode, “The Unquiet Mind,” airs Saturday on KUT.