Jennifer Stayton

Host, Morning Edition

Jennifer feels very lucky to have been born and raised in Austin, Texas. An English teacher at her high school, St. Stephen’s Episcopal School, once suggested to the class that they tune in to KUT 90.5 for Paul Ray’s “Twine Time.” She has been a public radio fan ever since.

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

Jennifer has worked for commercial and public radio stations in news, production, music, and sales in Austin; Syracuse, New York; and Western Massachusetts. She has a Master’s Degree from Syracuse University in Radio-Television-Film. She has won awards from the Syracuse Press Club and Texas Associated Press Broadcasters.

Jennifer has been the local anchor and host of “Morning Edition” on KUT since May, 2004. She is also the co-host of KUT’s “Higher Ed” podcast.

Jennifer serves on the Advisory Committee for KTSW 89.9 at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. She is also a member of the Communication Major Advisory Council for Concordia University in Austin, Texas. She is a member of Women Communicators of Austin and serves as a Mentor in the organization.

Her husband Charles, stepdaughter Samantha, and cats Tidbit and Durango are very patient with her early hours and strange schedule!

Ways to Connect

flickr.com/trufflepig

We all think we know what happy means. But when you get down to it, how would we actually define it? Raj Raghunathan has tried. He teaches marketing at UT’s McCombs School of Business. He studies, among other things, consumer behavior, decision theory, and happiness. Raghunathan says different people define happiness differently, but a couple of traits are universal. It’s a positive emotion, and we want to experience it. But, he says, pursuing society’s most common markers of happiness won’t actually get us there.

Texas State Capitol
Erik Reyna, KUT News

Public-private partnerships have been back in the news lately,  after the Sunset Advisory Commission put a halt to some development projects being discussed for the Capitol area. Lawmakers want to tighten up some of the laws governing the Texas Facilities Commission and public-private partnerships, or P3's.

Image courtesy austinplanetarium.org

Memorial Day 2012 Events

Central Texans have several opportunities today to honor veterans for their service. Ceremonies are being held at the Texas State Cemetery in Austin and at Veterans Memorial Plaza in Sun City in Georgetown.

The City of Austin is expecting between 2,500 and 3,000 runners to pound the pavement today for the Capital of Texas Triathlon. You might think you'll catch a break from traffic troubles because of lighter than usual holiday traffic, but the Triathlon is causing some downtown street closures until approximately 3 p.m.

Hitting the road or the water today? Make sure to take a look at our public safety tips and warnings this Memorial Day.

Evangelical Leaders Meeting in Texas Pick Rick.... Santorum, That Is

Get Your Trot On

An estimated 20,000 runners will be burning off their Thanksgiving feast calories before the big meal at the ThunderCloud Subs Turkey Trot. That means some road closures in and around downtown Austin this morning. Click here for more information on the race, route, and road closures.

Taking a Thanksgiving Break

Photo by Erika Aguilar for KUT News.

What Time is It?

Not to be smart-alecky, but just a quick reminder to make sure you set your clocks back one hour before going to sleep Saturday night. Yes, this is the glorious "fall back" weekend when we get one hour of extra sleep. Perhaps you used that extra hour to celebrate the Texas Longhorns' football win over Texas Tech Saturday 52-20?

Another sunny.... and busy day... today in Central Texas. Click here for the YNN Sunday forecast.

The Write Stuff

The Texas Book Festival concludes today at the State Capitol Complex. Click here for schedule information on today's author appearances. And you can hear interviews with many book festival authors at KUT's main website.

Budget Cuts' Impact on Compliance and Oversight

12:00 a.m. UPDATE: More from KUT's Matt Largey at Bastrop Middle School:

"The folks sitting here, looking around, they look like they're kind of in shock. Obviously this is a difficult situation for them. They look exactly as you'd expect somebody to look like, who's just had to flee their home because of a wildfire."

Bastrop Middle School is one of several shelters set up for Bastrop County residents who've been forced to evacuate.

6:00 p.m. update: KUT's Matt Largey reports the  brush fire at Hodde Lane and Cele Road in Pflugerville has been about 40% contained. The evacuation order has been lifted for the 180 or so households that had been evacuated to Hendrickson High School. The fire is no longer threatening subdivisions. Rural farmhouses or structures that may still be at risk will be evacuated individually on case-by-case basis as needed.

Updated: City officials tell KUT News all related grass fires have now been contained, though fire officials continue to monitor hotspots. Six area fire agencies responded to the fire earlier today to assist Cedar Park.  

From the City of Cedar Park:

 

Updated:  The first fire reported in the Pflugerville area today has been contained. Firefighters from Pflugerville and Travis County are now battling a second brush fire this afternoon. This one is around Hodde Lane near the Reserve at West Creek Subdivision.  From Pflugerville Police:

Fire Danger Levels High in Central Texas Today

Texas Longhorn football fans breathed a sigh of relief- a least for this week- as the 'Horns beat the Rice Owls 34-9 in the seasoner opener. Those who follow the Longhorns weren't sure what to expect tonight, with a revamped coaching staff, depth chart, and attitude, coming off last year's disappointing 5-7 season.

The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for just about all of Central Texas from 10:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m. on Sunday. A Fire Weather Watch is in effect for our area on Monday from 7:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m.

The weekend has been pleasant. It's been breezy and not as hot. So what do these warnings and watches mean?

Parts of Deficit Reduction Talks Break Down

U-S House Speaker John Boehner says he cannot rally support among his colleagues for a major deal on deficit reduction. The sticking point: talk of tax increases. Talks at the White House scheduled for today reportedly will still happen, with the emphasis now on dealing with the federal debt ceiling.

State Budget Battle Continues

Perhaps you enjoyed a nice day off of Saturday, but state lawmakers are still trying to reach agreement on a state budget plan. Yes, the end of the 2011 regular legislative session is near - just over a  week away - and the deal is still not done. Click here for an update from KUT's political reporting partner, the Texas Tribune, on where things stand right now. Lawmakers are not in session today.

UPDATE at 10:50am--Travis County Sheriff's deputies report that the person involved in this morning's standoff on SH-130 has been taken into custody.  No reports of any injuries.  The 130 toll road between SH 71 and FM 812 has been reopened.

An armed driver is reportedly inside his car on the 130 toll toad this morning. The driver is not believed to be a threat to the public. He has told law enforcement officials he only intends to harm himself and not others.  Highway 130 is closed right now between 71 and FM 812 because of the incident.

Nasha Lee for KUT News

10:50 a.m. UPDATE--Austin Police have identified the man shot to death by an APD officer who was stabbed in the neck during a struggle in north Austin late last night.  Maurice Pierce, who was one of the men charged in the "Yogurt Shop Murders" of 1991, reportedly died at the scene near Parmer Lane and McNeil Road.  Pierce was charged in 1999 with the rape and murder of four teenage girls at a north Austin yogurt shop.   He was later cleared of the charges.

Texas State Comptroller Susan Combs is out with a new report analyzing the impact of state economic incentive programs on job creation. The report says while incentives may be needed to compete with other states trying to attract businesses, those incentive programs need careful analysis.  Combs says the incentives are only responsible for a small part of Texas’ annual economic growth, and the state’s economy would grow with or without them.

Austin police say the stretch of southbound I-35 around William Cannon is now open. A portion of southbound I-35 had been shut down this morning because of a fatal traffic accident that happened earlier today. Southbound traffic had been diverted off of I-35 at the William Cannon exit onto the frontage road while police were on the scene investigating.

Pages