Jessica Mahoney

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Politics
4:41 pm
Wed October 19, 2011

New Petition Drive For Single Member Districts in Austin

Austin City Hall
Photo by KUT

A local group is starting a petition drive to put the issue of single-member districts before Austin voters next May. Austinites for Geographic Representation (AGR) wants the city to change the way people are represented on the city council. 

Currently, Austin City Council members represent the city as a whole. Single member districts, or geographic representation, would create a council elected to represent  specific parts of town.

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News Brief
7:20 am
Mon October 17, 2011

Top Morning Stories October 17, 2011

This week is Native Texas Plant Week.
Photo by Callie Hernandez for KUT News

Possible Austin Energy Rate Hikes

The Electric Utility Commission of Austin will meet this evening at six to discuss Austin Energy’s proposed rate hikes from August. Members of the public are invited to speak at tonight’s meeting. The event will be held at Town Lake Center on Barton Springs Road. There will be an additional special-called meeting this Thursday. Read KUT's report on the proposed rate changes.

Bastrop Relief Concert

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Texas
4:24 pm
Wed October 12, 2011

Morton Conviction Reversed

Today the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals agreed to overturn Morton's conviction.
Photo by Keith Burtis/http://www.flickr.com/photos/keithburtis/

Last Tuesday, Michael Morton walked out of jail a free man after being declared innocent of his wife's murder in 1986. After an independent review, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals announced today that it has approved the agreement to reverse Morton's conviction. The agreement was jointly presented by Williamson County District Attorney John Bradley, and Morton's attorneys.

Texas
3:58 pm
Wed October 12, 2011

Parole Changes for Foreign-Born Inmates

The new state law would mean more foreign-born Texan inmates would be eligible for parole if they are immediately deported.
Photo by Caleb Bryant Miller for KUT News

A new law that took effect on September 1st may make it easier for foreign-born criminal offenders in Texas to meet parole eligibility requirements, if they are subsequently deported. The law, authored by Representative Jerry Madden, R-Richardson, is designed to ease the state’s financial burden by deporting non-citizens instead of supporting their parole.

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2012 Presidential Election
3:02 pm
Wed October 12, 2011

Paul and Perry Debate Performance

Reviews of Governor Perry's performance in last night's debate were mixed.
Photo by KUT News

Last night Republican presidential hopefuls converged in New Hampshire for yet another debate. As we’ve reported on KUT in the past, Governor Perry’s recent slip in the polls meant that Tuesday’s job-focused debate was an important chance for him to show he’s still a major contender in this race.

So how did he do?

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Environment
1:33 pm
Wed October 12, 2011

Salvaging Timber in East Texas

Officials are considering timber salvage from some of the trees destroyed by fire in Bastrop State Park last month.
Photo by Mose Buchele for KUT News

More than one-third of timber damaged by wildfires in East Texas has been salvaged and resold by property owners. Separate wildfires across the eastern part of the state in June scorched over 30,000 acres. The salvaged timber will be repackaged and sold as building materials, paper, and fuel. The value of the resold goods is expected to exceed $100 million.

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News Brief
7:49 am
Tue October 11, 2011

Top Morning Stories October 11, 2011

Governor Perry in New Hampshire earlier this month.
Photo by Ben Philpott for KUT News

Perry to Debate in New Hampshire

Governor Rick Perry will face off with other Republican Presidential hopefuls at a debate tonight in New Hampshire. The debate will focus on jobs and the economy. Tonight's debate will be an important one for Perry, as his numbers in the polls have been slipping over the past few weeks. Here is more coverage of Perry's prospects for tonight.

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Water Rates
2:06 pm
Mon October 10, 2011

Pflugerville Water Users Facing Possible Rate Hike

The City of Pflugerville is holding a series of hearings on a proposed price hike in water rates.
JD Hancock/Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/jdhancock/

The Texas Commission of Environmental Quality (TCEQ) held a public hearing regarding possible water utility bill increases.

Monarch proposed to raise water utility prices by 62.3% and wastewater rates by 33.6%. The changes would apply to Pflugerville residents who receive their water from Windermere Water Company. The company was recently purchased by Monarch. The Pflugerville City Council met in August and suspended the rate hikes for ninety days.

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News Brief
6:35 am
Mon October 10, 2011

Top Morning Stories October 10, 2011

The Harry Ransom Center at UT Austin just announced its acquisition of Nobel-prize winning author J.M. Coetzee's archives.
Photo by KUT News.

Ransom Center Acquires Coetzee Archive

The Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin has acquired the archive of Nobel-prize winning author J. M. Coetzee. Coetzee was born in South Africa, but received a Ph.D. in English, linguistics and Germanic languages from UT in 1969. He taught at the university briefly in 1995 in the Michener Center for Writers. Coetzee came to UT to speak at the 100th anniversary of the Graduate School in May 2010. A video of his speech can be found here. The archive contains documents and materials spanning more than fifty years.

Bastrop Town Hall Meeting

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Health
12:19 pm
Fri October 7, 2011

Chagas Disease on the Rise in South Texas

A triatomine bug, also known as a kissing bug, the main vector for spreading Chagas disease.
Photo by Linda Tanner http://www.flickr.com/photos/goingslo/

A disease transmitted by blood sucking parasites may be more common in Texas than scientists previously thought. New research released by the College of Natural Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin suggests suggest South Texas in particular is an area of high risk for Chagas infection.

The tropical parasite triatomine is known commonly as the "kissing bug" because it loves biting faces. Here’s a of one of the bugs to give a sense of scale. 

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News Brief
7:40 am
Fri October 7, 2011

Top Morning Stories October 7, 2011

Protesters gathered outside of City Hall last night as part of the Occupy Austin event.
Photo by Lizzie Chen for KUT News

No Arrests at Occupy Austin

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News Brief
8:31 am
Thu October 6, 2011

Top Morning Stories October 6, 2011

Flames from the Old Potato Fire in Bastrop County on Tuesday.
Photo by Matt Largey for KUT News

Garrett Gilbert to Transfer

Garrett Gilbert has been released from his UT athletics scholarship. This leaves the former Longhorn starting quarter back free to transfer. Gilbert has not announced where he will go, but says he will finish this semester at UT while he makes his decision.

Some Bastrop Evacuees Return Home

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Texas
3:39 pm
Fri September 30, 2011

Texas History Symposium

The Save Texas History symposium will be held tomorrow from 8-5.
Photo by Erik Reyna for KUT News

The Texas General Land Office is holding a symposium tomorrow to celebrate the 175th anniversary of the state's independence from Mexico. Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson said the seven-year-old Save Texas History Program was created to educate Texans on the history of the state and to preserve historical documents in the General Land Office archives.

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Environment
2:53 pm
Fri September 30, 2011

White-Tailed Deer Bow Hunting Season Begins

White-Tailed deer bow hunting season begins tomorrow. The general season begins November 5th.
Photo courtesy of Flickr.com/Greg Westfall

Bow hunting season for White-tailed deer starts tomorrow in Texas. The ongoing extreme drought has culled deer population in many parts of the state. Nevertheless, Chris Mitchell with Texas Parks and Wildlife says the department wants hunters to take their full bag limit of deer this season. And that's less about sport and more about survival of the species.

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Sports
11:08 am
Fri September 30, 2011

Longhorns Still Looking for 3rd String QB

The Longhorns open Big 12 Conference play at Iowa State tomorrow night at 6.
Photo by KUT News

The Texas Longhorns football team returns from a week off to open Big-12 conference play against Iowa State tomorrow night. Since Garret Gilbert is out for the season following shoulder surgery, the Longhorns don’t have a third string quarterback.

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