Joy Diaz

City Reporter

Joy Diaz has been a reporter with KUT on and off since 2005. Since joining KUT, Joy has covered education, healthcare and immigration. She is now the station’s city reporter.

Originally from Mexico, Joy moved to the U.S. in 1998 when her husband Luis was transferred from his job in Mexico City to train workers in a telecommunications plant in Virginia. While there, Joy worked for Roanoke's NPR station WVTF.

Joy speaks English and Spanish, which is a plus in a state like Texas. She graduated from Universidad de Cuautitlán Izcalli in Mexico City with a degree in journalism. In 2008 she took a break to devote herself to her two young children, before returning to the KUT studios. She loves reading, painting and spending time engaging with the community.  

Pages

Environment
3:38 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

How You Can Help Draw the Blueprint for Austin's Urban Forest

A healthy tree at Brentwood Park. With city help, several ailing trees there were returned to health.
Natalie Krebs for KUT News

The City of Austin is drafting its first comprehensive Urban Forest Plan.

The city hopes to work with Austinites to pinpoint areas of problem tree conditions and to look at possible solutions to transform the drought-stricken city into a truly green one.

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Police
3:43 pm
Fri August 9, 2013

Is Austin's Police Monitor Keeping a Close Enough Eye on the Cops?

The Austin Police Monitor's powers are prescribed in law - and the Austin Police Depatment's contract with the city.
Nasha Lee for KUT News

Every time an Austin police officer shoots their weapon, it triggers a series of investigations.

This year there have been three fatal APD shootings. The latest, July 26, when Police Det. Charles Kleinert shot Larry Jackson Jr.

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Transportation
3:05 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

A Deeper Look at Austin Plans to Bury I-35

Architect Sinclair Black’s “cut and cap” plan places access roads directly over the capped portion of I-35, freeing up more developable space.
Reconnect Austin

Austin traffic can be awful. And Austin drivers know that a great part of that congestion comes from stop-and-go traffic on Interstate 35.

Big problems demand big solutions – and the "cut and cap" proposal to bury I-35 is gaining momentum. The plan, developed by Austin architect Sinclair Black would “cut” I-35 from Cesar Chavez to 12th Street. Those lanes would then be built underground, and “capped” by something. The Austin City Council OK’d a closer look at the plan back in June.

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Austin
3:47 pm
Mon July 29, 2013

How Much Might It Cost to Draw Austin's City Council District Maps?

Wells Dunbar/KUT News

Austin is in the preliminary stages of drawing the city’s first geographic city council districts. Although a volunteer-staffed redistricting commission will do the bulk of the work, the process will still cost money. Some cities, like San Diego, have gone through the process. It may help to peek at that city's expenses as an exercise that may give us a rough estimate of what Austin's final redistricting tab might be.

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Geographic Representation
12:17 pm
Thu July 25, 2013

Now Hiring: Austin's Citizens Redistricting Commission

The job listing for Executive Director of Austin's redistricting commission. The group is expected to make additional hires as well.
tsae.org

When Austinites voted last fall to create the independent commission that will draw the city’s new geographic City Council districts, 14 citizens from all walks of life were chosen to be part of this commission.

The understanding was that average Austinites would lead the process. But it turns out the commission may hire an entire staff to give them a hand.

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Sports
10:58 am
Mon July 22, 2013

Meet the Austin Athlete Competing in the World Dwarf Games

Sam Bremen's strongest sport is soccer, but he’ll be competing in several other sports at the World Dwarf Games.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon, KUT News

This August, the World Dwarf Games celebrates its 20th anniversary. Every four years, athletes from around the world compete for international recognition at the games.

Sam Bremen is representing Austin.

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Texas
12:39 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

While Texas Restricts Abortions, Mexico Braces for a Boom

Women and girls cross the U.S. border into Nuevo Laredo, Mexico every day trying to put an end to their pregnancies. The one room clinic of Dr. Celia Gomez is one of the first clinics people find right across the border checkpoint.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon, KUT News

This week, Texas Gov. Rick Perry signed a law banning abortions after 20 weeks.

It also increases requirements for clinics and doctors that provide abortions. Clinics have a little over a year to upgrade to ambulatory surgical centers. Several clinics are expected to close, leaving women in poor and rural areas the most affected.

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Austin
1:51 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Austin's Million-Dollar Plan to Restore Rundberg Underway

Austin Police are hosting a meeting tonight to discuss the Restore Rundberg project with the public.
Nathan Bernier, KUT News

Rundberg Lane is one of Austin’s  highest-crime areas.

From 2007 to 2011, the Rundberg area accounted for 11 percent of violent crime, which includes murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault.

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Austin
5:05 am
Thu July 4, 2013

Channel Austin Celebrates Four Decades of Public Access TV

From a group of longhairs to a local institution, Channel Austin has lasted 40 years and counting.
courtesy Channel Austin

It’s been 40 years now for Channel Austin, the city’s only nonprofit that runs an independent television channel. And like people turning the big 4-0, Channel Austin is reflecting on its past and looking to the future.

Over the years, Channel Austin has had its brushes with fame.

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Texas
6:38 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

Travis County Looks at Funding Options for Public Integrity Unit

After the governor's announcement to de-fund the Public Integrity Unit in Travis County — an investigative unit with cases across the state. County Commissioners discussed future funding options at their meeting today.
Image by Matt Largey for KUT News

The future of the Public Integrity Unit - an arm of the Travis County's District Attorney's Office with about 600 statewide fraud cases open that was recently defunded by Gov. Rick Perry - is anything but certain. 

Today, the Travis County Commissioners Court  looked at some alternatives to fund the office, which could shutter its doors on Sept. 30 and leave 31 employees jobless. 

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Texas
4:44 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

Hidden For Years, African-American Statues Find Home at Carver Center

The Carver Museum already has a set of statues. This piece is called "Go Forth".
Joy Diaz, KUT News

A scene of five statues, originally intended to go on the Texas Capitol grounds, have finally been dedicated.

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Texas
1:07 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

After 500th Execution, a Huntsville Death Row History

In 1923, the electric chair became the preferred method of execution in Texas.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Update: Kimberley McCarthy was put to death via lethal injection Wednesday evening, becoming the 500th prisoner to be executed in Texas since the state resumed carrying out capital punishment in 1982, following a ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court. McCarthy was condemned for the murder of her neighbor, 71-year-old Dorothy Booth, during a robbery.

Earlier: Kimberly McCarthy is scheduled to die by lethal injection in Huntsville, Texas this evening. Her upcoming death has caught national and international attention because – if the execution is carried out – she will be the 500th person executed in Texas since the death penalty was reinstated and the fourth woman.

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Austin
9:01 am
Tue June 25, 2013

Three Ways Black Austin is Rebuilding a Sense of Community

In Dr. Charles E. Urdy Plaza, "Rhapsody," a 50 foot mosaic mural, depicts the legacy of African American culture and community on East 11th Street.
flickr.com/wallyg

The process of desegregation in Austin began in the 1950's. Blacks were no longer bound to live in one part of town and that allowed people to move into different neighborhoods. But some African-Americans left Austin completely. 

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Austin
5:05 am
Fri June 21, 2013

Waller Creek, I-35, and a Council Session That Could Transform Austin

The city has set plans in motion with far-reaching ramifications.
Filipa Rodrigues, KUT News

The Austin City Council is getting ready for summer recess, but before members take off they’ve been approving projects that eventually could drastically change the look and feel of the city. Thursday’s session may not have seemed like a game-changer, but it has huge implications for the future.

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First Person
12:30 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

Watch: What It's Like to Be a Black Student on a Mostly White Austin Campus

As a student at UT, Nneka Waturoucha has found that her time in Austin has made her more accepting.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

To celebrate Juneteenth, KUT News is bringing you voices from Austin's black community. 

Nneka Waturoucha is a 19-year-old University of Texas student. Her father is American and her mother is Nigerian. While she grew up around minority communities in Houston, she’s still assimilating into the predominately white West Campus area.

Juneteenth
4:20 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

First Person: Young, Black and Hispanic in Austin

Filipa Rodrigues, KUT News

To celebrate Juneteenth, KUT News is bringing you voices from Austin's black community on their past, present and future.

Carlos Wilson is a young Austinite whose heritage is rooted in Central America. 

"I imagine that people aren't going to care about what your heritage is and they're just going to think that we're all the same in the future."

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Juneteenth
12:19 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

Austin History Center's Juneteenth Tour of African-American Heritage

Cynthia Evans holds a newspaper announcing commencement at Anderson High School, Austin's first school for African-American students.
Filipa Rodrigues, KUT News

A series of Juneteenth celebrations kicked off this weekend, celebrating the day in 1865 when slaves in Texas learned they were free. To honor these celebrations, KUT News is telling a series of stories about the history of the African-American community in Austin. 

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Redistricting
4:48 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

10-1 Commission Set to Draw Out Districts

The City of Austin has established its new Citizen’s Redistricting Commission, a group of 14 citizens who will draw the city's first boundaries for city council districts.

In selecting candidates, city officials drew at random from a pool of qualified volunteers. Thursday night, the commissioners met to select candidates who would join them in the task of redistricting. 

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Transportation
4:17 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

Cesar Chavez Partially Reopened After Sinkhole Surprise (Update)

Crews inspect the sinkhole near the corner of Cesar Chavez and Sabine Streets.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Update: Cesar Chavez Street is now open to eastbound traffic, but one westbound lane is still closed as crews finish work on a sinkhole found this morning.

The cement used to fill the hole has very little water and dries quickly, but is not expected to be fully dry until after rush hour.

Original post (12:17 p.m.): Westbound Cesar Chavez Street is closed from I-35 to Red River after a sinkhole formed near Sabine Street.

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Geographic Representation
3:58 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

Austin's Redistricting Commission Gets Filled Out Tonight

The last members of the panel will get selected tonight at City Hall.
KUT News

Austin’s new Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission is expected to be fully in place tonight. That’s the group of Austin residents who will draw the city’s first geographic council districts.

Last November when voters approved the charter that changed the city’s form of government from at-large to geographic, they also approved the establishment of the commission in two steps.

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