Kelly Connelly

News intern

Pages

Sports
1:18 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

Move Over Longhorns: Ultimate Frisbee On the Rise in Austin

At last year's nationals, players for Doublewide await "the pull" – basically a kickoff – from the other team.
Doublewide

Maybe it’s time to drop the idea that only hippies play Frisbee.

Far afield from the Frisbee golf crowd, Ultimate Frisbee has grown into a collegiate sport, catching the attention of athletic students who aren’t scholarship athletes. And after college, players can  go on to club teams. Doublewide is one of the nation’s best, and it’s based right here in Austin.

Doublewide plays teams from all over the nation. Its traditional rival is Chain Lightning, based in Atlanta, but USA Ultimate (basically the MLB or NFL of Ultimate Frisbee) has recently shifted the region. Now they play in a region that stretches from Colorado all the way into Mexico. The elite of teams from this region will face off this weekend – right here in Austin.

Michael Natenberg is one of Doublewide’s three team captains (Jeff Loskorn and Valley Renshaw are the others.) In college, Natenberg played for the University of Texas, where he learned the game.  

Read more
Environment
12:51 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

Festival Was Green Long Before it Was Trendy

The Renewable Energy Roundup and Green Living Fair will feature a workshop on how to make rain collection barrels like these.
flickr.com/sarah_mccans/

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated 2012 is SXSW Eco's first year. KUT News regrets the error. 

SXSW Eco will kick-off next week. But it's a niche that the Renewable Energy Roundup and Green Living Fair in Fredericksburg first tapped into 12 years ago.

The 2012 festival is this weekend, from Sept. 29 to 30.

The roundup will concentrate not so much on policy but on practice —what Texans can do everyday to make the world a little greener. Panels include "How to Grow Your Own Groceries," "Growing Herbs and Making Your Own Vinegar,"  "Hot Attics: Turning a Problem into a Resource," and even "Green Smoothies."

There are also hands-on workshops about collecting rainwater and solar energy.

Read more
Public Safety
5:02 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

Suspect Dies in Officer-Involved Shooting

The APD officer who shot the suspect is on paid administrative leave.
Nathan Bernier, KUT News

Update (5 p.m.): Austin Police tell KUT News Paladino died at University Medical Center Brackenridge approximately one-hour ago. 

Update (4 p.m.): Police have identified the suspect as 42 year-old Maurice Chad Paladino.

Update (2:40 p.m.): Austin Police have released the name of the officer involved in the shooting. APD officials say Officer Brandon Blanche was in danger for his life.

"In watching the video," Assistant Police Chief Sean Mannix says, "I think all of us are comfortable that there's not going to be any legal issues with the shooting, that the officer likely acted lawfully. But we hold our officers to a higher standard administratively. What we have to look at is the lawfulness of the shooting, but we also have to look at the tactics employed and how the officers got to the situation they were in as well."

Mannix says Blanche was clearly in the path of the vehicle that "actively engaged" when he discharged his weapon.

The still unnamed suspect is said to be in "grave condition."

Read more
Arts and Culture
3:31 pm
Tue September 25, 2012

Austin Children's Museum Moving to Mueller

The Austin Children's Museum will move from its downtown location to the Mueller development.
flickr.com/mirsasha

Have you ever seen a dizzy golf ball? 

The Austin Children's Museum assures you will. The museum is dedicated to what they call informal learning; one exhibit, called "Ready, Set, Roll," teaches children about physics by sending golf balls through all manner of gravity-defying courses.

The Austin Children's Museum is expanding their facilities. Today, its leaders broke ground at their new location in the Mueller development in central east Austin. 

New exhibits will focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics, highlighting hands-on interactive learning. The museum will also encourage activity, with the grounds featuring interactive outdoor elements.

Read more
Austin
2:54 pm
Mon September 24, 2012

On Restaurant Week, Austin Shows Off Its Culinary Chops

The Backspace is offering a three-course dinner for $27 as a part of Austin Restaurant Week.
facebook.com/backspaceaustin

Dozens of Austin restaurants are highlighting their best this week, offering deals on three-course prix fixe dinners. It’s all part of Austin Restaurant Week, a biannual event that raises awareness of Austin’s culinary scene and money for charities.

Restaurant Week is a bit of a misnomer, however: it’s actually made up of two half-weeks. The good eats kicked off yesterday, Sept. 23, take a break on the 26th, resume Sept. 30, and come to an end on Oct. 3.

Taylor Perkins is with Austin Restaurant Week. He says the festival is a testament to Austin’s burgeoning culinary standing. “The event has grown hand-in-hand with the Austin culinary scene,” he says. This installment marks Austin Restaurant Week's fourth year.

Where foodie influences were previously imported into Austin, Perkins says local chefs have evolved to create their own styles. “The scene in Austin has really come into its own,” he says. The majority of participating restaurants are found only in Austin, and Restaurant Week increasingly focuses on restaurants that source locally and offer a unique experience.

Read more
Texas
1:22 pm
Tue September 11, 2012

Experts: Something's Fishy with Texas' Seafood Imports

The Texas Senate Committee on Agriculture and Rural Affairs heard testimony this morning about concerns on imported seafood.
flickr.com/charlenesimmons

Fish is routinely held up as a healthy alternative to other meats. But some experts might urge you to rethink the catch-of-the-day,  because of what else might be lurking on the plate. 

The Texas Senate Committee on Agriculture and Rural Affairs heard testimony this morning about the condition of the state’s seafood industry. The Catfish Institute's Jeff McCord testified that he was concerned about importing fish to Texas.

Most of the catfish found in restaurants is imported from China. McCord says China doesn’t have the same kind of regulations the U.S. does, so banned substances can easily enter the food supply. A group of chemicals called nitrofurans is on this list. Fish farmers use them to rid the water of certain microbes, but they’re mostly banned by the FDA. “It’s been shown to cause cancer,” McCord says, “and it also disrupts human cell reproduction.”

Read more
Public Safety
3:36 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

What Do Dog Bites, Wildfires, and 12th & Chicon Have in Common?

Fire resources, neighborhood patrols, and dog bites will be discussed at the Public Safety Commission.
KUT News

City of Austin officials will address all these titular topics and more at a jam-packed meeting of the Public Safety Commission this afternoon, the group that makes safety-related recommendations to the City Council.

Following a 15-minute allotment for public comment, the members of the commission will hear from speakers on several topics. Speakers and their topics include:

  • Austin Fire Department Chief of Staff Harry Evans and Austin Firefighters Association President Bob Nicks, on wildfire risk.
  • Austin Police Department Assistant Chief Patrick Ockletree, on neighborhood enforcement issues in the 12th and Chicon area.
  • APD Assistant Chief Rail Munguia, on neighborhood enforcement issues in the downtown area.
  • A representative from APD, on Travis County Animal Services' report on "dog bites in relation to public safety."

Read more
Austin
5:43 pm
Wed August 29, 2012

Demolition and Rebuilding at 12th and Chicon

A building steps away from the corner of 12th and Chicon Streets was demolished today to make way for a mixed use building in an effort to revitalize the area.
Photo by Kelly Connelly, KUT News

The intersection of 12th and Chicon streets is associated with the sale and use of drugs, but soon it could be home to a different kind of retail altogether.

The Chestnut Neighborhood Revitalization Corporation (CNRC) is a nonprofit affiliated with the area's neighborhood association. Today, it began the demolition of a building just steps away from the corner to make way for mixed-use structures that will house stores on the ground floor and residential units above.

Two other buildings between 12th and 14th streets are slated for the same makeover. The developments will make up a project called the Chicon Corridor.

Read more
Environment
5:12 pm
Fri July 27, 2012

Remembering Lady Bird Johnson This Weekend

Lady Bird Johnson and her husband, former President Lyndon Baines Johnson, contributed to the beautification of the nation's highways.
Lady Bird Wildflower Center

It’s been one hundred years since the birth of the legendary Lady Bird Johnson.

The Texas First Lady's time in the White House was marked by several environmental conservation and beautification efforts – a cause she pursued locally after leaving Washington with the foundation of the National Wildflower Research Center and her work beautifying Town Lake (which was since renamed in her honor).

The Wildflower Center, which bears Lady Bird’s name, remembers Mrs. Johnson this Sunday with a day-long tribute. Admission is free, with doors opening at 9 a.m.

Read more
AM Update: 7/27/12
8:22 am
Fri July 27, 2012

AM Update: Early Voting Ending, Aurora Victim Laid to Rest, Longhorns in the Olympics

Today is the last day to cast a ballot before Election Day on Tuesday.
flickr.com/kcivey

Last Day to Vote Early

Today is the last day to cast your ballot early in the primary runoff election.

You can click here to find a list of early voting locations in Travis County. Most locations close at 6 p.m. The polling place at the Travis County Offices on Airport Boulevard is open until 7 p.m.

Less than three percent of registered Travis County voters have cast a ballot so far.

Election Day for the primary runoff is Tuesday. On Election Day you’ll only be allowed to vote at your precinct.

Colorado Shooting Victim Remembered in Austin

A funeral for the former Austinite killed in the Aurora movie theater massacre will take place in Austin today.

Read more
AM Update 7/20/12
7:50 am
Fri July 20, 2012

AM Update: Lackland Air Base Sexual Assault Case, Austin Movie Security, Summer Sales Tax Holiday

The basic training graduation ceremony at Lackland Air Force Base earlier this year.
flickr.com/thomasebunton

Lackland Assault Case Nears Conclusion

The case against Staff Sergeant Luis Walker, the trainer accused of sexual assault at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, is wrapping up. Closing arguments got underway this  morning.

Staff Sgt. Walker is accused of 28 counts that include rape and sexual assault.

In three days of testimony, the prosecution presented 14 witnesses, including alleged victims. The defense brought only one witness, a technical sergeant familiar with the video surveillance capabilities throughout the base.

Read more
Austin
4:47 pm
Mon July 16, 2012

Barton Springs Gets a Rain Check

Hot summer days draw Austinites to Barton Springs - but rainy weather has temporarily closed the pool.
KUT Staff

Recent rains have caused flooding and debris to accumulate in Barton Springs Pool.

The city's Parks and Recreation Aquatic Division has temporarily closed the pool “due to flooding conditions,” according to a press release. No reopening date has been issued.

Staff must wait for rains to stop – not a problem we often have in Austin – before they can remove debris, clean the pool and assess its condition. 

Transportation
1:54 pm
Mon July 16, 2012

Drought Takes Toll on State Highway 130

Construction of State Highway 130 is underway near its intersection with U.S. Highway 183 near Mustang Ridge.
State Highway 130 Concession Company

Despite setbacks, State Highway 130 is still set to open in its entirety by November. The toll road will connect the North Austin area with Interstate 10, hopefully easing traffic on Interstate 35.

But SH-130 was the victim of drought-induced damage to its structural integrity. Once-moist clay dried out and contracted, causing shifts in the ground underneath the asphalt and cracking the road on top. Parts of the 41-mile stretch of road between Mustang Ridge and Seguin need to be redone and preventative measures are being taken to keep the damage from reoccurring.

SH-130 is being constructed by a private company, acting as a proxy for the Texas Department of Transportation. Chris Lippinpott is the spokesman for the State Highway 130 Concession Company, the organization in charge of the design, construction, finance, operation, and maintenance of the highway. Lippincott says the cost of the road will total nearly $1.325 billion.

Read more
Austin
2:08 pm
Thu July 12, 2012

What Happens When Iconic Austin Street Art is Defaced?

Found on the Drag, this iconic frog was painted by singer-songwriter Daniel Johnston.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

As home to the state capitol, a flagship university and natural treasures like Barton Springs, Austin isn’t hurting for landmarks. But there’s also an underground placemaking collection: the city's street art.

There’s the “Greetings From Austin” mural on South First Street, movie stills on the old Varsity Theatre building across from campus, even the “I Love You So Much” scrawled on the side of Jo’s Coffee on South Congress Avenue.

There’s also “Jeremiah the Innocent,” more commonly known as the “Hi, How Are You?” frog. Painted by songwriter Daniel Johnston, the design was famously worn by Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain.

Earlier this week, the frog was defaced by taggers. And while it’s not the first time that’s happened, it raises an interesting question: What happens when unofficial landmarks like Johnston’s frog – which, with its charmingly crude design could itself be mistaken for graffiti – get tagged?

Read more
Austin
4:21 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

Bats Gone Wild: Congress Street Bridge Bat Found with Rabies

Austinites and tourists watch bats take off in droves from the Congress Street Bridge at sunset.
KUT Staff

Thinking about watching the bats on Congress Street Bridge the evening?

The Austin/Travis County Health and Human Service Department released information today that a bat from under the Congress Street Bridge has tested positive for rabies.

Carole Barasch is with the Health and Human Service Department. She says it isn’t unusual to find a bat with rabies – problems arise when these bats come into contact with humans. The Health and Human Service Department is on alert because it's received word from a third party that an adult female came into contact with a rabid bat at 10:15 p.m. on Tuesday, July 3.

Read more

Pages