Kelsey Sheridan

News Intern

Kelsey Sheridan is a news intern at KUT. She currently studies religion and journalism at Northwestern University.

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Business
2:39 pm
Tue July 19, 2011

Small Businesses Could Be Blamed For Their Customers' Web Piracy

Small businesses, such as those that line the Drag, could face penalties for their customers' illegal downloads.
Photo by KUT News

Small businesses that offer wireless connections to their customers could be on the hook for illegal downloads that happen on their networks, according to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB)

Record labels, movie studios and other industry groups recently struck a deal where participating internet service providers (ISPs) will issue warnings to customers whose accounts are allegedly used to steal content. The NFIB says small business owners could be charged, fined or worse.

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Politics
12:38 pm
Tue July 19, 2011

Travis County Gets $205 Million in Bond Project Proposals

Public hearings will be held at the Granger Building to address a new list of recommendations from the Travis County Citizens Bond Advisory Committee.
Photo by Erik Reyna for KUT News

People in charge of recommending bond-funded improvements to Travis County infrastructure like roads and parks have slashed their original recommendation from 120 projects to 36. But they still couldn't bring the price tag down to the $150 million county commissioners had requested.

The county's 2011 Citizens Bond Advisory Committee submitted its finalized list of recommendations today. The total cost would be $205 million.

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Business
12:07 pm
Mon July 18, 2011

Texas Researchers Find Dangerous Conditions On Gulf Coast Shrimping Boats

Shrimp like these are obtained through dangerous working conditions, primarily by Vietnamese fisherman, a new UT study confirms.
Photo courtesy of Southern Foodways Alliance http://www.flickr.com/photos/southernfoodwaysalliance/

When a shrimper goes out on the Gulf of Mexico for a day's work they are supposed to bring a laminated "Mayday" card in case of emergency. The card has instructions on how to call in an emergency from the sea by radio. It also includes a conversation guide printed in English and Vietnamese.

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Politics
11:38 am
Thu July 14, 2011

Travis County Republicans Charter Buses for Prayer Event

Travis County's Republican Party is organizing buses to take people to "The Response" next month at Houston's Reliant Stadium.
Image courtesy flickr.com/The Brit_2

The Travis County Republicans announced they would provide buses to next month's prayer and fasting meeting at Houston's Reliant Stadium, The Response,  on a first come, first served basis today.

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Arts and Culture
10:46 am
Thu July 14, 2011

Review Roundup: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2

The gritty adventures of Harry Potter conclude with the final movie to be released tonight at midnight.
Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.

The mission of KUT News is to bring you news about the issues important to people living in Austin. But we also know that news just can't always compete with everyone's favorite bespectacled wizard. The last Harry Potter film opens at midnight tonight. KUT News brings you a roundup of reviews for "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2.

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Business
1:01 pm
Wed July 13, 2011

F1 To Get More Building Permits Today

This view will change significantly now that Formula One has secured more building permits and FEMA has issued a conditional map revision.
Photo courtesy of Circuit of the Americas

Planners for the proposed Formula One race track in Southeast Travis County are a step closer to starting construction on some of the buildings at the track.

Officials met with several Travis County agencies last night, including the Transportation and Natural Resources and Sheriff's Departments and Fire Marshal’s Office, to discuss transportation and safety planning. County authorities are issuing building permits for more structures at the track today.

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Austin
12:32 pm
Wed July 13, 2011

Local Video Stores Hope to Capitalize on Netflix Hike

Austin's-based video store I Luv Video hopes to cash in on Netflix's DVD rental price hike through local loyalty and more spur-of-the-moment business.
Photo by Jessie Wang for KUT News

Netflix customers received an email yesterday explaining a new pricing system. Starting Sept. 1 customers will have to opt to receive unlimited DVDs by mail for $7.99 or unlimited streaming for the same price. If you want both you’ll now have to pay $15.98, which is a 60% increase from the current cost.

The announcement has many customers reeling all through the blogosphere. But it's music to the ears of local video stores, like I Luv Video.

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Education
11:12 am
Wed July 13, 2011

TEA Announces 178 Additional Layoffs

The Texas Education Agency is laying off more staff to keep up with state budget cuts, reducing some of the agency support available to teachers and school districts.
Photo by KUT News

The Texas Education Agency announced another 178 employees will be laid off this week. This is in addition to the 91 employees that were laid off in February of this year.

In addition to the 269 terminated employees, 58 employees retired or resigned and 16 were transferred.

The layoffs mean TEA will see a 32% reduction in staff due to a $48 million--or 36%--budget cut from the state.

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Environment
2:21 pm
Wed July 6, 2011

Water Precautions for New Schlitterbahn Park

Schitterbahn's owners expect to open a new water park in Cedar Park, like the one on Galveston Island (pictured), in 2013.
Photo coutesy Galveston.com http://www.flickr.com/photos/galvestonisland/

A new Schiltterbahn water park will open in two years in Cedar Park. It’s slated to be smaller than the New Braunfels location. Officials say plans for the park take into consideration frequent drought conditions in Central Texas, much like the region is experiencing now.

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Sports
12:25 pm
Tue July 5, 2011

Ticket City Suffers Now that Nadal Not to Play Davis Cup

Photo by KUT News

Many tennis fans were disappointed to learn that star player Rafael Nadal would not be coming to Austin this weekend for a Davis Cup quarterfinal match between Spain and the USA. Nadal announced he would not play in the tournament in late June because he wanted to recover after Wimbledon.

Before the announcement, the match had sold out.

In addition to individuals who wanted to see Nadal’s performance, some of the seats were purchased by ticket resellers such as Ticket City who were estimating the price they could sell the tickets at based on Nadal’s participation.

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Environment
11:40 am
Tue July 5, 2011

Drought Hurts Some Insects and Helps Others

Photo by Prashant Maxsteel http://www.flickr.com/photos/prashantmaxsteel/

The drought presents both good and bad news for Austinites struggling with insect and pest populations. Ants and mosquitos are in decline right now, while spider mites and chinch bugs are thriving.  

Texas Agri-Life entomologist Wizzie Brown says that hot dry conditions are good for some insect populations and bad for others. She says the number of fire ants at ground level and mosquito populations drop during droughts.

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Austin
3:16 pm
Fri July 1, 2011

Statewide "No Refusal" Weekend in Place for July Fourth

Photo by KUT News

Austin's "No Refusal" weekends are going statewide. Over the past two years, Austin has implemented "No Refusal" DWI enforcement around major holidays and events like Mardi Gras.

But for the first time ever, over 200 law enforcement agencies across the state will join the no-refusal enforcement effort this weekend.

"No refusal" means a driver cannot refuse a breathalyzer test if pulled over and accused of driving under the influence.

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Environment
2:32 pm
Fri July 1, 2011

Llano Water Supply Gets Boost From Newly Discovered Well

The Llano River's flow fluctuates greatly and is now nearly dry.
Photo by PaddyMurphy http://www.flickr.com/photos/paddymurphy/

There's a glimmer of hope for the Llano water supply. The city's primary water supply, the Llano River, was about to dry up. Emergency reservoirs would have enough water to supply the city for between 60 and 90 days. But officials have located an underground water source that could ease the water situation.

Llano City Manager Finley deGraffenried says water from a 200-foot-deep well struck yesterday is yielding about 100 gallons per minute, which will help a little.

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Austin
1:49 pm
Thu June 30, 2011

Holiday Weekend Closures

Photo by Simrat Sharma for KUT News

While City of Austin administrative offices and other municipal facilities will be closed on the national holiday, many recreational areas run by the city will still be open on the Fourth of July.

Here is a list of closures and open facilities.

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Business
3:05 pm
Wed June 29, 2011

City Council Waives Fees for Convention Center Hotel

Photo by Paulo Martins for KUT News

The mayor and City Council voted to waive $3.8 million in fees for White Lodging’s construction of a new convention center hotel in downtown Austin today.

Mayor Lee Leffingwell supports the construction of a convention center hotel as an effort to attract more tourism revenue. He says Austin’s convention center bookings have been declining because its capacity is too low. The mayor says he received interest in booking conventions as soon as rumors started circulating that Austin could expand its convention center space.

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Education
12:19 pm
Wed June 29, 2011

New Education Bill Gives School Districts More Spending Flexibilty

Photo by timuiuc http://www.flickr.com/people/timuiuc/

If signed by the governor, new language in Senate Bill 6 would give school boards more control over instructional materials at the local level.  But school boards would not get extra powers over the content of those materials.

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Austin
12:41 pm
Tue June 28, 2011

Back-in Angle Parking Spaces for South Congress

Photo by Nathan Bernier for KUT News

The City of Austin will install 70 new parking spaces of the “back-in angle” variety as part of the ongoing road improvements on South Congress Avenue. Some drivers have insisted on backing in to head-on spaces for years, but the new parking spaces will be specifically designed to do so.

Back-in angle parking is supposed to be safer than head-on parking because it provides better visibility. Car doors would no longer open into oncoming traffic or bicycle lanes. Unloading the trunk or dealing with car seats would also be easier because the back of the car is at the curb, further removed from traffic.

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Austin
9:56 am
Tue June 28, 2011

Austin Energy May Triple Number Who Qualify for Low Income Help

Photo by BFS Man http://www.flickr.com/photos/bfs_man/

Austin Energy is considering a small rate hike in order to finance an expansion of its low-income customer assistance programs. If the plan is enacted, it would triple the number of customers that receive discounts.

The proposal would add a surcharge of .065 cents to each kilowatt-hour. That amounts to an increase of about 65 cents a month for a typical customer’s electric bill, according to Ronnie Mendoza, manager of Customer Assistance Program.

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