Kenn Zuniga

Image courtesy Chrissy Olson

Hold on to your yacht club officer hats! The Texas House Ways and Means Committee has approved a tax break for big yachts, the San Antonio Express News reports.

The bill, authored by State Rep. John Davis (R-Houston) would limit Texans’ sales tax on boats to $18,000, matching Florida’s sales tax, regardless of the cost of the yacht.

Photo courtesy of Brian Zaccheo

Scientists at the University of Texas at Austin have developed a biosensor that costs as little as a  dollar to help test for acute pancreatitis. The materials include a 12-cent LED light, aluminum foil, gelatin, milk protein, and a few other inexpensive items. Brian Zaccheo, a graduate research assistant at UT’s chemistry department, says that the development saves time, money, and lives by using this low-tech approach.

Photo by ~gholmes~

 The family-friendly New Year’s Eve celebration known as “First Night Austin” is no more, at least for the time being. Dewy Brooks, the group's president for the non-profit organization, says that funding was the main issue for the decision.

Photo by Kenn Zuniga

The U. S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit dismissed a lawsuit last week claiming that the President’s National Day of Prayer is unconstitutional. The lawsuit, filed by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, claims that the day violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. The Establishment Clause provides that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion. ”

Photo by Jeff Heimsath for KUT News

President Barack Obama is heading to Austin for a fundraiser. The visit is planned for May 10. 

President Obama announced this week that he would run for re-election in 2012. It wasn't a huge surprise, but he is the first to announce his plans.