Kenn Zuniga

Intern
Politics
2:58 pm
Fri April 29, 2011

House Committee Approves Tax Breaks For Yachts

Image courtesy Chrissy Olson http://www.flickr.com/photos/islandgyrl/131024031/lightbox/#/photos/islandgyrl/131024031/

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.

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Health
11:07 am
Tue April 26, 2011

UT Researchers Invent Dollar Diagnosis

The biosensor, developed by a UT graduate student, is the size of a half-dollar.
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.

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Austin
2:37 pm
Fri April 22, 2011

First Night Austin Says Farewell

Capitol Metro Bus during 2009's First Night Austin
Photo by ~gholmes~ http://www.flickr.com/photos/gholmes/4273941637/in/set-72157623085375651

 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.

Politics
12:19 pm
Tue April 19, 2011

National Day of Prayer is Constitutional

National Day of Prayer is the first Thursday in May
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. ”

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Politics
3:25 pm
Fri April 8, 2011

President Obama to Return to Austin

President Obama spoke at UT in August 2010.
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.

Austin
4:03 pm
Tue April 5, 2011

Austin Gears Up for Texas Relays

The 84th-annual Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays will be held on the UT Campus this weekend.
Photo by KUT News

City officials are working together on this year’s Texas Relays to improve how visitors are welcomed to Austin. The track and field event is held on the University of Texas campus and attracts high school and college athletes from throughout Texas and across the country.

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Education
3:43 pm
Tue March 22, 2011

Anti-Bully Pulpit

Bullies could be moved to another classroom or campus, under a proposed bill in the Texas Senate.
Photo by KUT News

A Texas Senate committee looked at legislation that would change definitions and solutions for bullying and cyber bullying issues. Sen. Wendy Davis (D-Fort Worth) authored a bill that provides the removal of a bully to another classroom or campus at the request of the victim. Currently, the student-victim of the bullying is moved.

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Austin
2:14 pm
Fri March 11, 2011

If You Build It, They Will Come

More than two dozen people await the opening of the pop-up Apple Store on Congress and 6th.
Photo by Kenn Zuniga

Consider it just another Southby line? Think again! People queued up for hours outside Apple’s "pop-up" store. The store opens today at 5 p.m. on the southwest corner of Congress Ave and 6th street. It'll only be open for two weeks and coincides with the release of Apple's iPad 2 and the beginning of the 2011 SXSW Conferences.

Austin resident John Muehlbauer postponed the start of his SXSW plans and was first in line at 6:30 this morning with his chair in hand hoping to be the first person to purchase the new iPad 2.

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Texas
4:51 pm
Tue March 8, 2011

Texas Peace Officers Memorial Hopes to Get a Facelift

You'll find the Texas Peace Officers Memorial, located on the northeast part of the Capitol.  You'll also find it's in need of repairs. The memorial is dedicated to law enforcement officers and corrections personnel in the state of Texas who've died in the line of duty.

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Politics
4:29 pm
Fri March 4, 2011

Is There a Cost to the Abortion Sonogram Bill?

Lawmakers debate the abortion sonogram bill.
Photo by KUT

Last night the Texas House gave initial approval to the abortion sonogram bill by a 103-42 vote. House Bill 15 requires a woman seeking an abortion to receive a sonogram within 24-hours before the procedure. The bill would also require to show the image of the fetus while explaining to the patient what's on the screen and playing the audio of the heartbeat.  

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Health
2:22 pm
Tue March 1, 2011

Got Flu Shot?

Health clinics around the region continue to offer flu vaccine into the spring
Photo by KUT News

Warmer weather...bright sunshine...trees starting to blossom...it's beginning to look a lot like spring!  But that doesn't mean that flu season's over.

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Health
12:25 pm
Tue March 1, 2011

Infant Deaths Lead to Sleep Warning

Travis County officials are warning parents about the ABC's of safe sleeping for infants and toddlers.
Image courtesy D. Clow-Maryland http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidclow/

The Travis County Medical Examiner’s Office is investigating five infant deaths that have occurred in the past two weeks. Three of those deaths occurred while the child was sleeping with their parents in an adult bed. The other two deaths happened on what investigators call "unconventional sleep surfaces," like large pillow, couches or air mattresses.

Officials want to make sure parents know the ABC's of creating a safe sleeping environment for a child.

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Education
3:06 pm
Tue February 22, 2011

BBB Warns of Bogus Financial Aid Assistance

The Better Business Bureau is warning students and parents about potentially-shady financial aid schemes.
Image by KUT News

As students and parents struggle to fill out the FAFSA form to pay for college next year, the Better Business Bureau is warning consumers to be wary of some companies offering scholarship or financial aid money. The businesses reportedly claim that they will be able to provide help in securing some scholarships and potential financial aid. Last year, the BBB received nearly 400 complaints nationwide from students and parents by scholarship and financial aid companies.

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Austin
3:14 pm
Tue February 15, 2011

UT Defines Operational Emergency Terms

Police escort University of Texas students to safety during the campus shooting incident on September 28, 2010
Image by KUT News/Mose Buchele

In response to feedback about how the University of Texas can better inform students, faculty, and employees about emergency situations, U.T.'s Office of Campus Safety and Security has developed a webpage and will distribute posters that clarifies the definition between “shelter in place” and “lockdown.”

The two terms had been undefined by officials in the past and were being used interchangeably by some media outlets after the September 28, 2010 shooting incident at the university's Perry-Castaneda Library.

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Arts and Culture
2:30 pm
Tue February 8, 2011

Texas State Whittliff Collections Acquire More From Sam Shepard

Sam Shepard, left, and Johnny Dark, 1981
Photo from the Sam Shepard/Johnny Dark Correspondence Collection

 Texas State University in San Marcos is adding to their Whittliff Collections on Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and Academy Award-nominated actor Sam Shepard. The new Sam Shepard/Johnny Dark Correspondence Collection will include personal letters, photographs, taped conversations and a homemade film which documents the friendship between the two men over many years.

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Austin
5:23 pm
Tue February 1, 2011

Austin Film Festival and Texas Book Festival Come Together in 2011

People listen to Laura Bush speak at the Texas Book Fest in 2010. The Book Festival and the Austin Film Festival will join forces for some events this year.
Photo by KUT News

Aficionados of books and film will have a golden opportunity to meet authors and screenwriters at the same time throughout the year and culminating in a joint festival this fall. The Austin Film Festival (AFF) will run October 20-27 in conjunction with the Texas Book Festival (TBF) October 22-23. Barbara Morgan, Executive Director of the Austin Film Festival, says both nonprofit organizations will benefit writers in the Austin community.

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Texas
3:02 pm
Tue February 1, 2011

CASA Day at the Capitol

Display at the State Capitol of Texas children who died last year of neglect and abuse.
Photo by Kenn Zuniga for KUT News

Today was CASA Day at the Capitol.  A memorial was also displayed at the Capitol today, showing the names and ages of the Texas children that died of abuse and neglect in 2010.  Funding for CPS workers and services for children in foster care was the most pressing issue at today’s event for the CASA volunteers.

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Environment
4:29 pm
Fri January 28, 2011

Austin Falls Behind San Marcos In Multifamily Recycling

Image courtesy cote http://www.flickr.com/photos/cote/

If you were asked which Central Texas city was offers the best recycling service, what would your answer be? If you answered Austin, then you could be wrong.

As of February 1st, San Marcos residents living in multifamily units will become the first in Central Texas  to receive a single-stream recycling service. Single-stream recycling allows residents to mix recyclable paper, aluminum cans, glass and plastic in one 90-gallon bin.  Each apartment unit in San Marcos will be billed an extra $5.53 a month for the weekly service.

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