Kristen Cabrera

News intern

Kristen Cabrera is a news intern at KUT.  She recently graduated from the University of Texas-Pan American with a BA in Communications-Journalism.

Twitter/ayo unreal

From Texas Standard:

Black Lives Matter: we’ve heard it a lot lately in the wake of more police shootings of black men. It came up – in different ways – at both the Republican and the Democratic National Conventions. It’s also showing up in places where there are not a lot of black lives – places like the Rio Grande Valley – with a black population of just one percent.

Photo by Sean Murphy

Bastrop County Complex Fire Update

Bastrop county officials say the Bastrop County Complex fire was 95 percent contained as of Sunday. Officials released The Bastrop County Complex Fire Factsheet on the county's Office of Emergency Management Facebook page.

Austin City Limits Festival 2011

Yesterday rounded out  the last day of the ACL festival. If you were not part of the 75,000 people there each day, KUT's Texas Music Matters has reviews of the headlining acts. Here is just a handful:

Photo by cool.as.a.cucumber http://www.flickr.com/photos/smreilly/

Spontaneous combustion is real, at least when it comes to compost heaps.

Large commercial compost heaps of over 12 feet tall can become dangerous if not properly maintained, says Lauren Hammond, spokesperson for Austin's solid waste services department.

She says, the conditions have to be "just right" for a pile to self-ignite.

The record triple digit heat we've been experiencing can raise the temperature of a compost pile above 160 degrees. Mix that with the various gasses that are released from decomposition and the abundance of dry organic material, and you could have a real fire hazard on your hands.

Though most residential compost piles are no where near 12 feet tall, Hammond says, they still need to be maintained and monitored weekly.

Photo by KUT News

Austin School board passes budget; Argues over historic property tax breaks

After passing a $700 million operating budget for the 2011-2012 school year, the Austin Independent School District focused on Historic Property tax breaks. Last year the program was suspended due to budget concerns, but this year the school board voted to reinstate the program--at an estimated cost of $382,000.  

Photo by Alanahmontreal at http://www.flickr.com/photos/alanahmontreal/3860014203/

Leaving out cat food for the neighborhood cat? You might be feeding the neighborhood bear instead, according to a statement by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

“We’re getting a few reports of people seeing bears during daylight hours, and that’s unusual,” says Mike Krueger of Texas Parks and Wildlife. “It’s the associated water around homes and the food. The pet food, the smell of cooking; all those things could attract bears. ”

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