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Border & Immigration
1:55 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Watch: Gov. Perry's Border Announcement

Texas Gov. Rick Perry is ordering National Guard troops to the border with Mexico.

Gov. Perry says the U.S. Border Patrol is overwhelmed with the humanitarian needs of the tens of thousands of children coming in from Central America, and unable to devote enough of its resources to border security.

Perry is also calling on the federal government to pay for another 1,000 guard troops at the border until more Border Patrol officers can be brought in. The announcement follows last month’s deployment of Texas DPS resources to the Rio Grande.

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Elections 2014
4:59 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Can Democrats Really Keep Up With Republicans in the Fundraising Race?

Texas Democrats may be raising more money from individual donors, but Republican campaigns have proven adept at consistently garnering campaign-sustaining contributions.
Photo by KUT News

Both candidates in the race for governor have raised $11 million since late February. In the race for lieutenant governor, the Democratic candidate beat out the heavily-favored Republican nominee in fundraising over the last campaign finance reporting period. To some that could appear to be a watershed moment in Texas politics for red state Democrats, but The Austin American-Statesman's chief political writer Jonathan Tilove says the moment is a bit misleading, if not one-sided.  

Tilove spoke with The Texas Standard's David Brown about whether the Democrats' historic fundraising efforts will be enough to defeat their Republican opponents in November. 

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Obama in Austin
3:55 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

President Obama is Back in Austin Today

President Barack Obama addresses a crowd in the Paramount Theater in downtown Austin, Texas on Thursday.
Ilana Panich-Linsman/KUT

Note: This post initially contained the White House livestream of Obama's speech. As the speech has concluded and is not yet archived, we have removed the embed.

A recap:

President Obama is flying back to Washington DC after spending the night in Austin. This morning, Obama attended a round table discussion at the home of Democratic activist Aimee Boone Cunningham and then drove the Paramount Theater to deliver a speech – the first time a president has spoken at the Paramount since it opened in 1915.

The president's speech focused on economic opportunity and the middle class. Obama attacked Congressional Republicans for not agreeing to increase the minimum wage, extend unemployment insurance benefits or pass equal pay laws. 

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Austin
4:09 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

UT President Bill Powers Will Stay One More Year

Embattled University of Texas President Bill Powers resigned today under the threat of firing from the university's board of regents.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT

University of Texas at Austin President Bill Powers has announced his resignation, effective about a year from now on June 2, 2015.

Last week, U.T. System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa called on Powers to resign or face being fired at tomorrow’s meeting of the Board of Regents. Powers responded with a letter asking that he stay on until after the next session of the Texas Legislature. Cigarroa has accepted Powers' letter of resignation; the Board of Regents still needs to sign off on it. 

Below, you can listen to Powers' exclusive interview with Texas Standard's David Brown about what he wishes to accomplish in his remaining year and his future with the University of Texas.

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City Council
3:36 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

Dais Gets Renovated Ahead of Changes at City Council

Crew members disassemble the dais on July 9, 2014.
Bryan Winter/KUT

Come November the Austin City Council is going to look a bit different. The council will expand from six at-large-elected  members to 10 members elected by citizens within their district — plus the mayor, naturally. In anticipation of the change, the city is revamping the council's dais. 

Immigration
5:08 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

Texas Militias Plan to Patrol the Border Near Laredo

Operation Secure Our Border could head down to the Texas-Mexico border as soon as next week.
Facebook

Militia groups are planning their own response to the recent flood of Central American immigrants across the Texas-Mexico border, according to a San Antonio Express-News report. The initiative called Operation Secure Our Border says it is recruiting armed volunteers to bolster law enforcement and border patrols near Laredo as soon as next week, but that they will not directly engage any so-called "illegals."

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Life & Arts
4:20 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

Texas Bats Help Deliver New Sweetener

Texas long-nosed bats help cultivate Maguey plants in the Mexican desert.
Lucy Nieto

A new organic sweetener has hit the Texas market. Well, certain Central Markets around Texas for now anyway.

Villa de Patos, a family-run business in Mexico, is hoping to push its sweetness into other stores this side of the border soon. Maguey Sweet Sap is made from the nectar of a Maguey plant – an agave plant that grows chiefly in the Mexican dessert without the use of pesticides or synthetic fertilizers.

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Texas
3:05 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

For Trailblazing Texan Oveta Culp Hobby, a Long Overdue Biography

Col Oveta Culp Hobby (right) talks with Auxiliary Margaret Peterson and Capt. Elizabeth Gilbert in this 1943 photo at New York's Mitchel Field.
Al Aumuller/ World Telegram & Sun/Library of Congress

From the small Texas town of Killeen, Oveta Culp Hobby grew up into a remarkable woman, serving her country and opening doors for women in the military.  

She helped establish the Women’s Army Corps and received a distinguished service medal – the first woman in the army ever to do so. She also served as Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare under President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

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Texas
5:02 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Texas Volunteers Turn Out to Aid Migrant Children

On the pedestrian bridge from Juarez, Mexico, to El Paso, Texas.
flickr.com/spamily

The U.S Border Patrol says it has been overwhelmed with the massive influx of migrant children crossing into Texas from Central America. Many of them are arriving with nothing but the clothes on their backs. The Border Patrol turned for immediate emergency relief to a group well-versed in emergency relief efforts, including the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention disaster relief effort.

"We provide temporary solutions. We come in during the crisis,” says director Jim Richardson. The organization just wrapped up its work at the border near Brownsville, where volunteers provided food, safe shower facilities and clean clothes.

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WEATHER
4:56 am
Fri June 13, 2014

Severe Thunderstorms Roll Through Austin

Severe weather alerts have been lifted for Central Texas.
National Weather Service

Update: The National Weather Service will be out in Burnet County today to investigate reports of a possible tornado. There are reports of damage in Briggs – which is off of U.S. 183 between Leander and Lampasas.

Last night’s storms brought high winds, hail and heavy rain in some places. Here are some of the highest 24-hour rain totals:

  • Downtown Austin: 2.54
  • Marble Falls: 2.34
  • Burnet: 1.58
  • Manchaca: 1.52
  • Elgin: 0.98
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Health
10:02 am
Fri June 6, 2014

What Pill Was I Supposed to Take? A New App Remembers For You

Filament Labs CEO Jason Bornhorst and Colin Anawaty, Chief Production Officer
patientio.com

Eat this, not that. Exercise daily – but don’t overdo it. Go easy on the salt. Limit your caffeine. Take the white pills in the morning with food and the yellow ones in the evening with water.

Wait – what?

Following the doctor’s orders isn’t always so easy – especially for people with chronic conditions, who often have multiple medical providers. Sometimes it's just plain confusing. Bur now a new app's come along to help with all that – and it could be a lifesaver.

Patient IO is being developed by Texas-based Filament Labs, a healthcare technology company headquartered in Austin. The new app promises to bridge the gap between patients and doctors. 

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GOP Convention
3:32 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

Plea for Party Unity as Texas Republican Convention Opens

Gov. Rick Perry kicked off the Texas Republican convention this morning in Fort Worth.
Ben Philpott/KUT

Rick Perry, the longest-serving governor in Texas history, kicked off the state GOP convention in Fort Worth today.

In a speech to the party faithful, Gov. Perry addressed the state's shifting demographics that Democrats hope will help them win big in election cycles to come – the "fight to keep Texas red" in the words of convention materials. "The national Democrats think Texas is the new battleground," Perry told the crowd. "Well let's be really clear, Texas will be their political burial ground."

Though he isn't seeking re-election in November, Perry has left the door wide open to a second presidential run in 2016. He told thousands of delegates gathered in Fort Worth that grassroots conservatives have already "changed Texas for the better" and urged them to do the same for America.

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Primary Runoff Election
9:57 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

Texas Primary Runoff Election Results & Analysis

Repubican State Rep. Dan Patrick chats with reporters while stoping at a polling station in Cypress, Texas Tuesday, May 27, 2014 to stump for votes in his runoff for the Republican spot for Lt Gov. against Lt Gov David Dewhurst.
Michael Stravato/Texas Tribune

Polls across Texas are now closed in the 2014 Democratic and Republican primary runoff elections. Since the start of early voting May 19, voters have selected six candidates that will run in November's general election. 

Republican runoff voters cast ballots in four contests:

  • The bitter battle for Lieutenant Governor nominee, pitting incumbent David Dewhurst against State Sen. Dan Patrick. Patrick has won the nomination.
  • The Attorney General battle between State Rep. Dan Branch and State Sen. Ken Paxton. Paxton has won the nomination.
  • The Agriculture Commissioner contest between former state Reps. Tommy Merritt and Sid Miller. Miller has won the nomination.
  • The Railroad Commissioner runoff between former state Rep. Wayne Christian and oil and gas consultant Ryan Sitton. Sitton has won the nomination.

On the Democratic side, two contests:

  • The nominee for U.S. Senate, between establishment favorite David Alameel and outsider Kesha Rogers. Alameel has won the nomination.
  • The Agriculture Commissioner runoff between entertainer Kinky Friedman and unknown Jim Hogan. Hogan has won the nomination.

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UT Medical School
12:09 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

Construction of UT's New Dell Medical School Kicks Off

A rendering of the new Seton Medical Center at The University of Texas, part of the cluster of complexes accompanying UT's new Dell Medical School.
youtube.com/user/setonfamily

Update: Among the speakers at today's dedication: UT-Austin President Bill Powers, Dell Medical School Dean Dr. Clay Johnston, and State Sen. Kirk Watson, who helped lead the push for the medical school.

“Make no mistake. Today isn’t just about three new buildings on our skyline," Sen. Watson said. "Our community will be different – healthier and stronger – thanks to this project we’re launching today."

Johnston said that the school's launch offers the chance to design everything from the ground up.

"We have a responsibility to take advantage of our newness, to test out different ways of doing things that could become models for the rest of the country."

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Transportation
1:58 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Get Ready for This Red River Street Closure That Lasts Into 2015

The Frank Erwin Center sits in the center of the stretch of Red River Street that will remain closed until 2015.
Larry D. Moore, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Nv8200p

You may want to take a drive along Red River Street this weekend: it’s your last chance before the street is realigned to make way for UT-Austin's new Dell Medical School.

Starting Monday, Red River Street will be closed from Martin Luther King Boulevard to 15th Street – and it’s not scheduled to re-open until January.

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Civil Rights Summit
5:37 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Watch President Bush Address the Civil Rights Summit

Former President George W. Bush  is speaking this afternoon at the Civil Rights Summit at the LBJ Presidential Library and Museum on UT campus.

The summit, which gathers four U.S Presidents and dozens of other speakers, marks the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s Civil Rights Act.

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Austin
3:29 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Obama Celebrates 50 Years of the Civil Rights Act

President Obama spoke before the Civil Rights Summit on Apr. 10, 2014.
LBJ Presidential Library and Museum

President  Obama delivered a speech today at the LBJ Presidential Library and Museum at the Civil Rights Summit celebrating 50th anniversary of President Lyndon B. Johnson signing the Civil Rights Act. 

Obama paid tribute to Johnson's tenacity and vision in fostering the passage of the Civil Rights Act —  as well as other landmark legislation including the Voting Rights Act, the Immigration and Nationality Act and the Fair Housing Act. He characterized the Texan president as strong-willed -- but flawed, despite his successes -- and said that the fight for equality isn't  over. 

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Texas Standard
11:25 am
Wed April 9, 2014

Setting A New Standard, Texas Style

'No matter where you are, it's Texas Standard time...'
Credit Time Magazine

In the 21st century, as Texas goes, so goes the rest of the country?  Many think so.  And not just Texans.  As a recent Time magazine story proclaimed, "(i)t's not an accident that three of the five fastest growing cities are in Texas. It's more like destiny."

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Fort Hood
3:59 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

Fort Hood Update: Argument Likely Triggered Shooting

Gov. Rick Perry and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz visited Fort Hood today,and met with victims and first responders.
https://twitter.com/TexGov

Flags are still flying at half-staff in Fort Hood today, in remembrance of the three people killed and 16 injured by alleged shooter Spc. Ivan Lopez, who also took his own life.

Fort Hood officials held a press conference this afternoon on the status of their investigation into the shooting. Fort Hood commander Lt. Gen. Mark Milley backed away from statements he made yesterday describing Spc. Lopez's "unstable psychiatric or psychological condition" as "the fundamental underlying causal factor" in the shooting.

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Fort Hood
5:27 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

New Details Emerge in Fort Hood Shooting

Lt. Gen. Mark Milley gave an update to press last night on the Fort Hood shooting at the Fort Hood main gate.
Fort Hood Public Affairs Office

This post contains Day 2 developments in the Fort Hood shooting. See our initial report on the shooting here.

Summary: Family counseling centers are set up at Fort Hood and at a location off post to help people process yesterday’s shooting. A chapel on the post was open all night for people who wanted to pray.

Four are dead and 16 are injured from a shooting at the Army post. The suspected shooter, 34-year-old soldier Ivan Lopez, is among the dead. He was killed by a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Lopez was an Iraq war veteran and was in the process of being diagnosed for post-traumatic stress disorder

KUT reporter Kate McGee traveled to Fort Hood yesterday. She talked with KUT Host Jennifer Stayton about the shooting:

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