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Austin
5:36 pm
Thu July 30, 2015

City Council Takes First Look at Proposed Budget

Courses on budgeting and responsible credit use is getting underway.
Photo by KUT News

The City of Austin today presented its proposed budget for FY 2015-16 to the new 10-1 City Council, which will work on finalizing the proposal before the new fiscal year on Oct. 1.  [View the proposed budget in full here.]

The proposal calls for spending a total of $3.5 billion, a $39-million increase from last year. The increase in property tax revenue for the city would total about $36 million.

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Transportation
9:41 am
Thu July 30, 2015

What You Need to Know About Changes to Vehicle Inspection and Registration

The state Department of Motor Vehicles has a new system for vehicle registration and inspection.
twostepsonesticker.com

If you drive a car in Texas, every year you need to do two things: get your vehicle inspected and renew its registration. Until this year, those were two separate stickers on your windshield.

But that’s changing now – which means a few new steps you'll want to be aware of.

Starting this year, the two stickers on your windshield are becoming one. Now Texans will get their vehicles inspected before renewing their registration, and then get just one sticker for both when they’re done.

It’s a big change that will eventually affect nearly every vehicle in the state. And it can be kind of confusing.

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Austin
3:24 pm
Tue July 28, 2015

Zimmerman Files Lawsuit Challenging City Campaign Finance Limits

A lawsuit filed by councilmember Don Zimmerman argues that campaign fundraising restrictions violate First Amendment rights.
Callie Hernandez/KUT News

District 6 City Council member Don Zimmerman filed a lawsuit Monday challenging the City of Austin's campaign finance restrictions, which he argues violate First Amendment freedoms.

In particular the suit addresses fundraising caps and blackout periods, arguing that these restrictions impede the council member's ability "to serve as a strong voice of fiscal restraint and liberty on the Council...[and] to communicate my views with my constituents and my city," according to the press release from Zimmerman's office.

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Energy & Environment
9:18 am
Tue July 28, 2015

Austin's First Triple-Digit Day Arrives Late, With More to Follow

Austin experienced its first 100-degree temperature day yesterday.
flickr.com/mrgarin

Austin’s seen its first triple-digit day of the summer. Just before 1 p.m. yesterday, Central Texas thermometers cracked the triple-digit seal, according to the National Weather Service. While the thermostat has thankfully stayed pretty low so far this year in Austin, that’s going to change.

When it comes to triple-digit days in Austin, the best way to describe what’s happening is, “Never would’ve been better than late.”

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Austin
8:57 am
Fri July 24, 2015

Photos: Sandra Bland March From East Austin Ends in Silent Vigil at the Capitol

Miguel Gutierrez, Jr./KUT

Demonstrators gathered last night for a vigil remembering Sandra Bland in a march that ran from Victory Grill in East Austin and ended in a silent vigil at the Texas State Capitol. Bland was found dead in a Waller County jail cell on July 13 after being arrested for an altercation with police that stemmed from a traffic violation.

Her case has drawn national attention after her family suggested her death wasn’t the result of a suicide, though an autopsy report has suggested there was no evidence Bland’s death was a homicide.

Above you can view a photo gallery of the march through East Austin and the vigil at the Capitol.

Business
1:10 pm
Tue July 14, 2015

Blue Bell Gets New Investor, Says Ice Cream Will Return to the Market

Blue Bell recalled ice cream and halted production earlier this year after 3 deaths were linked to listeria contamination in one of the company's plants. The company announced today that it found a new investor to help get its products back on shelves.
John Jordan/Texas Tribune

Brenham, Texas-based Blue Bell Creameries is getting a cash infusion that the company says will "ensure" the return of its ice cream to the market. The creamery announced Texas businessman Sid Bass has become a partner, though it did not say how much he’s investing.

“We are pleased Sid Bass has made a significant investment with our company. The additional capital will ensure the successful return of our ice cream to the market and our loyal customers,” said Paul Kruse, Blue Bell CEO and President, in a press statement posted on bluebell.com.

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Crime & Justice
4:48 pm
Mon July 13, 2015

Austin Ranks in Top Five For Number of Deaths by Police This Year

The Guardian released a comprehensive analysis of data on deaths by police in the U.S. So far this year, 6 people in Austin were fatally shot by police.
The Guardian

Austin has the fourth-highest total number of people fatally shot by police this year, according to a new analysis by the Guardian Newspaper.

The report shows Austin has six deaths caused by police in 2015 – the same as New York City. All six of those shot reportedly had a gun, or one was found near the scene. In one case the weapon turned out to be a BB gun.

Houston had the second-most deaths caused by police this year with eight. Los Angeles, with 11 so far this year, tops the list.

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MUSIC
7:48 pm
Thu July 9, 2015

Live Music for the Weekend of July 10-12, 2015

Shuggie Otis is among the artists performing in Austin this weekend.

Live music in Austin this weekend includes performances by R&B legend Shuggie Otis, local rapper Phranchyze and funk-soul band Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings. Hear clips from those performers and others as KUT's Nathan Bernier asks KUTX program director Matt Reilly about the shows on his radar this weekend.


Austin
4:13 pm
Wed July 8, 2015

Listen: Some of Austin Music Hall's Worst Yelp Reviews

Austin Music Hall owners announced they're having the venue torn down to make room for an office tower.
Roy Niswanger/flickr

Another Austin club announced it’s closing up shop. Representatives of the Cielo Property Group, the company that owns Austin Music Hall, confirmed to the Austin Business Journal that they’ll knock it down to build a 28-story office tower, with construction starting early next year.

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Station Information
2:40 pm
Tue July 7, 2015

Help Us By Participating in Our Annual Tech Survey

At KUT and KUTX, we aim to continue to provide the programming you want in the way that you want it, so we hope you’ll take 15 to 20 minutes to take our annual technology usage survey.

We want to know how you use the radio, along with social media, smartphones, tablets, streaming and the web to stay connected to news, entertainment and updates from KUT, KUTX and other sources. Whether you use all of these media outlets or gadgets or not, we want your opinion.

Austin
8:15 am
Fri July 3, 2015

How to Enjoy the Fireworks (and Get Home Safely) This 4th of July

The city's fireworks celebration will begin as early as 5 p.m. on Saturday. It's the first time the event's been held at Auditorium Shores in two years.
Mengwen Cao for KUT

It’s nearly time for the Fourth of July celebration in Austin.

There’ll be warm weather and probably plenty of sun, all capped off by fireworks at Auditorium Shores for the first time in years. But there’s also going to be plenty of traffic, road closures and scarce parking. Here's a look at when and where to see the fireworks, closures and alternate ways of getting around. 

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Education
9:40 am
Mon June 29, 2015

Supreme Court Will Revisit UT Affirmative Action Case

Fisher v UT, which deals with the school's using race as a factor in its admissions process, will be revisited by the U.S. Supreme Court.
KUT News

Today, the Supreme Court decided that it would take up the case of Fisher v the University of Texas at Austin, a suit dealing with a controversial admissions case at UT Austin. A white woman, Abigail Fisher, sued the school in 2008, claiming the university rejected her based on her race. The University says race is one of a few special circumstances it considers in admissions.

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Austin
10:16 am
Fri June 26, 2015

Same-Sex Marriage is Now Legal in Texas

Bryna Wortham (left) and Diane Jones were married today at the Travis County Courthouse.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT

This post will be updated. 

This morning, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right, and within hours, the Travis County Clerk and other county clerks in Texas began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

The ruling means big changes for Texas, since to date the state had banned same-sex marriages, defining marriage strictly as between a man and a woman. Today, hundreds of marriage licenses were issued across the state to couples, some of whom had been waiting years for this opportunity. By 5:30 p.m., the Travis County Clerk's office had issued 181 marriage licenses to different- and same-gender couples. (Compared to yesterday, when they issued 17 licenses overall.)

But, there are still those who aren't so sure it's a good idea for the federal government to make this declaration about marriage. Mose Buchele talked to folks at the Texas Capitol today to see how they feel about the decision.

Update, 3:15 PM:

Hundreds of people went to the Travis County Clerk’s Office today to get their marriage licenses. For many, the next step was to head to the Courthouse for a three-day waiver from a judge. Texas law requires couples to wait three days before a wedding ceremony, but some same-sex couples don't want to wait any longer.

One of those couples seeking a waiver was Amy and Di Williams, who have been waiting years to marry legally. Their wedding ceremony is tomorrow, and they shared their story with KUT News. Take a listen: 

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News
9:15 am
Fri June 26, 2015

After SCOTUS Ruling, Same-Sex Couples Line Up for Licenses in Travis County

Travis County Court began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, including Jaque Robins (right) and Carmelita Cabello.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

*This developing story will be updated.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled today in the case of Obergefell v Hodges that state bans on same-sex marriage, like the one in Texas, are unconstitutional [read the decision here]. County clerks in all 50 states can now issue marriage licenses. 

Update 12:30 p.m. From the Travis County Clerk's office: 

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Affordable Care Act
9:34 am
Thu June 25, 2015

U.S. Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Obamacare Subsidies

The Supreme Court's decision in the King v Burwell case means that one million Texans who purchased health insurance through the federal marketplace will get to keep their subsidies.
KUT News

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled to uphold the health insurance tax subsides in the case of King v. Burwell.

After much anticipation, the High Court ruled 6-3 this morning that people who received tax subsidies for health insurance premiums purchased on the federal exchange can keep them.

At issue in the case was whether four words in a section of the Affordable Care Act that deals with tax subsidies — "established by the state" — meant that only people who bought an Obamacare plan on a marketplace established by a state government can get a tax subsidy to help them pay for it. 

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Austin
1:13 pm
Wed June 24, 2015

Task Force Will Examine Future of Jefferson Davis Statue Amid Call For Its Removal

Courtesy of students' petition at change.org

Update: UT Austin President Greg Fenves announced this morning the members of a 12-person task force that will discuss the future of the Jefferson Davis statue on campus. 

UT Austin's Student Government and Graduate Student Assembly want the statue of Davis removed and placed in a museum. Earlier this week, Fenves met with students to discuss their concerns.

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Austin
4:30 am
Wed June 17, 2015

Flash Flooding Possible for Areas East of I-35 as Tropical Depression Bill Keeps Moving

Conditions Wednesday afternoon.
National Weather Service

Wednesday 4 p.m. Some heavy rainfall hit the Austin area this afternoon, and the National Weather Service has issued a flash flood warning that will remain in place until 6:45 p.m.

Wednesday 4:30 a.m. The University of Texas at Austin has announced it will re-open at 7:00 a.m. Wednesday morning and will operate on a regular schedule. Travis County offices will operate on a normal schedule today. City of Austin offices will be back on a regular schedule today. Since the Austin area was not hard hit by Tropical Depression Bill, Capital Metro expects all routes to run on regular schedules today. Hays CISD and Leander ISD will operate on their normal summer schedules today.

All Austin Community College campuses and centers will open and operate on a regular schedule today.

1:15 a.m. The National Weather Service has canceled the flash flood warning that was in effect for Travis, Williamson and Bastrop counties.

12:30 a.m. Bill's strength continues to diminish as it moves inland, says the National Weather Service. Rain is coming down now at a rate of an inch per hour in some parts of Central Texas.

12:20 a.m. National Weather Service says that now Bill is centered over Bastrop County and is starting to move north. It's raining in Austin, but no reports yet of torrential downpours in the city.

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Life & Arts
9:03 pm
Sun June 14, 2015

A Biker 'Family Reunion,' Annual ROT Rally Draws Thousands to Austin

Motorcyclists arrive in Downtown Austin at the completion of the 2015 ROT Rally Parade.
Carlo Nasisse for KUT News

On Friday evening, downtown Austin rumbled with the sounds of thousands of motorcyclists converging on Congress Avenue for the annual Republic of Texas Biker Rally.

For 20 years, Austin has hosted the ROT Biker Rally, one of the largest and most highly anticipated events of its kind for bikers and bike enthusiasts. With glossy bikes and unique apparel on full display, the rally, particularly the Friday night parade, offered a showcase of biker culture in all its diversity.

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Weather
2:50 pm
Sun June 14, 2015

Flash Flood Watch Until Midnight

This morning's rain produced a "double rainbow."
Justin Baudoin https://twitter.com/justinbaudoin

Updated 2:48 pm: Parts of Central Texas, including portions of southern Hays County, are now under a Flash Flood Warning. Check this National Weather Service map for up-to-the-minute information on warning zones. 

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Austin
4:16 pm
Mon June 1, 2015

One-Fifth of Austin's Musicians Live Below Federal Poverty Level, Census Says

A musician busks on South Congress in Austin.
Miguel Gutierrez Jr./KUT News

The City of Austin today released results from its first comprehensive census of the local music industry. The data backs up what many local musicians have been saying lately: It’s tough, and seems to be getting tougher, for musicians to support themselves in the Live Music Capital of the World.

“I think it’s common knowledge that it’s really hard to make money as a musician,” says Don Pitts, who manages the city’s music and entertainment division. “But I think when you see it in this data-only context, at first, it takes the emotion out of it. But then you see the actual numbers, and it brings the emotions back in.”

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