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Austin Police
7:32 am
Fri January 23, 2015

Man Killed in Officer-Involved Shooting Near Slaughter Lane

Austin Police have said an officer-involved shooting shortly before 3 a.m. involved a man in his 60s who brandished a weapon at responding officers before he was shot by a two-year veteran officer.
Credit Nathan Bernier for KUT News

Update 11:26 a.m.: Austin police have identified the suspect who was killed: 61-year-old Robert Francis Mesch. Mesch was armed and suicidal, police say. Two-year police department veteran Daniel Hannah was the officer involved in the shooting, and he has since been placed on leave as a routine procedure. Police Chief Art Acevedo calls the shooting a "tragedy for everyone involved."

The Austin Police Department says an officer shot and killed a man in his early 60s. The shooting happened just before 4 a.m. near Bill Miller Bar-B-Q on West Slaughter.

Austin Police Department Chief Art Acevedo says a woman called police around 3:30 a.m. to say that her husband was threatening to kill himself and threatened her life as well. Two officers pursued the man in his tan pickup. Police say when he got out of the car near West Slaughter, the suspect was carrying a gun. The officer fired several rounds at the man. He was pronounced dead soon after.

Below, you can listen to the full audio of Acevedo's press conference from earlier this morning.

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Texas Statehouse
10:25 am
Tue January 20, 2015

Watch: Abbott, Patrick Get Inaugurated

New Texas Governor Greg Abbott is sworn in at today's inaugural ceremony.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

Watch below: The Texas Tribune livestreamed the inauguration of Gov.-elect Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov.-elect Dan Patrick.

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Education
6:36 pm
Tue January 13, 2015

Watch KLRU's Civic Summit With Austin ISD Superintendent Paul Cruz

Dr. Paul Cruz, interim Superintendent for the Austin Independent School District.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

Dr. Paul Cruz is the only finalist for the superintendent position with Austin Independent School District. Tuesday night's Civic Summit, hosted by KLRU, will give the audience – students, teachers, and other community members – the opportunity to ask Cruz questions in a town hall-style meeting.

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Politics
3:21 pm
Tue January 13, 2015

In Photos: The 84th Texas Legislative Session

Governor Elect Greg Abbott is welcomed onto the Texas State Senate floor on the first day of the 2015 legislative session.
Bryan Winter/KUT News

Texas Secretary of State Nandita Berry gaveled in the legislative session today at noon. The one constitutionally required duty for state lawmakers is to pass a budget for the next two years. They have $113 billion to work with – $10 billion more than when lawmakers last met in 2013.

While lower oil prices are putting pressure on Texas economic growth, incoming Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick is sticking to his campaign pledge to lower taxes. He and Governor-elect Greg Abbott will be sworn in to office next week, marking the end of Governor Rick Perry’s record 14 years in office.

Wayback Wednesday
2:51 pm
Wed January 7, 2015

Wayback Wednesday: Austin's Long Push for Geographic Representation on City Council

A map of the city's election precincts from 1985.
Credit City of Austin

Last night, all 10 members of the new Austin City Council were sworn in. While it’s the first single-member district council, it’s not the city’s first attempt to bring geographic representation to the council. Today’s edition of Wayback Wednesday examines the push in the 1980s for single-member districts.

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Capital Metro
1:58 pm
Mon January 5, 2015

Cap Metro Begins Bus & Rail Fare Hikes Next Week

Courtesy of Capital Metro

Austinites taking public transportation will see a hike in bus and rail fares next week. Starting Jan. 11, fares are going to go up on Capital Metro mass transit.

For bus-goers, what cost just fifty cents six years ago will now cost $1.25. Capital Metro is increasing the base fare for rides on local bus routes this winter, a 25 percent increase. Fares are also going up for what the agency calls its premium buses, like MetroRapid, to $1.75 per ride. Additionally, a trip on the Metrorail Red Line will now cost you $3.50 each way, up from $2.75.

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Station Information
12:17 pm
Mon December 29, 2014

Is Your 2015 Resolution to Make More Music? Enter NPR's Tiny Desk Contest!

NPR Music's Tiny Desk Concert series is coming to a desk near you. Yours, in fact, if you've got an undiscovered penchant for performance.

NPR Music is accepting submissions for their Tiny Desk Concert Contest through Jan. 19. All you need is a desk, a camera, an original song and, of course, talent. Videos must be shorter than 10 minutes and contestants must be 21 or older.

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Wayback Wednesday
12:23 pm
Wed December 24, 2014

Wayback Wednesday: John Henry Faulk's 'Christmas Story'

Credit Library of Congress

For today's Christmas Eve edition of Wayback Wednesday, we have a radio-centric Christmas treat in the form of John Henry Faulk's "Christmas Story."

Born in 1913, the native Austinite was a radio personality, satirist and playwright. In 1957, he successfully sued the House Un-American Activities Committee for libel after being blacklisted, helping end the committee's campaign. And, of course, Austin's downtown library bears his name.

In 1974, John Henry Faulk read the story for NPR's Voices in the Wind, and it's since become a holiday classic. Below, you can listen Faulk's yuletide yarn courtesy of NPR. 

Austin City Council
11:35 am
Wed December 17, 2014

Get to Know Your Geographically-Elected Austin City Council

Austin finalized its new, geographically-elected city council last night.
Jeff Heimsath/KUT News

The city's first council under the 10-1 plan was finalized last night. Austin voters elected the remaining seven council members and the Mayor of Austin. The new council is, for the first time, majority female, with seven female council members. The only incumbent in the bunch, Council Member Kathie Tovo – who's also a likely shoe-in for the position of Mayor Pro Tem.

The remaining nine council members, and Mayor-elect Steve Adler, may not be so familiar. Below, you can find detailed biographies of each of the newly-elected 10-1 council members and an interactive map with voting totals – including their previous experience in government, their employment history and (for some) their previous work with other council candidates.

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10-1
12:13 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Photos: Austin's At-Large Council Gavels In for the Last Time

Today is the final meeting of the city's at-large council.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT

Today marks the final regular meeting of the Austin City Council under the at-large system with seven council members and the mayor.

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Wayback Wednesday
3:14 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Wayback Wednesday: A Look Back at Lamar Boulevard

A shot of Lamar Boulevard before it was paved, looking south at Ninth Street.
PICA 18059, Austin History Center, Austin Public Library

Today marks the 176th anniversary of Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar’s inauguration as the second president of the Republic of Texas. He’s known as the “Father of Texas Education,” he set aside land to build what would later become UT-Austin in 1839 and helped plant the seeds for the Texas public school system.

So, today's Wayback Wednesday will honor his namesake, Lamar Boulevard, one of the most congested roads in the state. Below you can see a silent newsreel of the roadway in its infancy, when crews were building out the overpass at Third Street 55 years ago in the fall of 1959. Above, we’ve got a photo gallery of Lamar through the years – from its dirt road days in the 1940s to its present day parking lot status.

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Austin ISD
2:06 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Paul Cruz is the Last Candidate Standing in AISD Superintendent Search

Interim Superintendent Dr. Paul Cruz took over for departing Superintendent Meria Carstarphen, who left in April to lead Atlanta's public schools.
Ilana Panich-Linsman/KUT

It looks like Interim Superintendent Paul Cruz will be the next head of Austin schools. After an outpouring of local support in recent weeks, the school board voted Monday to allow Cruz to throw his hat into the ring for the permanent job.

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Station Information
10:33 am
Tue December 9, 2014

Help StoryCorps Share Your Story for Generations to Come

KUT has brought the StoryCorps Mobile Booth to Austin, and from Jan. 5 through Jan. 30, you and a loved one are invited to record your story.

The trailer is parked in front of the Bob Bullock Museum and our second round of reservations filled up in just minutes.  You can get on a wait list for possible cancellations by visiting the StoryCorps reservation website.

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Texas Standard
12:45 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

Setting A New Standard, Texas Style

Please visit the Texas Standard website here.

In the 21st century, as Texas goes, so goes the rest of the nation?

Many think so – and not just Texans. As a Time magazine cover story proclaimed, "it's not an accident that three of the five fastest growing cities are in Texas. It's more like destiny."

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Austin Police
10:34 am
Fri December 5, 2014

Kleinert Pleads Not Guilty to Manslaughter in Death of Larry Jackson, Jr.

On July 26, 2013 APD Det. Charles Kleinert fatally shot Larry Eugene Jackson, Jr. after the two entered into a physical altercation following a foot chase.
Trey Shaar/KUT

A former Austin Police detective has pled not guilty to manslaughter charges in the 2013 death of Larry Jackson, Jr. Charles Kleinert entered a plea of not guilty in a Travis County courtroom this morning and was released on bond after being indicted by a grand jury earlier this year.

His trial is set to begin on Apr. 20.

Jackson’s mother, Billie Mercer, was at the hearing, and said she didn’t want the trial of her son’s death to become a lightning rod for racial divides in Austin.

“I don’t like all the violence,” Mercer said in response to the recent flare-ups after high-profile cases in which officers weren’t indicted after involvement in the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO and Eric Garner in New York. “I’m glad this isn’t a bunch of. . . fighting and tearing up the neighborhood. No, I’m not for that. I just want justice in the court system.”

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Austin
10:31 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Austin Protestors Show Solidarity With Ferguson, NY Demonstrators

People participate in a protest at the Texas State Capitol Building following the events in New York regarding Eric Garner and in Ferguson, Missouri around Michael Brown.
Jenna VonHofe/KUT

At the Texas Capitol Thursday night, protestors gathered to show solidarity with demonstrators in New York, Ferguson, Missouri and other cities around the nation, demanding police be held accountable in several high-profile deaths at the hands of officers.

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Wayback Wednesday
2:14 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

Wayback Wednesday: Meet Sam, the First Austinite in Space

Credit NASA

Fifty-five years ago, on December 4th, 1959, the U.S. launched the Mercury spacecraft which contained a scared little rhesus monkey.

The silent news footage above chronicles the pre-launch preparations of that monkey, Sam, the third primate in space, who was born in 1957 at the Austin animal colony of the now-defunct Brooks Air Force Base -- his name was an acronym representing Brooks' School of Aviation and Medicine. Sam's flight was a test of the Mercury's launch escape system, a precursor to space capsule systems used in manned flight. On that fateful December morning in 1959, Sam went up on a small Little Joe rocket, soared 51 miles into the air and experienced three minutes of weightlessness before plummeting back down to earth. Unlike many early animal astronauts, Sam was retrieved safely several hours later by a U.S. Navy destroyer after landing in the Atlantic Ocean in a floating drum.

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Wayback Wednesday
11:29 am
Wed November 26, 2014

Wayback Wednesday: Meet Texas' Knife-Throwing Family

Sure, Thanksgiving might be a little difficult at times for some. When you get that many relatives together all in one place, there are bound to be some familial flare-ups. But, if things get a little tense at tomorrow's festivities, remember this: Nobody is throwing knives at you.

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Ferguson Decision
4:30 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

PHOTOS: UT Students March and Rally After Ferguson Decision

Students at The University of Texas at Austin participate in a march and rally following the events in Ferguson, Missouri.
Jenna VonHofe/KUT

The day after it was announced a grand jury had chosen not to indict the police officer who shot and killed 18 year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri in August, University of Texas at Austin students held a march and a rally to protest the decision.

More protests are planned for tonight in Austin and other cities around the country.

Austin
5:04 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

Former Texas Lawmaker & KUT Board Member Ray Farabee Dies

Mrs. Mary Margaret and former State Senator Ray Farabee at the KUT Public Media Studios Grand Opening in November
Paul Woodruff

Kenneth “Ray” Farabee died at his home in Austin on Thursday, November 20, 2014.  He was 81.

Farabee was born in Wichita Falls, Texas in 1932. He graduated from Wichita Falls High School before attending the University of Texas at Austin. Ray was elected Student Body President at UT and served with the National Student Association where he traveled the nation working with other university student government organizations.

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