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Politics
3:16 pm
Mon May 27, 2013

Ceremonial Last Day Winds Down as Special Session Looms

U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio, visited the Texas House on May 27, 2013.
Veronica Zaragovia for KUT News

The 140th day of the 83rd session -- the last day at the Texas Capitol -- was mostly about pomp and circumstance, but that doesn’t mean nothing got done.

In the House, members brought their families and thanked their staff. They also passed resolutions to correct errors in bills’ language.

State Rep. Trey Martinez-Fischer, D-San Antonio, is the chair of the Mexican American Legislative Caucus. He honored State Rep. Mary González, D-Clint, the caucus freshman of the session.

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Austin
3:57 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

Flash Flood Warning For Travis, Neighboring Counties

National Weather Service

A flash flood warning is in effect for Travis County and to the south in Hays and parts of Caldwell, Comal and Guadalupe counties.

The National Weather Service says thunderstorms over those same areas are likely to produce flash flooding across the warning area.

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Texas
3:10 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

As Texans Rush to Help OK, Gov. Perry Urges Emergency Plan

As crews begin relief efforts, Gov. Perry urges Texans to plan ahead in the event of a natural disaster
Wikimedia Commons

Central Texas is helping those in Moore, Oklahoma and surrounding areas in relief and rescue efforts.

Last night, Texas Task Force 1 was dispatched to Oklahoma, an elite search and rescue team which includes 5 members from the Austin Fire Department.

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Oklahoma Tornado
9:01 am
Tue May 21, 2013

Texas Task Force 1 Assists With Oklahoma Recovery

Oklahoma National Guard soldiers and airmen responded to a tornado that ripped through Moore, Oklahoma yesterday.
Kendall James, U.S. National Guard

Members of an elite search team from Texas were dispatched to Oklahoma last night. The team is already on the field helping with recovery following the massive tornado that hit Moore on Monday afternoon. 

Gov. Rick Perry announced the activation of Texas Task Force 1 last night. The rescue group includes 70 first responders specialized in victim extraction and medical treatment, also including rescue dogs, hazardous material specialists and structural engineers.  Five members of Texas Task Force 1 are from the Austin Fire Department. 

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Affordable Housing 101
6:05 am
Mon May 20, 2013

KUT News Presents 'Under One Roof: Affordable Housing 101'

Morning at Mueller, the former Austin airport. Redevelopement plans for the city-owned land called for a mix of housing, including affordable housing.
flickr.com/gjmj

A preview of “Under One Roof: Affordable Housing 101”

Last November, Austin voters were asked to approve almost $80 million for affordable housing.

They chose not to.

As the city considers putting the question to voters again this fall, KUT News asks: just how does affordable housing work in Austin?

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President Obama
1:47 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Storify: President Obama Visits Austin, Manor

Gov. Rick Perry was among the officials greeting Pres. Obama at the airport this afternoon.
Ben Philpott, KUT News

President Barack Obama's trip to Austin is creating quite the conversation on social media. The KUT Staff is curating a Storify timeline of President Obama's trip. Visit often for new updates. 

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Austin
10:18 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Texas Peace Officers' Memorial Parade in Downtown Austin Today

The Texas Peace Officers memorial, on the grounds of the Texas Capitol.
flickr.com/wallyg

There’s road closures in place this morning for the Texas Peace Officers’ Memorial Parade.

The South Congress Avenue Bridge will be closed from 9 a.m. to noon.  Congress Avenue will be closed from Cesar Chavez to 11th Streets from 10:30 to 11 a.m. , and Colorado Street from 11th to 13th Streets will be partially closed until 2 pm. Here’s a map of closures.

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Texas
11:59 am
Tue April 30, 2013

AG Greg Abbott: City & ISD Domestic Partner Benefits Unconstitutional (Update)

Update: More signs from the City of Austin that Attorney General Greg Abbott's opinion won't mean any changes for now: a memo from City Manager Marc Ott on the matter. It reads, in part: 

While we will continue to evaluate the Attorney General’s opinion, it continues to be our belief that the City’s domestic partner group benefits program is not prohibited by the Texas Marriage Amendment, and that the Texas Legislature did not intend the Amendment to have that effect when it was placed before the voters in 2005.

The Attorney General’s opinion does not require the City to take any specific action, and we do not intend to change domestic partner eligibility for our benefits program at this time. 

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West Plant Explosion
7:53 am
Fri April 26, 2013

Photos: Remembering the First Responders Killed in West

The helmets of the first responders killed in the explosion were carried in a procession.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon, KUT

Click on the player to listen to the story as it aired on KUT 90.5.

More than 9,000 people gathered at Baylor University yesterday to honor the twelve firefighters and first responders who died in the West Fertilizer Plant Explosion.

KUT’s Terrence Henry traveled to Waco to tell us about the memorial service Thursday.  

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West Plant Explosion
8:36 am
Tue April 23, 2013

Gov. Perry: Lack of Oversight Not to Blame for West Explosion

Perry held a press conference in Austin following the explosion in West.
Bob Daemmrich, Texas Tribune

Texas Gov. Rick Perry says a lack of state oversight is not to blame for the deadly fertilizer plant explosion in the town of West.

Gov. Perry told the Associated Press the explosion would not have been prevented if the state had earmarked more money for inspections. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality inspected the West Fertilizer Company for an air quality permit in 2007.

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West Plant Explosion
11:32 am
Mon April 22, 2013

How Austin Can Help West, Texas

Austinites are encouraged to donate blood to help victims of the West fertilizer plant explosion.
Marissa Barnett for KUT News

Update: Students in the town of West are back in class today for the first time since Wednesday’s deadly fertilizer plant explosion. Some school buildings were destroyed or damaged by the blast.

Older students are taking classes at an old school building in a nearby district. Some younger students are in portable classrooms. STAAR exams scheduled for Tuesday there are being delayed. For those who'd like to donate, the West Independent School District says monetary donations are best

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West Plant Explosion
2:52 pm
Sat April 20, 2013

Officials: 15 Dead, 200 Injured in West, Texas Explosion

An aerial shot of the site of the fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas.
facebook.com/TexasAttorneyGeneral

Update (Saturday): As of 3 p.m. today, some residents of West, the site of a major explosion at a fertilizer plant Wednesday, will be allowed back into their homes in part of the severely damaged neighborhood in the north section of town. 

Residents 18 and over living in the area from Walnut street southward will be allowed to enter until 7 p.m. From 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., the city will have a curfew, and residents will need to either stay in their homes or leave the neighborhood. North of that area, Mayor Pro Tem Steve Vanek said at a press conference this afternoon that the city will work "as quickly as possible"to allow people back to their homes. More information for residents is available at the City of West's website.

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Amber Alert
2:45 pm
Fri April 12, 2013

Amber Alert in North Texas

Cedar Hill police are searching for 12-year-old Sommer Brown, a black female, 5’ 6", about 90 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes, last seen wearing a black tank top and black basketball shorts.

Suspected in the abduction is 43-year-old Lisa Elizabeth Brown, black female, 5’ 8", 120 pounds, black hair and brown eyes, last seen wearing a black blazer and a light green shirt.

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Weather
4:21 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

Severe Weather for Central Texas

Scattered to numerous showers and thunderstorms are expected in Central Texas this afternoon.
National Weather Service

Some severe weather is bearing down on Central Texas.

The National Weather Service currently has a severe thunderstorm warning in effect for northwestern Travis County and Southwestern Williamson County. Some locations in that area include Lago Vista, Lakeway, Mansfield Dam, Bee Cave and Cedar Park. There are reports of large damaging hail up to golf ball size. The storm earlier produced baseball sized hail in Marble Falls. 

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Education
6:22 am
Tue April 2, 2013

AISD Won't Lease Allan Elementary to IDEA (Update)

Allan Elementary School, which AISD is expected to consider tonight potentially leasing the building to IDEA Charter Schools.
Nathan Bernier, KUT News

Update: The Austin Independent School District Board last night decided not to lease the Allan elementary school building to IDEA public schools. Allan is closing down at the end of the school year.

That’s because both Allan Elementary and Eastside Memorial High School were part of a plan involving charter school operator IDEA Public Schools. The board canceled the contract with IDEA in December.

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