KUT Staff

Ways to Connect

More than 2,000 listeners became first-time donors, helping KUT and KUTX exceed new member goals for the fall membership  drive. We are so grateful to everyone who participated!

 

KUT 90.5, Austin’s NPR station, and KUTX 98.9, The Austin Music Experience, began the eight-day membership drive with a goal of recruiting 2,000 new members. When the drive ended last night, 2,050 listeners had become first-time donors to KUT and KUTX, with an additional 2,300 renewing their support.

 

Early voting for the Nov. 3 statewide elections ends tomorrow.

Find your local polling places here.

joe_mac_1/flickr

To the chagrin of many international auto racing fans hoping to enjoy sunny Texas weather, Austin and surrounding areas are expecting heavy rain this Formula One weekend, beginning in earnest Friday night and lasting at least through Saturday. Area drivers will want to pay close attention to road conditions and be aware of road closures due to either the F1 Fan Fest or to flooding.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr./KUT

After burning nearly 4,600 acres and destroying nearly 70 homes, the Hidden Pines Fire remains at 80 percent containment. As people in fire-damaged areas of Bastrop County take more steps toward the recovering, officials and residents are preparing for expected flooding this weekend as investigators determine the cause of the fire.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr./KUT

The Hidden Pines Fire in Bastrop County started one week ago today. Bastrop County Judge Paul Pape said Tuesday morning that the fire is 80 percent contained and has burned about 4,600 acres. Sixty-eight homes have been lost, and 95 are currently threatened. 

Miguel Gutierrez Jr./KUT News

UPDATE Saturday 7:00 pm: Bastrop County officials say they have stopped the Hidden Pines fire in its tracks, not allowing it to burn any more acreage or structures Saturday. After falling to 40% contained overnight Friday into Saturday, the Texas Forest Service says the fire is again 50% contained.

County officials say some evacuated families will be allowed to return to their homes, with more areas being opened Sunday.

At last check, Smithville's Hidden Pines Fire has claimed 40 home structures and burned over 4,000 acres. While the fire is 25 percent contained, officials say the low humidity and dry conditions may fuel the fire for a week or more. 

With scores of firefighters from across the state coming to Central Texas to help battle the blaze, officials are requesting donations of supplies, time and money in the days ahead. Below is a list of outlets accepting assistance, as well as a map of shelters for residents, pets and livestock displaced by the Hidden Pines Fire. 

KUT NEWS; FILIPA RODRIGUES; FLICKR.COM/ESCHIPUL; RESHMA KIRPALANI

The Hidden Pines wildfire in Bastrop County is bringing back memories of an even more destructive fire four years ago.

The 2011 Labor Day wildfires took two lives and uprooted thousands of others in Central Texas. More than 1,600 homes were destroyed, landmarks disappeared and habitats changed.

For each statistic there is a story.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr./KUT News

Our Friday coverage of the Hidden Pines fire is here.

A wildfire that started Tuesday in Bastrop County continues to spread, thanks in part to high, shifting winds on Wednesday, officials say. 

Pu Ying-Huang/KUT News

The University of Texas at Austin continues to discuss the issue of allowing concealed firearms throughout the campus as per the campus carry law, which was passed in the 2015 legislative session and signed into law by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.

Click here to visit the series.

In the past decade, the population of the city of Manor has surged dramatically. In 2005, the Census Bureau said the population there was around 2,000. Now, it's somewhere around 11,000 - if you count several subdivisions just outside the city limits.  

Like other suburbs in Central Texas, many newcomers move there from Austin – pushed out by rising housing costs.

Todd Wiseman/Texas Tribune

Increased operational fees for the ridesharing companies Uber and Lyft are heading to the Austin City Council.

The measures were approved by the council’s Mobility Committee yesterday, along with new fingerprint background checks – to the objection of the companies.


Mengwen Cao

Austin City Limits returns today to Zilker Park for two three-day weekends, and as usual, with the hordes of soon-to-be flash-tatted music fans come some street closures, a heightened police presence, probably some unlicensed short-term rentals and considerable congestion in and around the park. So, here's some of the info you'll want if you're rushing to catch a mid-afternoon set or if you're just looking for a re-route on the way to your dry cleaners.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT

Roughly two thousand people, wearing blue shirts and “Police Lives Matter” stickers, crowded in front of the Austin Police Department on Saturday morning. 

Updated: At around 1 p.m. a group of demonstrators walked onto I-35 at Exit 284B at 12th St., blocking traffic, and remained there for about ten minutes. 

Austin Police set up barricades and got the crowd to back off the freeway, at which point they started to walk on 10th St. toward downtown.

Flickr/Anita Gould (CC BY-NC 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

We talk a lot about how the trajectory of the nation turned in the months and years that followed September 11, 2001. One of the many lives that took a turn that day was that of David Peters.

He was a former Marine who reenlisted as an Army chaplain after 9/11. Peters was attached to a combat unit on the ground in Iraq and then served as a chaplain at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in New York. Although he now works and lives in Austin and the surrounding area, on September 11, 2015, Father Peters will return to New York. He’ll be giving a sermon at St. Paul’s Chapel near ground zero.


Quiet Company

Shows in Austin this weekend include performances by a local rock band with dancers, some booty shaking brass music, a Canadian electronica act and a master of the Hammond B3 organ. Listen to our chat with KUTX program director Matt Reilly to learn more.

In the 78704, a Latin-inspired restaurant serving oysters, ceviche and other seafood in a casual setting opened this year. KUT's Nathan Bernier asks Austin American-Statesman restaurant critic Matthew Odam about his review of Alcomar.

Disclosure: Alcomar is an underwriter of KUT.

Veronica Zaragovia/KUT News

The City of Austin filed a lawsuit Monday against the Travis Central Appraisal District, arguing that the agency significantly undervalued Austin’s commercial and vacant properties in its assessments for the past several years. Mayor Steve Adler announced the suit today at a press conference, where he appeared along with Travis Chief Appraiser Marya Crigler of TCAD. 

Photo by KUT News

Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo may be considering a move south to San Antonio. Acevedo announced Thursday that he has been selected as one of five finalists in the running for the Chief of Police position in San Antonio.

He said in a statement released Thursday:

KUT News

A female inmate in the Travis County Correctional Complex has died after being found unresponsive Monday in the shower. 

Investigators announced the death this morning. Autopsy results are pending, but investigators found no evidence of foul play.

No cause of death was immediately released for 40-year-old Athena Covarrubias. Roger Wade of the Travis County Sheriff’s Department says that officials aren’t ready to speak on what the cause of death might be, but suicide is still being considered among other possibilities. “There’s a list of possibilities, but detectives aren’t ready to pin it down to one thing until the [medical examiner]’s office makes a ruling,” Wade says.

Pages