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The Lead
8:57 am
Tue March 5, 2013

The Lead: ABIA and the Sequester, Spring Break, Warrant Roundup

A security checkpoint at Austin-Bergstrom. Sequester cuts are expected to have less impact on lines than a flood of SXSW visitors.
KUT News

Good morning. The National Weather Service says a Red Flag Warning in effect until 8 p.m. today. The windy, dry conditions mean a high risk of fire in Central Texas. The Travis County Fire Marshal is asking everyone to be careful and to avoid doing things like mowing, welding and outdoor cooking.

Lead Story: The nation is three days into those across-the-board federal budget cuts called the sequester.  And the Secretary of Homeland Security says some of the nation’s bigger airports are already seeing security-line waits up 150 to 200 percent because of immediate cuts to overtime pay.

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The Lead
8:57 am
Mon March 4, 2013

The Lead: 10-1 Review Panel Drawing, Texas' Sequester, Austin’s Kite Festival

The high-flying scene at Zilker Park on Sunday.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Good morning. Central Texas is under a hazardous weather outlook due to warm temperatures and dry, gusty winds, per the National Weather Service. The winds will continue tomorrow, but in the form of a cold front – meaning today’s unseasonable highs in the mid-80s will drop into the 60s Tuesday.

Lead Story: As the City of Austin initiates the process of drawing single-member city council districts, City Auditor Kenneth Mory is hosting a public drawing today to select the city’s first Applicant Review Panel.

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Education
7:07 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

Daily Texan to Stay Daily

The Texas Student Media board voted to keep The Daily Texan a daily print publication
KUT News

The Daily Texan is staying daily, at least for now.

The Texas Student Media board voted today to keep the print edition of the publication operating five-days-a-week, with a 50 percent pay cut to student media employees. The proposed budget also included tuition reimbursement cuts for student managers and the hiring of an additional ad salesman.

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Austin
10:00 am
Thu February 28, 2013

The Lead: Short-Term Rentals, City Council Preview

Some SXSW visitors will stay in short-term rental homes.
flickr.com/ifc-the-internet

Good Morning. The National Weather Service says Austin can expect mostly sunny skies and temperatures reaching highs in the upper 60s today.

The Lead Story: Austin is about to become a destination for tens of thousands of people, coming here from around the world not just for South by Southwest, but also for events like the UIL basketball tournament and the rodeo. Hundreds of Austin property owners are looking to rent their homes to those visitors – something that’s been getting attention from City Hall.

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The Lead
8:54 am
Wed February 27, 2013

The Lead: Earth, Wind (Damage) and Fire (Bans)

Austin's in for a mild day, but areas to the south are under a Red Flag warning.
National Weather Service

Good morning! Austin’s in for a sunny, dry and breezy day with a high in the mid 60s, according to the National Weather Service. No Red Flag warning for Austin today (signaling fire danger from high winds), but San Antonio and counties to the south are under a warning all day. Read more below about area burn bans.

Lead Story: Many Central Texans are still picking up after Monday's high winds. Gusts topping 50 miles an hour toppled fences and tore shingles from roofs.

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The Lead
9:04 am
Tue February 26, 2013

The Lead: AISD Board Adds Bond to Ballot; Sequester’s Texas Impact

Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams visiting with students at Eastside Memorial High School.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Good morning! After yesterday’s high winds – which had gusts above 50 miles an hour and lead to widespread power outages – today looks considerably calmer. The National Weather Service says Austin’s in for a sunny and mild day with a high in the mid 60s.

Lead Story: Big items were on the agenda at last night’s Austin school board meeting, including a multi-million-dollar bond proposal and the question of what to do with a struggling Austin high school.

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Texas
6:58 am
Tue February 26, 2013

Central Texas Cleaning Up After High Winds (Update)

A downed tree on the UT campus.
Emily Donahue, KUT News

Update (6:58 a.m.): About 1,200 Austin Energy customers remain without power this morning. High winds yesterday broke tree limbs and brought down power lines.

At one point yesterday afternoon, around 18,000 Austin Energy customers were without power.

Right now, Austin Energy repair and tree trimming crews are working to fix harder-to-reach problems. An Austin Energy spokesperson tells KUT News that power should be restored to most customers by early this afternoon.

Customers should report outages by calling (512) 322-9100.

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Austin
10:03 am
Fri February 22, 2013

The Lead: Lawmakers Warm Up to Medicaid, UT Plans Day of Service

Texas is still holding out on an expansion of medicaid.
flickr.com/blakespot

Good morning, and happy Friday! Austinites are in for a cold and gusty day, with a high of 64 degrees and winds at 20 miles per hour according to the National Weather Service.

Lead Story: Texas is now the last big state to hold out against a push to expand Medicaid, after Florida Governor Rick Scott announced he would push for expansion.

Some Texas lawmakers, including Governor Rick Perry, are still firmly against expanding Medicaid. But others might be changing their minds. For example, State Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, says she is all about flexibility.

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The Lead
8:45 am
Thu February 21, 2013

The Lead: Red Flag Warning, European Trade & Texas, State’s Most Endangered Places

Strong winds are expected to decrease by early evening.
National Weather Service

Lead Story: A Red Flag Warning is in effect for Travis County late this morning through this afternoon, due to strong winds. Outdoor burning is strongly discouraged.

The warning is due to the critical fire weather conditions expected today: a pacific cold front bringing breezy winds and dry air to Central Texas. The warning will be in effect from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. You can find more information via the National Weather Service.

Texas Push for European Trade Deal:  Texas stands to benefit from a potential free trade deal between the U.S. and the European Union. That’s according to a study by Waco economist Ray Perryman.

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The Lead
9:03 am
Wed February 20, 2013

The Lead: Lege Debates Education Policy, Dell’s Quarterly Earnings

Standardized testing was a hot topic at the Capitol yesterday.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Good morning. The National Weather Service says Austin’s in for a cloudy and wet day with a high approaching 60 – and a chance for severe storms later tonight.

Lead Story: Texas’ standardized testing system for public schools faced a fierce round of questioning yesterday before a panel of state lawmakers.

There's a growing push in the State Capitol to change the testing system after complaints from parents and teachers that the new STAAR test is too challenging and is draining resources from school districts. 

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Education
5:48 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Senate Committee Approves Changes to Graduation Requirements

The Senate Education Committee Tuesday approved a bill that would overhaul high school graduation requirements.
Credit Horia Varlan http://www.flickr.com/photos/horiavarlan/

The Texas Senate Education Committee approved a bill Tuesday that would overhaul the state’s high school graduation requirements.

The proposal reduces the English, math, science and social studies requirements and allows students to choose one of four paths towards a diploma.

It also offers more opportunities to take vocational and business electives.

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The Lead
10:26 am
Tue February 19, 2013

The Lead: Putting Together a Transportation Plan, Building Permits on Hold

Project Connect's goal is the development and implementation of a regional high-capacity transit system to connect Austin's growing community.
Callie Hernandez for KUT News

The Austin area should see mostly sunny skies today with a high near 70. The National Weather Service reports rain chances as high as 40 percent move in tonight.

Lead Story: The City of Austin and area transportation agencies want the public to weigh-in on a transit plan for Central Texas.

The “Project Connect” regional plan includes urban rail, rapid transit and express lanes.

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The Lead
9:05 am
Wed February 13, 2013

The Lead: Animal Center's 'No Kill' 2012, Dewhurst at Vets' Expo

An Austin Animal Center worker cajoles a wayward dog. The center finished 2012 with its no-kill standing intact.
KUT News

Good morning. Austin’s in for a sunny and mild day according to the National Weather Service, with highs in the low to mid-60s.

Lead Story: Despite crowded conditions and a longer-than-expected “kitten season,” the Austin Animal Center finished 2012 with its “no-kill” record intact.

The city shelter ended the fourth quarter of 2012 with a 91 percent live outcome rate. The no-kill benchmark is a 90 percent live outcome rate.

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The Lead
9:14 am
Tue February 12, 2013

The Lead: Virgin Airlines Coming to Austin, 'No-Refusal' In Effect

The ticketing area at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. Virgin Airlines has announced it will open shop at ABIA.
KUT News

Good morning. The National Weather Service says Austin faces a chance of strong thunderstorms this morning. The day should warm to a high near 70.

Lead Story: Austin-Bergstrom International Airport has a new tenant: Virgin Airlines, which will be operating non-stop flights to San Francisco. And Mayor Lee Leffingwell is among those welcoming the announcement. 

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The Lead
9:27 am
Mon February 11, 2013

The Lead: Anderson Inquiry Ends, Texas SEAL Chris Kyle Eulogized

Michael Morton watches as the court of inquiry explores former Williamson County District Attorney Ken Anderson's role in Morton's wrongful conviction, on Feb. 6, 2013.
Callie Richmond, Texas Tribune

Good morning. The National Weather Service says Austin can expect continued chances for rain and highs in the 60s today.

Lead Story: Former Williamson County district attorney Ken Anderson has denied any misconduct in the case of Michael Morton, the man who was wrongfully convicted of his wife’s murder and spent 25 years in prison.

Anderson, now a judge in Georgetown, is facing allegations that as a prosecutor he hid evidence that would have proved Morton’s innocence.

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The Lead
9:15 am
Fri February 8, 2013

The Lead: Morton Inquiry Winding Down; Gov. Perry Goes West

Michael Morton watches as the court of inquiry explores former Williamson County District Attorney Ken Anderson's role in Morton's wrongful conviction, on Feb. 6, 2013.
Callie Richmond, Texas Tribune

Good morning. The National Weather Service says Austin will see sunny and mild weather today with a high approaching 70 degrees. A band of severe thunderstorms is expected to blow in Saturday night.

Lead Story: In Georgetown, it’s day five of a court of inquiry seeking answers into the case of Michael Morton. Wrongly convicted for the murder of his wife, Morton spent 25 years behind bars before he was cleared by DNA evidence.

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The Lead
9:35 am
Thu February 7, 2013

The Lead: Former CPRIT Heads Skip House Hearing; UT to Offer Incentives to Four-Year Grads

Former CPRIT executives did not testify before a House committee yesterday.
facebook.com/cprittexas

Good morning. Austin’s in for temperatures approaching 80 degrees, according to the National Weather Service. A cold front is expected to blow into the region this weekend, bringing with it chances for showers and thunderstorms.  

Lead Story: Leaders of the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas testified before a Texas house committee yesterday – but a couple of former leaders were noticeably absent.

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The Lead
9:05 am
Wed February 6, 2013

The Lead: Ft. Hood Fire Response, Feds Won’t Arraign Armstrong

Lance Armstrong is still dealing with the fallout from his confessional interview.
George Burns, Oprah WInfrey Network

Good morning. The National Weather Service says Austin’s due for a high near 70, along with scattered clouds and maybe a stray thunderstorm.

Lead Story: Federal prosecutors say Lance Armstrong won’t face criminal charges, despite the cycling star’s confession last month to Oprah Winfrey that he did use performance-enhancing drugs.  

The U.S. Attorney in the case says the decision was made last year not to press charges, and Armstrong’s recent televised comments haven’t convinced prosecutors to re-open the case.

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The Lead
9:02 am
Mon February 4, 2013

The Lead: Ruling Coming in Texas School Finance Trial, Inquiry Begins in Morton Prosecution

A quiet moment at Austin's Bowie High School. AISD was one of 600 school districts to sue the state over school funding.
Nathan Bernier, KUT News

Good morning. The National Weather Service says Austin’s in for another day of slightly-warmer-than-average temperatures today, with light sprinkles this morning.

Lead Story: A ruling is set be issued to today on whether the appropriation of state school funds is constitutional.

Over 600 Texas school districts sued the state after lawmakers slashed public funding and grant programs by $5.4 billion dollars in 2011.

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SXSW
6:09 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

SXSW Film Lineup Announced

The South By Southwest Film Conference and Festival announced its 109 film lineup today. This year will be the film festival's 20th anniversary.
Credit SXSW

In little over a months the city will swell as South by Southwest takes over downtown Austin. And the over 200,000 expected festival attendees have no shortage of events to attend: Today, SXSW released its film lineup, totaling 109 features.  

Film Conference and Festival Producer Janet Pierson writes that this year’s lineup “embraces love and the need/search/desire for connection.”

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