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News Brief
6:09 am
Mon July 18, 2011

Top Morning Stories July 18, 2011

Former UT football player Cedric Benson was released from the Travis County Jail Sunday after posting bail on an assault charge.
Photo courtesy of the Austin Police Department.

Another Run-In with the Law for Cedric Benson

Former University of Texas football player Cedric Benson has been released from Travis County jail. The Cincinnati Bengals running back was arrested early Sunday morning on a misdemeanor charge of assault causing bodily injury. 

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Austin
7:05 am
Wed June 29, 2011

Top Morning Stories for June 29, 2011

The Austin City Council votes today on a measure that would help unlock state funding for the planned Formula One racetrack.
Photo by Liang Shi for KUT News

City Council to Vote on Formula One

The Austin City Council is scheduled to take a vote today that could unlock state funding for the planned Formula One racetrack in Southeast Travis County. The council had postponed the F-1 vote last week.

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Austin
5:40 pm
Sat June 25, 2011

Inspirational Athletes Compete in Central Texas

People from around the nation were in New Braunfels this weekend for an annual extreme sports event for athletes with amputations. Athletes participated in competitions including skateboarding, kayaking, rock climbing and mountain biking.

Austin-based Hanger Orthopedic Group was the title sponsor of this year's Extremity Games.  It's organized by the Athletes with Disabilities Network.

Check out all of the talent in this video produced by Hannah Jones and KUT's Crystal Chavez:

 

Texas
7:43 am
Thu April 14, 2011

Top Morning Stories April 15, 2011

Favorable wildfire conditions are spreading east, according to the Texas Forest Service
Image courtesy Austin Fire Department

Wildfires Threaten More Areas of Texas

The Texas Forest Service says more parts of the state now need to be worried about the threat of wildfires. The agency says the area with significant fire potential will expand today to include parts of Central, North, and South Texas. That includes all areas west of line that curves down from just west of the Dallas-Fort Worth area, to Fredericksburg, to Del Rio. 

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Texas
8:24 am
Thu April 7, 2011

Top Morning Stories April 7, 2011

The Texas House will take a final vote today on a bill easing graduation requirements for high school students.
Photo by KUT News

House May Ease Graduation Requirements

The Texas House will take a final vote today on a bill that would ease graduation requirements for Texas students. Starting next year, high school students are required to take a total of 12 end-of-course exams called the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR), and they have to pass the exams in order to graduate.  In the bill the House will vote on today, high school students will have to pass fewer of the new state exams in order to graduate.

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Austin
8:28 am
Wed April 6, 2011

Top Morning Stories April 5, 2011

The Texas A&M women's basketball team beat Notre Dame Tuesday night to win the NCAA Women's Basketball title.
Logo courtesy of Texas A&M.

Texas A&M Wins First NCAA National Title

The Aggies' women's basketball team beat Notre Dame last night 76-70 to win its first NCAA national championship. A&M's Danielle Adams scored 22 of her 30 points in a strong second half, leading the team to the title. Both A&M and Notre Dame beat the No. 1 seeds to get to the national championship game.

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Texas
7:32 am
Mon April 4, 2011

Top Morning Stories April 4, 2011

The Texas House passed its budget bill for 2012-2013 late last night.
Photo by KUT News

Texas House Approves Budget Bill

The House approved a budget of $164.5 billion last night for the next biennium with a 98-49 vote, largely along party lines. The budget is around $23 billion smaller than the state's current two-year budget. As expected, the House budget makes deep cuts to public education and health and human services spending.  The legislation now heads to the Senate where changes are expected.

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Austin
7:41 am
Tue March 29, 2011

Top Morning Stories March 29, 2011

The Austin Independent School District's board finalized district lay offs last night.
Photo by KUT News

AISD School Board Finalizes Massive Job Cuts

The Austin ISD School Board made the final decision last night to eliminate 1,153 district positions. Of those positions,  361 employees retired, resigned voluntarily or were assigned to different positions.  That leaves 792 AISD employees who now know for sure they will be out of a job after the school year. By eliminating these positions, AISD only gets about halfway to closing its $94 million budget deficit.

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News Brief
7:53 am
Mon March 21, 2011

Top Morning Stories for March 21, 2011

The Texas House is set to debate Voter ID legislation today.
Photo by KUT.

Texas House to Debate Voter ID Legislation

The Texas House is scheduled to debate the controversial Voter ID bill today. The bill would require all voters in Texas to show photo identification before casting a ballot at the polls.

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Austin
12:56 pm
Thu March 3, 2011

No Sit/No Lie Ordinace Passed by Austin Council

Opponents spoke out against the no sit/no lie ordinance
Photo by Paulo Martins / KUT

The City Council has unanimously approved what it calls an improvement to an existing ordinance that  prohibits people from sitting and lying in sidewalks and in front of buildings.

The ordinance will become effective starting on the 1st of May.

Opponents pointed out that the ordinance did not provide exemptions in instances of extreme weather. Richard Troxell, who heads House the Homeless, called it a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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Education
4:05 pm
Thu January 27, 2011

AISD Proposes More School Closings

The Austin Independent School District is discussing four more options for possible school closures. Becker, Blackshear, Dawson and Govalle elementary schools have been added to the list of schools that could be considered for closure, and Garcia elementary could be re-purposed as school for 4th-8th graders.

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Politics
2:38 pm
Thu January 20, 2011

Gov. Perry Announces Two More Emergency Items

Governor Perry added two more items to the Legislature's "emergency" list today.
Photo by Chris Kosho/KUT.

Gov. Rick Perry has declared two more emergency items for the 2011 legislative session. The new emergency items include legislation that would require voters to show identification at the ballot box, and a bill calling for a new balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

“Fiscal discipline, balanced budgets and the integrity of the ballot box are critical to the people of Texas,”  Perry said in a press release today.  “Under this emergency declaration, Texas lawmakers will be able to address these priority issues more quickly.”

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Police
3:55 pm
Fri November 5, 2010

City Selects Semifinalists for Police Monitor

6 finalists were chosen from a pool of 66 applicants
Photo Courtesy APD

The City of Austin has selected six semifinalists today for the police monitor position. The nominees, who will be interviewed for the position on November 12th, are:

Cristina Beamud, who is the executive director of the City of Atlanta Citizen Review Board.

Rebecca Bernhardt, a contact researcher at the Laura and John Arnold Foundation in Houston. She is also a policy director of the Texas Defenders Service.

Ann del Llano, a family law attorney and owner of the Capitol City Solutions.

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Cheerleader
3:49 pm
Fri November 5, 2010

The Timberwolves are Headed to Indianapolis

The Cedar Park High School Timberwolf Band is headed to Indianapolis for the Bands of America Grand National Championships next week. The competition begins on November tenth and runs through the thirteenth. The band took first place at the Bands of America Super Regional competition in San Antonio on October 30, also receiving awards for Outstanding Music and Outstanding Visual.

Texas Music Matters
3:54 pm
Tue October 26, 2010

The Mockingbird of Mexia

Press Photo of 'The Mockingbird of Mexia' - Cindy Walker
Photo Courtesy of Texas Country Music Hall of Fame

Cindy Walker may be the biggest name in country music you’ve never heard. As a teenager in the 1930s, her songs were recorded by some of the most popular artists in the genre, including Bob Wills.  Cindy wrote one of Wills’ many hits, “Dusty Skies”, when she was just 12 years old.

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Texas Music Matters
3:14 pm
Tue October 26, 2010

Austin Music Meets Film

Photo Courtesy of Echotone
Austin filmmakers shoot on location in downtown during the making of Echotone, a film playing at this year's Austin Film Festival

The Austin Film Festival has taken over the Austin movie scene for the past week and a half.  Back in 1994, the event dubbed itself the first festival of its kind –specifically dedicated to writing for film.  17 years later, the festival attracts screenwriters, directors, editors, producers and actors from across the globe to participate in panels, premiers and script readings.  But in the ‘Live Music Capital of the World,’ where does music assert its place among filmmakers? 

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2010 midterm elections
4:36 pm
Wed October 20, 2010

Bill White Channels Mr. October, Swings for the Fences

Bill White held a press conferance in front of the Teacher Retirement System in downtown Austin.
Photo by Ian Dille KUT News

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bill White lobbed more allegations of cronyism and corruption at incumbent Republican Governor Rick Perry. On Tuesday, Mayor White launched what his campaign dubbed their “October Surprise.”

The former Houston mayor spoke on the steps of the Teacher Retirement System building. TRS is the largest pension fund in the State, valued at over 100 billion dollars.

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2010 midterm elections
3:26 pm
Tue October 19, 2010

White Accuses Perry of Funneling Teacher Retirement Funds to Political Donors

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bill White delivered his campaign's "October surprise" from the front steps of the Teacher Retirment Systems building in downtown Austin.
Photo by Ian Dille for KUT News.

Today, in an event trumpeted by his campaign as its "October surprise," Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bill White held a press conferance on the front steps of the Teacher Retirement Systems (TRS) building in downtown Austin. The TRS manages a trust fund valued at over $100 billion on behalf of 1.3 million current and former Texas teachers.

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