Mark Dewey

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Business
9:52 am
Tue September 3, 2013

Nonstop Flights to Europe Coming to Austin (Update)

Austin's only nonstop international flights are to Cancun, Mexico.
KUT News

Update: Austin is getting regular, nonstop service to Europe.

British Airways announced today that it will begin offering transatlantic Boeing 787 flights five days a week, beginning March 2014. The company says it plans to offer daily flights later in the year.

You can read more from British Airways

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Business
4:49 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Whole Foods Reviews Its Language Policy

Whole Foods is Feeling The Heat
flicker.com/wallyg

Austin-based Whole Foods Market says it will revisit its policy on speaking foreign languages after two Albuquerque employees claimed they were suspended for speaking Spanish to each other while on the job.

Whole Foods said, in a bilingual statement on the company's website, that the two were not suspended for speaking Spanish. Instead, the company claims they were actually disciplined for "rude behavior."  The company says the two erroneously believed that they had been told not to speak Spanish by a manager, and became upset.

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Austin
5:51 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

Komen Cutting Back Fundraisers, but Austin's Event Is Still On

Austin's Race for the Cure will go on as planned this fall.
courtesy flickr.com/embcanada

The Susan G. Komen Foundation says it is canceling many of its three-day fundraising walks next year, because of low participation, but the Austin one-day run scheduled for November will go on. In fact, Jenn Hatch of the Austin Race for the Cure says registrations and fundraising here are both strong for the 15th annual race. Registration opened Monday.

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Business
2:41 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

After Apparent Suicide, Austin Financial Advisor Investigated

S. Mark Powell

Financial advisor S. Mark Powell ran the Austin office of money management firm Atlantic Trust until his death on May 16.

Powell's body was found in a cemetery in Mason County, where the cause of death has not been determined.  Sheriff Buster Nixon says that a final ruling will be made after toxicology tests come back, but that "everything (he's) seen is consistent with a self-inflicted wound."

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Texas
9:00 am
Tue May 28, 2013

19th Century Windmill Company Seeks 21st Century Customers

The San Angelo company still builds windmills from a 1933 design.
Mark Dewey

Windmill farms that generate electric power are now a familiar site across west Texas. But before the giant turbines took over, their little cousins ruled the plains. Small windmills pumped water to settlers, pioneers, and ranchers in the Lone Star state. The biggest windmill company, Aermotor, started in Chicago in the 1800s, and now pumps out windmills from its San Angelo headquarters and factory.

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Technology
5:00 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Computerized Rifle Makes Anyone an Expert Marksman - Should It?

Digital optics and tracking technologies enhance this long range rifle.
Photo courtesy of TrackingPoint, Inc.

An Austin-based company, TrackingPoint, has developed a high-powered, long-range computerized rifle that can turn anyone into an expert marksman. But some wonder whether putting that technology in the hands of everyday people is a wise idea. 

At shooting range just outside of Austin, I’m holding one of TrackingPoint’s top-of-the-line, $22,000 rifles. I have some shooting experience. But I’ve never shot a big rifle before. Three company representatives walk me through it.

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Dell
2:42 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

Blackstone Pulls Dell Offer

Dell's bid may be the only one left.
Flickr.com/Oracle_Photos_Screenshots

Michael Dell may be the last man standing as he fights to take his company private.  Today, rival bidder The Blackstone Group dropped out.

It was David Johnson, formerly Michael Dell’s key turnaround executive, who led the Blackstone offer.  Johnson left Dell in January.  Today his group withdrew its bid, saying in a letter obtained by the Wall Street Journal that Dell’s outlook and finances are worse than they thought.

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UT Men's Basketball
3:43 pm
Fri April 12, 2013

Longhorn MVP Kabongo to NBA

Myck Kabongo accepts his MVP award this week.
University of Texas at Austin

Longhorn basketball star Myck Kabongo is leaving school to join the NBA, the University announced today, making himself eligible for the 2013 draft.

The point guard played in the team's last 11 games, after serving an NCAA suspension for the season's first 23 games. According to the NCAA, Kabongo broke the rules by accepting a trip to Cleveland that he didn't pay for, and then lied about it twice while speaking with investigators. 

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Texas
11:06 am
Thu February 28, 2013

Bill Would Seal Court Records of GPS Tracking Warrants

HB 1608 would require police to get a warrant to get tracking data from cell phone companies.
via http://www.flickr.com/photos/larskflem/

Texas law enforcement could be tracking you right now.  And you might never know.

Complex and fast-changing laws regulating how law enforcement can monitor people’s locations have legislators working to close loopholes and perhaps get ahead of new technologies, while advocacy groups warn of the dangers of secrecy.

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Business
5:25 am
Tue February 26, 2013

The Austin Startup That Says You’ll Never Touch Snail Mail Again

With Outbox, a fleet of vehicles "undeliver" subscribers' mail.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Update (Jan. 21. 2013): Outbox has announced it is ceasing operations. Read more here.

An Austin company is expanding its concept of undoing the work of the United States Postal Service. 

Outbox picks up its customers’ mail, scans it, and makes it available online. The company announced today that it will start serving San Francisco and parts of Silicon Valley, after testing its service in Austin since 2011.

Outbox workers open and scan letters, catalogs and flyers. Customers log in to Outbox’s website to see their – now-digital – mail. You never have to go to your mailbox. The cost? About 5 bucks a month.

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Dell
5:53 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Why is Dell Stock Rising?

Shares of Dell stock closed today at $13.92.

That’s 27 cents per share higher than the price Michael Dell and his co-investors have offered, in their efforts to purchase the computer and IT services company. Why would anyone pay more for the stock than Dell has offered?

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Immigration
3:44 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

Half of All Construction Workers May Be Undocumented

The Workers Defense Project interviewed 1,200 construction laborers in Texas.
courtesy flickr.com/carlos

As many as half of Texas construction workers could be undocumented immigrants, according to a study released today.

In the study, the Workers Defense Project examined building permits in five big markets across the state, including Austin. They visited random residential and commercial building projects to survey 1,200 construction workers during lunch breaks or after their shifts.

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Texas
5:42 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Gas Prices Rise 14 Cents From Last Week

Pump prices are higher than usual for this time of year.
Erik Reyna/KUT News

Gas prices are up. Across Texas, regular is up 14 cents this week, according to AAA's Fuel Gauge Price Report. In Austin, average prices were up by almost 15 cents to $3.36.

Oil analyst Tom Kloza says prices often rise and fall with the seasons, but these are the highest gas prices Americans have seen for this time of year.

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Business
4:06 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Dell Inc. Comes With Pile of Cash

The company is sitting on $14 billion in offshore accounts.
courtesy Dell Inc.

If you’re spending $24 billion to buy a company, it’s important to know that that company also has $14 billion in cash. That’s Dell’s situation exactly, according to its most recent financial filings. But there’s a catch: it’s in overseas accounts.

Company founder Michael Dell, who’s trying to buy the company, can touch that money, but he’ll pay a steep price, according to Lillian Mills, chairwoman of the Accounting Department at UT’s McCombs School of Business. She says that money was earned outside the United States, and if it comes home, it’s subject to U.S. taxes.

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Texas
6:32 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Pflugerville Debates Fire Protection Levels

Firefighters and the City Council disagree on how much to spend on safety.
JD Hancock/Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/jdhancock/

There’s an ongoing dispute in and around Pflugerville about how much fire and emergency services protection the area wants, and how much it’s willing to pay. The firefighters local wants to meet a number of national standards for service levels.

“We’re just trying to meet those standards and possibly exceed them,” said firefighters association spokesman Trevor Stokes. “We’re not doing that currently.”

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Sports
4:27 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Eleven Recruits Commit to UT Football

The new recruits will take the field in the fall.
KUT News

Today was college football’s nationwide signing day. All 11 expected Longhorn recruits signed letters of intent to play at UT, Coach Mack Brown said at an afternoon news conference. Those players, along with four who enrolled midyear, make up this year’s recruiting class of 15 new players.

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Transportation
7:23 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

Toll Break to Pull Big Rigs Off I-35?

TxDOT hopes truckers will try the less busy route around town.
courtesy SH 130 Concession Co.

If you drive on I-35, state transportation officials hope you’ll see fewer big trucks next month than you do today.

The state Transportation Commission approved a substantial toll reduction for 18-wheelers that circumnavigate the city on the Texas 130 and Texas 45 toll roads. Instead of paying $33 to bypass Austin, trucks will pay $11 or less.

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Science
6:22 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

UT Professor Wins Chemistry Prize

C. Grant Willson helped develop key semiconductor technology in the 1970s.
University of Texas at Austin

A University of Texas chemist has been honored with a $500,000 prize for inventing a key technology used to produce virtually all modern computer chips. The Japan Prize is awarded annually to people who make major contributions to the fields of science and technology. 

C. Grant Willson, along with a colleague and a grad student, figured out how to print complex computer circuits on silicon wafers. Chris Mack, an expert in lithography, says Willson’s work is everywhere.

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Business
6:08 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

Service Businesses Getting Less Optimistic

Restaurant and other service business owners worry that people will be spending less.
courtesy flickr.com/drmillerlg

The Federal Reserve Bank in Dallas sees some signs that the Texas economy could be softening. The Dallas Fed’s monthly report on service businesses shows a decline in expectations about business growth.

Dallas Fed economist Jesus Canas says that there’s less optimism among service business owners than there was a year ago, and that’s mostly because of conditions in the national economy.

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Politics
5:32 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

Poll Finds Texas Support for Ban on Assault Weapons

Measures under debate could restrict the sale of some firearms.
KUT News

A new survey of Texas voters reveals support for a ban on assault weapons: 49 percent of those surveyed supported a ban on military-style rifles, while 41 percent opposed a ban, according to an automated telephone survey of 500 Texas registered voters, conducted by the North Carolina firm Public Policy Polling.

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