Mark Dewey

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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.

Immigration
4:32 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

Cornyn Calls for Stricter Immigration Enforcement, Opposes Amnesty

Sen. John Cornyn wants more immigration law enforcement.
flickr.com/musicfirstcoalition

With President Obama and some legislators from both parties pushing immigration reform, Texas’s Sen. John Cornyn says he does not support a comprehensive overhaul of the country’s immigration laws.

Instead, he advocates stricter enforcement of existing laws.

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Austin
6:24 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

Warm Weather May Mean Premature Blooms

It could be a bad year for bluebonnets with the warm dry winter Central Texas has had.
Callie Hernandez/KUT News

Temperatures in Central Texas approached record levels today. But after a few days of warmer-than-normal weather, many of the area’s plants are at risk of blooming too soon.

When the soil starts to warm, that’s a signal to many trees, shrubs, and flowers that spring is here, said Daphne Richards, a horticulturist with Texas A&M AgriLife.

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Business
5:05 am
Thu January 24, 2013

How a Private Dell Deal Might Go

The computer giant Dell has its headquarters in Round Rock.
courtesy Dell Inc.

Update: This article has been edited to correct when Larry Stern saw fliers for Dell on the UT campus. It was not 1981, but some point later in the 1980s.

Dell says that recent talk of a buyout is only speculation, but there’s still a whole lot of speculating going on, including about how a possible deal might work, and what it might mean for Austin.

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Transportation
5:35 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

I-35, 290 Among Texas' Top 100 Traffic Problems

There are no quick fixes for traffic problem areas flagged in a recent report.
Callie Hernandez/KUT News

Sections of I-35 and MoPac are singled out in a new report as being among the 100 top traffic challenges in the Texas.

The report (PDF) by TRIP, a national transportation research group, identifies four problem areas here in Austin. The worst and the toughest to fix, they say, is a stretch of U.S. 290 from MoPac to Farm Road 1826. The road offers no access for emergency vehicles during rush hours.

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Business
4:10 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

Austin No. 2 in Economic Growth

Tech is the main driver of Austin's growth, a report says.
Callie Hernandez/KUT News

Austin has come out on top, almost, in an economic ranking of U.S. cities.

The Milken Institute said Austin is the second best performing city, based on measures like job growth and wage increases. The study’s author, Ross De Vol, say technology is the region’s big wealth driver.

De Vol says what Austin needs to catch No. 1 city San Jose is more money for growing businesses.

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Politics
5:08 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

Texans React to Gun Control Proposal

Gov. Rick Perry opposes the president's gun control measures.
Liang Shi, KUT News

President Obama’s call today for a series of stronger gun control measures met with immediate opposition here in Texas.

Gov. Rick Perry issued a statement calling for prayer and said that “guns require a finger to pull the trigger.”

Gun advocates, like Bill Titus of the Texas Concealed Handgun Association, criticized the efficacy and intent of President Obama’s proposals.

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Austin
5:51 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

NRA Rallies Members in Support of Travis Gun Shows

flickr.com/ChrisWaldeck

The National Rifle Association is asking its members to contact Travis County Commissioners-- publishing Commissioners’ names, phone numbers and email addresses on the NRA website.

Travis County is considering banning gun shows at the County Expo Center and the NRA is asking its members to get involved.  Commissioners’ staffers say they’re getting up to 200 emails each day, along with calls and faxes, many from out-of-state.

County Judge Sam Biscoe says Commissioners will probably vote on the issue next Tuesday, but the outcome may depend on legal issues. 

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Austin
2:48 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Austin Council Members Consider Ending Gun Shows on City Land

The marketplace at a Houston gun show. Austin City Council members could act to end gun shows at the Travis County Expo Center.
flickr.com/glasgows

The City of Austin is considering policy changes aimed at reducing gun violence and illegal gun trafficking.

Council member Mike Martinez says "there is a broad national conversation about curbing gun violence," and he thinks the city has a responsibility "to do everything we can do." 

A subcommittee consisting of Martinez, along with fellow council members Laura Morrison and Chris Riley, will meet next Tuesday to consider legal options and to hear opinions from the Mayor's staff and Police Chief Art Acevedo.  

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Politics
3:44 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

State Hits Brakes on Private Capitol Projects

The state's sunset commission wasn't happy with private developers' plans for the Capitol area.
KUT News staff

State lawmakers want a do-over on the idea of letting private interests develop parts of the Capitol complex. The Sunset Advisory Commission today put a freeze on all development proposals.

State Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, says the Legislature made a mistake two years ago when it put the framework in place.

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Real Estate
1:15 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

Average Cost for a New Condo in Downtown Austin: $1 Million

Old and the new: The Austonian towers over an alleyway in downtown Austin.
flickr.com/atmtx

If you need more proof of a changing Austin, try this: average prices for a new “luxury” condominium downtown passed $1 million for the first time last year.

That’s according to Charles Heimsath, whose company, Capitol Market Research, compiled the numbers.  He says prices are high because supply is limited to only four buildings – the Four Seasons Residences, the Austonian, the W Residences, and the Spring Condominium tower– with no new ones under construction.

Heimsath says there are no downtown condo projects currently under construction, because it’s hard for developers to borrow money.

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