Matt Largey

News Editor

Matt has been a reporter at KUT off and on since 2006.  He came to Austin from Boston, then went back for a while--but couldn't stand to be away--so he came back to Austin.  Matt grew up in Maine (but hates lobster), and while it might sound hard to believe, he thinks Maine and Texas are remarkably similar.

Pages

Science
12:37 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

Listen: 'Bending' Sound Makes It Difficult to Hear Firefighter Alarms

An unnamed Austin Fire Department member in a training exercise. This year, a standard alarm tone was set for firefighters’ Personal Alert Safety Systems (PASS).
KUT News

Virtually all firefighters rely on a simple device designed to alert their fellow firefighters when they need help.

It’s called a Personal Alert Safety System, or PASS.  It’s basically a sensor that measures whether the person wearing it is moving. If they're incapacitated or immobilized, the PASS sets off a 95 decibel alarm to draw the attention -- and assistance -- of other firefighters.

Read more
Science
7:55 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Sounding Out a Better Beacon for Firefighters in Danger

http://www.flickr.com/photos/thewhitewolves/

Every year in the U.S., dozens of firefighters are killed in the line of duty. But there are hundreds more close calls, where a firefighter needs to be rescued after becoming injured or otherwise incapacitated. Virtually all firefighters, both volunteer and professional, rely on a simple device designed to alert their fellow firefighters when they need help.

Read more
Fort Hood Shootings
2:17 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

Hasan Sentenced to Death for 2009 Fort Hood Shootings

Brigitte Woosley

Army Major Nidal Hasan has been sentenced to death for the 2009 shootings at Fort Hood that left 13 people dead and 32 wounded.

The military jury deliberated for a little more than two hours before announcing their decision. Military law requires the panel be unanimous to impose the death sentence.

Hasan could be the first member of the military executed since 1961, though the sentence triggers an automatic appeals process that could stretch for years to come.

In representing himself during the trial, Hasan presented little in the way of a defense. In his opening argument, he admitted the evidence would show he was the shooter. He offered no closing argument and did not call any witnesses during either the trial or penalty phase. 

Read more
Science
10:06 am
Mon July 1, 2013

This Austin Scientist is Scanning His Own Brain Over 100 Times

UT neuroscientist Russ Poldrack is studying his own brain, looking at how it changes over time.
Russ Poldrack

At 7:30 a.m. on pretty much any Tuesday over the past eight months, you'd find Russ Poldrack lying on his back in front of the MRI scanner in his basement lab at UT, waiting to scan his brain.

Poldrack, a neuroscientist, runs the Imaging Research Center at UT-Austin.

I meet him on the morning of his 58th scan.

Read more
Fort Hood Shootings
11:38 am
Mon June 3, 2013

Accused Fort Hood Shooter Will Represent Himself

Major Nidal Hasan is accused of killing 13 people and wounded dozens in a shooting at Fort Hood in November 2009.
courtesy Bell County Sheriff's Department

The Army psychiatrist charged with killing 13 people at Fort Hood in 2009 will be allowed to represent himself at his trial.

The judge in the case, Col. Tara Osborn, ruled today that Major Nidal Hasan is both mentally and physically capable of acting in his own defense. His military lawyers will stay on the case, but will only act if Hasan asks for their help.

Read more
Austin
1:54 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

Under One Roof: Listeners React to KUT's Affordable Housing Series

KUT's listeners have their say on affordable housing in Austin.
flickr.com/speedye

Last week KUT News spent some time looking at affordable housing in Austin in "Under One Roof: Affordable Housing 101." We got into the nuts and bolts of how nonprofit developers build affordable housing for low-income Austinites and why it’s in such short supply.

We heard from quite a few people about this series and about some of the other issues around affordable housing as well.

Read more
AFFORDABLE HOUSING 101
6:05 am
Thu May 23, 2013

Under One Roof: How Does Affordable Housing Get Financed?

The M Station affordable-housing complex on MLK Boulevard got financing from 17 places.
Filipa Rodrigues, KUT News

Real estate finance under any circumstances is complicated. When it comes to affordable housing, it’s even more so.

So to make this as simple as we can, we’re going to use Austin’s M Station as an example. The 150-unit apartment complex is right next to the Red Line tracks on MLK Boulevard.

Read more
Texas
6:56 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

Amber Alert for Missing Baby Discontinued

An Amber Alert has been issued for a baby from North Texas. Authorities did not provide images of the child or the suspected abductor.

Update: Police say the child has been found. The Amber Alert has been discontinued. 

Earlier: Police in McKinney, Texas -- north of Dallas -- have issued an Amber Alert for 10 month old Isabella Reyes. She has black hair and brown eyes and weighs 17 pounds.

Read more
West Plant Explosion
5:45 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

Anhydrous Ammonia, Ammonium Nitrate: West Explosion Chemicals

Explosion in West, Texas
Credit: www.businessinsider.com

Authorities have confirmed there were fatalities in the explosion at the fertilizer plant in the town of West – just north of Waco – though they have not said how many.

Today, Gov. Rick Perry has declared a disaster in the area.

As for the explosion itself, much of the focus has been on the chemicals stored at the West Fertilizer Company, where the massive explosion happened.

Read more
Texas
12:16 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Powerful Explosion Rattles Small Town of West, Texas (Updated)

Public safety responders in West, Texas, following a blast Wednesday evening.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

UPDATE (12:15am): A Texas Department of Public Safety official says there were fatalities in a massive explosion in the town of West, Texas Wednesday evening. 50 to 75 homes were damaged, along with a 50-unit apartment complex, in the explosion at a fertilizer plant there.

DPS Trooper D.L. Wilson says all of the roughly 100 people injured have been removed from the scene. He could not say how many people may have died in the blast, though he did say there were fatalities.

Read more
Sports
3:19 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

Legally Blind Austin Man to Run Boston Marathon - With a Special Guest (Update)

Austinite William Greer, 43, will run his first Boston Marathon - his seventh marathon - later this morning.
Filipa Rodrigues/KUT

UPDATE 7:15pm: KUT News has spoken with William Greer, who says he is fine, after a pair of explosions near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

He and his sighted guide, Peter Sagal, finished with a time of about 4 hours and 4 minutes. The explosions went off about 5 minutes later.

Greer said, from his vantage point, it wasn't clear at first just what was happening, but when multiple emergency vehicles started speeding toward the sound of the explosions, it became clear that something serious had happened.

UPDATE: Peter Sagal tells All Things Considered that he and William Greer are safe, following two explosions near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Sagal says the pair had just finished the marathon and were making their way through the finish chute when they heard two explosions in quick succession. Marathon staff then told them and other runners to leave the area as quick as possible.

Original Story: Today, thousands will run in one of the country’s oldest and best-known road races: the Boston Marathon.

Among them will be a 43 year-old Austinite named William Greer. And he'll have a special guest along with  him that might be familiar to listeners to weekend public radio.

Read more
Austin
11:21 am
Mon April 15, 2013

Travis County DA Arrested for Drunk Driving (Update)

The booking photo for Travis County D.A. Rosemary Lehmberg.
Travis County Sheriff's Office

UPDATE: Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg says she will plead guilty to a DWI charge and will accept whatever punishment is handed down.

Lehmberg sent the following letter to County Attorney David Escamilla over the weekend:

To: Mr. David  Escamilla and the Judge of any Court of Jurisdiction

From: Rosemary Lehmberg

Date: April 14, 2013 

Please accept this as my Plea of Guilt to the Charge of Driving While Intoxicated, arising from my arrest on 4/12/13, for whatever level of offense is determined to be justified by the facts.

Read more
Science
5:10 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

UT Scientists Trace Genetic Origins of Longhorn Cattle

KUT News

New research out of the University of Texas at Austin finds Bevo, the school’s mascot, and other Texas Longhorn cattle are direct descendants of the first cattle to arrive in North America.

The study of the Longhorn genome finds the cattle’s lineage can be traced back 10,000 years to India and the Middle East. Researchers looked at 50,000 genetic markers of different cattle breeds. They used that information to track the Longhorns’ ancestors from the Middle East and India, to Europe and eventually to North America. 

Read more
Politics
3:21 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

George P. Bush is Running for Texas Land Commissioner

George P. Bush - son of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and the nephew of former president George W. Bush - announced today he's running for Texas Land Commissioner.

There's been intense speculation about which office Bush would pursue since he filed paperwork with the Texas Ethics Commission late last year without specifying which office he planned to run for.

Read more
Transportation
5:26 am
Fri March 8, 2013

How Closing Roads Can Make Traffic Flow Smoother

flickr.com/mirsasha

It’s no secret that traffic is terrible in Austin. A study from Texas A&M ranked the area 17th worst in the nation – finding the average driver here spent 44 hours of their life stuck in traffic in 2011. 

Read more
SXSW
4:48 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Next-Generation Space Telescope Getting Modeled at SXSW

The full-scale model of the Webb Space Telescope is outside the Long Center for SXSW Interactive.
courtesy NASA

First it was a music festival, then a film festival, then an interactive festival. Since then, South by Southwest has added education, the environment and venture capital to its repertoire. Could SXSW Space be far off?

Read more
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.

Read more
Transportation
5:00 am
Mon February 11, 2013

Will a Texting and Driving Ban Make Texas Roads Safer?

via http://www.flickr.com/photos/indyplanets/

Texas lawmakers will try again this Legislative session to outlaw texting and driving. 

Lawmakers voted to criminalize texting while driving statewide in 2011, but Governor Rick Perry vetoed that bill before it became law.

Read more
2013 Legislative Sesssion
5:16 am
Wed January 23, 2013

If the Texas Legislature Was a Symphony, This is What it Would Sound Like

Each 140-day legislative session begins slowly, before reaching a frentetic pace at the end.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Texas lawmakers were back at work Wednesday, after nearly a week off. 

They have about 125 days left in their 140 day session. While a vacation right off the bat might seem like a lazy start to their every-other-year meeting, it’s all part of the plan: In musical terms, each session has it's own rhythm and tempo. 

Read more

Pages