Matt Largey

Managing Editor

Matt has been an editor and 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.

Ways to Connect

Todd Wiseman/Texas Tribune

Austin's ridesharing vote will go ahead as planned, it seems.

The Texas Supreme Court denied a request to order a rewrite of ballot language that Austin voters will consider in May regarding regulations for ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft.

Austin resident Samantha Phelps filed a writ with the Supreme Court last week, arguing the language approved by the Austin City Council would mislead voters.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon for KUT News

You've probably seen this memorial if you've ever driven on Lamar Blvd in Austin. It's right there, on the pillar holding up the train bridge where Third Street crosses Lamar.

It says: "Fair Sailing Tall Boy. Ivan Garth Johnson. Not forgotten. 1971 - 1989. Don't Drink and Drive, You Might Kill Someone's Kid."  

Lynett Oliver doesn’t know Ivan Garth Johnson. She doesn’t know anything about him. But if you’re like her, you can’t help but wonder: What’s the story behind this memorial?

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon for KUT News

The state's top criminal appeals court has dismissed the felony abuse of power charges against former Texas Governor Rick Perry.

The charges stemmed from Perry's 2013 threat to veto funding for the Travis County District Attorney's Public Integrity Unit, which investigates and prosecutes state corruption cases. A grand jury indicted Perry on charges that he coerced a public official and abused his office when he threatened to veto the funds if Travis County DA Rosemary Lehmberg did not resign, following a drunk driving conviction.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. /KUT News

Austin voters will decide on a petition-driven ordinance drawn up by ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft. 

The Austin City Council rejected the ordinance on an 8-2 vote (Council Member Don Zimmerman abstained), which means the ordinance will go to a public referendum on May 7.

The election will cost the city an estimated $500,000 to $800,000.


UPDATE: After seven days of voting, we have a winner for the next round of ATXplained. We're already hard at work getting the answer to the winning question, so stay tuned!

flickr user mirsasha

Members of Austin’s Public Safety Commission are calling for changes to a city plan that aims to eliminate traffic deaths in the city. 

Commission member Mike Levy criticized the Vision Zero task force’s draft plan, which includes more than 100 recommendations aimed at making Austin’s roadways safer, calling it a "kitchen sink."

MIguel Gutierrez Jr. for KUT News

The Austin City Council today passed a plan to further regulate ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft.

The language in the ordinance is not entirely clear – but it calls for the “preferred ability” of drivers who do get fingerprinted to pick up and drop off passengers in the downtown entertainment district and around major events such as South by Southwest. Drivers who don’t get fingerprinted would pay higher fees and be barred from some wait areas. They may also be restricted from operating during certain hours.

St. Edward's University

The 2016 Pritzker Prize, often called the Nobel Prize for architects, was awarded this week to Chilean architect Alejandro Aravena. Known for his “incremental" — partially unfinished — building designs, Aravena has only one creation standing in the U.S., and it happens to be in Austin.

The votes are in!

Dozens of you submitted questions you wanted KUT to investigate for our ATXplained project. We chose three for our first voting round (don't worry, the others are eligible for future rounds). More than 600 people voted. Here are the results:

Introducing ATXplained

Nov 20, 2015

Every day at KUT, we try to think about what you want to know. That’s what drives the decisions we make about the stories we tell. But we wanted to try an experiment to bring you, the audience, closer to the news and storytelling we do at KUT.

So we’re starting a project called ATXplained. Get it? Say it faster. There you go.

The project starts with a simple question: What are you curious about?

Bob Daemmrich, Texas Tribune

Gov. Greg Abbott says Texas will not accept any Syrian refugees, after the attacks in Paris that left 129 people dead. He's directing the state's Health and Human Services Commission's Refugee Resettlement Program to not participate in any resettlement of Syrians in Texas.

At least 13 other governors have taken similar steps since the terror attacks in Paris, including the governors of AlabamaLouisiana, Indiana and Michigan

Trey Shaar/KUT

A federal judge has dismissed a manslaughter charge against former Austin Police Detective Charles Kleinert in the death of Larry Eugene Jackson, Jr.

Kleinert, who's white, shot Jackson, an African-American, following a foot pursuit and a scuffle after Jackson approached the scene of a bank robbery in Central Austin on July 26, 2013.

Texas Sports

University of Texas at Austin mascot BEVO XIV has died.

Texas Forest Service

UPDATE 11:30 pm: According to the Bastrop County Sheriff's Office, Harmon Road evacuations have begun on a voluntary basis only at this time.

UPDATE 11 pm: As fire and emergency crews continue to battle the Hidden Pines fire in Bastrop County, 150 homes have now been declared threatened, and officials are starting to evacuate homes on Harmon Road.

texassports.com

UPDATE 10/13/15: BEVO XIV, the Texas Longhorns mascot since 2004, has been diagnosed with bovine leukemia virus and has retired effective immediately. He will rest comfortably at the ranch where he lives.

sarowen/flickr

Austin, Houston, Brenham and parts of Alabama will be the first to see Blue Bell ice cream back in stores later this month.

The Brenham-based company said today it would start rolling products back out Aug. 31, after listeria contamination at its production facilities forced it to recall all of its products and shut down its factories for cleaning. The contamination was linked to 10 illnesses, three of which resulted in deaths. 

Leslie Boorhem-Stephenson/Texas Tribune

The University of Texas at Austin is postponing plans to begin the removal of statues of Confederate President Jefferson Davis and President Woodrow Wilson from the school's Main Mall.

UT confirms the Sons of Confederate Veterans filed a request Friday for a temporary restraining order to block the statues' removal, which had been planned for Saturday. 

The request was drafted by Kirk Lyons, an attorney representing the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

Eric Schlegel for the Texas Tribune

The U.S. Supreme Court has temporarily blocked some elements of Texas' House Bill 2, which puts new restrictions on abortion clinics in the state. Abortion providers say the rules in question, which were to go into effect July 1, would have forced as many as 10 abortion clinics to close.

That would have left Texas with as few as eight abortion clinics, mostly in big cities.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

UPDATE Monday 1 p.m. A Texas State Senator is asking the Department of Justice to monitor and intervene, if necessary, in Texas' implementation of the Supreme Court's ruling that legalizes same-sex marriage nationwide.

The request comes after Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton issued an advisory opinion yesterday, saying some government officials could refuse to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples, if they object on religious grounds.

Alexa Ura / Texas Tribune

A federal appeals court is allowing several disputed elements of Texas’ HB2 abortion law to go into effect.

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