Matt Largey

Managing 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.

Ways to Connect

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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. 

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?

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.

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.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon, KUT News

Good morning! The National Weather Service says Austin's in for a sunny and mild day, with highs in the mid-60s.

Lead Story: Many Austinites took time to celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. yesterday.

People gathered at the MLK statue on the UT campus Monday morning to kick off the city’s annual march honoring the civil rights leader. Austinite Stan Johnson says he was inspired to come out when he heard King’s “I Have a Dream” speech for the first time.

Mose Buchele, KUT News

The Austin City Council could take the first step toward another bond package aimed at affordable housing today. The proposal from council members Sheryl Cole, Bill Spelman and Chris Riley tells city staff to start preparing for a bond election, although it does not specify a dollar amount.

Dell Inc.

Shares in computer-maker Dell Inc. surged by 13 percent Monday on rumors the Round Rock based company could go private. Bloomberg News cites anonymous sources as saying Dell is in talks with at least two private equity firms.

John Doggett is a lecturer at the University of Texas McCombs School of Business. He says the talks come as Dell is shifting its business strategy away from PCs.

The New York Times is reporting that Lance Armstrong is considering a public admission of doping, in hopes of restarting his career as a competitive athlete.

Austin Police Department

The Austin police officer best known for killing the University of Texas Tower sniper has died.

Officer Houston McCoy shot and killed Charles Whitman on Aug. 1, 1966, after Whitman killed 16 people and wounded 32 from the observation deck atop the UT Tower.

flickr.com/branditressler

The State Fair of Texas wants your help rebuilding its most recognizable cowboy.

The 52 foot-tall mascot Big Tex was destroyed in October in an electrical fire. He had been a fixture at the fair in Dallas for 60 years.

The State Fair’s Sue Gooding says they’ve launched a website trying to raise about half a million dollars to build a new and improved Big Tex. “This is not just the Big Tex that left us that day,” she says. “We’re working on some re-engineering of Big Tex and of course, this next one will have a fire suppression system built in.”

Daniel Bayer via flickr.com/aspensnowmass

A British newspaper is suing Lance Armstrong for about $1.5 million over a settlement it reached with the  cyclist in 2004.

The Sunday Times paid Armstrong almost half a million dollars after he accused the paper of libel when it printed allegations that he used performance enhancing drugs.

F1 photo flickr.com/pdbreen; Bevo photo flickr.com/finitefocus

Update: Circuit of the Americas emails KUT News the following statement from COTA principal Bobby Epstein:

"Circuit of The Americas has expressed our strong preference for an alternate race date in 2013. We understand that setting a global calendar can be very challenging, involves many factors and is out of our control. We feel confident that Formula One has taken our concerns seriously and is working earnestly towards a collective solution. Ultimately, our 2013 race date may remain as it currently stands."

Original post (Nov. 20, 4:51 p.m.): If you thought it was crowded in Austin last weekend, just wait until next November.

Bell County Sheriff's Department

UPDATE 12/4 at 5:45pm: Army Col. Tara Osborn has been appointed to replace Col. Gregory Gross as judge in the military trial of Maj. Nidal Hasan. He's charged with in the shooting rampage that left 13 people dead and dozens wounded at Fort Hood in November 2009. It's not clear when hearings will resume.

ORIGINAL STORY: A military appeals court has removed the judge in the trial of the suspect in the 2009 shooting at Fort Hood. 

NASA/ESA/Andrew C. Fabian

Scientists at the University of Texas say they’ve discovered the most massive black hole ever identified.

It sits in the center of a galaxy called NGC 1277. It has a mass equivalent to about 17 billion suns.

Doctor Karl Gebhardt is an astrophysicist at UT, and a member of the team that made the discovery. He says their finding could help us better understand the way galaxies are formed.

flickr.com/photos/dawilson/

The Texas Longhorns take the field Thursday for their traditional Thanksgiving game.

Although this year it’s without their traditional rival, Texas A&M.

With the Aggies in the S.E.C. this year, UT added Texas Christian University to the schedule for the holiday game.

Longhorn Head Coach Mack Brown says there are several similarities between the old rivals, A&M, and this year’s opponent.

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