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.

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Business
11:59 am
Tue July 5, 2011

Last Shuttle Mission Means Fewer Space Jobs

Photo by Matt Largey/KUT News

The Space Shuttle Atlantis will lift off Friday - the last shuttle mission for NASA.

Contractors who work on the shuttle program have been getting pink slips for the past year and a half, as the program winds down. But thousands more in Florida, Alabama and Texas will be out of a job after the final mission. 

USA Today reports on how Florida's Space Coast economy will be impacted by the end of the program.

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Austin
6:28 pm
Tue June 28, 2011

W Hotel To Shut Down Temporarily, Replace Glass Panels

The W Hotel and Residences in downtown Austin, where glass panels on the exterior of the building have shattered and fallen from the building three times in as many weeks.
Photo by Matt Largey for KUT News

Updated 10:20pm: The developer of the W Hotel in downtown Austin says the hotel will close temporarily, and all the glass panels on the building's exterior balconies will be replaced. 

That's after more panels shattered and fell from the building Tuesday.

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Top Stories
9:12 am
Mon June 27, 2011

Top Morning Stories for June 27, 2011

Photo by KUT News

Cap Metro Board Nears Bus Operation Vote

The board of directors of the Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority will vote today on whether to abolish StarTran, the subsidiary company it formed in 1991 to manage its bus driver and maintenance crews.

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Top Stories
9:07 am
Mon June 20, 2011

Top Morning Stories June 20, 2011

Photo by Nathan Bernier/KUT News

AISD Makes Gains On TAKS

More than 80 percent of students in the Austin Independent School District passed the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills test, according to district data released to the Statesman. The district's board of trustees is expected to receive the data at  its meeting tonight. 

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2012 Presidential Election
4:32 pm
Wed June 8, 2011

More Perry-For-Prez Buzz

Photo by Marjorie Kamys Cotera for the Texas Tribune

The Wall Street Journal puts another log on the fire of speculation over whether Texas Gov. Rick Perry will run for the GOP nomination for president. In an article published this afternoon, the Journal points to conversations Perry has had over the last couple weeks about the GOP's chances against President Obama in 2012.

The article quotes unnamed sources, who say Perry has said he thinks the current field of GOP candidates are uninspiring:

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Mexico
1:28 pm
Wed June 8, 2011

Mexico Wants Texas To Tone Down Travel Warnings

Image courtesy Google Maps.

The head of Mexico's state-run tourism board is in Austin today to meet with Texas' Secretary of State and law enforcement officials. 

Among the things he wants to discuss: Texas' warnings about traveling to Mexico.

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Transportation
12:54 pm
Wed June 8, 2011

Water Work on Walsh Tarlton Begins This Weekend

Lane closures and detours will affect Walsh Tarlton north of Loop 360.
Image courtesy Google Maps.

The City of Austin is warning drivers to be aware of lane closures and detours beginning this Saturday, due to water main work in the area of Walsh Tarlton Lane and Loop 360 - near the Barton Creek Square Mall. The detours will last through the rest of the summer, from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm daily. 

From the City:

Austin
2:26 pm
Tue June 7, 2011

F1 Organizers Want City to Pay $4 million a Year into Trust Fund

Artist's rendering of Circuit of the Americas
Photo provided by Circuit Events Local Organizing Committee

Austin City Council members heard a presentation today on Formula One Austin, that asks the city to contribute $4 million per year to a fund that would be managed by the group.  The money would come from additional tax revenues generated by people visiting Austin for F1 events.

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Headlines
10:10 am
Sun June 5, 2011

Sunday Morning Headlines

Photo by Jeff Heimsath/KUT News

ACC Buying Last Tract of Highland Mall

Austin Community College is in the process of buying the last piece of the Highland Mall property that it doesn't already own, the Statesman reports this morning. 

ACC also says it is working with a partner, who will develop a mix of retail, residential and office space at the mall, which has fallen on hard times recently. The College's leadership appears upbeat about what the acquisition means for the insitution.

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Austin
5:16 pm
Tue May 24, 2011

Austin Shelter Needs Kitten Foster Homes

Photo by KUT News

Town Lake Animal Center is putting out a call for foster homes, after a greater-than-expected number of kittens have been taken into the shelter.

The kittens generally need to housed for at least two weeks. Fosters are asked to provide bedding and care for the animals, while the shelter pays for medical treatment and food.

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Weather
3:53 pm
Tue May 24, 2011

Severe Weather Possible Tuesday Night

Potentially severe storms could rattle Central Texas this evening.
Photo by Nathan Bernier/KUT News

Authorities are warning of potentially severe thunderstorms in Central Texas tonight.

National Weather Service meteorologist Amanda Fanning says there's a 20% chance of severe thunderstorms in the Austin area. She says there's a slight chance of showers, but large hail and damaging winds are also possible. Any storms that do occur are likely to be severe.

Chances for severe weather are greater to the west of Austin, in Blanco, Burnet and Gillespie counties. 

Politics
1:33 pm
Tue May 24, 2011

Shade Files New Complaint Against Tovo

Randi Shade (right) says her opponent for Place 3 on the Austin City Council, Kathie Tovo, should not be entitled to public campaign financing until its determined whether Tovo broke city rules.
Photo by Erika Aguilar and Matt Largey for KUT

Austin City Council Member Randi Shade has filed another ethics complaint against challenger Kathie Tovo.

It’s the second complaint based on an email sent by a Tovo supporter.  The Shade campaign says the email should have contained a disclaimer announcing it was from Tovo’s campaign. The city’s ethics commission tossed out a similar complaint last week, saying it did not have jurisdiction over the matter.

In the new complaint, Shade says the value of the address list the email were sent to exceeded the maximum contribution allowed under city ordinance.

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Politics
1:02 pm
Tue May 24, 2011

Perry Signs Sonogram Bill Into Law

Texas Governor Rick Perry signs legislation requiring women to get sonograms before they get an abortion.
Photo courtesy the Texas Tribune

Governor Rick Perry signed held a formal signing ceremony today for the state’s so-called “sonogram bill. ” It requires women seeking an abortion to undergo a sonogram before terminating their pregnancy. Doctors will have to make an image of the fetus and the sound of its heartbeat available.

Houston Republican, Senator Dan Patrick, says if this new procedure changes the mind of 20% of women who go in for an abortion, it would mean 10,000 - 15,000 additional births in Texas each year.

The law goes into effect September 1st.

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Environment
12:29 pm
Tue May 24, 2011

Texas House Formalizes Water Rights

Photo by KUT

The Texas House has given its approval to a bill that formalizes landowner’s full ownership of groundwater below their land.

Property rights advocates had pushed for the bill, which allows landowners to pump and sell groundwater, though the state would still be able to impose some restrictions.

Texas is one of the few states that still gives landowners control over the water underneath their property.

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Health
11:14 am
Tue May 24, 2011

Palestinian PM To Be Released From Austin Hospital

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.
Photo courtesy of US Senator Christopher Coons on Flickr

Doctors at Seton Medical Center in Austin say they expect to discharge Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad today.

Fayyad was hospitalized Sunday, after complaining of chest pains. He was in Austin to attend his son’s graduation at UT-Austin.

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Education
10:15 am
Tue May 24, 2011

AISD Board Approves Facility Plan Timeline

Photo by KUT News

The Austin ISD Board of Trustees has approved a timeline for finishing the district’s controversial Facility Master Plan. At a meeting Monday night, the board okayed the timeline set out by Superintendent Meria Carstarphen. 

A report presented to the board in March by a citizens’ task force suggested closing as many as nine schools.

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Politics
4:16 pm
Tue May 10, 2011

Perry, White House Point Fingers Over Refusal To Meet

Governor Rick Perry won't be meeting with President Obama during his Austin visit today.
Photo by Jeff Heimsath for KUT.

Governor Perry and President Obama aren't meeting during Obama's visit to Texas today. And, perhaps not surprisingly, each side is blaming the other. 

The White House says Perry refused to meet the President in El Paso earlier today.

The Associated Press reports Perry's office said Obama declined an invitation to tour areas of the state scorched by wildfire or to meet in Austin. 

Austin
9:16 am
Mon May 9, 2011

Top Morning Stories May 6, 2011

Extreme fire is seen burning through thick fuel during the Highway 322 fire (Dimmit County) in March 2008.
Photo courtesy the Texas Forest Service

APD Officer Shoots and Kills Armed Suspect

One man was killed by an Austin police officer early this morning in Southeast Austin.  About 1:00, police responded to a "shots fired" call in an apartment complex on Burton Drive, near East Oltorf Street.

"The suspect's a male Hispanic, about—approximately 29 years of age.  And what occurred in this incident is he was trying to gain entry by shooting into—at a apartment door, trying to get into a house where his ex-girlfriend resided," said Police Chief Art Acevedo.

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Austin
1:17 pm
Wed April 20, 2011

City Projects Deficit, Tax Increase Expected

Photo by Liang Shi/KUT News

The Austin City Council got its first look at budget projections for the next fiscal year today.

Budget managers told council members that falling property values and sales tax collections mean revenue is not keeping up with the cost of maintaining city services at current levels. The projections showed homeowners could face higher property taxes next year.

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Oak Hill
8:00 pm
Sun April 17, 2011

Oak Hill Brush Fire Threatens Homes

Smoke from the Oak Hill brush fire can be seen from the highway. Photo by KUT's Crystal Chavez.

8:30 p.m.  Austin Homeland Security and Emergency Management have updated the list of areas that will remain evacuated overnightHere is a map of the affected area.  Austin Community College says classes will run on normal schedule at the Pinnacle campus, located near the area of today's brush fire.

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