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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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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Texas
10:49 am
Sun April 10, 2011

News Roundup for Sunday April 10, 2011

The Cathedral fire (Brewster County) viewed at night in April 2008.
Photo courtesy the Texas Forest Service.

Wildfire Danger at Historic Highs Today

State officials are warning of extreme wildfire danger across much of the western half of Texas today, as hot, dry, windy conditions couple with low humidity. 

The Texas Forest Service was fighting several wildfires yesterday, but was bracing for more, reported the Associated Press.

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Texas
1:12 pm
Fri April 8, 2011

Massive Wildfire in West Texas Burns 50,000 Acres

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

Officials are sending more resources to help battle a massive wildfire in West Texas that's already burned about 50,000 acres.

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Texas
2:15 pm
Wed March 30, 2011

Attorneys Ask Justice Dept. To Investigate Texas Execution Drugs

Attorneys for two condemned inmates say the state has been breaking federal laws for more than 25 years.
Photo courtesy of Andres Rueda/via Flickr

Lawyers for two condemned Texas prisoners are asking the U.S. Justice Department to investigate how the Texas Department of Criminal Justice has obtained drugs used in executions.

Their argument hinges on what sounds like a technicality: the address used to register the state's drug supply.

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Politics
12:39 pm
Wed March 30, 2011

Bill Would Require Some Stores To Offer Plastic Bag Recycling

Senate Bill 908 would require retail outlets to offer recycling for plastic bags if they provide them to customers.
Photo by KUT News

A bill up for consideration in the Texas Legislature this session would mandate some retail outlets across the state to establish recycling programs for the plastic bags they hand out to customers.

Senate Bill 908, authored by Senator Troy Fraser (R-Horseshoe Bay), would require larger retail stores to offer bag recycling. It would not apply to Mom and Pop operations, but is aimed at stores like Wal-Mart and H-E-B.

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Texas
10:47 am
Wed March 16, 2011

Texas Will Switch Execution Drug Amid Shortage

Photo via Flickr user Andres Rueda.

Texas Department of Criminal Justice officials announced today that it will change one of the drugs in the three-drug cocktail used in executions in the state.

The drug sodium thiopental has been in short supply ever since the only U.S. manufacturers of the drug stopped production.

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Sunday News Roundup
11:03 am
Sun March 13, 2011

Sunday Morning News Memo for March 13, 2011

Image via Media Tools, courtesy Google, DigitalGlobe, GeoEye

 

Japan Death Toll Soars

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Texas
11:13 am
Mon March 7, 2011

SCOTUS: Texas Death Row Inmate Can Pursue Civil Rights Claim

Henry Watkins Skinner was convicted of the murders of Twila Busby and her two sons in 1995.
Photo by Caleb Bryant Miller for KUT News.

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in favor of a Texas death row inmate who is seeking to have DNA evidence in his murder case tested.  The court's decision means Hank Skinner won't be executed any time soon.

At issue in the case was not whether the DNA should be tested, but rather what procedures can be used in asking a court to order the testing.  Skinner's lawyers argued their client has a right to pursue a civil rights claim for the testing.

The decision reverses an appeals court ruling, and sending the case back to district court in Amarillo.

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Austin
4:35 pm
Wed March 2, 2011

Website Sues City Over Records Disclosures

Photo by Callie Hernandez/KUT.

The Austin Bulldog, a non-profit investigative website, has filed a lawsuit against the City of Austin and members of the City Council, alleging they did not disclose records in compliance with the Texas Public Information Act.

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Austin
5:31 pm
Tue March 1, 2011

Town Lake Animal Center Hits 90% Live Outcomes For 1st Time

Photo by KUT.

Officials at Austin's Town Lake Animal Center have announced they've surpassed a 90% live outcome rate for the first time last month.  February saw 92% of animals that entered the shelter leave alive.

The milestone means the shelter is now officially "no-kill", as defined by an implementation plan approved by city council almost one year ago.

In a memo to the city council today, interim animal services officer Filip Gecic said the shelter's rescue partners get a big share of the credit, although there were many factors that contributed to the shelter's success...

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Top Stories
8:58 am
Mon February 21, 2011

Top Morning Stories for February 21, 2011

Courtesy the Texas Tribune.

TT/UT Poll: Texans Want Budget Cuts, But Unsure Where to Cut

A new poll from the Texas Tribune and the University of Texas finds that most Texas voters back spending cuts as a way to balance the state's budget in the next biennium. But voters are divided when it comes to identifying what specific programs they would cut.

From the Tribune's write-up:

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Sunday News Roundup
9:22 am
Sun February 20, 2011

Sunday Morning News Roundup for February 20, 2011

Texas
2:37 pm
Wed February 16, 2011

Texas Grid Operator Updates List of Plant Failures

ERCOT released an updated list of power plants that failed, leading to rolling blackouts February 2.
Image by KUT News

Officials with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas continue to identify more power plants that went offline during the power emergency that struck the state two weeks ago. Normally, details on plant failures would be confidential for 60 days, because of market rules set up by the Public Utility Commission of Texas.  But ERCOT has asked power generators to agree to a waiver of that period. 

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Egypt
3:50 pm
Fri February 11, 2011

McCaul Reacts to Developments in Egypt

Courtesy the Office of Congressman Michael McCaul

Austin Congressman Michael McCaul (R-Austin) expressed support for democratic reforms, saying a stable Egypt is good for American interests.  McCaul sits on the House Foreign Affairs committee. He said the U.S. should provide a supporting role for bringing "free and fair elections".  But he cautioned that the U.S. cannot take too big a role.

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Egypt
11:39 am
Fri February 11, 2011

Local Reaction to Egyptian Power Transition

Thousands of Egyptians protest against President Hosni Mubarak in this February 1, 2011 photo.
Photo by Flickr user Al Jazeera English

Reaction to the end of President Hosni Mubarak's rule in Egypt is pouring in from around the world.

Here in Austin, Austin Community College associate professor Roy Casagranda - who's half Egyptian - heard the news on BBC Radio this morning.  He says at first, he didn't have the kind of elation that Egyptian protesters probably did when they heard, because he knew there was much more to do.

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Texas
10:50 am
Wed February 9, 2011

Record Electricity Usage Expected In Texas Tomorrow

Photo courtesy of Miranda Martin/via Flickr

The state's electric grid operator, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), says it's expecting to set a winter record for power demand Thursday morning between 7 and 8 a.m. ERCOT is asking people to conserve power to help minimize the risk of rolling blackouts like the ones that swept across Texas last week.

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