Mose Buchele

Senior Reporter, Energy & Environment

Mose is KUT's energy and environment reporter, previously under the StateImpact Texas project. He has been on staff at KUT since 2009, covering local and state issues.  He's has also worked as a blogger on politics and an education reporter at his hometown paper in Western Massachusetts. He holds masters degrees in Latin American Studies and Journalism from UT Austin.

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The family of Michael Grant Cahill was set to receive a Secretary of the Army Award for Valor in his honor on Monday. Cahill was the only civilian killed in the Fort Hood shooting on Nov. 5, 2009 that claimed the lives of 13 people.

In a hearing last fall, witnesses reported that Cahill rushed at Army Maj. Nidal Hasan clutching a chair over his head before he was shot.  Hasan has been charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder.

Photo by Matt Largey for KUT News.

Austin-based Meals on Wheels and More relies on volunteers to deliver ninety percent of the one-million meals it delivers annually. But this summer, the group is scrambling to find people to fill open routes across Central Texas.

The aid organization says it normally loses volunteers as summer approaches, but this year is worse.

Photo by Jeff Garvin.

He's too young for a driver's license, but old enough to dominate in NASCAR, at least on the local and regional level

Austin Wayne Self became the first 15-year-old to win two premier division NASCAR races in the same night in Kyle on Saturday.  The Austin native first took the checkered flag in the Pro Modified division race, a division with specific rules about car components and modifications.

But the real excitement came in the Late Model race.  After a high-speed accident on the track, Self came back to win in dramatic fashion according to a press release:

Research by the Center for College Affordability and Productivity suggests that Texas could make college tuition more affordable by increasing faculty emphasis on teaching. 

The report is sure to provide ammunition to some lawmakers and policy experts, who want professors to teach more and cut down on research.  It has already come under fire from UT faculty representatives who say it does not provide an accurate picture of academic duties.

Photo by Callie Hernandez for KUT News

The City of Austin interviewed about 2,300 applicants earlier this year for jobs as Austin firefighters. Now, they’re going to have to conduct those interviews all over again. That’s after allegations that some applicants were secretly given the interview questions in advance.

Austin Fire Chief Rhoda Mae Kerr says she received an anonymous letter on Tuesday claiming that the quesitons and the scoring grid for AFD’s “structured oral interview” had been given in advance to certain applicants.

Kerr says she’s not sure that the allegations are true, but the letter did contain copies of the questions and the scoring grid. That raises enough concern that the City will have to retest all of the applicants.

Photo by Matt Largey for KUT News.

The $528,400 price tag for a City of Austin runoff election is money worth spending, City Council Member Randi Shade argued in a press conference today.

Shade came in second to challenger Kathie Tovo in Austin's May 14th elections. She got 33 percent of the vote to Tovo's 47 percent.  Because no candidate won a simple majority, the race will go to a runoff unless one candidate bows out. 

In an interview with KUT News, Shade re-affirmed that she had no intention of conceding defeat.  Some political observers say they can't see a way for Shade to overcome her deficit at the polls.

Screen shot of the Austin's New Bike Map.

The City of Austin creates about 20 miles of new bike lanes a year, and that all goes towards the goal of 750 miles of bike lanes outlined in the City's Bicycle Plan

It's been a few years since Austin updated its bike lane map, so this week it unveiled a new one. Annick Beaudet with Austin's Public Works Department said the new lanes were just one reason to pick up the map.

Image courtesy of Michael Coté http://www.flickr.com/photos/cote/4592105938/

Happy Mother's Day! It was in 1908 that the first Mother's Day was celebrated in Grafton, West Virginia by Anna Jarvis.

Image courtesy City of Austin

One thing about Austin City Council votes on Water Treatment Plant Four, they are always tight.  So what would happen if that balance shifted after the May 14th City Council elections?

Maybe nothing.

In an interview with KUT, Council Member Laura Morrison, who consistently votes against the project, said continuing that opposition would be "a situation that [she] will have to look at" if more Council Members opposed the to the project are elected.

The announcement that the Texas Comptroller's Office accidentally made public the personal information of about 3.5 million people online got us wondering in the KUT newsroom. How is online security different in the US from in other countries? 

Paolo Cunha Martins was happy to show us. 

Screen shot by Mose Buchele for KUT News.

Visitors to the City of Austin's website were surprised to be re-directed this afternoon to a page saying the "US Locality domain you are searching for has been given back to Neustar Registry to manage." The City's Public Information Office quickly followed up on a phone call to their office with this Tweet:

If you're experiencing difficulties viewing our website, try www.austintx.gov Thank you for your patience as we work on this!

Photo by KUT News.

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport was ranked the third-best airport in North America by the Airport Service Quality Awards.  According to a press release from ABIA, this is the fifth consecutive year that the airport has been recognized.

Created with flickr slideshow from softsea.

Photo by Don Hankins http://www.flickr.com/photos/23905174@N00/1594411528/

Today, the Texas State Comptroller's Office starts mailing out letters to everyone affected by the security breach that left 3.5 million personal information files publicly accessible online. 

The breach means everyone who is a member of the Teachers Retirement System of Texas, the Public Employees Retirement System of Texas,  or the Texas Workforce Commission likely had their information made public,  Comptroller of Public Account's spokesperson Allen Spelce confirmed in an interview with KUT.

To find out if your information was compromised call 1-855-474-2065.

Mose Buchele for KUT News.

It's that time of year again. 

April 1 to October 31 is ozone season in Central Texas.  These are the months when we expect the highest amounts of ground level ozone in the air. Last year, the Austin area came dangerously close to falling out of attainment of the federal clean air standard of 74 parts of ozone per-billion.  With the Environmental Protection Agency set to announce even stricter standards, it could be even harder for the region to stay in attainment this year.

Mose Buchele for KUT News.

Earlier this month KUT News blogged about an ethics complaint filed by the Taxi Driver Association of Austin. The association alleged that city council members violated the city charter by accepting donations from owners and managers of Austin Yellow Cab, which hold franchises for taxi operations in the city.

Image Courtesy of Texas A&M University and Michael R. Waters

It's a find that gives new meaning to the expression, "I'm not from Texas, but I got here as fast as I could."

Researchers have discovered artifacts that could push back the arrival of man in the Lone Star State by over 2,000 years.  The arrowheads, from the Buttermilk Creek excavation site 40 miles north of Austin, are different from the type associated with the Clovis people, once thought to be Texas' earliest human inhabitants.

Photo by Nathan Bernier

The epic ten-day party that crashed down on Austin last week has grown to the point where it needs to be scaled back, according to City of Austin Music Programs Manager, Don Pitts.  "We need to curtail it, and I think dial it back some," Pitts said in a phone interview with KUT News.

"Some tougher standards should take place, and a lot of the events that we saw, the promoters or event producers were pretty inexperienced in handling those sizes of crowds," Pitts told KUT News.

Photo by Mose Buchele for KUT News.

Capital Metro's Red Line train service turns one year old this Tuesday. Officials are pointing to higher rider numbers in recent months as proof that the commuter rail is catching on.

"Most of last year our average daily boarding were in the 800 to 900 range. In January that bumped up to about 1000, February to 1,200, and in March with some of the special service and huge crowds for South By Southwest we've seen much higher numbers just looking at the daily estimates so far," said Adam Shaivitz a spokesperson for the Transit Agency.

Mose Buchele for KUT News.

The Taxi Drivers Association of Austin [TDAA] has filed a complaint against Mayor Lee Leffingwell and "several council members" for accepting campaign contributions from owners and managers of the Yellow Cab Company, according to a TDAA press statement released today.

The Drivers Association claims that, by accepting the contributions, council members have violated a provision of the Austin City Charter that prohibits office holders from accepting "any wage, commission, fee, gift, favor or payment" from any person "holding or seeking to hold" a City of Austin franchise.

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