Mose Buchele

Senior Reporter, StateImpact Texas

Mose Buchele is the Austin-based broadcast reporter for KUT's NPR partnership StateImpact Texas . He has been on staff at KUT 90.5  since 2009, covering local and state issues.  Mose 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.


2:28 pm
Wed August 17, 2011

City Budget Could See More Money From Austin Energy, Higher Tax Rate

Photo by Liang Shi/KUT News

Austin City Council got some surprises at a budget meeting today, both pleasant ones for the city’s fiscal outlook.

City budget officers told the Council it underestimated how high the city’s property tax rate could be under the rollback rate. That means the city will be able to raise taxes higher then once believed without having to get voter approval.

If City Council chooses to raise property taxes to the new rollback rate, it would generate an additional $1.6 million in revenue.

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Power Outage
6:39 pm
Tue August 16, 2011

Thousands Hit by Blackout in East Austin


Austin Energy has posted a message on twitter that: "Power fully restored at 7:50 pm to all customers affected by Airport Blvd/Springdale/E. 12th St area outage."


With the temperature at over 104 degrees residents of East Austin lost power Tuesday evening. Reports began coming in a little before 6:00 PM of a power outage centered in the Rosewood neighborhood between East Martin Luther King Boulevard and East Seventh Street

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3:04 pm
Thu August 4, 2011

Who Gets Shut Off If We Have Rolling Blackouts?

A map of the 376 circuits that make up Austin Energy's power grid.
Photo from Austin Energy. Map enhanced by Torrie Hardcastle for KUT News

Update: Austin Energy has released an updated version of this map. You can find it and an explanation here.

Earlier: Texas is currently in Energy Emergency Alert Level 2 as the electricity grid struggles to power air conditioning amid sweltering temperatures. Level 3 would require energy companies like Austin Energy to begin rolling blackouts like those we experienced if February.

After the energy crisis this winter, Austin Energy General Manager Larry Weis gave a presentation on the power emergency. The presentation included a map delineating areas of the city connected to so-called "load shed" circuits. These are the circuits that are the first to get turned off in the event of rolling blackouts.

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4:09 pm
Wed August 3, 2011

Shuttered Texas Prison Inspired Folk Standard "Midnight Special"

The closure of the Central Unit in Sugarland leaves its mark as the first Texas prison to be shuttered in the history of the state. But it also leaves its mark on musical history. In his story in the Austin American Stateman, Mike Ward reveals how the 102 year old facility is said to be the inspiration for the Leadbelly classic "midnight special."


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3:27 pm
Wed August 3, 2011

ERCOT Announces Another Energy Emergency

ERCOT is asking Texans to conserve electricity during today's energy emergency. Photo by Jessie Wang for KUT News.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas is asking Texans to conserve electricity from 3 to 7 PM today, as hot weather and higher-than-average energy use strain the state's electric grid.

"[Electric] capacity is expected to be very tight over the peak today, and ERCOT operators are closely monitoring the situation," ERCOT said in a media release.

Forecast for peak demand today is more than 68,684 megawatts. Texas hit an all-time record  yesterday when electric use exceeded 67,929 megawatts. 

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1:07 pm
Wed August 3, 2011

Austin Could Postpone Downtown Parking Change

Austin estimates that extending pay parking downtown on nights and weekends could bring in about $1 million more to the city's general fund.
Photo by Jessie Wang for KUT News.

Remember when the city asked Austinites if they wanted to pay for downtown parking on nights and weekends? Most people asked said "no," then the city went ahead and extended downtown metered parking hours anyway?

It turns out, that vote was not the end to the downtown parking debate.

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12:08 pm
Wed August 3, 2011

Tax Exemptions, Plastic Bags, and Egg Laying Hens, Your Austin City Council Preview

Many egg laying hens don't enjoy such spacious accommodations. Photo by Jessie Wang for KUT News.

This Thursday's  City Council meeting could bring final votes on some long-debated changes to Austin policy, even as it re-ignites debate on other issues that seemed settled just a few months ago (I'm looking at you, downtown metered parking).

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3:58 pm
Fri July 8, 2011

Lawsuit Against Comptroller's F1 Deal Officially Withdrawn

The first F1 race is planned for June of 2012.
Photo by Full Throttle Productions

The lawsuit against Texas State Comptroller Susan Combs over a deal to subsidize an F1 racetrack was officially dropped today.  That was not a surprise to plaintiffs, who said a decision by District Court Judge Rhonda Hurley the week before left them with no way to move forward.

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5:13 pm
Mon July 4, 2011

Spain Arrives in Austin for Davis Cup Quaterfinals

Fans greet Spain's tennis team as it arrives in Austin on Monday.
Photo courtesy of Antonia Warren with Casa de Espana Austin.

The Spanish national team arrived in Austin Monday to compete in the Davis Cup quarterfinals at the Frank Erwin Center.  The international competition stretches through the year as different countries compete in different venues across the globe.  The contest here in Austin will leave one national team advancing to the semifinals while the other team returns home (or stays home, as the case may be) in defeat.

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3:03 pm
Fri July 1, 2011

Obama Signs Texas Disaster Declaration

The Texas Forest Service says it's getting a break from the wildfires that have been burning across the state.
Photo courtesy of the Austin Fire Department


President Obama has declared 45 Texas counties to be federally recognized disaster areas, following the wildfires that scorched millions of acres of land from April 6 to May 3, 2011. The president had previously denied the declaration, angering Texas Governor Rick Perry, who criticized the decision.

The declaration means that the counties can now avail themselves of federal aid.

The declaration comes as Texans endure a continuing drought and brace for the possibility of more fires from outdoor cooking and fireworks this 4th of July weekend.

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2:18 pm
Fri July 1, 2011

Pepper Vs. Pepper

Dr. Pepper is suing itself over distribution rights of the "Dublin Dr. Pepper" soda.
Photo by Mose Buchele for KUT News.

The Doctor is in.... court.

If you're a fan of "Dublin Dr. Pepper," that variety of the soda made from pure cane sugar, you may want to stock up. Dr. Pepper Snapple Group Inc. is suing the Dr Pepper Bottling Co. of Dublin, Texas for breaking the terms of their contract.

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2:12 pm
Fri July 1, 2011

This Just in From the "Splash Pad" Desk

Escaping the heat at the Liz Carpenter Splash Pad.
Photo by Nasha Lee KUT News

Lake Austin may be closed to boats and other water vehicles on July4th, but the City of Austin wants people to know that when it comes to "splash pads," it's got you covered.

Bartholomew Splash Pad is back in operation after repairs, and the Liz Carpenter fountain in Butler Park will be open on July 4th. That splash pad is normally closed on Mondays for maintenance.

1:30 pm
Fri July 1, 2011

Some Roads Reopen Around W Hotel

Some roads around the W Hotel have been reopened.
Photo by Jeff Heimsath for KUT news.

Most of the lanes closed around the W Hotel have been reopened.  The streets were shut down due to safety concerns after glass started falling from hotel balconies.   

The falling glass not only snarled traffic around the hotel and forced the closure of the W itself, for a day or two it turned the building into a site for local curiosity seekers. (OK, it was no Congress Street "Bat Bridge," but the "W" can probably count itself as the most photographed Downtown Austin building of the summer).

12:13 pm
Fri July 1, 2011

Texas Supreme Court: Perry Can Travel in Secret

Texas Governor Rick Perry carries his bags off a private plane at the San Antonio International Airport on November 1, 2010.
Photo by Bob Daemmrich for the Texas Tribune.

The Texas Supreme Court ruled Friday that Texas Governor Rick Perry's travel plans and itineraries can be kept secret, overturning the rulings of two lower courts. The original case centered on whether DPS travel vouchers, normally subject to open records requests, should be made public in the case of the Governor's trips, reports the Houston Chronicle.

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9:02 am
Tue June 28, 2011

Top Morning Stories for June 28, 2011

The Legislative Special Session is nearing an end.
Photo by Erik Reyna for KUT News.

Special Session Nearing an End

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11:22 am
Fri June 24, 2011

F1 Talk Brings Huge Spike In City Council Viewership

Channel six saw a spike in viewership when F1 was discussed on Thursday.
Screen shot by Mose Buchele for KUT News.

Austinites will have to wait till next week to know the fate of a planned Formula One racetrack in Southeastern Travis County, but its not just Austinites paying attention.  People from around the world are voicing their opinions on the racetrack in online forums, op-eds and emails to City Hall. 

The debate is driving a lot more traffic to the City's TV station as well.

Channel Six, the station that broadcasts city meetings, normally attracts between 300 to 400 viewers to its websites during council meetings. But not on Thursday.

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1:25 pm
Thu June 23, 2011

The Formula One PR Blitz at City Hall

Formula One branded merchandise was passed out at to crowds at Austin City Hall Thursday.
Photo by Mose Buchele for KUT News.

Want to load up on the latest Formula One paraphernalia? Race over to Austin City Hall.

F1 baseball caps, water bottles and bumper stickers were distributed today in a public relations blitz ahead of City Council's vote on the race track project. So many were given out that white caps speckled the capacity audience in City Council Chambers -- a dramatic image for City Council members from their seats on the dais.

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4:25 pm
Wed June 22, 2011

Group Files Suit to Block F1 Funding

Image of proposed F1 site.
Courtesy of Full Throttle Productions.

A lawsuit filed today against the Texas State Comptroller in Travis County District Court seeks to block  $25 million in state funding for the Formula One racetrack planned for Southeast Travis County. The lawsuit, filed by three Travis County residents, takes aim at whether F1 qualifies for state subsidies, according to a press release sent by Bill Aleshire, the attorney representing the plaintiffs.

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4:06 pm
Fri June 17, 2011

Dead Alligator Found on Shores of Lake Travis

A spokesperson for LCRA said this was the first alligator to be found in the lake.
Photo courtesy of the LCRA.

Remember those urban legends about about alligators in the sewers?

How about 'gators in Lake Travis?

A fisherman came across a dead alligator on the shores of Lake Travis Tuesday. A spokesperson for the LCRA said the creature measured three to four feet in length (other reports put its size at six feet). It looked as though it was struck by a boat propeller.

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5:23 pm
Tue June 14, 2011

LCRA Criticized for Hasty GM Pick

Rebecca Motal was named new General Manager of the LCRA.
Photo courtesy of the LCRA.

When LCRA General Manager Tom Mason announced his resignation last week, some observers cried foul, claiming he had been pressured out for political reasons.  State Senators  Troy Fraser (R-Horseshoe Bay)  Glenn Hegar  (R-Katy) and Kirk Watson (D-Austin) -- all of who represent regions that use water sold by the LCRA -- said they would carefully monitor the hiring of Mason's replacement.

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