Nathan Bernier

Host, All Things Considered

Nathan Bernier a KUT reporter and the local host during All Things Considered and Marketplace. He grew up in the small mountain town of Nelson, BC, Canada, and worked at commercial news radio stations in Ottawa, Montreal and Boston before starting at KUT in 2008. 

Nathan has won numerous journalism awards including a National Edward R. Murrow Award, Texas Associated Press Awards, Lonestar Awards from the Houston Press Club, and various other awards and recognitions.  Nathan's hobbies outside work include producing music and enjoying Austin's many food and drink establishments.

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2012 Presidential Election
11:43 am
Mon June 6, 2011

Rick Perry Invites Governors From 49 States To Ask For Divine Help

Photo by Bob Daemmrich, Texas Tribune

Governor Rick Perry must be enjoying the presidential rumors swirling around him these days, because he just did something to escalate the speculation. The Texas governor is inviting his counterparts from 49 other states to attend a prayer rally in Houston’s 71,500-capacity Reliant Stadium in August. His invitation is on the front page of a website for the event, TheResponseUSA.com:

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Politics
11:04 am
Mon June 6, 2011

5 Reasons Why You Should Care About City Council Runoff Election

Photos by KUT

Early voting starts today in a runoff for a seat on Austin’s City Council. Elections were last month, but in the Place Three seat, challenger Kathie Tovo was three percentage points shy of the simple majority needed to oust incumbent Randi Shade.

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Politics
5:00 pm
Fri June 3, 2011

Protesters to Rally at Capitol Tomorrow for Public Education

Teachers and parents have held several rallies in support of public education at the Texas Capitol, including this one in March.
Photo by Technolibrary2010 http://www.flickr.com/photos/52512222@N02/

Funding for K-12 education in Texas remains in limbo as lawmakers try to hash out a funding solution during the special legislative session that began on Tuesday.  The uncertainty has prompted teachers and parents to hold another rally this weekend at the State Capitol.  Here's the press release we received this afternoon.

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traffic
1:07 pm
Fri June 3, 2011

I-35 Closed Again Tonight at Ben White Blvd.

This map shows the detour routes in green and the closures in red.

Interstate 35 at Ben White Blvd. will be closed again this weekend for construction work on flyovers intended to connect I-35 with US 290. 

Here’s what will happen as of 8 pm tonight, according to the Texas Department of Transportation:

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Politics
12:31 pm
Fri June 3, 2011

Online Purchases Might Get Taxed, After All

Photo by alancleaver_2000 http://www.flickr.com/photos/alancleaver/

Texans may soon have to pay sales tax on many of the products they buy online, despite an attempt by Governor Perry to stop that from happening. Last week, Governor Perry vetoed a bill that would have required internet retailers with a physical presence in Texas to charge sales tax.

But now that same provision has found its way into House Bill 1, a sweeping fiscal matters bill being considered during the special legislative session. Perry would not have line-item veto power on House Bill 1, so he would have to veto the entire spending bill to block the internet tax provision he already vetoed when it was House Bill 2403.

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Education
12:30 pm
Fri June 3, 2011

Now You Can Live Stream AISD High School Graduation Online

Photo of AISD's website by KUT News

For the first time ever, Austin ISD is live streaming this week’s graduation ceremonies on its website.

“We’re doing it for family members who may be out of town and can’t be present at the graduation,” AISD spokesperson Kathy Anthony told KUT News. “Or for teachers, for instance, who are back their campuses and not attending graduation and want to watch the proceedings.”

A link to the live stream is posted on AISD’s front page. Today's ceremonies got underway at noon at the Frank Erwin Center.

Here is the schedule:

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traffic
12:17 pm
Thu June 2, 2011

Lane Reductions Until September on Riverside Dr. at S. 1st St.

View Riverside lane reduction June-Sept 2011 in a larger map

It might be disgusting to visualize, but the sewer lines serving downtown are at capacity, and now the city is building another tunnel to relieve central Austin of all its “wastewater”. For drivers, that means lane closures on Riverside Dr. at S. 1st St. until September.

The closures will reduce east bound traffic on Riverside to one lane from the traffic circle in front of the Long Center all the way to S. 1st St. Two lanes will be open westbound.

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Education
11:13 am
Thu June 2, 2011

Austin ISD Gets $4.6 Million For All-Boys School

Photo by Nathan Bernier for KUT News

After months of talk about creating an all-boys version of the Anne Richards School for Young Women Leaders, the Austin Independent School District says it is getting $4.6 million over seven years from the Moody Foundation to help create a School for Young Men.

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Environment
3:54 pm
Wed June 1, 2011

Texas Environmentalists Mostly Disappointed With Legislative Session

A door hinge inside the Texas Capitol
Photo by Nathan Bernier for KUT News

Texas environmental activists are pleased with changes in fracking disclosure laws and renewable energy initiatives that cleared the state legislature this session, but they are unhappy with cuts to state parks, delays in air quality requirements for oil and gas miners, and environmental legislation that died before making it to the Governor’s desk.

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Lance Armstrong
3:37 pm
Wed June 1, 2011

Lance Armstrong’s Lawyers Demand Apology Over “60 Minutes” Story

flickr.com/rubenstein_

Austin cyclist Lance Armstrong’s attorneys are demanding an apology from “60 Minutes” after the CBS News program aired accusations that the seven-time Tour de France winner tested positive for a banned substance at the 2001 Tour de Switzerland race.

The allegation was made by US Olympic gold medalist Tyler Hamilton in this interview that aired last Sunday.

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Traffic
12:52 pm
Wed June 1, 2011

South Congress Repaving Project Delayed

View South Congress repaving in a larger map

Update at 12:48 pm: The City of Austin has announced it is delaying a repaving project on S. Congress Ave. by as much as a week. Work crews found problems with water lines feeding into the 12-inch water main that runs under S. Congress Ave, and those must now be repaired. The repaving project was going to cause lane closures, and now repairs to water infrastructure will create some construction slowdowns.

"Right now we're looking at [delays] of anywhere from a couple of days to a week, depending on how long it takes the water utility to complete those repairs," Public Works spokesperson Sara Hartley told KUT News.

Harley says the city will revaluate the repaving schedule, and expects to issue a revised timeline later this week.

Earlier: Give yourself a little extra time if you have to drive down S. Congress Ave. between now and mid-July. The City of Austin is re-paving a stretch the road from Riverside Dr. to Oltorf St. Starting today, northbound lanes will be reduced from 8:30 am to 7 pm. Southbound lane closures will be in effect from 7 am until 4 pm.

The city is re-paving the road in portions, starting first with a stretch between Oltorf St. and Annie St. and gradually moving north. The construction will be completed in three phases, as indicated by the different colors on the map.

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Education
12:18 pm
Wed June 1, 2011

Who's Not Graduating From AISD This Week?

Austin ISD headquarters.
Photo by Nathan Bernier for KUT News

Hundreds of students in the Austin Independent School District will mark a major milestone this week when they walk down the aisle and receive their high school diplomas. Unfortunately, some teenagers won't get to participate because they failed to meet graduation requirements. 

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Texas
11:14 am
Wed June 1, 2011

Fort Worth Public Transit Cracks Down On Low Riding Pants

Images such as this one have already been splashed on public buses in Fort Worth. Now, a ban on the practice gives riders the option of pulling up their pants or not getting on the bus.
Photo by Fort Worth Transportation Authority

A style popularized by hip hop artists in the 90's is now banned on public transit in Fort Worth. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports on the city’s transportation authority enforcing a new dress code on buses and trains.

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Texas
1:14 pm
Mon May 30, 2011

Wildfires Destroy Homes In Texas Panhandle

The evacuation orders that sent hundreds of people fleeing their homes in the Amarillo area have been lifted, but almost a dozen homes have been destroyed by flames. Here’s the AP story fresh off the wire.

AMARILLO, Texas (AP) - At least 11 homes in the Texas Panhandle town of Amarillo have been destroyed as two wildfires burned on the city's outskirts.

Texas Forest Service spokesman Marq Webb says the fires began burning in the early evening hours Sunday. He says low humidity, temperatures in the 100s and high winds created favorable conditions for fires.

He says firefighters were battling wildfires Monday across Texas, where about 2.8 million acres have burned since November.

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2012 Presidential Election
10:40 am
Mon May 30, 2011

Perry Presidential Speculation Heats Up Over Long Weekend

Photo by Bob Daemmrich, Texas Tribune

A new name is figuring more prominently in the national discussion over who might seek the Republican presidential nomination. Governor Rick Perry last week said he would “think about it” after the state legislature adjourned. That propelled his name into the headlines over the long weekend.

Newsweek tried to explain the “sudden conservative crush” on our Texas governor.

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Texas
10:04 am
Mon May 30, 2011

Video of Burnet County Fire

Here's some video of yesterday's fire in Burnet County, shot by YouTube user fibes1. The blaze scorched about 300 acres and forced the evacuation of several homes.  Two firefighters were slightly hurt while combating the flames.

Politics
3:02 pm
Fri May 27, 2011

Ousting SBOE Chair Gail Lowe Does Little To Weaken Conservatives

Gail Lowe's confirmation as State Board of Education chair was blocked this week by Senate Democrats.
Photo by Caleb Bryant Miller, Texas Tribune

Senate Democrats may have ousted avowed creationist Gail Lowe as chairperson of the State Board of Education, but the move will do little to reduce the influence of social conservatives on the elected 15 member board.

Democrats control twelve of the 31 seats in the Texas Senate, but only eleven votes are needed to block a nomination. And all twelve Democrats were unwilling to confirm Lowe.

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Arts and Culture
1:17 pm
Fri May 27, 2011

Alamo Drafthouse Founder “Furious” Napoleon Dynamite Canceled

Tim League is founder and CEO of the Alamo Drafthouse
Photo by Chris Jackson http://www.flickr.com/photos/26547909@N07/

A move by the City of Austin to cancel a free outdoor screening of Napoleon Dynamite earlier this month has incensed Alamo Drafthouse founder and CEO Tim League. The Drafthouse sponsored the free screenings in Republic Square Park and used its equipment to display the movies.

“That kind of stuff drives me bananas,” League told KUT News. "I was furious about this."

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2012 Presidential Election
10:51 am
Fri May 27, 2011

Gov. Perry Says He Will Consider White House Run [VIDEO]

Photo by Chris Kosho for KUT News

Texas Governor Rick Perry says he will consider running for the White House after the legislature adjourns. Our political reporting partner, the Texas Tribune, says Perry was at a signing ceremony for a controversial voter ID law when he made his boldest remarks yet on the issue.

"I'm going to think about it," Perry said. He quickly added, "I think about a lot of things."

Perry, the longest serving governor in the United States, was speaking to reporters after a signing ceremony marking the passage of a bill requiring Texans to show photo ID before voting. A reporter noted that Hispanic Republicans in the Legislature were urging him to run and had already endorsed him. Perry repeated his most recent mantra that he wouldn't be distracted by presidential talk while the legislative session is ongoing.

Political analyst Harvey Kronberg of the Quorom Report told KUT News that Perry has been running a “non-campaign campaign” for at least a year now.

“As soon as he formally announces, he has to lawyer up, create organization and start complying with federal law,” Kronberg said. “Right now, he’s in the absolute perfect position to shoot from the sidelines, and be seduced into running. But as soon as he declares, all of the sudden he’s subject to scrutiny that he’s not subject to now.”

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Education
5:03 pm
Thu May 26, 2011

TEA Releases Statewide TAKS Results

Texas Education Agency headquarters on Congress Ave. near 17th St.
Photo by Nathan Bernier for KUT News

It’s the last full year that the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills will be administered to students in this state before a new standardized test takes it place, and the Texas Education Agency is heralding the exam as a resounding success.

TEA released statewide results today, and said passing rates on every test in every grade level improved dramatically since the exam was first given in 2003.

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