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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Politics
7:33 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Will Gov. Perry Veto House Bill 5?

Nathan Bernier, KUT News

The future of high school graduation standards in Texas remains up in the air as Governor Perry considers whether to sign or veto House Bill 5. The legislation reduces the emphasis on standardized testing by lowering the number of end-of-course exams needed to graduate from 15 to 5. It also provides an alternative pathway to graduation that focuses on vocational education instead of college readiness.

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TV
5:50 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Television Festival Aims to Unite Stars and Fans

http://www.flickr.com/photos/dhammza/88644497/

It's year two of the ATX Television Festival, which is happening in Austin this weekend with panel discussions, premiere screenings and even some free public events. We spoke with one of the co-founders, who told us she started the festival because there was no venue to unite TV fans with the actors and producers behind their favorite programs. 

Texas
6:53 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

Which Texas Counties Disproportionately Arrest Blacks for Pot Possession?

http://www.flickr.com/photos/acci0n/7000086/

Fifteen law enforcement agencies across East Texas are facing criticism for arresting African-Americans on marijuana possession charges at rates much higher than whites.

The American Civil Liberties Union says Van Zandt County in particular is among the worst offenders in the nation.  The ACLU of Texas says blacks make up less than three percent of the population in Van Zandt County, but they account for three-quarters of all marijuana possession busts.

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FOOD
5:06 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

After SoCo Food Park Closes, No Shortage of Alternatives

A pastrami sandwich at Melvin’s Deli Comfort.
Matthew Odam, Austin American-Statesman

The food trailer park on South Congress just closed down, and a lot of people were upset about it. But there is still a big food-truck scene here in Austin with a wide range of cuisines; you just have to know where to look.

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Arts and Culture
4:56 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

Aquarium Coming to Austin in November

flickr.com/Lollyknit

A 22,000-square-foot aquarium will come to North Austin near U.S. 183 and Anderson Mill Road, in what was once a Lack's Furniture store. It is expected to open later this year, in November.

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Education
7:47 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

TEA Commissioner: Eastside Memorial Can Remain Open

Texas Education Commission Michael Williams visiting Eastside Memorial High School earlier this year.
Filipa Rodrigues, KUT News

The state's top education official has approved a plan by Austin Independent School District that will allow Eastside Memorial High School to remain open. The campus had faced closure after years of failing to meet the state's academic benchmarks and after the Austin school board voted to discontinue a contract it had with the South Texas-based charter school operator IDEA that aimed to reverse sagging outcomes. 

Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams made the announcement Wednesday evening at a commencement ceremony for the 129 graduating seniors at Eastside Memorial.

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Business
5:54 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

Dell Says No to Icahn's Buyout Bid

A board committee wants the company to take the offer from its founder, Michael Dell.
courtesy Dell Inc.

One of the largest employers in Central Texas is rejecting a buyout offer from billionaire Carl Icahn.

A special committee of Dell’s board says it would rather investors accept a $24 billion buyout offer from company founder Michael Dell and private equity firm Silver Lake Partners. That plan would take the company private.

Icahn’s plan would have kept Dell as a publicly traded company.

PolitiFact
5:45 am
Wed June 5, 2013

PolitiFact: How Many Schools Offer $10,000 Degrees?

Gov. Perry said recently that 13 schools offer $10,000 degrees, but how does that rank on the Truth-O-Meter?
flickr.com/skobo

Since 2011, Governor Rick Perry challenged lawmakers to provide “a bold, Texas-style solution” to the challenge of affordable higher education: a $10,000 degree for Texas students.

In a recent press release challenging Texas schools to initiate the low-cost degree, Perry said that 13 schools in Texas already offer or are planning to offer such a degree.

We talked to Gardner Selby of the Austin American-Statesman’s PolitiFact Texas to check the accuracy of the claim. Listen to our conversation using the player above and read the fact check online.

CRIME
5:48 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

APD: Guns Used in a Quarter of Violent Crimes

http://www.flickr.com/photos/publik16/3116450658/

Guns were used in nearly a quarter of violent crimes and disorderly conduct cases in Austin from 2010 to 2012, according to an analysis by Austin police. 

Crimes most likely to involve the use of a gun were murders and robberies. About 40 percent of murders and 38 percent of robberies involved firearms. More than 17 percent of aggravated assault cases involved the use of guns. Firearms were used in almost three percent of the 675 rape cases reported from 2010 to 2012. 

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FOOD
4:53 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

Long Live Tequila!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/imnohero/2345543856/

Mexican culture is celebrated all over Austin, but none of it perhaps quite as exuberantly as tequila. To learn more about the popular spirit, we talked to Austin food writer Lucinda Hutson, whose new book ¡Viva Tequila! hit book stores this month. 

Business
5:15 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

City of Austin Gets High Marks for Tax Incentive Disclosure

A watchdog group says Austin is exemplary at letting the public know how business tax subsidies are performing.
KUT News

You know those property tax breaks that Austin uses to lure companies like Apple and Visa to town? A Washington, D.C., group says the city is doing a pretty good job of letting us know how those deals pan out.

The nonprofit research center Good Jobs First gave Austin’s program 100 out of 100 for disclosing annual activity online and for providing third-party audits of each company receiving taxpayer incentives. 

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FOOD
4:46 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Up-and-Coming Chefs Face Off

Citywide 86'd is down to four kitchen competitors for the June 17 finals.
courtesy Citywide 86'd

There has been a cooking competition going on right under our noses in Austin, with some of the city’s best line cooks and sous-chefs.

We spoke with CultureMap food editor Jessica Dupuy about the culinary elimination event Citywide 86’d.

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Texas
4:32 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

Foster Care Bills Signed Into Law

The bills aim to allow some kids to refuse certain medications and give advocates more access to needed information.
Lizzie Chen, KUT News

Foster care children 16 and older could refuse psychotropic medication under a bill signed into law today by Gov. Rick Perry that more closely monitors the administration of those drugs to foster kids.

Another measure signed into law today will give court-appointed special advocates of foster kids online access to their case information.

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ANIMALS
7:49 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

Rare Twin Giraffes Born in New Braunfels

Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch

Twin giraffes were born this month at a 400-acre wildlife refuge in New Braunfels. The Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch says Wasswa and Nakato are the second set of living twin giraffes in the United States.

Because twin giraffes are rare, the male calf is being fed by hand to ensure his mother has enough milk for the female twin. 

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