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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Texas
5:15 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

Texas Child Welfare Agency Struggling to Keep Caseworkers

A report from the state auditor found that caseworkers in Child Protective Services were underpaid compared to their counterparts in Oklahoma, Louisiana, New Mexico and Arkansas.
KUT News

The state’s child welfare agency is suffering from high employee turnover among caseworkers and is having trouble replacing them.

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Politics
7:38 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Scouts' Decision on Gay Members Draws Mixed Reaction in Texas

http://www.flickr.com/photos/stevendepolo/3246640172/

A decision by the Boy Scouts of America to allow openly gay scouts in their ranks is drawing a lot of reaction here in Texas. 

Gov. Rick Perry is an Eagle Scout and for years he has pressured the Boy Scouts of America not to allow openly gay members. He issued a statement saying the decision “contradicts generations of tradition in the name of political correctness.” He said he will always cherish his time as a scout, but says he is “greatly disappointed” with the decision. 

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Texas
5:32 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Motorbike Passenger Law Poised to Pass

The new law would require motorcycles designed to carry two people have passenger handlebars and footrests.
KUT News

Ramping up motorcycle safety is the goal of a measure that is heading for final passage in the Legislature.

Motorcycles designed to carry more than one person would be required to have foot pegs and handlebars for the passenger under Malorie’s Law, which is named after a 19-year-old woman from Sherman who died in a motorcycle crash in 2010.

Texas is one of only three states that does not require footrests for passengers on motorcycles, according to the American Motorcyclist Association. The other states are Mississippi and Missouri.

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food
5:01 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Neighborhood Restaurants Bring Dining Close to Home

Épicerie recently opened in the Rosedale neighborhood off Burnet Road.
Ashley Landis, Austin American-Statesman

Neighborhood restaurants, those located in residential areas, are often welcome members of a community. Sometimes they trigger concern over issues such as traffic, as was the case with Épicerie Cafe & Grocery in the Rosedale neighborhood. 

But now that the has restaurant been open for several months, Austin American-Statesman restaurant critic Matthew Odam has had a chance to taste the menu, which is the subject of his latest review.  Odam joined me to talk about Épicerie and share some of his other favorite neighborhood restaurants. Listen to our conversation by clicking the player above. 

Arts and Culture
4:47 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

A Tour of Texas Barbecue Joints

Daniel Vaughn's new book is on Anthony Bourdain's new publishing imprint.
Nathan Bernier, KUT News.

If you’re ever looking to take a barbecue road trip through Texas, you’d have trouble finding a better book to guide you than The Prophets of Smoked Meat: A Journey Through Texas Barbecue by Daniel Vaughn. It’s the first book published on Anthony Bourdain’s new HarperCollins imprint, Ecco. KUT’s Nathan Bernier talked with Vaughn about what goes into good brisket and how to find the good out-of-the-way spots.

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Texas
8:00 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

Federal Agency Claims It Was Shut Out of West Investigation

Investigators in front of an apartment complex near the West Fertilizer Plant.
http://facebook.com/pages/Texas-State-Fire-Marshal

The head of the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) says other government agencies are getting in the way of its investigation into the fertilizer plant explosion in West.

In a letter to U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer, CSB chairman Rafael Moure-Eraso says the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives blocked CSB investigators from accessing the site for a month, and "altered or removed almost all relevant physical evidence from the site."

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economy
6:32 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

Austin Home Sales Surged 32 Percent in April

http://www.flickr.com/photos/digallagher/4880157508/

Interview with Jim Gaines of the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University

Austin area home sales jumped by 32 percent in April compared to the same month last year. The Austin Board of Realtors says 2,563 single-family homes were sold last month.

That marks a nine-year high for the month of April, and it represents the twenty-third straight month of year-over-year sales increases. 

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Education
3:29 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

Leander ISD Middle School Evacuated

Google Street View

Running Brushy Middle School in the Leander school district was evacuated this afternoon because of a bomb threat phoned into the campus. The call came in at about 2 p.m., according to Leander ISD spokesperson Veronica Sopher.

"We are taking the evacuation as a precautionary measure," Sopher said, adding that LISD officials were working with the Cedar Park Police Department to determine the nature of the bomb threat and whether it posed any risk. 

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Hunger
7:32 pm
Mon May 20, 2013

Non-Profit Asks Travis County for Money to Deliver 10,500 Meals

http://facebook.com/mealsonwheelsaustin

A non-profit organization that provides food to elderly and homebound people is asking Travis County for money to help deal with the sequester. Those across-the-board federal spending cuts include about $120,000 that would have gone to a local Meals on Wheels program that pays for food to be delivered to senior centers run by the city or the county. 

The organization is requesting $61,000 from Travis County to pay for the "Congregate Meals Program." 

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Education
6:54 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

UT Football Great Vince Young Graduates

Vince Young during his glory days with the Longhorns
http://www.flickr.com/photos/28181671@N03/2814028021/

Former Longhorn quarterback Vince Young graduated from the University of Texas at Austin Friday with a bachelor’s degree in Youth and Community Studies. He Tweeted a blurry photo of himself receiving his diploma and thanked "everyone who supported me through the good and bad."

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economy
2:30 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

Austin Jobless Rate Dips to 5.1 Percent

flickr.com/jimnix

Austin’s economy added 30,500 jobs over the last year. The latest employment report shows the jobless rate dropped to 5.1 percent last month from 5.6 percent in April 2012. 

The recent job growth happened as more people were moving to the Austin-area looking for work. The civilian labor force grew by more than 27,000 in the past 12 months.

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Austin
7:21 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

Asbestos Slows Down Holly Power Plant Demolition

Crews tear down a building housing a turbine generator at the Holly Street Power Plant.
Austin Energy

Tearing down the Holly Street Power Plant in East Austin will take about eight months longer than originally scheduled.

Austin Energy’s deputy general manager Cheryl Mele says one major reason is asbestos. The company hired to disassemble the plant, TRC Environmental, found more of the hazardous mineral than expected.

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Education
5:45 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

AISD Opens 'First of a Kind' Outdoor Learning Center

The quarter-acre center is next to Pleasant Hill Elementary School.
courtesy Austin ISD

The Austin school district is opening a district-wide outdoor learning center this evening next to Pleasant Hill Elementary school in South Austin. The quarter-acre center (PDF) includes 150 species of native plants, 22 habitat sites and a rainwater harvesting system.

Marya Fowler with the National Wildlife Federation says it’s the first of its kind in Central Texas.

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Politics
4:11 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

IRS Out of Control, Cornyn Says

Sen. John Cornyn says the IRS overstepped its bounds.
flickr.com/musicfirstcoalition

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder says the FBI's criminal investigation of the Internal Revenue Service could include potential civil rights violations, false statements and potential violations of the Hatch Act, which prohibits federal employees from engaging in some partisan political activities.

President Obama is meeting with Treasury officials today to discuss the IRS targeting of conservative groups for special review.

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Families
5:08 am
Wed May 15, 2013

New Center Can Supervise Court-Ordered Parental Visits

Flickr/Camilla Nilsson http://www.flickr.com/photos/49365126@N07/5489383908/

Victims of spousal abuse in Austin have a new option if their children are to receive supervised visits with the other parent. Travis County has opened PlanetSafe at 11th and Nueces, a supervised visitation and safe exchange center.  Its grand opening is today. 

The facility is operated by the local non-profit Safe Place, and was established with the help of $600,000 in federal grants from the Office of Violence Against Women. Travis County supplied the use of the building for a nominal rent and is paying for staffing. 

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