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
3:33 pm
Mon November 15, 2010

Car Crash in North Texas Being Linked to Four Loko

Four Loko shares the shelves with other caffeinated alcoholic beverages like Joose, that haven't attracted the same negative publicity.
Image courtesy Kyle James http://www.flickr.com/photos/jameskm03/

The national hysteria over the caffeinated alcoholic beverage Four Loko is reaching a fever pitch with bans looming or already enacted in Boston, New York, Michigan, Washington state, and Pennsylvania.

Now there's speculation that the controversial drink may have been consumed by the driver of an SUV that crashed and killed a 14-year-old girl in North Texas, reports My Fox Dallas-Fort Worth:

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business
2:20 pm
Mon November 15, 2010

Austin Company Buys Hotel in Hawaii

Austin-based JMI Realty is involved in a joint venture to acquire the 311-room Aston Kauai Beach at Makaiwa.
Image courtesy promotional video (below)

Local real estate firm JMI Realty is pitching in to buy a Marriot hotel on the Hawaiian island of Kauai. The Austin Business Journal first reported it today based on a news release issued this morning, although the deal was first announced back in late-October.

JMI Realty is acquiring the 10 acre property in what is its first joint venture with Dallas-based Behringer Harvard. The price was not disclosed.

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texas
1:41 pm
Mon November 15, 2010

Protests Planned for Bush Library Groundbreaking

An artist's rendering of Freedom Plaza, part of the George W. Bush Presidential Center opening in 2013.
Image courtesy George W. Bush Presidential Center

George W. Bush and his wife Laura will be wielding the golden shovels tomorrow as they dig symbolic dirt for a groundbreaking ceremony on the country's newest Presidential Library.

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texas
1:10 pm
Mon November 15, 2010

Texas Has Second Highest Rate of Households Struggling to Eat

Children collect cans for the Capital Area Food Bank. A new USDA report today says Texas has the second rate of households struggling to put food on the table.
Photo by Katie Hayes for KUT News

A new report today by the United States Department of Agriculture found Texas has the second lowest rate of "household food security" in the United States.  Household food security is defined as a family having "access at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members."

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education
12:11 pm
Mon November 15, 2010

School Finance Expert "Shocked" Over Report of Rich Districts Withholding Cash

A close-up of a dollar bill. An AP report found rich school districts in Texas withheld 40 million of these from poor districts.
Image courtesy Paul Sepiano http://www.flickr.com/photos/peasap/

An AP investigation published in several papers this morning found that dozens of "property-wealthy" school districts held on to money they were supposed to send to the state under the so-called Robin Hood law.

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central texas
11:34 am
Mon November 15, 2010

Kyle Hosts Public Meet-and-Greet With City Manager Candidates

Five Mile Dam Park in Kyle. People who live in the community will be able to meet tonight with four candidates for city manager.
Image courtesy Flickr urser ret0dd http://www.flickr.com/photos/ret0dd

People who live in the Austin exurb of Kyle have an opportunity to meet their future city manager tonight. Four people are finalists for the job. They'll be shaking hands tonight at 7 p.m. at Kyle City Hall.

Here are the names of the finalists and links to their biographies:

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texas
11:13 am
Mon November 15, 2010

Defense Presents No Evidence At Fort Hood Hearing

A soldier gets down on one knee during a 2009 memorial for the 13 people killed in a shooting at Fort Hood. The defense team for the accused rested after just 4 minutes during a pre-trial hearing today.
Photo by Erika Aguilar for KUT News

It took military prosecutors nine days to present their evidence in the pre-trial hearing for Maj. Nidal Hasan, the Army psychiatrist accused of killing 13 people at Fort Hood on November 5, 2009.

Today, it was the defense's turn to present evidence in the Article 32 hearing, but Hasan's lawyers rested after just four minutes.

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politics
5:02 pm
Fri November 12, 2010

Study Finds Almost 3 out of 5 Texas Voters Cast Straight Ticket Ballots

People voted all Republican or all Democratic at the highest rate of any gubernatorial election in twelve years, according to a study by Austin Community College's Center for Public Policy and Political Studies (CPPPS).

Texas is one several states that allows people to check one box for a political party, which prompts the electronic voting machine to fill in the "X" automatically for every race on the ballot.  The CPPPS study showed almost 58 percent chose that option in the most recent election.

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education
4:25 pm
Fri November 12, 2010

Austin ISD to Dedicate New Southwest Elementary School

The Austin Independent School District will officially dedicate its newest elementary school on Sunday at 2 p.m. Ross F. Baldwin Elementary was constructed over the course of a year at 12200 Meridian Park Blvd.

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environment
3:05 pm
Fri November 12, 2010

Texas to Consider Accepting Low-Level Radioactive Waste From Across US

A Waste Control Specialists facility in Andrews, Texas
Image from Waste Control Specialists' Facebook page

A hearing in Midland, Texas tomorrow will move foward on adopting a process that could allow a low-level radioactive waste facility in West Texas to accept toxic waste from states other than just Texas and Vermont.

The hearing will be held by the Texas Low Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact Commission, an organization with representatives from Texas and Vermont. There are about ten such compacts across the US involving two or more states cooperating on radioactive waste disposal.

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weather
2:14 pm
Fri November 12, 2010

Video: First Snow of the Season in Texas!

Snow fell overnight in parts of the Texas Panhandle.
Image courtesy Twitter user @severestudios

Old Man Winter paid a visit to the Texas panhandle today and dumped heavy, wet snow on the Amarillo area.

KFDA TV in Amarillo reports downed trees and "widespread" power outages.

Xcel Energy says around 5,000 customers are without power right now and it's not expected to come back on for at least the next few hours.

Music and Arts
1:21 pm
Fri November 12, 2010

East Austin Studio Tour Promotes Artists But Jeopardizes Cheap Rent

This year's East Austin Studio Tour offers a free look at more than 150 studios and 340 artists.

The ninth annual East Austin Studio Tour (also known as E.A.S.T.) kicks off tomorrow. It's a free, self-guided tour of more than 150 artist studios east of I-35. E.A.S.T. runs from Saturday, November 13 until Sunday, November 21.

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Austin
11:52 am
Fri November 12, 2010

Homeless Resource Fair Looking for Volunteers

Photo by Erik Reyna for KUT News

Austin City Manager Marc Ott made news this week when he revealed that he voluntarily went homeless for 24 hours a few months ago. Ott said he wanted to experience firsthand what it was like to live on the streets.

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Education
11:37 am
Fri November 12, 2010

UT Outsourcing Email to Google, Offering Address to Alumni

The University of Texas says it plans to offer UT-branded GMail services to students, faculty, staff and alumni in Spring 2010.

Ask someone with a University of Texas email account to speak honestly about the service, and they might struggle to contain their frustration. While major web-based email services like Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, and Hotmail have quickly advanced their features and storage capacity, the University of Texas and its Microsoft Exchange service has fallen behind.

Undergrads, for example, get only 150 MB of storage, which means they often have to delete old emails to send new ones. The features offered by UT's web-based email are also limited.

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Austin
8:25 pm
Wed November 10, 2010

Meals on Wheels Delivers to Veterans

On Thursday, we'll take a minute to pause in appreciation for the men and women who put their lives on the line for the United States without asking any questions. 

Veterans are never immune to aging or poverty, and as we see in this video produced by KUT News intern Sobia Lodhi, local agencies like Meals on Wheels are there to lend a helping hand when others are not.

Austin
5:01 pm
Wed November 10, 2010

LifeWorks Breaks Ground On East Austin Location

Artist's rendering of LifeWorks East Austin Youth and Family Resource Center.
Image courtesy LifeWorks

The Austin non-profit LifeWorks broke ground today on a new East Austin family resource center. The social services organization says it will increase its ability to serve young people and families in crisis by 25 percent.

LifeWorks already helps about 10,000 families a year through housing programs, counseling and education. They have surpassed their capacity to serve more people, so this will allow them to expand in a community with increasing need.

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Transportation
11:48 am
Wed November 10, 2010

Cap Metro Board to Vote Today on Fare Hikes

Students disembark from a University of Texas shuttle operated by Cap Metro
Image courtesy Cap Metro

Many observers would be surprised if Austin's public transit agency did not adopt the third fare hike in three years today. Capital Metro has already calculated the fare increase into its FY2011 budget.

"The approved budget also increases our long-term sustainability by lowering costs [and] boosting revenue through a fare increase," Cap Metro president and CEO Linda Watson wrote in the budget document.

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development
5:39 pm
Tue November 9, 2010

Austonian Becomes First Downtown Condo To Earn Four-Star Energy Rating

A view of Austin from the Austonian.
Photo courtesy Visualist Images http://www.flickr.com/photos/visualistimages/

People who live at the Austonian can now enjoy an exclusive distinction beyond the downtown condo's luxurious modeling. The Austonian has been granted a four-star energy ranking under Austin Energy's Green Building program. It's the first downtown condo to earn the recognition.

A statement issued today by the developer, Benchmark Development, lists the reasons why. Here are some highlights:

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economy
4:57 pm
Tue November 9, 2010

Austin's Economy Gets Newsweek Props But Does Trouble Loom?

Newsweek says Austin's economy is poised for recovery, but the analysis ignores the possibility of massive public sector job cuts.

Newsweek is the latest national publication to give Austin's economy high praise for being pretty awesome compared to everywhere else.

In its list of the 10 American cities best situated for the recovery, Newsweek repeats the familiar refrain of reasons why Austin's economy rules.

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austin
3:39 pm
Tue November 9, 2010

Cops Looking For People Who Vandalized Austin Cemetery

Vandals knocked over 25 gravestones last night at Austin Memorial Park Cemetery last night, according to city officials.
Photo courtesy City of Austin

Someone walked through Austin Memorial Park Cemetery last night kicking over gravestones and smashing amenities like a park bench, according to Austin police and Austin Parks and Recreation.

Preliminary estimates peg the damage at $20,000, according to Parks and Rec spokesman Victor O'Valle. He said about 25 gravestones were damaged.

"I think the emotional damage is probably the greatest damage that those vandals are causing," O'Valle told KUT News. "A lot of people spend their hard earned money to provide memorials for their loved ones."

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