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.

Ways to Connect

Lyle Lovett and Terry Lickona
Photo by David Brown for KUT News

Austin City Limits, the legendary live music TV show, has taped in the same building as KUT for the past 36 years, on the sixth floor of Building B in the Jesse H. Jones Communication Center at the University of Texas.

AISD Carruth Administration Center
Photo by Nathan Bernier for KUT News

When the Austin Independent School District constructs a school, it doesn't always know how many children that building will have to serve in ten, twenty, or thirty years' time.

Just hours before a public meet-and-greet scheduled for this evening, the City of Austin announced one of the five candidates for Chief Animal Services Officer has dropped out of the race.

City spokesperson Patricia Fraga told KUT News that Abigail Smith withdrew her name for "personal reasons." As executive director of a "No Kill" shelter in Ithaca, New York, Smith was a favorite of some "No Kill" advocates.

Zilker Tree
Image courtesy Jen W.

Austin City Council announced in September it was axing the Trail of Lights because of budget constraints. It saved the city $400,000 that will be spent on park maintenance.

But this morning, Austin Energy announced it was keeping one local holiday tradition. The Zilker Tree will be set up tomorrow.

Governor Rick Perry election night victory
Photo by Chris Kosho for KUT News

Republican Governor Rick Perry easily defeated Democratic challenger Bill White last night. With 8,447 of 8,461 precincts reporting, Perry carried 55.03 percent of the vote to White's 42.21 percent.  It puts Perry in the historic position to become the first Texas governor ever to serve three full terms in office.

White did win the Travis County vote. The former-Houston mayor carried 59.8 percent of the vote in Austin, while Perry nabbed just 36.8 percent.

The Associated Press is calling races across the state.

Here are the winners they've declared:

Statewide Texas Races

Rick Perry, GOP, elected Governor

David Dewhurst, GOP, elected Lieutenant Governor

Greg Abbott, GOP, elected Attorney General

Susan Combs, GOP, elected Comptroller

Todd Staples, GOP, elected Agriculture Commissioner

Jerry Patterson, GOP, elected Land Commissioner

David Porter, GOP, elected Railroad Commissioner

Rick Perry on election night 2010
Photo by Chris Kosho for KUT News

Frank Santos is a political and public relations strategist based in Austin, Texas. He spoke to KUT News by telephone to give his take on the role of Latinos on the 2010 midterm election. 

KUT News: What are you reading from these results?

Donna Howard
Photo by Jeff Heimsath for KUT News

Democratic State House incumbent Donna Howard is currently in a neck-and-neck race with her Republican challenger Dan Neil.  With 10 of 39 pecincts reporting, Howard is leading in District 48 by one percentage point. She gave her reaction to KUT News at the Democratic watch party underway at the Driskill Hotel.

KUT News: Your reaction to the results so far?

David Dewhurst
Photo by Chris Kosho for KUT News

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst has delivered his victory speech already at the Republican night watch party in Buda. With 2,844 of 8,461 precincts reporting, Dewhurst led his Democratic challenger Linda Chavez-Thompson 64 percent to 33 percent. 

From the Dewhurst campaign:

Lt. Governor Dewhurst Wins Re-Election


AUSTIN, TX– Tonight, Republican David Dewhurst released the following statement after winning re-election to a third term as Texas Lt. Governor:

Proponents of a $90 million dollar bond to fund local transportation are already celebrating over early voting totals that give them a 10 percentage point advantage, 55 points to 45.

Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell tells KUT's Mose Buchele that it's "safe to say victory is at hand" on Proposition 1.

Mose says the mood was jubilant at the Shoal Creek Saloon, where the mayor and other supporters were gathered.

We were messing around on this new news blog of ours when the Statesman's Gardner Selby shot us an email to let us know we can embed their fact checking widget. Gardner is the editor of PolitiFact Texas and often participates in KUT's weekly political podcast.

Here's a look at some campaign claims held up to the blistering light of journalistic fact checking. 

Travis County eSlate voting machine
Photo by Nathan Bernier for KUT News

Vote Rescue is a non-partisan group urging Travis County to eschew eSlate voting machines in favor of old fashioned, hand-counted, paper ballots. Their main gripe is that the eSlate machines tabulate votes electronically, out of the view of the public eye.

"They are not accurate because the count is done secretly inside of the machine, so there is no way to know if they are [fair]," Vote Rescue's Karen Renick told us last month.

Austin police badge
Image courtesy APD

Updated 5:15 pm:  An Austin police officer shot and killed a 26-year-old man this morning. Police say the man killed had already taken one person's life and was aiming an assault rifle at police. 

A suspect opened fire on police from a house at 5:17 a.m. this morning. The officers were responding to reports of a medical emergency on the 12300 block of Tomanet Trail in Northwest Austin. 

If all goes according to plan, the biggest news stories won't be written until after the polls close at 7 o'clock tonight. But here's some of what's being reported across Texas right now.

Texas Monthly columnist Paul Burka has numbers from a Republican consultant suggesting double digit losses for House Democrats.  Nothing shocking to hear that from a GOP operative, but the post is making the rounds today and is worth a glance. 

Voting started at 7 a.m. today in Travis County.   The County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir, who oversees elections, said there were a couple of problems early with some precincts.

A new batch of Saint Arnold's Divine Reserve is hitting store shelves today. The Divine Reserve is a limited edition brew occasionally released by The Houston-based brewer. Some Austin beer enthusiasts are even taking the day off work to ensure they can grab cases of the barley wine.

box of donuts
Photo by Nathan Bernier for KUT News

Polls across Texas close at 7 p.m. today.  Travis County voters can find their polling place here, and check out sample ballots here. If you're outside Travis County, check out your Central Texas county's website below or call them for info on polling locations.  

A new report says revenue projections for the current budget are $2 billion less than Texas Comptroller Susan Combs forecasted last year.

I voted sticker
Photo by Nathan Bernier for KUT News

In case you're new to the eSlate voting machines used in Travis County and other parts of Texas, here's an instructional video courtesy of San Mateo County in California. The only big difference is that we don't have the paper backup that they do.