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

George W. Bush isn't the only high profile Texas Republican on a book tour. Texas Governor Rick Perry, fresh off his reelection victory last week, is touring the East Coast in support of his new critique of the federal government, Fed Up! Our Fight to Save America from Washington.

Last night he appeared on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Here's the segment.

Spalding Gray's Swimming to Cambodia notebook
Image courtesy Harry Ransom Center

Writer and performance artist Spalding Gray's archives will be available to researchers at the University of Texas' Harry Ransom Center, the museum announced yesterday.  Gray died of an apparent suicide in 2004. He was 62.

The Ransom Center says the collection includes more than 90 handwritten performance notebooks and 100 private journals.

George W. Bush
Official photograph portrait of former U.S. President George W. Bush.

Former President George W. Bush's presidential memoir goes on sale today. The Dallas Morning News reports that hundreds are lined up this morning at a Border's store about a mile from Bush's home in Dallas.

More than 500 people, some of whom camped out overnight, had shown up this morning at the Borders at Preston Road and Royal Lane for a chance to meet the former commander in chief and buy his new memoir, Decision Points.

Democratic incumbent Donna Howard has defeated her Republican challenger Dan Neil in House District 48.

Travis County Elections released final results tonight including provisional ballots (such as those cast by service members overseas):

Howard (DEM) 25,026 48.54%

Neil (REP) 25,010 48.51%

Ben Easton (LIB) 1,1518 2.94%

Travis County says results will be presented to the County Commissioners Court for final canvass on Wednesday at 1 p.m.

SXSW 2010 Geeks band
Photo courtesy JTImages http://www.flickr.com/photos/jmtimages/

South by Southwest's 2010 conference injected $113 million dollars into the city's economy, mainly from people who traveled to Austin to attend. That's according to a new economic report from GreyHill Advisors, whom SXSW commissioned to conduct the study.

You can read a five page executive summary of the report on GreyHill's website. Here are some highlights:

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and State Senator Kirk Watson of Austin are proposing an initiative to help curb "sexting" in Texas. Sexting is a relatively recent phenomenon where teenagers exchange sexually explicit text messages or images.

State Representative Debbie Riddle
Image courtesy Debbie Riddle Campaign

Today was the first day to file bills for the 2011 legislative session and State Representative Debbie Riddle (R-Tomball) slept on the floor outside the Chief Clerk's office for two days to ensure she would be first in line.

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. http://www.flickr.com/photos/atxjen/

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.

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