Nick Robertson

Intern Reporter
UT Students at the "die-in" honoring the Bhopal tragedy.
Photo by Nick Robertson for KUT News

UT students gathered at the West Mall today to commemorate the 26th anniversary of the Bhopal gas tragedy that claimed the lives of 8,000 and affected over 100,000 others.

KUT News intern Nick Robertson was returning from a protest marking the anniversary of the Bhopal gas tragedy when he noticed a group University of Texas undergrads doing this over and over and over on Guadalupe Street. 

Protest at University of Texas
Image by Nick Robertson for KUT News

A group of students, faculty, and staff walked out of their buildings and held a loud marching demonstration this morning on the University of Texas campus.  They were protesting existing and future budget cuts brought on largely as a result of the state's budget gap, a shortfall that could exceed $20 billion.

The TABC has told retailers to stop selling Four Loko and the like
Photo Courtesy of Kyle James

The Texas Alcohol Beverage Commission (TABC) has finally weighed in on caffeinated alcoholic beverages such as Four Loko, the soon-to-be-altered caffeinated alcoholic beverage that refuses to ride into the world of forgotten novelty. From the TABC’s press release on Friday:

The state added 47,900 jobs in October
Photo Courtesy of Bill Jacobus

Texas total nonfarm employment was up by 47,900 jobs in October, according to a Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) press release. This number accounts for an impressive third of the 151,000 jobs the entire U.S. economy added in the same period.

“Every major industry added jobs in October with notable increases in Construction employment” said TWC Chairman Tom Pauken.

TWC also released that the unemployment rate stayed steady at 8.1 percent, a substantial percentage and a half less than the country’s, which is currently at 9.6.

Photo by Nathan Bernier for KUT News

Office-dwellers at UT today let out a collective groan as plans to cut back on custodial services were announced. Laurie Lentz, the communications coordinator for UT Facility Services, explained that the changes will predominantly affect offices.

“Where you’re really going to see the change is in the individual offices. For those offices we are going to gradually phase in a monthly cleaning as opposed to a weekly cleaning schedule” said Lentz.

Drinks like Four Loko must eliminate the alcohol or face substantial penalties
Photo Courtesy of Jon Raedle

Four Loko-lovers may need to start looking for the next alcoholic fad as "blackout in a can" is changing its formula.  The move comes in response to the considerable heat brought by the U.S. government following several incidents across the country involving the alcohol and caffeine-infused drink.

The federal government warned four companies that manufacture caffeine-spiked booze products to stop selling the drinks or deal with the threat of litigation and seizure of assets. The companies have 15 days to comply with the Food and Drug Administration-penned (FDA) letter.

The Freebirds Expansion will bring 1,000 new jobs to the area
Photo Courtesy of Jeff Kramer

Traveling Austinites with a taste for “Monster” burritos can rejoice as Freebirds World Burritos will be opening twenty more locations in Texas by the end of next year. The expansion of the Austin-based (although it was founded in Santa Barbara, CA) Mexican food chain will add in between 1,000 to 1,500 jobs to the state, the company stated in a press release.

City Officials are Wondering What to do with MoPac
Photo courtesy of Google Maps

Many Austin motorists have found themselves stopped on MoPac Expressway, the North-South road that is intended to alleviate traffic on its cross-town alternative, Interstate 35.

The festival starts tonight and goes through Sunday
Photo Courtesy of FunFunFun

The 5th annual FunFunFunFest is set to kick off tonight at Waterloo Park. The weekend long festival is a smaller, more eccentric alternative to the Austin City Limits Music Festival, and while it primarily focuses on music, other activities ranging from professional wrestling to veggie hot dog eating contests to comedy acts give the event more of a rollicking, carnival-like feel than its heavily-sponsored big brother.

This is the fourth time this week the launch has been delayed.
Photo Courtesy of NASA

NASA has once again delayed the shuttle launch until the end of the month for repairs related to a hydrogen gas leak. As PC Magazine reports:

The hydrogen leak was discovered early this morning as the crew was fueling Discovery for a planned Friday launch. It occurred at the Ground Umbilical Center Plate (GUCP) that attaches to the external tank; the GUCP carries gaseous hydrogen safely away from the shuttle to a flare stack, where it burns off, according to NASA.

Rick Perry is on the road promoting his new book
Photo by KUT News

As recently re-elected Governor Perry continues his promotional tour for his new book FED UP! Our Fight to Save America From Washington, we here at KUT thought it’d be a good idea to see how the third-termer was faring out there in the non-Texas states.

First, a NPR interview with the man himself:

The Libertarian Party Retains Access to Ballots
Photo Courtesy of The Libertarian Party of Texas

By garnering in excess of five percent of votes in several statewide races, The Libertarian Party of Texas has guaranteed its candidates automatic spots on state election ballots throughout 2014. As Independent Political Report reports:

The Texas Rollergirls move to the Austin Convention Center for the 2011 seasons
Photo Courtesy of Jason Bechtel

The Texas Rollergirls, self-proclaimed “godmothers of modern flat track roller derby,” are leaving the Playland Skate Center and headed to the Austin Convention Center for the 2011 season. The group is hoping to roughly triple capacity, increase visibility for the organization, and enhance the fan-going experience with the move.

City of Kyle logo
Image courtesy of the City of Klye

Environmental experts are currently monitoring Plum Creek after 100,000 gallons of wastewater leaked from a plant in Kyle, a town 20 minutes south of Austin. Per a City of Kyle press release:

Listeria
Image courty Penn State University

The FDA confirmed earlier today that they have found the presence of the bacteria listeria monocytogenes at the SanGar Produce & Processing Plant in San Antonio.

The 25th Annual Keep Austin Beautfiul Awards to be Given Today
Photo Courtesy of KAB

The 25th annual Keep Austin Beautiful awards will be handed out today at a luncheon at the Sheraton Austin. The awards are intended to “honor the efforts of businesses, individuals, and community groups, both large and small, that serve as inspirations for greater environmental stewardship.” The awards will acknowledge the contributions of eight different people and organizations, as well as a name a “best of the best” for the organization that has contributed most to the beautification of the city.

Here are results from the important Central Texas elections we're following:

Governor:

WINNER: Rick Perry (REP)- Incumbent: 55.06%

Bill White (DEM): 42.18%

Kathie Glass (LIB):2.19%

Deb Shafto (GRN): .0.39%

Andy Barron (W-I): 0.16%

Precincts Reporting: 8,437 of 8,461

State Representative, District 45:

WINNER: Jason A. Isaac (REP): 53.9%

Patrick M. Rose (DEM)-Incumbent: 46.1%

Precincts Reporting: 73 of 73

Prop 1 would lead to $90 million spent on mobiltiy projects.
Photo by KUT News

A collection of mayors old and new congregated at City Hall today to show their support for the passage of Proposition 1. With early voting concluding at day’s end and the general election a mere four days away, the group hoped to leave a lasting impression on voters that will lead to the Proposition's passage.

Proposition 1 is a bond proposal that if passed would allocate $90 million to 45 mobility projects across the city.

Austin's Rally will take place at the Capitol.
Photo Courtesy of the Austin Rally to Restore Sanity

The Rally to Restore Sanity will is not only happening in the nation’s capital this Saturday, but it's also going down in Austin. The uncharacteristic move to rally behind political moderatism will happen at the State Capitol.

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