Reshma Kirpalani

Freelancer

Reshma Kirpalani works as a freelancer at KUT News.

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Reshma Kirpalani for KUT News

The ink had barely dried on Gov. Rick Perry's signature on House Bill 2, a controversial law restricting abortions in Texas, when 200 women filed into the Austin Community College Eastview campus to attend the Women’s Health, Motivation & Empowerment Conference

A free, daylong event presented by the Positive Women’s Coalition and sponsored by Austin Community College, it featured workshops focused on women’s career development, relationships and health.

Reshma Kirpalani for KUT News

Editor’s note: Reshma Kirpalani is a multimedia journalist who worked as a KUT News intern for several months, including the period of the Central Texas wildfires. She is currently in the Turkish city of Istanbul. Kirpalani visited Taksim Square earlier today – the center of widespread protest against the Turkish government – and filed this report. This post has since been updated.

Istanbul awoke to somber, gray skies on Wednesday morning after a night of increasing violence in Taksim Square. Deep into Tuesday night, protesters renewed their efforts against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Edroğan's regime, one many have come to view as increasingly authoritarian over the past decade. 

Reshma Kirpalani for KUT News

By 8 p.m. the mood at Opal Divine's was already celebratory, with Proposition 3 supporters pumping 10-1 signs in the air.

Members of Austinites for Geographic Representation (AGR), the backers of Prop 3 and sponsors of the watch party, were clad in 10-1 stickers. Drinks and laughter flowed freely.  An oversized projector at the back of the private room displayed local election coverage.

Former State Sen. Gonzalo Barrientos – chair of the city commission that narrowly recommended the 10-1 plan, and a staunch backer of Prop 3 – greeted fellow guests. "I've been around elections for a long time," Barrientos said. "It's a weird feeling in the beginning. I never like to jump too quickly upon hearing good news, and it's been good news up to this point. If I were a betting person, I would bet that proposition three would win." 

Filipa Rodrigues

1 a.m.: And That's a Wrap

Thanks for staying with KUT News this election night. For KUT News' complete election night coverage, click on the 2012 Election tag. 

11:30 p.m.: More Races From Around the State 

Here's more races from around the state KUT News has been watching, 

State Rep. Randy Weber, R-Pearland, defeated former U.S. Rep. Nick Lampson, D-Beaumont, in the race to replace U.S. Rep. Ron Paul in the 14th Congressional District.

Democratic incumbent Wendy Davis managed to eke out a victory over Republican Mark Shelton for the state senate seat in District 10.

10:30 p.m.: Rep. Donna Howard on Plans for Second Term

State Rep. Donna Howard is going to hold on to her District 48 seat. It’s a far cry from her 2010 election, where she narrowly won.

“It’s very different than it was last election,” Howard tells KUT News. “And redistricting certainly was a part of that. The fact is I have a 60 percent new district this time.”

So what are Howard’s plans for the 2013 Legislative Session?

“What I hear from my constituents they’re very concerned about the cuts to public education and the cuts to the women’s health program and family planning. I think we’re going to have to look at, how do we find sustainable revenue streams that can help provide those things that we expect government to provide. Quality public education is one of those, as well as making sure that women have the health care that they need.”

Circuit of the Americas

The first lap around the Formula One racetrack was done on foot: over 5,000 people participated in Saturday’s Formula Run, a 3.4-mile race coordinated by the Circuit of the Americas and RunTex. Austinite Wes Johnson was the first to cross the finish line.

The race was also the first chance for the public to view the newly minted, $400 million track.

But last minute registrars and a dense fog that morning, coupled with traffic jams at the intersection of SH 130 and FM 812, forced organizers to push back the start time of the race by forty minutes. Organizers said that Saturday’s event was not an indicator of the type of traffic congestion that will occur during the weekend of the race.

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