Ryland Barton

Freelance producer for KUT News


5:39 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Union Grove ISD Votes for Armed Teachers

Some staff members in Union Grove ISD will carry concealed handguns
KUT News

A small school district in East Texas became the second in the state to allow some staff members to carry concealed handguns. The school board at Union Grove ISD – just outside Longview – voted this week to allow trained staff members access firearms in the event of an armed intruder.

“It is up to the discretion of the local board," said Texas Education Agency spokesperson Debbie Ratcliffe. "There’s a provision in the Texas Penal Code that basically says schools are a gun free zone unless the school board adopts a policy that permits it.”

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School Finance
5:04 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Industry Leader: Texas Businesses Can't Find Qualified Applicants

Businesses say jobs require training that prospects don't have
Lizzie Chen for KUT News

Texas Association of Business president Bill Hammond testified in the ongoing school finance trial yesterday, saying that Texas businesses can’t find applicants that have the academic and professional skills required. Hammond says that the most educated segment of Texas’ workforce is the soon-to-be retired.

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8:57 am
Tue January 15, 2013

Commisioners Court to Weigh in on Gun Shows (Update)

Gun shows take place about every month at the Travis County Exposition Center
Todd Wiseman, Texas Tribune

Update: The Travis County Commissioners scheduled to take action today on a controversial proposal to ban gun shows at the Travis County Expo Center and other county-owned facilities. 

Commissioners will take up the topic at 10 a.m.

Original Post (Jan. 7, 6:04 p.m.): There’s a gun show at the Travis County Exposition Center about once a month, but that may come to an end. On Tuesday, Travis County commissioners will consider a measure that would no longer allow gun shows on county land or at county facilities.

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7:38 pm
Mon January 14, 2013

Texas Secessionists: Petition Response Should Be 'Torn to Pieces'

Secessionists from seven states filed petitions at WhiteHouse.gov

The White House has responded to a petition requesting the right for Texas to secede from the union. It was signed by more than 125,000 people.

The White House said that the Founding Fathers who created the Union “did not provide a right to walk away from it.”

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7:17 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

Dewhurst Calls for Armed Teachers

Lt. Gov. Dewhurst asked Senators to explore arming teachers
Texas Tribune

In the wake of school shootings -- Texas Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst says he wants government-funded weapons training for teachers.  Dewhurst is asking State Senators to explore such a program and provide recommendations.

"The training involved with the concealed handgun law license is not sufficient in my judgment to have that person trained for an event involving an active shooter," Dewhurst said.

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parks and recreation
6:41 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

Zilker Park to Fully Reopen Friday

Part of the Great Lawn of Zilker Park has been closed because of the Trail of Lights
Beth Cortez Neavel for KUT News

After a few months of getting danced on at the Austin City Limits festival and lit up for the Trail of Lights, Zilker Park’s Great Lawn will fully reopen on Friday.

The park had been fully or partially closed for the festivals and maintenance since early October. Officials say there shouldn’t be any chain-link fencing to get in park-goers’ way until the run-up for the two-weekend ACL festival later this year.

University of Texas
5:44 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

Two UT Professors Win National Medals of Science

Allen Bard is a professor at the University of Texas.
University of Texas

Two professors at the University of Texas have won the National Medal of Science, the highest award given to scientists, engineers and inventors by the U.S. government. They are only the fourth and fifth UT faculty members to win the prize since 1962.

Doctor Allen Bard, a professor in the Chemistry Department at UT, received the award for his outstanding achievement in electrochemistry. He developed an electrochemical microscope that analyzes the chemical makeup of very small surfaces.

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7:13 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

Suddenlink Subscribers May Lose Fox Tonight

Suddenlink CEO Jerry Kent. Some Central Texas cable customers might lose FOX programming starting tonight.

Update: Suddenlink says it has come to an agreement with Fox, at least in principle. Here's a statement sent out last night by Suddenlink's director of corporate communications, Gene Regan:

Suddenlink has reached an agreement in principle with News Corp/Fox for the continued carriage of its TV stations and cable networks. The current agreement between the companies has been extended for another week while they work out the details of the new agreement. Specific terms of the new agreement were not disclosed.

Original story: If you subscribe to Suddenlink cable service, you may lose Fox 7 and other Fox cable networks at midnight. Suddenlink’s current agreement with Fox ended at the end of 2011 and the two companies haven’t yet reached a new agreement.

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6:23 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

Ted Cruz Sworn In, Attacks Government Spending

Ted Cruz speaks at a Republican Party event in May.
KUT News

The new U.S. Senator for Texas – Republican Ted Cruz – was sworn in today in Washington, D.C.

In a conference call with reporters, Cruz said he’s ready to use the debt ceiling as a negotiating point to reduce government spending, even though President Obama said raising the borrowing limit should not be up for debate.

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4:02 pm
Thu May 12, 2011

Fort Worth Legislators React to Redistricting

The proposed Senate map has Democrats in Fort Worth and Austin upset.
Map courtesy Texas Legislative Council

The Senate redistricting committee met today to hear public testimony on a new proposed Senate map. The new boundaries will likely change the political makeup of several districts.

Senator Wendy Davis (D-Fort Worth) argued that the new map breaks apart districts populated by minority voters and violates the Voting Rights Act. Davis said that a black voting block in southeast Fort Worth and Hispanic voters in the northern part of District 10 would be broken apart.

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5:01 pm
Tue May 10, 2011

President Obama Flies Over Austin

Air Force One flies over the University of Texas campus.
Photo by Ryland Barton for KUT News

President Barack Obama arrived at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport a little before 5pm, today. He will be speaking at Austin City Limits Moody Theater and a fundraising event at a private home.

12:37 pm
Tue May 10, 2011

A&M Chancellor Steps Down

The chancellor of the Texas A&M System announced his resignation today.
Photo courtesy of flickr.com/sarowen

Mike McKinney, the Chancellor of the Texas A&M University system, announced today that he'll step down as of July 1, 2011.

McKinney became A&M System chancellor in November 2006. Since then, system-wide enrollment in has increased from 103,000 students to almost 120,000 students.

“The 25 million taxpayers in the state of Texas certainly have received a significant return on their investment in the A&M System,” said McKinney in a letter to A&M employees.

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5:03 pm
Tue May 3, 2011

Texas House Approves "Choose Life" License Plate

Photo by Ryland Barton

The Texas House voted 94-29 this afternoon to create a “Choose Life” Texas license plate. An identical bill has already passed the Senate. Revenue generated from the license plate will go to support organizations that provide counseling for mothers considering adoption.

Rep. Larry Phillips (R-Sherman), the author of the House version of the bill, says that the license plate’s message isn’t political.

“We’re not limiting anybody’s viewpoint. This choose life license plate is going to go benefit adoptions,” Rep. Phillips told his colleagues on the House floor today.

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1:25 pm
Fri April 29, 2011

Armadillos Linked To Leprosy

Photo by BrittneyBush http://www.flickr.com/photos/tzofia/

Armadillos aren't known for being particularly cuddly. But a new study may offer a better reason never to pick up one of the armor-plated critters: they can spread leprosy.

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