Tolly Moseley

Tolly Moseley is currently an intern at KUT News.

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AM Update
9:36 am
Fri March 23, 2012

AM Update: Federal Drug, Money Laundering Charges for Sixth St. Club Owner

The owner of several Sixth Street bars is accused of operating a drug and money laundering syndicate
Photo courtesy flickr.com/ kevharb

Sweeping Drug Bust Targets Nightclub Owner, Family

Ten individuals connected to a downtown Austin club circuit were arrested yesterday on drug trafficking, money laundering, and firearms charges. 

Yassine Enterprises, which owns Pure, Spill, Kiss & Fly, Stack Burger Bar, Treasure Island, Hyde, Fuel, Malaia and Roial, is at the center of a coordinated effort between Austin police, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, the FBI, IRS, and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

The investigation dates to 2007, and those taken into custody yesterday include Yassine Enterprises owner and President Hussein Ali "Mike" Yassine, his brothers Hadi Ali Yassine and Mohammed Ali Yassine, their assistant Marisse Marthe Ruales and six others.  Cocaine distribution and over $200,000 in money-laundered cash are two charges in the investigation, and authorities suspect the clubs involved were fronts for these and other illegal activities.

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AM Update
8:03 am
Wed March 21, 2012

AM Update: The Supreme Court and Texas Death Row, Pro Day at UT, Ron Paul’s Illinois Results

Two Texas Death Row inmates have hopes set on yesterday's U.S. Supreme Court ruling.
Photo illustration by Todd Wiseman, Texas Tribune

Supreme Court Decision Affects Death Row Inmates?

Two Texas death row inmates, including one who is set to be executed next week, hope a ruling yesterday from the U.S. Supreme Court will give them another chance to prove their innocence or that their crimes don’t warrant the death penalty.

KUT’s reporting partner, The Texas Tribune, reports the high court’s ruling in a case out of Arizona, Martinez v. Ryan, could expand appeals access for inmates:

The nation’s highest court ruled that the failure of initial state habeas lawyers to argue that their client’s trial counsel was ineffective should not prevent the defendant from making that argument later on.

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Austin
8:21 am
Fri March 16, 2012

AM Update: Texas Women's Health Program Update, State Class Sizes Increasing, St. Patty's Day

Rebecca Rankin RN, Family Nurse Practitioner and Women's Health Care Nurse Practitioner is the lead clinician at the Planned Parenthood clinic in Edinburg, Texas.
Photo by Eddie Seal of The Texas Tribune

Federal Funding for Texas's Women's Health Program to be Phased Out

Texas officials got the letter they expected from the federal government Thursday: federal funding for the state’s Women’s Health Program will be phased out in the near future. The program provides basic health screenings and contraceptive coverage to more than a 100,000 low-income women in Texas.

The dispute stems from a state rule that would exclude Planned Parenthood clinics from providing services under the program. Cindy Mann directs the federal Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services.

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AM Update
8:22 am
Wed March 14, 2012

AM Update: The Boss Speaks Tomorrow, Federal Funds to Fight Homelessness, County Workers Get a Raise

Bruce Springsteen is this year's SXSW Music keynote speaker.
Photo courtesy Craig O'Neal, flickr.com/36703550@N00

Springsteen Delivering Keynote at SXSW Music

Need another sign South by Southwest Music is underway? 

Bruce Springsteen will give his SXSW keynote speech tomorrow at the Austin Convention Center, noon.  KUT will stream the talk live, and later than night, Bruce Springsteen and his E Street Band will perform in Austin via a special ticket drawing.

You can follow KUT’s continuing SXSW coverage on this blog and at kut.org.

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SXSW
10:47 am
Fri March 9, 2012

Five Texas Films to Watch at SXSW

Jack Black stars in Richard Linklater's "Bernie," which was filmed in Bastrop.
Image courtesy sxsw.com

Attending South by Southwest is a little like entering IKEA for the first time. The sheer size of it is enough to make anyone sweat, and ask themselves nervously: "So, where do I go first?"

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AM Update
9:02 am
Fri March 9, 2012

AM Update: Leslie's Memorial Weekend, Arne Duncan's Meeting With Perry, Win for UT Men's Basketball

Friends of Leslie banded together in a press conference yesterday.
Photo by Lucia Duncan for KUT News

Leslie's Public Visitation and Memorial This Weekend

Austin is still feeling the loss of one of its weirdest (and most beloved) public figures.  This weekend, the public will have two opportunities to bid farewell to the street-walking, heels-wearing, public-office-seeking Leslie Cochran, who passed away on Thursday morning

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AM Update
9:19 am
Wed March 7, 2012

AM Update: Feds Question New District, Ron Paul's Not-So-Super Tuesday, Crackdown on Border Tunnels

Newly drawn District 25, where Rep. Lloyd Doggett is thought to run, is receiving further federal scrutiny.
Map image State of Texas; Doggett photo doggett.house.gov; Vote photo KUT News

DC Questions Doggett's New District

District 25 in Texas newly-redistricted voting map is currently represented by Rep. Lloyd Doggett, and encompasses a large portion of Travis County.  But now, a federal court in Washington DC has questions about District 25 that could delay Texas 2012 primaries yet again.

The main issue is whether District 25 – which contains white, Hispanic, and African-American voters –  deserves minority protection under the Voting Rights Act or not. 

 The court asked for briefs by March 13 on District 25, and if they deem it a minority district deserving protection, that would send the map back to the drawing board, the Austin American-Statesman reports, with primaries falling well into the summer.

Texas only recently saw its primary date set for May 29.

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Austin
8:52 am
Fri March 2, 2012

AM Update: Rice Farmers Lose Water, Break for Texas Independence Day, City Council Decision Rundown

Rice farmers now face a year without water.
Photo by Jeff Heimsath for StateImpact Texas

Rice Farmers Lose Water

As of midnight this morning, Texas rice farmers had no water for their crops.

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Austin
8:57 am
Wed February 29, 2012

AM Update: Moontowers Temporarily Vanish, Ron Paul's Michigan Finish, Texas' New Railroad Commish

One of Austin's historic moontowers. Austin Energy is refurbishing towers recently removed due to a construction project.
Photo courtesy flickr.com/wadeferd

Moontowers Temporarily Taken Down

An Austin moontower on the corner of West 22nd and Nueces streets has been temporarily dismantled due to a nearby construction project, and another on the corner of Trinity and Cesar Chavez is slated to move over to Third and Red River.

Austin is the only city in the world that still operates under a moonlight tower lighting system, made up of those ethereal structures that provide large areas of illumination and – as every "Dazed and Confused" fan knows – the occasional party.  According to the Austin American-Statesman, Austin Energy plans to refurbish the towers that have been removed, and because of their designation in the National Register of Historic Places, any repairs have to be historically accurate. You can read more from KUT News about the towers.

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Texas
12:23 pm
Wed February 22, 2012

KUT News Roundup: LCRA Water Plan Woes, Erroneous Energy Bills, Pumping Oil With Pollution

Let's take a midweek look at the top Austin and Central Texas stories from KUT.org and StateImpact Texas, KUT's reporting partnership with NPR.

LCRA About to Finalize Water Plan Through 2020

A vote is imminent on a plan that would regulate water use from the Highland Lakes to the Gulf Coast until 2020. The Lower Colorado River Authority heard public comment Tuesday from a wide range of people on its water management plan.

“It’s really hard for me to be speaking here today, because we are staring down the devastation of the drought of 2011,” said Janet Caylor, representing businesses on Lake Travis. “And as y’all are aware, there have already been multiple bankruptcies, loss of jobs, many are struggling to stay in business.”

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Austin
8:54 am
Wed February 22, 2012

AM Update 2/22/12: Cost of Boardwalk Rises, Juárez Bullet Strikes El Pasoan, Meth Seizures at Border

A rendering of the proposed Lady Bird Lake boardwalk.
Image courtesy courtesy of the Trail Foundation, townlaketrail.org

Mounting Expense for Lady Bird Boardwalk 

In 2010, City of Austin voters ushered in Proposition 1, a project to construct a boardwalk trail over and along Lady Bird Lake. Back then, the estimated cost of the project was $17.4 million, but as of today, the lowest bid (of eight) is $20.7 million. That's a 19% jump.

The Austin American-Statesman reports that the cost increase can be attributed to two main factors: Oil prices (no surprise there) and a construction industry still trying to correct itself post-recession. Builders are finally doing things they put off during those lean years, like replacing old equipment, and that's made government building projects more costly. Still, city officials aren't worried about coming up with the extra money. 

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Austin
8:58 am
Wed February 15, 2012

Top Morning Stories 2/15/12: Execution Drug Shortage, Redistricting Drama, Texas/OU Battles ACL

Texas' Huntsville Prison, home to the United State's most active execution chamber.
Photo courtesy Mark Britain, flickr.com/8427230@N04

Texas Prisons Hard Up for Execution Drugs?

Texas state prisons are running low on a key execution drug, according to a report released Tuesday. According to the Austin American-Statesman, state prison officials say there is enough of the drug to continue with six executions that are scheduled over the next four months.

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Austin
10:46 am
Fri February 10, 2012

KUT News Roundup: Rolling Blackouts for Texas, Drought Examples to Follow, a Mortgage Cash Payout

A big week for news around the city and the state. If you've missed anything, we've compiled this online report.
Photo by KUT News

It's Friday, so here’s an end-of-the-week look at what we’ve been following: News from KUT.org, our reporting partner StateImpact Texas, and our friends at the Texas Tribune:

AISD Teachers Weigh Options with In-District Charter (KUT News):

"A charter school operator from South Texas is moving into East Austin’s Allan Elementary School next school year. It’s the first step in a multiyear strategy that Austin ISD hopes will reverse years of academic setbacks. But for some teachers, it’s a cue to leave their campus.

“I do not want to be a part of what they’re bringing to our community, and it’s still not what I think is best for kids,” Allan Elementary bilingual education teacher Constanza Serna said.

Austin ISD’s first ever in-district charter school program starts next year and will be run by IDEA Public Schools from South Texas. Alejandro Delgado – a graduate of Bowie High in Austin – will be the first vice principal of the renamed IDEA Allan campus.

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Austin
8:19 am
Fri February 10, 2012

Top Morning Stories 2/10/12: A Smoke-Free UT, Inmate Health Care, New Hurdle for Austin Med School?

UT will need to kick the smoking habit completely to preserve millions in research funding.
Photo courtesy flickr.com/-jocelyn-

UT to Go Tobacco-Free?

Smoking is already banned in practically all indoor spaces on the UT campus, but to earn a sizeable grant, that ban could soon extend outdoors too.

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Austin
8:48 am
Wed February 8, 2012

Top Morning Stories 2/8/12: Amber Alert, Ron Paul's Minnesota Showing, UT Studies Prof Performance

Authorities have issued an Amber Alert for 11-year-old Jessica Smith (left). They believe she is with her mother, Kimberly Smith.
Photos courtesy Texas Dept. of Public Safety

Amber Alert Issued

Forth Worth authorities have issued an Amber Alert for 11-year-old Jessica Smith. Jessica is a white female, 5’1” tall, weighs 120 pounds and has brown hair and eyes.  

Police believe Jessica’s abductor is her mother, 42 year-old Kimberly Smith. Smith is a white female, 5’2” tall, weighs 150 pounds, with brown hair and eyes. Smith has a cross tattoo on the back of her neck and a decorative tattoo on her back.  

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