Trey Shaar

Producer, All Things Considered

Austin resident, on and off, mostly on, since 1986. Covering news of Central Texas and beyond since 1994. Father since 2010. Maker of sounds, informational and otherwise, since longer ago than any of the above.

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Tom Herman is coming back to the 40 Acres, this time as Head Coach of the Longhorns football team. The announcement from University of Texas Athletics Director Mike Perrin came just hours after the news that Charlie Strong had been dismissed from the head coach job following three losing seasons.

KUT News

The violent arrest of an elementary school teacher after a traffic stop is being investigated by Austin police. There are questions about the arrest itself, and the way police officers’ supervisors handled the incident. The arrest of 26-year-old Breaion King, an African American woman, happened last summer. But it was not until this week that Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo saw the police car video of the arrest.

StarFlight/ATCEMS

At least two people are missing after flooding that occurred late Thursday night into Friday morning, with some areas of Southeast Austin seeing as much as nine inches of rain in the last 24 hours, according to the Lower Colorado River Authority .

via Facebook

For three decades now, musicians have been making their ways to Austin in March, hoping South by Southwest will provide that elusive boost to their musical careers. It’s happened countless times. But as my band, Dread, experienced back in 1989, it often doesn’t happen exactly as planned.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon for KUT News

A local law firm is suing Austin police officers involved in an incident on Sixth Street downtown early in the morning of Nov. 6, 2015. The lawsuit [in full here] claims that officers used excessive force and singled out and arrested two African-Americans for jaywalking, a misdemeanor offense.

St. Edward's University

The 2016 Pritzker Prize, often called the Nobel Prize for architects , was awarded this week to Chilean architect Alejandro Aravena. Known for his “ incremental " — partially unfinished — building designs, Aravena has only one creation standing in the U.S., and it happens to be in Austin. In 2008, Aravena designed a residence and dining complex on the campus of St. Edward’s University. Aravena has said he designed the buildings with a monastery in mind. Melba Whatley, Chairman of the...

Austin Monitor

Austin will remain in Stage 2 water restrictions despite above average rainfall for the year and the historic amount that fell in May. The city is also examining whether to adopt those restrictions permanently. Austin has been under Stage 2 water restrictions since the summer of 2012. Among the restrictions [ full list here ] are limitations on lawn watering, car washing and patio misting. After the record rainfall of recent months, the lakes that supply Austin’s water have rebounded to the...

Trey Shaar / KUT News

Update Sunday 3:30 p.m. University officials say that the commencement fireworks ceremony has been rescheduled for 10 p.m. tonight (Sunday), weather-permitting. Check back here for updates. The University of Texas at Austin has cancelled the outdoor commencement ceremony planned for 8 p.m. Saturday due to inclement weather. UT said just before 5 p.m. that lightning had impeded the set-up for the outdoor event and that the threat of continuing inclement weather led the university "regretfully" to cancel the ceremony.

Liang Shi / KUT News

A point of order from state representative Mary Gonzalez (D-El Paso) delayed a vote on a bill that would remove a key function of the Public Integrity Unit. Among the duties of the Unit, a division of the Travis County District Attorney's Office, is investigating allegations of corruption leveled against state-level officials, such as members of the Texas Legislature or employees of state agencies. Under the bill authored by state representative Phil King (R-Weatherford), that function would go away. Investigation would be the responsibility of the Texas Rangers, an elite division of the Texas Department of Public Safety. Prosecution would be handled by the District Attorney's Office in the home county of the accused.

Adam Voorhes

The University of Texas at Austin made international news in recent weeks over confusion about what happened to hundreds of donated human brains. Now the university is forming a special three-member committee to look into the case. Last month, a KUT story highlighted the mystery of 100 missing brain specimens that had been donated from the Austin State Hospital , what they used to call the Texas State Lunatic Asylum.

Tyler Pratt/KUT

It’s a big day for supporters of same-sex marriage. The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to take up the issue this year, which means same-sex marriages can continue in five states that currently ban the practice. But where does that leave Texas? The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision against weighing in on same-sex marriage means it will soon be legal in 30 states and the District of Columbia. But, in Texas, the marriages will not be allowed. A federal district judge ruled earlier this year that the Texas constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman relegates same-sex couples to second-class citizenship. But the judge also allowed the ban on same-sex marriages to continue while the case winds through the appeals process.

via http://www.flickr.com/photos/indyplanets/

Holding a phone while rolling on Austin streets is about to become against the law, but not just for Austinites driving cars and trucks. The Austin City Council unanimously voted yesterday to ban hand-held use of a mobile device , such as a cell phone, in Austin starting in January. It’s an expansion of the ordinance that already bans texting while driving. Texas law already bans mobile phone use in school zones. The ban will not apply to drivers and cyclists when they are at a complete stop....

Jeff Heimsath for KUT News

For the first time since September, state officials have declared today an Ozone Action Day in the Austin-area. The declaration means weather conditions are expected to be conducive to lower-than-normal air quality. The Air Quality Index is forecast to bad enough to affect sensitive groups, such as those with asthma or heart disease, elderly people and children. The general public should be okay. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency sets a minimum standard for ozone of 75 parts per billion. “Our standard last year, we ended the 2013 ozone season at 73 parts per billion, so we’re actually okay, for now, but EPA expects to announce a new ozone standard in December of this year,” Clean Air Force of Central Texas director Sarah Holland says.

Austin Toddler Abducted

Aug 8, 2014
APD

Final update on this story (Saturday 10:00 a.m.): The Austin Police Department and the Texas Department of Public Safety say this Amber Alert has been canceled. They say two-year-old Cheyenne Johnson is now safe and the suspect, Jesse Thomas, is in custody after a standoff with authorities in northwest Harris County. UPDATE (10:00 p.m.): An Amber Alert has now been issued for Cheyenne Johnson. Anyone who may have information about this abduction is asked to call the Austin Police Department at (512) 297-0825 or 9-1-1. Austin police are asking for help from the public in locating a child who was last seen at 1:54 Friday afternoon on the 1800 block of Anita Drive in South Austin. Two-year-old Cheyenne Johnson is about two-and-a-half feet tall, weighs 25 pounds and has brown hair and brown eyes. She was wearing a navy blue shirt with flowers on it and navy blue shorts. She was last seen with 33-year-old Jesse Thomas, 6'01", about 220 pounds.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mrlaugh/6705429685

A major transportation plan took a significant step forward Thursday when the Austin City Council voted unanimously to put it on the November ballot. It’s a billion-dollar proposition. Voters would agree to a $600 million bond for a 9.5-mile urban rail line , contingent upon two conditions: matching funds from the Federal Transit Administration or another federal or state source, and a future city council securing $400 million dollars for road projects. The ordinance does not specify a source for the additional $400 million.

SpaceX

The state of Texas is offering $2.3 million to SpaceX , a commercial spaceflight company with plans to build a spaceport along the Gulf Coast. The plan to build a rocket-launch facility in South Texas has been years in the making, and while there are still a few finishing touches to put on the plan, it looks like everyone is on board. SpaceX is the first private company to attach a spacecraft to the International Space Station, exchange cargo payloads, and return to Earth. It’s also the only...

Texas Department of Transportation

Austin City Manager Marc Ott has asked the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to reconsider its environmental impact study on State Highway 45 Southwest . The proposed extension would connect South MoPac and FM-1626 in northern Hays County. In a letter to TxDOT, Ott also asked the department to expand the public comment period ahead of tonight's final public input meeting at Bowie High School.

Lorne Matalon / Marfa Public Radio

The ongoing surge of Central American immigration into Texas was the focus of a field hearing Thursday of the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security . Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R - Austin) invited Governor Rick Perry to testify at the hearing in the Rio Grande Valley. The governor laid out a four-point plan for handling the situation, including increasing National Guard operations, screening immigrants for medical conditions and federal reimbursement of the money Texas has spent on border security.

Sgt. Ken Scar / Defense Video & Imagery Distribution System

The offices of U.S. Senator Ted Cruz and Governor Rick Perry were quick to release statements lauding Monday’s Supreme Court decision on contraception . The ruling said family-owned and other closely held companies can opt out of an Affordable Care Act provision requiring they provide insurance coverage of birth control. Sen. Cruz calls it a “victory for religious liberty” and a “repudiation of the Obama Administration.” Gov. Perry says the ruling is “further proof” that “Obamacare represents...

Ben Philpott/KUT

Texas politicians are getting a close-up look at how border authorities are handling an influx of Central American immigrants – many of them children who came here without family members. Sen. Ted Cruz and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott got a tour Monday of one facility housing immigrant children after they’re processed near the border: Joint Base San Antonio , where children wait for judicial hearings or to be placed with relatives. Both Abbott and Cruz blame the increase in immigrants on the Obama administration’s deferred action for childhood arrivals policy, which offered a delay of immigration proceedings for children brought to the U.S. before 2007.

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