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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Homelessness
9:27 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Photos: Inside Austin's Annual Homeless Count

Tivas, a homeless man who lives under the RM 2222 and Mopac Expressway overpass, jokes with ECHO team leader Edward McHorse. A federally mandated "point in time" count of Austin's Homeless takes place each January.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon, KUT News

Update: KUT's was on hand to document the homeless count this weekend. Take a look in the photo gallery above. You can see more photos on the KUT Austin Flickr page.

Original story: (Jan. 25) It’s the annual Point in Time Count of the Homeless here in the Austin area. Hundreds of volunteers were out Friday and again before dawn Saturday, finding out how many people are living here without permanent shelter.

Ann Howard is the Executive Director of the Ending Community Homelessness Coalition, known as ECHO. She says the counts are going on across the country in the last week of January, as mandated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. It’s just coincidence that this year’s falls on a night in Austin when temperatures are below freezing and extra shelters are open.

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Politics
6:34 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Gov. Perry Joins World Leaders in Davos

Gov. Perry at this month's Texas Transportation Forum
Office of the Governor

Governor Rick Perry is in Davos, Switzerland for the annual World Economic Forum. The governor is touting Texas economic growth and keeping his own profile high as he considers another run for president.

Appearing on CNBC Wednesday, Governor Perry was asked about a photo of him and Khalid Al-Falih, the CEO of the Saudi state-owned oil company, Aramco, and how hydraulic fracturing is making a Texas a bigger world player in energy production.

“That picture of me and Khalid is a little bit of Aggie gatherdom, if you will," Perry said. "He’s a Class of 1982 from Texas A&M and obviously we did talk about the hydraulic fracturing, and the Saudis are actually looking at some of those techniques themselves.”

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Politics
6:50 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

G.P. Bush Prepares to Enter Office as Dewhurst Looks to Life After Politics

Photo mosaic of Lone Star Flag
Texas State Library and Archives

George P. Bush has more than $2.8 million to spend on his campaign for Texas Land Commissioner. His two main challengers, a Republican and a Democrat, have a combined total of around $20,000. 

Democrat John Cook, former Mayor of El Paso, reports raising about $13,000 since June. Republican David Watts's campaign finance filing this week indicates fundraising in the second half of 2013 of about $7,000. 

Dr. Brian Smith is a professor of political science at St. Edward’s University in Austin. He says what the Bush campaign is doing is a tried and true intimidation tactic.

“He’s over-raising money to scare off any potential Republican challenger,” Smith says. “If I’m a Democrat I would be, like, wow, I have to raise $3.3 million just to match him. That’s going to scare me away. If I’m a Republican, I’m going to be like, gosh, he’s got a lot of money. Let him have it.”

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Health
8:11 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Child is Season's 9th Travis County Flu Death

H1N1 virus as seen through an electron microscope
CDC

Nine deaths from influenza in Travis County this flu season represent just one measure of how severe the season has been.

Dr. Phil Huang, Medical Director of the Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Department, notes that cases started showing up earlier in the season, toward the end of 2013, and that patients under the age of 60 were among the most severely affected. 

"Definitely what we're seeing is worse than what we've seen in some past seasons," Dr. Huang said, "and also the population that's being affected with some of the more severe illness is a younger population than what we were seeing." 

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Business
6:24 am
Fri November 29, 2013

Shop 'Til You Drop? Why Black Friday Started Earlier Than Ever This Year

'Black Friday' shoppers started hitting the stores for sales on Thursday this year.
flickr.com/matthewholland

Black Friday isn’t quite what it used to be. More stores are trying to get the jump on others by opening not only on Thanksgiving, but earlier and earlier on Thanksgiving.

This year, there may have been even more incentive to open early. That’s because there’s less time than usual before it’s time to start the pre-Christmas sales.

You might have heard that a quirk of the calendars had Thanksgiving and the start of Hanukkah on the same day this year. That once-in-several-lifetimes coincidence is a combination of a couple of things: an early Hanukkah and a Turkey Day that was as late in the calendar as it could be.

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MUSIC
6:02 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

Antone’s Nightclub Sold, Moving Back Downtown

The Psychedelic Furs perform at Antone's on July 18, 2013
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUTX

Antone’s has new owners. The Austin blues venue that was a launching pad for Stevie Ray Vaughan left downtown for East Riverside Drive earlier this year. 

“Antone’s has been such an integral part of Austin’s music history and we’re just happy to be carrying the torch to the next level,” said Tayloe Emery, one of the investors.  

He says the goal is to move Antone’s back into downtown Austin and the hope is to have that done in time for South by Southwest in March.

Founder Clifford Antone’s sister Susan Antone will stay on as part of the club's operations. 

Police
4:46 pm
Fri October 18, 2013

Officer-Involved Shooting in North Austin

Two people are recovering from gunshot wounds after related incidents in North Austin Friday afternoon.

Police say one person was struck by gunfire and then the person who fired that shot was hit by a shot fired by an Austin Police Officer.

It happened in the area of the 10300 block of Quail Ridge Drive, which is near Cook Elementary.

The school was briefly locked down as authorities assesed the situation. 

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barton springs
3:52 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

Feds OK 20-Year Plan to Protect Barton Springs Salamanders, Keep Pool Open

Despite new federal protections for two Barton Springs salamanders, a habitat agreement has been reached that will keep Barton Springs Pool open.
I-Hwa Cheng for KUT News

Swimmers and salamanders can continue their peaceful coexistence at Barton Springs Pool.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is granting the City of Austin a new 20-year permit, keeping the pool open to the public while protecting the habitats of both the Barton Springs Salamander and the Austin Blind Salamander.

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Weather
3:27 pm
Fri August 16, 2013

Tropical System Gathering in Gulf Could Bring Rain to Austin

A low-pressure formation in the Gulf of Mexico could bring rain to Austin early next week.
National Weather Service/National Hurricane Center

A tropical system is developing in the Gulf of Mexico that could have an affect on Austin weather in the days ahead.

Aaron Treadway, a forecaster at the National Weather Service, says computer models have been "all over the place" in recent days – but data now suggests the system’s heading toward the Texas coast, somewhere from Northern Mexico to Louisiana.

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Austin
7:40 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Family of Man Killed by APD Detective Hires Lawyer

Police blocked off the area where the shooting occurred Friday.
Trey Shaar, KUT News

The family of a man shot to death last week by an Austin Police detective has hired a high-profile attorney. The family of 32-year-old Larry Eugene Jackson, Jr. has hired Adam Loewy, who has represented three families of men killed by APD officers’ gunfire.

“I’ve handled several of these police shootings and I’m very selective in the cases that I take, and this one strikes me as being very suspicious," Loewy said.

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Austin
8:09 am
Mon July 29, 2013

APD Detective Shoots, Kills Man

Police have blocked off roads in the area so crime scene investigators can gather evidence.
Trey Shaar, KUT News

Update: Over the weekend, Austin Police identified the man killed as 32-year-old Larry Eugene Jackson Jr. The Austin Police officer who shot him was Detective Charles Kleinert. Kleinert has been an officer for almost 20 years.

APD is looking for a witness who might have seen what happened between Jackson and Kleinert.

Original Story (July 26, 7:58 p.m.): A man is dead after he was shot by an Austin police detective Friday afternoon near the intersection of 34th Street and Shoal Creek Boulevard. Police describe the man only as African American. Police had not yet established his identity. No officer was injured in the incident.

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Texas
5:20 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Sales Tax Holiday Set for Second Weekend in August

The tax-free weekend could give Texans a $74 million break.
Todd Wiseman & Mikhail Popov, Texas Tribune

The state’s annual sales-tax-free weekend is a little earlier this year, but there’s still time to get ready.

Coming up on the weekend of August 9 to 11, Texas shoppers can save the sales tax on most clothing and back-to-school stuff priced under $100.

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Texas
7:11 pm
Mon July 8, 2013

Former Texas State President, LBJ Speechwriter Dead at 82

Speechwriter Robert Hardesty listens to President Johnson aboard Marine One in 1968
LBJ Library Photo by Yoichi Okamoto

A prolific and eloquent writer whom President Lyndon Johnson called "one of the best" has died at 82. Robert Hardesty was a speech writer for Johnson and served as president of what was then known as Southwest Texas State University, now Texas State. 

Hardesty in recent years called his time in the White House, "the most significant," and his time as President of Southwest Texas State University, "the most exciting," because he was able to make "such a difference."

The Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library and Museum in Austin has more about Hardesty's life.

UT
7:40 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

Police Looking For Suspects in West Campus Kidnapping and Assault

The kidnapping is alleged to have occured on the 900 block of W. 26th St.
Google Maps

Austin Police are asking for help solving a case of kidnapping and sexual assault. A woman says she was abducted by two men in the 900 block of West 26th Street at about 2:00 a.m. Monday.

She says they blindfolded her and drove her away, releasing her about four hours later in the 2200 block of Stephen F. Austin Dr.

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Austin
8:12 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

AISD Won't Offer Coverage for Domestic Partners in 2013-14

KUT News

The Austin Independent School District says it will not offer insurance coverage to domestic partners of district employees in the 2013-14 school year, but may decide to do so in the future. 

AISD announced in February it would offer benefits to domestic partners, including same-sex partners, following the lead of the Pflugerville Independent School District. 

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Politics
11:44 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

Abortion Bill Gets OK From Texas Senate After Hours of Debate

The Texas Senate passed an abortion measure, Senate Bill 5, on June 18, 2013.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

The Texas Senate voted, about 30 minutes before midnight, to pass an abortion bill, Senate Bill 5, with a vote of 20 to 10.

Before debate began roughly 6 hours earlier on the Senate floor, SB 5 got a significant change.

The bill's sponsor, State Sen. Glenn Hegar, R-Katy, filed a substitute version, removing the provision that would prohibit abortion after 20 weeks of gestation.

That may be to give other provisions a better chance of passing the Legislature.

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Politics
6:11 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

After Perry Kills Funding, What’s Next for Austin Corruption Unit?

Filipa Rodrigues, KUT News

A member of the Texas House of Representatives is calling on his fellow lawmakers to look for ways to pay for the Public Integrity Unit of the Travis County District Attorney’s Office.

Governor Rick Perry used a line-item veto to cut off the Unit’s state funding, citing D.A. Rosemary Lehmberg’s DWI conviction.

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Politics
7:36 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

Perry Vetoes More Than Two Dozen Bills

Gov. Perry preparing to sign legislation on June 10, 2013.
Bob Daemmrich, Texas Tribune

With just two days before the Sunday deadline for Rick Perry to veto bills passed by the state legislature, the Texas Governor has blocked more than two dozen pieces of legislation that passed both chambers and made it to his desk.

Public Integrity Unit

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Texas
9:21 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Another Hearing for Hasan in Fort Hood Shootings Trial

Maj. Nidal Hassan wants more time to prepare his defense.
courtesy Bell County Sheriff's Department

The judge has scheduled another hearing today in the case of the Fort Hood shooting suspect.

It’s unclear what the trial judge, Col. Tara Osborne, will rule at the hearing, but a statement from Fort Hood says she is “expected to announce rulings from matters litigated at past hearings.”

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Politics
4:08 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

Perry Signs 'Merry Christmas' Bill

Religious symbols in schools are OK under the new law.
Liang Shi, KUT News

Gov. Rick Perry ceremonially signed a bill today making clear that it’s okay to say things like “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Hanukkah” at public schools.

The law also says religious symbols may be displayed, as long as more than one religion is represented.

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