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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Austin
5:07 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

10-1 Commission Candidate List Goes to City Council

The commission that will draw the new City Council districts is taking shape.
Callie Hernandez, KUT News

Today the city of Austin moves closer to a new form of government.

It’s the 10-1 plan chosen by voters in the November election: 10 geographic districts drawn by citizens plus the mayor serving at large.

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Politics
4:11 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

IRS Out of Control, Cornyn Says

Sen. John Cornyn says the IRS overstepped its bounds.
flickr.com/musicfirstcoalition

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder says the FBI's criminal investigation of the Internal Revenue Service could include potential civil rights violations, false statements and potential violations of the Hatch Act, which prohibits federal employees from engaging in some partisan political activities.

President Obama is meeting with Treasury officials today to discuss the IRS targeting of conservative groups for special review.

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Health
7:16 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

Should Legal Blood Alcohol Limit Be Lowered?

Mock DWI Crash
Flickr/Shanana Rain Golden-Bear http://www.flickr.com/photos/52283904@N04/7630626680/

The National Transportation Safety Board is calling on states to toughen drunk driving laws, but Mothers Against Drunk Driving says there are better ways to fight drinking and driving.

The NTSB recommends lowering the legal blood alcohol limit to 0.05 percent from the current 0.08 percent.

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Politics
5:50 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

Fort Hood Civilian Workers to Feel Effects of Sequester

Fort Hood from above
Flickr, Virginia Guard Public Affairs http://www.flickr.com/photos/vaguardpao/5533101175/

Across-the-board federal budget cuts known as sequestration are about to have more effects in Central Texas.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced Tuesday that his department has cut all it can on the military side and that any more would affect readiness, so Hagel says the time has come for civilian defense department workers to take unpaid days off: mandatory furloughs.

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Austin
6:49 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

Comment on Hispanic/Latino Quality of Life in Austin

How does life in the Capital City measure up?
Flickr, Harrison Tran http://www.flickr.com/photos/atx_is_over_9000/8626536854/sizes/m/in/photostream/

The City of Austin is getting ready to unveil its Hispanic/Latino Quality of Life Report.

A draft version of the report is available online and the city is looking for one more round of input from the public before presenting the report to the Mayor and City Council.

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Austin
4:12 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Manor New Tech An Example for the Nation, Obama Says (Photos)

President Obama speaking at Manor New Tech High School today.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

President Obama is in Austin today on the first stop of his “jobs and opportunities tour.” He said it’s because the Austin area has some “terrific things going on” that are good models for America to follow.

The president used his first stop today as an example: Manor New Tech High School, where he said students are learning the skills they need to succeed.

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Health
6:52 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

Health Officials Warn to Reduce Consumption of These Gulf Fish

Small shark hooked in Gulf of Mexico
Flickr, Jim Mullhaupt http://www.flickr.com/photos/jimpic/7808892188/sizes/m/in/photostream/

Texas health authorities are expanding their warning that some people should not eat certain fish from the Gulf of Mexico.

The Texas Department of State Health Services says high levels of mercury mean women of childbearing age and children 12 and younger should eat no amount of species, including Blackfin tuna, blue marlin, king mackerel, wahoo, shark or swordfish.

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Austin
6:24 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

APD Utility Interceptors Rolling onto Austin Streets

Austin Police Transitioning to Ford Utility Interceptor
Flickr, Mike Frizzell http://www.flickr.com/photos/operation100/8059550159/

When you think of a police car, you probably envision the Ford Crown Victoria, long the choice of law enforcement agencies all over North America, including here in Austin. 

But Ford has decided to stop making them, so APD is making a switch, mainly to a utility vehicle based on the Ford Explorer.            

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Politics
6:48 am
Tue May 7, 2013

President Obama to Visit Austin Thursday (Update)

President Obama at an event in Austin in 2011
Jeff Heimsath, KUT News

Update: President Barack Obama will visit Manor New Technology High School this Thursday during his trip to Central Texas. The Associated Press reports he'll also speak at Applied Materials in Austin.

Obama's visit is the first in a series of trips that will push for new models of economic growth. The President will look at which skills are driving America's economy.

The President will be speaking at Manor New Technology High School at 1:05 p.m. and Applied Materials at 4:30 p.m.

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Politics
7:21 pm
Fri May 3, 2013

Sen. Ted Cruz at Home in Houston for NRA Convention

US Sen. Ted Cruz
US Senate

The National Rifle Association is having its national convention this weekend in Houston.

The gathering of an expected 70,000 people comes a little more than two weeks after a measure that would expand background checks failed to pass the U.S. Senate, which the NRA considers a victory.

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Austin
5:19 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Another DWI Case: DPS Official Held

Austin is seeing a run of high-profile drunken-driving arrests.
Nathan Bernier, KUT News

Austin has had another high-profile DWI arrest.

Texas Department of Public Safety official Richard Hooks was arrested early this morning and booked into the Travis County Jail.

Hooks is the Capital-area regional coordinator for the Texas Division of Emergency Management.

Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg is serving a 45-day sentence after pleading guilty to a DWI charge last month.

In March, state Rep. Naomi Gonzalez was arrested for DWI after a collision.

Texas
4:45 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Gas Prices May Continue to Drop

Supply of gasoline is up and demand is down
Erik Reyna, KUT News

If you’re happy to see lower gas prices lately, you’ll be happier to hear that there’s no sign in the short term that prices will rise.

Tom Kloza of the Oil Price Information Service says it’s a matter of supply and demand. “We certainly are on an upward ramp with supply and supply of crude, particularly oil shale crude, like the stuff that’s coming out of the Eagle Ford Shale in Texas,” Kloza says.

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Texas
7:17 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Amber Alert for Tarrant County Teen

14-year-old Ruby Paloma Contreras
North Richland Hills Police

An Amber Alert is in effect for 14-year-old Ruby Paloma Contreras, who was last seen just before 4 p.m. Tuesday in Haltom City, near Fort Worth.

Ruby is 4'11", 95 pounds, a Hispanic female, with brown hair and eyes. She was last seen wearing a black hoodie and blue jeans.

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Austin
10:10 am
Fri April 26, 2013

Update: Civil Rights Group Questions Austin Police's 'Suicide by Cop' Rationale in Fatal Shooting

54-year-old Herbert Babelay was shot and killed Tuesday night by Austin police.
Nathan Bernier, KUT News

The Austin Police Chief says an incident this week in which police officers fatally shot a man was not a mental health call.

Chief Art Acevedo is responding to the Texas Civil Rights Project calling for the city to appoint an independent professional consultant to help police handle incidents involving people with mental illness.

Here’s how Chief Acevedo characterizes this week’s incident, in which a man was shot after pointing a shotgun at APD officers.

“It was not a mental health call," Acevedo said. "It was a public safety threat call, where the, the absolute safety of our residents was at risk. The Austin Police Department received information that the decedent in that case was suicidal and homicidal and threatening to hurt others.”

The Texas Civil Rights Project is calling for more involvement from the Austin Police Monitor’s Office in assessing calls involving use of force.

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Austin
7:22 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Group Supports Keeping DA Rosemary Lehmberg in Office

The Travis County district attorney is under pressure to quit after pleading guilty to DWI.
Texas Tribune

There’s a show of support this afternoon for Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg, who’s in the county jail after pleading guilty to a charge of driving while intoxicated.

A group of more than 175 lawyers called Friends of Rosemary Lehmberg filed a friend of the court brief calling for Lehmberg to remain in office and serve out her term as district attorney.

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George W. Bush
3:56 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Photos: The George W. Bush Presidential Library Dedication

Filipa Rodrigues, KUT News

Today, Texas became the first state to have three presidential libraries.

All five living U.S. presidents gathered this morning on the SMU campus in Dallas to dedicate the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum.

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Politics
4:49 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Cornyn: Flight Delays Are Politics

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn says the FAA is playing politics with flight delays.
flickr.com/musicfirstcoalition

Travelers are facing more flight delays around the country and here in Austin because of budget cuts forcing air traffic controllers to take time off.

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, has accused the Federal Aviation Administration of “deliberately engineering flight delays and inconveniencing passengers and creating hardship just in order to try to make a political point.”

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ENERGY
6:52 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Texas Nuclear Reactor Resumes Operation

South Texas Project, a nuclear power plant of which Austin Energy is a partial owner
STP Nuclear Operating Company http://www.stpnoc.com/photo.php?pageID=30

Austin Energy is getting some of its power again from the South Texas Project. STP is a nuclear power source in the Bay City area where one of four reactors was offline for the past few months because of a fire outside the unit.

On Tuesday it started operating again.

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Transportation
6:23 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

Air Traffic Controller Furloughs Leading to Flight Delays

Waits at airports expected as budget cuts force controllers to take time off
Flickr, David Barrie http://www.flickr.com/photos/addictive_picasso/80085483/

Remember the Sequester? The across-the-board federal budget cuts? Get ready to start feeling the effects the next time you fly. Delays at the Austin airport could become noticeable as soon as Tuesday.

For air traffic controllers employed by the Federal Aviation Administration, mandatory furloughs are in effect: a forced day off for every pay period. That means fewer controllers working airport control towers.

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Austin
9:05 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

In Austin Parks, Burn Ban Lifted

Downtown Austin, seen from Lou Neff Point in Zilker Park
Flickr, Jeff Gunn http://www.flickr.com/photos/jeffgunn/5783484625/sizes/m/in/photostream/

The rain we’ve had lately isn’t enough to get rid of the drought, but it is enough to get rid of the burn ban in Austin Parks.

Austin Parks and Recreation is lifting the ban, effectively immediately, and removing the plastic that’s been wrapped around barbecue grills.

The lifting of the ban also means campfires are okay, but only at Emma Long Metropolitan Park.

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