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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Ten-digit local dialing in the Austin area starts this Saturday.

We were just running out of phone numbers. As the Austin population grows, so does the number of telephones.

KUT News

Austin police have a no-refusal period Memorial Day weekend targeting drunken driving and boating.

During no-refusal actions, officers can obtain blood search warrants on suspects who refuse to willingly provide a breath sample or cooperate with a blood test.


The Texas attorney general’s office has settled a lawsuit against Penguin Group, accusing the country's largest book publisher of colluding with Apple to raise the prices of electronic books.

Texas sued along with 32 other states and territories.

If the agreement is approved by a federal judge, $75 million will go to people who bought e-books.

Texas had already settled with four other publishers. The claims against Apple are scheduled for trial next month.

Flickr, Tim Patterson

Federal agencies are still dealing with the effects of across-the-board budget cuts known as sequestration.

The National Weather Service was already under a hiring freeze and now faces furloughs -- mandatory unpaid days off.

Weather Service meteorologists are concerned about the effect that could have on their ability to keep the public informed.

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.

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.

Flickr/Shanana Rain Golden-Bear

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.

Flickr, Virginia Guard Public Affairs

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.

Flickr, Harrison Tran

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.

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.

Flickr, Jim Mullhaupt

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.

Flickr, Mike Frizzell

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.            

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.