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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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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Politics
5:12 am
Thu April 18, 2013

APD Chief Disappointed by U.S. Senate Gun Vote

The U.S. Senate voted down a measure to expand background checks for gun purchases.
flickr.com/barjack

The Austin police chief says he’s disappointed by the U.S. Senate’s failure to approve a new gun control measure. The legislation would have required federal background checks for all gun purchases, including those at gun shows and online.

Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo sees the votes against Senate passage as defying what most citizens support.

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Austin
7:04 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

APD Announces End to Warrantless Blood Draws

Steve Rhode/Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/steverhode/

The Austin Police Chief is ordering  officers to stop getting warrantless blood draws from drunk driving suspects. The policy change comes after a ruling Wednesday from the U.S. Supreme Court that police in most cases must try to obtain a search warrant from a judge before ordering blood tests.

Texas Law allows a warrantless blood draws in certain cases, but Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo is calling on his officers to stop doing that, at least for the time being.

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Politics
4:05 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Bill Aims to Keep Kids Off the Tanning Beds

Tanning salon operators say their businesses are safer for teenagers than tanning outdoors.
courtesy flickr.com/kevlar

Texas lawmakers are looking to keep kids out of tanning salons.

Under current law, children under 16½ are barred from tanning businesses, and kids 16½ to 18 need parental permission.

Now there’s a bill at the Capitol to keep all minors out of tanning salons.

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Boston Marathon Bombings
9:14 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

Austin Reacts to Boston Marathon Bombings (Update)

Flickr/HaHaTango http://www.flickr.com/photos/hahatango/

Update (9:14 p.m.): Close to 200 people from Central Texas are in Boston for Monday's marathon, according to the marathon's athlete tracker. Explosions near the finish line, which claimed at least three lives and reverberated across the nation, sent Austinites scrambling to check on the status of family and friends participating in the race.

“We were texting people, emailing them," said Michael Madison, a business manager with the local running group Gilbert’s Gazelles, who was back here in Austin.  "We were just keeping tabs on who had said they were okay or who they were with, because we had a couple people staying at the hotel where the first blast came out of.” 

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Texas
8:03 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

Tea Party Fights Republicans Over Texas' Rainy Day Fund

When to use Texas cash reserves and how much?
Texas Tribune http://www.texastribune.org/texas-legislature/82nd-legislative-session/appropriations-oks-31-billion-from-rainy-day-fund/

There’s a debate right now over what Texas lawmakers should do with the money in the Rainy Day Fund. The fund was set up in the 1980s to smooth out the differences from times of oil boom and bust.

Some see now as a boom time, because of the growth of energy production from hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," but others see the threat of stormy times ahead.

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Environment
7:21 pm
Fri April 12, 2013

Pumping from Lake? Get a Contract

Lady Bird Lake
Flickr, Ronnie Pitman http://www.flickr.com/photos/pitmanra/2373739283/

The Lower Colorado River Authority is reminding people who live along the Highland Lakes that you need a contract to pump water from the lakes.

The reminder comes at a time when Central Texans are starting to think about lawn care.

The LCRA wants to keep track of the water removed from the lakes and help educate people about responsible water use. 

Austin
6:51 pm
Fri April 12, 2013

Seaholm Sold

The former Seaholm Power Plant, to be developed for mixed use
City of Austin http://austinenergy.posterous.com/development-to-begin-on-historic-seaholm-plan

The City of Austin has completed the lease and sale of the old Seaholm Power Plant.

The 1950s structure and its land will be developed, including a 30-story, 300-plus unit apartment tower, along with office, retail and restaurant space.

Under agreement with the city, the public will continue to have access to Seaholm’s 117,000 square-foot main hall. 

University of Texas
7:56 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

UT Police Step Up Security Amid 'Non-Credible' Bomb Threat

KUT News

Police at the University of Texas at Austin are investigating what they call a "non-credible" threat.  Police say they received a non-specific bomb threat and are treating it seriously just in case.

The University of Texas Police Department says people on campus may notice an increased police presence over the next few days, but police say the campus is open, with classes and other activities continuing as scheduled.

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2013 Legislative Sesssion
4:15 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

Texas Senate OKs Drug Tests for People on Welfare

The scene inside a San Antonio food bank, where displaced residents applied for government benefits including Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. The Texas Senate OK'd potential drug tests for TANF recipients.
Lance Cheung, USDA

The Texas Senate voted unanimously today to require drug testing for Texans on welfare.

SB 11 would require Texans who get cash from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program to be given a drug screening questionnaire. The answers to the questions could lead to drug testing.

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Austin
7:13 am
Wed April 10, 2013

Voter Registration Deadline Tomorrow (Updated)

New or relocated voters should register for upcoming local elections by April 11.
KUT News

Update: Tomorrow is the last day to register to vote in the May election.

If you’ve moved since the last time you voted – you’ll have to register again. In Travis County, you can register in person at one of tax office locations, mail in an application – which are available at post offices and libraries, or update your information online.

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Environment
6:36 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

This Spring, Texas Wildflowers Could Be Late Bloomers

StuSeeger/Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/stuseeger/

If you like seeing the wildflowers around Central Texas this spring, get ready for a bigger finish for the season.

At the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, they say there’s been a slow start, but could be late peak. Cooler weather has delayed the peak of some blooms and it looks like a good late season for flowers that need less rain.

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Austin
6:01 am
Tue April 9, 2013

UT Names Police Chief Finalists (Update)

The top Job at UTPD is opening up in June.
KUT News

Update: The University of Texas Police Department is making Chief of Police candidate Captain Melissa Zak available today. Zak is currently with the Los Angeles Police Department.

A meet-and-greet is being held from 2 to 3 p.m. at North Office Building-A (NOA) 4.106.

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Environment
6:33 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

Texas Mayor: Pray for Rain

Todd Wiseman, Texas Tribune and Pedro Moura Pinheiro, Texas Tribune

With the drought getting worse by the day, a Texas mayor is turning to a higher power.

He’s asking people to pray for rain.

Odessa Mayor David Turner is calling on community and church leaders to make this Sunday, April 14th, a day of prayer for rainfall.

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Transportation
7:10 pm
Fri April 5, 2013

FAA Delays Air Traffic Control Towers Funding Cut

Control towers to continue operations at smaller airports
City of Georgetown https://airport.georgetown.org

The federal government is delaying the closure of 149 airport control towers to deal with a lawsuit filed by companies that operate the towers under contract.

The first closures had been scheduled for Sunday.

In Texas, towers at smaller airports, including those in San Marcos and Georgetown, got emergency funding this week from the Texas Transportation Commission to stay open for 90 days.

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Austin
6:48 pm
Fri April 5, 2013

Barton Springs Pool's Re-reopening

Austin's urban oasis, Barton Springs Pool
Flickr, Wally Gobetz http://www.flickr.com/photos/wallyg/8059495182/

Barton Springs Pool is reopening Sunday after a few days of clean-up.

The pool had to be closed on Tuesday because of Barton Creek run-off from this week’s rain storm.

The pool had reopened just last weekend after being closed since December for repair and renovation work.

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Austin
6:44 am
Fri April 5, 2013

North Austin Water Boil Order Lifted (Update)

Boil notice after water line break
Flickr, Scott Akerman http://www.flickr.com/photos/sterlic/2835202400/sizes/m/in/photostream/

Update: On Thursday, Austin Water announced the water boil order is lifted for customers along Parmer Lane between Legendary Drive and Sage Grouse Drive along East McNeil Road from Parmer Lane to Howard Lane.

According to the city, all lab tests on water quality have come back normal. The break that caused the water boil order has been repaired. 

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