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
5:46 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

House Panel OKs Version of Budget

Once the full House passes its bill, reconciliation with the Senate version will begin.
KUT News

A day after the Texas Senate passed a state budget, the House Appropriations Committee passed its version.

The bill would spend a little less overall than the Senate plan but would spend more on Texas public schools, an increase of $3 billion, after the cuts of close to $5.5 billion in the budget passed in 2011.

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Education
4:59 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

$25 Million Donated for UT Business School Building

A new building for the McCombs graduate program would go up at MLK and Guadalupe.
KUT News

The University of Texas at Austin announced today a pledge of $25 million from alumnus, businessman and former U.T. regent Robert B. Rowling.

The money will go toward the construction of Robert B. Rowling Hall, housing graduate programs of the McCombs School of Business.

The building is planned for the corner of Martin Luther King and Guadalupe, across Whitis from the AT&T Conference Center.

Politics
5:34 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Senate Passes Budget That Reverses Some 2011 Cuts

The Senate's budget bill includes more spending on education than the 2011 budget had.
Todd Wiseman, Texas Tribune

The Texas Senate approved a budget for the next two years today, one that would restore some of the cuts from two years ago.

A balanced budget is the one thing the Texas Constitution requires lawmakers to pass when they meet in Austin every two years.

Much of the attention this session is on funding for public education, which lost about $4 billion in the budget passed in 2011.

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Politics
4:33 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Policy Group Supports Perry on Medicaid Expansion

Expanding Medicaid eligibility is a non-starter for top Texas officials.
Todd Wiseman/Texas Tribune

A report released today by the Texas Public Policy Foundation criticizes the state’s Medicaid program, calling its access to healthcare providers “inadequate” and its health outcomes “poor.”

Gov. Rick Perry has refused to accept federal money to expand access to Medicaid, citing much the same reasons.

Perry says he would prefer a “block grant” of the federal money, allowing Texas to decide how best to spend it.

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Health
4:03 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Officials Looking for Possible Rabies Exposure Victim

A security camera image shows the man who delivered a sick bat to Austin Vet Care.
courtesy Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services

The city-county health department is trying to find a man to let him know he may have been exposed to rabies.

The man delivered an unhealthy bat to Austin Vet Care on North Lamar Sunday afternoon.

If that’s you or someone you know, you’re asked to contact the health department’s disease surveillance program at 972-5555.

Texas
6:17 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

Training Texas School Employees to be Armed

Hearing at the Texas Capitol on gun training for school workers
KUT News

An effort intended to stop a shooter at a public school got a hearing Tuesday at the Texas Capitol. It’s a measure that would train school employees in gun use.

Under the bill from Sen. Dan Patrick (R-Houston) a public or charter school with no armed security guard or school resource officer would get firearms instruction for two school employees.

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Austin
6:22 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

Texas House Member Arrested on Suspicion of DWI

Representative Naomi Gonzalez
Justin Dehn, Texas Tribune

A state representative was arrested in Austin Thursday morning on a charge of Driving While Intoxicated after a collision causing minor injuries.

Austin Police say Rep. Naomi Gonzalez, D-El Paso, was driving a car that hit another car, which then hit someone on a bicycle. It happened at 1:56 A.M. at the intersection of South Congress Avenue and Barton Springs Road.

SXSW
3:45 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

Three Days of Free SXSW Music at Auditorium Shores Starts Tonight

The SXSW crowd at Auditorium Shores in 2012.
Extreme Airshots/SXSW

Free concerts at Auditorium Shores, a South by Southwest tradition, start this evening.

They get going at 5 p.m. with Jovanotti, followed by Bajofondo, Molotov, and then Café Tacuba at 8 p.m., all presented by NPR Music.

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Religion
5:39 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

New Pope Francis a Mystery for Many Austinites

Area Catholics will be learning more about Pope Francis in coming days.
courtesy flickr.com/postmoderngirl/

The eyes of much of the world were on the Vatican this afternoon for the announcement that a new pope had been elected.

Pope Francis of Argentina is the first pope from the Americas. Here in Austin, Bishop Joe Vasquez says that origin suggests someone with a perspective popes of the past have not had.

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Texas
5:07 am
Wed March 13, 2013

Three Missing Children Returned (Update)

Update: The Amber Alert has been discontinued. The Department of Public Safety says Calvin Lincecum voluntarily came in to the Terrell Police Department with his three children last night.

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Transportation
6:33 pm
Mon March 11, 2013

Explosives to Bring Down Bridge

Old Hwy 281 Bridge at Lake Marble Falls
Marble Falls EDC/Texas Highways

The Texas Department of Transportation is planning to demolish an old bridge over the Colorado River in Marble Falls.

The span will be replaced by a new one over Lake Marble Falls in that area.

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Business
7:17 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

SpaceX Looks to Launch Texas Launch Site

NASA Astronaut Rex Walheim stands inside the Dragon Crew Engineering Model at SpaceX headquarters
SpaceX

The head of SpaceX, Elon Musk, says his commercial spacecraft company has had success in Texas with its rocket-testing facility in MacGregor and he likes the idea of building a Spaceport outside Brownsville.

Musk was in Austin Friday to talk with the Texas House Appropriations Committee.

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Austin
7:51 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Council Takes Steps for Wildfire Protection

The Austin City Council will acquire wildfire fighting equipment through a federal program.
Filipa Rodrigues, KUT News

Every day without measurable rain worsens the risk of wildfire here in Central Texas. And the Austin Fire Department is stepping up its efforts to be ready.

The Austin City Council Thursday approved a five-year agreement with the Texas A&M Forest Service to get more and better firefighting gear, at a lower cost, through the National Wildfire Program.

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Texas
7:48 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Bell County Wildfire Getting Under Control

A campfire is blamed for starting the 450-acre wildfire north of Austin.
courtesy flickr.com/morclaud/

A wildfire about an hour north of the Austin area has grown to 450 acres, but a Texas A&M Forest Service official says it might end up being even larger once final measurements can be made.

The fire is holding at 75 percent contained after firefighters started getting help from lighter winds.

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Texas
4:49 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Sales Tax Receipts Way Up in Austin

Growth and economic recovery are factors in the tax numbers.
Todd Wiseman & Mikhail Popov, Texas Tribune

Texas sales tax receipts are up 3.7 percent from a year ago. Here in Austin, sales taxes were up more than 13 percent from February 2012.

Economist Angelos Angelou says that points to the rapid growth of the Austin area, which he says is adding nearly 65,000 people a year.

“The economy is overperforming both the Texas and the national economies, so we’re doing well and we will continue, I think, to prosper,” Angelou said.

Politics
4:23 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Bag Ban Gets Pushback at Capitol

A state representative wants to bring plastic shopping bags back to Austin.
courtesy flickr.com/jonathanyoungblood

Five days into the Austin bag ban, a Texas lawmaker has filed a bill that would allow stores and shoppers to use whatever kind of bags they want.

First-term State Rep. Drew Springer, R-Muenster, calls his bill the Shopping Bag Freedom Act, which he says would stop what he calls “the overreach of big government.”

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Health
6:13 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

March for Texas Expanding Medicaid

Austin City Council Member Mike Martinez was one of the lawmakers speaking in support of Medicaid expansion today.
Mike Martinez via Facebook

Supporters of Texas expanding access to Medicaid, among them representatives of Planned Parenthood, marched up Congress Avenue Tuesday to the Capitol steps.

They’re calling on Texas lawmakers to accept Federal money as part of the Affordable Care Act to get healthcare to more than a million Texans who otherwise would not have it.

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Environment
7:06 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

Effort Begins to Extinguish Austin Compost Fires

The (in)famous Dillo Dirt mud at Austin City Limits Fest 2009.
flickr.com/plutor

One week after strong winds sparked fires at City of Austin compost piles, Water Utility crews have started the process of putting them out.

The fires have been smoldering since Monday, February 25, in compost piles at the Hornsby Bend Biosolids Plant, where the fertilizer known as Dillo Dirt is produced. The fires were started by wind gusts of as much 50 mph.

The Austin Water Utility says air quality is being monitored with the use of "special" monitoring devices and says the amount of smoke should diminish this week. 

Transportation
6:42 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

DPS Stepping Up Patrols for Spring Break

Daniel Reese

The Texas Department of Public Safety is increasing patrols March 8-17 for Spring Break.

More DPS troopers will be on the roads watching for speeders, seat belt violations and especially drunk drivers.

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Transportation
6:27 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

Express (Toll) Lanes Coming to State Highway 71

Texas Department of Transportation

Change is on the way for a stretch of State Highway 71 in Southeast Austin.

The Texas Department of Transportation is moving ahead with plans to build tolled express lanes from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport east to the SH 130 toll road.

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