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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Texas
7:39 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

Getting Tougher on Failure to Stop After Accident

Lawmakers support tougher penalties for leaving scenes of crashes
KUT News

Texas lawmakers are looking to take away the incentive for a driver leaving the scene of a crash when that driver is intoxicated.

Under current Texas Law, there’s an incentive to run away and sober up, because there’s a stiffer penalty for intoxication manslaughter than for failure to stop and render aid, even when the victim dies.

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Environment
7:06 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

How to Report Smoking Vehicles to the State

Low/Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/24831034@N08/

If you see a vehicle belching smoke, there’s a way to report it.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality encourages drivers to report vehicles they see that are emitting dirty smoke for more than 10 consecutive seconds.

The TCEQ then sends a letter to the owner suggesting an inspection. Compliance is voluntary.

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Texas
6:22 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

No Drought Relief in Sight

Nearly all of Texas in drought conditions
U.S. Drought Monitor

Texas is getting deeper into drought, and the situation will only get worse if spring doesn’t bring the rain we need.

The latest report from the U.S. Drought Monitor, out today, says almost all of Texas ranges from abnormally dry to the most severe drought.

This time of year we normally would get some rain; if we don’t, National Weather Service Senior Hydrologist Mark Lenz says, the dryness will actually feed on itself as temperatures climb.

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Police
4:20 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Austin Police Plan Rundberg Crackdown This Weekend

Officers will target persistent crime in the Rundberg area this weekend.
Nathan Bernier, KUT News

Austin Police are giving more attention this weekend to the Rundberg Lane area of North Austin, conducting what they call a 100 percent enforcement initiative on Friday and Saturday nights between 9 p.m. and 3 a.m.

Officers will watch for all crimes, of course, including traffic offenses, but will give particular attention to drugs, prostitution and gang-related crimes. Austin Police Lt. Allen McClure says the goal is a reduction in crime in an area with a disproportionate amount of it.

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Texas
7:41 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

Texas to be Home to Vaccine Manufacturing Facility

GaxoSmithKline partnering with Texas A&M
GSK

Texas will be home to a new world-class vaccine manufacturing facility that will lead to the creation of 6,800 jobs and the generation of $41 billion in economic activity over the next quarter century.

That’s what Gov. Rick Perry said in making the announcement Tuesday at the Capitol.

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weather
6:54 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

Another Freeze Warning for the Morning

Mercury reading below the freeze mark expectd early Tuesday in parts of Central Texas
Flickr, Colleen Sullivan

Another freeze warning goes into effect early Tuesday morning. The local office of the National Weather Service has the warning in effect from 3 a.m. to 9 a.m. Tuesday.

Temperatures are expected to go below freezing overnight, mainly from Austin to the north and west into the Hill Country.

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Austin
6:40 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

March 25th: A History of Hail in Austin

Hail in the Jollyville area of Austin, March 25, 2009
Flickr/Chelsea Gomez http://www.flickr.com/photos/pyxopotamus/3385869861/in/photostream/

This Monday, March 25, has a date with a dark recent history here in the Austin area. The last three major hail storms we’ve had all have been on March 25, in 1993, 2005 and 2009.

“It is kind of unusual that three of the costliest storms have occurred on that individual date,” says Mark Hanna of the Insurance Council of Texas

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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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