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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courtesy city of San Marcos

Texas air traffic control towers are staying open for now, thanks to funding approved today by the Texas Transportation Commission.

The $2 million will keep the towers staffed at smaller Texas airports, including the ones in Georgetown and San Marcos, that were set to close as soon as this weekend after mandatory federal budget cuts known as the sequester.

Spencer Selvidge, Texas Tribune

Gov. Rick Perry attended today’s memorial service for a North Texas district attorney and his wife who were shot to death in their home over the weekend.

The death of District Attorney Michael McClelland comes about two months after the killing of another prosecutor in that county.

In an interview today with Fox News Channel, Perry tied the killings to border security.

KUT News

Update: Capital Metro says MetroRail service is back up and running as normal this morning – all the way from Leander to downtown Austin.

Derailed freight cars have been removed from the tracks.

Original Story (April 4, 2013): CapMetro has resumed MetroRail service to the MLK station from their Kramer, Howard and Leander Stations. Trains will run as schedule for the foreseeable future while buses will shuttle passengers between MLK and downtown.

KUT News

The Travis County District Attorney's Office announced Tuesday afternoon that a grand jury is not issuing felony indictments against Antonio Buehler or the Austin Police Officer who arrested him.

Buehler was arrested early on New Year’s Day of last year after saying APD officers were being overly aggressive with a woman accused of interfering with arrest.      

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.


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.

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.

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.


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.

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.

Flickr/Chelsea Gomez

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


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.