Wells Dunbar

Social Media Producer, Texas Standard

Wells has been a part of KUT News since 2012, when he was hired as the station's first online reporter. He's currently the social media editor for Texas Standard, KUT's flagship news program. In between those gigs, he served as online editor for KUT, covering news in Austin, Central Texas and beyond.

Before joining KUT, Wells served as staff writer and news blog editor at The Austin Chronicle, and covered the Texas Legislature for Gallery Watch. Hailing from El Paso, Wells is a longtime Austin resident whose interests include technology and social media, film and music, and spending quality time with his wife, child and cat.

Pages

Street Art
2:54 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

Austin Graffiti Artists Go To Work in this Awesome Time-Lapse Video

A still from “Start Fresh: Never Give Up,” a digital short documenting graffiti art at Austin’s Hope Outdoor Gallery.
Highfield Media

Think of the Austin skyline as a canvas. Despite all those cranes and construction, it doesn’t change very much on a day-to-day basis.

Andrew Takano’s very familiar with the skyline’s appearance. He filmed and produced two time-lapse videos documenting the city: a haunting tour of the city at night, and an amazing journey through downtown, sunrise through sunset.

In his latest time-lapse video, “Start Fresh: Never Give Up,” he turns to a much more dynamic medium: the HOPE Outdoor Gallery at Castle Hill. 

Read more
Austin Police
12:35 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

Report: Austin Police Search Blacks 3 Times More Often Than Whites

The Austin Police Monitor’s Office released an analysis of police activities in 2012.
Nathan Bernier, KUT News

The Austin Police Monitor's Office finds racial disparity continued in police activity during 2012.

According to a recent report, almost 1,300 people contacted the independent Monitor’s Office to make a complaint, a decrease of 11 percent from 2011. But concern about racial profiling remains: African-Americans and Hispanics are still more likely to be searched by police, with blacks three times as likely to be searched as whites.

Read more
Winter Weather
9:45 am
Sun November 24, 2013

Winter Weather Advisory in Effect for Austin Area; Winter Storm Warning Canceled (Update)

National Weather Service

Update: The National Weather Service has removed a winter storm warning from the Austin area forecast. It had been scheduled to go into effect Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. and last until Monday at noon. However, a winter weather advisory is now in effect for Central Texas until 9 a.m. on Tuesday.

The National Weather Service says we could get some light sleet through Monday evening and some light snow flurries from Monday evening into Tuesday morning.  The advisory area covers Comal, Hays, Travis and Williamson counties. A winter weather advisory is also in effect for the Hill Country until 9 a.m. on Tuesday.

Original story (Nov. 23): The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for the Austin region, beginning tomorrow. It's an upgrade from the winter storm watch the NWS previously forecast for the region.

Read more
University of Texas
8:37 am
Tue November 19, 2013

A Brief History of Student Conservatives' 'Catch an Illegal Immigrant' Games (Update)

flickr.com/loudtiger

Update: Controversial Event Called Off

The Young Conservatives of Texas has canceled its “Catch an Illegal Immigrant” event, originally scheduled for Wednesday. 

Citing the university’s condemnation of the event, UT chapter chair Lorenzo Garcia claims he canceled the event out of fears the university would retaliate against the group’s members, “and that the protest against the event could create a safety issue for our volunteers.”

You can read Garcia’s full remarks here.

Original Story (Nov. 19): The news that the University of Texas chapter of the Young Conservatives of Texas is planning a campus "Catch an Illegal Immigrant" game for this week has taken the political blogosphere by storm.

In case you haven’t heard: The group’s UT chapter has stated on Facebook that it’s planning to hold the “Catch an Illegal Immigrant game” this Wednesday. (Here’s a screen grab of the invitation in case it’s taken down.)

Read more
Transportation
4:41 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Highland and East Riverside: Austin's Best Spots for Urban Rail?

Credit Project Connect

The group advising the city on urban rail has come out with initial recommendations: a transportation investment that runs from the East Riverside Corridor, through Downtown and out to the Highland Mall region.

As KUT previously reported, the recommendations began by dividing Central Austin into 10 subcorridors – similar to compass points pointing out from a center, including Downtown and the UT campus.

In the end, they chose two subcorridors for investment: Highland and East Riverside.

Read more
Geographic Representation
8:41 am
Fri November 15, 2013

Austin Holds Its Last Input Meeting on Geographic Council Districts

Redistricting commission members listen to speakers on Austin's 10 new city council districts. It was the commission’s final public input meeting.
Wells Dunbar, KUT News

Thursday night was the final public input meeting for the Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission – the group drawing Austin's ten new city council districts.

Held at the Millennium Youth Entertainment Complex in East Austin, it was a homecoming of sorts. The same places the commission’s first input meeting back in August.

While many district boundaries have evolved, the district containing the Millennium Complex – District 1 – really hasn’t between the commission’s preliminary and final proposed maps.

Read more
Veterans Day
11:56 am
Mon November 11, 2013

America's Oldest Veteran Richard Overton Gets Standing Ovation from Obama

Richard Overton, the oldest living veteran of World War II, receives a standing ovation after U.S. President Barack Obama paid tribute to him today during a Veterans Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery.
Reuters /Kevin Lamarque /Landov

America’s oldest living World War II veteran lives in Austin. And today, he was the guest of honor for a very notable host: President Barack Obama.

Today wasn’t the first time 107-year-old Richard Overton made the trek to Washington D.C. For this May’s Armed Forces Day, Overton was part of an Honor Flight to the nation’s capital. Nonprofit group Honor Flight Austin flies World War II veterans to D.C. to show them the national memorial built in their honor.

As USA Today reports, when Overton visited the capital this spring, he expressed a wish to meet President Barack Obama. “The president was out of town that day,” the paper writes, but Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell’s office facilitated a return visit to D.C. this weekend. And this time, Overton’s request came true.

Read more
Urban Rail
2:11 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Map: Which Parts of Austin Should Get Urban Rail First?

Credit Project Connect

Now’s your chance to name the parts of Austin that should be served by urban rail.

This week, the City of Austin and its transportation partners are inviting the public to name the subcorridor that would benefit the most from urban rail.

Planners at Project Connect, the team coordinating the city’s rail and regional transportation efforts, have identified 10 subcorridors within central Austin. Not counting downtown’s core, they are (in clockwise order): Lamar, Highland, Mueller, MLK, East Austin, the East Riverside Corridor, South Congress, South Lamar, West Austin, and Mopac. 

Read more
Halloween Floods
12:54 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Video: Floodwaters Overtake Barton Springs This Morning

Barton Springs Pool was supposed to re-open today. The beloved swimming hole had closed following heavy rains and flooding two weeks ago.

Cleanup at the pool was finally complete. But in the video below, you’ll see rain this morning has flooded the pool again: 

Read more
Halloween
11:33 am
Thu October 31, 2013

Austin Reddit Helps a Hospitalized 10-Year-Old Have a Happy Halloween

When her 10-year old son’s hospitalization put a crunch on costume making, Laura Wilson-Swanson got a boost from Austin’s Subreddit. Pictured, the deadmau5 mask in progress.

An Austin mother sent out a call for help Monday night – although she was already at the hospital with her son.

Laura Wilson-Swanson had taken her 10-year-old Gabe into Dell Children’s Hospital earlier in the week. Laura says he’s affected by an autoimmune disease called PANDAS that can lead to seizure-like episodes.

Read more
Abortion
4:15 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

Federal Ruling In: Part of Texas' New Abortion Law is Unconstitutional

A Texas Capitol protest this summer. A federal judge blocked certain provisions of a restrictive Texas abortion law today.
Veronica Zaragovia, KUT News

Update: With a federal judge blocking enforcement of a key restriction on abortion in Texas, here’s reaction from Gov. Rick Perry:

“Today’s decision will not stop our ongoing efforts to protect life and ensure the women of our state aren’t exposed to any more of the abortion-mill horror stories that have made headlines recently. We will continue fighting to implement the laws passed by the duly-elected officials of our state, laws that reflect the will and values of Texans.”

NARAL Pro Choice America President Ilyse Hogue:

"We are pleased but not surprised by this development. It has been clear from day one that the laws advanced by Governor Perry and others are unconstitutional and put women at greater risk. We will continue to fight to ensure all parts of this law, and other laws restricting women's health care options, which are clearly unconstitutional are defeated."


Read more
Online Learning
3:22 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

Who Benefits From UT's Massive Open Online Courses?

Using edX to increase brand awareness and exposure for UT is a primary goal of the university’s foray into online courses.
flickr.com/utnapistim

This is the first of a two-part look at the University of Texas' Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), now halfway through their initial semester. Read Part One here.

So what it UT getting for its $5 million investment in edX? 

UT Psychology department chair James Pennebaker describes the money spent on edX as a "great investment." He isn't certain how education will look in the near future – but he said no one has that answer. 

"UT and any serious university has to be revolutionary in its thinking,” Pennebaker says. “We have to look forward to new technologies and teaching strategies.”

Read more
Photography
5:20 pm
Fri October 18, 2013

A Narrated Look at the Magnum Photos Archive

“Death of a Loyalist Militiaman,” by Magnum co-founder Robert Capa is “one of the great icons of war photography,” Hoelscher says.
Magnum Photos/Harry Ransom Center

Magnum Photos was founded in 1947 as a photographer’s co-op. Created by photojournalists with the memory of World War II fresh in their minds, Magnum’s cooperative format allowed for an artistic, unvarnished look at photography.

Since 2009, the 200,000 photos in the Magnum Archive has resided at UT’s Harry Ransom Center. And, thanks to a recent donation, the archive will stay there.

Read more
AISD
3:23 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

25 Counselors on Hand After Lanier High School Suicide (Update)

Classes resumed today at Lanier High School, after a student fatally shot himself there yesterday afternoon. More than 25 counselors were at the school for students and teachers still trying to cope with what happened.

All schools in Texas must have suicide prevention plans to help teachers and faculty identify and address suicidal behavior, says Karen Ranus of the Austin Chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. These signs include changes in behavior, talking about death or a lack of motivation. But, she says, some people are afraid to address these issues openly.

Read more
Education
7:00 pm
Sun October 13, 2013

LISTEN: 'The Long Game' Takes In-Depth Look at Texas Textbook Battle

Tonight, KUT presents the world premiere of a new radio documentary, “The Long Game: Texas’ Ongoing Battle for the Direction of the Classroom.”

Produced by Trey Kay (producer of "The Great Textbook War," which was honored with Peabody, Murrow, and DuPont Awards), “The Long Game” delves into the culture war battles over public school curriculum content, which have ebbed and flowed in the Lone Star State for the past fifty years. Read more about the program.

Read more
Austin City Limits Fest
4:14 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

Austin Charges ACL $53,000. Chicago Has Lollapalooza Pay 28 Times That

Festival-goers at this year's Austin City Limits Music Festival.
Mary Kang, KUT

The Austin City Limits Music Festival isn’t the only production put on by parent company C3 Presents. In addition to booking and promoting Austin concerts throughout the year, C3 also puts on Chicago’s annual Lollapalooza music festival.

Like ACL, Lollapalooza is hosted on public parkland, requiring a contract with the city. So how do the contracts compare? KUT scoured C3’s deals with Austin and Chicago to find out.

Read more
Austin City Limits Fest
8:14 am
Fri October 11, 2013

Austin City Limits 2013: Road Closures, Transportation, Public Safety & More (Update)

Festival-goers get oriented during the opening hours of Austin City Limits fest. ACL is expected to bring 75,000 visitors to Zilker Park each day.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon, KUT News

Update: The final Sunday of ACL's second weekend has been canceled due to weather.

For more, including information on refunds see: Heavy Rains Soak Austin, Central Texas; ACL Festival Cancels Final Day  

Update (Oct. 11): Traffic could be a bigger problem in the Austin area for weekend two of the Austin City Limits Music Festival. Road closures around Zilker Park and Republic Square Park will be in place just like last weekend (see below). But the highways may also be packed.

Read more
Austin City Limits Fest
11:59 am
Wed October 9, 2013

The Austin City Limits Ticket Crash of 2013

Day One of 2012's Austin City Limits fest. With the festival's expansion, hundreds of tickets for ACL's second weekend are available on the secondary market.
KUT

Update: Austin City Limits Music Festival organizers just announced tickets are officially sold out for their second weekend. But tickets are still available on the secondary market, although they're selling fast there too.

Reseller StubHub currently has tickets left. Tickets for ACL’s second showing are also still for sale on Craigslist, with most passes going for well under the festival’s $225 face value. Austin City Limits Music Fest kicks back off this Friday.

Original story (Oct. 4): Don’t have tickets for the 2013 Austin City Limits Music Festival? Surprisingly, you’re in luck.

Read more
Women's Health
3:04 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Interview: College-Age Women Hardest Hit by Texas Health Cuts

Abortion rights supporters, gathered on the first day of the second special session at the 2013 Texas Legislature.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon, KUT News

After sparking raucous protests and a famous filibuster, new restrictions on abortion in Texas captured the nation’s attention this summer. But the fight over abortion and women’s health is not new in Texas.

In a new piece for The Austin Chronicle, investigative reporter Jordan Smith examines how the fallout from the abortion fight impacts care options for college-aged women. Her article, “From ‘Abstinence-Only’ to Plan Z” is part of a nationwide day of reporting on women’s health and reproductive issues.  

Read more
2014 Governor's Race
5:28 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

Wendy Davis Announces Run For Governor

Ben Philpott, KUT News

Update: Our reporting partners at the Texas Tribune have a recap of Davis' announcement:  

Davis promised to be an advocate for those who feel they no longer have a voice in the halls of the Texas Capitol, to fight for more education dollars and to take on Republicans leaders who she said are listening to their campaign contributors instead of average Texans.

 "In Austin today, our current leadership thinks promises are just something you make to the people who write big checks," she said, according to remarks distributed before she delivered them. "But the promise I’m talking about is bigger than that. It’s the promise of a better tomorrow for everyone. Texas deserves a leader who will protect this promise. Texas deserves a leader who will keep it."

It’s a long campaign ahead. Republican opponent Greg Abbott has a head-start in fundraising; the Davis campaign is said to need to raise about $40 million to be competitive.

Read more

Pages