Wells Dunbar

Senior Online Editor

As  online editor for KUT News, Wells Dunbar covers 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

Austin
4:54 pm
Fri January 6, 2012

How is Social Media Affecting the Esme Barrera Investigation?

Handmade wanted posters like this one have been posted around campus-area neighborhoods.
Photo by Nathan Bernier, KUT News

The shock and disbelief at Esme Barrera’s murder early New Year’s Day – shared in a stream of social media updates – is giving way to questions about the police investigation.

As the young and vibrant Barrera was friends with dozens, if not hundreds in Austin’s close-knit music scene and beyond (including, I should note, this reporter), the news of her death spread rapidly over Facebook and Twitter.

But while many posts are links to tributes and fundraising initiatives, many others are pointedly questioning the Austin Police Department’s response that morning, and the subsequent manhunt.

Read more
Austin
1:58 pm
Fri January 6, 2012

Checking In with the Charter Revision Committee

Former Texas Sen. Gonzalo Barrientos, chair of the 2012 Charter Revision Committee
Photo by Erika Aguilar, KUT News

The 2012 Charter Revision Committee – the group tasked with recommending items to be placed before voters for a November charter election – met again last night at the Mexican American Cultural Center. And while they shied away from making any recommendations to City Council, it sounds like some final recommendations – including a decision on district representation – are on the way.

Sabine Romero with the city’s Law Department serves as the city’s staff liaison to the group, and notes final recommendations are expected at the group’s next two meetings.

Read more
Wildfires
3:33 pm
Thu January 5, 2012

Wildfire Assistance: $36 Million And Counting, For Now

Photo by KUT News.

As the deadline to apply for federal wildfire disaster aid approaches, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)  is sharing some statistics that underscore the fires’ impact: The disbursement of some $36 million in wildfire aid, including $13.2 million in grants, and $19 million in low-interest “disaster loans.” And the agency is urging anyone who hasn’t yet filed a claim to do so before Friday.

FEMA public information officer Bob Howard says the agency’s grants have gone to different needs: $10.7 million to rental assistance and grants to rebuild homes, and $2.5 million to cover lost personal property, medical care, and even funeral expenses.

Read more
Austin
1:49 pm
Thu January 5, 2012

Local Payday Lending Laws Bolstered by the State

Photo courtesy www.flickr.com/andrewbain

New year, new laws: The Texas Tribune reminds us that legislation aimed at reining in payday lenders, passed by the Texas Legislature last year, came into effect January 1:

New laws aimed at curbing predatory lending take effect this week, meaning payday and auto title loan businesses will have to be licensed by the state and post a schedule of fees in a visible place, similar to the overhead menus seen in fast food restaurants.

Read more

Pages