12:37 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

Faces of Austin 2013: Experience Inspired By City Life

The deadline for submission is January 15, 2013.
City of Austin

Well-known as a place that boosts creativity, music and art, Austin is always searching for new talent and inspiration. 

Faces of Austin 2013 is calling for short-films, fiction and nonfiction alike, that reflect the "voices, faces and experiences of our city". Faces of Austin is a short-film program of the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Growth and Redevelopment Services Office, which has showcased short films by local filmmakers since 2005. This year the City of Austin is inviting all Austin-area filmmakers to submit their work to Faces of Austin 2013.

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The Lead
9:03 am
Fri January 11, 2013

The Lead: Gun Show Pressure, Water Bills at the Texas Lege

Weapons for sale at a gun show in Houston.

Good morning, and happy Friday. Austin’s in for a temperature boost today, with warm and breezy weather bringing in a high in the 70s, according to the National Weather Service.

Lead story: As KUT News reported yesterday, the Austin City Council may get involved in efforts to halt gun shows at the Travis County Expo Center. Council member Mike Martinez says a subcommittee will meet next Tuesday to see what it can do at the local level to stop gun violence and illegal trafficking.  While the Expo Center is owned and operated by the county, it sits on city land.

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11:49 am
Thu January 10, 2013

TABC Yanks Liquor Licenses at Yassine Bars

The revocation of liquor licenses for several shuttered bars downtown means new nightclubs can open in their wake.

In the wake of an ongoing drug and money laundering scandal, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission has canceled the liquor licenses of nine downtown clubs operated by the Yassine family.

As KUT News previously reported, the clubs have been closed since March of last year, when the Yassine brothers were arrested on federal drug, weapon and money laundering charges.

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The Lead
8:57 am
Thu January 10, 2013

The Lead: Confusion Over UT Assault Investigation; Whither the Planetarium; ABIA’s Busy Month

Austin Bergstrom rolled out the red carper for F1 visitors in November.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Good morning. Don’t be scared by that bright stuff outside – it’s called sunshine, and you’re forgiven for forgetting it after this week’s rainy weather. The National Weather Service says Austin’s in for a mild day, with a high in the mid-60s.

Lead story: There are conflicting reports this morning on whether charges will be brought against two UT football players accused of sexually assaulting a woman in San Antonio last month.

In a statement yesterday, UT linebacker Jordan Hicks’ lawyer says the investigation is now closed and no charges will be filed in the matter. But a San Antonio Police spokesperson told KUT News yesterday that the investigation is still open.

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Real Estate
1:15 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

Average Cost for a New Condo in Downtown Austin: $1 Million

Old and the new: The Austonian towers over an alleyway in downtown Austin.

If you need more proof of a changing Austin, try this: average prices for a new “luxury” condominium downtown passed $1 million for the first time last year.

That’s according to Charles Heimsath, whose company, Capitol Market Research, compiled the numbers.  He says prices are high because supply is limited to only four buildings – the Four Seasons Residences, the Austonian, the W Residences, and the Spring Condominium tower– with no new ones under construction.

Heimsath says there are no downtown condo projects currently under construction, because it’s hard for developers to borrow money.

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5:04 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

Flash Flood Watch: Turn Around, Don't Drown (But Try to Tweet)

Austin and Travis County may bear the brunt of the region's storm system.
National Weather Service

Austin’s in for a good soaking.

Central Texas' daylong rain is expected to continue overnight and through tomorrow. The National Weather Service says a flash flood watch is in effect through noon Wednesday for several counties: Bastrop, Caldwell, Dewitt, Fayette, Gonzales, Lavaca. Lee, Travis and Williamson. NWS is still expecting up to six inches in the Austin area.

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The Lead
8:55 am
Fri January 4, 2013

The Lead: Austin’s Frosty Morning, LCRA May Cut Off Rice Farmers

A chilly day on Lady Bird Lake's Hike and Bike trail. Austin should warm up this weekend.

Good morning, and congratulations on reaching another Friday. It’s a cold and wet one out there, so drive carefully.

The weather outside is frightful: The National Weather Service says most precipitation will be cold rain, albeit with some light sleet will briefly mixed in. That rain won’t be helping out much with the drought either: accumulation is expected to be below an inch, with a dry and warmer weekend forecast.

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The Lead
9:25 am
Thu January 3, 2013

The Lead: Texas Pols Sworn In, Last Night at the Alamo Drafthouse

Texas' new senator Ted Cruz will be sworn-in today.
Michael Stravato, Texas Tribune

Good morning. The National Weather Service says we can expect cloudy and cool weather today before a storm system moves in tonight bringing  chances for rain and, yes, even snow.

Swearing-in day: U.S. Senator Ted Cruz will be sworn into office today. Tea Party favorite Cruz won decisively over well-funded and politically connected Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst last year. Other congressional freshman being sworn in today include former Texas Secretary of State Roger Williams and former Texas House member Pete Gallego.

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9:36 am
Wed January 2, 2013

Downtown's New Post Office Opens Today

The post office at Fifth Street and Guadalupe in happier days.
Wikimedia Commons user WhisperToMe,

Austin's new downtown post office is opening today at 823 Congress Ave.

The new 7,118-square-foot postal facility will provide full postal retail services and house PO boxes for postal customers with ZIP codes 78767 and 78768. The hours of operation will remain the same: 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, and closed on Saturday and Sunday.

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The Lead
9:01 am
Wed January 2, 2013

The Lead: Here Comes KUTX

Double your pleasure: KUT 90.5 changes to all news programming today, while KUTX 98.9 brings you music around the clock.
Nathan Bernier, KUT News

Good morning! You’ll need to bundle up: The National Weather Service says cold temperatures are sticking around today, with Austin looking at a high in the upper 40. Here’s what’s happening this chilly Jan. 2:

Here Comes KUTX: New Year’s Day has come and gone, but today marks a new start for KUT: Beginning today, KUT 90.5 FM changes from its current programming mix of news and music to around-the-clock news and information. KUT’s familiar music personalities – including John Aielli, Laurie Gallardo, Paul Ray, Jay Trachtenberg and company – begin broadcasting 24-hour music on KUT’s new frequency, KUTX 98.9 FM.

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Top Stories 2012
1:06 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

KUT News' Top Stories of 2012

clockwise from top left: Bob Daemmrich, Texas Tribune; Jeff Heimsath for KUT News; Lance Armstrong, via Twitter; Valerie Romness

What is it about a story that captures people’s imaginations?

For the last two weeks, KUT News has been looking back at the year’s top stories. It’s an admittedly imprecise measure: some stories begin with a single person, while others concern sweeping environmental, political, health and development decisions. But stories that resonate – whether tragedy, politics, or even entertainment-related – invariably resonate beyond their initial radius, to touch the lives of countless others.

Here’s KUT News’ Top 10 stories for 2012, in a rough chronological order:

Tragedy can strike at any time. Austin’s music community was painfully reminded of that lesson when a mainstay of the local music scene, Esme Barrera, was murdered at her home in the West Campus during the first hours of the New Year.

Nearly a whole year later, the District Attorney's officesays sufficient cause exists to arrest her alleged murderer, if he hadn't killed himself soon after Barrera's murder. APD is now declaring the case closed. 

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Top Stories 2012
2:44 pm
Fri December 21, 2012

Top Stories of 2012: Lance Armstrong's Crash and Burn

Just layin' around: A tweet from Armstrong featuring his Tour de France jerseys drew the ire of the blogosphere.

Here’s one Austinite that’s probably ready for 2012 to end: Lance Armstrong.

Cyclist, cancer survivor and seven-time Tour de France winner Armstrong found himself enveloped by controversy this year that ultimately lead to the erasure of his wins.

In February, federal prosecutors announced they had dropped a two-year investigation into whether Armstrong participated in doping. But later that summer, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), a non-governmental watchdog of doping in sports, announced it was bringing its own charges of doping against Armstrong.

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Top Stories 2012
3:16 pm
Thu December 20, 2012

Austin’s Top Stories of 2012: Remembering Esme Barrera

A memorial was set up for Barrera at the Mexic-Arte Museum for Dia de los Muertos.

Tragedy can strike at any time.

Austin’s music community was painfully reminded of that lesson when a mainstay of the local music scene, Esme Barrera, was murdered at her home in the West Campus during the first hours of the New Year.

Nearly a whole year later, the District Attorney's office says sufficient cause exists to arrest her alleged murderer, if he hadn't killed himself soon after Barrera's murder. APD is now declaring the case closed. 

In the early morning of Jan. 1, Barrera was returning to her home on West 31st Street, near Guadalupe Street, from a celebratory evening of live music. Shortly after entering her house, she was killed.

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The Lead
8:35 am
Wed December 19, 2012

The Lead: On Track to Texas' Hottest Year; Apple Update

Good morning. The National Weather Service says Austin’s in for yet another unseasonably warm day, ahead of a cold front blowing in overnight. Here’s some stories KUT News has been working on:

“Earlier this fall 2012 was projected to be Texas’ fourth hottest year on record when it comes to average temperature. That surprised many of our readers, and it’s no wonder.  After 2011, this year seemed like a welcome relief. But, if you take average temperatures from the entire year, it now turns out 2012 wont likely be the fourth hottest year.

It will likely be the hottest year, on average, in Texas history.”

“IDEA says it will announce the location of its new campus in January or February. Founder and CEO Tom Torkelson would not say whether it will be in East Austin, where the IDEA Allan campus is located, but he did say the location ‘would be very accessible to the students and families who attend’ the Allan campus. 

Relations between IDEA and AISD board members did not appear to be improving, prior to Monday night's vote that end their year-long relationship.”

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3:12 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

Police Respond to Report of Gun at Barton Creek Mall; No Threat Found (Update)

File photo of a police car at Barton Creek Mall. Police say no threat has been found.

Update:  It’s worth noting Eanes ISD briefly locked down all its buildings earlier today, in relation to the call at Barton Creek. A statement on the district’s website reads:

“While law enforcement has informed us that the incident is contained to the mall and our students are in no danger, we have taken the precaution of putting the Adult Transition Services building, Cedar Creek Elementary, Hill Country Middle School and Westlake High School on lockdown.”

The top-ranked comment on a Reddit thread discussing the Barton Creek scare is from a parent at Hill Country Middle School. “They made her scared for her life, even though they were told it was totally isolated to the mall which is like a mile away at least.” (Some language may not be safe for work.)

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