Austin

Veterans
4:37 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

Texas Receives $750,000 Federal Grant to Help Veterans Find Jobs

Austin's Veterans Day parade in 2011. Texas is receiving a federal grant to help with veterans’ employment.
KUT News

Texas was given a $750,000 federal grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to help U.S. veterans find jobs when they come home.

Along with Georgia, Illinois and North Carolina, the grant will reach out to active-duty soldiers within 90 days of their return from the Army, Texas Army National Guard and the Army Reserve.

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Texas
1:08 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Farm Bill Could Kick 170,000 Texans Off Food Stamps

A Fiesta grocery store in Austin. In Travis County over $34 million could be lost to the bill.
flickr.com/rutlo

The U.S. House is considering a version of a farm bill that could heavily impact benefits for Texans receiving food stamps.  

The change to state policy standards for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) could take away 482 million meals for the hungry, and could cut 171,000 people from food assistance statewide, according to the Texas Food Bank Network.

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Education
2:55 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

Study Calls for Expansion of Texas' Summer Lunch Program

A new study says that expansion of summer lunch programs could rake in $47 million in federal reimbursements.
flickr.com/USDAGov

A new report spotlights the success and shortfalls of summer lunch programs for Texas students.

The Food Research and Action Center found that the number of lunch programs across the state grew by 17 percent last year. However, these programs only reach about 11 percent of low-income children receiving school lunches.

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Austin
8:09 am
Mon June 10, 2013

Report: More than 1 in 5 Austin Area Jobs Require STEM Skills

Caleb Bryant Miller for KUT News

More than 22 percent of Austin area jobs require specialized STEM skills. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

A study released by the Brookings Institution today shows Austin’s percentage of STEM jobs in 2011 was slightly higher than the national average of 20 percent.

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Austin
2:10 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

City Asks for Input in Preserving Cemeteries

The Oakwood Cemetery in East Austin is one of five cemeteries that could benefit from the city's plan to refurbish cemeteries.
Filipa Rodrigues, KUT News

Austin's cemeteries have a long list of problems — broken headstones, aging fences and outdated irrigation systems. Some cemeteries aren't even compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

But the City of Austin is developing a comprehensive plan on how to preserve some of the oldest cemeteries in the city.

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Austin
11:45 am
Fri June 7, 2013

COTA Continues Push for Austin X Games With Video Pitch

The Circuit of the Americas [COTA] and hordes of extreme sports enthusiasts are fighting hard to bring the Summer X Games to Austin next summer.  COTA has now produced a video showing just how extreme Austin can be.

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Technology
9:15 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Austin Bitcoiners Bring Online Currency Offline, Into Stores

Bitcoin is a web-based currency that uses transactions to create a finite, controlled number of bits that can be used as online credit.
flickr.com/dekstop

Bitcoin is blowing up, both in the successful and not-so-successful sense.

The currency is as volatile as a Texas summer is miserably hot. But the volatility’s not stopping Austin movers and shakers from capitalizing on the craze.

Last week, a Bitcoin startup that will help grow the online currency popped up in Austin. But some Austin Bitcoin’ers are trying to moving the currency offline and into the real world.

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Austin
2:34 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

KUT News Tries Out Austin's 'Budget in a Box'

It's time to play everyone's favorite game!

The city's Budget in a Box gives folks outside city hall a chance to learn about the city's budgeting process, then try on the shoes of a city budgeter, cutting, padding and managing programs and agencies that keep the city humming along.

KUT News acquired a copy of the game and we gave a two reporters and a few interns the chance to give the budgeting process the old college try. Click the video below to see how we fared.

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AUDITORIUM SHORES
9:21 am
Tue June 4, 2013

Council Mulls $3.5M Donation for Auditorium Shores Improvements

Concert goers kick back at Auditorium Shores during Fun Fun Fun Fest 2012.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon, KUT

The Austin City Council is meeting in a work session today. They could talk about accepting a $3.5 million donation from event production company C3 Presents to make improvements to Auditorium Shores.

C3 Presents is a concert promotion and management company that puts on events such as the Austin Food and Wine Festival at the park. The city approved C3 Presents’ request for a second weekend for the popular Austin City Limits Festival in 2013 and later years.

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Travis County
3:15 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

Update: Bruce Todd to Replace Travis Co. Commissioner Eckhardt

Travis County Commissioner's Court
Jillian Schantz Patrick for KUT News

Update: Former Austin Mayor Bruce Todd is returning to the Travis County Commissioners Court.

County Judge Sam Biscoe has selected Todd to be interim Precinct 2 Commissioner, an office Todd held before he was elected Mayor of Austin in 1991. 

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Austin
6:07 am
Mon June 3, 2013

Matt's El Rancho Co-Founder Dies

Janie Gaytan Martinez, right, died Saturday. She's pictured with her granddaughter Audrey Glickert and daughter-in-law Estella Martinez.
Joy Diaz, KUT News

The co-founder of one of the oldest restaurants in Austin died over the weekend. Janie Martinez helped her husband open Matt’s El Rancho in 1952.

Martinez died Saturday at the age of 90. Her death comes almost a year after the Tex-Mex restaurant celebrated its 60th anniversary. Matt himself died in 2003.

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Business
5:15 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

City of Austin Gets High Marks for Tax Incentive Disclosure

A watchdog group says Austin is exemplary at letting the public know how business tax subsidies are performing.
KUT News

You know those property tax breaks that Austin uses to lure companies like Apple and Visa to town? A Washington, D.C., group says the city is doing a pretty good job of letting us know how those deals pan out.

The nonprofit research center Good Jobs First gave Austin’s program 100 out of 100 for disclosing annual activity online and for providing third-party audits of each company receiving taxpayer incentives. 

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Austin
3:05 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

7 Arrested in Central Texas Drug Busts

U.S. Attorney Robert Pitman (center) and Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo (left) at a press conference on May 30, 2013.
Andrew Weber for KUT News

Austin is no longer a “sleepy college town,” according to Police Chief Art Acevedo.

Austin Police and the U.S. Attorney's office say as Austin grows, so does the risk of drug trafficking. Today, they announced two big busts – one involving a year-and-a-half investigation into a cartel-connected cocaine ring and another that yielded over 20 pounds of methamphetamine.

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Life & Arts
12:36 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Watch: Haunting Time-Lapse Video of Austin at Night

A still of Downtown Austin from "Sleepwalking Austin."
YouTube

There are many ways to experience Austin.

For Andrew Takano, a UT aerospace engineering grad student, it was to capture what Austin looks like at night. Some 170 hours of shooting and editing later, Takano’s video, “Sleepwalking Austin,” is racking up views on YouTube.

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Austin
6:05 am
Thu May 30, 2013

Austin's Food Trailer Migration: South Congress to South Lamar

The owner of Austin Frigid Frog Shaved Ice hopes his customers will follow him to South Lamar.
Laura Rice, KUT News

The story as it aired on KUT 90.5 FM.

The food trailer park on South Congress was one of Austin’s most popular. But the trailers had to clear the lot this week to make way for a hotel and retail space.

Four food trailers made the two-mile move to a vacant lot at South Lamar and Bluebonnet Lane – including Austin Frigid Frog Shaved Ice.

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Austin
8:39 am
Tue May 28, 2013

Austin Receives $2.5M Grant to Fix Problems at Older Homes

Approximately 153,000 homes in Austin and Travis County were built before 1978 – when lead-based paint was still common.
flickr.com/editor

The City of Austin has received a federal grant to address health problems posed by some older homes. The city already has a program to inspect for toxic lead-based paint. 

The $2.5 million grant will also allow the city to take care of pest and mold problems in older homes and to install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. The grant will provide for services to 138 homes.

 

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Austin
12:38 pm
Mon May 27, 2013

City Looks for Feedback on Austin's Food Scene

Austin's food scene may be booming, but the city is looking for input on how to combat food deserts and develop urban agriculture.
flickr.com/austins_only_paper

For the uninitiated, Austin food isn’t exactly orthodox. Like any big city, the culinary range is vast and eclectic – from tapas to tandoori, gourmet donuts to the ubiquitous breakfast taco.

But while Austin’s food scene may be a draw for taste buds here and abroad, it’s also a preeminent moneymaker – with an economic impact of over $4 billion, according to a study released last month. The city may savor that tax revenue, but it’s also asking citizens for ideas to improve Austin’s food culture as foodies look forward.

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Arts and Culture
6:35 am
Mon May 27, 2013

What Are Beehives Doing on a Downtown Austin Hotel Rooftop?

Sorry bats, there’s been a new wildlife sighting in downtown Austin: a colony of honeybees is now living atop a high-rise boutique hotel.

In a small clearing between the network of pipes, condensers, fans and ducts that runs across the roof of the W Austin Hotel, ten bright beehives are humming. To create this buzz, the W partnered with Central Texas Bee Rescue, a local nonprofit on a mission to save the endangered honeybee.

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Austin
5:05 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Austin Celebrates 30 Years of Sisterhood with Adelaide, Australia

The Adelaide Oval in Adelaide, Austraila. The city renewed its sister city status with Austin this week.
Flickr user OZinOH, http://bit.ly/QvGvqJ

Who knew Kangaroos are Longhorns were related?

This year marks the 30th anniversary of sisterhood between Austin and Adelaide, Australia, one of Austin’s 12 sister cities.

Deputy Lord Mayor Michael Llewellyn-Smith of Adelaide spoke today at City Hall. He reminisced of the long relationship between the two cities, in particular a time when he had BBQ with Lady Bird Johnson.

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Austin
4:41 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

City Council OK’s COTA Bid to Lure X Games to Austin

The Circuit of the Americas Track could be the next venue for the Summer X Games. The games are currently held across multiple venues in Los Angeles, like L.A. Live.
flickr.com/g155

Update: Today the Austin City Council gave the go-ahead to the Circuit of the Americas’s attempt to secure a three-year Summer X Games contract.

The city approval allows COTA to seek state money and incentives under the Events Trust Fund during the bid process for the games. It also includes $150,000 in fee waivers for police overtime and trash clean-up.

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