Austin

2014 Mayoral Runoff
11:36 am
Sun December 7, 2014

WATCH: The Civic Summit 2014 Austin Mayoral Debate

Austin mayoral candidates Mike Martinez (left) and Steve Adler.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT

KUT, KLRU and the Austin Monitor co-hosted a debate earlier today between Mike Martinez and Steve Adler. One of them will be Austin’s next mayor and will lead 10 city council members through the first years of a new form of city government.

A continuación usted podrá escuchar una traducción del debate entre los candidatos para presidente municipal, los señores Mike Martinez y Steve Adler. La votación temprana termina el Viernes 12 de Diciembre. El día de la elección formal es el 16 de Diciembre.

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Austin
5:26 pm
Sat December 6, 2014

PHOTOS: Austin Protesters Rally for Larry Jackson Jr.

Tommy Hawthorne shows his support for Larry Jackson and other victims of police shootings.
Filipa Rodrigues/KUT

More than 100 people gathered Friday night at the Travis County courthouse to rally for Larry Jackson Jr. and other victims of police shootings. Jackson died after being shot by former Austin Police Detective Charles Kleinert last year.

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Austin Police
10:34 am
Fri December 5, 2014

Kleinert Pleads Not Guilty to Manslaughter in Death of Larry Jackson, Jr.

On July 26, 2013 APD Det. Charles Kleinert fatally shot Larry Eugene Jackson, Jr. after the two entered into a physical altercation following a foot chase.
Trey Shaar/KUT

A former Austin Police detective has pled not guilty to manslaughter charges in the 2013 death of Larry Jackson, Jr. Charles Kleinert entered a plea of not guilty in a Travis County courtroom this morning and was released on bond after being indicted by a grand jury earlier this year.

His trial is set to begin on Apr. 20.

Jackson’s mother, Billie Mercer, was at the hearing, and said she didn’t want the trial of her son’s death to become a lightning rod for racial divides in Austin.

“I don’t like all the violence,” Mercer said in response to the recent flare-ups after high-profile cases in which officers weren’t indicted after involvement in the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO and Eric Garner in New York. “I’m glad this isn’t a bunch of. . . fighting and tearing up the neighborhood. No, I’m not for that. I just want justice in the court system.”

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Austin Mayoral Race
7:49 am
Fri December 5, 2014

Adler Maintains Lead Over Martinez in New Austin Monitor Mayoral Poll

Poll courtesy The Austin Monitor.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon, KUT News

This story comes to us from our city hall reporting partner, the Austin Monitor.

According to a poll conducted this week among 942 likely Austin voters, mayoral candidate and attorney Steve Adler maintains a commanding lead over his runoff opponent, City Council Member Mike Martinez. When asked who they would be likely to vote for in the Dec. 16 runoff election, 56 percent of respondents said Adler, compared to 39 percent for Martinez. Only 5 percent said they were undecided.

Public Policy Polling of Raleigh, North Carolina, conducted the poll on Dec. 2 and 3. The poll was commissioned by the Austin Monitor and was made possible through a generous donation by Texas Disposal Systems.

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Austin
10:31 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Austin Protestors Show Solidarity With Ferguson, NY Demonstrators

People participate in a protest at the Texas State Capitol Building following the events in New York regarding Eric Garner and in Ferguson, Missouri around Michael Brown.
Jenna VonHofe/KUT

At the Texas Capitol Thursday night, protestors gathered to show solidarity with demonstrators in New York, Ferguson, Missouri and other cities around the nation, demanding police be held accountable in several high-profile deaths at the hands of officers.

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2014 City Council Runoff Elections
11:12 am
Thu December 4, 2014

In District 4 Runoff, Issues Take a Backseat to Madcap Politics

The race for Austin City Council District 4 has arguably been the most contentious fight in the city's first 10-1 election, from negative campaigning to concerns over 9/11 beliefs. This election, North Central Austin voters will choose between Laura Pressley and Greg Casar in the District 4 runoff.

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2014 City Council Runoff Elections
11:04 am
Wed December 3, 2014

Sister-Brother Runoff Candidates Have Dueling Views for the Future of District 3

Candidates Susana Almanza and Sabino "Pio" Renteria at KUT's Ballot Boxing City Council candidate forum on Sept. 29.
Ilana Panich-Linsman/KUT

District 3 runoff candidates Susana Almanza and Sabino "Pio" Renteria have a lot in common. They’re both Southeast Austin-based community activists, they’ve both pushed to expand affordable housing efforts in Austin and, strangely enough, they’re siblings.

While they both hope to boost affordable housing stock and develop the burgeoning district responsibly, they plan to go about it in a different way if elected to the Austin City Council.

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Austin
11:42 am
Tue December 2, 2014

Here's a Look at Daniel Johnston's Newest Austin Mural

The new mural by Daniel Johnston was unveiled yesterday and hopes to bring awareness to the Superhero Kids campaign benefiting the Dell Children's Blood and Cancer Center.
Kimberley Carmona for KUT

Daniel Johnston, the musician-artist who painted the now-iconic "Hi, How Are You?" mural on the Drag, debuted his latest public art work in Austin yesterday.

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Austin Shooting
11:40 am
Tue December 2, 2014

Mexican Diplomat Says Austin Shooting Highlights Flawed US Gun Policies

McQuilliams attacked the Mexican Consulate with firearms and improvised explosive devices that did not detonate.
Filipa Rodrigues/KUT

It appears that Larry Steve McQuilliams was motivated by racist ideology and anger at U.S. immigration policy when he attacked three buildings in Austin early last Friday, according to Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo. One of the three targeted buildings was the Mexican Consulate of Austin, which McQuilliams shot at and attempted to burn down with homemade bombs that did not detonate. 

Rosalba Ojeda, the Consul General of Mexico in Austin, works out of that building. She says the attack underlines Mexico’s long-standing concerns over U.S. gun laws.

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Google Fiber
9:38 am
Tue December 2, 2014

Google Fiber Opens Up Service Sign-Ups in South Austin

A map of the areas first in line to get Google Fiber Internet service.
Credit Google Fiber

Google Fiber announced the beginning of sign-ups yesterday in neighborhoods across South Austin.

The sign-up process puts enclaves, or “Fiberhoods,” in the queue for installation of the gigabit Internet service. Austinites living south of Barton Springs Road and north of U.S. Highway 290 will be the first to get service. 

Already there are 21 neighborhoods on that list of future Fiberhoods — nine in the surrounding area west of MoPac and between Barton Springs and 290; nine south of Lady Bird Lake; one neighborhood west of Manchaca Road; and two neighborhoods off South Congress Avenue. Those in the first group have until Jan. 29 to sign up for build out.

18 other neighborhoods just south of Lady Bird Lake have until Mar. 12 to sign up. 

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2014 City Council Runoff Elections
12:30 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

DeWayne Lofton & Ora Houston Push for African-American Engagement in D1 Runoff

Early voting in local runoff elections starts today. One of the seven Austin City Council races that will be decided in this election is in District 1, also known as Austin’s African-American Opportunity District.

Originally, nine people ran for this seat, but now the field’s been whittled down two contenders: Dwayne Lofton and Ora Houston.

Today, KUT will begin a series examining each Austin City Council runoff campaign as candidates try to get their supporters back to the polls.

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Austin
10:43 am
Mon December 1, 2014

Some Congress Bridge Bats Are Making a Late Season Appearance

The bats on the Congress bridge haven't completely gone south for the winter. Some stick around Austin during the colder months.
Photo by Mose Buchele

The nightly emergence of millions of bats from the Ann Richards Bridge on Congress Avenue is a popular attraction in Austin during the summer.  While many will tell you all those bats all fly south to Mexico for the winter and leave the bridge abandoned, it’s a little more complicated than that.  

“You know that was kind of a surprise. There was a really large emergence from Congress Avenue bridge and apparently they came out when there was still a little light in the sky,” says Diane Odegard of the conservation group Bats International.

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Breaking
9:57 am
Fri November 28, 2014

PHOTOS: Police Searching for Motive of Slain Gunman Who Fired on Austin Buildings

Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo says there were no explosives found on the body of the suspect in this morning's shooting in downtown Austin.
Filipa Rodrigues/KUT

Update 2:40pm: The APD has officially released the name of this morning's shooter: Larry Steve McQuilliams (DOB: 12-13-1964)

Update 2:00pm: Chief Acevedo says the residence of this morning's shooter has been cleared and is safe to enter. The APD and FBI had been slowly examining the apartment in the Barton Hills neighborhood to make sure there were no explosives or traps left to harm law officers. 

Update 10:00 am: Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo says there were no explosives found on the body of the suspect in this morning's shooting in downtown Austin, nor were there any explosives found in the suspect's vehicle. 

At 2:22 a.m., APD started to receive reports of gunfire in multiple locations downtown, including the Mexican Consulate, the federal courthouse, and APD headquarters. Acevedo says the shooting occurred within the span of ten minutes. APD initially believed the suspect also fired shots at the BB&T bank, but later said the suspect did not target the bank. Officers believe more than 100 rounds were fired overall.

According to Acevedo, the officer involved in the shooting was putting away horses from an overnight mounted patrol when he saw the suspect shooting in front of APD headquarters. A source confirms the officer involved is Sgt. Adam Johnson, a 15 year APD veteran. 

"As he held two horses with one hand, he discharged at least one round with a single handed shot," Acevedo says. "That'd be one heck of a shot." Police are still investigating whether the suspect was killed by the officer's bullet or a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Johnson is now on paid administrative leave, which is standard procedure after an officer fires a weapon at another person.

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Austin
7:38 am
Thu November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving Means Thousands of Tamales for One Mexican-American Family in Austin

Each year, Beatriz Jaimes makes pork and chicken tamales at her and her husband's construction company in Austin.
Veronica Zaragovia/KUT

In Austin, one Mexican-American family has been celebrating Thanksgiving with a traditional feast for decades. The Jaimes family doesn’t make turkey or stuffing or even pumpkin pie, however. They celebrate with hundreds of tamales from scratch, all for their employees.

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Wayback Wednesday
11:29 am
Wed November 26, 2014

Wayback Wednesday: Meet Texas' Knife-Throwing Family

Sure, Thanksgiving might be a little difficult at times for some. When you get that many relatives together all in one place, there are bound to be some familial flare-ups. But, if things get a little tense at tomorrow's festivities, remember this: Nobody is throwing knives at you.

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Austin
9:51 am
Wed November 26, 2014

On Thanksgiving Eve, Everyone's Looking for...The Ham Shop?

Credit Google Trends

It's the day before Thanksgiving, and Austinites are either busy hitting the road or getting ready to stuff the turkey. This year, however, we have some new insight into how we're doing all of this holiday planning: Google has released the most searched-for terms on Google Maps around Thanksgiving last year. Among the top three searches for today, Thanksgiving Eve, are "pie shop" and "liquor store." 

It makes sense, since you need booze and pie to make it through the holiday. But also in that top three? "Ham Shop."

Ham shop?

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Ferguson Decision
10:53 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

Ferguson Protests Across U.S. Include Rally and March in Austin

A protester in Austin expresses grief on Nov. 25, 2014 over a decision by a St. Louis County grand jury not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown.
Jenna VonHofe/ KUT

Hundreds of people packed the area outside of the Austin Police Department headquarters Tuesday night for a rally and march in support of Michael Brown, the Ferguson, Mo., teenager shot and killed by a police officer earlier this year. They shouted slogans like "justice for Mike Brown" and "hands up, don't shoot."

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Austin
12:17 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

Audit Finds Trouble at City Cemeteries

An audit found the Parks and Recreation Department had a lack of general oversight over city cemeteries, in some cases selling plots to multiple buyers.
Austin Monitor

From the Austin Monitor:

A report by the city auditor’s staff found that the Parks and Recreation Department’s Cemetery Operations Group has demonstrated a “general lack of oversight” in managing certain aspects of the city’s municipal cemeteries.

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Austin
5:06 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

Players Closes Its Doors

In its final day of operation, the line in front of Players stretched out the door and through the parking lot.
Photo by Mose Buchele

A longtime fixture of the UT campus area closes its doors today. Players restaurant has served generations of UT students, state employees and others from its location at MLK and Guadalupe. 

Today, the lunch rush felt almost like the receiving line at a funeral, as the string of people that stretched out the door and into the parking lot traded memories and said their goodbyes.

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Austin
4:57 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

Google Fiber Unveils Prices for Austin

Google Fiber is set to launch sometime in December in South and Southeast Austin.
Filipa Rodrigues/KUT

Google Fiber announced plans and pricing for high speed 1-gigabit Internet service in Austin today.

Mark Strama, Austin’s Google Fiber head of operations, also introduced a scaled-down version of Internet service with no monthly fee as an "extraordinary value to folks who might not be connected to the internet today."

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