Austin

News Brief
5:28 am
Wed November 17, 2010

Top Morning Stories November 17, 2010

The makers of Four Loko have announced plans to pull the caffeine out of their caffeinated alcoholic drinks.
Photo courtesy of Kyle James, http://www.flickr.com/photos/jameskm03/5162509741/

Back to Class in RRISD Following Bomb Threat

Students at Deerpark Middle School and Live Oak Elementary School in the Round Rock Independent School District are having classes as usual today.  The schools were evacuated yesterday after a bomb threat was made on the Internet. Superintendent Dr. Jesus H. Chavez posted this update online last night:

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public safety
3:26 pm
Tue November 16, 2010

Transcript of News Conference On Round Rock School Evacuations

Here is a partial transcript of a news conference held with reporters this afternoon concerning the evacuation of Deerpark Middle School and Live Oak Elementary School in the Round Rock ISD

Sgt. John Foster with the Williamson County Sheriff's Office and Round Rock ISD spokesperson JoyLynne Occhiuzzi addressed reporters.  First, John Foster's comments. (You can download audio of his remarks here.)

John Foster: Throughout the day we found this internet connection has gone to more than just one student. We have other information that we don't feel comfortable sharing right now because obviously what we want to do, what I want to do, and what everybody wants done, is somebody needs to go to jail for making this threat. If it's legitimate or if it's not legitimate, somebody needs to go to jail.

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Public Safety
2:42 pm
Tue November 16, 2010

Two Round Rock ISD Schools Evacuated

Updated at 4:45pm: Round Rock school officials say the school is still being searched.  The WilCo Sheriff's Office is giving them a tentative re-opening time of 7 pm.  As of now, the search has not yielded anything out of the ordinary.   RRISD officials say, as far as they can tell, school is still on at Deerpark and Live Oak as usual on Wednesday.

Updated at 2:45 pm: Bomb sniffing dogs are searching Deerpark Middle School and Live Oak Elementary School in Round Rock. Both schools were evacuated around noon due because of a bomb threat.

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Business
1:00 pm
Tue November 16, 2010

Lacks Having Closing Sales as it Files for Bankruptcy

Texas-based Lacks Stores, Inc. is filing for Chapter 11 federal bankruptcy.  Lack’s has been in business for 73 years.  In a press release, the Victoria-based furniture company said, while it's been profitable this year, lenders no longer want to help the company finance customer purchases. 

Lacks also gave some information about how it was affected by the recession:

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austin
11:48 am
Tue November 16, 2010

Cathedral of Junk Can Live On, Just Not as "Tourist Attraction"

A City of Austin news release issued today says the Cathedral of Junk can live on, but can't be promoted as a tourist attraction.
Photo by Mose Buchele for KUT News

The City's Planning & Development Review Department issued a news release this morning saying that the City of Austin and the Cathedral of Junk reached an agreement to keep the structure on the property.



KUT News reported in June that the Cathedral of Junk would be allowed to remain, after city inspectors initially told owner Vince Hannemann to destroy the bizarre attraction.

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austin
11:05 am
Tue November 16, 2010

"Groin Checks" and Long Security Lines at Austin Airport

Passengers traveling through ABIA will encounter "enhanced" pat-downs and longer security lines this holiday season.
courtesy flickr.com/dawilson/

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport officials are scrambling to deal with longer security lines brought on by the continued growth in passenger traffic. Meanwhile, the Transportation and Security Administration began implementing more "thorough" pat-down procedures at the beginning of the month.

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News Brief
6:08 am
Tue November 16, 2010

Top Morning Stories November 16, 2010

The City of Austin is holding a public workshop tonight to talk about the future of trash and recycling services in the city.
Photo by KUT News.

Give Your Input on Trash & Recycling

The City of Austin’s inviting people to a workshop tonight to talk trash and recycling.  The city’s looking for input on its Solid Waste Management Master Plan.  That plan outlines the programs, infrastructure, staffing, and funding needed for Austin to reach zero waste by 2040, the city’s goal to drastically reduce the amount of waste going to landfills.  Tonight’s workshop is from 6:30 to 8 at Fiesta Gardens.

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austin
4:50 pm
Mon November 15, 2010

Two Austin City Council Members Announce Re-Election Bids

Two Austin City Council members, Randi Shade and Chris Riley, announced today that they will run for reelection in May 2011.
Photo by Callie Hernandez for KUT News

Two first-term Austin City Council members announced they will seek reelection in May 2011. Place 3 council member Randi Shade was first to market with her press release at 2:15 p.m. today. Less than an hour later, at 3:11 p.m., Place 1 council member Chris Riley announced that he too would be seeking reelection.

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business
2:20 pm
Mon November 15, 2010

Austin Company Buys Hotel in Hawaii

Austin-based JMI Realty is involved in a joint venture to acquire the 311-room Aston Kauai Beach at Makaiwa.
Image courtesy promotional video (below)

Local real estate firm JMI Realty is pitching in to buy a Marriot hotel on the Hawaiian island of Kauai. The Austin Business Journal first reported it today based on a news release issued this morning, although the deal was first announced back in late-October.

JMI Realty is acquiring the 10 acre property in what is its first joint venture with Dallas-based Behringer Harvard. The price was not disclosed.

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News Brief
6:01 am
Mon November 15, 2010

Top Morning Stories November 15, 2010

Fort Hood soldiers at a memorial last year following the November 5th mass shooting. A hearing for the charged shooter is expected to wrap up today.
Photo by KUT News.

Key Hasan Hearing Wrapping Up

The Article 32 military hearing for the accused Fort Hood shooter resumes today.  Major Nidal Hasan’s hearing has been on hold for about three weeks.  This hearing will be determine whether he will be court-martialed for last year's mass shooting on the Army post that left 13 dead and 31 wounded. 

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Weekend Digest
11:14 am
Sun November 14, 2010

Sunday Update

UT Head Coach Mack Brown has seen his football team drop its last four games at home.
Gretch Sanders for KUT News

Building Blocks for Learning

Lego bricks literally came to life at the Delco Events Center Saturday, as kids from across Central Texas took part in a First Lego League competition. News 8 Austin reports the Legos were married with electronics, to give budding engineers a chance to create task-oriented robots.

Report Highlights License Suspension Work Around

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austin police
1:32 pm
Fri November 12, 2010

City Interviewing Police Monitor Candidates

Austin should have a new police monitor next month. It’s a civilian position responsible for promoting good relations between the police department and the public. The police monitor’s office, created in 2002, also takes complaints about officers.

Six semifinalists are interviewing for the position today.

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Austin
11:52 am
Fri November 12, 2010

Homeless Resource Fair Looking for Volunteers

Photo by Erik Reyna for KUT News

Austin City Manager Marc Ott made news this week when he revealed that he voluntarily went homeless for 24 hours a few months ago. Ott said he wanted to experience firsthand what it was like to live on the streets.

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News Brief
6:09 am
Fri November 12, 2010

Top Morning Stories November 12, 2010

Texas State has announced it is joining the Western Athletic Conference.
Photo courtesy of Texas State University-San Marcos

Austin Police Monitor Interviews Today

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Veteran's Day
10:50 am
Thu November 11, 2010

Veteran Seeks to Help Others at Austin Parade

Thousands of people attended Austin's Veteran's Day parade downtown Thursday.
Photo by Matt Largey for KUT News.

Thousands of people marked Veteran’s Day with a parade this morning in downtown Austin.  Gabriel Galindo served two tours in Iraq.  He now supports other veterans through the Texas Veterans Commission.   Galindo says when veterans leave the service, they often don’t want to talk to someone who hasn’t been through what they’ve been through.

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Austin
5:30 am
Thu November 11, 2010

Top Morning Stories November 11, 2010

Central Texans will honor those who have served our country in a downtown Austin parade Thursday.
Simrat Sharma/KUT News

Veteran's Day Closures


City of Austin offices are closed today for Veteran's Day. But garbage, recycling and yard trimmings collection will be picked up as usual.  All recreation centers, cultural centers, and senior centers are closed. 


Veteran's Day Parade

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Austin
8:25 pm
Wed November 10, 2010

Meals on Wheels Delivers to Veterans

On Thursday, we'll take a minute to pause in appreciation for the men and women who put their lives on the line for the United States without asking any questions. 

Veterans are never immune to aging or poverty, and as we see in this video produced by KUT News intern Sobia Lodhi, local agencies like Meals on Wheels are there to lend a helping hand when others are not.

Austin
5:01 pm
Wed November 10, 2010

LifeWorks Breaks Ground On East Austin Location

Artist's rendering of LifeWorks East Austin Youth and Family Resource Center.
Image courtesy LifeWorks

The Austin non-profit LifeWorks broke ground today on a new East Austin family resource center. The social services organization says it will increase its ability to serve young people and families in crisis by 25 percent.

LifeWorks already helps about 10,000 families a year through housing programs, counseling and education. They have surpassed their capacity to serve more people, so this will allow them to expand in a community with increasing need.

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News Brief
6:02 am
Wed November 10, 2010

Top Morning Stories November 10, 2010

The Capital Metro Board will vote on new fares for 2011 Wednesday.
Photo by KUT News

Quintana Arrested For Domestic Dispute

Former Austin police officer Leonardo Quintana was arrested by Leander police yesterday.  He was charged with four misdemeanors connected to a reported domestic violence incident last year.  Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo fired Quintana (for the second time) over the incident late last month.  The first firing was for a DWI arrest.  An arbitrator ruled that punishment was too severe.  Quintana is the APD officer who fatally shot Nathaniel Sanders in northeast Austin last year.

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development
5:39 pm
Tue November 9, 2010

Austonian Becomes First Downtown Condo To Earn Four-Star Energy Rating

A view of Austin from the Austonian.
Photo courtesy Visualist Images http://www.flickr.com/photos/visualistimages/

People who live at the Austonian can now enjoy an exclusive distinction beyond the downtown condo's luxurious modeling. The Austonian has been granted a four-star energy ranking under Austin Energy's Green Building program. It's the first downtown condo to earn the recognition.

A statement issued today by the developer, Benchmark Development, lists the reasons why. Here are some highlights:

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