Austin

Water Quality
3:50 pm
Fri July 15, 2011

Watching for Algae Blooms

Despite drought conditions, Lake Austin's algae levels are within a healthy range while area streams show signs of low oxygen and excessive algae growth.
Photo courtesy jdearingdavis on flickr athttp://www.flickr.com/photos/hayesandjenn/4553357532/in/photostream/

Officials in Oklahoma have closed some of the state's lakes because of blue-green algae outbreaks. The fast growth of already-present algae, paired with high temperatures and still water, pose serious risk to swimmers.

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Austin
11:26 am
Fri July 15, 2011

Austin Places in Worst-Dressed Cities By GQ Magazine

Austin was named the 18th worst-dressed city in the country by GQ Magazine
Photo by KUT News

What are you wearing today?  Are you in business attire? Is it "Casual Friday" where you work? Or are you just wearing a ratty old t-shirt, shorts and a pair of flip-flops? Well...someone noticed.

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News Brief
6:14 am
Fri July 15, 2011

Top Morning Stories July 15, 2011

Meghan Saucedo, 21, and her sister Maggie Saucedo, 11, took a break to pose for a portrait during Potter Mania at the South Lamar Alamo Drafthouse Thursday afternoon. Some fans arrived as early as 4:30 am to watch the entire film series.
Photo by Daniel Reese for KUT News.

Fans Enjoy Final Harry Potter Film in Austin

Folks lined up outside of the Alamo Drafthouse on South Lamar for the midnight premier of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2.

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News Brief
5:46 am
Thu July 14, 2011

Top Morning Stories July 14, 2011

The UT Board of Regents is scheduled to vote Thursday on an item to increase the 2012 distribution from the Permanent University Fund.
Photo by KUT News.

UT Regents To Consider Increasing Endowment Payout

The University of Texas System Board of Regents is scheduled to vote  today on whether to increase the payout rate for the state's largest higher education endowment, the Permanent University Fund.  It's a 13.65 percent increase for a total of more than $575 million.  The UT System and the Texas A&M System share the funds, but UT gets more. 

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Austin
12:32 pm
Wed July 13, 2011

Local Video Stores Hope to Capitalize on Netflix Hike

Austin's-based video store I Luv Video hopes to cash in on Netflix's DVD rental price hike through local loyalty and more spur-of-the-moment business.
Photo by Jessie Wang for KUT News

Netflix customers received an email yesterday explaining a new pricing system. Starting Sept. 1 customers will have to opt to receive unlimited DVDs by mail for $7.99 or unlimited streaming for the same price. If you want both you’ll now have to pay $15.98, which is a 60% increase from the current cost.

The announcement has many customers reeling all through the blogosphere. But it's music to the ears of local video stores, like I Luv Video.

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News Brief
6:51 am
Wed July 13, 2011

Top Morning Stories July 13, 2011

Austin Police Monitor Margo Frasier, who started on the job in January, has released a report reviewing APD.
Photo courtesy of CityofAustin.org.

Police Monitor's Report Gives APD a Mixed Review

Austin’s police monitor has released an annual report for 2010. The report says complaints filed against APD officers are down. 753 complaints were filed last year compared to 913 in 2009. 

The report says data on traffic stops show police don’t pull people over based on race and ethnicity, but what happens after the stop is different.  African-Americans are almost three times as likely as whites to be searched, while Hispanics are over twice as likely as whites to be searched. Despite the disparity, APD did not find minorities had contraband at a rate significantly higher than whites.

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Police
2:48 pm
Tue July 12, 2011

Police Monitor Issues Annual Report

Photo by KUT News

The Austin Police Monitor's office has issued it's annual report. According to a City of Austin news release, the 88-page report shows a six percent decrease in the number of contacts the office had between 2009 and 2010.

Of those contacts, 526 resulted in some form of complaint being filed against one or more members of the Austin Police Department.

The Police Monitor's office is charged with receiving complaints from the public and from department employees about Austin police.

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Austin
11:27 am
Tue July 12, 2011

Man Charged with Possession of Weapon at Clements Building

A man was charged this morning for possessing a weapon after a homemade gun silencer was found in his car in the parking garage of the William P. Clements State Office Building.
photo courtesy of KUT News.

A man has been charged in connection with this morning's closure of the William P. Clements State Office building in downtown Austin.

The Texas Department of Public Safety says a 33-year-old man has been arrested and charged with possession of a prohibited weapon. Officials say he had a homemade gun silencer in his car. A state trooper noticed the silencer while doing a routine check of a neighboring parking garage.

The building was reopened just before 9:00 am. Officials are still investigating the incident.

News Brief
5:59 am
Tue July 12, 2011

Top Morning Stories July 12, 2011

George Korbel is a Travis County-hired consultant assisting with redistricting.
Photo by KUT News.

State Office Building Closed

UPDATE 9:00 am: DPS officials have reopened the William P. Clements building, after issuing an all clear.

EARLIER:  The William P. Clements building at 15th and Lavaca is closed as well as the parking lot.  The Texas Department of Public Safety says this is a precautionary measure. DPS says a suspect has been detained and his vehicle searched.  Officials did not release other details.  DPS did say an 'all clear' is expected soon.

Public Weighing in on Travis County Redistricting

Travis County is holding a public hearing this morning on its redistricting plans. The county is redrawing boundary lines for county commissioners, justices of the peace, constables and election precincts, following last year's US Census. County officials are trying to get more public input before Commissioners adopt the final maps next month. 

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Austin
3:32 pm
Mon July 11, 2011

Three Months After Brush Fire, Oak Hill Residents Still Rebuilding

CORRECTION: The account number listed in this story was originally listed as 6181231. Gary Hunt with the Oak Hill Wildfire Relief Committee says the actual number should be 6281231.

Work is still underway to restore some of the homes damaged by a brush fire that swept through an Oak Hill neighborhood in April.  One of the uninsured homeowners on Scenic Brook Drive finally obtained permits to allow for deconstruction of her singed home.

“We spent all day Saturday and Sunday filling a couple of dumpsters,” Oak Hill resident and community volunteer Michael Janiak told KUT News.

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Austin
12:43 pm
Mon July 11, 2011

Updated: F1 Organizing Committee Meeting Canceled

A schematic of the Circuit of the Americas track.
Photo by Full Throttle Productions

Update: The meeting has been canceled. Council member Laura Morrison's policy advisor Barbara Rush said in an email that it was due to a "public posting issue." A new meeting date has yet to be scheduled.

Earlier: Formula One event organizers will hold a public meeting downtown this afternoon to talk about and possibly take action on a deal authorized by Austin City Council last month. The council gave its endorsement of an F1 racetrack being constructed in southeastern Travis County, unlocking $250 million state subsidies over ten years.

The board of directors of the Circuit Events Local Organizing Committee (CELOC) has scheduled a 2:30 pm meeting at 100 Congress Ave., Suite 1300. You can read their agenda here.

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Devil's Cove
12:15 pm
Mon July 11, 2011

New Rules for Devil's Cove

The City of Jonestown has issued some new boating rules for Devil's Cove on Lake Travis.
Photo courtesy of tonguetyed at Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tonguetyed/14791382/

New rules are in place for the popular Devil’s Cove on Lake Travis.

The City of Jonestown, which has jurisdiction over that part of the Lake, issued the new ordinance. Party barges (those big party boats with an upper deck) are no longer allowed in the cove, unless they have special permission.  Also, no more than five boats can tie up together now.  

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News Brief
6:57 am
Mon July 11, 2011

Top Morning Stories July 11, 2011

Gas prices in the Austin area are up about eight cents from a week ago.
Photo by KUT News.

Gas Prices on the Rise

There is still plenty of summertime left for those of you thinking about going somewhere for vacation. But if you’re going to take a road trip you may want to consider gas prices are up. AAA Texas reports the price for a gallon of regular unleaded in Austin jumped eight cents over the last week to $3.50. Statewide gas prices are averaging about $3.52. 

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Weekend Updates
8:51 am
Sun July 10, 2011

Top Morning Stories Sunday, July 10, 2011

Space Shuttle Atlantis lifts off Friday, July 8, 2011 for the final mission of the US Space Shuttle program. Atlantis is heading for a docking with the International Space Station Sunday morning. Photo credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls.

Parts of Deficit Reduction Talks Break Down

U-S House Speaker John Boehner says he cannot rally support among his colleagues for a major deal on deficit reduction. The sticking point: talk of tax increases. Talks at the White House scheduled for today reportedly will still happen, with the emphasis now on dealing with the federal debt ceiling.

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Arts
10:21 am
Sat July 9, 2011

UT Sues Actor Over Farrah Fawcett Portrait

This portrait of actress Farrah Fawcett was done by artists Andy Warhol. UT and actor Ryan O'Neal are now at odds over the artwork. Image from the Blanton Museum of Art.

The UT System Board of Regents is suing actor Ryan O'Neal over a portrait of actress - and his long-time partner- Farrah Fawcett created by artist Andy Warhol in 1979.

The Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas at Austin currently has an exhibit underway About Face: Portraiture as Subject running through September 4, 2011.

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