Austin

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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Austin
3:58 pm
Fri July 8, 2011

Lawsuit Against Comptroller's F1 Deal Officially Withdrawn

The first F1 race is planned for June of 2012.
Photo by Full Throttle Productions

The lawsuit against Texas State Comptroller Susan Combs over a deal to subsidize an F1 racetrack was officially dropped today.  That was not a surprise to plaintiffs, who said a decision by District Court Judge Rhonda Hurley the week before left them with no way to move forward.

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Austin
3:12 pm
Fri July 8, 2011

Austin Food Bank To Double In Size

The Capital Area Food Bank operates remote food centers, but its main distribution hub on South Congress is slated to move to a new, larger facility in 2013.
Photo by BLundin http://www.flickr.com/photos/blundin

The Capital Area Food Bank hands out the weight of a Boeing 737's worth of food every day: 70,000 pounds. That adds up to about 2 million pounds a month, and 24 million pounds a year.

“It sounds like a lot of food,” Capital Area Food Bank spokesman John Turner said. “It is.”

The problem is that the food bank’s current building at 8201 S. Congress Ave. in South Austin can only hold about 2 million pounds of food.

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Austin
1:27 pm
Fri July 8, 2011

Austin Animal Shelter At "No-Kill" So Far For 2011

Photo by KUT News

Since January, 90 percent of animals taken in at the Town Lake Animal Center were fostered out, adopted, given to a rescue group, or returned to their owners. The threshold for "no-kill" status is 90 percent.

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News Brief
6:01 am
Fri July 8, 2011

Top Morning Stories July 8, 2011

The State of Texas executed a Mexican citizen Thursday night for the murder of a San Antonio teen.
Photo courtesy of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

Humberto Leal Executed

Texas executed Mexican citizen Humberto Leal last night.  The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday rejected appeals, backed by the Obama Administration, to delay the execution to give Congress time to work on legislation covering cases like this. 

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Austin
5:14 pm
Thu July 7, 2011

W Hotel Set To Reopen Saturday

The W Hotel will reopen its doors this weekend.
Photo by KUT News

The upscale W Hotel in downtown Austin is scheduled to reopen its doors to the public on Saturday. All 1,000 glass panels on the balconies have been replaced with temporary wood paneling.  Meanwhile, engineers are still trying to figure out what prompted glass to fall from the building three times in a little more than two weeks.

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News Brief
5:58 am
Thu July 7, 2011

Top Morning Stories July 07, 2011

The dean of UT's College of Liberal Arts issues a report on higher education that differs greatly from Governor Rick Perry's vision.
KUT News

Perry, UT Dean at Odds over Higher Ed Changes

Texas Governor Rick Perry is responding to a report from a dean at UT Austin.  The dean’s report criticizes proposals from an Austin-based think tank.  The governor backs those proposals which include splitting research and teaching budgets and giving state higher education funding directly to students instead of universities. 

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News Brief
5:54 am
Wed July 6, 2011

Top Morning Stories July 6, 2011

A spokesman for Gov. Rick Perry says he's working from home and recovering from a minor back surgery.

Gov. Perry Recovering From Minor Surgery

Texas Governor Rick Perry is recovering from minor back surgery.  A spokesman for Gov. Perry says the procedure included a small nerve decompression. The Governor’s Chief of Staff Ray Sullivan told KERA's Shelley Kofler that Perry spent two nights in the hospital.

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