Austin

News Brief
6:48 am
Fri June 24, 2011

Top Morning Stories June 24, 2011

Friday the Texas House is scheduled to vote on a bill to ban intrusive pat down searches at airports and other public buildings.
Photo by KUT News.

Texas House Taking up Airport Pat Down Bill

Today the Texas House is scheduled to debate and vote on a bill that would ban intrusive pat down searches during security screenings at airports. The Senate has not voted on the bill yet. The pat down bill died during the regular legislative session but Governor Rick Perry added it to the call for this special session. A federal official has said if the bill passes it could cause some flights to be grounded.

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Austin
5:14 pm
Thu June 23, 2011

Austin City Council Delays F1 Vote Till Wednesday

Construction on the F1 track continues in southeastern Travis County.
Photo by Circuit of the Americas

Saying they need more time to consider a proposal to endorse a Formula One track being constructed in southeastern Travis County, Austin City Council members voted 6-1 to postpone a vote on a deal that would unlock $25 million in state subsidies to pay for costs associated with F1 races in Austin. Mayor Lee Leffingwell was the lone dissenter.

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Austin
3:40 pm
Thu June 23, 2011

San Antonio Hopes to Cash In On Austin's F1 Visitors

San Antonio tourism officials hope F1 tourists are interested in seeing sights such as the Alamo.
Photo by Broken Piggy Bank http://www.flickr.com/photos/jremigio/

San Antonio tourism officials are hoping to attract the international travelers who could flood Austin during Formula One events. Casandra Matej, executive director of the San Antonio Visitors and Convention Bureau, says the ideal international visitor would stay a few evenings in Austin and then head to San Antonio.

“There will be San Antonio opportunities to kind of create synergy for that," she said. "We can provided that extended stay for the people that are going to enjoy the race.”

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Austin
1:25 pm
Thu June 23, 2011

The Formula One PR Blitz at City Hall

Formula One branded merchandise was passed out at to crowds at Austin City Hall Thursday.
Photo by Mose Buchele for KUT News.

Want to load up on the latest Formula One paraphernalia? Race over to Austin City Hall.

F1 baseball caps, water bottles and bumper stickers were distributed today in a public relations blitz ahead of City Council's vote on the race track project. So many were given out that white caps speckled the capacity audience in City Council Chambers -- a dramatic image for City Council members from their seats on the dais.

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Austin
12:35 pm
Thu June 23, 2011

Read the City’s Draft Agreement on F1

It was a dramatic morning at Austin City Council. Supporters and opponents of a Formula 1 track being built in southeastern Travis County squared off during public comment period. Substantially more people signed up to speak in support of F1 (246 of them), but opponents (26 people) were just as passionate.

City council could vote today on whether to endorse the track. Such a blessing would put the wheels in motion for $25 million in annual state subsidies. So what is the agreement? We posted it above for you to see for yourself. See a fullscreen version here, or download the .pdf here.

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Austin
12:20 pm
Thu June 23, 2011

Shade Gives Final Goodbye at City Hall

Outgoing Council Member Randi Shade says goodbye to her colleagues. Thursday is her last city council meeting after losing Saturday's runoff election.
Photo by Mose Buchele for KUT News.

Outgoing Austin city council member Randi Shade kicked off this morning’s city council meeting with a goodbye speech in front of a packed council chamber. It’s her last day on the dais, after losing last Saturday’s runoff election.

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Austin
4:25 pm
Wed June 22, 2011

Group Files Suit to Block F1 Funding

Image of proposed F1 site.
Courtesy of Full Throttle Productions.

A lawsuit filed today against the Texas State Comptroller in Travis County District Court seeks to block  $25 million in state funding for the Formula One racetrack planned for Southeast Travis County. The lawsuit, filed by three Travis County residents, takes aim at whether F1 qualifies for state subsidies, according to a press release sent by Bill Aleshire, the attorney representing the plaintiffs.

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Austin
12:33 pm
Wed June 22, 2011

Rain Offers Little Relief for Drought

Graphic courtesy of the National Drought Mitigation Center.

Central Texas got some temporary relief from the ongoing drought.  Lower Colorado River Authority meteorologist Bob Rose says, while one to over two inches of rain fell in many areas, we would need a lot more rainy days to break the drought.

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News Brief
6:46 am
Wed June 22, 2011

Top Morning Stories June 22, 2011

An appeals court has again upheld The University of Texas' use of race in its admission policy.
KUT News

Appeals Court Backs UT's Admissions Program

The University of Texas at Austin’s use of race in its admissions program has been upheld, again. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declined to rehear the case Friday in a split 9-7 vote. Two white students filed a lawsuit in 2008 saying UT’s use of race and ethnicity as factors in admission decisions is unconstitutional. The case could be appealed to the Supreme Court.

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News Brief
6:26 am
Tue June 21, 2011

Top Morning Stories June 21, 2011

AISD is holding a public meeting Tuesday night to get input on a new performing arts center.
Photo by KUT News.

Give Your Input on AISD Performing Arts Center

The Austin Independent School District is planning to build a district-wide Performing Arts Center at the Mueller redevelopment site. AISD will be gathering public input on the project tonight. As KUT previously reported, the district already bought the land for the facility:

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Austin
1:46 pm
Mon June 20, 2011

LCRA Warns of Lake Hazards, Urges Conservation

The Lake Travis level is 23 feet below the monthly average of 461 feet.
Photo courtesy of LCRA.

Correction for Clarification: The Lower Colorado River Authority requests that customers impose mandatory water restrictions when the combines lake storage drop below 900,000 acre-feet of water, but does not curtail.

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Austin
12:03 pm
Mon June 20, 2011

Heat Advisory for Austin Today

The National Weather Service says to avoid strenuous activity outside until 7 p.m. tonight.
Photo by KUT News.

The National Weather Service issued a heat advisory for all of Central Texas today through 7 p.m. tonight.

A heat advisory is issued when both hot temperatures and high humidity fell like it is over 100 degrees outside and can cause heat illnesses. Highs for today are between 100 and 105 and could feel up to 109 outside.

The Weather Service recommends drinking plenty of fluids, stay out of the sun and check up on relatives and neighbors.

 

 

 

 

Austin
11:08 am
Mon June 20, 2011

UTPD Training at Wooldridge Hall

First responders will use UT's Wooldridge Hall as a training facility this week.
Photo by Katrina Tollin for KUT news.

If you see uniformed emergency response teams around the University of Texas' Wooldridge Hall this week, don't worry. The U.T Police Department and other Central Texas first responders will use the vacant building for training exercises through Thursday.

Sergeant Scott Weyland said UTPD tries to train in an empty building when one is scheduled for demolition, usually about once a year. Weyland says this week’s training will focus on “active-shooter” scenarios, including suicide-bomber and hostage situations.

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Austin Council Runoff
8:24 pm
Sat June 18, 2011

Tovo Leads by 10

Randi Shade supporters at El Arroyo Restaurant in West Austin Saturday night
Photo by Mose Buchele for KUT News

Kathie Tovo maintains her 10-point lead over Randi Shade in the latest runoff election results.

In the second batch of results, Tovo still has a 55-45% lead over the incumbent in the race for Place Three on the Austin City Council. 13,648 votes have been counted for Tovo so far, with Shade getting 11,183 votes.

The winner will get a three-year term on the council that begins June 28.

Click on the audio player to hear reaction from Council Member Randi Shade to the early results.

Austin
7:06 pm
Sat June 18, 2011

Speedy Delivery

Photo by KUT News

Kathie Tovo has taken an early lead over Randi Shade in today's Austin runoff election.

In the first printout from the Travis County Clerk's office, issued just after 7 p.m., Tovo has a 55-45 percent lead from early voting results just released.

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