Austin

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.

Austin
9:35 am
Sat June 18, 2011

Council Race Runoff Election Today

Polls will be open till 7:00 tonight in the Austin City Council runoff election
Photo by KUT News

Voting is underway in the Austin City Council Place three runoff election. Polls will be open until 7:00 p.m.

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Austin
1:46 pm
Fri June 17, 2011

Hays County Grass Fire Mostly Under Control

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Update at 4:18 pm: The Hays County Sheriff says the blaze is now in the "mop up" phase. Twenty fire units are still on the scene of the five acre wildfire. The blaze is 85 percent contained. Seven buildings were threatened by the blaze, but none were damaged, according to the county sheriff. 

Nearby residents who evacuated are now in the process of returning to their homes.

Update at 2:08 pm: The Hays County Sheriff's Office now tells us this fire is mostly contained.

The fire is 80% contained. Incident Command reported the affected area has been kept in the original 10 acre area. The damage is in hays and Travis county.

Earlier: A fire is burning out of control in northern Hays County. Here's the information we have from the Hays County Sheriff's Office:

Approximately 10 acres in North Hays County near the 800 blk of Bell Springs Rd have already burned. There is one residence in the area that is immediately threatened but still not been damaged at this time. The driftwood and North Hays Fire Departments are on scene and the wild land fire task force has been activated. The original call came in at 1224 today. The fire is not yet under control.

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Austin
1:23 pm
Fri June 17, 2011

Austin Unemployment Ticks Higher, Texas Rate Unchanged

Austin added 3,900 jobs last month, mostly in the leisure and hospitality sector.
Photo by Liang Shi for KUT News

More people have jobs in Austin, but 6.7 percent of those actively looking for work are still unemployed. Lisa Givens from the Texas Workforce Commission says Austin added 3,900 jobs last month. Despite this, the unemployment rate rose slight slightly from 6.5 percent in April to 6.7 percent, a result of more people looking for work.

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News Brief
5:42 am
Fri June 17, 2011

Top Morning Stories June 17, 2011

The City of Austin breaks ground today on its African American Cultural and Heritage Facility.
Drawing courtesy of the City of Austin.

Groundbreaking for African American Cultural Facility

The City of Austin is inviting people to celebrate Juneteenth at a groundbreaking ceremony this morning for the city’s African American Cultural and Heritage Facility.  It’s going to be built on 912 East 11th Street and includes the restoration of the historic Dedrick-Hamilton House, which was home to the family of one of the first freed slaves in Travis County. 

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Austin
4:49 pm
Thu June 16, 2011

F1 Investors Offer to Pay City's Share for Ten Years

Artist's rendering provided by Circuit of the Americas

Formula One race organizers have agreed to pay the city's contribution into a trust fund necessary to secure $25 million annually in state funding. Race organizers had already agreed to pay the first installment of $4 million, but they are now agreeing to pay subsequent installments as well. 

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News Brief
6:06 am
Thu June 16, 2011

Top Morning Stories June 16, 2011

Bastrop and Hays Counties are the latest Central Texas counties to implement a fireworks ban because of serious drought conditions.
Photo by KUT News.

More Central Texas Firework Bans

Bastrop and Hays Counties have issued local disaster declarations to ban the sale and use of personal fireworks because of the ongoing drought. Both counties have asked Gov. Rick Perry to extend the ban through the Fourth of July weekend. Travis and Williamson Counties also already declared a ban on fireworks through the holiday weekend.

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News Brief
5:49 am
Wed June 15, 2011

Top Morning Stories June 15, 2011

The controversial sanctuary cities bill cleared the Texas Senate overnight.
KUT News

Senate Approves Sanctuary Cities Bill

The Texas Senate has passed controversial immigration legislation.  The so-called sanctuary cities bill would let law enforcement officers question people legally detained about their immigration status.  The vote broke along party lines with all Senate Republicans voting for it and all Democrats against it. 

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Austin
5:23 pm
Tue June 14, 2011

LCRA Criticized for Hasty GM Pick

Rebecca Motal was named new General Manager of the LCRA.
Photo courtesy of the LCRA.

When LCRA General Manager Tom Mason announced his resignation last week, some observers cried foul, claiming he had been pressured out for political reasons.  State Senators  Troy Fraser (R-Horseshoe Bay)  Glenn Hegar  (R-Katy) and Kirk Watson (D-Austin) -- all of who represent regions that use water sold by the LCRA -- said they would carefully monitor the hiring of Mason's replacement.

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Austin
5:11 pm
Tue June 14, 2011

East Austin Activists Look To Slow Gentrification

Some East Austin activists say higher property values are forcing long-time residents to sell their homes.
Photo by Diana Parkhouse http://www.flickr.com/photos/digallagher/

A group of East Austin activists have a plan to slow gentrification in their neighborhood: pay the property tax of people who would otherwise be forced out.

A campaign launched today by former Austin City Council member Raul Alvarez aims to raise $50,000 to help about 20 homeowners, mostly retired people living on fixed incomes, get up to date on their tax bills.

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Austin
4:07 pm
Tue June 14, 2011

City Looks at Building Toll Lanes on I-35

Traffic backs up on I-35, also known as "the worlds largest parking lot" to some Austinites.
Photo by Callie Hernandez for KUT News.

A presentation to Austin City Council on Tuesday focused on plans for urban rail, but that didn't stop people from talking roads.

When asked what could be done to ease traffic congestion, Austin's Transportation Director Robert Spillar said his department was looking at adding toll lanes to the source of some of Austin's worst traffic: Interstate 35.

"When we look at I-35, traffic engineers both within our department as well as in the community believe that we can get some more capacity out of I-35," said Spillar.  "Can we add another lane of capacity within the existing footprint? I think we can."

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