Austin

austin
3:39 pm
Tue November 9, 2010

Cops Looking For People Who Vandalized Austin Cemetery

Vandals knocked over 25 gravestones last night at Austin Memorial Park Cemetery last night, according to city officials.
Photo courtesy City of Austin

Someone walked through Austin Memorial Park Cemetery last night kicking over gravestones and smashing amenities like a park bench, according to Austin police and Austin Parks and Recreation.

Preliminary estimates peg the damage at $20,000, according to Parks and Rec spokesman Victor O'Valle. He said about 25 gravestones were damaged.

"I think the emotional damage is probably the greatest damage that those vandals are causing," O'Valle told KUT News. "A lot of people spend their hard earned money to provide memorials for their loved ones."

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News Brief
5:07 am
Tue November 9, 2010

Top Morning Stories November 9, 2010

The next Texas legislative session starts in January. Some bills already filed are to crack down on illegal immigration.
Ben Philpott/KUT

President Bush Kicks Off Book Tour

Former President George W. Bush will be at a Borders bookstore near his Dallas home today to sign copies of his newly released book "Decision Points".  In the book, President Bush writes about the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Hurricane Katrina.  

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city of austin
12:12 pm
Mon November 8, 2010

Candidate Drops Out of Race for City Animal Shelter Boss

Just hours before a public meet-and-greet scheduled for this evening, the City of Austin announced one of the five candidates for Chief Animal Services Officer has dropped out of the race.

City spokesperson Patricia Fraga told KUT News that Abigail Smith withdrew her name for "personal reasons." As executive director of a "No Kill" shelter in Ithaca, New York, Smith was a favorite of some "No Kill" advocates.

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News Brief
5:08 am
Mon November 8, 2010

Top Morning Stories November 8, 2010

University of Texas Professor Emeritus and theater historian Oscar Brockett passed away over the weekend.
Photo courtesy of UT Austin's Department of Theatre and Dance.

Oscar Brockett Passes Away

University of Texas at Austin Professor Emeritus and internationally known theater historian Oscar Brockett has passed away.  He died Sunday morning after suffering a stroke.  In the late 60s he wrote “History of the Theatre”.  The website for UT's Department of Theatre and Dance says:

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Music
4:41 pm
Fri November 5, 2010

FunFunFunFest Starts Tonight

Headliners this year include RJD2, Bad Religion, The Descendents, and Mastodon
Photo Courtesy of FunFunFun

The 5th annual FunFunFunFest is set to kick off tonight at Waterloo Park. The weekend long festival is a smaller, more eccentric alternative to the Austin City Limits Music Festival, and while it primarily focuses on music, other activities ranging from professional wrestling to veggie hot dog eating contests to comedy acts give the event more of a rollicking, carnival-like feel than its heavily-sponsored big brother.

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Police
3:55 pm
Fri November 5, 2010

City Selects Semifinalists for Police Monitor

6 finalists were chosen from a pool of 66 applicants
Photo Courtesy APD

The City of Austin has selected six semifinalists today for the police monitor position. The nominees, who will be interviewed for the position on November 12th, are:

Cristina Beamud, who is the executive director of the City of Atlanta Citizen Review Board.

Rebecca Bernhardt, a contact researcher at the Laura and John Arnold Foundation in Houston. She is also a policy director of the Texas Defenders Service.

Ann del Llano, a family law attorney and owner of the Capitol City Solutions.

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Culture
10:31 am
Fri November 5, 2010

Rollergirls Make Move to Austin Convention Center

The move is intended to triple capacity, as well make the bouts closer to downtown
Photo Courtesy of Jason Bechtel

The Texas Rollergirls, self-proclaimed “godmothers of modern flat track roller derby,” are leaving the Playland Skate Center and headed to the Austin Convention Center for the 2011 season. The group is hoping to roughly triple capacity, increase visibility for the organization, and enhance the fan-going experience with the move.

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News Brief
6:06 am
Fri November 5, 2010

Top Morning Stories November 4, 2010

Soldiers at a memorial in 2009 following the November 5th mass shooting at Fort Hood. Ceremonies will be held on post Friday to mark the one year anniversary of the shootings.
Photo by KUT News

Fort Hood Marks Anniversary of Shootings

Fort Hood is holding ceremonies today to mark the one-year anniversary of the shootings on post last year.  A private award ceremony will start at 10:00 a.m. to recognize soldiers and civilians who Army commanders say went above and beyond the call of duty that day. 

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News Brief
7:26 am
Thu November 4, 2010

Top Morning Stories November 4, 2010

The Austin City Council Thursday will consider expanding recycling requirements to more apartment complexes and office buildings.
Photo by KUT News.

Texas House District 48 Race Still in Limbo

Democratic Incumbent Donna Howard maintains her position by only 15 votes.  Many wonder when or if her Republican challenger Dan Neil will ask for a recount.  Neil released a comment on his Facebook last night:

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parks and recreation
11:19 am
Wed November 3, 2010

Trail Of Lights May Be Gone But Zilker Tree Will Stay

Austin Energy says it will keep the Zilker Tree this Christmas, even though the Trail of Lights was eliminated to save money.
Image courtesy Jen W. http://www.flickr.com/photos/atxjen/

Austin City Council announced in September it was axing the Trail of Lights because of budget constraints. It saved the city $400,000 that will be spent on park maintenance.

But this morning, Austin Energy announced it was keeping one local holiday tradition. The Zilker Tree will be set up tomorrow.

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2010 midterm elections
9:26 pm
Tue November 2, 2010

Mayor Leffingwell: "Victory at Hand" on Mobility Bond

Proponents of a $90 million dollar bond to fund local transportation are already celebrating over early voting totals that give them a 10 percentage point advantage, 55 points to 45.

Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell tells KUT's Mose Buchele that it's "safe to say victory is at hand" on Proposition 1.

Mose says the mood was jubilant at the Shoal Creek Saloon, where the mayor and other supporters were gathered.

austin police
3:35 pm
Tue November 2, 2010

Updated: APD Officer Kills Man in North Austin

Austin police are investigating the shooting deaths of two people in North Austin. One of the people was shot by an officer.
Image courtesy APD

Updated 5:15 pm:  An Austin police officer shot and killed a 26-year-old man this morning. Police say the man killed had already taken one person's life and was aiming an assault rifle at police. 

A suspect opened fire on police from a house at 5:17 a.m. this morning. The officers were responding to reports of a medical emergency on the 12300 block of Tomanet Trail in Northwest Austin. 

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Austin
12:54 pm
Tue November 2, 2010

City Announces Finalists For Shelter Chief Job

Town Lake Animal Center has been without a permanent director since May.
Photo by KUT

The City of Austin has announced the list of finalists for the Chief Animal Services Officer position that's been vacant since May.  The finalist chosen for the job will have authority over the city's shelter operations, and will oversee the move from Town Lake Animal Center to the city's new shelter in East Austin. 

The finalists will be in Austin on Monday, November 8th for interviews and a public meet-and-greet.  The city is wants feedback from the public.

From the City of Austin:

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crime
4:11 pm
Mon November 1, 2010

APD Probe Murder in Southeast Austin

Austin police are investigating the city's 30th murder of the year, a stabbing on the East Side.
Image courtesy APD

Austin police are dealing with their 30th homicide case of the year. This time last year, there had been 19 recorded murders in Austin.

Someone called police at 10:11 p.m. yesterday to report two men fighting at Pleasant Valley Road and East Riverside Drive. By the time officers arrived, they found a 50-year-old man in the street bleeding from a stab wound. He was rushed to Brackenridge Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Police got a description of the alleged attacker from witnesses and arrested him a short while later. Charges are pending.

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entertainment
12:30 pm
Mon November 1, 2010

Halloween Post-Mortem

Thousands of people poured downtown on Saturday and Sunday nights to celebrate Halloween, including this man, who dressed up as Ronald McDonald.
Image courtesy Flickr user efohbe http://www.flickr.com/photos/49031772@N04/

Sixth Street was packed to the gills both Saturday and  Sunday night as costumed  revelers turned out in droves to celebrate Halloween. Flickr users efohbe and EgOiStE were among those out snapping dozens of pictures.  KVUE says "tens of thousands" showed up last night.

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Traffic
10:05 am
Sat October 30, 2010

18-Wheeler Fire Shuts Down Ramps To Highway 183 In North Austin

Heavy traffic for Saturday morning drivers, as firefighters closed off part of US 183 to battle a tanker truck fire on the US 183-Mopac flyover. Drivers on the frontage road of Hwy 183 N were redirected to avoid the access ramp.
Photo by Erika Aguilar for KUT News.

UPDATE (1:00 p.m.):

Authorities are keeping the flyover ramp from northbound US 183 to Mopac closed, after this morning's fiery crash of a tanker truck. 

 The tanker truck was carrying a load of gasoline when it crashed around 6:00 a.m. Investigators believe the driver may have been going too fast on the ramp causing it to flip over.

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City
3:56 pm
Fri October 29, 2010

Mayors Show Support for Proposition 1

Austin Mayors Collected at City Hall to Show Their Support for Prop 1.
Photo by KUT News

A collection of mayors old and new congregated at City Hall today to show their support for the passage of Proposition 1. With early voting concluding at day’s end and the general election a mere four days away, the group hoped to leave a lasting impression on voters that will lead to the Proposition's passage.

Proposition 1 is a bond proposal that if passed would allocate $90 million to 45 mobility projects across the city.

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parks and recreation
2:13 pm
Thu October 28, 2010

Woman Given Lifetime Pass to Barton Springs Pool

82-year-old Patty Curtis was granted lifetime access to Barton Springs Pool today by Austin City Council.
flickr.com/photos/rutlo/

Austin City Council granted a rare privilege today to an 82-year-old Austin woman: a lifetime pass to Barton Springs Pool.

Patty Curtis started swimming at the pool in 1975 when she was 46-years-old.

food
1:37 pm
Thu October 28, 2010

Vince Young's Steakhouse To Open in November

NFL quarterback Vince Young is opening a steakhouse in Austin next month.
Photo courtesy Rex Hammock http://www.flickr.com/people/rexblog/

We already knew that former Texas Longhorns hero and current Tennesse Titans quarterback Vince Young had planned to open a steakhouse at 3rd and San Jacinto.   Now we know when. The Statesman reports:

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Transportation
4:42 pm
Wed October 27, 2010

Cap Metro to Close Four Congress Ave. Stops

Cap Metro will close the stops in hopes of smoothing traffic in the busy Congress Ave. area
Photo by Nathan Bernier for KUT News

Capital Metro announced it will close four of its Congress Avenue bus stops starting on November 6th as part of a pilot program. These are the stops affected:

Northbound, Congress at 6th
Northbound, Congress at 7th
Southbound, Congress at 8th
Southbound, Congress at 7th

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