News, events, and entertainment happening in and around Austin and the Central Texas counties of Travis, Hays, Caldwell, Bastrop and Williamson

Image courtesy Monica's Dad

Wondering when to put out your trash or if you need to plug a parking meter? Here's a look at what's open and closed for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Garbage, recycling, and yard trimmings pickup will be pushed back one day for customers who have service on Thursday or Friday. That means Thursday customers will get their trash collected on Friday and Friday customers will receive pickup service on Saturday.

Recreation centers, cultural centers, senior centers, and the Dougherty Arts Center, will be closed Thursday and Friday.

 Neil Seeking a Recount

Republican Dan Neil is asking for a recount. Neil lost the race for the Texas House District 48 seat to incumbent Donna Howard by 16 votes.  Neil’s campaign manager told KUT he filed the paperwork for the recount yesterday. 

Jury Deliberations Day 3

Today will be the third day of jury deliberations in former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's trial.  Before going home yesterday, jurors said they were making progress. 

Mighty Fine burger
Image courtesy Matt Scoggin

The people behind a couple well-known Austin restaurant chains are getting a positive review from the the Obama administration. K&N Management - the company that owns Rudy’s Country Store & Bar-B-Q and Mighty Fine Burgers, Fries and Shakes - is one of seven recipients of the 2010 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.

What is the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, you may ask? Why it's only the "the nation’s highest Presidential honor for performance excellence through innovation, improvement and visionary leadership," according to a press release.

Image courtesy Google Maps

One of the largest charitable Thanksgiving efforts in town starts tomorrow morning in the parking lot of Bikini's off I-35.  Operation Turkey started in Austin in 2000 and has since expanded to 29 cities across the country.

solar panels
Image courtesy SunPower

SunPower Corporation announced today that it would build a new U.S. operations center in Austin. It would bring $10 million in capital investment and create 450 jobs. But the city must first cough up $90,000 per year over ten years in economic incentives.

Photo by Gretch Sanders for KUT

Many Austinites will be celebrating Thanksgiving a little early today.  The 21st annual H-E-B Feast of Sharing is from 4- 8 p.m. at the Palmer Events Center.  The event is free and open to the public.  Santa himself is rumored to be making an appearance.

Thousands are expected to attend.  So what does it take to feed that many people? H-E-B says there will be:

Foreclosure sign
Image courtesy Jeff Turner


Austin foreclosures increased 10 percent so far this year, according to a report from Foreclosure Listing Service. The Austin Business Journal took a look at the numbers.

Image courtesy Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


Superintendent Meria Carstarphen
Photo by KUT News.

AISD Action on Superintendent Bonuses, Student Transfers

Austin Independent School District Superintendent Meria Carstarphen could get a bonus of up to 25-thousand dollars if she meets certain performance measures this school year.  The school Board approved those measures during their meeting last night.  To get the bonus, Carstarphen would have to meet objectives including:

Thanksgiving meal
Image courtesy KK+

If you haven't done it, you've seen it on TV: People serving Thanksgiving meals to the less fortunate. Many families make it a holiday tradition. But if you don't know what you're doing, you might show up to a charity already overwhelmed with volunteers, while other organizations are struggling to find last-minute help.

One of the hottest tickets in town is the Salvation Army Social Service Center on East 8th Street. Their spokesman Bob Cox says they were booked solid by Labor Day.

Hex Rally
Photo courtesy RODAN1

University of Texas football loyalists will gather in burnt orange tonight for a mega-pep rally aimed at cursing their fierce rivals, Texas A&M University. The "Hex Rally", as it is known, is a 25 year tradition held before the customary Thanksgiving Day game between UT and A&M.

The Texas Exes explains what to expect:

Cowboys Stadium
Image courtesy Cliff Baise

HKS, an architectural firm in Dallas, announced this morning that it will lead the team assembled to build a new Formula One track in Austin. HKS designed and built the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington and the Dell Diamond in Round Rock.

Criminal Justic Complex
Photo by Erik Reyna for KUT News.

Lawyers to Make Final Pitches in DeLay's Trial

Closing arguments are set for today in Tom DeLay's money laundering trial in Austin.  Prosecutors say the former U.S. House majority leader helped illegally funnel $190,000 in corporate money to Texas candidates in 2002.  DeLay's attorneys say the money swap at the center of the case was legal.  He faces up to life in prison if convicted.

Dallas Firm to Design Formula 1

Image from KUT news.

UT Longhorns Back on Winning Track

vintage radio
Image courtesy monogatari

Here are some of the audio stories we've produced over the last 24 hours.

KUT's Erika Aguilar reports on body scanners at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. We don't have 'em yet, but most Texas airports do. And we'll be getting them soon.

gowalla disney pins
Image courtesy Gowalla

Austin-based Gowalla announced this morning that it's teaming up with Disney Parks to create a bunch of unique Disney themed locations for the social networking service.

Gowalla is an app that runs on smartphones and allows people to "check in" when they visit any location, from a restaurant, to a park, to a long line at a movie theater. Anyone can create locations, but some are custom made by Gowalla and have their own unique symbol. Checking in earns you a stamp on your virtual Gowalla passport.  Users can also earn pins and various other digital rewards.

KUT News called Gowalla today to talk about the new deal. We spoke with Andy Ellwood, their director of business development.

Four Loko
Photo by Nathan Bernier for KUT News

The Food and Drug Administration issued a warning yesterday to the makers of potent caffeinated alcoholic drinks like Four Loko. The New York Times says the FDA warned them to remove the caffeine in 15 days or stop selling the products.

These popular bevearges are marketed heavily at college students. KUT News took a stroll outside our studios and talked to some undergrads about their impressions regarding the ban. Check out the video below.

The Round Rock Independent School District says a bomb threat that led to the evacuation of two schools earlier this week originated in the Saudi Kingdom.

Homeless woman
Image courtesy Arty Smokes

How Domestic Violence Often Leads to Homelessness

It's National Homelessness and Hunger Awareness Week, and the local non-profit SafePlace is hosting a discussion this afternoon about the relationship between domestic violence and homelessness. 

Image courtesy City of Austin

Not a drop of rain in the sky, but it was a wet day at City hall, with the debate over Water Treatment Plant 4 flooding out other items set for the morning’s agenda. 

With a series of close votes, City Council dedicated $300 million dollars to the completion of Water Treatment Plant 4. It effectively gives the project a final green light.  The votes came after hours of sometimes emotional public comment and council discussion. Water Utility Director Greg Mazaros said it made sense for council to approve the remaining funds all in one go.