Austin

cold weather
12:44 pm
Wed February 2, 2011

As Cold Grips Austin, Meals on Wheels Reaches Out to Clients

Ora Lee Clark of Austin admires the gifts she received through Meals on Wheels and More's "Be a Santa to a Senior" program in December.
Matt Largey for KUT News

With Austin in the midst of an uncommon cold spell, and rolling blackouts striking parts of Central Texas, Meals on Wheels and More is calling clients to ensure that they won't be trapped in the cold.

"We'll just call [clients] and ask them how they're doing, how their homes are being affect by the temperatures, if they're feeling OK, if they need anything," Sarah Andrews with Meals on Wheels and More told KUT.

Andrews said that a lot of people receiving food are "elderly" or have "critical health needs."

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cold weather
12:37 pm
Wed February 2, 2011

Texas Power Outages Caused By 7,000 Megawatts Going Offline

Cold weather caused ice to form on this water fountain at the University of Texas at Austin. The frigid temperatures are being blamed for rolling power outages that afflicated Texas throughout the day.
Photo by Liang Shi for KUT News

More than fifty electricity generation units stopped working overnight because of severe weather, reducing capacity by 7,000 megawatts and leading to the rolling power outages across Texas today.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) has asked utilities and transmission providers like Austin Energy to implement the rolling power outage underway now.

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cold weather
11:26 am
Wed February 2, 2011

Here Is Where You Can Find Information on Power Outages In Austin

Image courtesy Austin Energy

We linked to it in an earlier post, but we want to make it as clear as possible about where to find this information. Austin Energy provides data on power outages through its Customer Outage Portal.

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News Brief
5:35 am
Wed February 2, 2011

Top Morning Stories February 2, 2011

Folks on the UT campus this morning are bundled up for the cold weather.
Photo by KUT News.

Statewide Power "Emergency" Means Rolling Power Outages in Austin

You may be wondering why your lights are out this morning.  Austin Energy is doing rotating cut offs.  The state’s power grid operator ERCOT is requiring this.  The state’s power grid couldn’t keep up with demand early this morning because some power plants went offline.  Austin Energy says the lights are expected to be out for about 45 minutes at a time in certain neighborhoods.

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Austin
5:23 pm
Tue February 1, 2011

Austin Film Festival and Texas Book Festival Come Together in 2011

People listen to Laura Bush speak at the Texas Book Fest in 2010. The Book Festival and the Austin Film Festival will join forces for some events this year.
Photo by KUT News

Aficionados of books and film will have a golden opportunity to meet authors and screenwriters at the same time throughout the year and culminating in a joint festival this fall. The Austin Film Festival (AFF) will run October 20-27 in conjunction with the Texas Book Festival (TBF) October 22-23. Barbara Morgan, Executive Director of the Austin Film Festival, says both nonprofit organizations will benefit writers in the Austin community.

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Austin
12:44 pm
Tue February 1, 2011

Homeless Feel the Chill

A homeless man huddles for warmth in downtown Austin.
Image by Erik Reyna for KUT News

The City of Austin has activated its emergency cold weather plan for the homeless.  City officials say the program will remain up and running for the duration of the frosty weather, which could last into Friday morning. 

The city's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management says those needing shelter should report to the ARCH or the Salvation Army downtown.  Busses will then transport shelter seekers to other warm places to bed down for the night.

News Brief
5:36 am
Tue February 1, 2011

Top Morning Stories February 1, 2011

Thousands of people were left without power early this morning.
Logo courtesy of Austin Energy.

Austin Power Outages

It's a windy, rainy morning as a cold front moves through Central Texas.  A wind advisory is in effect until 6 p.m.  Highs will only reach the mid 30s today.  Over 2,000 Austin Energy customers were without power as of about 8 a.m.  That's according to Austin Energy's Storm Map.  The outages are spread out across the city.  Crews are working to restore power.

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Austin
4:24 pm
Mon January 31, 2011

Egyptian ACC Professor Watching Unrest With Concern And Hope

Protestors on the streets of Cairo
Image courtesy Al Jazeera English http://www.flickr.com/photos/aljazeeraenglish/

Egyptian cities are bracing for major protests Tuesday as revolutionaries demand the ouster of that country's longstanding military dictatorship.  KUT News has been speaking with Egyptians in Austin since the turmoil began. Today, we spoke by telephone with Austin Community College professor Roy Casagranda. He grew up in Egypt and still has family in Cairo.

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Austin
11:38 am
Mon January 31, 2011

59 Percent Of Austin's Inner City Residents Don't Live Near Park

People sit around a stage at Wooldridge Park in the summer of 2009. Almost two-thirds of inner city residents don't live near such amenities, according to a study.
Image by KUT News

Austin is a long way from achieving a goal set in 2009 of having a park within walking distance of everyone in the city. Fifty-nine percent of inner city residents do not live near those kind of open space amenities, according to the city's Urban Parks Stakeholders Group (UPSG).

The UPSG made this presentation to the City of Austin's Planning Commission last week, and it included some stark comparisons.

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News Brief
5:24 am
Mon January 31, 2011

Top Morning Stories January 31, 2011

Texas school district leaders are meeting in Austin today to call on lawmakers to make education funding a priority.
Photo by KUT News

Texas Schools Calling Out to State Lawmakers

School districts across the state are planning to lay off teachers and considering school closures.  Districts say they're left with few options as the state proposes to cut back billions of dollars in public education spending.  Today superintendents and school board members from across the state are meeting at Austin's Convention Center

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Austin
11:26 am
Sun January 30, 2011

Sunday Morning Update for January 30, 2011

Weather like this is going away this week, as an Arctic cold front is supposed to drop Central Texas into a deep freeze
Photo by KUTAustin

Enjoy today's warm weather, because temperatures are supposed to take a nasty, cold turn by midweek.  The high this afternoon is forecast to be in the mid 70s, but an

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Austin
4:05 pm
Fri January 28, 2011

Liz Carpenter Fountain Closes Till May 2011

A child plays in the Liz Carpenter Fountain. The fountain will be closed until May so city crews can upgrade the filtration system.
Photo by Nasha Lee for KUT News

The Liz Carpenter Fountain in Butler Park will be closed for the next few months, as work begins on upgrading it.  The City of Austin is making more than a million dollars worth of improvements to the fountain's filtration system. 

Higher-than-expected use caused the system to shut down in the past, leading to potentially unhealthy levels of bacteria in the water.  Work is expected to be finish on the fountain by May.

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Austin
2:13 pm
Fri January 28, 2011

APD Says 39 Pounds Of Marijuana Sent By US Mail To 2 Austin Addresses

Image courtesy APD

Police say they seized 39 pounds of "high quality" marijuana that was shipped to two separate addresses in Austin. The bust was conducted by an APD K-9 unit, an APD SWAT team, and United States Postal Inspectors.  You can see a slideshow of the alleged haul below.

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Austin
11:58 am
Fri January 28, 2011

Construction Worker Who Died In South Austin Was On "Makeshift" Scaffolding

Image courtesy Ciorra Photography http://www.flickr.com/photos/inno68/

A 35-year-old man who died this week on a construction site in South Austin was working on a "makeshift" scaffolding, according to the Austin Police Department.  The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has opened an investigation into the accident at the Village on Little Texas.

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News Brief
6:06 am
Fri January 28, 2011

Top Morning Stories January 28, 2011

The City of Austin has approved an agreement with TXDOT for some transportation improvements at the Y in Oak Hill.
Photo courtesy of the City of Austin.

City Green Lights Mobility Projects

Remember that transportation bond voters approved back in November? The Austin City Council has approved the first two projects from the $90 million dollar 2010 Mobility Bond.   

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