Austin

Ebola
2:02 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

UT-Austin Student Being Monitored for Ebola Symptoms, Has Low Risk of Infection (Update)

Credit Todd Wiseman/Phil Moyer via Texas Tribune

Officials from the University of Texas at Austin and Travis County say a female UT-Austin student was on board the Frontier Airlines flight from Cleveland to Dallas which carried the Dallas area Ebola-affected nurse Amber Vinson.

The Travis County Health and Human Services Department is monitoring for symptoms of Ebola.  The student was not in close contact with Vinson and she is not showing symptoms of the virus. Officials urge there’s a “low risk” she contracted the virus because she was out of the three-foot radius around Vinson referred to as the "zone of concern" by officials.

The student will not attend classes at UT-Austin until after Nov. 3, according to UT Campus Safety and Security.

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Austin ISD
1:41 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

Austin School Board's At-Large Candidates Discuss Budget, Teacher Contracts in Forum

Three of the five candidates for the Austin School Board's at-large spot met last night.
Credit Photo by Nathan Bernier, KUT News

Three of the five candidates for the at-large Austin School Board seat discussed teacher pay, magnet programs and the superintendent search at a forum last night, but many of the candidates’ answers focused on the budget.

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2014 Elections
12:56 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

Meet the Candidates Running for Mayor of Austin

Austin voters will choose a new mayor on November 4, 2014.

KUT's Nathan Bernier sat invited the candidates running for the highest office in the City of Austin to our studios to speak with us about their visions for Austin.

Seven of the eight candidates talked about how they'll deal with issues such as affordability, traffic and transportation,  public education in an expanding city,  and why they want to be Mayor of Austin.

Still can't decide which candidate's getting your vote on Election Day? Below we've got the full audio and archived video of KUT's Ballot Boxing mayoral forum courtesy of KXAN.

Austin
10:40 am
Fri October 17, 2014

Austin Legalizes Ridesharing Services

So-called transportation networking companies are now legal in Austin.
Wikimedia Commons

Ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft can now legally operate in Austin.

The Austin City Council passed an ordinance Thursday establishing rules for the so-called transportation network companies (TNCs), and the city will negotiate contracts with the companies to address major issues that arose during the debate on Council Member Chris Riley's ordinance, including insurance for drivers, surge pricing and increasing TNC service to Austin's disabled community.

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2014 Elections
8:17 am
Fri October 17, 2014

Ballot Boxing: The Austin City Council District Forums

KUT partnered with the Austin Monitor, Univision 62, KXAN and the Austin Chronicle for our series of in-district Austin City Council candidate forums to allow voters to get to know the candidates running in the new 10-1 geographic representative system.

Below you can listen to recordings of each of the 10 City Council candidate forums and view archived video of the forums courtesy of KXAN.

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2014 Elections
12:06 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

Listen: The Ballot Boxing Mayoral Forum

Mayoral candidates joined KUT's Nathan Bernier, KXAN's Shannon Wolfson and The Austin Monitor's Michael Kanin for the final Ballot Boxing forum last night.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT

The Ballot Boxing series came to a close last night with our mayoral forum at the Belo Center for New Media on the University of Texas at Austin campus.

Six candidates for Austin mayor were joined KUT's Nathan Bernier and co-moderators Shannon Wolfson of KXAN and Michael Kanin of The Austin Monitor for a 90 minute forum to discuss transportation, property taxes, city-backed incentives, public safety and the future of the Austin City Council.

KUT would like to thank our partners at Rock N Roll Rentals for supplying sound equipment and setup for all of the 11 Ballot Boxing forums, as well as our media partners at The Austin Chronicle, The Austin Monitor, KXAN and Univision 62 for their help throughout the series.

You can listen to a recording of the forum below and view photos from the event above.

Google Fiber
4:12 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

Google Announces December Fiber Signups for South Austin

A map of the area in South and Southeast Austin that will be eligible for Google Fiber service.
Google Fiber

After months of anticipation, Google announced today that it will open up signups for its gigabit-speed Google Fiber Internet service in December, starting with neighborhoods in South and Southeast Austin.

“We can only launch one seventh of the city at the time,” Mark Strama, head of Google Fiber’s Austin operations, said of the slow rollout. “The network will include 3000 miles of new fiber optic cables. It’s like going to Canada and back.”

According to Strama, new users that live in South and Southeast Austin can signup for Google Fiber by the end of the year. The company says the process is taking longer because the fiber network had to be planned and designed from scratch.

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Austin ISD
1:44 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

Austin School Board Talks Opening Up Public Comment at Meetings

Parents say the process to comment publicly at Austin School Board meetings is often arduous, and that members don't have an open dialogue with concerned parents.
Ilana Panich-Linsman/KUT

Changes may be coming to how the community is invited to communicate with the Austin School Board. Some say the current process is too onerous on working parents, that board members and parents don’t have a direct line of communication and that the board should be more available to parents district-wide.

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Austin
4:43 pm
Mon October 13, 2014

Austin’s Female Illusionists Becoming Socially, and Economically, Empowered

Both Kimberly and Gisette Deseo identify as female illussionists. They are "drag sisters." While their transformations can cost a bundle, their spending also contributes to a growing, economically-empowered drag and trans community in Austin.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT

Traditional wisdom and cultural tropes might lead you to believe that women in Texas outspend their male counterparts when it comes to personal care items, clothing, and accessories.

That stereotype is mostly true, but in Austin there’s a growing group of men that might be bucking that trend: female illusionists. Some are transitioning into another gender. Others dress like females for fun or for show. 

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Austin City Limits
11:40 am
Mon October 13, 2014

Photos: Austin City Limits Music Fest 2014

Crowds at sunset on Oct. 4, during the first weekend of Austin City Limits.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUTX

As quickly as it arrived, Austin City Limits Fest has come and gone.

So, with that in mind, we've put together a gallery of some of the best images, performances and moments of the fest captured by KUT and KUTX photographers.

You can view full photo albums of both ACL weekends, ACL aftershows and even Ditch the Fest on KUTX's Flickr page, or head over to KUTX.org for full coverage of the fest, including live performances from the KUTX sets at the Four Seasons.

Austin City Limits
8:09 am
Mon October 13, 2014

Will the New City Council Be Open to Fewer Zilker Park Closures?

Events like Austin City Limits close Zilker Park for weeks at a time, and some say the city needs to work with organizers to reduce closures.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUTX

This year’s Austin City Limits festival is over, but the Great Lawn at Zilker Park will remain closed for about a month, leaving enough time to remove stages, sod the lawn and complete other post-festival maintenance. But, after that, the lawn will close again ahead of the Trail of Lights, and the park will close again in January.

Austinites, especially those living near the park, have often complained about the traffic, crowds and park closures that come with the festival.

But, will a new, geographically-representative city council be as willing to make accommodations for special events?

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2014 Elections
10:45 am
Fri October 10, 2014

Map: Where Do Austin's City Council Candidates Live?

Austin's switch to geographic representation is, quite literally, all about where you live.

All of the 78 candidates vying for a spot in City Hall will represent their own enclave in the 10-1 district format, which doesn't offer the most clean-cut of district boundaries.

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Ballot Boxing
10:28 am
Fri October 10, 2014

Listen: The Ballot Boxing District 10 Forum

Candidates for Austin City Council in district 10 met to present their platforms.
Ilana Panich-Linsman/KUT

KUT continued its Ballot Boxing series of in-district Austin City Council forums Wednesday night in District 10. The candidates met at the LCRA's Red Bud Center on Lake Austin Blvd.

Our Ballot Boxing forums will continue with the mayoral candidates on Wednesday Oct. 15 in the Moody Auditorium at the Belo Center for New Media at UT Austin. 

Below you can listen to the full audio of last night's forum and view a photo gallery above.

Texas Standard
4:47 pm
Tue October 7, 2014

Op-Ed: Austin Mom Kari Anne Roy on Child Protective Services & 'Unstructured Play'

Kari Anne Roy was visited by police and child protective services after a neighbor complained she had let her 6 year old son play outside across the street from her house.
Credit Courtesy of Kari Anne Roy

Austin parent Kari Anne Roy has attracted national attention and started a conversation about parental supervision.

In a blog post, Roy wrote that a well-intentioned neighbor escorted her 6-year-old son to her front porch and advised her that it was dangerous for him to be playing alone outside. Roy says her son was playing near a park bench 150 yards from her house, which, she says, is clearly visible from her porch. 

After the incident, she was visited by an Austin Police officer and later she and her children were interviewed by an investigator with Child Protective Services. She says she felt humiliated and angry, and that because of the incident — and the subsequent questioning from CPS — her three children felt as if they had done something wrong and "don't feel safe outside."

You can listen to Kari Anne Roy's commentary below. 

2014 Elections
7:21 am
Tue October 7, 2014

Listen: The Ballot Boxing District 9 Forum

Candidates Erin McGann, Kathie Tovo and Chris Riley met last night in KUT's Ballot Boxing District 9 forum.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT

The three District 9 candidates met last night in another installment of the Ballot Boxing, a series of in-district City Council candidate forums hosted by KUT, the Austin Monitor, Univision 62, KXAN and the Austin Chronicle

Austin
2:06 pm
Mon October 6, 2014

Efforts Gear Up to Reconnect Owners with Stolen Bikes

Ausitn Police hope a planned registry will reduce the number of recovered, but unclaimed, bikes that are later sold at city auctions.
KUT

Just as Austin has a thriving bicycling community, it's also home to bike thieves. Both groups stay pretty active. 

The city is perennially one of the worst cities nationwide when it comes to bicycle thefts, and the Austin Police Department wants to change that by beginning a program to register bikes, allowing the city to track stolen bikes and bolster reports of bike theft.

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Ballot Boxing
10:26 pm
Sat October 4, 2014

Listen: The Ballot Boxing District 7 Forum

Community members listen as Austin City Council candidates from district seven answer questions in a forum at the Alamo Drafthouse Village.
Mengwen Cao/KUT News

KUT continued its Ballot Boxing series of in-district Austin City Council forums Thursday night in District 7. Eight candidates joined moderators KXAN's Shannon Wolfson and Mike Kanin of the Austin Monitor at the Alamo Drafthouse Village on Anderson Lane.

Our Ballot Boxing forums will continue this Monday Oct. 6 in KUT's Studio 1a with the forum for District 9.

ACL 2014
12:42 pm
Fri October 3, 2014

How to Have a Carefree, Car-Free ACL Weekend

With Austin City Limits comes traffic, but there are plenty of options to avoid the
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT

ACL is here. That means – whether you’re a native Austinite or an out-of-towner – there will be traffic.

I-35, MoPac, Congress Avenue, Barton Springs, South Lamar and any other stretch of paved road remotely near the downtown area will likely begin to resemble a parking lot by the time things kick-off this weekend. While there's plenty of parking, we can pretty much guarantee that none of it will be free.

So, with that in mind, here’s a guide to help you get from point A to point B without getting behind the wheel.

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Austin
6:26 pm
Thu October 2, 2014

Austin Moves Closer to Legalizing Ridesharing Services, Uber & Lyft

Services like Uber Black are technically legal under the law. Drivers must have a chauffer's license and charge a minimum amount of $55.
Wikimedia Commons user Bull-Doser

The Austin City Council voted Thursday evening to move forward with plans to allow temporarily ridesharing services to operate legally in the city. But with many details still to be worked out, ordinance sponsor Chris Riley moved to vote to approve only on second reading.

"Given the concerns we've heard from both of the companies in the room and the uncertainty as to whether this will work at all, then I'm inclined to suggest that we just pass this on second reading and give this further consideration, because I don't think we want to give something final approval on an emergency basis only to find that it just doesn't work," Riley said just before the vote.

Among the issues discussed Thursday afternoon: insurance, access for people with disabilities, equity for taxicab operators, limits on the number of consecutive hours drivers could be on the roads, limits on surge pricing at times of emergency, driver background checks -- what about taxes?

The measure passed on second reading, with only Council Member Laura Morrison voting no. The Council will revisit the matter at their next meeting on October 16.

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2014 Elections
2:24 pm
Thu October 2, 2014

Could a New, Rail-Averse City Council Derail Prop 1?

A new proposal to build a light rail line in Austin isn't well-liked among City Council candidates.
Photo by Jeff Heimsath for KUT News

Austin voters are facing two major decisions this November.

First, Austinites will elect a new city council from brand new geographic districts, and voters will also decide whether to borrow $600 million to build a light rail line.

But, with so many City Hall hopefuls running on Prop 1-bashing stump speeches, what happens if voters approve the measure, and the next council has to implement policy they’ve sworn against?

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