Austin

SXSW 2014
3:59 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Two Victims of SXSW Crash, Including Critical Patient, Are Fort Worth Teens

The memorial outside the Mohawk nightclub on Red River Street, where two were killed and 23 injured last week.
Andrew Huygen for KUT News

Update: Curtisha Davis has been released from University Medical Center Brackenridge, a hospital spokesperson says. According to Fort Worth media, she has returned home. Her boyfriend, DeAndre Tatum, remains in critical condition.

Two other Brackenridge patients (Gracie Nguyen, Evan West) remain in fair condition; at St. David's hospital, Mason Endres also remains in fair condition.

Another Brackenridge patient (Joseph McCraney) remains in good condition. 

Original story (1: 56 p.m.): KERA News in Dallas has details on two of the victims in last week's fatal South by Southwest crash.

Two of the victims still hospitalized – 17-year-old Curtisha Davis and 18-year-old DeAndre Tatum – are current and former students at Trimble Tech High School in Fort Worth. "Cheerleader Curtisha Davis is expected to leave the hospital in the next few days," KERA reports."But DeAndre Tatum is still in a medically induced coma." The two are girlfriend and boyfriend. 

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Austin City Council
2:54 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Laura Morrison Says She Will Not Run for Austin Mayor

Council member Laura Morrison says she will not run for mayor of Austin.
KUT

This article is written by KUT's City Hall reporting partner, the Austin Monitor

Council Member Laura Morrison, who has served on the Austin City Council for nearly six years and has been considered a likely candidate for Mayor on the November ballot told the Austin Monitor today that she has decided against the race.

Morrison, 59, said decision was a difficult one for her. “I love this job and it’s been … very complicated and difficult. It’s taken me a long time to make this decision.”  Weighing all the pros and cons of a race that might cost up to a million dollars, Morrison said, “I just think a different future is what’s right for me.”

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SXSW 2014
1:30 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Fort Worth Students Dealing With Death Of One Classmate, SXSW Injuries Of Two Others

Trimble Tech student Marissa Edwards says it's not easy to focus on her studies right now.
Reverend Kyev Tatum Trimble Tech High School

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 12:46 pm

Students and teachers at Trimble Tech High School in Fort Worth are coping with a pair of tragedies. Just before spring break, junior Jocelyn Saucedo was fatally stabbed. And last week, a cheerleader and her boyfriend were among the two dozen injured in Austin when a car plowed into a crowd at the South by Southwest festival.

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SXSW 2014
10:26 am
Tue March 18, 2014

SXSW Crash Update: Third Victim Dies From Injuries

A memorial outside the Mohawk nightclub, the site of a fatal crash which has now claimed three lives.
Andrew Huygen for KUT News

A patient injured in last week's car collision with South by Southwest crowds has died. 

Sandy Thuy Le, 26, died this morning at University Medical Center Brackenridge. She was an Austin resident, according to social media.

Le is the third to die from injuries incurred in the Thursday morning crash; 27 year-old Austinite Jamie Ranae West and 35 year-old Dutch visitor Steven Craenmehr were pronounced dead at the crash scene. 

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SXSW 2014
2:10 pm
Sun March 16, 2014

SXSW Crash Update: Capital Murder Charge for Rashad Owens; Victims Remain Hospitalized

Onlookers at a memorial in front of The Mohawk honoring victims of a crash outside the club earlier that week.
Gabriel Cristóver Pérez for KUT News

Summary: 21 year-old Rashad Owens has been formally charged in this week’s crash that killed two people and injured 23 on Red River Street during South by Southwest. As of Saturday, he remains in custody.

Court documents show Owens had a blood alcohol content of 0.114, above the legal limit of .08. Read the entire charging affidavit here.

Owens was charged with one count of capital murder. His bail was set at $3 million. More charges could follow.

South by Southwest concluded Sunday with a handful of events. A charity fund created for the crash victims and their families, SXSW Cares, has already netted tens of thousands of dollars. 

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SXSW 2014
8:25 am
Sun March 16, 2014

SXSW Crash Victim Gets a Hospital Room Show From a Favorite Band

Phoenix-based Jared & The Mill visited Mason Endres at St. David's Medical Center on March 15, 2014.

As of Sunday morning, seven people remain hospitalized from Thursday's fatal crash outside of the Mohawk on Red River Drive.

Six are at Seton, with two in critical condition. St. David’s HealthCare discharged one patient Saturday and now has just one patient left, 18-year-old Mason Endres. Mason has been surrounded by friends and family during her hospitalization, but on Saturday she got a surprise visit.

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SXSW 2014
6:56 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

All The Free Swag At SXSW Probably Isn't Accomplishing Much

Philip Issa and Ayla Schlosser. At this Yeaser SXSW, Schlosser won a free computer at the conference.
Credit Mose Buchele

Three free pairs of sunglasses, one Twinkie, one cupcake, lots of Cracker Jacks, a drink ticket, a sticker of a banana, and one invitation to a BBQ and concert, courtesy of the government of Canada.  

All that was to be had just by walking five blocks of Sixth Street during South by Southwest 2014.

It's a lot of stuff given out by companies and others trying to help their "brand," and much of it has no influence at all. 

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Austin
5:00 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

SXSW Brands & Bands: How They Work Together

Bagheera play a Red Bull Sound Select Show
facebook.com/BagheeraMusic

If there’s one common sight at South By Southwest it’s brands.

Doritos to Samsung and everything in between. And some criticize the festival, saying it’s become more about the brands, when it used to be about – the bands.

But there’s at least one brand, a big one,  that says they’re using their name to search out and develop undiscovered musical talent.

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SXSW 2014
3:14 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

At SXSW Trade Show, Other Cities Say They Come to Pitch, Not Poach

Cities and countries are pitching themselves at SXSW as places for tourism and economic development.
Michael Samm

Update: KUT's Kate McGee appeared on WBUR's Here and Now to discuss governments pitching themselves at SXSW.

Read and listen: Cities And Countries Pitch Themselves At SXSW 

Original story (March 12): At South by Southwest, tech companies may come to pitch the next big mobile app or hardware, but city governments are also here to pitch themselves as the best place to create that next big app.

“There’s a collision of all the kinds of people were trying to attract, talented engineers looking for their next great opportunity, companies looking for a place to grow, or investors seeking deal flow," says Jenifer Boss, the director of business development with the deputy mayor’s office in Washington D.C.. "And we want to take advantage of having all those people in one place."  

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SXSW 2014
2:34 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

PHOTOS: Scenes From SXSW 2014

The Southern Fried SXSW event spills out into Sixth Street.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon, KUT News

KUT's multimedia team has been documenting South by Southwest 2014 since its kickoff last week. Take a look at their street scenes below. And check out more pics on our sister station KUTX's Flickr page.

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SXSW 2014
8:38 am
Fri March 14, 2014

What Happens When a Local Business Opts Out of SXSW

Craft Pride general manager David Voss answers a customer's question. The bar did not participate in any SXSW-related events this year.
Jon Shapley for KUT News

Thousands of bands have come to town for SXSW, and many of them are here thanks to one thing: brands. Doritos is reportedly paying Lady Gaga millions to do a show. Chevy is giving people free rides around town. Toilet paper brand Cottonelle even has a "refresh lounge" at the festival this year.

But what happens to local businesses that opt out of corporate freebies and VIP-only parties? 

To find out, just head to Rainey Street, aka Corporate Party Central. But at the southern end of the street sits a bar that's proudly banner-free, with no velvet rope and no VIP guestlists: Craft Pride.

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SXSW 2014
7:07 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

SXSW Crash Raises Concerns About Barricade Safety

A car plowed through barricades like these early Thursday morning, killing two and injuring 23. Now, some are questioning whether the city of Austin should use stronger barriers to increase pedestrian safety.
Filipa Rodrigues, KUT News

Every year during South by Southwest, police use barricades to create pedestrian-only streets. They’re meant to protect the large crowds that descend on the city.

But early Thursday morning, a driver plowed through one of those barricades, killing two people and injuring 23 others.

Now, some people, like pedestrian safety expert Rob Reiter, are questioning if the city should put more protective barriers in place. He says crashes like the one last night are preventable if the right types of barricades are used.

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Austin
6:44 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

How You Can Help SXSW Crash Victims

People offered prayers for the victims at a vigil Thursday at St. David’s Episcopal Church. You can also help by donating blood, offering money or providing evidence to police.
Mary Elizabeth Ashton

After an early morning crash on Red River Street claimed two lives and hospitalized almost two dozen people, some are understandably asking, "What can I do to help?" Here are some ideas.

Give Money:  SXSW, the City of Austin and Transmission Events set up a relief fund for the victims and their families. You can make a donation at SXSWCares.com. Other ways to contribute are at sxswrelief.org.  

Albert Smith, who operates the Unofficial SXSW Guide, is also raising money at this GoFundMe page

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SXSW 2014
4:52 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Two Dead After Driver Plows Into SXSW Crowd; Suspect in Custody

The incident took place outside The Mohawk, a popular SXSW venue.
Ashley Park for KUT

This post is no longer being updated. See more from KUT:

Summary: An Austin woman and a male visitor from the Netherlands are dead after a car plowed through South by Southwest crowds in Downtown Austin early this morning. The collisions took place along Red River Street near The Mohawk, a popular SXSW venue. Nearly two dozen were injured.  

Austin Police have a suspect in custody, 21 year-old Rashad Charjuan Owens. He's been charged with two counts of capital murder.

The Austin victim is 27-year-old Jamie Ranae West, according to several news reports, including one from the Austin American-Statesman.  

Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo told reporters Thursday morning that the incident started as a traffic stop (part of police efforts to crack down on drunk drivers) at the Shell Gas station at Ninth Street and the Interstate 35 frontage road. Chief Acevedo says the driver drove into the gas station parking lot, but then sped off and started driving the wrong way down Ninth Street.

APD pursued the driver, who then tried to strike one officer working barricade duty, and continued speeding onto Red River. Acevedo says the driver hit multiple pedestrians on the street, killing two on vehicles: an Austin female that was a passenger on a moped, and  a male visitor from the Netherlands who was killed on his bicycle. (Initial police reports said both passengers on the moped were killed.)

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Austin
4:07 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Mayor Leffingwell Hosts Reddit 'Ask Me Anything' Thread

Mayor Lee Leffingwell is fielding questions on Reddit right now.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Update: Mayor Leffingwell just finished fielding questions in his Reddit "Ask Me Anything" session. Here's a sampling of his answers.

A robust defense of South by Southwest:

In response to a question describing the "burden" of hosting SXSW, he wrote:

"SXSW brought $218 million of economic impact in 2013. Austin benefits incredibly from being on the international stage due to the festival. I believe it's well worth a week's worth of minor inconvenience for all of the positive impacts it brings. It is also a tourism festival. People come here, spend all of their money and then go home. Not too shabby."

A dig at Austin's wage floor:
In October, the Austin City Council approved a $11/hour wage floor for companies receiving city incentives. Leffingwell used his IAmA to take a swipe at the requirement, in answer to what can be done about Austin's growing economic divide:

"We collaborate with educational organizations, such as UT, ACC, etc. I believe increased training and education will help create more opportunities and a better quality of life. I support bringing manufacturing level jobs to our city, but this is challenging because of wage restrictions recently passed by council. I realize that this is an important issue."

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Austin
5:00 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Vulcan Gas Company Returns As An Electronic Music Club

Original Vulcan Gas Company Poster advertising a show with Shiva's Headband, The Conqueroo and Georgetown Medical Band
Credit The Vulcan Gas Company

Austin’s Vulcan Gas Company was only open for a few years in the 1960s.

But in that brief time the music venue showcased legendary acts like the Velvet Underground, Janis Joplin and Moby Grape.
It’s been revered as one of the early homes of psychedelic rock and helped pave the way for legendary Austin music establishment- the Armadillo World Headquarters.

Tonight, as the South By Southwest Music festival gets underway, the Vulcan Gas Company name has been revived – in a new location. 
Here’s a look back at its past and what the owners of its new incarnation hope to offer.

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SXSW 2014
5:49 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

How Driverless Cars Could Change the Way We Travel

Google is one company leading the creation of self-driving cars. While the technology itself is revolutionary, Chandra Bhat says it also has big implications for how people may travel in the future.
Wells Dunbar, KUT News

Self-driving cars are coming. It’s just a matter of when. Last year, four states passed laws allowing driverless cars on the road.  But for Chandra Bhat, director of the Center for Transportation Research at the University of Texas, the question is how driverless cars will affect other consumer choices people make: where they live, what types of cars they own, when they travel?

Listen to Bhat talk about some of those ways below.

Bhat spoke at SXSW Interactive on Monday about the implications of driverless cars.

SXSW 2014
10:59 pm
Sun March 9, 2014

Watch This Mural in Downtown Austin Come Alive on Your Smartphone

Two artists have created a mural in downtown Austin that becomes interactive when you hold up your smartphone to the mural.
Kate McGee, KUT News

The side of the Recess Arcade Bar on the corner of San Jacinto and East Sixth Street looks a little different.

Artists Jordan Seiler and BC Biermann spent the entire weekend pasting an 84 foot long mural on the side of the building.

Sieler, based in New York, says the mural deals with ideas of production and consumption.

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Austin
8:05 am
Sun March 9, 2014

Zilker Kite Festival Canceled Due to Rain

flickr.com/sonicpenguin

The 86th annual Zilker Kite Festival has been canceled, after last night's storm drenched Zilker Park. More rain is in the forecast today.

In a statement, festival organizers said they had planned to go forward, until the weather turned even worse last night.

"We want to be especially respectful of our home – Zilker Park – and with this type of weather, we risk doing too much damage to the park under these wet conditions," said a statement on the festival's website.

SXSW 2014
7:58 am
Sat March 8, 2014

Are Massive Open Online Courses Worth It?

Massive Open Online Courses or MOOCs are free, online courses hosted by universities, but open to anyone with Internet access. Universities and colleges are increasingly offering them, but some question the MOOC model.
Photo by Jeff Heimsath for KUT News

Massive Open Online Courses or MOOCs are free, online courses hosted by universities, but open to anyone with Internet access. They’re a recent development in higher education.

This year, the University of Texas at Austin offered nine MOOCs through the nonprofit, edX.

Many praise MOOCs as a way to provide more educational opportunity, but some are questioning whether MOOCs are really a successful education model.

Jeff Meadows is one of those people.

He’s a teacher development coordinator with the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada and he’s hosting a core conversation at SXSW called, “If MOOCs Are So Great, Why Aren’t We All Doing it?" He came to KUT to talk more about it.

Listen below.

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