bastrop

Crime & Justice
8:13 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

Bastrop Sheriff's Deputy Avoids Charges in High School Taser Case

Noe Nino de Rivera was placed in a medically induced coma for 52 days after he was tased by a Bastrop County Sheriff’s Deputy at Cedar Creek High School on Nov. 20, 2013. He is now recovering at a rehab center in the Hill Country.
Credit Adam Loewy

A Bastrop County Sheriff's deputy who Tased a 17-year-old in the hallway of Cedar Creek High School last year will not face any charges.

The teenager, Noe Niño De Rivera, spent almost two months in a medically induced coma and is now in a residential rehabilitation center in the Hill Country. He is believed to have suffered a permanent brain injury.

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Education
9:00 am
Fri February 15, 2013

Bastrop ISD 'Welcomes' Look Into Discrimination Charges

Bastrop ISD Superintendent Steve Murray says the district embraces "the diverse nature of our district and see it as a strength and benefit to all involved."
Nathan Bernier, KUT News

In a letter to parents titled "BISD Welcomes OCR", Bastrop Independent School District Superintendent Steve Murray says his school district welcomes an investigation from the United States Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR).

The investigation is over allegations that Bastrop ISD has practiced "class-wide discrimination" against African-American and Hispanic employees and students.

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Environment
5:10 am
Thu January 31, 2013

UT Students to Give Tree Seedlings to Bastrop

More than 40,000 lobolly tree seedlings are being extracted and sent to Bastrop.
UT's Campus Enviornmental Center

University of Texas at Austin students who are part of the Campus Environmental Center are helping to reforest the burnt lands of Bastrop by sending the city more than 40,000 loblolly pine tree seedlings.

Vlad Codrea, a graduate research assistant at UT, is overseeing the project at the tree nursery at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. From 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Thursday, the Campus Environmental Center will extract the tree seedlings from their containers and package them to be sent to Bastrop.

Codrea said the project actually began in March 2011, before the Bastrop fires, when he first asked for funding for a tree nursery from UT's Green Fee Committee. The Committee reviews environmental projects pitched by UT students and awards grant money so the students can complete these projects. Codrea was awarded a $54,198  grant over four years.

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Wildfires
10:08 am
Fri September 28, 2012

Final Day for Bastrop Fire Victims to Apply for Housing Aid

Thousands of people lost their homes in the Bastrop wildfires.
Jeff Heimsath for KUT News

People who lost their homes in the Bastrop wildfires last year have until the end of business today to apply for federal housing aid.

As KUT News previously reported, The Texas General Land Office says far fewer people than anticipated have applied for U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development aid.

The Texas General Land Office is distributing about $20 million that could help as many as 200 fire victims.  Each applicant could get as much as $125,000 to put towards rebuilding their homes.

Another $5 million is going directly to Bastrop County for erosion control and other fire mitigation projects.

But at last check, less than 90 people had applied—although 2,100 homes were destroyed in the fire.

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Wildfires
1:47 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

Few Bastrop Fire Victims Apply for Federal Housing Aid

Thousands of people lost almost everything in the Bastrop wildfires.
Teresa Vieira for KUT News

The Texas General Land Office says far fewer Bastrop fire victims have applied for federal housing aid than anticipated.

Friday is the deadline for Bastrop fire victims to apply for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Aid to fix or rebuild their homes.

So far, only about 85 homeowners have applied — although some 2,100 homes were destroyed in the fire.

“Definitely that is one of the drawbacks of federal funding is that it takes a long time to get down to the people and so the state didn’t have that available to them until just a few weeks ago to even put this application out. And so some people, when a year has passed, they’ve found other ways to recover on their own because they just can’t wait," says Katy Sellers, the land office's  Liaison Manager for Disaster.

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AM Update: 9/6/12
8:41 am
Thu September 6, 2012

AM Update: Funds for Bastrop Fire Victims, Tech Firm Opens Austin Office, Roddick Hangs Up Racket

Those who lost homes in the Bastrop wildfires can now apply for federal aid to help them rebuild.
Reshma Kirpalani for KUT News

Good morning. We're looking at another hot one today, with a high of 102 degrees. Here's some of the region's top overnight stories. 

Rebuilding Grants for Bastrop Fire Victims

It’s been just over one year since wildfires tore across Central Texas. Many fire victims are still rebuilding their lives.

Now, the Texas General Land Office is taking applications for federal aid from people whose homes were lost or damaged in the Bastrop fires.

The money is coming from more than $30 million dollars in Community Development Block Grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

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Wildfires
3:26 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Confusion Over Release of 'Final' Bastrop Fire Case Study

The case study examines why some homes burned in the Bastrop Complex Wildfire while others did not.
Jeff Heimsath for KUT News

A recent case study examines the details of last September’s Bastrop wildfire. The fire destroyed 1,600 homes and burned 32,000 acres.

But there seems to be some confusion over whether the report of the fire that’s being released by Bastrop County is the final version.

Bastrop County Emergency Management Coordinator Mike Fisher helped author the case study. Earlier this month, he presented the report to county commissioners. And he plans to release it to the public later this week.

But the Texas Forest Service – another partner in putting the study together – says the version that Fisher has released is not the final version. And, it says, it may not be completely accurate.

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Wildfires
4:47 pm
Mon April 9, 2012

Bastrop State Park Reopening

Crews chipping burnt wood inside Bastrop State Park.
Photo courtesy Texas Parks and Wildlife

Bastrop State Park is expected to be almost completely open by this weekend – seven months after wildfires ravaged the area.

Officials say more than 80 percent of the park’s trails will be open in the coming days, and reservations are being taken for campgrounds and cabins. More on the closures is available at the park’s website.

Closed in the aftermath of the Central Texas wildfires, the grand re-opening of Bastrop State Park is being planned for Labor Day weekend – the one year anniversary of the wildfires. The park saw incredible damage from the Central Texas wildfires, with flames engulfing nearly two-thirds of the 6,600 acre park. (You can see photos of the devastation in a slide show from KUT News.)

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wildfires
1:32 pm
Tue November 8, 2011

FEMA To Close Bastrop Emergency Center November 18

FEMA will close its Bastrop recovery center November 18. Victims have until December 8 to apply for relief from the September wildfires.
Photo by Jeff Heimsath for KUT News.

In a sign that victims of September’s 34,000 acre Bastrop wildfire have received the majority of services they need to begin their recovery, the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Disaster Recovery Center in Bastrop will close next Friday.

"Just the physical presence will be gone," FEMA spokesperson Ericka Lopez said. "However, we will still have other federal representatives that will be doing public infrastructure works, as well as additional work in the Bastrop area and other Texas wildfire affected areas."

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wildfires
11:44 am
Tue September 6, 2011

Bastrop Fire Grows to 30,000 Acres

An image of the Bastrop wildfire captured on Monday
Photo by Earl Nottingham, Texas Parks and Wildlife

A stubborn wildfire in Bastrop County has grown to almost 30,000 acres, and is zero percent contained. The blaze has already destroyed 476 buildings, despite the bold efforts of firefighters working to contain the inferno.

More than 20 neighborhoods have been evacuated. Fire crews are using these assets to combat the blaze.

People who evacuate their homes are being asked to check in at one of these shelters, even if they don’t intend to stay there, so public safety officials can account for everyone. So far, 2,500 people have registered at these evacuation centers and 400 people are actually staying there, according to Bastrop County Judge Ronnie McDonald.

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