holidays

Education
6:38 am
Fri April 18, 2014

It's Good Friday – But Some Area School Districts Are Holding Classes

Several area school districts have to make up classes missed due to bad weather this winter.
Nathan Bernier, KUT News

Most Austin area school districts are closed today for the Good Friday holiday. But some students will be attending class.

That’s because they’re making up days off for bad weather earlier in the school year.

DO have school:

  • Burnet ISD will have regular school hours today.
  • Del Valle ISD is holding classes today.
  • Dripping Springs ISD is holding classes today and on Memorial Day to make up for canceled classes.
  • Eanes ISD is holding classes today. The rest of the school year will continue as planned.
  • Lockhart ISD will hold regular school hours today and on Memorial Day.
  • Manor ISD is holding classes today as a make-up. There will not be classes on Memorial Day.
  • Texas School for the Deaf will have regular school hours today.
  • Wimberley ISD is also holding classes this Good Friday.

DO NOT have school:

  • Austin ISD is off today. AISD has no make-up days scheduled for the rest of the school year.
Read more
Energy & Environment
6:15 am
Mon December 23, 2013

How Much Energy Do We Use at the Holidays?

The holidays can mean lumps of coal - not in stockings, but in power plants.
flickr.com/pagedooley

The holidays are here and it might surprise people how energy-intensive they can be. Commentator Michael Webber is keeping a list - and checking it twice - on some ways we burn fuel this time of year.

For starters: There's the energy involved in travel to visit family – those long road trips over the hills and through the woods to visit Grandma, plane flights, even train travel.

Then there's the energy for heating our homes during cold weather. In the northeast that's likely fuel oil; gas in the Southwest; and electricity in the South. Then there are all those presents!

Read more
Holiday Safety
8:53 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Holiday Safety: Tips For Not Getting Your Car Stolen or House Set on Fire

Trimming the tree? Be sure to replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulbs.
flickr.com/waferboard

The holiday season is here. For many that means traveling, shopping and celebrating – all of which can pose certain safety issues. Here’s a rundown of holiday safety tips, and info about city services offered over the winter holidays:

Auto-Burglary Awareness Program

In Texas, a vehicle is broken into every 2.5 minutes, and auto-burglaries escalate during the holiday season.  With the holiday season upon us, local law enforcement is raising awareness over auto burglaries.  

The Austin Police Department's Auto Theft Interdiction Project suggests that you take the following actions to reduce your chances of becoming a victim of auto burglary:

  • Lock your car and take your keys
  • Park in well-lit areas
  • Don’t leave valuables in plain view
  • Stay alert and be aware of your surroundings      
  • Avoid carrying a large amount of cash or credit cards
Read more
Season for Giving
7:50 am
Wed December 18, 2013

How the Salvation Army Brings Santa's Workshop to South Austin

"Elves" from all over the country volunteer for the Salvation Army in the weeks leading up to Christmas.
Credit Jan Gunter

Christmas is fast approaching and Santa’s elves are hard at work – not just at the North Pole, but here in  Austin.

For more than a century, the Salvation Army has been helping with Santa's mission. Back in the 1800s, the Salvation Army’s Christmas mission consisted of delivering food baskets to people who would otherwise go hungry.

But by the 1970s, Austin Salvation Army Major Shannon Winters recalls, the group’s focus turned to toys for children in need. Its humble mission grew into a project that, in Winters’ words, now covers “six thousand children in Austin that are depending on us.”

Read more
Holiday Giving
11:11 am
Fri November 29, 2013

'Santa to a Senior' Brings Holiday Cheer to Austin's Elderly

The program encourages Austinites to spread a little holiday cheer to an older person in need.
flickr.com/davekellam

The holidays can be a difficult time of year for older people. Many live alone and are on fixed incomes.

The local Home Instead Senior Care offices are encouraging Central Texans to “Be a Santa to a Senior” by purchasing gifts for area seniors in need.

The group has identified more than 1,000 older people in the Austin area who could use a little holiday cheer. Many have lost a spouse or don’t have immediate family in the area.

Read more
Texas
10:01 am
Mon May 27, 2013

For One Austin Man, Every Day Is Worth a Memorial

Rick Smith began his Memorial Day morning just like he does every day – by ceremoniously raising the U.S. flag.
Joy Diaz for KUT News

The story as it aired on KUT News 90.5 FM.

Every Memorial Day we remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the name of duty.

But Rick Smith doesn’t wait on any specific day of the year. He has made it his mission in life to honor the U.S. flag every morning and night – and plans on doing so for the rest of his life.

Read more
Transportation
4:15 pm
Wed December 19, 2012

ABIA and AAA Hope These Travel Tips Make for Happy Holidays

Holiday travelers are told to arrive early for flights at ABIA.
KUT News

If you’re flying out of Austin for the holidays, be ready to arrive at the airport early and expect long lines.  Austin-Bergstrom International Airport is advising travelers to arrive 90 minutes before their departure time from today through Dec. 21.

Checkpoints open at 4 a.m. to give passengers on the earliest flights ample time to get check their bags and get through security. ABIA has also temporarily opened a fourth security checkpoint to handle the high volume of holiday travelers and reduce security wait times.  

Read more
Crime
10:06 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Austin, Don't Be Duped by This Phony Salvation Army Bell Ringer

How to make sure your donations are going to the Salvation Army.
KUT News

The Austin Salvation Army is warning people to keep an eye out for imposter bell ringers after a man was spotted with a red kettle at the corner of Parmer and Metric yesterday.

The Salvation Army says bell ringers who are collecting money legitimately for the organization will have necessary signage and identification and won't be positioned on street corners. Instead, Salvation Army bell ringers are located at stores and malls.

Read more
Arts and Culture
1:03 pm
Wed September 19, 2012

Celebrate Talk Like a Pirate Day, Austin Style

flickr.com/serfs-up

If you’re feeling holiday withdrawal during the weeks between Labor Day and Halloween, there’s good news: today you can celebrate International Talk Like a Pirate Day

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the quirky holiday. International Talk Like a Pirate Day was created in 2002 after columnist Dave Barry wrote a piece in the Miami Herald about the piratical exploits of Oregonians John Baur and Mark Summers (otherwise known by their pirate aliases, Ol’ Chumbucket and Cap’n Slappy). Baur and Summers began Talk Like a Pirate Day among their circle of friends while playing racquetball in 1995 and appealed to Barry to publicize the event seven years later. 

Today, International Talk Like a Pirate Day is celebrated with events all over the world, from Texas to Japan.

Read more
Transportation
1:07 pm
Tue July 3, 2012

DPS Increasing Patrols This Independence Day; APD Sets 'No Refusal' Enforcement

The Department of Public Safety will increase DWI checkpoints for nine days surrounding July 4th.
Daniel Reese, KUT News

The Texas Department of Public Safety is reminding Fourth of July revelers to plan ahead before they party.

“If you are drinking, make sure you have a designated driver or some other form of transportation,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “Otherwise, you could be making a very expensive or even fatal mistake.”

DPS has ramped up DWI patrols and will continue to increase enforcement through July 8. The department will focus their patrols on areas they consider to be high-risk during holiday weekends.

Read more
holidays
3:50 pm
Tue November 1, 2011

Zilker Tree Lights Are Strung But Won't Turn On Till December

The Zilker Tree was strung today. It will not be switched on until December 4th, 2011.
Photo courtesy of maddcow http://www.flickr.com/photos/maddcovv/

An Austin Energy tradition going on 45 years continued today as the power company hung Christmas lights around the park's moonlight tower. The Zilker Tree will not be lit, however, until December 4. 

Meanwhile, the Trail of Lights is back this year was cancelled again this year. Check out the story here.   

Health
12:44 pm
Fri December 31, 2010

Four Ways People Get Depressed Over the Holidays

For some, the holiday season can be anything but merry and jolly.
Image courtesy http://flickr.com/BLW Photography

People have a lot going on this time of year. Party planning, family and friends in town, plus thinking about work next year and meeting those New Year’s resolutions.

For some, all of this can be too much. Michelle Magid calls it the holiday blues. She’s a psychiatrist at Seton Shoal Creek Hospital and an assistant professor at UT Southwestern in Dallas.

Read more
Transportation
2:00 pm
Fri December 24, 2010

There Are Practically A Billion Ways To Track Santa Claus Online

Image courtesy Lady Dragonfly CC http://www.flickr.com/photos/ladydragonflyherworld/

Probably no surprise that the guy credited with distributing gifts to millions of kids is getting more tech savvy. Here are some ways to track Santa's flight path on the WWW.

The official NORAD Santa Tracker is going mobile. Not only can you follow Saint Nick's path on their website, but you can also follow his progress on your cell phone by visiting m.noradsanta.org or doing a search for "Santa" on your smartphone's Google Maps app.

Read more
Arts and Culture
11:22 am
Tue December 21, 2010

Free Show Next To Zilker Tree Billed As Alternative To Trail Of Lights

The city had to cancel the Trail of Lights this year because of budget cuts, but there is another event going on in its place.  It's not quite the Trail of Lights, but it is bright, it's holiday-themed, and it's next to the Zilker Tree.

Flipped ON Christmas runs through December 23rd. It's an "extraordinary, world-class, light and sound experience that's being produced by Austinites," according to spokesperson Jennifer Hill Robenalt.

Read more
Charity
11:59 am
Mon December 20, 2010

Four Fun Ways To Help The Less Fortunate This Holiday Season

Austin's bustling non-profit community is brimming with need over the holidays. There's no way we can mention them all, but here are four charities that could use your help. Please add your favorite non-profit to support in the comments section below.

Read more