1:28 pm
Tue November 8, 2011

Court Blocks Texas Redistricting Map, Prompts "Disorder"

Photo illustration by Nathan Bernier, KUT News

Controversial maps that redraw political boundaries in Texas will be sent to trial, delivering a blow to the Republican state lawmakers who dominated the redistricting process. A Washington D.C.-based federal court agreed with the U.S. Department of Justice that the state legislature used an improper standard for determining whether the new districts discriminate against minorities.

For some clarification on the ruling, we spoke to Jim Henson, a University of Texas professor of government and director of the Texas Politics Project.

KUT News: In plain language, what does this ruling mean?

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5:36 am
Wed November 2, 2011

Morning Headlines 11/2/11: Fallen Soldiers, Redistricting & Museum Merger

The Department of Defense has announced the death of an Austin soldier in Afghanistan. And funeral services will be held Wednesday for a soldier from Round Rock.
Photo by Simrat Sharma for KUT News.

Austin Soldier Killed in Afghanistan

The Department of Defense has announced the death of a solider from Austin. 38 year-old Sergeant James M. Darrough was one of four U.S. soldiers killed in a suicide car bombing Saturday in Kabul Province, Afghanistan. Sgt. Darrough was with the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. The Associated Press reports he is survived by his parents, his wife, two sons and two daughters.

Funeral Today for Round Rock Soldier

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News Brief
5:02 am
Fri September 30, 2011

Top Morning Stories September 30, 2011

A federal court has ordered the state of Texas to put a hold on implementing its redistricting maps.
Photo by KUT News.

Texas’ New Elections Maps Still in Limbo

A federal court in San Antonio has orderedTexas to halt redistricting plans for congressional and state legislative seats until the court has ruled on its legality.

Some Democratic politicians and minority groups sued the state, claiming the new district boundary lines, drawn by a Republican majority, would negatively impact minority voters. The new maps were supposed to go into effect tomorrow.

Al-Awlaki, U.S. Born Cleric Linked to Al-Qaida, is Dead

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News Brief
6:06 am
Thu September 15, 2011

Top Morning Stories September 15, 2011

Control of the 9,269 acre Christmas Mountains (outlined in yellow) is expected to be turned over to the Texas State University System by the state's General Land Office
Image courtesy Texas General Land Office.

Christmas Mountains to Texas State University System

Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson is expected to announce that the General Land Office will turn over control of the Christmas Mountains to the Texas State University System. Published reports indicate the wilderness area will be used as an outdoor lab and wilderness classroom. There had been discussion of selling the 9,200-plus acre land tract next to Big Bend National Park to a private owner, but it appears now that Sul Ross State University will take over administration of the West Texas land.

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7:18 pm
Mon June 20, 2011

Mueller Advocates Challenge AISD Redistricting Maps

A two-minute countdown clock for people who address the school board during public hearings, such as tonight's on redistricting.
Photo by Nathan Bernier for KUT News

Ever since fresh US Census data revealed large population disparities in Austin ISD's seven trustee districts, AISD has been working to redraw those political boundaries.  One challenge is balancing voter influence without violating the Voting Rights Act by diluting the influence of protected minority groups.

Those sometimes conflicting goals may be tested around the Mueller redevelopment project, a planned mixed-use community being constructed on the site of what used to be a municipal airport.

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News Brief
5:49 am
Wed June 15, 2011

Top Morning Stories June 15, 2011

The controversial sanctuary cities bill cleared the Texas Senate overnight.
KUT News

Senate Approves Sanctuary Cities Bill

The Texas Senate has passed controversial immigration legislation.  The so-called sanctuary cities bill would let law enforcement officers question people legally detained about their immigration status.  The vote broke along party lines with all Senate Republicans voting for it and all Democrats against it. 

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1:11 pm
Fri June 10, 2011

Austin School Board To Discuss Redistricting Process Monday

One of two proposed maps to redraw AISD Trustee boundaries in Austin. The red line shows existing boundaries and the colors reflected possible changes.
Image provided by Austin ISD

While it is unlikely to be as politically contentious as the Congressional redistricting process playing out at the State Capitol, the Austin Independent School District is nevertheless tasked with having to redraw boundaries for the seven regional seats on the school board.

The process has to happen before the 2012 general election, and it will not have any effect on school attendance zones.

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5:11 pm
Wed June 1, 2011

Imperiled Doggett 'Ready to Battle' New Texas Maps

U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett shows state district map.
Photo by Justin Dehn

Under a new congressional redistricting map unveiled Tuesday, U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin, would lose 60,000 residents who voted for President Barack Obama in 2008. Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune talked with Doggett about the proposal, which the longtime congressman said "plunged a dagger into the heart" of Travis County.

2:51 pm
Wed May 11, 2011

Proposed Senate Map Would Split Travis County In Four Parts

Travis County would be split into four different state senate districts under a proposal by Senate Redistricting Chairman Kel Seliger (R-Amarillo). Click to see the existing Travis County boundaries.

Travis County's influence on state politics would be watered down in a proposed redistricting map proposed by Senate Redistricting Chairman Kel Seliger (R-Amarillo). The county would be sliced four ways in the redistricting map for the state senate, with each quadrant rolling into more politically conservative counties that surround it.

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1:38 pm
Thu April 28, 2011

Proposed Congressional Map Angers Democrats

A proposed map of Travis County's congressional seats following redistricting.
Image courtesy Office of Rep. Lloyd Doggett

A proposed map of new Congressional districts in Texas has one incumbent representative steaming mad.

U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Austin) issued a statement about the map earlier today, claiming it effectively splits Travis County up into four Congressional districts.

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News Brief
6:35 am
Wed April 27, 2011

Top Morning Stories April 27, 2011

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Officer Involved Shooting in Williamson County

At about midnight the Williamson County Sheriff's Office got several 911 calls of shots fired in the 200 block of Spotted Fawn Drive, west of the 130 toll way in Hutto. Deputies responded, along with a DPS trooper. 

A Williamson County Sheriff's Office spokesman told KUT that officers found a suspect who had barricaded himself in a shed, they ordered him out, and the suspect came out pointing a gun at authorities. Officers then fired at the suspect, and he was hit.  The suspect was taken to a Williamson County hospital and officials say he is currently in stable condition. 

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12:44 pm
Thu March 24, 2011

Testimony Begins on State House Redistricting

Lawmakers are hard a work drawing new State House maps.
Map courtesy Texas Legislative Council

The House Redistricting Committee has begun taking testimony on what the state's new House district map should look like. Based on 2010 Census data it looks like rural West Texas is going to lose representation. While the population growth in South and Central Texas counties means those areas will gain a few seats.

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