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People downstream of the Colorado River are asked to stay away from the water following the release of possibly untreated wastewater into the River, near the airport.

South Austin Wastewater Treatment Plant Back Online

The Austin Water Utility said the plant was back in service at ten last night. The plant had been shut down earlier Tuesday because of a chlorine leak. The utility said about 300,000 gallons of what was believed to be untreated wastewater entered the Colorado River.

Photo courtesy of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

Texas Executes Man Convicted in Post 9/11 Shootings

The State of Texas executed a man last night who went on a shooting spree after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.  Mark Stroman was put to death for killing Dallas-area convenience store clerk Vasudev Patel. Stroman also killed Waqar Hasan and injured Rais Bhuiyan. Stroman said he was targeting people who he thought were of Middle Eastern descent. 

The city's alternative weekly, the Austin Chronicle, hit news stands today with the shocking front page story that South by Southwest was planning construction of a nine story dome in Bastrop to host the annual music, internet, film, and education conference outside Austin city limits.

Maybe you couldn't make it out to South by Southwest, or maybe you developed warm, nostalgic feelings for the party in the 10 days since it ended. At any rate, here's an amazing look at official and unofficial events during SXSW Music through the eyes of KUT videographer Paulo Martins.

Record breaking numbers of music fans swarmed the city for South by Southwest over the last few days, leaving behind a trail of beer cans and empty potato chip bags.  Keep Austin Beautiful is now trying to convince 4,000 people to help clean up anything still on the ground by Saturday, April 9.

Photo by Nathan Bernier

The epic ten-day party that crashed down on Austin last week has grown to the point where it needs to be scaled back, according to City of Austin Music Programs Manager, Don Pitts.  "We need to curtail it, and I think dial it back some," Pitts said in a phone interview with KUT News.

"Some tougher standards should take place, and a lot of the events that we saw, the promoters or event producers were pretty inexperienced in handling those sizes of crowds," Pitts told KUT News.

Celebrity blogger Perez Hilton drew a huge crowd for his annual SXSW show at the new ACL Live venue Saturday night.  The new location gave Hilton's event a more SXSW mainstream feel.  Security was tight and many fans who waited in line for wristbands earlier in the day did not get in, though there was never a guarantee.  Those who did get in, got to see performances by New Zealand's Kids of 88 and Zowie, Liz Phair, The Pretty Reckless, and Dirty Vegas.  Here's the Austin 360's

Image by Ian Crawford for KUT News

"When a Young Man's Fancy..."

We'll start your Sunday with something that will put a spring in your step:  The vernal equinox occurs at 6:21 p.m. today, meaning today is the first day of spring.  High temperatures today will be in the spring-like 80s, though not as warm as the past two days.

SXSW Ends with Celebration, Complaints

Photo by Nathan Bernier

Work crews arrived this morning to 1103 E. 6th St. after a fire disrupted a South by Southwest party at Brocca Gallery on Tuesday. The Austin Fire Department says the blaze caused an estimated $100,000 in damage and was started by malfunctioning electrical equipment. The cause has been ruled accidental.

The fire also closed Fast Folks Cyclery next door. The owners posted on their Twitter account last night that their shop is okay.

Continue reading for pictures and video.

Photo by Nathan Bernier

Comfortable shoes and iPad 2s are making way for synthesizers and neck tattoos as South by Southwest shift gears overnight from interactive to music.  The latter brings out much larger crowds, so the city is shutting E. 6th St. at midnight. Right now there are signs warning people to move their vehicles. Check out our Google Map of road closures after the jump.

Photo by Nathan Bernier

Tech companies, ranging from independent iPhone app developers to multinational wireless providers, are competing for the attention of South by Southwest Interactive attendees who wander onto the trade show floor at the Austin Convention Center. Free beer and cotton candy are among the enticements, but once that traffic is built, is the message getting across?

Photo by Nathan Bernier

Non-profits are using tools like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Foursquare to grow their base of support, and at a South by Southwest Interactive panel this morning, representatives of those companies spoke about what's worked and what hasn't.

Photo by Nathan Bernier for KUT News


Creative use of social media helped market the return of Pee Wee Herman to a national audience, according to the actor who created the character, Paul Reubens.

Reubens was interviewed at South by Southwest today editor-in-chief Mike Sampson. The two had a wide-ranging discussion about Reubens' three decade career and recent comeback. At least 200 people packed into a room at the Austin Convention Center room to hear Reubens speak as himself, not in his Pee Wee character.

African-Americans in Texas are more likely than whites to die from a host of diseases including diabetes, cancer, and HIV. But efforts to educate minorities about health risks through social media have largely fallen flat. Broadband access is limited in minority communities, government red tape restricts state agencies, and public health groups often fail to engage effectively with their social media followers.

Image via Media Tools, courtesy Google, DigitalGlobe, GeoEye


Japan Death Toll Soars

Photo by Nathan Bernier for KUT News


Would you pay $10,000 and set up a boxing ring in the Austin Convention Center to promote an iPhone game? For Sam Shahidi with RockLive in Irvine, California, it was a no brainer.

Photo by Nathan Bernier for KUT News

The Japanese earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear power plant emergency have derailed plans for many South by Southwest attendees who work for non-profit fundraising organizations. Even those outside that community have been riveted by the scale of the calamity.

Photo of website by Nathan Bernier

More than 3,000 people were killed last year in the Mexican border town of Ciduad Juarez. But 98 percent of the families can't afford the $300 required for a funeral, according to Judith Torrea, who describes herself as the only foreign journalist living in Juarez.

Photo by KUT News.

Austin is buzzing with activity this weekend, drawing a diverse crowd.

Irish songs and garb kicked off the morning in Austin with the city's first ever St. Patrick's Day parade (though, St. Patty's Day is on March. 17). Police and firefighters, military and friends marched up Congress Avenue at 9 a.m. in celebration of Irish culture. Money raised benefited the St. Balderick's Foundation.

Photo by Liang Shi for KUT News

Many people blog, but how many get paid for it? That was the topic of Melissa Lion's panel at SXSW Interactive.

The most important thing is never to accept offers to write content without charging a fee, Lion said. The problem is bloggers aren't asking for anything, and marketers are able to get content out of them for next to nothing. Lion says the only solution is to say, "No."