Texas

Ferguson Decision
4:30 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

PHOTOS: UT Students March and Rally After Ferguson Decision

Students at The University of Texas at Austin participate in a march and rally following the events in Ferguson, Missouri.
Jenna VonHofe/KUT

The day after it was announced a grand jury had chosen not to indict the police officer who shot and killed 18 year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri in August, University of Texas at Austin students held a march and a rally to protest the decision.

More protests are planned for tonight in Austin and other cities around the country.

Texas
9:02 am
Tue November 25, 2014

More DNA Testing Possible in Rodney Reed Case as January Execution Date Approaches

Reed's family says DNA tests would exonerate him of the 1996 murder of Stacy Stites.
Credit flickr.com/home_of_chaos

UPDATE 11/26/14: Visiting judge Doug Shaver rejected a request Tuesday for additional DNA testing in Rodney Reed’s case.

Judge Shaver said the additional DNA testing would delay Reed’s execution. His execution date was moved from January to March 5th.

ORIGINAL STORY: A Texas court will hear testimony today about whether or not to allow DNA testing of additional evidence in the murder case of Rodney Reed. He was convicted in 1998 of the 1996 murder of Stacey Stites near Bastrop, Texas. Reed says he is innocent.

Some of Stites' family members are convinced law enforcement got the wrong man, and that law enforcement should look within their own ranks to find Stites' real killer.

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Same-Sex Marriage
4:26 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

Texas Same-Sex Couples File Motion Asking Judge to Allow Gay Marriage

Two same-sex couples in Texas filed a motion on Nov. 24, 2014 asking a federal court to lift a stay on its ruling against the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.
flickr.com/madhausfrau

Two same-sex couples here in Texas are asking a federal court to lift a stay on its ruling against the state’s ban on same-sex marriage

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Affordable Care Act
11:10 am
Mon November 24, 2014

Why Obamacare Falls Short for Some Living With HIV, AIDS in Central Texas

L-R: Layne Box, Brad Franklin and Canaan Hoffmann participated in the AIDS Walk Austin on Oct. 19, 2014.
Veronica Zaragovia/KUT

Part of President Barack Obama’s signature health care law is a provision that protects people with pre-existing conditions from being denied insurance coverage, including people who are HIV positive.

Still, the Affordable Care Act hasn’t solved everything for HIV patients.

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Texas Standard
1:17 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

Van de Putte Announces Campaign for San Antonio Mayor

Callie Richmond, Texas Tribune

Following a punishing loss to Republican State Sen. Dan Patrick in the race for Lieutenant Governor, Leticia Van de Putte appears ready to run again - but not for her seat in the Senate.

The third generation San Antonian is ending speculation about her future by announcing her plans to campaign for the seat recently held by Housing and Urban Development secretary Julian Castro: Mayor of San Antonio. Van de Putte says that the support she received from her hometown was what influenced her to run.

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Border & Immigration
12:54 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

Executive Action on Immigration: The View from Texas

President Obama's likely announcement of an executive order to advance immigration reform could expand benefits for migrant workers, but Texas lawmakers at the legislature and in Congress could push back on the reforms.
Ben Philpott/KUT

Republicans in Washington and Texas are set to fight President Obama on his expected executive order on immigration. But how will the order affect life in the Lone Star State?

The biggest change would obviously be for the people who qualify for work permits the president is expected to announce tonight. Co-Director of the UT Law School Immigration Clinic Barbara Hines says not only will those people no longer live in fear of deportation, it should also improve their financial situation.

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Border & Immigration
6:45 am
Thu November 20, 2014

Dewhurst Says More DPS Officers Will Patrol Border as National Guard Goes Home

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst said at a Nov. 19, 2014 Capitol press conference that the Texas National Guard will leave the Texas-Mexico border by next March or April.
Veronica Zaragovia/KUT

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst says President Barack Obama's expected announcement tonight on immigration policy will do nothing more than encourage more people to try and come into Texas illegally. Lt. Gov. Dewhurst says that's why he supports boosting the number of law enforcement officers along the Texas-Mexico border.

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Affordable Care Act
7:26 am
Wed November 19, 2014

Health Policy Experts Explain the Affordable Care Act's Impact in Texas

L-R: Tim Eaton, Prof. Sam Richardson, Bee Moorhead and Rep. John Zerwas discussed the Affordable Care Act at KUT on Nov. 18, 2014.
Ben Philpott/KUT

A few days after the start of the second enrollment period under the Affordable Care Act, a discussion took place at KUT on the health care law's implementation in Texas. Topics included what lawmakers considered in the 2013 legislative session to get the 1.5 million Texans who fall in the Medicaid coverage gap insured, how premiums shifted for 2015 plans on the federal marketplace in Texas, the people who make up Texas' high rate of the uninsured and what the chances are the 84th Legislature will take up this discussion in January.

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Same-Sex Marriage
6:58 am
Wed November 19, 2014

Gay Marriage Campaign in Texas Points to Republicans for Support

Texas for Marriage is a new campaign from Freedom to Marry and Equality Texas that promotes support for same-sex marriage in Texas.
Texas for Marriage

Gay-rights advocacy organizations Freedom to Marry and Equality Texas are teaming up to build support for same sex marriage in Texas.

Their campaign is called Texas for Marriage. It’s a grassroots effort to get volunteers in Texas spreading support for same-sex marriage – including Republicans.

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Perry Indictment
4:57 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Judge Allows Perry Case to Go Forward, Overrules Objections Over Prosecutor's Oath

Governor Rick Perry addresses reporters outside a Travis County courtroom earlier this month.
Bob Daemmrich/Texas Tribune

The judge in the abuse of power case against Governor Rick Perry is overruling objections from Perry's legal team over the way the special prosecutor was sworn in. 

Perry's attorneys argued that special prosecutor Michael McCrum had not taken the oath of office and filed a required document in the proper way. The defense said because the oath wasn't done properly, McCrum was not authorized to act as prosecutor and everything he had done to this point -- including overseeing grand jury proceedings that produced the indictments against Perry -- were invalid.

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Texas
2:11 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Border Surge Could Continue Through August

Texas Department of Public Safety officers patrol Anzalduas Park as part of Operation Strong Safety.
Credit Julián Aguilar/Texas Tribune

The surge of state law enforcement on Texas’ southern border will continue through August if a request made by the state’s top leaders is approved next month by budget writers. 

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Energy & Environment
10:22 am
Tue November 18, 2014

Texas Grid Operator Says Clean Energy Plan Could Raise Bills and Lead to Blackouts

The agency in charge of running the state's energy grid says the EPA's plan to reduce carbon emissions could put strain on the grid and raise rates for consumers.
Mose Buchele/StateImpact Texas

The clean energy plan put forth by the Environmental Protection Agency aims to combat climate change by reducing the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by power plants.  But it may come at a price, according to a report released Monday by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, the group that manages much of Texas electric grid.

The report says electricity bills could rise as much as 20 percent because of the carbon reduction goals, adding that the goals could also endanger electric reliability. Part of that is due to the way the plan would change Texas' energy mix.  

“What we found is that the likely impact of the clean power plan is going to be the retirement of a significant portion of the coal-fired capacity in ERCOT," says ERCOT Director of System Planning Warren Lasher.

The goal of the EPA’s clean energy plan is to reduce Texas carbon emissions by 30 percent by 2030.

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Affordable Care Act
7:10 am
Tue November 18, 2014

As ACA Sign-Ups Begin, Here’s a Look At What All That Insurance Jargon Means

Enrollment for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act lasts until Feb. 15, 2014. People have three months to learn the health insurance jargon they need to know.
healthcare.gov

Enrollment for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act is underway. If you’ve ever shopped for insurance, or had insurance, you know this involves lots of technical terms that might be confusing.

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Affordable Care Act
7:57 pm
Fri November 14, 2014

Things to Know as Obamacare Enrollment Begins Again

Adrian Zeh, right, helps a health insurance consumer at the Foundation Communities center inside Austin's Highland Mall on Nov. 14, 2014.
KUT News

The first day of a new open enrollment period under the Affordable Care Act is Nov. 15 and lasts three months, through Feb. 15.

This time around, Central Texas consumers have 115 plans to choose from, up from 80 last period, and nine insurance companies are participating in this rating area. Rating areas are usually based on counties.

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Texas Standard
3:24 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Listen: He Lost His Texas Twang – But Held On to So Much More

Ain't's, y'all's, and Texas drawls: Houstonian Scott Vogel reflects on accents.
flickr.com/taylor90

Is a Texan truly Texan without a propensity for hunting and fishing – or even speaking with a Texas twang?

Scott Vogel, editor in chief of Houstonia magazine, ponders his decidedly un-Texan upbringing by a New York father with a disdain for Lone Star culture. 

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Women's Health
5:00 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

Texas Launches Women's Health Website for Low-Income Care Consumers

The new state-run Healthy Texas Women website is aimed at helping low-income women find health services after many clinics have closed across the state.
Veronica Zaragovia/KUT

More than 20 women’s health clinics in Texas have closed since a new abortion law went into effect last year, but a new website is aimed at helping low-income women find health services.

The services include cancer screenings, access to birth control and help to stop smoking. Texas lawmakers say they’re available largely because of $113 million in state funding set aside in 2013, and they’re also funded by Medicaid dollars.

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2014 Elections
7:04 am
Wed November 12, 2014

Abbott Picks Hispanic Republican as His First Nomination as Governor-Elect

Texas Governor-elect Greg Abbott introduced his pick for secretary of state, Judge Carlos Cascos of Cameron County, at the Capitol on Nov. 11, 2014.
Veronica Zaragovia/KUT

Governor-elect Greg Abbott says he has a plan to unite Texas, and it includes whom he appoints to key state offices.

In fact, Abbott began reaching out to minority groups as part of his landslide election victory. He says he’ll continue those efforts to communicate with minorities as governor.

He says he recently attended a Texas Legislative Black Caucus meeting, and he’s picked a Hispanic to be the next secretary of state, pending senate confirmation -- Judge Carlos Cascos of the Rio Grande Valley.

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Veterans Day
6:11 pm
Tue November 11, 2014

Austin Senior Day Center Honors Veterans With Visit From ROTC Cadets

Veteran Nicholas Valdez served as an infantryman in the Army during the Korean War. He was honored on Nov. 11, 2014 at AGE of Central Texas in Austin.
Veronica Zaragovia/KUT

In Texas and across the country today, military veterans are being honored for their service. Here in Austin, some senior vets got a visit from University of Texas Air Force cadets at AGE of Central Texas, a non-residential adult day center.

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Affordable Care Act
10:46 am
Tue November 11, 2014

Texas Obamacare Plans Cost More in Big Cities Than in Rural Areas

A new report suggests that Texas residents in big cities will pay slightly more than those in more rural areas for health insurance plans on the federal marketplace.
healthcare.gov

Open enrollment for health insurance on the federal marketplace begins on Saturday. A new report suggests that if they buy a plan through the marketplace, Texas residents in big cities will pay slightly more than those in more rural areas.

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Affordable Care Act
5:11 pm
Mon November 10, 2014

Texans Urged to Update Income Information on Obamacare Website

A certified application counselor helps a health insurance consumer at Insure Central Texas in Austin's Highland Mall on Nov. 10, 2014.
Veronica Zaragovia/KUT

Starting next week, people can once again start enrolling for health insurance on the federal marketplace. Consumers should expect a number of differences when they go on healthcare.gov this time.

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