Texas

Texas Capitol Vietnam Veterans Monument
11:55 am
Mon September 23, 2013

South Vietnamese Figure Removed from Texas' Vietnam War Memorial

Members of the Vietnamese community outside the Texas State Preservation Board hearing inside the Texas Capitol.
Matthew Alvarez for KUT News

The Texas State Preservation Board voted Friday to move forward with a proposed Vietnam War veterans' monument at the Texas Capitol. The final design features American combat troops – and not a South Vietnamese solider as initially proposed.

In 2005, the Texas Legislature authorized a Vietnam War memorial for the Texas Capitol grounds. The proposed design featured several combat-weary soldiers – one of them a South Vietnamese solider. But the backers of the memorial, the Texas Capitol Vietnam Monument Committee, chose to remove that figure. The preservation board approved the final design Friday. 

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Libraries
11:48 am
Sat September 14, 2013

Bookless Public Library Opens In Texas

An artist's rendering shows computer stations at the new BiblioTech bookless public library in Bexar County, Texas. The library is holding its grand opening Saturday.
Courtesy of Bexar County

Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 5:02 pm

An all-digital public library is opening today, as officials in Bexar County, Texas, celebrate the opening of the BiblioTech library. The facility offers about 10,000 free e-books for the 1.7 million residents of the county, which includes San Antonio.

On its website, the Bexar County BiblioTech library explains how its patrons can access free eBooks and audio books. To read an eBook on their own device, users must have the 3M Cloud Library app, which they can link to their library card.

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Texas
8:46 am
Fri September 13, 2013

This Map Carves the U.S. Into Seven Nations - And Splits Texas Three Ways

Joel Kotkin and Mark Schill, Forbes Magazine

"America is not a single country. It is a collection of seven competitive nations and three quasi-independent city-states, each with its own tastes, proclivities, resources and problems.”

So writes geographer and futurist Joel Kotkin for Forbes Magazine.  In his new map of America’s future, entitled America’s Next Decade, Kotkin sees not only the outlines of a remarkably robust nation running from south Texas to western Florida, but also the emergence of Americas next major "global city" - right here in Texas. 

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Gov. Rick Perry
12:56 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Perry Defends Jobs Tour Through Maryland

Gov. Rick Perry at the 2012 Texas Republican Convention. Gov. Perry is embarking on another promotional jobs tour through another state critics call poaching.
Ben Philpott, KUT News

Gov. Rick Perry defended his efforts to bring jobs from other states to Texas on Thursday – and told critics that if they can't stand competition, they should get out of the game.

Perry will visit Maryland on Sept. 18. He has already spent nearly $500,000 on radio and TV ads touting Texas' low taxes and regulation in the state. Maryland is the sixth state Perry has visited this year, following California, New York, Connecticut, Missouri and Illinois.

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Business
1:11 pm
Mon September 9, 2013

Luxury Retailer Neiman Marcus Sells For $6 Billion

The Chicago skyline is reflected in the exterior of Neiman Marcus on Michigan Avenue in Chicago in a file photo from 2009. The luxury retailer sold for six billion dollars on Monday.
M. Spencer Green AP

Originally published on Mon September 9, 2013 2:32 pm

Two large investors — Ares Management LLC and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board — have reached a deal to purchase Neiman Marcus for $6 billion, the companies said Monday. The two buyers will hold equal shares of Neiman, which is based in Dallas.

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Texas
5:25 pm
Sun September 8, 2013

Hired Hog Trapper Has Three Years To Clean Out Dallas

Feral hogs were once just a rural problem in Texas, but now they threaten to turn city parks into sties.
Courtesy City Trapping

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 5:26 pm

Texas has a pig problem.

Wild hogs have overrun the state so rapidly that in 2011, Texas allowed them to be hunted all year round. The feral hog epidemic even spawned a reality show called Aporkalypse Now, following Ted Nugent as he shoots hogs from a helicopter.

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Austin
6:05 am
Fri September 6, 2013

How These Austin Businesses Are Creating Jobs for Refugee Women

An unnamed employee of Open Arms from Burundi sorts through donated fabric. Open Arms pays refugee women a living wage to make clothes.
Natalie Krebs for KUT News

Out of a small room in the Central Presbyterian Church in downtown Austin, a company called Open Arms makes women’s clothing. It was started about three years ago, with idea of paying refugee women a living wage. More than 4,000 refugees have resettled in Austin since 2001 with many coming from Vietnam, Burma and Iraq with the newest group, which is expected at the beginning of next year from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

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West Plant Explosion
11:32 am
Tue September 3, 2013

VIDEO: The First Festival in West, Texas Since the Explosion

Credit Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Residents of the town of West, Texas came out over the weekend to enjoy their annual Labor Day festival – Westfest. With plenty of beer, sausage, polka music and rides, it’s a celebration of the town’s Czech heritage. 

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Business
1:03 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

Judge Hints At Helping American Airlines Out Of Bankruptcy

American Airlines aircraft sit on the tarmac at Miami International Airport last week.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 1:41 pm

A U.S. bankruptcy judge on Thursday indicated that he's leaning in favor of a allowing American Airlines to emerge from bankruptcy, clearing a major obstacle to the carrier's planned merger with US Airways.

Judge Sean H. Lane said he is "finding the arguments in favor of confirmation fairly persuasive" to allow American, which filed for Chapter 11 in November 2011, to emerge from bankruptcy.

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Business
12:35 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

Texas Fast-Food Workers to Join Nationwide Strike

Texas fast-food workers are planning to join a nationwide strike on Thursday to call for $15-an-hour wages. Recently, there have been similar strikes in cities across the country. This one was in Milwaukee.
flickr.com/wisconsinjobsnow

Jose Avila thought he could save money to pay off college loans by moving into his mother’s one-bedroom Houston apartment and working at a Subway restaurant. But he says he’s barely making ends meet on his $7.75-an-hour wage, and he considers taking the bus to work such an extravagance that he walks an hour and a half each way, unless it’s raining.

Avila, 22, says he plans to join fast-food workers in dozens of cities across the country on Thursday in a pre-Labor Day strike to call for $15-an-hour wages. Workers in Houston, Dallas and Austin plan to participate, organizers say.

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Author Interviews
9:02 am
Fri August 23, 2013

The Fight to Make Austin the State Capitol - And Keep It That Way

The majestic interior dome of the Texas state capitol building belies the rough and tumble fight to establish Austin not only as a city, but also the capital.
Filipa Rodriques/KUT News

Hard to imagine a city other than Austin as the capital of Texas, right? According to Austin author and historian (and doctor) Jeff Kerr, Austin's status as the capital city –  and just a city at all – was in peril several times after Texas declared its independence in 1836.

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Politics
5:02 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Sen. Ted Cruz Calls on Texans to Oppose Obamacare

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-TX, spoke against the Affordable Care Act at a press conference in Austin on Aug. 22, 2013.
Veronica Zaragovia for KUT News

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz is spending some time in Texas as the August recess winds down. Today’s stops included a visit to National Instruments in Austin, where he’s calling for people to join his effort against the Affordable Care Act. 

He's urging the public to sign an online petition aimed at influencing members of the U.S. Congress to vote to get Obamacare defunded in a government appropriations bill.

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Libraries
3:55 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

For You To Borrow, Some Libraries Have To Go Begging

The Tyson Library in Ludlow, Vt., is required to support itself independently; public libraries in Vermont receive no state funding.
Neda Ulaby NPR

Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 3:14 pm

More than 90 percent of Americans say public libraries are important to their communities, according to the Pew Research Center. But the way that love translates into actual financial support varies hugely from state to state.

Vermont, for instance, brags that it has more libraries per capita than any other U.S. state. Some of them are remarkably quaint. In Ludlow, one library is a white clapboard Victorian, slightly frayed, ringed by lilies and sitting by the side of a brook.

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Politics
12:28 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

Cruz Staging Number of Events Across Texas

Ted Cruz speaking at a campaign event last year. A swing through Texas brings him to Austin next week.
KUT News

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, whose trips to early primary states have sparked speculation about a possible 2016 presidential run, is hitting the road in Texas next week to bash “Obamacare,” stage town hall meetings and press the flesh with the people who sent him to Washington, D.C.

Cruz’s central focus during the August recess remains his drive to defund the Affordable Care Act. But during the two-week swing, he’ll also squeeze in a few fundraisers, take a tour of the Keystone Pipeline near Houston, visit the U.S.-Mexico border, meet with business leaders, go to a military base and attend a ribbon-cutting for a veterans facility in Austin. 

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Texas
11:13 am
Wed August 7, 2013

Border Drug Busts Putting Strain On Texas County's Budget

Trains that once deposited travelers for shopping and dining in dusty Sierra Blanca, Texas, no longer stop here. Interstates further eroded the local economy as more people chose to live and shop in El Paso, 85 miles away.
G.W. Schulz The Center for Investigative Reporting

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 6:25 pm

As they walk through the front door, visitors to the Hudspeth County Sheriff's Office in Sierra Blanca, Texas, get punched by the overpowering odor of marijuana.

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Texas
1:07 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Texas Author John Graves Dies At 92; Wrote 'Goodbye To A River'

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 6:23 am

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Austin
12:01 pm
Tue July 30, 2013

What You Should Know About Austin's Newest Neighbors: The Congolese

Unnamed Congolese celebrate inside a refugee camp in this photo from 2009. Several Congolese refugees will start settling in Austin and Texas by the end of the year.
flickr.com/babasteve

Austin's already welcomed the Burmese, the Iraqis and the Bhutanese. But starting at end of this year, Austin will begin to welcome its newest round of refugees – the Congolese.

Over the next few years, the U.S. expects to resettle approximately 50,000 refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the U.S. 10 percent of those refugees may end up in Texas, according to Erica Schmidt, the Austin-area director for Refugee Services of Texas.

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Texas
9:02 am
Fri July 26, 2013

Why The Justice Department's Eyes Are Upon Texas

Despite a Supreme Court ruling that gutted a key part of the Voting Rights Act, Attorney General Eric Holder wants a court to use another section of the 1965 law to require Texas to get the federal government's approval before changing its voting laws.
Matt Rourke AP

Originally published on Thu July 25, 2013 7:48 pm

In the war over the right to vote in the U.S., the Justice Department's choice of Texas as the battleground for its first legal action following the Supreme Court's weakening of the Voting Rights Act has a feeling of inevitability.

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food
2:24 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

Texas Pit Masters Bask In Moment Of Barbecue Glory

The Pecan Lodge's combination plate, a meat lover's dream.
Wade Goodwyn NPR

Originally published on Thu July 25, 2013 2:18 pm

It's not even noon yet but every table out front of the Pecan Lodge in downtown Dallas is filled with veterans with barbecue heaped on their plates, smirking at the gobsmacked newbies. First timers are easily discernible by the stunned looks on their faces when they walk in and see the line.

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Texas
2:33 pm
Mon July 22, 2013

Texas Women Ask: What Does It Mean to Be Empowered?

Fawn Jackson takes notes during the introductory speeches at the Women’s Health, Motivation & Empowerment Conference. Jackson planned to attend the health workshops offered at the meeting.
Reshma Kirpalani for KUT News

The ink had barely dried on Gov. Rick Perry's signature on House Bill 2, a controversial law restricting abortions in Texas, when 200 women filed into the Austin Community College Eastview campus to attend the Women’s Health, Motivation & Empowerment Conference

A free, daylong event presented by the Positive Women’s Coalition and sponsored by Austin Community College, it featured workshops focused on women’s career development, relationships and health.

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