Texas

Texas
3:44 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

Interactive Map: Travis is Texas' Second Fastest Growing County

Booming production of oil and gas is just one of the reasons for the rapid population growth in Texas.

The U.S. Census Bureau reports Andrews County, near oil-rich Midland, is the state’s fastest growing county. But in second place, Travis County has attracted more than 71,000 people within two years.

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The Lead
8:59 am
Fri March 15, 2013

The Lead: House to Vote on Water Plan, Protecting Capitol Views

A Texas water plan will come to the House for a vote.
flickr.com/bcfoto

Good morning. The National Weather Service says Austin’s in for a warm and breezy day, with highs in the lower 80s.

Lead Story: As more people move to Texas, the state is facing a growing need for water. At the state Capitol yesterday, a plan to establish a long-term fund for water projects took a significant step forward.

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2013 Legislative Sesssion
3:19 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

Lost Your Job? Bill Would Drug Test Some Texans Looking to Receive Unemployment Benefits

A proposed drug testing rule would apply to unemployed workers seeking jobs in industries that already require tests.
flickr.com/23748404@N00

Texas lawmakers looked at a bill today that would require some people to undergo drug testing in order to receive unemployment benefits.

The bill, filed by Sen. Tommy Williams (R-The Woodlands), would require drug tests for unemployment applicants who are looking for work in industries that usually require them for new employees.

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Politics
8:25 am
Wed March 13, 2013

Challenging Work Standards for Texas Hotel Housekeepers

Some people in the hotel industry say the requirements outlined in the Texas bill would be bad for business.
flickr.com/bwalsh

Texas lawmakers are looking at a bill that would set new standards for hotel housekeeping workers. The bill’s author says the workers are not getting fair treatment, but some in the hotel industry disagree.

State Rep. Senfronia Thompson (D-Houston) says if Texas hotels can prove housekeepers earn minimum wage, she’ll drop her bill. But, she says, she’s skeptical they can.

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Science
4:43 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

Pan-STARRs Comet Streaks Across Texas Sky Tonight

The Pan-STARRs comet will be visible for the next few days over Central Texas skies
flickr.com/chrissamuel

Tonight is one of a few chances Austinites will have to see a passing comet.

The PAN-STARRS comet, or C/2011 L-4 as it’s known by stargazers, will make its way across the Austin skies around 30 to 40 minutes after sunset tonight – which is at 7:37 p.m, according to the National Weather Service.

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Politics
3:21 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

George P. Bush is Running for Texas Land Commissioner

George P. Bush - son of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and the nephew of former president George W. Bush - announced today he's running for Texas Land Commissioner.

There's been intense speculation about which office Bush would pursue since he filed paperwork with the Texas Ethics Commission late last year without specifying which office he planned to run for.

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Politics
8:01 am
Mon March 11, 2013

Should Texas Use 'Rainy Day' Fund for Water Projects?

Ongoing drought has Texas lawmakers paying attention to the state's water needs.
Daniel Reese for KUT News

Should Texas take money from the state’s so-called Rainy Day Fund for water projects? It’s an idea that will get a closer look today.

Lawmakers in the House Appropriations Committee are holding a public hearing this morning on the proposal. The bill would set aside $2 billion from the economic stabilization or "Rainy Day" fund for water projects.

The bill’s author – Rep. Allan Ritter (R-Nederland) – says prolonged statewide drought has revealed the importance of developing a dedicated source of revenue for the state’s water plan.

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Environment
7:56 am
Wed March 6, 2013

Free Tree Seedlings at the State Capitol Today

East Texas has nearly 12 million acres of commercial forest land.
flickr.com/dhwright

The Texas Forestry Association is giving away 5,000 hardwood seedlings near the south steps of the Capitol this morning. The association will begin handing out the trees at 8:30 a.m. and will continue until 11:30 a.m. or until the supply runs out.

The seedling giveaway is a biennial tradition. The TFA began their seedling giveaway during the 72nd legislative session to raise public awareness of the tree planting efforts that take place across the state.

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Health
6:13 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

March for Texas Expanding Medicaid

Austin City Council Member Mike Martinez was one of the lawmakers speaking in support of Medicaid expansion today.
Mike Martinez via Facebook

Supporters of Texas expanding access to Medicaid, among them representatives of Planned Parenthood, marched up Congress Avenue Tuesday to the Capitol steps.

They’re calling on Texas lawmakers to accept Federal money as part of the Affordable Care Act to get healthcare to more than a million Texans who otherwise would not have it.

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Arts and Culture
2:34 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

'Thank You For That Gift': Memories Of Van Cliburn From Medalists

Van Cliburn in concert in 1993.
Ron Jenkins

Originally published on Tue March 5, 2013 3:42 pm

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Texas
12:50 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

Bodybuilding Champ Turned Austin Attorney Feels Burn in Racketeering Trial (Update)

Attorney Marc G. Rosenthal faces more than a dozen allegations in a Corpus Christi trial.
flickr.com/joegratz and rosenthalwatson.com

Update: Austin attorney Marc G. Rosenthal was convicted by a federal jury late last week. 

A statement from the Southern District of the U.S. Attorney's Office reads in part

After a four-week trial, jurors convicted Rosenthal of conspiring to bribe a state district judge, bribe witnesses in both state and federal court cases, file fraudulent personal injury cases in both state and federal courts, and deprive the citizens of Cameron County, Texas, of the right to honest services of an elected official.

Rosenthal's sentencing is scheduled in June. 

Original Post (1:49 p.m.): The ongoing saga of Marc G. Rosenthal continues winding its way down the rabbit hole. The Austin attorney, and former Mr. Texas bodybuilding champion, is currently on trial in Corpus Christi, accused of leading a conspiracy that turned trials in his favor.

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Texas
7:06 am
Sun March 3, 2013

Remembering Van Cliburn

Van Cliburn playing the Moscow Conservatory in 1958's Tchaikovsky Competition
Van Cliburn Foundation

Texas author Prudence Mackintosh reminisced about Van Cliburn with KUT's Emily Donahue.

Funeral services will be held today for one of Texas' most famous classical musicians, Van Cliburn. He died last week at age 78.

Austin author Prudence Mackintosh wrote a beautiful memory of her attempts to contact the pianist before his death, which follows below. Mackintosh came to KUT to talk about Cliburn's legacy.  

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Texas
12:27 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

Jeb & George P. Bush Talk Texas Education Reform (Update)

Jeb Bush speaking to the Texas Senate Committee on Education this morning.
Ben Philpott, KUT News

Update: This morning, Jeb Bush had much to say on education reform and potential strategies Texas can use to ensure student achievement. His main point was, basically, if you want success, you have to fund it.

“A lesson we learned is put money behind the reforms and you’ll get better results," Bush said. "There’s enough money in the system. This whole argument that somehow we’re not funding schools adequately and I know it’s a big debate here. I would argue that maybe we should be funding the first things first. Put the priorities where you want to see the results and you’ll get a significantly better result.”

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in memoriam
11:40 am
Wed February 27, 2013

Van Cliburn, The 'American Sputnik' Of Piano, Dies At 78

Van Cliburn Foundation

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 11:48 am

Legendary pianist Van Cliburn has died at his home in Fort Worth, former CEO of the Cliburn Foundation Richard Rodzinski confirms. Cliburn was diagnosed with bone cancer in August. 

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Texas
9:30 am
Tue February 26, 2013

Texas Lawmakers Renew Push on Statewide Texting and Driving Ban

The Alex Brown Memorial Act would ban texting while driving in Texas.
flickr.com/indyplanets

Texas lawmakers are trying again to pass a statewide law banning texting while driving. A similar measure passed in the Texas House and Senate last legislative session, but was vetoed by Gov. Rick Perry.

Today, Texas Rep. Tom Craddick’s House Bill 63 is getting its first public hearing. The bill is going before the House Committee on Transportation.

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Texas
6:58 am
Tue February 26, 2013

Central Texas Cleaning Up After High Winds (Update)

A downed tree on the UT campus.
Emily Donahue, KUT News

Update (6:58 a.m.): About 1,200 Austin Energy customers remain without power this morning. High winds yesterday broke tree limbs and brought down power lines.

At one point yesterday afternoon, around 18,000 Austin Energy customers were without power.

Right now, Austin Energy repair and tree trimming crews are working to fix harder-to-reach problems. An Austin Energy spokesperson tells KUT News that power should be restored to most customers by early this afternoon.

Customers should report outages by calling (512) 322-9100.

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Politics
1:39 pm
Mon February 25, 2013

For Cornyn, Right Turn Could Be Defensive Play

SInce the arrival of Sen. Ted Cruz, Sen. John Cornyn seems to be shifting discernibly right.
Gage Skidmore, Texas Tribune

After more than a decade representing blood-red Texas in the U.S. Senate, John Cornyn finds himself in an unusual spot: burnishing his conservative credentials.

One would think the senior Texas senator’s reputation would be secure: Cornyn, who has ascended to minority whip, spent two election cycles as chairman of the Senate’s Republican campaign fundraising arm, and National Journal last week ranked him second in its 2012 list of the most conservative senators.

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Education
4:30 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

'Save Texas Schools' March Heads to Capitol Saturday Morning

The group plans to march to the capitol on Saturday.
savetxschools.org/photo-gallery

"Save Texas Schools" will march to the Texas State Capitol tomorrow morning. The group hopes to encourage Texas lawmakers to support public education by restoring funding cut from Texas schools last legislative session.

The march will begin at 10:30 a.m. at Congress Avenue and Riverside Drive. The group will march north on Congress to the capitol.

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The Lead
8:45 am
Thu February 21, 2013

The Lead: Red Flag Warning, European Trade & Texas, State’s Most Endangered Places

Strong winds are expected to decrease by early evening.
National Weather Service

Lead Story: A Red Flag Warning is in effect for Travis County late this morning through this afternoon, due to strong winds. Outdoor burning is strongly discouraged.

The warning is due to the critical fire weather conditions expected today: a pacific cold front bringing breezy winds and dry air to Central Texas. The warning will be in effect from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. You can find more information via the National Weather Service.

Texas Push for European Trade Deal:  Texas stands to benefit from a potential free trade deal between the U.S. and the European Union. That’s according to a study by Waco economist Ray Perryman.

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Austin
10:33 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Handbag Drive Gives Domestic Violence Victims Handle on Hope

Each handbag is equiped with a discreet purse tag featuring the Project's hotline number before being delivered to shelters across Texas.
Texas Advocacy Project

The Texas Advocacy Project and the Travis County Sheriff’s Office are launching its annual “Handbags for Hope” drive.

The sixth annual installment of the drive asks Austin-area residents to donate new and gently used handbags to give to domestic violence victims.

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