Texas

2013 Legislative Sesssion
3:25 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

Perry, Cruz, Castro Bros. Face Off Over Medicaid Expansion (Update)

From left: U.S. Sens. John Cornyn, Ted Cruz and Gov. Rick Perry argued against expanding Texas Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Update: The biggest Republicans in Texas stood side-by-side today and argued against expanding Texas Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz said it doesn’t matter if the federal government has offered to cover the full cost of the expansion for the first three years and 90 percent thereafter.

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Crime
2:17 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

Expert: Recent Attacks On Justice Community 'Really Unprecedented'

The home of Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland is surrounded by police tape in Forney, Texas, on Monday. Authorities launched a massive investigation into the weekend killings of McLelland and his wife.
Tim Sharp Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon April 1, 2013 2:32 pm

Two county prosecutors fatally shot in Texas. Colorado's top prison official gunned down. And a dozen more members of the U.S. justice community — ranging from police to judges — victims of targeted killings since the beginning of the decade.

What's going on?

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Texas
9:59 am
Mon April 1, 2013

Texas on 'High Alert' Following District Attorney's Killing

In Forney, Texas, Kaufman County Sheriff's deputies are on the lookout after the killings of Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife in their Forney home.
Mike Fuentes AP

Originally published on Mon April 1, 2013 11:51 am

  • From the NPR Newscast early Monday

"Security is high this morning for both elected officials and employees" in Kaufman County, Texas, after the shooting deaths of District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife Cynthina, KERA reports.

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Texas
4:51 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Freeze May Have Hurt Peach Crop

Peach growers around Fredericksburg are waiting to see what the recent cold did to their orchards.
courtesy flickr.com/photos/46523905@N00/

After predictions of a bumper crop, freezing temperatures hit Fredericksburg this week, forcing peach growers to use drastic measures to protect the fragile blooms.

Some lit hay bale fires and paid for helicopters to push warmer air down onto their crops.

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Texas
7:42 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

The Voice of Big Tex Gets the Boot

flickr.com/branditressler

For more than a decade, Bill Bragg’s voice greeted visitors to the Texas State Fair in Dallas.

“Howdy, folks! Welcome," was one of the classic catch phrases. But Bragg would also provide other information, such as details on events happening at the Fair that day.  Then, in October, Big Tex burned. “We’ve got a rather tall cowboy with all his clothes burned off," a Dallas Fire Rescue dispatcher said in this recording.  

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Texas
5:34 am
Mon March 25, 2013

Where Are All the Texas Bluebonnets?

flickr.com/thecrazysquirrel

Story as it aired on KUT News 90.5 FM

If you are one of those parents who drag your kids all over town to find the picture-perfect patch of Texas bluebonnets in the spring, then brace yourself: There aren’t as many flowers this year.

That’s, in part, because 2012 was the hottest year on record and the long drought continues. That has many native species feeling the heat.

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2013 Legislative Session
1:32 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Lawmaker Pushes for More Funds to Address Domestic Violence

Thousands of postcards from Texans across the state in support of family violence programs funding made their way to lawmakers at the Capitol Wednesday. Purple is a color usually used for family violence awareness.
Veronica Zaragovia, KUT News

State Sen. Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound) wants to restore some state funding of domestic violence-related services.

Last legislative session, lawmakers cut funding for Batterer Intervention and Prevention Programs or "BIPP" in half. It went from $2.5 million to $1.25 million.

General funding for main domestic violence services like shelters is at about $51 million.

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Politics
5:30 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

Agenda Texas: Cutting Tests, Keeping Standards in STAAR

Photo by Rune Mathisen, Texas Tribune

How many tests are too many?

If you’ve got kids, you know the state rolled out a new testing system last school year called the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness or STAAR. It includes 15 end-of-course exams that high school students must pass in order to graduate. A number State Senator Dan Patrick (R-Houston) wants to cut.

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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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