Texas State Capitol

Texas
4:19 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

DPS Launches Mounted State Capitol Patrol Ahead Of 2015 Legislative Session

The DPS Mounted Horse Patrol Unit with the Houston Police Department's mounted patrol.

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 3:09 pm

The Texas Department of Public Safety has officially launched a mounted patrol on the state capitol grounds.

Much like their first use during the 2013 special session abortion rallies, the DPS is hoping the horse patrol will make troopers more visible.

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Austin
4:22 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Here's What Can Get You Kicked Out of the Texas Capitol

Thousands of activists on both sides of the abortion debate convened on the south steps of the Capitol on Monday. Protest has been vocal in the legislature’s special sessions.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon, KUT

Decorum is the word these past few weeks at the Texas Capitol.

In the Legislature's special sessions, protest has been vocal - both outside the Capitol dome and in House and Senate chambers. Today in the House, five opponents of HB 2 were reportedly arrested by DPS troopers for failing to adhere to the chamber’s decorum. In the Senate, the so-called “citizens’ filibuster” ended the first special session with a deafening crescendo, blocking an omnibus abortion bill in its final moments.

But how does the state define decorum?

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Texas
4:44 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

Hidden For Years, African-American Statues Find Home at Carver Center

The Carver Museum already has a set of statues. This piece is called "Go Forth".
Joy Diaz, KUT News

A scene of five statues, originally intended to go on the Texas Capitol grounds, have finally been dedicated.

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2013 Legislature
2:42 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

Senate Moves to Block Capitol Complex Developments

The State Senate will soon vote on a bill that would require developers wishing to build in the Capitol Complex to submit a bill in the legislature to gain approval.
Liang Shi for KUT

UPDATE (4/4/13): Senate Bill 507 by State Sen. Kirk Watson (D-Austin) passed the Senate unanimously today.

The bill would limit public private partnerships, or P3’s, in the area around the Capitol grounds.  The bill is closely related to SB 894 by State Sen. John Whitmire (D-Houston).

Last month Watson even likened his bill to a failsafe for Whitmire’s initial bill in a committee hearing last month. 

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Austin
8:49 am
Wed March 27, 2013

Photos: Austin Rallies For and Against Gay Marriage Promote Same Goal - Family

Attendees at two opposite rallies at the Texas State Capitol Tuesday both sought the strengthening of families.
Tyler Pratt for KUT News

The U.S. Supreme Court continues its examination of same-sex marriage today, taking up arguments in one part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

Yesterday, as the court took a look at Proposition 8 – the constitutional ban on gay marriage in California– two rallies hit the Texas State Capitol: one to promote traditional values and another to support same-sex marriage.

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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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Texas
5:53 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

Preserving Texas: What's Saved, What's in Danger

Views of the Texas Capitol are on the "saved" list.
Erik Reyna/KUT News

Preservation Texas is out with its 10th annual list of the state’s most endangered places.

The list looks back on the past 10 years: six places that have been saved, three that are lost and three others that Preservation Texas says are in danger of being lost.

Among those saved were views of the Texas Capitol.

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2013 Legislative Sesssion
5:16 am
Wed January 23, 2013

If the Texas Legislature Was a Symphony, This is What it Would Sound Like

Each 140-day legislative session begins slowly, before reaching a frentetic pace at the end.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Texas lawmakers were back at work Wednesday, after nearly a week off. 

They have about 125 days left in their 140 day session. While a vacation right off the bat might seem like a lazy start to their every-other-year meeting, it’s all part of the plan: In musical terms, each session has it's own rhythm and tempo. 

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Business
5:00 am
Tue January 15, 2013

Here's the ABCs of P3s (aka Public-Private Partnerships)

The Texas Sunset Advisory Commission is recommending tighter laws governing some public-private partnerships.
Erik Reyna, KUT News

Public-private partnerships have been back in the news lately,  after the Sunset Advisory Commission put a halt to some development projects being discussed for the Capitol area. Lawmakers want to tighten up some of the laws governing the Texas Facilities Commission and public-private partnerships, or P3's.

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The Lead
8:57 am
Thu January 10, 2013

The Lead: Confusion Over UT Assault Investigation; Whither the Planetarium; ABIA’s Busy Month

Austin Bergstrom rolled out the red carper for F1 visitors in November.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Good morning. Don’t be scared by that bright stuff outside – it’s called sunshine, and you’re forgiven for forgetting it after this week’s rainy weather. The National Weather Service says Austin’s in for a mild day, with a high in the mid-60s.

Lead story: There are conflicting reports this morning on whether charges will be brought against two UT football players accused of sexually assaulting a woman in San Antonio last month.

In a statement yesterday, UT linebacker Jordan Hicks’ lawyer says the investigation is now closed and no charges will be filed in the matter. But a San Antonio Police spokesperson told KUT News yesterday that the investigation is still open.

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Politics
3:44 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

State Hits Brakes on Private Capitol Projects

The state's sunset commission wasn't happy with private developers' plans for the Capitol area.
KUT News staff

State lawmakers want a do-over on the idea of letting private interests develop parts of the Capitol complex. The Sunset Advisory Commission today put a freeze on all development proposals.

State Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, says the Legislature made a mistake two years ago when it put the framework in place.

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Austin
2:25 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

The Surprising Reason Austin Chose an Artificial Tree for the Texas State Capitol

Crowds marvel at the tree outside the Texas State Capitol during the 2012 Sing-Along and Holiday Stroll.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon, KUT Austin

You can’t miss the Christmas tree outside the Texas State Capitol this year. Standing 45 feet tall, it’s adorned with 137,000 LED lights, and synched to seasonal music.

It’s also, in a break with tradition, artificial.

Each holiday, the Downtown Austin Alliance is tasked with trimming the tree just outside the Capitol gates. 

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The Lead
8:33 am
Tue November 13, 2012

The Lead: 2013 Lege Gearing Up, Statesman Names New Publisher

Good morning. The National Weather Service says to expect highs in the 60s and gusty winds today. Here’s a look at stories KUT News has been working on:

"The Texas House has formed a committee to look into how the state would handle “sequestration.” That’s the package of automatic federal spending cuts and tax increases that take effect at the end of the year — the so-called 'fiscal cliff.' That includes about $109 billion in cuts.

The committee was put together by House Speaker Joe Straus, who said in a news release that he hoped Congress would be able to find a way to reduce the deficit without increasing taxes or cutting jobs."

"Today is the first day Texas lawmakers can file bills ahead of the 2013 legislative session. The 200 or so early bills are usually a hodgepodge of political statements, second attempts and high priority legislation. …

Several first-day bills filed by Republicans in 2010 focused on illegal immigration, and efforts to curb it in Texas. Maybe because of Mitt Romney's poor performance among Hispanics (or maybe not), there were no immigration bills filed by mid-afternoon today."

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news brief
8:12 am
Fri August 24, 2012

AM Update: Armstrong Bombshell, Charter School Hearing, Cedar Park on Salamanders

goat karma http://www.flickr.com/photos/goatkarma/ / Erik Reyna, KUT News / City of Austin by Mark Sanders

A high of 93 under partly cloudy skies is forecast for Austin today but it will feel more like 98 degrees with the humidity. Here are your top morning stories.

Lance Armstrong To Be Stripped of Titles?

Austin cycling legend Lance Armstrong is about to have his Tour de France victories “obliterated” from the record books, World Anti-Doping Agency boss John Fahey tells the BBC. As we posted last night, Armstrong said he was giving up his court battle with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) over allegations he used performance-enhancing drugs since 1996.

Shortly thereafter, the USADA chief said that means Armstrong will be stripped of his titles. Armstrong says USADA doesn’t have the authority to do that, but NPR’s Mike Pesca reports this morning that it does. "Greg LeMond is [now] the only American" to have officially won the world's most prestigious bicycle race, Pesca told Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep.

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Austin
4:51 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Arrested for Chalking? Occupy Austin Members Face Misdemeanor Charges

One of the "chalkers" arrested yesterday. Similar chalking events were held by Occupy organizations across the county.
facebook.com/OccupyAustinTx

Update: KUT News has received a statement from the Texas Department of Public Safety. Here's DPS Media and Communications Press Secretary Tom Vinger: 

On 08/09, at approximately 6p.m., Corey Williams and Audrey Steiner were arrested for Criminal Mischief, class C misdemeanor.  Williams and Steiner were observed chalking the sidewalks at 11th Street and Congress Avenue across from the Capitol. 

The charges might be enhanced to a class B misdemeanor if the cost to the city of Austin is $50 or more but less than $500.  This is based on the cost to clean the chalk off of the sidewalks. 

According to the Criminal Mischief law (28.03), “a person commits an offense if, without the effective consent of the owner, intentionally or knowingly makes markings, including inscriptions, slogans, drawings, or paintings on the tangible property of the owner.”

Original post: Two supporters of Occupy Austin were arrested downtown yesterday, charged with criminal mischief for what appears to be drawing on the sidewalk with chalk.

Several photos were posted to the Occupy Austin Facebook page, showing the arrest of two individuals.

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Austin
2:34 pm
Tue August 7, 2012

Austin Vigil for Victims of Sikh Temple Shooting

The Wisconsin community has responded to a fatal shooting at a temple outside of Milwaukee. An Austin vigil is planned tonight.
flickr.com/ljlandre

A candlelight vigil will be held on the Texas Capitol grounds tonight, in memory of the six killed and several wounded in a shooting at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin over the weekend.   

The Sunday shooting erupted when a gunman with ties to white supremacy groups stormed into a gurdwara, or temple, in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, just outside of Milwaukee.  Echoing the call after the Aurora, Colorado shootings to focus less on an alleged perpetrator than their victims, NPR notes  the Milwaukee's Journal Sentinel has an interactive set of short profiles about each of the six people who were killed.

Locally, Austin is home to some 300 Sikhs, according to a statement from the Singh Sabha Gurdwara of Austin. 

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AM Update
8:32 am
Mon May 28, 2012

AM Update: Memorial Day Roundup, Austin Planetarium Plans, Spurs' Streak Continues

An artist's rendering of the science and technology museum that would be part of a complex proposed by the Austin Planetarium.
Image courtesy austinplanetarium.org

Memorial Day 2012 Events

Central Texans have several opportunities today to honor veterans for their service. Ceremonies are being held at the Texas State Cemetery in Austin and at Veterans Memorial Plaza in Sun City in Georgetown.

The City of Austin is expecting between 2,500 and 3,000 runners to pound the pavement today for the Capital of Texas Triathlon. You might think you'll catch a break from traffic troubles because of lighter than usual holiday traffic, but the Triathlon is causing some downtown street closures until approximately 3 p.m.

Hitting the road or the water today? Make sure to take a look at our public safety tips and warnings this Memorial Day.

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Arts and Culture
1:50 pm
Thu March 29, 2012

Photos: See the Unveiling of the Tejano Monument

Photo by Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

A monument honoring the contributions of Spanish and Mexican pioneers in Texas history was unveiled on the south lawn of the Capitol this morning.

Officials including Governor Rick Perry and Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst took part in the ceremony, along with hundreds of citizens excited a monument honoring Texas' unsung forebearers had been installed on the Capitol grounds.

The Tejano Monument is comprised of  11  bronze, life-size sculptures created by Laredo artist Armando Hinojosa.

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Arts and Culture
8:31 am
Wed March 28, 2012

Meet the Artist Behind the Tejano Monument Tonight

Artist Armando Hinojosa is kicking off several events surrounding the unveiling of the Tejano Monument.
Photo courtesy tejanomonument.com

The Tejano Monument  will be unveiled tomorrow on the south lawn of the Texas Capitol. 

Over a decade in the making, the work is a monument honoring the contributions of Texas’ early Spanish-Mexican settlers and their descendants. The work was developed by Laredo artist Armando Hinojosa.  He was commissioned in 2001 to create the multi-statue piece. 

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Austin
8:21 am
Fri January 13, 2012

Top Morning Stories 1/13/12

Over 100 people signed up to sound off on Austin Energy's proposed rate increase.
Photo courtesy City of Austin

Public Speaks out on Energy Rate Hikes

More than a hundred people signed up to speak last night at the Austin City Council public hearing on a proposed electricity rate change. This is Austin Energy's first rate increase in 17 years, but some consumer groups say the rate hike is flawed.

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