Texas

LBJ Civil Rights Summit
4:07 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

LISTEN: Texans Share Their Experiences in the Civil Rights Movement

Rosie Castro (second from right), as a Raza Unida candidate for City Council in 1971.
UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures

This week, civil rights leaders and politicians including President Barack Obama and three former presidents – Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush –  gather at Austin's LBJ Library and Museum to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act.

The occasion also has many Texans reflecting on their own experiences growing up in the Jim Crow-era south.

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Texas Standard
11:25 am
Wed April 9, 2014

Setting A New Standard, Texas Style

'No matter where you are, it's Texas Standard time...'
Credit Time Magazine

In the 21st century, as Texas goes, so goes the rest of the country?  Many think so.  And not just Texans.  As a recent Time magazine story proclaimed, "(i)t's not an accident that three of the five fastest growing cities are in Texas. It's more like destiny."

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Wildflower Season
1:54 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

Snakes or No Snakes, Safety Tips for Texas Bluebonnet Pictures

While you probably won’t find a six-foot rattler among the bluebonnets, there's still precautions you can take.
menoutdoors.com via imgur

With spring in full swing, it's time for wildflower pictures – including photos among Texas' iconic state flower, the bluebonnet.

But something's taking the bloom off this wildflower season: images of snakes among the flowers.

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Fort Hood
7:25 am
Mon April 7, 2014

Fort Hood Update: Obamas to Attend Memorial Service Wednesday

Pres. Barack Obama speaking at a memorial ceremony at Fort Hood, Nov. 10, 2009. Pres. Obama and first lady Michelle Obama return to Fort Hood on Wednesday.
U.S. Army, flickr.com/soldiersmediacenter

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama are expected to attend a memorial service Wednesday to honor the three soldiers killed in last week’s shooting at Fort Hood.

Obama visited Fort Hood in November 2009 under similar circumstances following the shooting by Maj. Nidal Hasan that left 13 dead and 32 wounded. Hasan was convicted in August 2012 of those killings and was sentenced to death.

The Obamas were already planning to travel to Texas this week. On Thursday, the President will speak at the LBJ Presidential Library’s Civil Rights Summit to mark the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act.

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Fort Hood
12:43 pm
Sat April 5, 2014

Details Released About Soldiers Killed in Wednesday's Fort Hood Shooting

Sgt. Timothy Wayne Owens was killed in Wednesday's shooting at Fort Hood.
Fort Hood Public Affairs

Fort Hood officials are releasing more information about the three soldiers killed in a shooting at the post on Wednesday.

Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Michael Ferguson, 39, was from Mulberry, Florida. He had been in active-duty military service since 1993 and worked in transportation.

Ferguson served two tours in Kuwait and one each in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Staff Sgt. Carlos A. Lazaney-Rodriguez, 38, was from Puerto Rico. He entered active-duty service in 1995 and worked with the medical teams.

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George W. Bush
10:29 am
Fri April 4, 2014

The Artist Formerly Known As President George W. Bush Unleashes His Inner Rembrandt

President Bush's portrait of Vladimir Putin, the Russian president.
Lauren Silverman KERA News

Originally published on Sat April 5, 2014 11:57 am

Since he left office, former President George W. Bush has devoted part of his free time to painting – everything from his dog Barney to self-portraits. A year after a hacker revealed some of his works-in-progress, Bush had his first real art show Friday at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Dallas.

The exhibit, titled "The Art of Leadership: A President's Personal Diplomacy," opens to the public Saturday. It features portraits of 24 world leaders, including Tony Blair, Vladimir Putin and the Dalai Lama.

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Fort Hood
8:34 am
Fri April 4, 2014

What It's Like in Killeen After the Latest Fort Hood Shooting

Crosses and flags representing victims of Wednesday's Fort Hood shooting are displayed at Central Christian Church in Killeen.
Ashley Landis/EPA/Landov

At Fort Hood in Killeen, people are accustomed to the idea of death. At any given point, around ten percent of soldiers from the post are deployed overseas.

This week, soldiers, families and residents were reminded of how close to home tragedy can strike – when Ivan Lopez opened fire killing three others and wounding 16 before turning the gun on himself.

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Fort Hood
2:02 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Answers Sought After Deadly Fort Hood Shooting

A soldier watches over media as they prepare to hear General Mark Milley, III Corps and Fort Hood Commanding General, speak during a press conference about a shooting that occurred earlier in the day at Fort Hood Military Base on April 2, 2014 in Fort Hood, Texas. Milley confirmed that four people were dead in the shooting, including the gunman himself. (Drew Anthony Smith/Getty Images)

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 1:45 pm

The Army’s top civilian official says the soldier accused in the Fort Hood shooting this week was deployed for the final months of the Iraq war but did not see combat.

Three people died and 16 were wounded before the shooter committed suicide. At least three military personnel remain in critical condition.

Army Secretary John McHugh testified Thursday that the soldier appeared to have no connections to extremist groups.

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Fort Hood
11:22 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Four Dead After Shooting at Fort Hood

Lieutenant General Mark Milley talks to reporters about the shooting at Fort Hood that left four people, including the shooter, dead and 16 wounded on April 2, 2014.
Kate McGee, KUT News

Four are dead and 16 are injured from a shooting today at the Fort Hood Army post. The accused shooter is among the dead, killed by a self-inflicted gunshot to the head. Just outside of Killeen, Texas, Fort Hood is about an hour north of Austin. 

Army officials have not released the identity of the shooter because his next-of-kin has not yet been notified, Lieutenant General Mark Milley said at a news conference Wednesday night. But NPR has confirmed his identity as 34-year-old soldier Ivan Lopez. 

"The events of the past have taught us many things at Fort Hood," Milley said. "We will get through this."

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Texas Abortion Law
6:18 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Abortion Rights Advocates File Second Federal Lawsuit Against Texas Law

Hundreds of demonstrators rallied inside the Texas Capitol on July 12, 2013, as the Texas Senate approved new abortion restrictions. Abortion rights advocates have filed a new lawsuit challenging provisions of the law.
Gabriel Cristóver Pérez for KUT News

A new federal lawsuit is challenging provisions of Texas' newest abortion law. This latest suit comes less than a week after a federal appeals court ruled certain provisions of the law were constitutional and could stand.

Abortion rights advocates are seeking an immediate court order that would block the requirement that abortion doctors receive admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of a clinic. But in this lawsuit, the challenge to that provision only applies to two clinics: one in McAllen and one in El Paso.  

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Texas Death Row
1:46 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Federal Judge Orders Execution Drug Disclosure

Texas Tribune

A federal judge in Houston on Wednesday blocked two Texas executions, deciding that the state prison system’s refusal to disclose detailed information about drugs that will be used to kill them violates the inmates' constitutional rights.

U.S. Judge Vanessa Gilmore issued a preliminary injunction that effectively blocked the Thursday execution of Tommy Lynn Sells and the execution of Ramiro Hernadez Llanas, which was scheduled for April 9.

The Attorney General’s office notified the inmates' attorneys and the court that the state's attorneys will appeal Gilmore’s decision.

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Texas
3:21 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

You Can Buy Your Way Into Texas' Oil Boom. But Is It Worth It?

A jointly-owned oil rig atop the Eagle Ford shale south of San Antonio.
Credit Larissa Liska

In the history of Texas, few figures are as colorful as the wildcatters: oil prospectors who gambled big on the lure of black gold and striking it rich, or went broke trying. But what if you could be a wildcatter with a click of the mouse?

According to a company selling stakes in rigs right now, you too can own an oil well – or at least part of it – right here in the states. 

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Affordable Care Act
4:22 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

Sebelius Blames Texas Opposition for State's Lagging Obamacare Signups

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius speaks in Austin on March 28, 2014, days before the deadline to sign up for health insurance through the federal marketplace.
Veronica Zaragovia, KUT

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was in Austin today, as part of the final push for people to sign up for health insurance ahead of a Monday deadline. She also came to urge Texas leaders to expand Medicaid eligibility. 

During her comments, Sebelius said although everything is bigger in Texas, having the highest rate of uninsured in the U.S. is nothing to boast about.

To chip away at the roughly 25 percent of Texans without health insurance, Sebelius renewed her call for Texas leaders to expand Medicaid eligibility.  

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Affordable Care Act
8:01 am
Fri March 28, 2014

Ahead of Obamacare Deadline, Austin Nonprofit Rushes to Help Last Minute Sign-Ups

Elizabeth Colvin of Insure Central Texas helps Obamacare consumers at the Foundation Communities Highland Mall center on March 27, 2014.
KUT

The White House says it’s reached its goal of getting six million people signed up for health insurance through the federal marketplace.

But so far, only a fraction of the uninsured in Texas has signed up.

A March 31 deadline looms to at least begin an application for health insurance. Most without insurance after the deadline will have to pay a tax penalty. To help people avoid that, nonprofits in Austin are keeping their doors open late to help last-minute customers.

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Abortion
4:29 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

Appeals Court Upholds Provisions of Texas' Abortion Law

Planned Parenthood clinical assistant Nicki Bailey discusses the new abortion laws with a patient in Austin.
Eric Schlegel, Texas Tribune

An appeals court has upheld Texas' controversial new rules tightening rules for  abortion providers.  

The Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on two elements of House Bill 2. One requires abortion doctors to receive admitting privileges at a hospital 30 miles from the clinic. The other requires doctors to follow an FDA label for medically-induced abortions, which requires more face-to-face visits with a physician.

The court found both constitutional, overturning a lower court decision. You can read the whole ruling here.

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