Texas

Texas Volleyball
11:42 am
Mon December 16, 2013

UT Volleyball Defeats Nebraska, Will Move on to the Final Four

UT Volleyball defeated Nebraska on Saturday to move on to the Final Four for the fifth time in six years.
University of Texas Athletics

UT fans might have missed the bit of good news from Longhorn athletics this weekend. With the bad news of Mack Brown's retirement comes a bit of good news: the Longhorns Volleyball team will head to the Final Four tournament. 

In an impressive shutout win against Nebraska, the top-ranked Horns extended their playoff match win streak to 23, the second longest in school history, according to UT Athletics

Texas Football
3:02 pm
Sun December 15, 2013

Mack Brown Discusses Decision to Step Down as Texas Football Coach

After sixteen years wearing burnt orange, Mack Brown has decided to leave his post as the head coach of the University of Texas Longhorns football program. At a press conference Sunday, Brown explained his decision to step down after the Bowl Game against Oregon in two weeks.

“There are just too many distractions too many negatives, and players and coaches shouldn’t have to deal with negativity about me or the university,” he said.  “The university is so much bigger than any person.”

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Texas
6:55 am
Wed December 11, 2013

Why Texas Can't Withold 911 Tapes

A makeshift memorial to the victims of the Sandy Hook mass shooting.
Voice of America via Wikimedia Commons

On Dec. 14, it will have been exactly one year since the school massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut that killed a total of 28 people, including 20 children.

Over the past several days, national news media organizations have been struggling with the question of whether to publish the recently released 911 calls. Clearly, many victims' families simply want to be left alone – to not be forced to relive the horror. And yet a Connecticut judge ruled to release those tapes, citing state law. 

Other states specifically prohibit the release of 911 tapes. What about Texas? 

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Weather
7:24 am
Fri December 6, 2013

Update: Winter Weather Advisory Issued, Roads May Be Hazardous

A Winter Weather Adivsory has been extended for the Austin area.
National Weather Service

Update, Saturday PM: Late Saturday evening, the National Weather Service issued a Winter Weather Advisory for Austin and the surrounding area. Light ice accumulation and freezing drizzle are making road conditions hazardous. The Austin Police Department is urging people to stay off the roads as much as they can, and if you must drive, to do so slowly and with caution, avoiding bridges and overpasses. APD is reporting nearly two dozen crashes. The weather advisory is in effect until 6 a.m. Sunday. 

DELAYS:

  • The Austin Independent School District is delaying classes & bus routes by two hours. The district says tardies due to weather will be excused.
  • Other area districts on two-hour delays: Manor, Eanes, Del Valle, Round Rock, Pflugerville, Hutto and Leander -- all morning Pre-K has also been canceled at Leander.
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Author Interviews
8:57 am
Fri November 29, 2013

'Dallas Noir' Explores the City's Alluring Shimmer and Seedy Underbelly

The cover of Dallas Noir, a new collection of fictional stories.
Akashic Books

While Pulitzer Prize winner Larry McMurty described Dallas in Texas Monthly as “a second-rate city that wishes it were first-rate,” literary agent and editor David Hale Smith prefers a different description. This one’s found in the lines of Jimmie Dale Gilmore’s song “Dallas:"

Dallas is a rich man with a death wish in his eyes

A steel and concrete soul in a warm-hearted love disguise.

“It’s one of the great lyrics of all time. The song is a poem, but it really nails Dallas, and of course nails the essence of this book we put together,” Smith says. He sat down with KUT's David Brown to discuss that new book, “Dallas Noir." 

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Texas
10:07 am
Tue November 26, 2013

Refusal To Pay Claims Casts Doubt On Texas Windstorm Insurer

Galveston Island in 2008 after Hurricane Ike. Lawsuits over damages are the latest challenge for the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association.
Staff Sgt. James L. Harper Jr., U.S. Air Force via flickr.com/chucksimmins

A refusal to pay losses caused by Hurricane Ike has again thrust the bedraggled Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA) into the courthouse, while raising doubts over the agency’s process for resolving claims.

The city of Galveston sued TWIA Friday. It claims the agency is refusing to pay almost $14 million for damage caused by the storm, even after agency and city appraisers agreed on the cost.

League City is also suing TWIA over $3.4 million in unpaid damages it says the agency agreed it would pay.

TWIA declined to comment on the lawsuits. State Rep. Craig Eiland, D-Galveston, is representing the city of Galveston. Houston trial lawyer Steve Mostyn, who has secured millions for TWIA policyholders, is representing League City.

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Texas
11:20 am
Mon November 25, 2013

Central Texas Remembers Staff Sergeant Richard Vazquez

Staff Sergeant Richard Vazquez.
Courtesy of the U.S. Army Special Forces.

The Seguin community is honoring a fallen soldier.

Staff Sergeant Richard Vazquez died Nov. 13 after he was wounded in Afghanistan. As a child, his family moved a lot, but his high school years in Seguin gave definition to his early life. That’s why, after each of his multiple tours of duty, he always came back to Central Texas to spend time with the people he loved.

Staff Sgt. Richard Vazquez and his older brother Romario were inseparable as children - in part because they were only 11-months apart.

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One Day in Dallas
6:00 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

Inside Parkland Hospital & Aboard Air Force One the Day JFK Was Killed

The front page of The Dallas Times Herald after President Kennedy's assassination, on display by the Texas State Archives and Library Commission.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon, KUT News

Before that afternoon fifty years ago, neither Sid Davis nor Julian Read could have expected what they’d be called upon to do – much less that they’d both be eyewitnesses to history. 

Davis was a young radio reporter based in Washington D.C.

Read was on the other side of the journalistic fence, serving as press aide for Texas Gov. John Connally.

But they were both on a press bus in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963 – the day President John F. Kennedy was shot.

After 50 years of virtual silence, Austinite Julian Read recently opened up to KUT about his experience that day. 

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Weather
6:15 am
Fri November 22, 2013

Cold, Wet Weather in the Forecast

A winter weather advisory is in effect from noon Friday until noon Saturday for parts of the Hill Country.
National Weather Service

Parts of the Northern and Western Hill Country are under a winter weather advisory beginning at noon today. This includes the cities of Kerrville and Fredericksburg.

The National Weather Service says an Arctic blast of cold air is bringing near-freezing temperatures and light rain to the area. That could turn into light freezing rain tonight and into tomorrow morning. The weather service doesn’t expect the ice to accumulate – but still warns roads could be slick – especially bridges and overpasses.

The winter weather advisory is in effect for parts of the Hill Country through noon on Saturday.

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Abortion
5:12 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

SCOTUS Won't Intervene in Texas Abortion Case

Todd Wiseman / Kjetil Ree for Texas Tribune

U.S. Supreme Court justices on Tuesday rejected a request by abortion providers to intervene in their lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of new abortion regulations in Texas that took effect in November.

"Reasonable minds can perhaps disagree about whether the [U.S. 5th Circuit] Court of Appeals should have granted a stay in this case," Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in the 5-4 opinion. "There is no doubt that the applicants have not carried their heavy burden of showing that doing so was a clear violation of accepted legal standards — which do not include a special 'status quo' standard for laws affecting abortion."

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JFK Assassination: 50 Years Later
3:01 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

The Hate Letters: Sorting Through The Dallas Mayor's Mailbag After JFK Was Shot

Some sent letters just hours to the city of Dallas just hours after President Kennedy had been shot.
Lauren Silverman KERA News

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 9:40 pm

Throughout November, KERA will mark the 50th anniversary of the John F. Kennedy assassination by taking a closer look at that fateful day, what it meant to the country, how it changed Dallas, and more.

Today, we take a look at hate letters sent to Dallas following the assassination.

After John F. Kennedy was shot 50 years ago, hundreds of folks mailed letters to Dallas, many of them furious at the city.

The letters wound up at Southern Methodist University.

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Formula 1
6:02 am
Fri November 15, 2013

F1 is Back in Austin – So What's Actually Happening On the Track?

An aerial view of the Circuit of the Americas racetrack.
Judi Radice Hays

A version of this story first ran Nov. 16, 2012.

Formula One events begin today at the Circuit of the Americas track.

F1 doesn’t have a huge following in the U.S. – it’s only in its second year in Austin – and a lot of people may not know the first thing about the sport. Here's what we learned about the basics.

First things first: what is the “formula”?

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JFK Assassination: 50 Years Later
5:18 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

From the KUT Newsroom, a Special Report: Remembering JFK's Assassination

An image of the press bus leaving Dealey Plaza Nov. 22, 1963.
Jay Skaggs Collection, Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza

On Nov. 22, 2013, KUT will broadcast a special report on the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas.

KUT's special report is based on interviews recounting personal memories of that day in Dallas. Sid Davis was the Westinghouse radio pool reporter who got to Parkland Hospital by waving his typewriter in the air and hitching a ride. He followed the story onto Air Force One and witnessed LBJ's swearing into office. 

Julian Read was an aide to Governor John Connally. He describes the scene in Dallas and as he worked with White House press and briefed reporters at Parkland Hospital. 

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Texas
1:13 pm
Mon November 11, 2013

Study: Texas Cities Lead the Nation For Careers After Military

Participants in today’s Veteran’s Day ceremony at the Texas Capitol. Houston, Dallas and Austin are three of the top five cities for veteran employment according to a new study.
Matthew Alvarez for KUT News

new study reported by the military news outlet Stars and Stripes ranks Houston as the number one city in the country for job-seeking veterans. Dallas and Austin rank second and fifth among major metropolitan cities.

The rankings, put together by the USAA and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, are the sunnier side of an issue affecting many veterans: finding employment after service ends. 

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Veterans Day
7:33 am
Mon November 11, 2013

Texas Veterans Stepping Up to Fill Boots of Aging Agricultural Workers

Yvonne Martinez-Higgins and her husband William have put together a business plan and a logo for their family farm. But they admit they've found the process slow and difficult.
William Higgins and Yvonne Martinez-Higgins

Agriculture is big business in Texas. Statewide, it has a $100 billion dollar economic impact.

But the industry may be at risk. The average age of a Texas farmer or rancher is 59. And fewer young people are taking over the labor-intensive work.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has set up a program to assist aging agricultural workers in Texas. They’ve also identified a population that may be well-suited for taking over the work – veterans.

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Williamson County
4:01 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

Ken Anderson to Serve 9 Days in Jail

Ken Anderson at his court of inquiry earlier this year.
Callie Richmond, Texas Tribune

GEORGETOWN — Former Williamson County State District Judge Ken Anderson, who oversaw the wrongful murder conviction of Michael Morton as a prosecutor, was sentenced to nine days in jail on Friday and will surrender his law license as part of a deal to resolve criminal charges and a civil lawsuit.

 Anderson entered into a comprehensive settlement involving all matters before the court. Those include a charge of criminal contempt tied to an accusation of failing to disclose evidence during Morton's 1987 trial, and the State Bar of Texas’ disciplinary case against Anderson over prosecutorial misconduct allegations. Charges of tampering with evidence were also dropped as part of the settlement.

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Houston
11:44 am
Wed November 6, 2013

Astrodoomed? Famed Houston Stadium May Fall To Wrecking Ball

An interior shot of the Houston Astrodome taken in 1990. The stadium was "the first fully air-conditioned, enclosed, domed, multipurpose sports stadium in the world," according to the Texas Historical Association.
Tony Duffy Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 12:46 pm

Voters in Houston on Tuesday rejected a bond referendum that would have allowed Harris County, Texas, to borrow $217 million that it could then spend on turning the Astrodome into one very large convention and exhibition hall.

The vote was 53 percent against the referendum, to 47 percent in favor.

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Proposition 6
9:54 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

How Prop 6 Passed, and What’s Up Next for Water Projects in Texas

Linda Curtis of Independent Texans and Jerry Locke of the Texas Drought Project watch the election returns roll in Tuesday evening. Both groups opposed the measure.
Credit Michael Marks for StateImpact Texas

Texans passed a constitutional amendment Tuesday to jump-start financing for water projects in the state: Proposition 6, which would take $2 billion in surplus state money from the state’s Rainy Day Fund to start a water infrastructure loan program. The measure had widespread support from both sides of the aisle as well as business and environmental groups. With over half of precincts reporting, the measure is passing with 75 percent of the vote and has been called by the Associated Press.

“I couldn’t be more proud of the members of the legislature who worked in a collaborative way on a very positive agenda for planning for our future water needs,” Speaker of the House Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, said at a rally celebrating the amendment’s passage Tuesday evening. “But the people of Texas today validated our good work with an overwhelming vote of support.” Some Libertarian and smaller environmental groups were vocally against the measure.

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University of Texas
2:04 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

Steve Patterson Named UT's Next Athletic Director

Former Longhorn Steve Patterson was named the new A.D. of UT athletics.
Photo by KUT News

After much speculation, University of Texas President Bill Powers confirmed that Steve Patterson will succeed DeLoss Dodds as athletic director of the university later this fall, who is retiring after 32 years as the school's A.D. 

Patterson's resume includes a stint with the championship-era Houston Rockets, the Houston Aeros hockey team, the Portland Trailblazers and played an integral role in helping bring an NFL franchise back to Houston in the Houston Texans. In a statement released this afternoon, however, Powers praised his most recent work at Arizona State University. 

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Proposition 6
10:05 am
Tue November 5, 2013

If Proposition 6 Passes, What Comes Next for Water in Texas?

Measures such as the Water Development Board, a State Water Plan and a potential draw down of funds from the Rainy Day Fund will expand future conservation efforts in Texas.
Reshma Kirpalani for KUT News

When voters go to the polls this year, many of them will have only as much information about the constitutional amendments they’re voting on as is provided on the ballot.

That is to say, not much at all, especially when it comes to the major item on the list, Proposition 6.

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