Texas

Texas
11:39 am
Tue April 17, 2012

Arlington Boy Get His Wish to Be 'Little Batman' for a Day

7-year old, Kye, apprehends the Joker during his crime fighting adventure
Arlington Police Department

Folks in Arlington may have noticed a caped crusader in their midst on Saturday. Seven-year old resident Kye (his last name wasn't released) is battling leukemia and his one big wish was to star in a Batman movie. With the help of the Arlington Police and Fire Departments along with non-profit A Wish with Wings, the young crime fighter’s wish came true.

Read more
Rick Perry
4:18 pm
Mon April 16, 2012

The Perry Pledge: Spending Cuts, No New Taxes

Gov. Perry called on legislators to back his "Budget Compact" today.
Photo by Daniel Reese for KUT News

Governor Rick Perry is calling on state lawmakers to cut spending and keep taxes level in the state’s next budget. Perry unveiled details of the “Texas Budget Compact” in Houston today.

“By keeping this tight rein on spending, we can build a more solid, predictable economy that doesn’t put off tough decisions until, in some cases, it’s too late to deal with them,” Gov. Perry told the crowd in Houston. In details noted on the Governor’s website, Perry also called to “preserve a strong Rainy Day Fund” and “cut unnecessary and duplicative government programs and agencies.”

The state is in the middle of a two year budget passed by lawmakers in 2011. That budget cycle cut spending by $15 billion.

Read more
AM Update
8:46 am
Mon April 16, 2012

AM Update: Perry's Spending Pledge, AISD Budget Plan, LCRA's Evaporating Water

Gov. Perry is offering a conservative "pledge" to lawmakers.
Photo by Jeff Heimsath for KUT News

Governor Rick Perry to Unveil Budget Pledge

From the Texas Tribune, Governor Rick Perry is focusing on the state’s financial future. He’ll be in Houston this afternoon to talk about a budget plan.

Perry will unveil a pledge he’ll ask politicians to sign. It promises to cut spending, keep taxes the same and set strict limits on how much government can expand. It’s his first major move as governor since dropping out of the presidential race.

Perry says this pledge will “lead to a stronger Texas.” But some state Democrats aren’t so sure.

Read more
AM Update
8:38 am
Fri April 13, 2012

AM Update: Officer Padron Buried in San Angelo, Adult Stem Cell Rules, Senate Debate Tonight

The Honor Guard carries Officer Padron's casket at memorial services on Wednesday.
Photo by Jeff Heimsath for KUT News

APD Officer Killed in the Line of Duty to be Buried Today

Today, APD Senior Police Officer Jaime Padron will be buried in San Angelo. The local funeral will begin at 10 a.m., followed a procession to Lawnhaven Memorial Gardens where Padron will be laid to rest.

Padron was remembered in Austin on Wednesday with a funeral, police honors service and procession.

Read more
Texas
11:08 am
Wed April 11, 2012

Planned Parenthood Sues to Halt Exclusion from Program

March 6th, 2012: Protest against Texas lawmakers decision regarding changed to the the Women's Health Program. the federal government is expected to cut funding for the program because Texas improperly excluded Planned Parenthood
Photo by: Marjorie Kamys Cotera/Texas Tribune

Planned Parenthood branches in Texas have filed a federal lawsuit in an effort to block their exclusion from the state's Women's Health Program.

Read more
AM Update
8:25 am
Wed April 11, 2012

AM Update: Funeral, Escort for Slain Officer, Ron Paul Stays Put, Poor Prognosis for Gulf Coast

Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell (l) and Police Chief Art Acevedo (r) will speak at services for APD Officer Jaime Padron.
Leffingwell photo by Carlos Morales for KUT News; Padron photo courtesy APD; Acevedo photo by KUT News.

Funeral, Motorcade for Officer Padron Today

Mayor Lee Leffingwell and Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo are among the scheduled speakers at the funeral of a fallen APD officer today.

APD Senior Police Officer Jaime Padron will be laid to rest today. Padron was killed Friday while responding to a call at an area Wal-Mart early Friday morning, April 6.

Funeral services for Padron start at 11 a.m. at Shoreline Church on Burnet Road. The funeral will be with complete police honors. At the conclusion of the services, Padron’s body will be taken to San Angelo for burial.

Read more
Weather
10:47 am
Wed April 4, 2012

Rebuilding, Returning Home After the Dallas Tornadoes

The aftermath of a tornado in the Arlighton area yesterday. The National Weather Service estimates 135 mph winds caused the damage.
Image courtesy facebook.com/US.NationalWeatherService.FortWorth.gov

With reports of as many as 12 tornadoes pummeling Dallas yesterday, officials are applauding the fact no fatalities were recorded.

Now residents are looking to rebuild after the storms, and travelers looking to return to the Metroplex.

The Insurance Council of Texas lists several steps affected parties can take, beginning with assessing the damage and recording photos or videos. Damage can take different forms, as aside being battered by high winds, Dallas, Fort Worth and surrounding areas were also pelted with hail.

Read more
Weather
2:08 pm
Tue April 3, 2012

View a Storify Timeline on the Dallas Tornadoes

Two tornadoes are currently impacting the Dallas area.
Image courtesy NWS

While Austin may be in for some severe thunderstorms, that pales compared to what Dallas is facing.

The National Weather Service has declared a tornado emergency in the Dallas/Forth Worth area. As of this writing, two tornados are affecting the Metroplex.

StateImpact Texas, KUT’s reporting partnership with NPR, has prepared a Storify timeline of the twisters’ effects on the region.

Read more
Texas
9:22 am
Tue April 3, 2012

Maj. Nidal Hasan Appears in Court Tomorrow

Attorneys for Maj. Nidal Hasan will be requesting a forensic pathologist.
U.S. Army

The Army psychiatrist accused in the deadly 2009 Fort Hood shootings will be back in court this week.

Attorneys for Major Nidal Hasan will ask a judge to rule Wednesday on a request for the government to pay for a forensic pathologist to serve as an expert witness.

The judge may also rule on a defense request for notes from meetings between President Obama and high-ranking Defense Department officials after the November 2009 shootings.

Read more
Texas
1:40 pm
Mon April 2, 2012

Battle over Resources at Wildfire, Hurricane Preparedness Conference

C-130 aircraft are capable of dispersing over 3,000 gallons of water or fire retardant in under five seconds, according to the U.S. Air Force.
Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force, flickr.com/usairforce

Thousands of emergency responders from across the state are convening to San Antonio for the three-day Texas Emergency Management Conference.  The conference and its workshops will focus on the relief efforts from last year’s drought and wildfires.  

Dry conditions and high winds still threaten numerous Texas counties still at risk of wildfires. The conference’s topics will range from lessons learned from the Bastrop County fires to how to better use social media in disaster relief efforts.

Gov. Rick Perry will give the conference’s keynote address. In addition to wildfires, Perry will talk about the potential decision by the Air Force to transfer a squad of C-130 planes from Fort Worth to Montana.

Read more
Texas
4:45 pm
Fri March 30, 2012

Interview: Exonerated After 25 Years, Michael Morton Tells His Story

Wrongfully convicted, exonerated Texan Michael Morton.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon, KUT News

Michael Morton has experienced a harrowing, remarkable journey .

Morton served 25 years in a Texas prison, convicted of the murder of his wife in 1987. It wasn’t until 2011 that DNA testing, unavailable at the time of his conviction, proved the innocence he had long maintained.

Morton came to the KUT studios yesterday for an extended interview covering his time in prison, the justice system and wrongful convictions. (An Austin resident before his incarceration, Morton was at UT to discuss the latter topic that day.)

Read more
Texas
3:51 pm
Fri March 30, 2012

Lone Star State Of Mind: Could Texas Go It Alone?

Lone Star Nation: Today, the Texas capitol flies both the American and Texas flags, but after independence the Lone Star flag would fly on its own.
Steve Dunwell Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 30, 2012 1:46 pm

It's a popular idea in Texas that the Lone Star State — once an independent republic — could break away and go it alone. A few years ago, Texas Gov. Rick Perry hinted that if Washington didn't stop meddling in his state, independence might be an option. In his brief run for the White House, he insisted that nearly anything the feds do, the states — and Texas in particular — could do better.

Read more
Texas
4:44 pm
Fri March 23, 2012

Movable Jail One of Texas' 'Most Endangered' Landmarks

Clockwise, from left: San Marcos' Movable Jail, the Ritz Theater in Corpus Christi, and the William Pfluger House in Pflugerville

A movable jail cell that was originally constructed for the Hays County Jail is being called one of Texas’ most endangered historic places.

So says Preservation Texas, a private, non-profit historical society, announcing its 2012 list of Texas’ most endangered places at an annual summit at the Texas Capitol.

 The jail cell was built in the style of a log cabin. Preservation Texas notes:

The jail cell remained in use until 1925 as Kyle’s city jail and, later, was moved to the Texana Village at Aquarena Springs. Due to lack of funding, the jail cell along with other buildings and artifacts were removed from the Village.  At the eleventh hour, the jail cell was saved and moved to its current location in San Marcos.

Read more
immigration
11:37 am
Thu March 22, 2012

First Person: Undocumented Student

The Obama administration continues to press for passage of the DREAM Act, a bill that would provide a path to citizenship for undocumented students whose parents brought them to the U.S. when they were children. Opponents of the bill, including Texas Congressman Lamar Smith, say it would reward illegal behavior. Texas is one of only three states that provides financial aid for undocumented students.

KUT News freelancer Jeff Heimsath interviewed one undocumented student at the University of Texas about his hope of becoming an American citizen. 

Texas
11:41 am
Wed March 21, 2012

Arrest in Firebombing of State Sen. Wendy Davis' Office

Texas Sen. Wendy Davis' offices were firebombed yesterday by what police characterize as a mentally-ill suspect.
davis.senate.state.tx.us

The investigation into the firebombing of state Senator Wendy Davis' Fort Worth office on Tuesday has already nabbed a suspect.

At a press conference this morning, broadcast by WFAA in Dallas, Fort Worth police officers said last night they arrested a 40-year old homeless man, Cedric Steele. He faces charges of arson.

Read more
Texas
8:38 am
Mon March 19, 2012

Prison Radio Show is Inmates' Link to the Outside World

David Babb, the host of the Prison Show broadcast from KPFT, prepares to go on the ari in Houston Friday Feb 24, 2012.
Photo by Michael Stravato for the Texas Tribune

On Friday nights, in prison cells across East and Southeast Texas, a window opens to the outside world. For two hours, a Houston-based radio show breaks the isolation of the incarcerated, linking inmates to families, friends and life outside lockup.

The Prison Show,” which started in 1980 on KPFT, is part news program and part call-in radio show. Some Texas inmates have listened to their own weddings on the show, with the new spouse and a proxy exchanging vows in the studio. Others have listened to their children grow up on the radio, hearing news of soccer games and report cards from children they never see.

And for inmates who are no longer in prison, the show is familiar in a world that feels foreign.

Read more
Texas
4:30 pm
Fri March 16, 2012

Abbott Sues Feds Over Women's Health Program

Woman at Texas Capitol protests Republican lawmakers decision to exclude Planned Parenthood from the Women's Health Program.
Photo by Marjorie Kamys Cotera, Texas Tribune

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott is filing yet another lawsuit against the federal government, this one, no surprise, over the Women's Health Program. 

Read more
Texas
11:03 am
Thu March 15, 2012

State Spends Big to Pay Workers for Unused Vacation

Photo illustration by Todd Wiseman, Texas Tribune

Texas government agencies have paid fired or resigning state employees more than $500 million in unused vacation time over the last decade. It’s a staggering sum that fiscal conservative critics call “ridiculous,” especially in tough budget times.

But state workers say what’s ridiculous is that so many jobs have been cut — and that agencies are so understaffed that employees can’t take vacations.

In each of the last 10 years, state officials paid out an average $50 million in accrued vacation time, according to data from the Texas comptroller’s office. That number crept up to $68 million in 2004 and $67 million last year — both on the heels of a budget shortfall and related layoffs.

Read more
Texas
9:40 am
Wed March 14, 2012

What's Next for Texas' Women's Health Program?

Photo by Marjorie Kamys Cotera, Texas Tribune

A state rule that forces Planned Parenthood out of Texas' Women's Health Program takes effect today, and in response, the Obama administration is preparing to halt federal funding for the program. But the change won't be immediate: Texas health officials say it will take a few weeks to transition to a fully state-run program from one that had been 90-percent funded by the federal government. 

Since the standoff between Texas and the federal government erupted over the state's decision to write clinics "affiliated" with abortion providers out of the Women's Health Program, abortion opponents have argued that there are thousands of more comprehensive health care providers available to take Planned Parenthood's place. By law, none of the clinics enrolled in the five-year-old program were performing abortions.

Read more
Texas
12:45 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

Rusty Hardin Picked For Prosecutor In Morton Case

Michael Morton hearing on February 10, 2012 at the Williamson Co. Courthouse.
Photo by: Spencer Selvidge/Texas Tribune

Houston criminal defense lawyer Rusty Hardin will be the special prosecutor in the court of inquiry looking into possible misconduct in the case of Michael Morton, who was wrongfully convicted in 1987 of bludgeoning his wife to death. 

This won't be Hardin's first high-profile case. The former Harris County prosecutor has represented Roger Clemens, J. Howard Marshall's estate in the Anna Nicole Smith lawsuit, and, during the Enron scandal, accounting firm Arthur Andersen. 

Read more

Pages