Texas

Texas
11:10 am
Thu August 18, 2011

Amber Alert Issued for Galveston County Girl

An Amber Alert has been issued for Andrea Love Fox, 14, of League City.
Photo courtesy of National Center for Missing and Exploited Youth

UPDATE: Authorities in Galveston County initially said the man Andrea Fox was believed to be with was stationed at Fort Carlson, Colorado. They now say that James Dean Martin is stationed at Fort Carson, Colorado. Galveston County and DPS officials say the Amber Alert is still active, as of 11:10 a.m.

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Texas
5:34 pm
Wed August 17, 2011

DNA Implicates Another Man in 25-Year-Old Murder Case

Presiding Officer of the Texas Forensic Science Commission John Bradley during a commission meeting April 14th, 2011.
Photo by Marjorie Kamys Cotera/The Texas Tribune

New DNA test results in a 25-year-old murder case show that another man, not Michael Morton, likely killed Christine Morton, who was found dead in her Williamson County home on Aug. 13, 1986, Morton's attorneys say.

The attorneys have also asked a court to recuse John Bradley, the Williamson County district attorney and former chairman of the Texas Forensic Science Commission, from the case, saying that for years he didn't release evidence he knew could prove Morton, 57, did not murder his wife.

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Texas
3:48 pm
Wed August 17, 2011

Texas Students Show Low College Test Scores

A majority of Texas high school students who took the ACT college preparation exam were not ready for college classes according to a report.
Photo by KUT News

The majority of Texas students who took the ACT college entrance exam this year don't have the necessary skills for college.

According to a report done on the class of 2011, many Texas students tested below the national average in reading, English and science. 101,569 graduates in Texas, or about 36% of the class of 2011, took the ACT.

Texans were slightly above the national average in mathematics, which is 45 percent of students passing, with 48 percent.

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Texas
12:26 pm
Wed August 17, 2011

Report: Texas Crop Losses At $5.2 Billion

The drought has taken its toll on a Burleson County pasture.
Photo by Blair Fannin/Texas AgriLife Extension Service

State agriculture officials say farmers and ranchers in Texas have suffered $5.2 billion in losses since last November, due to the current drought.

That tops the previous record for agriculture losses set back in 2006.

The losses cut across most of the state's crops, including cotton, corn, wheat, sorghum and hay.

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Texas
11:27 am
Sun August 14, 2011

Sunday News Roundup for August 14, 2011

Governor Perry on stage with his family after announcing his run for the 2012 presidency.
Photo by Ryan Ricker, Texas Tribune

Unless you were kayaking on Lady Bird Lake all day, you probably heard the news that Governor Rick Perry did what everyone expected him to do yesterday: announce that he’s officially entering the race for the GOP presidential nomination.  You can read the transcript of his speech or watch a video of it.

KUT’s Ben Philpott filed this story from Charleston, South Carolina, where Perry dropped the news. Now the national media can officially start a feeding frenzy on the next major Texas candidate who wants to live in the White House.  Here is a sampling of coverage.

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Texas
4:42 pm
Tue August 9, 2011

Texas Inmates Complain of Sweltering Prison Conditions

Photo by Bob Daemmrich, Texas Tribune

In letters from his prison cell at the McConnell Unit in Beeville, Susan Fenner’s son describes miserably hot and dangerous conditions. The temperature is more than 100 degrees outside, and the heat radiates through his tiny un-air conditioned box of a cell in administrative segregation.

“There’s not much circulation, and it’s just horrible,” said Fenner, who is executive director of the Texas Inmate Family Association.

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Texas
12:32 pm
Tue August 9, 2011

Population Growth Taxes Electric Grid

Photo by Daniel Reese for KUT News

It’s not just record breaking heat that is pushing the state’s electric grid to the brink on a regular basis this summer. Staggering population growth in Texas is creating an unprecedented demand for electricity.

“Our demand has been growing in this state for several years now,” Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) spokesperson Dottie Roark said last week in a conference call, citing the number of new residents in the state.

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Texas
11:35 am
Tue August 9, 2011

FLDS Leader Warren Jeffs Sentenced to Life

Photo courtesy Reagan County Sheriff's Department

The spiritual leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, a religious sect that practices polygamy, has been sentenced to life in prison.  The jury deliberated for less than 30 minutes, according to the AP.

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Texas
9:05 am
Tue August 9, 2011

Research Shows Texas Having A Link To Antarctica

Scientists have found evidence that parts of North America and East Antarctica were joined in a supercontinent called Rodinia 1.1 billion years ago.
Robin E. Bell Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

Originally published on Mon August 8, 2011 2:40 pm

Scientists have long thought that Earth's continents once formed a "supercontinent" called Pangaea. Now they've found evidence that parts of North America and East Antarctica were joined in a supercontinent called Rodinia 1.1 billion years ago — even earlier than Pangaea.

"I can go to the Franklin Mountains in West Texas and stand next to what was once part of Coats Land in Antarctica," said geochemist Staci Loewy, who led the work. "That's so amazing."

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Texas
10:36 am
Sat August 6, 2011

Bastrop Fire Still Burning

Firefighters are fighting a large brush fire in Bastrop County that is on the Camp Swift property. It started Friday afternoon. Photo by Erika Aguilar for KUT News.

The City of Austin is reminding people that an outdoor smoking and fire ban remains in effect. This after a blaze along southbound Mopac near the Barton Skyway exit yesterday. The threat of wildfires remains dangerously high in the drought-parched region.

Texas
12:54 pm
Fri August 5, 2011

Polygamists Condemn Warren Jeffs' Sexual Abuse

Originally published on Fri August 5, 2011 10:33 am

As a Texas jury considers a possible life sentence for polygamist leader Warren Jeffs, a coalition of polygamist groups is condemning the sexual abuse that led to Jeffs' conviction.

"We are alarmed that such depravity could have been perpetrated by anyone," says a written statement from the Principle Rights Coalition, a group representing five polygamist groups in Arizona and Utah, as well as "numerous other independent Fundamentalist Mormons."

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Texas
7:23 am
Fri August 5, 2011

Top Morning Stories August 5, 2011

More than 8,000 people have registered for Gov. Rick Perry's Christian prayer rally Saturday.
Photo by KUT News

Perry's Response Begins Saturday

Gov. Rick Perry will host  "The Response", a religious revival, in Houston tomorrow at the Reliant Stadium.  The seven hour long event will include a day of prayer and fasting for a "nation in crisis" along with several religious leaders in line to speak. NPR reports that "the event has touched off a holy war among critics, who claim it is Jesus-exclusive and political."

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energy
5:43 pm
Thu August 4, 2011

Updated: ERCOT Lowers Energy Emergency Level

Photo by Jessie Wang for KUT News

Update at 5:40 p.m. The worst of today's energy emergency appears to be over. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas has canceled the Level 2B Energy Emergency Alert. However, ERCOT is still at 2A, and is urging people to conserve electricity until 7 p.m.

Earlier: The state's energy regulator said in a Tweet moments ago that there is now a "high probability" of rolling blackouts across the state. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas escalated the Energy Emergency Alert to Level 2B, meaning energy reserves are below 1,750 megawatts and continuing to decline.

ERCOT declared Level 2A at around 2:30 p.m., which triggered large factories, mostly along the Gulf Coast, to power down their operations in a bid to preserve energy reserves. It's the first time since rolling blackouts in February that ERCOT had initiated a Level 2A alert.

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Texas
4:40 pm
Thu August 4, 2011

AP: FLDS Leader Warren Jeffs Guilty of Child Abuse

Photo by Reagan County Sheriff's Department

Breaking news from San Angelo: The Associated Press reports that Warren Jeffs, the spiritual leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, has been found guilty of child sex abuse.

Here's the report from the AP

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Texas
4:03 pm
Thu August 4, 2011

Live Blog: ERCOT News Conference On Energy Emergency

The state's grid regulator, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, held a teleconference with reporters at 4 p.m. You can replay the live blog if you're interested.

Texas
3:30 pm
Thu August 4, 2011

Where To Find Outage Information If Blackouts Hit Austin

Austin Energy's Customer Outage Portal showed everything running as usual at 3:30 p.m.

Oppressive heat is helping to push Texas’ power grid to maximum capacity. Now the state’s grid operator has declared an Energy Emergency Level 2, which triggers some factories to power down voluntarily.

But with the peak hour of energy consumption still ahead – 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. -- you may be interested to know about Austin Energy’s Customer Outage Portal, should rolling blackouts occur.

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mexico border
11:07 am
Thu August 4, 2011

Business Booms On Border Despite Violence

Mexican federal police man a checkpoint in downtown Juarez, Mexico, on July 13. Despite being hard hit by drug violence, Mexican border cities remain attractive to foreign businesses seeking cheap labor and easy access to the U.S.
Jesus Alcazar AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 4, 2011 8:01 am

Over the last four years of the Mexican drug war, the country's northern border has become one of the most violent parts of the country. Yet recently that same part of Mexico has been booming economically.

The duty-free maquiladora assembly plants along the border are rapidly adding jobs, and exports to the United States are reaching record levels.

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texas
10:48 am
Thu August 4, 2011

Gun Rights Groups Sue Feds Over Rifle Rule Aimed At Cartels

A new federal rule requires gun shops to report purchases of two or more of some semiautomatic rifles within five days.
Photo by Keary O. http://www.flickr.com/photos/barjack/

Two major gun rights groups filed lawsuits against the United States yesterday to stop a new federal firearms reporting requirement. The new rules affect 8,500 retailers in the four border states.

The lawsuits were not unexpected against the controversial rules. The Obama Administration announced the rulings two weeks ago.

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Texas
4:09 pm
Wed August 3, 2011

Shuttered Texas Prison Inspired Folk Standard "Midnight Special"

The closure of the Central Unit in Sugarland leaves its mark as the first Texas prison to be shuttered in the history of the state. But it also leaves its mark on musical history. In his story in the Austin American Stateman, Mike Ward reveals how the 102 year old facility is said to be the inspiration for the Leadbelly classic "midnight special."

 

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Texas
3:27 pm
Wed August 3, 2011

ERCOT Announces Another Energy Emergency

ERCOT is asking Texans to conserve electricity during today's energy emergency. Photo by Jessie Wang for KUT News.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas is asking Texans to conserve electricity from 3 to 7 PM today, as hot weather and higher-than-average energy use strain the state's electric grid.

"[Electric] capacity is expected to be very tight over the peak today, and ERCOT operators are closely monitoring the situation," ERCOT said in a media release.

Forecast for peak demand today is more than 68,684 megawatts. Texas hit an all-time record  yesterday when electric use exceeded 67,929 megawatts. 

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