Texas

Texas
4:29 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Physicians Group Gives Texas a Failing Grade for Access to Emergency Care

Texas is failing in several categories when it comes to its emergency care environment, according to a new report card from the American College of Emergency Physicians.
Nathan Bernier, KUT

Texas is failing in several categories when it comes to its emergency care environment, at least according to a report card from the American College of Emergency Physicians.   

Based near Dallas, the physicians group grades states each year on their emergency care environment.

This year, Texas gets an F, ranking 47th in the nation, for access to emergency care.

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Texas
11:09 am
Wed January 15, 2014

Higher Fees Coming to Austin Area Parks

Since the 2009 fee was charged, the elevated number of patrols and arrests has increased nearly 20%.
friendsofthehollow.com

The Travis County Commissioners Court has approved a park-use fee hike, raising entry fees at Hamilton Pool and Hippie Hollow, as well as increasing field reservation fees. Travis County's Park fees were last raised in 2009.

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UT Football
9:49 am
Wed January 15, 2014

Why The Race Of The New Football Coach At University Of Texas Matters

University of Texas president Bill Powers (left) and athletic director Steve Patterson (right) introduce new Longhorns head football coach Charlie Strong during a press conference January 6, 2014 at Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin, Texas.
Erich Schlegel Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 5:59 pm

The Texas Longhorn football team is trying to regroup after several disappointing seasons under veteran coach Mack Brown.

The University of Texas hired Charlie Strong last week to usher in a new era in Austin. He will be the first black head coach of any men's sport at the university.

Strong has not been a popular hire with some of Texas' billionaire boosters, despite having led an impressive career since 1986.

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Affordable Care Act
8:32 am
Wed January 15, 2014

Despite Increased Enrollment, Online Spanish Sign-Up Faces Challenges

Ovidio Jesus Garcia, left, gets help from Gigi Veliz at Foundation Communities' Insure Central Texas location at Highland Mall on Jan. 14, 2014.
Veronica Zaragovia, KUT

Almost 120,000 Texans signed up for health insurance through the federally run marketplace through the end of last month, but it’s only a small fraction of the state’s total uninsured population.

And enrollment of Latinos, a group targeted by the Obama administration has had its challenges.

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StateImpact Texas
12:46 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

North Texas Earthquake Swarm More Centralized Than Previously Thought

Another minor earthquake shook the North Texas community of Azle on Monday. It’s one of dozens to hit the region over the last few months that have residents on edge and complaining of property damage.

Many see a link between the quakes and increased oil and gas activity. But challenges confront scientists researching the quakes for the U.S. Geological Survey and Southern Methodist University. For one, they’ve needed to more accurately pinpoint the epicenters of the Azle quakes.

View Earthquakes Near Azle, Texas in a larger map

Map created by Andrew Weber for KUT News and StateImpact Texas. Orange circles represent earthquakes, wavy blue lines represent active wastewater disposal wells.

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Texas
5:20 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

What SCOTUS Inaction Means for the Texas Abortion Ban

An Arizona case has been denied the chance to be heard by the nation's highest court, but what does that mean for Texas' 20-week ban on abortions?
Eric Schlegel, Texas Tribune

The U.S. Supreme Court is declining to take up a case involving abortion.

State officials in Arizona were appealing a lower court’s decision to strike down a state law that would have banned most abortions after 20 weeks of gestation. But does the high court’s decision not to take up the case have implications on any future challenges to the 20-week ban that went into effect in Texas last year?

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Texas
1:45 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Permit To Hunt And Kill One Black Rhino Sold For $350,000

A black rhino in Namibia's Etosha National Park.
Frans Lanting DPA/Landov

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 10:23 am

The Dallas Safari Club's controversial auction of a permit to hunt one black rhino in Namibia raised $350,000 over the weekend, the club confirms on its Facebook page.

That's at the lower end of the range that club executive Ben Carter had expected. In December, he told NPR that he hoped the auction would raise $225,000 to $1 million.

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University of Texas
12:46 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

UT Regents Approve 5-year $25 Million Contract for Charlie Strong

Charlie Strong at a press conference announcing his hire as the Longhorns' head football coach.
Spencer Selvidge for KUT News

It's official: University of Texas Regents approved Charlie Strong's contract today. Strong will be paid $25.4 million over 5 years — $5 million per year with a $100,000 bonus available after every year. 

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Poverty
5:30 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

Fifty Years After Start of War on Poverty, Texas Has Room for Improvement

Today marks 50 years since President Lyndon B. Johnson called on Congress and the nation to fight poverty. Texas – President Johnson’s home state – often touts its growing economy. But the state has one of the highest rates of poverty in the U.S.
LBJ Presidential Library at the University of Texas

Today marks the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon B. Johnson's call to Congress, and the nation, to fight poverty.

Texas – President Johnson’s home state – often touts its growing economy. But the state has one of the highest rates of poverty in the U.S.

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Texas
1:04 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

After a Red Scare, Texas Could be Sriracha's Solution

Rep. Jason Villalba wrote Huy Fong Foods' CEO David Tran to convince the embattled hot sauce-maker to move to Texas.
flickr.com/photos/57043777@N03/

A nationwide shortage of Sriracha sauce has fans of the hot stuff in something just short of a panic, but one state representative has a plan for Texas to come to the rescue.

State Representative Jason Villalba (R-Richardson) has propositioned California-based Huy Fong Foods Inc. to move its operations to Texas after production of the peppery product was halted due to complaints from citizens living near its factory in Irwindale, CA.

KUT's David Brown spoke to Villalba about state and city pitches to recruit Huy Fong, California's "over-regulated" business climate and his go-t0 Sriracha dishes.  

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Texas
9:54 am
Wed January 8, 2014

Texas Supreme Court to Consider Online Defamation Case

Courts could be able to forcibly remove defamatory statements from the internet, if the Texas Supreme Court sides with Austin businessman Robert Kinney.
Frank Swift for Texas Tribune

Robert Kinney says his former boss wrote false and defamatory things about him online, and he wants the state's highest civil court to order the remarks be deleted.

In a case that could have far-reaching effects on individual freedom to post online, the Texas Supreme Court will hear arguments from both sides on Thursday about whether the Texas Constitution allows the court to force Kinney's former boss to unpublish negative postings about his former employee.

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StateImpact Texas
3:20 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Amid a Surge of Texas Earthquakes, Oil and Gas Regulators to Hire a Seismologist

Railroad Commissioner David J. Porter asked the commission to "begin a nationwide search to find the best candidate" for a seismologist.
Mose Buchele for KUT

In today’s meeting of the Railroad Commission of Texas, the state Agency that regulates the Texas oil and gas industry, Commissioner David Porter announced the search for a staff seismologist in response to the rash of small earthquakes that have sprung up throughout the state along with the boom in oil and gas production.

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Criminal Justice
11:56 am
Tue January 7, 2014

Solitary Confinement Study Approved but Lacks Funding

Texas lawmakers have yet to review the state's solitary confinement, including costs, frequency and effects of the policy on inmates.
Caleb Bryant Miller for Texas Tribune

Last year, lawmakers approved and Gov.Rick Perry signed a bill that requires adetailed review of the use of solitary confinement in Texas prisons.

Four months after the measure became law, though, the committee charged with hiring an independent party to study solitary confinement in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice hasn’t met and has no intention to.

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Aging in Texas
9:01 am
Tue January 7, 2014

Experts Turn to Tech as Texas Population Ages and Geriatric Doctors Dwindle

Austin resident Joe Bachicha, 80, overcomes feelings of depression by taking long walks and reaching out to his three daughters.
Veronica Zaragovia, KUT

Almost 3 million people in Texas are between the ages of 65 and 85, according to the office of the state demographer. That number is expected to more than double by the year 2040.

Texas – like the rest of the country – lacks enough geriatric mental health professionals to match the population. So experts are looking at alternatives to help seniors overcome depression -- that includes one approach using technology.

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Affordable Care Act
2:02 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Some See Politics in Proposed Training Rules for Insurance 'Navigators'

State Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin, spoke against proposed rules from the Texas Department of Insurance for so-called "navigators" at a public hearing on Jan. 6, 2014.
Veronica Zaragovia for KUT News

Texas officials have proposed adding new rules for the so-called "navigators" -- the people who help consumers sign up for health insurance through the federally-run marketplace.

Today, Texas Insurance Commissioner Julia Rathgeber heard comments for and against these rules from the public, including additional hours of training, which some say is political effort to hamper the health insurance law.

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