Texas

Texas
4:24 pm
Fri March 4, 2011

Maj. Hassan's Court Marshall Authorized to Consider Capital Punishment

A courtroom sketch from one of Hasan's hearings
Sketch by Pat Lopez

Brigade commander Col. Morgan Lamb has recommended a court-martial and the death penalty for the Army psychiatrist charged in the 2009 Fort Hood shootings. Maj. Nidal Hasan has been charged on 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder. Lamb's recommendation comes after a similar one made last fall by another colonel who presided over Hasan's evidentiary hearing.

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Texas
8:56 am
Tue March 1, 2011

Mexico Spring Break Warnings: The 2011 Edition

The DPS has released its annual "Don't Go To Mexico" campaign.
Map courtesy Google Maps

Like the swallows returning to San Juan Capistrano...the middle of March in Texas sees the migration of college students to the coast for some fun,  sun and relaxation during spring break.  One other yearly tradition is the Department of Public Safety warning the young partiers to keep it all north of the boarder border.

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Texas
12:08 pm
Mon February 28, 2011

Windy Conditions Heighten Fire Danger

Texas forestry officials warn that high winds and low humidity could make wildfires harder to control today.
Photo by KUT News

Breezy, dry conditions are setting up increased fire danger across Central Texas.  The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for the region through 4:00 p.m. today.

Sunday, windswept wildfires in West Texas scorched a total of 120,000 acres, destroyed at least 80 homes and resulted in the death of one person.

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Texas
12:58 pm
Thu February 24, 2011

Saudi Resident Arrested in Lubbock

FBI agents arrested a 20-year orld Saudi Arabia citizen in Lubbock Wednesday afternoon.
Image Courtesy of Jason Lawrence http://www.flickr.com/photos/27665395@N05/3559722809/

A 20-year-old Saudi Arabian student residing in Lubbock was arrested late Wednesday and charged with attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction.

The Justice Department says Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari, a student at South Plains College, was accused of purchasing chemicals to make an improvised explosive device (IED) and conducting online research of potential targets inside the United States.

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Politics
2:48 pm
Wed February 23, 2011

House Committee Holds Sonogram Bill Hearing

The House State Affairs Committee is hearing testimony on the sonogram bill.
Photo Courtesy of KUT News

The House State Affairs Committee is taking invited testimony on a bill that would require women considering an abortion to receive a sonogram and have a doctor explain what they're seeing.

The bill, authored by Rep. Sid Miller (R-Stephenville), is similar to a bill already passed by the Senate. 

Becky Turner, a woman who had an abortion over 25 years ago, agrees with the bill.

"I'm hoping that you guys also consider it important and valuable enough to tell others, what's inside the womb. Because we can't see it," Turner said.

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Texas
3:39 pm
Tue February 22, 2011

"Double-Dipping" Bill Filed in Legislature

A Fort Worth Republican lawmaker proposes bill aimed at tightening some campaign spending rules.
Image by KUT News

State Rep. Charlie Geren (R-Fort Worth), filed today an bill that takes aim at double-dipping by  Texas politicians.

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Top Stories
8:58 am
Mon February 21, 2011

Top Morning Stories for February 21, 2011

Courtesy the Texas Tribune.

TT/UT Poll: Texans Want Budget Cuts, But Unsure Where to Cut

A new poll from the Texas Tribune and the University of Texas finds that most Texas voters back spending cuts as a way to balance the state's budget in the next biennium. But voters are divided when it comes to identifying what specific programs they would cut.

From the Tribune's write-up:

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Texas, Census
3:48 pm
Thu February 17, 2011

Census Data Breakdown from the Texas Tribune

Image courtesy of the US Census Bureau

Our good friends and political reporting partners, The Texas Tribune, have started breaking down the U.S. Census data released today.  

The new numbers show the Hispanic population in Texas increased by 42 percent since 2000, and the group now makes up 38 percent of the population.

Texas’ population is now 25,145,561. That's a 4,293,741 increase from 2000’s figure, a 20.6 percent change.

Governor's Mansion
2:35 pm
Thu February 17, 2011

DPS Releases New Details of Governor's Mansion Suspects

Texas DPS released these sketches of the man that investigators believe threw the cocktail that set the Governor's Mansion on fire. Investigators says this vehicle was seen four days before fire taking pictures of the building.
Courtest of Texas DPS

Officials with the Texas Department of Public Safety are looking for three "persons of interest" and one suspect in their ongoing investigation into the 2008 the Governor's Mansion arson.  A sketch of a potential suspect and new video has been released.

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Texas
2:37 pm
Wed February 16, 2011

Texas Grid Operator Updates List of Plant Failures

ERCOT released an updated list of power plants that failed, leading to rolling blackouts February 2.
Image by KUT News

Officials with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas continue to identify more power plants that went offline during the power emergency that struck the state two weeks ago. Normally, details on plant failures would be confidential for 60 days, because of market rules set up by the Public Utility Commission of Texas.  But ERCOT has asked power generators to agree to a waiver of that period. 

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Texas
10:56 am
Wed February 16, 2011

State Officials Warn Pilots about Eagle's Nest

Game wardens say some ultralight aircraft have been getting too close to a Central Texas eagle's nest
Image courtesy of Pen Waggener on flickr.com

Texas state game wardens are concerned that some ultralight airplanes have been flying too close to a nest of bald eagles in a pecan tree along the Llano River, about eight miles east of Llano.

Mike Cox, a spokesman with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD), says wardens think photographers on the planes are trying to get close-up pictures of the two bald eagles and the eaglet that live in the nest.  But planes buzzing that close to the nest could do serious harm to the birds.

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Food
9:23 am
Sat February 12, 2011

Texas Produced Okra Is Recalled

Breaded okra made in McAllen, TX is being recalled because the food contains whey, a milk ingredient, that was not properly labeled.
Photo courtesy of the FDA.

A frozen food company baed in McAllen is voluntarily recalling its breaded okra because the food may contain whey, a milk ingredient. Magic Valley Fresh Frozen Inc. makes okra under the HEB label and sells in Texas grocery stories.

The 24-ounce and five-pound breaded okra bags under the HEB brand label were made from July 1, 2010 to Jan. 31 of this year.

No one has reported an allergic reaction because of the okra.

Texas
2:02 pm
Thu February 10, 2011

Texas Sets New Power Consumption Record, Power Watch Cancelled

Warm weather is ahead, but patches of ice remain. The cold weather prompted Texans to set a new winter power consumption record, according to ERCOT.
Photo by Nathan Bernier for KUT News

The state's power grid regulator, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), says Texas set a new record for winter peak demand. Between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m., the state was consuming 57,282 megawatts. That's almost 1,000 megawatts higher than the previous record from February 2nd.

At the same time, ERCOT is cancelling its request to consumers to reduce their energy consumption during peak hours.

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Texas
10:50 am
Wed February 9, 2011

Record Electricity Usage Expected In Texas Tomorrow

Photo courtesy of Miranda Martin/via Flickr

The state's electric grid operator, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), says it's expecting to set a winter record for power demand Thursday morning between 7 and 8 a.m. ERCOT is asking people to conserve power to help minimize the risk of rolling blackouts like the ones that swept across Texas last week.

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Texas
3:51 pm
Tue February 8, 2011

ERCOT Asks for Power Conservation Ahead of Cold Front

ERCOT urges Texans to cut back on electricity tonight and tomorrow morning during the peak times.
Image Courtesy Cath in Dorset http://www.flickr.com/photos/cathwalker-hillygroundphotography/

Freezing weather is returning tonight and tomorrow morning. ERCOT, the agency that runs the state's power grid, is asking consumers to cut back on electricity usage, to avoid another round of rolling blackouts. Officials say the peak times for usage are 6:00-9:00 am and 4:00-8:00 pm, and that's when they need the help most.

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Texas
1:39 pm
Mon February 7, 2011

Blackouts Pushed Electricity Prices to the Limit

Photo by Nasha Lee/KUT.

It's been reported that last week's rolling blackouts that left parts of the state in the dark for 15 minutes or more--in some cases, a lot more)--made for sky-high wholesale electric prices.

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Texas
9:05 am
Sun February 6, 2011

Sunday Morning Brief

Governor Rick Perry will lay out his legislative agenda Tuesday
picture courtesy of The Texas Tribune

You know what they say, if you don't like the weather in Texas...just wait a minute.  After 72-hours below freezing in Austin, we got into the upper 60's Saturday with another nice day ahead today.  BUT, we've got freezing temperatures and rain (or sleet or whatever) in the forecast this week.  So, don't pack your heavy coats yet.

On to the news of the day:

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Texas
2:19 pm
Thu February 3, 2011

Report: 2009 Fort Hood Massacre Could Have Been Prevented

Soldiers bow their heads at a memorial ceremony held days after the Fort Hood shootings in Nov. 2009. A new report suggests the FBI and Army failed to act on information that may have prevented the attack.
Image by KUT News

A new report issued today by two US Senators says the FBI and military officials repeatedly ignored signs that Nidal Hasan was a "ticking time bomb".  Hasan is facing court martial over the November 2009 shootings at Fort Hood, an army post

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cold weather
1:05 pm
Thu February 3, 2011

Live Blogging ERCOT News Conference

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas is holding a news conference to discuss yesterday's events. Follow it live here.

cold weather
3:49 pm
Wed February 2, 2011

Steps You Can Take To Reduce The Likelihood Of Rolling Outages

Image by KUT News

The rotating power outages that afflicted Austin today are over for now, according to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), but the energy regulator says there is a strong likelihood they could resume tomorrow.

"Without this safety valve," ERCOT said in a statement, "generators would overload and begin shutting down to avoid damage, risking a domino effect of a state-wide outage."

Here are measures ERCOT says you can you can take to lower your power consumption and help reduce the need for rolling outages.

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