Texas

Texas
8:16 am
Sun June 26, 2011

Sunday Morning Round-Up: June 26, 2011

Your round up of the day's news from KUT. (Now with Coffee!)
Photo by KUT News

Another hot day ahead in Central Texas. Not that you needed me to tell you that. The forecast will remain pretty much the same until....hmmm....maybe October?

So why not sit back, stay cool and read this round up of the day's news.

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Texas
3:25 pm
Fri June 24, 2011

Round Rock Cancels Fourth of July Fireworks

Photo by KUT

With no fireworks in Austin this Independence Day, some patriots may have been planning the trek up to Williamson County to catch the rocket’s red glare. Those plans will have to be canceled. You can count Round Rock’s fireworks display as another victim of the Texas drought.

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Texas
2:10 pm
Fri June 24, 2011

Mexico Replaces Police With Soldiers Near Texas Border

Mexican soldiers have taken control of the police department in downtown Matamoros, in the border state of Tamaulipas.
Jason Beaubien NPR

Originally published on Fri June 24, 2011 2:00 pm

In Mexico, one controversial part of President Felipe Calderon's war against the drug cartels has been the use of the military to fight organized crime. Now in the border state of Tamaulipas, the Mexican army is taking over full control of the police departments in some of the state's most troubled cities.

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Texas
1:30 pm
Tue June 21, 2011

Fires Eat Up Texas Timber

Air tankers, like this one, are being used for fire retardant drops on a pair of East Texas fires.
Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force

First, it was West and North Texas being scorched by wildfire. Now, it's East Texas's turn. Two large fires there have burned a combined total of 22,200 acres since last weekend. Eight smaller fires are also burning in the eastern part of the states.

The Bearing fire, southwest of Lufkin has burned 18,200 acres. The Dyer Mill fire, southeast of Navasota has consumed 4,000 acres and has prompted the evacuation of 1,800 homes and businesses in the area.

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Texas
4:48 pm
Thu June 16, 2011

Evacuations in Leander as Brush Fire Spreads

The blaze is located in this part of Leander. View Larger Map

Williamson County is urging some Leander residents to evacuate after a fire broke out near their homes today around noon.

The fire is near the Highlands subdivision, which affects approximately 200 homes. Several area fire departments have been dispatched to the area.

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Texas
3:17 pm
Thu June 16, 2011

Two Texas Soldiers Die in IED Attacks

Seargent Glenn M. Sewell
Photo courtesy Department of Defense

Army Staff Sergeant Nicholas P. Ballard of El Paso, Texas and Sergeant Glenn M. Sewell of Live Oak, Texas were killed after their unit was hit by an I-E-D attack in eastern Iraq on Monday.

Twenty-six year old Nicholas Bellard leaves behind his 2-year-old daughter, Eva, and wife Victoria. Bellard’s aunt, Susan Ohlenforst of Rayne, Louisiana, says they meant the world to him. 

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Texas
4:33 pm
Fri June 10, 2011

Personal Information of 4,900 State Workers Compromised

As many as 4,900 current and former employees of the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) may have had their personal information exposed in the latest data security breach involving state workers. The news comes two months after the Texas Comptroller announced that the personal information of 3.5 million employees was potentially compromised.

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Texas
1:48 pm
Thu June 9, 2011

DPS: Officers Fired Upon By Gangs in Mexico

Photo by Todd Wiseman

U.S. law enforcement officers in Hidalgo County today received heavy weapons fire from Mexico, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.

The exchange happened when law enforcement officers participating in a multi-agency Texas Ranger Recon operation attempted to interdict a load of drugs. Three law enforcement patrol boats were notified of a suspicious vehicle and two recovery boats on the U.S. side of the border. They were fired on when they arrived at the scene.

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Texas
1:37 pm
Thu June 9, 2011

Arizona Wildfires Threaten Electric Grid Supplying West Texas

Smoke from the Arizona wildfire is visible from almost 200 miles away, as shown in this picture from the Albuquerque, NM region.
Photo by bobthemtnbike http://www.flickr.com/photos/bobthemtnbiker/

The second largest wildfire in Arizona’s recorded history could cause cascading power outages that would leave El Paso and other parts of West Texas in the dark. NPR reports that the 600-square mile fire is expected to reach large electrical transmission lines by Friday.

The fire prompted Texas-based El Paso Electric to issue warnings of possible power interruptions for its customers in southern New Mexico and West Texas.

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Texas
6:10 am
Thu June 9, 2011

Top Morning Stories June 9, 2011

The Texas House has given preliminary approval to a broad health care bill during this special legislative session.
Photo by KUT News.

House Health Care Bill Gets Initial Approval

The Texas House has given preliminary approval to a wide-ranging health care bill.  It would save the state more than $400 million over the next two years.  Among other things, the bill would allow doctors, hospitals and other providers to work together to lower costs. One of the amendments to the bill would allow Texas to join a compact of states trying to get more control of how federal Medicaid and Medicare dollars are spent. 

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Texas
2:17 pm
Wed June 8, 2011

Feds Sue State Agency for Unpaid Overtime

The Labor Department claims the Texas Department of Family & Protective Services and a Child Protective Services office owes some employees over $1 million in unpaid overtime.
Photo by Ian Crawford for KUT News

The U.S. Department of Labor has filed suit in federal court in Austin, claiming that the state's Department of Family and Protective Services and the Child Protective Services Division in Austin owes some employees overtime pay. Over $1 million, to be specific.

The Associated Press reports that the lawsuit, filed today, alleges that about 800 current and former investigators and case workers were told not to record all the hours they worked.

Labor Department investigators conducted a three-year investigation after a complaint was filed.

 

Texas
11:44 am
Tue June 7, 2011

DPS Fires Top Official After Criminal Investigation Into Homeland Security Grants

The Texas Department of Public Safety has started a process to fire a top official who used to be in charge of administering Homeland Security Grants in the state. DPS said in a statement that the move follows a five-month investigation of Janice Bruno and alleged criminal misconduct involving a grant issued to the North Central Texas Council of Governments.

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Texas
6:22 pm
Mon June 6, 2011

Fire Crews Battle SW Travis Co. Fire

An aerial view of April's 100-acre Oak Hill Fire. Firefighters in Southwest Travis County are working to keep a blaze near Reimers Ranch from growing past 60 acres.
Photo courtesy of the U.S. Air Force

A fire kindled by an arcing power transformer near Reimers Ranch Sunday rekindled this afternoon.

Asst. Chief John Durham with Lake Travis Fire & Rescue says no structures have been threatened by the 60-acre blaze. Some horses had to be moved out of the fire's path, but no injuries have been reported.

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Texas
4:15 pm
Mon June 6, 2011

Ron Paul Raises $1 Million In “Money Bomb” Attacking Romney

Photo by Jayel Aheram http://www.flickr.com/photos/aheram/

Texas Congressman Ron Paul (R-Lake Jackson), hoping to nab the Republican presidential nomination, raked in more than $1 million yesterday by targeting the perceived GOP front runner, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

A "money bomb" is a term used to describe an effort to raise a lot of cash over a specific time span, often over the internet.

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Texas
11:14 am
Wed June 1, 2011

Fort Worth Public Transit Cracks Down On Low Riding Pants

Images such as this one have already been splashed on public buses in Fort Worth. Now, a ban on the practice gives riders the option of pulling up their pants or not getting on the bus.
Photo by Fort Worth Transportation Authority

A style popularized by hip hop artists in the 90's is now banned on public transit in Fort Worth. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports on the city’s transportation authority enforcing a new dress code on buses and trains.

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Texas
12:57 pm
Tue May 31, 2011

Perry Vetoes Bill that Would Have Boosted Online Tax Collection

Governor Rick Perry opposes a bill to boost collection of sales tax on goods sold online, in the state of Texas.
Photo by Liang Shi for KUT News

On Tuesday, Gov. Rick Perry vetoed legislation aimed at collecting more tax from online sales in Texas. The bill would have tightened rules on when online vendors must charge sales tax in the state. Under the proposed rules, retailers who maintain distribution centers in Texas would have had to charge sales tax on goods sold in Texas. In a statement Perry said:

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Texas
1:14 pm
Mon May 30, 2011

Wildfires Destroy Homes In Texas Panhandle

The evacuation orders that sent hundreds of people fleeing their homes in the Amarillo area have been lifted, but almost a dozen homes have been destroyed by flames. Here’s the AP story fresh off the wire.

AMARILLO, Texas (AP) - At least 11 homes in the Texas Panhandle town of Amarillo have been destroyed as two wildfires burned on the city's outskirts.

Texas Forest Service spokesman Marq Webb says the fires began burning in the early evening hours Sunday. He says low humidity, temperatures in the 100s and high winds created favorable conditions for fires.

He says firefighters were battling wildfires Monday across Texas, where about 2.8 million acres have burned since November.

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Texas
10:04 am
Mon May 30, 2011

Video of Burnet County Fire

Here's some video of yesterday's fire in Burnet County, shot by YouTube user fibes1. The blaze scorched about 300 acres and forced the evacuation of several homes.  Two firefighters were slightly hurt while combating the flames.

Texas
9:32 am
Sun May 29, 2011

Top Stories May 29, 2011

With a budget passed, lawmakers turn to SB 1811 to find out how to pay for it.
Photo by Liang Shi for KUT News.

 

Legislators passed a new, very tight state budget Saturday night – one that conservatives hail as a fiscally responsible victory that shows the state can make tough choices in hard times and which democrats decried as a long list of poor choices that will hurt students from Pre-K through college, families and those with disabilities.

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Texas
4:55 pm
Thu May 26, 2011

Texas Soldier Killed in Afghan IED Attack

Andrew Krippner died May 23, 2011 from wounds sustained in an IED attack in Kunar Province, Afghanistan.
U.S. Army

A Texas soldier died this week in Kunar Province, Afghanistan during in his first deployment overseas. Private Andrew M. Krippner was an infantryman from Garland, Texas. He was 20. A family friend told KUT he had enlisted in the Army last July. Krippner had been in Afghanistan for about a month and a half when his unit was attacked with an improvised explosive device. He and three other soldiers died of wounds they suffered in the attack. 

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