Texas

wildfires
5:19 pm
Mon September 5, 2011

'Mother Nature Has The Upper Hand' In Wildfire Fight

Originally published on Mon September 5, 2011 2:00 pm

A tinderbox landscape and unusually windy conditions have caused more than 60 wildfires to explode across Central and East Texas — creating a hellish Labor Day for thousands of Texans. Two people have been killed so far.

The worst fire is in Bastrop County, just southeast of Austin, where the blaze has been burning out of control for more than a day.

No one in Bastrop has ever seen anything like it. The tall, pine forests that were a favorite getaway for campers and city commuters have erupted into an inferno.

Read more
wildfires
5:18 pm
Mon September 5, 2011

High Winds Whip Up Texas Wildfires

Longhorn cattle grazed as a wildfire burned in the distance in the Texas town of Graford, northwest of Fort Worth.
Tom Pennington Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 5, 2011 7:03 pm

Dozens of wildfires continued to burn out of control across tinder-dry Texas on Monday as calls went out for off-duty firefighters around the region to report for duty.

The Texas Forest Service reported 56 separate fires on Sunday that had burned some 30,000 acres. Neighborhoods across eastern and central parts of the state were reporting widespread damage.

Read more
Wildfires
3:56 pm
Mon September 5, 2011

Eight Videos of Central Texas Wildfires

We sent out photo intern Lizzie Chen to take the video above. Here are seven more YouTube videos from people who were near the wildfires.

Read more
Texas
1:33 pm
Fri September 2, 2011

Gulf Coast Braces For Major Drenching

A satellite image from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration showed the tropical low pressure system in the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday.
AP

Originally published on Fri September 2, 2011 5:00 pm

A slow-moving depression strengthened into a tropical storm as it slogged toward the Gulf Coast on Friday, packing walloping rains that could drench the region with up to 20 inches.

Tropical Storm Lee, the 12th named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, was moving northwest at just 2 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami. The storm's center is expected to approach the Louisiana coast over the weekend.

Read more
Texas
11:07 am
Fri September 2, 2011

Under Perry, Executions Raise Questions

Photo illustration by Bob Daemmrich/Todd Wiseman, Texas Tribune

As Gov. Rick Perry touts his tough-on-crime policies on the national political stage, the case of Cameron Todd Willingham will continue to be scrutinized. Scientists have raised questions about whether Willingham set the blaze that killed his three daughters and led to his 2004 execution.

Read more
Texas
2:13 pm
Thu September 1, 2011

Here Are 20 New Laws That Take Effect Today

Photo by KUT News

Wow, this is a really long list of new laws that take effect today. Almost 700 of them! We scanned through and culled a few interesting ones for your perusal. 

We included, when available, links to the House Research Organization’s analysis of the bills. Those tend to be easier to understand than reading the actual law itself. Thanks HRO!

And now, in no particular order of relevance, here are 20 noteworthy new laws.

Read more
Texas
2:12 pm
Thu September 1, 2011

Another Drought Record Shattered

U.S. Drought Monitor released its weekly drought map shows nearly 82 percent of the state is in "exceptional drought."
Map courtesy of the U.S. Drought Monitor.

They're not the kind of records we're looking to break, but we seem to keep breaking them.

Today, the U.S. Drought Monitor released its weekly drought map. It shows nearly 82 percent of the state is in "exceptional drought," the most severe form.

That's the highest percentage of the state in exceptional drought since the Drought Monitor began releasing the maps in 1999. Even though the map has only been around 12 years, the drought is among the most extreme Texas has ever seen, says Brian Fuchs, Climatologist with the National Drought Mitigation Center.

Read more
texas
8:51 am
Thu September 1, 2011

Texas Wildfire's New Path Helping Firefighters

Originally published on Thu September 1, 2011 7:12 am

A wind-whipped wildfire that destroyed more than three dozen cliff-top homes in North Texas was expected to burn through most of the tinder-dry trees and shrubs in its path by daybreak Thursday, helping firefighters contain the late-summer blaze during the state's severe and seemingly endless fire season.

Read more
Texas
7:18 pm
Tue August 30, 2011

Judge Strikes Down Portions of Sonogram Law

A federal judge in Austin struck down portions of the sonogram law passed by lawmakers this spring.
Photo by Daniel Reese for KUT News.

A federal judge  in Austin today blocked key provisions of a controversial abortion law passed by the Texas Legislature earlier this year.

The law passed during in early May required a doctor to perform a sonogram, and to read a description of it to women seeking an abortion.

U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks sided with plaintiffs who sought an injunction from the rule going into effect. Attorney Julie Rikelman, with the Center for Reproductive Rights, calls the ruling a victory.

Read more
texas
3:34 pm
Tue August 30, 2011

Four Texas Soldiers Killed in Deadliest Month Ever In Afghan War

Originally published on Tue August 30, 2011 2:42 pm

This month, 66 U.S. service members were killed in Afghanistan. According to The Associated Press that makes August the deadliest month in the nearly 10-year-old war. The previous record was in July 2010, when 65 service members were killed.

August's number includes the 30 American troops killed on Aug. 6, when insurgents shot down a Chinook helicopter.

The AP reports:

Read more
flds
2:13 pm
Tue August 30, 2011

NPR: Polygamist Leader Warren Jeffs Has Pneumonia, Not In Coma

This Texas Department of Corrections mug shot of Warren Jeffs was distributed to news outlets on Aug. 10, 2011.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 30, 2011 10:45 am

Jailed polygamist leader Warren Jeffs is suffering from pneumonia and is not in a medically-induced coma, as has been widely reported, a source familiar with Jeffs' condition tells NPR.

According to the source, the 55-year-old leader of the nation's largest polygamist group was sedated, pharmacologically paralyzed and placed on a ventilator as part of his treatment for pneumonia. The source spoke on the condition of anonymity due to federal medical privacy laws that do not permit disclosure of medical treatment without permission of the patient or family.

Read more
Texas
1:45 pm
Tue August 30, 2011

Major Texas Utility, Losing Customers, Reorganizes

Photo courtesy LCRA

A reorganization is underway at the Lower Colorado River Authority, a major wholesale supplier of water and electricity in Central Texas.

In a memo dated last Thursday, the LCRA's new general manager, Rebecca Motal, announced that four senior positions have been eliminated.

Read more
Electric Power
12:15 pm
Sun August 28, 2011

ERCOT Makes Push for Conservation

ERCOT set a weekend record for peak-hour use Saturday and expects to break the all-time record Monday or Tuesday.
Photo by Daniel Reese for KUT News

Yesterday's record 110 degrees at Camp Mabry and the prospect of an equally hot day today has the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) calling for more conservation today and into the new week.

"ERCOT broke a new record yesterday for peak weekend usage and it's likely that we'll hit a new all-time peak demand record on Monday or Tuesday," according to a prepared statement issued this afternoon. "We can't stress this enough; we need everyone to conserve electricity from 3-7 p.m."

Texas
4:27 pm
Fri August 26, 2011

Child Welfare Commissioner Announces Retirement

DFPS Commissioner Anne Heiligenstein
photo by: Emily Ramshaw

Anne Heiligenstein, the commissioner of the Department of Family and Protective Services, is retiring from the agency after three years.

In a statement, Heiligenstein said she met with Health and Human Services Commissioner Tom Suehs this morning, and told him she intended to retire by the end of the year.

"After 30 years working for the people of Texas, I’m looking forward to the next chapter of my life," she said. "I have three children and a grandbaby on the way, and I’m excited about getting to see a lot more of them."

Texas
1:45 pm
Fri August 26, 2011

In Response to Drought, State Ramps up "Hay Hotline"

Crops are dying in the fields in Texas, due to extreme heat and drought. That means little feed for livestock. It all adds up to an agricultural catastrophe.
Photo by Mose Buchele for KUT News

Ranchers are suffering through the worst one-year drought in Texas history. Many have given up trying to feed their cattle and are bringing them to auction at double, or even triple the normal rate.  For those holding on to their livestock, finding affordable feed is a growing challenge.

Read more

Pages