Texas

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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Texas
3:02 pm
Tue February 1, 2011

CASA Day at the Capitol

Display at the State Capitol of Texas children who died last year of neglect and abuse.
Photo by Kenn Zuniga for KUT News

Today was CASA Day at the Capitol.  A memorial was also displayed at the Capitol today, showing the names and ages of the Texas children that died of abuse and neglect in 2010.  Funding for CPS workers and services for children in foster care was the most pressing issue at today’s event for the CASA volunteers.

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Texas
2:33 pm
Tue February 1, 2011

Poll: 70 Percent of Texans Favor Smoke-Free Workplace

A survey shows 70 percent of Texans approve of a smoke-free workplace
Image by Audrey Morton for KUT News

A poll released this morning claims 70 percent of Texans in favor of smoke-free bars, restaurants and workplace.  The survey, conducted for the Smoke-Free Coalition of Texas, also showed a majority would support political candidates who reflected their views.

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Texas
2:15 pm
Tue February 1, 2011

Feb. 1 Marks the 150th Anniversary of Texas Secession

Texas is expected to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Texas Secession Feb. 1, 2011.
Image courtesy Tom Gill, http://www.flickr.com/photos/lapstrake/2843067726/sizes/m/in/photostream/

Today marks the 150th anniversary of the resolution that allowed Texas to leave the United States and join the Confederacy in the weeks before the outbreak of the Civil War.

While there are no commemorations today of that decision that led to a sixth national flag flying over Texas, groups across the state will stage various events to mark the Civil War's 150th anniversary over the next four years.

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Texas
2:22 pm
Mon January 31, 2011

Judge Rules in Healthcare Lawsuit brought by Texas and 25 Other States

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott helped spearhead a lawsuit over the Healthcare Law adopted last year. A Florida federal judge ruled in favor Texas and 25 other states this afternoon
Image by Christopher Kosho for KUT News

A federal judge in Pensacola, Florida ruled today that a key element of the health care law passed by Congress last year is unconstitutional.

Texas
3:25 pm
Fri January 21, 2011

102-Year-Old UT Alumnus Dies In Weatherford, Texas

Jack Borden, a Texas lawyer and UT grad, passed away this week at the age of 102.
Image courtesy Rick McKee http://charlestonphotographer.com/

A lawyer from North Texas who was heralded as being "America's oldest worker" has passed away in Weatherford at the ripe old age of 102.

From the Associated Press:

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Texas
12:30 pm
Tue January 11, 2011

Travis Commissioners Extend Burn Ban

A burn ban remains in effect in Travis County and several Central Texas counties to guard against wildfires, like last year's burn in Bastrop County (pictured).
Erika Aguilar/KUT

Cold weather, no matter.  Recent rain, no matter.  Conditions are still dry enough for Travis County Commissioners to extend the current outdoor burn ban another month.

According to a release from Travis County Fire Marshal Herschel Lee,

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Texas
1:51 pm
Fri January 7, 2011

DPS Makes More Than 1,100 Holiday DWI Arrests, 35 Percent Increase

Image courtesy Texas Department of Public Safety

The Texas Department of Public Safety says it arrested 1,106 impaired drivers over the holidays.  That's a 35 percent increase over last year's 818 arrests.

DPS partially credits a Texas Department of Transportation grant targeting high risk locations for the increase.  Of this year's arrests, 442 were made in areas where drunken driving accidents were statistically more likely to occur.

The $2 million grant will fund increased patrols throughout 2011, meaning more troopers will be on patrol during Spring Break, Independence Day, and Labor Day.

Willingham
12:30 pm
Fri January 7, 2011

State Panel Reviews Willingham Case

Fire expert Craig Beyler testifies before the Texas Forensics Science Commission on Friday reviewing the Cameron Todd Willingham.
Photo by Matt Largey for KUT News.

A state panel in Austin has been hearing today from fire experts about the high profile Cameron Todd Willingham arson conviction.  Willingham was convicted and put to death for setting the fire that killed his three daughters in 1991.  He was executed in 2004, But some experts have said the conviction was based on bad science. 

The Texas Forensic Science Commission reviewed the science that was used in the investigation and whether or not investigators were negligent. KUT's Matt Largey is covering panel.

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Texas
10:05 am
Wed January 5, 2011

FLDS Leader Warren Jeffs Back In San Angelo Court On Child Rape Charge

Warren Jeffs, ecclesiastical head of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, in a photo dated December 1, 2010. Jeffs is facing a pre-trial hearing today in San Angelo.
Image courtesy Reagan County Sheriff's Department

A pre-trial hearing is scheduled today in the West Texas town of San Angelo for Warren Jeffs, a spiritual leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS).

The FLDS practices polygamy, and its Yearning For Zion Ranch in West Texas was raided by Texas child welfare authorities in April 2008.  More than 400 children were seized by the state, but most were eventually returned to their families under a Texas Supreme Court ruling that found the state overstepped its authority by treating the entire community as a single family.

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Texas
8:50 am
Sun January 2, 2011

Sunday Morning Round-Up

Election Night 2010 will have a big affect on this upcoming legislative session.
Picture by KUT News

The 1st Sunday of 2011.  I hope more and more of you will resolve to start off your Sunday checking out the KUT News blog to see what's going on around town.

Taking a look at the top stories today:

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Texas
1:05 pm
Thu December 30, 2010

Court Deals TCEQ "No" on Stay Request

An appeals court hands the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality a setback in its ongoing dispute with the EPA.
Image courtesy Texas Commission on Environmental Quality

The battle between the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency took another step yesterday.  And it was a step toward the Feds.

Texas
3:41 pm
Wed December 29, 2010

Warren Jeffs Pleads Not Guilty To Child Rape In West Texas

Warren Jeffs, ecclesiastical head of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, appeared in a San Angelo courtroom today.

The Associated Press reports the polygamist sect leader stood silently during a hearing in a West Texas court Wednesday. The court entered the not guilty pleas on his behalf.

The 55-year-old Jeffs faces charges of bigamy and sexual assault of a child.  He’s scheduled to stand trial for the aggravated sexual assault charge January 24th. The AP reports says he plans to hire a Texas attorney but doesn’t have one yet.

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Texas
10:13 am
Wed December 29, 2010

Read This Dramatic Account Of BP Well Blowout

Image courtesy SkyTruth http://www.flickr.com/photos/skytruth/

In one of the most detailed accounts of the explosion on board the Deepwater Horizon oil rig earlier this year, New York Times reporters David Barstow, David Rohde, Stephanie Saul and Ian Urbina tell the story of a disaster that killed 11 men and led to one of the largest environmental catastrophes in United States history.

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Texas
5:00 pm
Tue December 28, 2010

Texas Mirrors Nation In Percentage Of High Income Earners

Image by Erik Reyna for KUT News

It's traditionally the slowest news week of the year, so thank goodness the folks at Yahoo! Finance came up with the idea of parsing new US Census Bureau data to rank states based on their percentage of high income earners. Texas came in at number fourteen, but rate of high income earners was only slightly higher than the national average.

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Texas
9:48 am
Wed December 22, 2010

Tuesday Morning Update

Fort Hood and other military posts prepare for implementation of the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
Photo by KUT News/Erika Aguilar

Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repealed

President Obama formally signed the bill repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."  In the signing ceremony, the President said, "valor and sacrifice are no longer defined by sexual orientation."  He also encouraged people discharged under the old policy against gays in the military to return to the armed forces. 

Texas to Pick Up Four Congressional Seats

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Texas
9:00 am
Tue December 21, 2010

Tuesday Morning Update

Evening and Saturday parking downtown could start costing you.
Photo by KUT News

Parking Subcommittee Meets

The city subcommittee that will explore whether to extend paid downtown parking to evenings and Saturdays met for the first time yesterday.  KUT's Mose Buchele reports that some fear that a time line to end free downtown parking has more to do with Austin’s political calendar than with good city government.

High Fire Danger = No High-Flying Fireworks

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Texas
4:31 pm
Mon December 20, 2010

Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission Approves Devils River Land Deal

TPW approves a land deal for frontage along Devils River
Photo courtesy of Laurence Parent.

Texas Parks and Wildlife today approved the purchase of land fronting the Devil's River.

As KUT previously reported, The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commissioners pulled the original Devil's River land deal at their November 4 meeting, after public feedback that the plan blocked access to the river.  

In a statement released today TPW said

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