Texas

Texas
3:22 pm
Wed August 24, 2011

Update: ERCOT Shuts Down Industrial Users To Save Power

ERCOT is urging consumers to ease off electricity usage, as high temperatures and low power reserves strain the grid operator's delivery system.
Photo by Daniel Reese for KUT News.

Texas' electric grid operator, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, has moved from Energy Emergency Alert Level 1 to Level 2. That means shutting down industrial customers who are paid for the inconvenience.

Moving to Level 3 would require local utilities, like Austin Energy, to implement rotating outages to avoid  uncontrolled, cascading blackouts that could damage the grid.

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Texas
4:57 pm
Tue August 23, 2011

ERCOT Delcares Level One Energy Emergency

Photo by Jessica Wang for KUT News.

Texans are being asked to conserve electricity as the The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) saw its operating reserves dropped below 2,300 megawatts due to the extreme heat.

“We are asking Texas residents and businesses to reduce their electricity use until 7 p.m. today,” ERCOT vice president Kent Saathoff said in a press release.  “We don’t expect to need additional steps in the emergency procedures today unless we lose a significant amount of generation over the peak period.”

Later, in a conference call with reporters, Saathoff suggested that students returning to school this week might have contributed to an increase in power consumption as districts turned on lights and turned down A/C systems.

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Sunday Roundup
9:14 am
Sun August 21, 2011

Sunday Morning Roundup

Gov. Rick Perry greets supporters at a Lake Austin restaurant in his first Texas appearance since announcing his run for the White House
Photo by Justin Dehn for the Texas Tribune

Students have reached summer's end, though you couldn't tell by the weather.  The beginning of school year brings changes in some Capital Metro bus schedules. That includes the elimination of three bus routes that circulated MetroRail passengers throughout downtown from the Austin Convention Center.

Rick Perry Returns to Texas

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Texas
9:55 am
Fri August 19, 2011

Schism, New Indictments Follow Polygamist Leader's Conviction

Originally published on Fri August 19, 2011 9:25 am

A letter sent by email and snail mail urges the followers of polygamist leader and convicted pedophile Warren Jeffs to "come clean ... or you are going down with the wicked and the damned."

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Texas
9:53 am
Fri August 19, 2011

Amber Alert Canceled for Galveston County Teen

Authorities in Galveston County have canceled the Amber Alert issued Wednesday morning for Andrea Love Fox. The 14-year-old girl from League City has been found safe. She had been last seen late Monday night. Law enforcement officials located her earlier this morning.

Texas
5:00 pm
Thu August 18, 2011

Texas Parks and Wildlife Issues Black Bear Warning

Photo by Alanahmontreal at http://www.flickr.com/photos/alanahmontreal/3860014203/

Leaving out cat food for the neighborhood cat? You might be feeding the neighborhood bear instead, according to a statement by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

“We’re getting a few reports of people seeing bears during daylight hours, and that’s unusual,” says Mike Krueger of Texas Parks and Wildlife. “It’s the associated water around homes and the food. The pet food, the smell of cooking; all those things could attract bears. ”

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Texas
11:10 am
Thu August 18, 2011

Amber Alert Issued for Galveston County Girl

An Amber Alert has been issued for Andrea Love Fox, 14, of League City.
Photo courtesy of National Center for Missing and Exploited Youth

UPDATE: Authorities in Galveston County initially said the man Andrea Fox was believed to be with was stationed at Fort Carlson, Colorado. They now say that James Dean Martin is stationed at Fort Carson, Colorado. Galveston County and DPS officials say the Amber Alert is still active, as of 11:10 a.m.

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Texas
5:34 pm
Wed August 17, 2011

DNA Implicates Another Man in 25-Year-Old Murder Case

Presiding Officer of the Texas Forensic Science Commission John Bradley during a commission meeting April 14th, 2011.
Photo by Marjorie Kamys Cotera/The Texas Tribune

New DNA test results in a 25-year-old murder case show that another man, not Michael Morton, likely killed Christine Morton, who was found dead in her Williamson County home on Aug. 13, 1986, Morton's attorneys say.

The attorneys have also asked a court to recuse John Bradley, the Williamson County district attorney and former chairman of the Texas Forensic Science Commission, from the case, saying that for years he didn't release evidence he knew could prove Morton, 57, did not murder his wife.

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Texas
3:48 pm
Wed August 17, 2011

Texas Students Show Low College Test Scores

A majority of Texas high school students who took the ACT college preparation exam were not ready for college classes according to a report.
Photo by KUT News

The majority of Texas students who took the ACT college entrance exam this year don't have the necessary skills for college.

According to a report done on the class of 2011, many Texas students tested below the national average in reading, English and science. 101,569 graduates in Texas, or about 36% of the class of 2011, took the ACT.

Texans were slightly above the national average in mathematics, which is 45 percent of students passing, with 48 percent.

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Texas
12:26 pm
Wed August 17, 2011

Report: Texas Crop Losses At $5.2 Billion

The drought has taken its toll on a Burleson County pasture.
Photo by Blair Fannin/Texas AgriLife Extension Service

State agriculture officials say farmers and ranchers in Texas have suffered $5.2 billion in losses since last November, due to the current drought.

That tops the previous record for agriculture losses set back in 2006.

The losses cut across most of the state's crops, including cotton, corn, wheat, sorghum and hay.

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Texas
11:27 am
Sun August 14, 2011

Sunday News Roundup for August 14, 2011

Governor Perry on stage with his family after announcing his run for the 2012 presidency.
Photo by Ryan Ricker, Texas Tribune

Unless you were kayaking on Lady Bird Lake all day, you probably heard the news that Governor Rick Perry did what everyone expected him to do yesterday: announce that he’s officially entering the race for the GOP presidential nomination.  You can read the transcript of his speech or watch a video of it.

KUT’s Ben Philpott filed this story from Charleston, South Carolina, where Perry dropped the news. Now the national media can officially start a feeding frenzy on the next major Texas candidate who wants to live in the White House.  Here is a sampling of coverage.

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Texas
4:42 pm
Tue August 9, 2011

Texas Inmates Complain of Sweltering Prison Conditions

Photo by Bob Daemmrich, Texas Tribune

In letters from his prison cell at the McConnell Unit in Beeville, Susan Fenner’s son describes miserably hot and dangerous conditions. The temperature is more than 100 degrees outside, and the heat radiates through his tiny un-air conditioned box of a cell in administrative segregation.

“There’s not much circulation, and it’s just horrible,” said Fenner, who is executive director of the Texas Inmate Family Association.

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Texas
12:32 pm
Tue August 9, 2011

Population Growth Taxes Electric Grid

Photo by Daniel Reese for KUT News

It’s not just record breaking heat that is pushing the state’s electric grid to the brink on a regular basis this summer. Staggering population growth in Texas is creating an unprecedented demand for electricity.

“Our demand has been growing in this state for several years now,” Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) spokesperson Dottie Roark said last week in a conference call, citing the number of new residents in the state.

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Texas
11:35 am
Tue August 9, 2011

FLDS Leader Warren Jeffs Sentenced to Life

Photo courtesy Reagan County Sheriff's Department

The spiritual leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, a religious sect that practices polygamy, has been sentenced to life in prison.  The jury deliberated for less than 30 minutes, according to the AP.

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Texas
9:05 am
Tue August 9, 2011

Research Shows Texas Having A Link To Antarctica

Scientists have found evidence that parts of North America and East Antarctica were joined in a supercontinent called Rodinia 1.1 billion years ago.
Robin E. Bell Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

Originally published on Mon August 8, 2011 2:40 pm

Scientists have long thought that Earth's continents once formed a "supercontinent" called Pangaea. Now they've found evidence that parts of North America and East Antarctica were joined in a supercontinent called Rodinia 1.1 billion years ago — even earlier than Pangaea.

"I can go to the Franklin Mountains in West Texas and stand next to what was once part of Coats Land in Antarctica," said geochemist Staci Loewy, who led the work. "That's so amazing."

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