Texas

Texas
9:19 am
Wed November 24, 2010

Jurors Begin Third Day of Deliberations in DeLay Trial

Travis County Assistant District Attorney Gary Cobb spoke to reporters after jurors wrapped their second day of deliberations on November 23, 2010.
Photo by Matt Largey/KUT News

Updated at 11:50am: Jurors have asked yet another question, this time about the language of the conspiracy charge against Tom DeLay.  Jurors wanted to know if DeLay had to agree to both parts of the alleged conspiracy -- both sending corporate money to the Republican National Committee and sending an equal amount of money back to Texas legislative candidates -- to be found guilty of conspiracy. 

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Texas
2:15 pm
Tue November 23, 2010

Jury Deliberations Continue in DeLay Trial

Updated at 4:45pm: The jury has told Judge Pat Priest they are making headway in their deliberations, but they want to go home for the day.  Lawyers on both sides are not objecting.  Deliberations will resume tomorrow.

Updated at 2:10pm: The jury in the Tom DeLay trial is still deliberating after a break for lunch.  When they came back from the break, they submitted a long list of evidence they want to see in the jury room. 

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health
1:48 pm
Mon November 22, 2010

Army Suicides This Year Already Surpass 2009 Total

Soldiers prepare for a CH-47 helicopter to land in a field in Afghanistan in 2006.
Image courtesy the U.S. Army

The Department of Defense released suicide data for October on Friday, reporting 25 potential suicides. That brings the total number of suicides so far this year to 172, meaning we've already surpassed the overall total for 2009, according to the National Journal.

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Culture
4:41 pm
Fri November 19, 2010

TABC Weighs in on Four Loko

Retailers will not give credits to stores to help get the drink off their shelves.
Photo Courtesy of Kyle James

The Texas Alcohol Beverage Commission (TABC) has finally weighed in on caffeinated alcoholic beverages such as Four Loko, the soon-to-be-altered caffeinated alcoholic beverage that refuses to ride into the world of forgotten novelty. From the TABC’s press release on Friday:

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Economy
3:44 pm
Fri November 19, 2010

Texas Economy Added Almost 48k Jobs in October, Unemployment Steady

Construction industry employment went up 8,800 in October
Photo Courtesy of Bill Jacobus

Texas total nonfarm employment was up by 47,900 jobs in October, according to a Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) press release. This number accounts for an impressive third of the 151,000 jobs the entire U.S. economy added in the same period.

“Every major industry added jobs in October with notable increases in Construction employment” said TWC Chairman Tom Pauken.

TWC also released that the unemployment rate stayed steady at 8.1 percent, a substantial percentage and a half less than the country’s, which is currently at 9.6.

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News Brief
6:39 am
Fri November 19, 2010

Top Morning Stories November 19, 2010

U.S. Rep. Charlie Gonzalez (D-Texas) is chosen to head the Congressional Hispanic Conference
Image courtesy of the Office of Representative Charlie Gonzalez

Hispanic Caucus Elects New Chair

San Antonio Democrat Charlie Gonzalez has been elected chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.  My SA news reports the Caucus unanimously picked Gonzalez.  The six-term lawmaker says he plans to reach out to five newly elected Hispanic Republicans and ask them to join the caucus.  Gonzalez starts his new leadership role when the 112th Congress convenes in January.

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Wildfire
4:41 pm
Wed November 17, 2010

Wildfire Burning At Fort Hood Training Range

Fort Hood firefighters are working to put out an approximately 700-acre fire burning in a training range at the army post. It started around 2 p.m. today.  The fire is burning at the Dalton Mountain Training Range, in the north end of the post, and is currently moving south to the Lone Star Range. 

Read the press release from the Fort Hood Public Affairs Office, here.

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Culture
4:36 pm
Wed November 17, 2010

U.S. Government Not Cool With Alcohol-Caffeine Combo

The FDA has banned the combination of alcohol and caffeine in the aftermath of several incidents.
Photo Courtesy of Jon Raedle

Four Loko-lovers may need to start looking for the next alcoholic fad as "blackout in a can" is changing its formula.  The move comes in response to the considerable heat brought by the U.S. government following several incidents across the country involving the alcohol and caffeine-infused drink.

The federal government warned four companies that manufacture caffeine-spiked booze products to stop selling the drinks or deal with the threat of litigation and seizure of assets. The companies have 15 days to comply with the Food and Drug Administration-penned (FDA) letter.

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texas
3:33 pm
Mon November 15, 2010

Car Crash in North Texas Being Linked to Four Loko

Four Loko shares the shelves with other caffeinated alcoholic beverages like Joose, that haven't attracted the same negative publicity.
Image courtesy Kyle James http://www.flickr.com/photos/jameskm03/

The national hysteria over the caffeinated alcoholic beverage Four Loko is reaching a fever pitch with bans looming or already enacted in Boston, New York, Michigan, Washington state, and Pennsylvania.

Now there's speculation that the controversial drink may have been consumed by the driver of an SUV that crashed and killed a 14-year-old girl in North Texas, reports My Fox Dallas-Fort Worth:

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texas
1:41 pm
Mon November 15, 2010

Protests Planned for Bush Library Groundbreaking

An artist's rendering of Freedom Plaza, part of the George W. Bush Presidential Center opening in 2013.
Image courtesy George W. Bush Presidential Center

George W. Bush and his wife Laura will be wielding the golden shovels tomorrow as they dig symbolic dirt for a groundbreaking ceremony on the country's newest Presidential Library.

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texas
1:10 pm
Mon November 15, 2010

Texas Has Second Highest Rate of Households Struggling to Eat

Children collect cans for the Capital Area Food Bank. A new USDA report today says Texas has the second rate of households struggling to put food on the table.
Photo by Katie Hayes for KUT News

A new report today by the United States Department of Agriculture found Texas has the second lowest rate of "household food security" in the United States.  Household food security is defined as a family having "access at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members."

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central texas
11:34 am
Mon November 15, 2010

Kyle Hosts Public Meet-and-Greet With City Manager Candidates

Five Mile Dam Park in Kyle. People who live in the community will be able to meet tonight with four candidates for city manager.
Image courtesy Flickr urser ret0dd http://www.flickr.com/photos/ret0dd

People who live in the Austin exurb of Kyle have an opportunity to meet their future city manager tonight. Four people are finalists for the job. They'll be shaking hands tonight at 7 p.m. at Kyle City Hall.

Here are the names of the finalists and links to their biographies:

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texas
11:13 am
Mon November 15, 2010

Defense Presents No Evidence At Fort Hood Hearing

A soldier gets down on one knee during a 2009 memorial for the 13 people killed in a shooting at Fort Hood. The defense team for the accused rested after just 4 minutes during a pre-trial hearing today.
Photo by Erika Aguilar for KUT News

It took military prosecutors nine days to present their evidence in the pre-trial hearing for Maj. Nidal Hasan, the Army psychiatrist accused of killing 13 people at Fort Hood on November 5, 2009.

Today, it was the defense's turn to present evidence in the Article 32 hearing, but Hasan's lawyers rested after just four minutes.

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weather
2:14 pm
Fri November 12, 2010

Video: First Snow of the Season in Texas!

Snow fell overnight in parts of the Texas Panhandle.
Image courtesy Twitter user @severestudios

Old Man Winter paid a visit to the Texas panhandle today and dumped heavy, wet snow on the Amarillo area.

KFDA TV in Amarillo reports downed trees and "widespread" power outages.

Xcel Energy says around 5,000 customers are without power right now and it's not expected to come back on for at least the next few hours.

Storm
3:36 pm
Sat November 6, 2010

No FEMA Aid For Texas

These vehicles were swept into a Round Rock homeowner's backyard after the creek behind it flooded during Tropical Storm Hermine in September.
Photo by Erika Aguilar for KUT News.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will not be giving monetary help to Texas for the flooding that happened during Tropical Storm Hermine.

The decision is actually the second denial for Texas from FEMA.  The federal agency  initially turned down Texas in October.  Governor Perry now has a request into the Secretary of Commerce for a disaster declaration. If approved, Texas business owners could apply for loans through the Small Business Administration (SBA.)

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Cheerleader
3:49 pm
Fri November 5, 2010

The Timberwolves are Headed to Indianapolis

The Cedar Park High School Timberwolf Band is headed to Indianapolis for the Bands of America Grand National Championships next week. The competition begins on November tenth and runs through the thirteenth. The band took first place at the Bands of America Super Regional competition in San Antonio on October 30, also receiving awards for Outstanding Music and Outstanding Visual.

Food
2:18 pm
Wed November 3, 2010

FDA Confirms Presence of Listeria at Texas Food Plant

The FDA confirmed earlier today confirmed the Texas Department of State Health's findings
Image courty Penn State University

The FDA confirmed earlier today that they have found the presence of the bacteria listeria monocytogenes at the SanGar Produce & Processing Plant in San Antonio.

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CRIMINAL JUSTICE
2:28 pm
Thu October 28, 2010

Death Row Inmate Freed After 18 Years Behind Bars

Anthony Graves was released from jail Wednesday after nearly two decades behind bars. All murder charges against him were dropped.
Photo courtesy Texas Monthly

The Burleson County District Attorney has dropped murder charges against Anthony Graves. Graves had been behind bars for nearly two decades for the murders of six people in 1992 in Somerville, TX, a small town of about 2,000 just an hour-and-a-half east of Austin.

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Business
3:42 pm
Wed October 27, 2010

Texas After $269 Million from Amazon

Texas send Amazon.com a bill for $269 million in back sales taxes.
Image coutesy Amazon, Inc.

Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, was recently slapped with a $269 million sales tax bill by Texas. The $269 million figure comes from the amount the state claims the company owes from back-taxes since December four years ago, plus interest and penalties.

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recreation
11:40 am
Wed October 27, 2010

Overnight Camping Banned on Corpus Christi Beach

Overnight camping on Corpus Christi Beach has been banned by the City Council there in an effort to reduce crime.
Photo courtesy Justin Wright http://www.flickr.com/photos/justinwright

Looking to go camping on the Gulf Coast in Corpus? Bummer alert: Corpus Christi City Council has instituted a curfew on Corpus Christi Beach between midnight and 5 p.m.

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