Texas

Texas
11:10 am
Thu March 27, 2014

A Killer of Bats Inches Towards Texas

A little brown bat found in a New York cave exhibits fungal growth on its muzzle, ears and wings.
Credit A little brown bat found in a New York cave exhibits fungal growth on its muzzle, ears and wings.

Before Winifred Frick enters a bat cave in Wisconsin, she and her colleagues strip to their underwear and wipe themselves down with Lysol. When they leave, they bag everything up and wash it with Lysol as well.

“Spores can definitely get on peoples’ boots or pants or whatever, so it’s been really important that cavers, as well as researchers, do decontamination,” Frick, a bat researcher and adjunct professor at UC Santa Cruz, says.

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TWHM Week 4
5:37 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Texas Women's History Moments (22 - 31)

Mary Couts Burnett

Wrapping up our month of moments, movements and contributions by Texas women we're highlighting contributions by the Mujeres and their effort for equality in the 1970s, the first American-Indian novelist and the tradition of Caddo pottery, plus a handful of individuals, including Sophia Alice Callahan, Mary Couts Burnett and Sarah Tilghman Hughes.  

This year’s additions will also include Lady Bird Johnson, Ruthe Winegarten, Annie Mae Hunt, Willie Mae "Big Mama" Thornton, Janis Joplin and Alberta Zepeda. 

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Texas
3:55 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Watch This Dramatic Video Of Houston Firefighters Rescuing A Construction Worker

This video, taken Tuesday, shows Houston firefighters rescuing a construction worker from an intense fire.
YouTube

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 12:14 pm

Have you seen the dramatic video that shows Houston firefighters rescuing a construction worker from an apartment complex that caught on fire?

The video, which was posted on YouTube, shows a construction worker stuck on a fourth-floor balcony. Heavy flames approached. The worker dropped down to the balcony below. Firefighters arrived on a long ladder -- and they rescued the worker just as a wall on the roof was engulfed in flames and fell down.

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Texas
9:25 am
Tue March 25, 2014

No More Cheap Margaritas? Why Lime Prices Are On the Rise

The bar at Fonda San Miguel, an upscale interior Mexican restaurant in Austin. The price of limes – a prime margarita ingredient– has spiked in recent months.
KUT News

These days restaurants are spending obscene amounts of money on limes. Think about what that means for Mexican food alone: limes are used in practically everything, from margaritas to ceviche to guacamole.

Last week, the rising price of limes became personal for this reporter.

I stopped by La Moreliana, a small eatery in southeast Austin that serves up authentic tacos. The food was great – but the tacos were missing the citrusy, acidic bite only lime juice can add. 

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Texas
2:36 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Big Hoss, The World’s Biggest HD TV Screen, Debuts At Texas Motor Speedway

Presenting the world's biggest high-definition TV screen.
Texas Motor Speedway

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 12:49 pm

Oh, those boys and their video toys.

Move over, Dallas Cowboys and AT&T Stadium: Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth says it has the bigger and better video screen. And it's way bigger than whatever fancy screen you have in your living room.

The speedway on Wednesday night unveiled its giant high-definition video board. TMS says it’s the world’s biggest HD screen at a sporting venue.

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Affordable Care Act
8:56 am
Thu March 20, 2014

While Obamacare Signups Lag in Texas, Travis County Keeps Up Momentum

A field organizer with Insure Central Texas speaks to staff at an Austin tattoo parlor in the last few days before the March 31 deadline to sign up for health insurance.
Veronica Zaragovia, KUT News

Less than two weeks remain for people to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

Local groups are ramping up their efforts to remind people it's time to sign up or pay a tax penalty. And with little time left, groups working to sign people up for health insurance are branching out to find every last person they can.

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Governor's Race
5:08 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Equal Pay Debate Emerges in Texas Governor's Race

Republican Gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott told the Associated Press Wednesday he would not sign an equal pay law if elected governor.
Photo courtesy Texas Attorney General

Republican candidate for Texas Governor Greg Abbott says he would not sign a bill that would make it easier for women to bring equal pay discrimination suits.

It's the latest development in an emerging debate over equal pay between Democrats and Republicans.

Abbott has refused multiple times to talk about the Lily Ledbetter Act. Democrats began attacking him on the issue last week, when he refused in a televised interview to say whether he’d sign an equal pay law if elected. Last year, Gov. Rick Perry vetoed a similar bill.

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TWHM Week 3
3:21 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Texas Women's History Moments (15 - 21)

Hortense Ward
Texas State Archives

This week we're highlighting contributions by Hortense Ward, the first woman admitted to the Texas bar, blues singer Willie Mae "Big Mama" Thornton and Indian Women in Texas, plus an influential folk artist, a musician now memorialized on a stamp, and other individuals.  

This year’s additions also include Ruthe Winegarten, Annie Mae Hunt, Sophia Alice Callahan, Alberta Zepeda and Janis Joplin. 

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TWHM Week 2
10:29 am
Wed March 12, 2014

Texas Women's History Moments (8 - 14)

Continuing our March look at Texas women who've kept the bar high, we're highlighting a First Lady, an iconic musician, a university president, a pioneer and other difference makers to our state and beyond.

This year’s additions also include Ruthe Winegarten, Sophia Alice Callahan, Molly Ivins, Lydia Mendoza, Alberta Zepeda and Mary Couts Burnett. 

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Affordable Care Act
3:42 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Nearly 300,000 Texans Now Have Health Insurance Through Federal Marketplace

In February 2014, almost 90,000 people in Texas enrolled in a health care plan through the federal marketplace. Secretary Kathleen Sebelius (pictured) has visited Texas often to promote the Affordable Care Act.
Veronica Zaragovia, KUT News

More people in Texas are enrolling in private health insurance through the federal marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act. But hundreds of thousands remain uninsured in the state that leads the nation in the percentage of uninsured.

In Feburary, almost 90,000 people in Texas enrolled in a health care plan through the federal marketplace. That brings the total number of Texans enrolled to close to 300,000 since Oct. 1.

Most of those enrolled are between 55 and 64 years old. Roughly 10 percent are 18 to 25. The system depends on healthy, young people to sign up in order to help defer the costs of covering older people. 

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Abortion Law Lawsuit
9:04 am
Tue March 11, 2014

What the FDA Drug Guidelines Say in Texas' New Abortion Law

Texas’ new abortion law requires doctors to follow an FDA regimen for medication abortions – a regimen some doctors say is out-of-date.
Eric Schlegel, Texas Tribune

Texas’ new abortion law requires doctors to follow a specific, federally approved protocol for abortions performed using drugs, in place of a more common method.

The requirement is at issue in a case challenging the Texas law. So what exactly does the law require doctors to do?

Doctors usually have two choices for what are called medication abortions: They can follow a protocol approved by the Food and Drug Administration, or they can follow a different one based on newer scientific studies. But now in Texas, doctors are required to follow the FDA protocol. 

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Aging in Texas
8:39 am
Thu March 6, 2014

'Promotoras' Help Texas Border's Poorest Seniors Make Healthy Choices

Maria Luisa Aranda lives in a colonia in Progreso, a town near the Texas border.
Veronica Zaragovia, KUT News

Some of the poorest seniors in Texas live in Hidalgo County in the Rio Grande Valley.

Many only speak Spanish and don’t have access to the basics, like food or medical care. But a Texas A&M professor and his team of community health workers – or "promotoras de salud” – are trying to find ways to help seniors along the border improve those conditions. 

They're working in places like the colonia border town of Progreso, near the Mexican border. Progreso is  one of the poorest places in the one of the poorest counties in the United States. The unemployment rate is more than 10 percent.

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Texas
1:21 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

Whoever Wins in November, Texas Gets a Weaker Governor. Here's Why.

The Texas Governor's Mansion in 2012, restored after a 2008 fire ruled arson. Its next inhabitant inherits a vastly different landscape than that of Gov. Rick Perry.
KUT News

1876. It was a time of rebirth in Texas. Or maybe more precisely – time to get rid of those Reconstruction-era carpetbaggers.

"When the North sent folks down to Texas to govern as governors, Texans felt like these king-like people came down from the North and ran roughshod," says Sherri Greenberg with the LBJ School of Public Affairs. "So Texans wrote the Texas Constitution, this very populist document with as much power as possible vested in the people and at the lowest, most local, level of government."

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Aging in Texas
8:17 am
Mon March 3, 2014

How 'Golden Girls' Models the Future Of Senior Housing in Central Texas

From Miami to Austin: As the number of seniors living in Central Texas rises along with the cost of living, "The Golden Girls" is becoming a template for senior housing.

The number of seniors living in Central Texas is soaring – and so is the cost of living.

That’s making “The Golden Girls” far more than a funny '80s TV show. The show's shared-living arrangement could become a template for senior housing in cities like Austin.

Helene Frager says she dreamt she would live like Blanche, Sophia, Dorothy and Rose by now. "I always had this fear of growing old and alone. When I used to watch the program, 'The Golden Girls,' I said, ‘Hey, they’re not too bad! They have companionship, they have each other, they can talk about things," she says. 

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TWHM Week 1
6:37 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Texas Women's History Moments (1 - 7)

Credit Gerald W. Williams Collection-2008

For the first week of March we're highlighting contributions by Tejanas, African American and Native American women to Texas, plus a handful of individuals, including a couple Mollies and the namesake of our women in Texas history partner--Ruthe Winegarten.  

This year’s additions will also include Lady Bird Johnson, Sophia Alice Callahan, Annie Mae Hunt, Lydia Mendoza, Alberta Zepeda and Mary Couts Burnett. 

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Texas
10:36 am
Thu February 27, 2014

What's Next For Texas After Same-Sex Marriage Ruling?

Texas officials are appealing a decision by a federal judge who ruled Texas' ban on same-sex marriage, and state laws barring recognition of same-sex marriages performed elsewhere, are unconstitutional.
flickr.com/weho

Now that a federal judge has found Texas' ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional, the state is appealing the ruling to a higher court. 

So what does this mean for the plaintiffs and the state?

In his ruling, U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia wrote that even though states can regulate marriage, "Texas’ prohibition on same-sex marriage conflicts with the United States Constitution’s guarantees of equal protection and due process."

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Breaking
4:55 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Texas Same-Sex Marriage Ban Unconstitutional

Same-sex marriage supporters rallied at the Texas Capitol as the Supreme Court began hearings on the Defense of Marriage Act in 2013. Today, a federal judge in San Antonio declared Texas’ ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional.
Tyler Pratt for KUT News

A federal judge in San Antonio has declared the Texas ban on same-sex marriage in violation of the U.S. Constitution.

Today, Judge Orlando Garcia granted a motion for a preliminary injunction enjoining the state of Texas from enforcing the ban. However, the ruling is on hold until Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott appeals the decision to the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. 

Update: Travis Co. Clerk Says It's 'A Joyous Day'

Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir, whose office issues marriage licenses, is fielding questions on what today's ruling means for gay couples wanting to marry. Although the ruling finds Texas' same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional, the decision is on hold pending appeal.  

DeBeauvoir released a written statement this afternoon lauding the decision: “Because of the stay order in the ruling, the County Clerk cannot issue marriage licenses to gay couples at this time. This is a joyous day, but we will have to wait a little longer to actually deliver the justice and equal rights gay couples so deserve.” 

Update: Wendy Davis 'Pleased' With Ruling

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis is "pleased" with today's ruling.

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Texas
4:18 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

Rep. Castro And Former Bush Press Secretary Back Same-Sex Marriage Push Across The South

Congressman Joaquín Castro's official congressional portrait.
U.S. Government

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 12:00 pm

A national same-sex marriage rights group has launched an effort across several states in the South to campaign for marriage equality.

Southerns for Freedom to Marry, a branch of the New York-based group Freedom to Marry, has mounted a $1 million campaign across nine states including Texas.

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Texas
2:20 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

Interview: UT President Bill Powers on Job Reductions, Sexual Assault & Campus Climate

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

In late January, President Barack Obama assembled a task force to come up with ideas to reduce sexual assault on college campuses. According to the administration, one in five women is a survivor of attempted or completed sexual violence while in college. President Obama urged members of college communities nationwide to ask their leaders what they're doing about this issue. 

University of Texas at Austin President Bill Powers recently sat down with KUT's David Brown to talk about campus climate and the current job reductions at the University of Texas.

Listen to the interview in the audio player.

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Women's Health
7:34 am
Fri February 21, 2014

Stance On Texas Women's Health Program Depends On Party Affiliation

Abortion-rights activists took part in an event with Democratic lawmakers at the Texas State Capitol on Feb. 20, 2014.
Sam Ortega, KUT

Women's healthcare has been a political seesaw in the Texas legislature the last few years -- from budget cuts in 2011 to budget increases in 2013.

Yesterday a Texas Senate committee heard how women's health programs were doing, with the answer falling along party lines.

State Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, says Texas has never spent as much on women’s health as it does right now, and she says she wanted to "set the record straight" during a hearing of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee -- the committee she chairs.

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