Montinique Monroe for KUT

Why Are There So Few Homes With Basements Around Austin?

Lindsay Nakashima has lived in her East Austin home for about five years. As far as she knows, hers is the only house around that came with a basement. Nakashima says a previous owner dug out the space so he could park his car under the house.

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The 2018 elections could see the highest turnout for a midterm since the mid-1960s, another time of cultural and social upheaval.

"It's probably going to be a turnout rate that most people have never experienced in their lives for a midterm election," Michael McDonald, a professor at the University of Florida who studies turnout and maintains a turnout database, told NPR.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The 2018 midterms have turned into one of the most competitive elections across the country, with more candidates running in more places. That's certainly been true in Texas, as the state's Democrats have come off the mat to field candidates in all congressional and statewide races.

We might fancy ourselves as responsible, socially conscious people, but when new technologies like scooters are introduced into our environment, all that can easily fly out the window.

In this edition of Two Guys on Your Head, Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke talk about the psychology of scooter culture in Austin.


Gabriel C. Pérez/KUT

There is an old adage about conversations to avoid in "polite company." Politics and religion top that list. But given what is in these news these days, that is not really possible. So, is it possible to keep things civil while agreeing to disagree about politics?

White House counsel Don McGahn has left the job effective Wednesday. But his influence will live on for years, thanks to the dozens of conservative judges that McGahn helped President Trump put on the federal bench.

The grueling confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh marked an explosive end to McGahn's White House tenure. But he's also worked more quietly in the last two years to put his stamp on the lower courts.

Waylon Cunningham for The Texas Tribune

Saying that the city of Austin's paid sick leave ordinance would "undermine state sovereignty and upend constitutional structure," an attorney for the state of Texas joined lawyers for a conservative think tank on Wednesday in urging a state appeals court to uphold a temporary order blocking the ordinance from going into effect.

In California, a new state law that took effect earlier this year is pitting cities against each other in a fierce debate over immigration.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Update: The LCRA now says it will not open eight floodgates on Thursday, Oct. 18 but may in the coming days. 

It’s never happened before, but the Lower Colorado River Authority will likely open eight floodgates on the Mansfield Dam above Lake Austin by noon Thursday.

So, what can you expect if you live in Austin?

Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz's re-election campaign has not been shy about attacking his opponent, Democratic Rep. Beto O'Rourke, on television.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Kelly Jenrette and Melvin Jackson Jr. They are the first African-American married couple to both earn Emmy Award nominations in the same year.

Jenrette and Jackson talk about their Emmy nominations and acting careers, how the industry is changing, the importance of staying focused, and juggling two careers. 

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