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On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. pays tribute to the late Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. King would have turned 90 yesterday.

Featured on the program are the voices of Coretta Scott King, former United Nations Ambassador Andrew Young, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, former President Barack Obama, and civil rights activist D'Army Bailey.

 

Courtesy of Saint Arnold Brewing Company

New legislation is brewing in the state Capitol that would allow Texans to buy beer-to-go from craft breweries.

State Sen. Dawn Buckingham, R-Lakeway, and state Rep. Eddie Rodriguez, D-Austin, have filed bipartisan companion bills (SB 312 and HB 672) that would allow craft breweries to sell packaged beer products at their taprooms for "off-site" consumption.

“So it’s taken me about 11 years to complete this film,” Richard Whymark says of his documentary Fiore: In Love With Clay.

“I started when my wife first mentioned Fiore as a family friend who would be the sculptor who would come and visit their home in D.C.," he said. "And she would have a cigar in one hand, whisky in the other, and somehow sculpt members of the family or friends. And she would tell stories about her character as either being very bombastic or very reflective and artistic. She was a great artist and had an artistic temperament as well, and I thought, ‘that sounds like a good story to document.’”

Jorge Salgado for The Texas Tribune

EL PASO — As the government shutdown approached its fifth week and Washington Democrats and President Donald Trump showed no signs of coming to an agreement on how to end the stalemate Tuesday, U.S. Border Patrol vehicles could be seen patrolling just north of the Rio Grande near El Paso’s Paso del Norte bridge.

Julia Reihs/KUT

Chuck Smith stepped down in December as CEO of Equality Texas. He had joined the organization in 2003 and first served as a volunteer at the organization's Lobby Day. Have rights for LGBTQ people strengthened in those intervening 15 years? Well, Smith says, yes and no.

Tom Devitt

A team of biologists announced this week they’d found three new species of rare salamanders in Central Texas. The discovery of any new species is big news for science, but in Texas – where the fate of salamanders and people are often linked – it could also set up a new fight over endangered species protections.  

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Major League Soccer is officially coming to Austin.

"Austin is a perfect fit for Major League Soccer and Major League Soccer is a perfect fit for the city of Austin," MLS Commissioner Don Garber announced at an event today.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / The Texas Tribune

Leaders of the Texas Senate are proposing giving schools $3.7 billion to provide $5,000 pay raises to all full-time classroom teachers — on the heels of a House budget proposal that includes $7 billion more for public education.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / Texas Tribune

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who both won re-election in November, will kick off their second, four-year terms on Tuesday after being sworn into office on the steps of the Texas Capitol.

The inaugural ceremony will begin in the morning, with speeches from both Republicans — Patrick first, Abbott second — set to begin at 11 a.m. Check back on this page for a livestream of the event.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Federal authorities have closed their investigation into the series of bombings across Austin last year, finding Mark Conditt had no overarching ideological motivation and acted alone. 

F Delventhal/Flickr

Prak Property Management Inc. has been digging into savings to keep some of its low-income properties in Austin running.

“It’s like a savings account that every month we are required to put a certain amount of dollars into for things like roofs, appliances, that sort of thing,” said Brad Prak, a management agent with the Texas-based company.

Priska Neely / KPCC

Public school teachers in Los Angeles, the second-largest school district in the country, went on strike Monday to demand smaller class sizes and more money for support staff. As we saw in early 2018 with the teachers strike in West Virginia, strikes can inspire teachers in other states to walk out of the classroom.

Although many people in Austin often (and begrudgingly) compare the city to L.A., Texas law prevents teachers here from following suit.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The number of Texas school districts with policies allowing teachers and other staff to carry guns has increased almost 50 percent since a gunman killed 10 people at Santa Fe High School in May.

Julia Reihs / KUT

Julián Castro is the first Democrat to officially launch a bid for the 2020 presidential nomination. While others are expected to quickly follow, he’s got a few days’ head start to make his mark on the field.

So, what are Castro’s top campaign issues? Let’s start at the top.

Presidential candidates always have a couple of big issues to talk about during their hundreds of campaign stops, but there’s usually one issue that becomes a signature goal.

Travis Bubenik / Houston Public Media

If you want to cook up a battle over private property rights in Texas, here’s the recipe:

Take a handful of sprawling cities and growing populations that are expanding into once-rural areas, add a booming oil and gas industry with a desperate need for new pipelines to move record-high volumes of hydrocarbons, and sprinkle in the new electric lines needed to power both of those trends.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Texas health officials say they’re going to provide next month’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits early due to the federal government shutdown.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Sixty-two-year-old Joe Paschall was walking near Burnet Road and Koenig Lane last November when he almost tripped over a dockless scooter.

“I was able to catch myself, but I had no idea that it was there," he said.

Many external factors can impact the quality and effectiveness of a learning experience: the teacher; the other students in a class; the school's resources; even the student's surroundings and home. But what about the internal factors? In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton discuss the biases learners themselves bring to the information and process.

Julia Reihs / KUT

Julián Castro, former San Antonio mayor and U.S. secretary of Housing and Urban Development, announced Saturday that he is running for president.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

"Richard Overton is a Texas legend," Gov. Greg Abbott said Saturday at the funeral for the World War II  veteran. Overton died last month at 112.

At the service at Shoreline Church in North Austin, Abbott said what stood out to him most about Overton was "the humility and grace in which he lived."

Leslie Boorhem-Stephenson for The Texas Tribune

RICHLAND HILLS – Shahid Shafi will retain his role as vice chairman of the Tarrant County Republican Party despite a push from a small faction of precinct chairs to remove him from his post because he's Muslim.

The federal courthouse in downtown Austin on July 1, 2015.
Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

Keeping track of federal court cases can be confusing even for reporters whose job it is to follow this stuff, let alone the general public.

Eddie Gaspar for KUT

MCALLEN – Isidrio Leal knows what a combat zone looks like. And as he stood at the corner of 10th and Wichita streets Thursday holding a “Veterans for Peace” flag, the Iraq war veteran wanted one thing to be known: the border isn’t under siege.

Texas could help build President Donald Trump’s long-promised border wall, the president suggested Thursday — an idea that apparently came from the state’s outspoken lieutenant governor, a vocal advocate for border security.

Julia Reihs / KUT

Texas lawmakers are expected to look at a range of criminal justice issues during the 2019 legislative session. Criminal justice reforms have been a bipartisan bright spot for a decade in Austin, as conservative and liberal lawmakers have sought to reduce the number of people behind bars, increase public safety and cut costs.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Every weekday, hundreds of thousands of commuters flood Austin-area roads and highways with more traffic than they’re designed to handle. Some commutes are worse than others, depending on the time and where a driver is heading.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Since 2007, Houston Democratic state Rep. Garnet Coleman – and others – have tried in vain to get just five words into Texas' hate crimes law: "or gender identity or expression."

OjO Electric

Another dockless scooter company plans to enter the market in Austin – but its users will get to sit down.

OjO Electric, LLC, a California-based company, is launching the first sit-down electric scooter rideshare in the capital. One hundred scooters are expected to hit city streets by Feb. 1 and grow to 250 later in the spring.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Texas' top three elected leaders are looking to show a united front as the 2019 legislative session begins — and start fresh after the drama of last session.

Austin Price for The Texas Tribune

Amid continued scrutiny over how lawmakers handle reports of sexual misconduct by their colleagues, members of the House on Wednesday are expected to consider a proposal to strengthen the way the chamber addresses complaints of sexual harassment.

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