News

Callie Richmond for The Texas Tribune

For the second time this week, President Donald Trump’s administration has announced its intent to proceed with parts of a new border barrier despite a lack of new funding from Congress to pay for his high-profile campaign promise.

"It was a group process -- the seven of us sat down and worked on every aspect of it as a collective process," says Alexis Herrera of the show Rosita y Conchita. "So it's been really beautiful to see that from the beginning to now, here we are three years later, still going strong. And [the] show's still getting great response and we still love doing it."

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

We're collecting all of KUT's coverage of the midterm elections – how to register, how to get an absentee ballot, who the candidates are, and everything else – all in one place. 

If you don't see something you want to know about here, let us know! Ask about it for our Texas Decides project. We'll add more coverage to this page as we get closer to early voting, which starts on Oct. 22, and Election Day on Nov. 6.

Julia Reihs / KUT

Residents in the Greater Austin area ranked high in voter turnout and knowledge of key issues, but have lent less of a helping hand, according to the 2018 Greater Austin Civic Health Index.

University of Texas System

It may not feel like it, but it's flu season. Though the virus typically reaches its peak in winter, when exactly are you supposed to get your flu shot? 

Dr. Coburn Allen, an infectious disease specialist, physician and associate professor of pediatrics at UT Austin's Dell Medical School, says, like many factors surrounding the flu, it's all about timing. 

Montinique Monroe for KUT

The race for District 8 in Southwest Austin is wide open. In July, incumbent Council Member Ellen Troxclair, who has represented the district since 2015, announced that she would not seek re-election. During her tenure, Troxclair earned a reputation as the lone conservative on the Austin City Council.

Gabriel C. Pérez

Groups working to eliminate the right to abortion in Texas are rethinking their legislative strategies now that Judge Brett Kavanaugh, a conservative, has a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Here at KUT, we’re trying to make civic participation easier. Early voting begins Oct. 22 in Texas — and we want to make sure you’re ready.

Brian Crabtree/Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

As we've seen since 9/11, partnerships to strengthen national security can sometimes make for interesting bedfellows. One case in point is a collaboration between the Department of Homeland Security and Texas A&M's AgriLife Extension Service. Under the 10-year project, the institutions will launch a new Center for Excellence in cross-border threat screening and supply-chain defense. The project has nearly $4 million in funding for its first year.  

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Environmentalists in Austin worry about methane emissions from Texas oilfields, plastic pollution clogging up creeks and rivers or nuclear waste being shipped through the state. But one thing they rarely worry about is each other – at least until recently, when an initiative called Proposition J landed on the ballot.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera / The Texas Tribune

Once a hub for refugees starting new lives and reuniting with their families, refugee resettlement efforts in Texas are now a shadow of what they once were.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told Reuters on Sunday that officials there believe dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who has not been heard from since Tuesday, was killed while visiting the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. 

Khashoggi has long been an outspoken advocate for democracy and freedom of speech in Saudi Arabia. He has lived in self-imposed exile in the U.S. since last year, when he left Saudi Arabia over increased concerns for his safety.

Khashoggi joined KUT, along with his longtime friend New Yorker writer Lawrence Wright, in March for a Views and Brews at The Cactus Cafe. They spoke with Rebecca McInroy about their history together working as journalists in the Middle East and the struggles they confront in the face of threats to their public voices.

The StoryCorps mobile booth was in Austin in January, and we’re bringing you some of the stories that were recorded there. Locally recorded stories will air on Monday mornings during Morning Edition and archived here.

Carol Walker was joined in the StoryCorps mobile booth by her son David. She remembered stories of her long career doing service work overseas. She began her work in 1954 and it has inspired her family to travel and embrace the world.

A provocative column this year in The Chronicle of Higher Education laments the rise of what the author calls the "promotional intellectual." Dr. Jeffrey J. Williams of Carnegie Mellon University believes the old adage in academia of "publish or perish" has evolved into "promote or perish." In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton discuss promoting one's academic work.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

With the registration deadline only three days away, Texans looking for voter-registration forms on the Secretary of State's website this weekend got an error message for nearly a day. Applications for mail-in ballots were also inaccessible. Information about who's running for office this November was also knocked offline.

Service was restored by late Saturday.

We might feel like we've been duped when we believe a lie someone has told us, and we may want to crawl in a hole when we share "fake news" on Facebook. But in actuality, we have evolved to trust rather than question, which is why our tendency toward credulity is easily taken advantage of.

In this edition of Two Guys on Your Head, Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke talk about the psychology of what is known as "gaslighting" and how to put checks in place so you are less susceptible to being taken for a ride.


Montinique Monroe for KUT

All Austin businesses with a permit to sell food are now required to divert organic waste from landfills, but some restaurant owners say they didn’t get the message.

San Jacinto Museum

Whether you end up pronouncing it differently or not, the road formerly known as Manchaca has a new name: Menchaca. The Austin City Council overwhelmingly approved an ordinance to change the name of the South Austin road to honor the Tejano revolutionary and San Antonio luminary, José Antonio Menchaca.

So who was he?

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Mattress Firm has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and will close up to 700 stores, the Houston-based chain announced Friday. About 200 stores are expected to close in the next few days, and decisions about additional store closings will be made soon after.

The Best Songs Ever ... This Week, Oct. 5, 2018

Oct 5, 2018
Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUTX

The staff at our sister station, KUTX, scour the earth to bring listeners the best music. Each Friday, they share three of their favorite songs on Morning Edition.  

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Ninety-three percent of eligible voters in Travis County are expected to register to vote by the Oct. 9 deadline, according to the county’s voter registrar. So far, 91 percent of eligible voters have already registered.

A documentary debuting Saturday at the Return and Discover Festival captures the "rich black culture of East 12th Street," filmmaker Funmi Ogunro says.

Montinique Monroe for KUT

Expansion and intergenerational wealth building was emphasized by business leaders Thursday at the annual State of Black Business Luncheon.

The event, hosted by the Greater Black Austin Chamber of Commerce, gives black business owners the opportunity to hear from experts about current issues facing them as well as growth opportunities.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

The city has given the go-ahead to a contract that would keep its portable public toilet operating for the next five years. The 24-hour toilet, which aims to keep the downtown area clean over special events like this weekend's Austin City Limits Festival, will cost Austin $115,000 this year.  

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

EL PASO — Former President Barack Obama has endorsed 11 Texas Democrats leading up to next month’s midterm elections. But none go by the popular four-letter moniker “Beto.”

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

State elections officials are warning people who think they registered to vote through the online service Vote.org that their registrations may not be valid. But Travis County election officials now say the registrations are valid, and that they will process them as they would any other application.

Texas does not have online voter registration. But if Travis County's reading of the law holds up, it could be a loophole that allows for de facto online registration.

Austin History Center

The Austin City Limits Music Festival, which kicks off tomorrow at Zilker Park, has long drawn comparisons to Austin’s first big festival: Aqua Fest.

What ever happened to Aqua Fest? And why did it stop?

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

City Council members voted today to rename the South Austin road some believe was named for José Antonio Menchaca to reflect the correct spelling of his name. Currently spelled Manchaca – note the "a" in lieu of an "e" – its colloquialism, Manchac, has been chiseled into the cerebellum of any human who's ever crossed into Austin's city limits.

New Town Pharmacy

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Dr. Albert D. Chester, owner of New Town Pharmacy and founder and director of Capstone Institute, both located in Jacksonville, Fla.

Chester talks about training future heath care workers, opening a pharmacy in the neighborhood his grandfather grew up in, and being the primary resource for all health care needs.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

The Austin Independent School District’s Board of Trustees is scheduled to vote Oct. 22 on the proposed new names for four AISD buildings named for Confederate figures.

After a long dispute about whether the buildings commemorated the state’s struggle with racism and inequity, the board voted 7-2 in February to change the names. The buildings to be renamed are Eastside Memorial, Lanier and Reagan high schools, The Allan Center, and Fulmore Middle School.

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