Andrew Weber

Web Producer

Andrew Weber is a web producer for KUT News. A graduate of St. Edward's University with a degree in English, Andrew has previously interned with The Texas Tribune, The Austin American-Statesman and KOOP Radio.

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Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

A lawsuit challenging Austin's ban on camping in public places was in court today.

Attorneys representing Austinite Gary Bowens argued in front of Municipal Judge Mitchell Solomon that the city law is unconstitutionally vague and violates the Eighth Amendment protection against cruel and unusual punishment.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The Diocese of Austin says it will release the names of clergy who have been accused of molestation.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera for The Texas Tribune

A Houston-based religious nonprofit behind the so-called bathroom bill is suing the City of Austin over its anti-discrimination hiring ordinance. The U.S. Pastor Council filed suit in a federal district court late last week, alleging the city rule's lack of exemptions for churches or other religiously affiliated groups violates state and federal law.

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?

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.  

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.

Emree Weaver for KUT

It's a new fiscal year for the City of Austin, and one of the myriad items on City Council agendas over the next year will be an overhaul of ordinances relating to homelessness. That won't be easy, as federal courts could inform – and complicate – that effort.

Thomas McConnell / Salvation Army

Salvation Army, one of the largest service providers for homeless women and children in Austin, is adding thousands of square feet to its shelter in East Austin.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

UPDATE 9/23/18: Cody Wilson was booked into the Harris County Jail this morning. According to jail records, his bail is set at $150,000.

ORIGINAL STORY: Cody Wilson, founder of the Austin-based, 3D-printed gun design firm Defense Distributed, has been arrested in Taiwan. 

Austin police issued an arrest warrant Wednesday on charges that Wilson sexually assaulted a 16-year-old girl last month in North Austin. According to the warrant, the teen said she had sex with the 30-year-old, whom she had met on SugarDaddyMeet.com, in exchange for $500.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Cody Wilson, founder of the 3D-printed gun firm Defense Distributed, has been accused of sexual assault of a minor last month, a second-degree felony. In a press conference today, the Austin Police Department said the self-styled "radical libertarian" and gun-rights activist was last seen in Taipei, Taiwan and that he missed a flight back to the United States.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

A federal judge in Austin has blocked Texas' so-called fetal burial law.

U.S. District Judge David Alan Ezra voided the law, which the Texas Legislature passed in 2017, on the grounds that it violates the 14th Amendment's Equal Protection Clause.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

More than half of Austin waterways have unsafe levels of fecal bacteria, according to a study out today. The analysis from Environment Texas found 46 of the 76 sites tested in Austin exceeded safe levels of bacteria at least once last year. 

Brian Zabcik, a clean water advocate with Environment Texas, said nearly half of the 1,450 freshwater sites tested across the state had similar problems.

"Of those locations, 49 percent had at least one day of unsafe bacteria level last year," Zabcik said, "bacteria levels that were too high to safely go swimming."

Sarah Jasmine Montgomery for KUT

Both the Austin Municipal Court and the Community Court buildings downtown were evacuated this morning after a bomb threat. The evacuations came after threats at UT Austin and Texas State University. 

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Winston Churchill once said, “It is a good thing for an uneducated man to read books of quotations.”

Winston Churchill did not, in fact, once say, “The fascists of the future will call themselves anti-fascists.”

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Austin’s Equity Office is recommending the city remove or change the names of streets, parks and markers in Austin that honor the Confederate States of America and slavery.

The office also suggests eschewing the name “Austin” altogether, as Stephen F. Austin fought to defend slavery in the Texas Revolution and supported the institution after the state gained its independence from Mexico.

Milton Hinnant/The Dallas Morning News

The Dallas Cowboys are back in Oxnard, Calif., for their monthlong training camp. The Golden State has long been a base of operations for the Cowboys – California Lutheran College in Thousand Oaks served as the team’s longest-serving venue for camp from 1963 until 1989, and the state’s hosted camps since 2001.

But, before the Cowboys migrated back to California for camp, the team spent its most productive (and controversial) summers right here in Austin, when the team annually descended upon St. Edward’s University during their Super Bowl runs of the 1990s.

Google patent database

It’s safe to say many an Austinite woke up today, looked at the forecast and, possibly, wondered what fresh, near-literal hell they’d unknowingly stumbled into during their Sunday night slumber. It’s hot.

But, hey, at least there’s conditioned air, because before that, people went to some pretty strange lengths to save themselves (and their horses) from the immutably oppressive sun.

Hyperloop One

Texas’ Hyperloop dreams are no longer confined to a pipe.

Officials in North Texas plan on putting some money behind an environmental impact study of a 700-mph train between Dallas, Fort Worth and Arlington. That project, ideally, would later expand to a network that would include Austin, as well.

Julia Reihs / KUT

Ken Paxton is taking on the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The embattled watchdog agency – which was established in the wake of the financial crisis to police financial service providers – is seeking penalties against Mississippi-based payday lender All American Check Cashing, alleging it misled customers.

Paxton and 13 other states filed a brief arguing the CFPB doesn't have constitutional authority to levy penalties.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The Texas Supreme Court has ruled Laredo can't ban the use of single-use bags. At issue was whether the city could ban bags under the state law regulating so-called solid waste management.

ATXN

There’s an old adage: Nothing screams comedy like line-item contract bid awards.

That is not a true statement. That was a joke. And it wasn’t funny.

The tedium of local government contracts – particularly, on the line-item level – doesn’t leave an audience in peals of uncontrollable, full-body-heave, bladder-evacuative laughter. It doesn’t inspire the mirth or hysteria or even mild bemusement.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Gov. Greg Abbott laid out a plan this morning to increase school safety in Texas after the Santa Fe High School shooting. The plan offered suggestions that focused on “hardening schools” and increasing mental health services through as much as $120 million in federal and state grants for schools.

Nobody in Texas "wants to see another occasion where innocent children are gunned down in their own schools,” he said as he rolled out the 40-page plan at the Dallas Independent School District headquarters.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. for KUT

As Texas debates what, if any, steps should be taken to prevent mass shootings in the state, we asked our audience what questions they had about guns in schools.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Today's the day to vote in the Democratic and Republican primary runoffs. You may have only a few races (or none at all) on your ballot, depending on where you live.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. for KUT

Austin School Board President Kendall Pace said this morning that she would resign from her position as president and as Place 9 trustee after controversial text messages she sent to another board trustee surfaced last week.

At least 10 people are dead today after a gunman opened fire at a high school in Santa Fe, Texas. Witnesses say the gunman entered Santa Fe High School shortly before 8 a.m. and opened fire with a shotgun, killing multiple students. A student resource officer responding to the shooter was also seriously injured.

Officials found explosive devices on-campus and off-campus as well. Those devices were rendered safe by police.

Gov. Greg Abbott and other officials held a briefing at 1 p.m. today. Watch a livestream of the news conference below, courtesy of PBS Newshour.

Trey Perry via CC BY 3.0

Hamilton Pool is not a last-minute destination. It’s about an hour away from Austin and before you even get in the car to make the drive, it takes weeks, or even months, of lead-time.

That’s because, for the last two years, Travis County Parks has used an online reservation system to save swimmers a coveted spot by the emerald pool.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The Austin teachers' union is asking School Board President Kendall Pace to resign after she sent an "offensive" text message to another board member.

Precourt Sports Ventures

Precourt Sports Ventures has released a proposed site plan for a new soccer stadium on city-owned land in North Austin at McKalla Place.

Photo by Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT; image of the stair car courtesy of Netflix

This is joyous news.

Austinites get their own chance to be a hop-on Saturday when the Bluth family stair car rolls into town.

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