Jimmy Maas

Producer, Morning Edition

I grew up in Austin and studied journalism at the University of Texas.  I began my radio career making fun of headlines on local sports and news talk shows. I moved to New York City to be a comic. Found some pretty good "day jobs” managing a daily news radio show for the Wall Street Journal and later, producing business news for Bloomberg Television.  Upon returning to Austin, I dabbled in many things, including hosting nights and weekends on KUT and producing nightly TV news.  Now I’m waking up early to make Morning Edition on KUT even better than it already is.

Ways to Connect

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The University of Texas at Austin is moving forward with its plan to replace the Frank Erwin Center, but with a twist. The university is seeking bids for a private company to build and operate an arena and training facility. It would, theoretically, be done with “minimal financial outlay” from UT.

The new arena would be home to the Longhorn basketball teams, but would also host concerts and events, as the Erwin Center does now.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Austin could be home to a Major League Soccer team soon. The owners of the Columbus Crew are actively pursuing a move. But one fairly large hurdle to overcome is where they would build a stadium.

Among the potential sites are McKalla Place near the Domain, Roy Guerrero Park in the Pleasant Valley neighborhood and the old Home Depot property at St. Johns Avenue.

KUT Morning Edition host Jennifer Stayton spoke with reporter Jimmy Maas to get a sense of where things stand with the Crew.

Martin do Nascimento/KUT

Today marks five months since Hurricane Harvey hit Port Aransas, and while there's been real progress on the cleanup, the island town still has a ways to go.

Sean Murphy for KUT

Today is officially “Hi, How Are You Day” in Austin – a holiday that both honors onetime Austinite Daniel Johnston and hopes to raise awareness of mental health issues.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Interstate Highway 35 is many things to many people. It is a vital thoroughfare for commerce and shipping. It is also an economic and social barrier through much of Austin. And nearly from its construction, it has been a source of frustration for drivers stuck in its traffic. I-35 has inspired a number of questions and even legends about its design and those who made it.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

It’s been seven weeks since Harvey hit the Texas coast, and the small inland town of Refugio is still in recovery mode. The process has been slower than residents would like, but spirits are still high.

“It’s been rough,” said Mary Rushing. “Of course, we closed down for two to three weeks, you know, mold and stinky and stuff like that.”

Rushing is a florist and owns a Nona’s Flower Box in Refugio. She’s lived in the town for 17 years. She says it’s starting to look like the community she knows.

Austin Price for KUT

Refugio head football Coach Jason Herring spent all summer planning for this week, the Texas Class 2A State Championship game. He would have no idea how far he would have to veer from that plan to get to this point.

Precourt Sports Ventures

The owners of Major League Soccer's Columbus Crew have released artist renderings of a potential stadium in Austin.

Precourt Sports Ventures, which owns the team, hired local firm Armbrust & Brown to help with site selection. It landed on Lady Bird Lake, between South Lamar and Barton Creek. The team might face several hurdles to locate there; the first being that it is city parkland, part of Butler Shores, just off the Hike and Bike Trail.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

We are in the midst of a real Christmas tree problem: Nationally, we have fewer trees this season. The good news is you can still find plenty in Central Texas.

The bad news is it may be harder to find than in Christmases past and will likely be shorter and more expensive. 

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

The Frank Erwin Center opened its doors to the public on this night in 1977. In the 40 years since, the building has churned out basketball games, concerts, monster truck shows, circuses and memories. More than 30 million people have crossed through the doors for a wide variety of acts.

As the building enters its twilight years, it’s doing its best to not show its age.

In its earliest days in the late 1970s, the Special Events Center, as it was known, was another sign of the city’s growth. (It was renamed in 1980 after UT regent Frank Erwin.) 

Crew SC Communications

The Columbus Crew is in the midst of a playoff run that could land the team in the Major League Soccer Cup. But rather than enjoy a great season, Ohio’s capital city and the Crew's ownership are at an impasse that could mean the team moves to Austin. That would be a dream for one fanbase and a nightmare for another.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

GOP lawmakers have proposed a tax overhaul that could double the standard deduction for taxpayers in an effort to simplify the filing process. But a simpler tax form could hurt a number of local nonprofits.

Martin do Nascimento/KUT

The Refugio High School Bobcats are a powerhouse in Texas high school football. The program has just 13 losses in 11 years. They regularly shutout opponents, running up the score to double-digit differentials.

Oksana Malysheva
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

New incubators and accelerators are moving into Austin, and, perhaps surprisingly, the new competition doesn’t have any of the more established programs too worried.

Jordan Stead/Amazon

While Amazon has been very public about its process of finding a location for a second headquarters, it has asked Austin and the other 100-plus bidders to keep quiet about their proposals.

Amazon.com screenshot

Austin is officially in the race for perhaps the biggest corporate prize ever.

“This afternoon, we formally submitted the Austin-region bid for Amazon HQ2,” Mike Berman, senior vice president at the Austin Chamber of Commerce, said.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

A Major League Soccer team could be on its way to Austin. Columbus Crew owner Anthony Precourt announced this morning that he plans to pursue the move if a deal for a new stadium in downtown Columbus doesn’t pan out.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

It’s been seven weeks since Harvey hit the Texas coast, and the small inland town of Refugio is still in recovery mode. The process has been slower than residents would like, but spirits are high.

“It’s been rough,” said florist Mary Rushing. “Of course, we closed down for two to three weeks, you know, mold and stinky and stuff like that.”

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Car2go is dropping the signature blue and white, logoed Smart cars from its fleet. Customers in Austin will be able to rent only Mercedes-Benz cars and SUVs when using the service in December.

Filipa Rodrigues for KUT

Let’s get this out of the way: Amazon’s second headquarters is not coming here – yet. But the prospect of the e-commerce giant's "HQ2" coming to Austin has invited more than enough speculation.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Harvey was a big storm, but what if it's judged by the amount of trash?

“This is, by far, the largest disaster we’ve seen,” said Kurt Thormahlen, general manager of DRC Emergency Services. “I was talking to one of our subcontractors. He’s been in the business since 1972, and he’s never seen anything like this.”

Jimmy Maas/KUT

The last Lone Star Le Mans at Circuit of the Americas is happening tomorrow – but there's a chance it could return in 2019.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

When big storms hit, familiar relief organizations like the Red Cross step in to help people in need. But there’s one local group trying to break the mold when it comes to relief.

Martin do Nascimento/KUT

When storms hit a community, it’s up to a select group of people to stay at work.

First responders might come to mind. But there are also the folks who keep the lights on as long as they can, and then fix them once they’re down. Those workers need food, and many in and around Corpus Christi were able to find it from a familiar place just after the storm.

Martin do Nascimento/KUT

The sounds of generators and chainsaws are now as much a part of the City of Port Aransas as sea gulls.

The resort town on the northern end of Mustang Island has no power or running water. City officials are allowing residents to return and clean up during daylight hours, but you must either leave or shelter in place overnight.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

As the sun sets Tuesday night in Refugio, Texas, Ysidro Gonzales says he knows he's lucky to be standing in a town without electricity or plumbing.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT'

Port Aransas residents are just beginning to get a firsthand look at what happened to their homes and businesses after Harvey came ashore as a Category 4 hurricane Friday.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

As Texans brace for the damage done by Tropical Storm Harvey, a new law is set to take effect Friday that limits damages insurance companies are responsible for if there’s a dispute with a policyowner.

Martin do Nascimento/KUT

Austin Community College students will be able to dive right into a new app-programming partnership with Apple this fall, CEO Tim Cook announced Friday.

“All ACC students will be able to enroll in a one-year, full-year course designed by Apple engineers and educators,” he said at an event at Capital Factory. “They’ll learn to code fully functioning apps. And more importantly, they’ll gain a set of skills and experience that are so crucial and increasingly valuable in today’s fast-changing and fast-moving economy.”

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Travis County voters will decide in November whether to approve $185 million in bonds. Much of that money will pay for projects meant to fix longstanding problems in the eastern part of the county.

The projects are prioritized in what Precinct 1 Commissioner Jeff Travillion calls a “health and safety” bond.

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