KUT Staff

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JORGE SANHUEZA-LYON/KUT

The Austin Police Department is the public face of the investigation into the four bombings in the city this month. But behind the scenes the APD is getting help from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the FBI.

Alain Stephens, an investigative reporter with the Texas Standard, has been speaking on background with some ATF officials. KUT's Nathan Bernier talked with Stephens about how the agency investigates bombings.

Marshall Tidrick for KUTX

With SXSW kicking off this week, Austinites and visitors alike can expect a bit of chaos. If you’re a newbie headed to the festival, no worries. We've compiled a list of stories to help orient you to the city.

Consider this a little guide on how to get the most out of Austin.   

University of Texas

You can now watch Austin’s only resident peregrine falcon up close and personal, thanks to a camera aimed at her nest at the top of the UT Tower. 

There’s good reason to keep an eye on the bird – affectionately known as the "Tower Girl" by birders in the community – over the next few months. 

Hanna Barczyk for NPR

Valentine’s Day is not everybody’s favorite holiday. People in relationships might feel unrealistic expectations to shower their loved ones with flowers and candy. People not in relationships may envy those who are. But haven’t we all seen couples in a restaurant or bar, sitting at the same table – but with their faces in their phones?

Morning Edition host Jennifer Stayton wanted to find out more about that, so she checked in with local psychotherapist and relationship intervention specialist Junice Rockman and author and motivational speaker Rock Rockman, who happen to be husband and wife.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Austin, the final work of acclaimed artist Ellsworth Kelly, is settling into its home on the UT-Austin campus. 

Before his death in December 2015, the Blanton announced it would build the 2,715-square-foot chapel, which Kelly conceptualized decades ago, but never thought would be completed. 

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

A federal court is hearing a case today that challenges the way Texas elects judges for its high courts. The lawsuit argues at-large partisan elections make it difficult for Latinos to get elected.

KUT's Ashley Lopez talks about the case with Morning Edition host Nadia Hamdan. Listen to their conversation below.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt will deliver the annual State of the County address tonight. The speech is expected to touch on several topics, including infrastructure and criminal justice.

Morning Edition host Jennifer Stayton spoke with Eckhardt about the address. She began the interview by asking a more basic question: What’s the job description for a county judge?

Dan Brooks is moving to Austin from Philadelphia next week. But before he got here, he wanted some reading material.

“I like to know as much as possible about where I am, what community I’m a part of, where I’m living," he said. "It’s important for me to have an idea of the space that I’m occupying, and books are generally one good way to learn about a place.”

Lynda Gonzalez for KUT

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson spoke at his alma mater, UT-Austin, on Thursday during a symposium on U.S. involvement and engagement in Western affairs. The event was hosted by the LBJ School of Public Affairs and the LBJ Presidential Library.

Among other things, Tillerson talked about issues facing the Americas – particularly corruption.

Annette Elizabeth Allen for NPR

President Donald Trump delivered his first State of the Union address to Congress last night.

The theme of the speech was "building a safe, strong and proud America." The president pitched a plan to invest heavily in the nation's infrastructure and touted U.S. economic gains during his first year in the White House.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

On social media, cable TV – even on your drive to work – it can seem like we’re surrounded more and more by incivility. A new book by a pair of White House social secretaries is all about this idea.

Library of Congress

What causes cities to grow and prosper – or not? Why does one side defeat another in war? Those are complex situations with a lot of contributing factors. One factor that history doesn’t often point out is weather.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Thousands of anti-abortion activists marched to the state Capitol on Saturday for the annual Texas Rally for Life. The event marked the 45th anniversary of what organizers call the Supreme Court's "tragic" Roe v. Wade decision, which legalized abortion in the U.S.

Ilana Panich-Linsman/KUT

From Texas Standard:

There are stories that are hard to cover in many newsrooms because they're too dangerous to be told, too revealing, too embarrassing, or too controversial. But what if those stories could be told without revealing the person's identity?

On the Standard, we air these stories as a way to bring you “The Whole Truth." Today, a husband and wife recount a very challenging time in their lives.

His work permit was still valid the day he got deported. He showed up to his yearly check in appointment.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon

Volunteers will fan out around the Austin area early Saturday to count people who don't have a place to live. The annual Point in Time Count is done to determine how many people don't have homes, as well as find out more about them: who they are and why they are on the streets.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Austin is on the short list of cities Amazon might choose to host its second headquarters. But just what would bringing the huge ecommerce company do for Austin?

In a letter to Amazon last year, Mayor Steve Adler called it an “opportunity for a precedent-setting partnership.”

KUT's Jennifer Stayton sat down with Adler to talk about the potential he sees if Amazon were to pick Austin.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Updated at 7:30 a.m.

Officials say road conditions in Austin have improved, but with the risk of ice lingering through the morning hours, a number of Central Texas school districts and the City of Austin will operate on a two-hour delay Wednesday. The National Weather Service says a Hard Freeze Warning will continue through noon on Wednesday. 

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The voice of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. echoed across the East Mall of the UT-Austin campus this morning, as hundreds gathered to honor the legacy and impact of the civil rights icon. Participants in the annual march gathered at the feet of King's statue at UT before making their way toward the Texas State Capitol and wrapping up the rally at Huston-Tillotson University in East Austin.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Texas' energy industry is in flux.

The state's seen recent closures of three coal-powered power plants, as the state market shifts toward renewable sources like wind and solar energy. And, on the national level, the state's former governor is lobbying to extend a hand to the nation's struggling coal and nuclear industries.

KUT's Mose Buchele spoke to Jennifer Stayton about what the closures mean for Texas' energy industry and about this week's rejection of a plan from Secretary of Energy Rick Perry to subsidize nuclear and coal power. 

From the Women’s March to Hurricane Harvey to the shooting in Sutherland Springs, here are some of the best images from KUT in 2017.

Gage Skidmore/Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard.

Republicans are set to pass a once in a generation tax overhaul. That was dramatic, but here’s where it could get really messy: in the run up to Christmas, we could see a government shutdown if both chambers of Congress can’t get it together on a bill to extend federal funding. As of this moment, it’s not just Republicans and Democrats who don’t see eye to eye – it’s the House and Senate, too.

Courtesy City of Austin

The Austin City Council unanimously selected Spencer Cronk to be the next city manager.  

Cronk has been the Minneapolis city administrator since 2014. Before that, he worked for New York City's Department of Small Business Services.

Callie Hernandez for KUT

The Austin City Council is scheduled to decide today who will fill the highest ranking unelected position at city hall. Spencer Cronk and Howard Lazarus are the two remaining candidates for city manager.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT News

Central Texas is waking up to freezing temperatures, some leftover snow and icy roads. The combination led several area school districts to cancel classes Friday or at least delay the start of school until 10 a.m.

Courtesy of Marie Giorda

William Giorda, the longest serving director of KUT, died of congestive heart failure Nov. 5. He was 79.

Giorda was born in Oklahoma City and received a master's degree in communications from the University of Tulsa. He moved to Austin in 1964 with his then-wife, Carol Fishwick, to teach broadcasting at the University of Texas.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Morning Edition host Jennifer Stayton met with students in the journalism program at Reagan Early College High School in Austin this week. Hear what they had to say about the state of journalism today:


Matthew Bernhardt/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard.

There have been plenty of causes for debate along the I-35 corridor between Austin and San Antonio, but this time around, the conversation revolves around soccer. After the owner of a major league soccer team in Ohio announced plans to move the team to Austin, San Antonio officials who have had their sights set on bringing an MLS team to their city were less than elated.

The owner of the Columbus Crew said recently he was considering moving the franchise to Texas’ capitol city. The news has prompted Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff to call for a formal investigation, claiming that the decision to choose Austin over San Antonio was not a “fair process” since the MLS had previously encouraged city and county officials to make preparations for an MLS team.

Texas Public Radio Reporter Joey Palacios says this particular feud dates as far back as 2013 when the MLS announced it was going to add four teams to the league. He says the City of San Antonio and Bexar County paid $9 million to build a soccer field on the northeast side of town on the advice of MLS officials in order to better their chances of winning the bid to bring one of the new teams to the city.

From Texas Standard:

You’ve seen them as you drive along lonely Texas highways or tucked away in the odd corner of an otherwise urban landscape. They're the bones of once-loved homes, cemeteries overgrown with weeds, even whole towns that time forgot: They're ghost towns.

Pudelek (Marcin Szala/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

From Texas Standard.

Tuesday, the National Transportation Safety Board singled out the Federal Aviation Administration as a factor in last year’s deadly hot air balloon crash in Lockhart. The crash killed 15 passengers and the pilot.

The direct cause of the crash has been determined to be pilot error, but the NTSB said the FAA’s lack of oversight of commercial balloon pilots contributed to this tragedy.

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