Jimmy Maas | KUT

Host and Reporter

I grew up in Austin and studied journalism at the University of Texas.  I began my radio career making fun of headlines on Austin 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.  Now I bring you sports, business and oddball stories from around town, host afternoons and help with special projects. 

Ways to Connect

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Danny Ezechukwu moved to Austin in the spring after his wife got a job with Oracle. He's been working odd jobs around town while he looks for full-time employment.

One of those odd jobs was helping Shannon McCormick prepare for some home remodeling.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

When it comes to tariffs, the Texas economy has a lot at stake.

“Texas clearly is the No. 1 exporting state in America, so we really have ostensibly the most to lose,” said Jeff Moseley, president and CEO of the Texas Association of Business.

Moseley said he's worried about the potential effects of tit-for-tat tariffs from China.

Julia Reihs / KUT

Austin is one step closer to having a Major League Soccer team.

After a marathon session, the Austin City Council passed a measure this morning that directs the city to begin talks with the Columbus Crew to hammer out details of a city-owned soccer stadium site near the Domain. The council could take a final vote as soon as Aug. 9.

Andrea Garcia for KUT

President Donald Trump is threatening tariffs again, this time on more than $200 billion of goods from China. The administration earlier this year began taxing imports of a variety of products, including washing machines, lumber, steel and aluminum. While many of those tariffs won't be felt for some time, there are some Austin businesses already making adjustments.

Eddie Gaspar for KUT

Thousands of motorcycles and their riders snaked their way from the Travis County Expo Center to downtown Austin last night for the annual Republic of Texas Rally parade. It’s become an Austin summer tradition, but it could be going away.

Gensler/Precourt Sports Venture

Property near the Domain is a "suitable site" for a Major League Soccer stadium, city staff said today as they released an official report on a proposal to bring a team to Austin.

Gensler/Precourt Sports Ventures

The Columbus Crew, the Major League Soccer team with hopes of moving to Austin, has released new artist renderings of its proposed stadium by the Domain.

Julia Reihs / KUT

Bee Cave or Bee Caves? Whether discussing the city or the road, it seems the names have vexed Austin-area residents for years.

Even more vexing? They may have been misnamed the whole time.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Amazon made a big splash when it announced it is looking for a home for its second headquarters and subsequently placed Austin on its short list with 19 other cities. But beyond those big, public proclamations, not much is known about what the company will do next. 

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Farm-to-market and ranch-to-market roads have helped rural Texans get around since the 1940s. But what happens when these roads become completely surrounded by the city, with fewer ranches and farms on route? The seemingly odd road names caught one listener's curiosity.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

This post has been updated. 

Dripping Springs voters on Saturday passed the $132 million school bond.

Voters in Wimberley also passed a $45 million school bond package, and elected Susan Jaggers as their next mayor. Residents elected Craig Fore, Gary Barchfeld and Patricia Cantu Kelly to City Council.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

First of all, this was not a pingpong tournament.

“Yeah, it’s unfortunate. A lot of people are like, ‘Oh, I’ve played pingpong,’" said Willie Leparulo, tournament director for the National Collegiate Table Tennis Association. “I don’t say the P-word very often. They don’t know that table tennis is the correct word. ... I mean, this is an Olympic sport.”

Courtesy of Crystal Dunbar

Long before Jonathan Dunbar was a father and a soldier, he was a little brother.

"He was the biggest nerd ever," Crystal Dunbar said. "He had big, Coke-bottle glasses, and he was always playing the superhero. So, whether he was playing cops and robbers, or cowboys and Indians, or anything like that, he was always the superhero."

Jimmy Maas/KUT

South By Southwest has been around for more than three decades. It's grown from a small music festival into a business behemoth celebrating tech, music, film and most things creative. But every year there are always people who come to the festival for the first time.    

Jimmy Maas / KUT

It's not uncommon for cities, states – even countries – to highlight their workforce, investment opportunities, or visitor and tourism offerings at South By Southwest.

There are booths for places like Mexico, Ireland ... and Bastrop.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

State-sponsored film incentives are a big driver of the entertainment industry these days. States like Georgia and Louisiana have beefed up their programs, luring big projects away from states that have curbed their programs – like Texas.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Four candidates emerged Tuesday from a field of 22 to face off in runoff elections to replace U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith in Congress.

Joseph Kopser and Mary Wilson will compete in the Democratic runoff, while Chip Roy and Matt McCall will vie for the Republican nomination. The runoff elections are scheduled for May 22.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

To the casual observer or those watching intently from afar – like, say, Columbus, Ohio – you might be a little confused by the signals "the city" is sending about a proposed soccer stadium in Austin.

Gabriel C. Pérez/KUT

The Port Aransas Chamber of Commerce and Tourist Bureau has a message for you: The city and its beaches are open for business.

Hurricane Harvey walloped the area just six months ago, so why the rush?

TxDOT

The biggest roundabout in Austin will open at the intersection of the southbound frontage of I-35 and 51st Street on Sunday. But first TxDOT will have to close it completely for a few days to put the finishing touches on it – which means getting rid some of the intersection’s main features.

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. 

The Frank Erwin Center
Gabriel C. 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.) 

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