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. 

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Jorge Sanhueza Lyon / KUT News

For weeks now, hordes of the young and young-at-heart have been wandering the streets looking for Pokémon. Some have wandered onto private property, raising concerns about what is legal and illegal in the new world of augmented reality.


Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo spoke with KUT's Kate McGee this morning, saying that the department will assist the Dallas Police Department in any necessary capacity and that APD will remain on high-staffing levels for the remainder of the summer. At a press availability this afternoon, he reiterated that staffing plan, but also denounced comments from Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick that blamed the Black Lives Matter movement for Thursday night’s shootings.


Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

Last fall, with little fanfare, the Texas Teachers Retirement System, or TRS, set up an office in London. That means that Britain’s recent vote to leave the European Union could be felt a little closer to home for the state’s 1.4 million public education employees and retirees.


Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

Leonel Manzano is a lot like a lot of other folks you might find around Austin. He drives a Ford pickup; he runs around Lady Bird Lake; he works out at the YMCA. But that’s probably where the similarities end. You see, Manzano's among the fastest runners in the world in the 1,500-meter run. 


Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

The last time KUT spoke with Vernon Rust, Helen Bird, Trenda McMillan and Jim, the mechanic, they were all living out of their cars in the Walmart parking lot at Slaughter and I-35.

Rust and his partner Helen thought telling their story might take it in a new direction. Instead, things took a turn toward the familiar. 


Jimmy Maas / KUT

ESPN is back in town with its annual Summer X Games, but it will be the last time in Austin. ESPN is taking its half-pipe and going home a year early.


Miguel Gutierrez Jr./KUT

There’s a reason it’s the largest retailer in the world — Walmart attracts hundreds of millions of shoppers every week. But for a tiny percentage of that number, Walmart is attractive for other reasons. For them, Walmart isn't just an errand — it's home.


Jimmy Maas/KUT

Austin Texas has been home to championship teams from football to volleyball, along with individual title winners in tennis and golf. But there's a new sport taking hold here and across the country, and already there’s a controversy overshadowing it.

Over the weekend, at a strip mall on Airport Boulevard champions were crowned.


Jimmy Maas / KUT

What’s on your city flag? If your city has one at all, it’s likely an official seal with wording. More likely, you have not given a city flag any thought at all. But there is one man who wants to change that for his town.

Cedar Park Mayor Matt Powell is on a mission to create a lasting legacy for his city, something citizens can look upon for generations: a city flag.


Jimmy Maas/KUT News

The rodeo as we know it has roots back in the 19th-century West. Through the years, the rodeo cowboy has been mythologized in film and song.

The archetype generally rings true: young dreamers, betting their health and well-being, holding on, if they can, for a modest payout. Sometimes, it’s enough to make it to the next town. Sometimes, it's not.


Miguel Gutierrez Jr. for KUT News

There’s a big debate happening among Austin entrepreneurs over venture capital in the city – specifically, whether there is enough venture capital flowing into the city’s startups. It’s a debate that could reshape Austin’s identity – or, maybe it’s a debate because of Austin’s identity.

    

Jimmy Maas for KUT News

The U.S. Grand Prix is coming back to Austin, Circuit of the Americas officials announced Wednesday. Before the announcement, it was unknown whether the multi-million dollar racing facility would again host the country's only Formula One race.

Image courtesy of Richard Lord

David Bowie’s passing has stirred many memories. For most of us, we’re left with how his music made us feel. But for one Austinite, Bowie left a different impression — one shaped like boxing gloves.


via Flickr/fiftypercentchanceofrain

The Alabama Crimson Tide and the Clemson Tigers will face off tonight in college football's title game. College football has become a popular pastime for students, but new research from Texas A&M University suggests there’s a downside to game day: an increase in sexual assaults on campuses nationwide.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT

KUT's Jimmy Maas braved the risk of spoilers to ask Austinites in line for opening night of the J.J. Abrams-directed reboot of the franchise about their old "Star Wars" toys, the best cosplays, the Disneyfication of the franchise and their favorite moments from the original trilogy.


Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

The Beer Mile World Championships were held this week just off the shores of Lady Bird Lake. One Austin company is hoping to parlay the beer mile into bigger and better things.

I am attempting to run only a mile, in a contest of fitness and guts – beer guts. But before I finish, let’s go to where it all started.


Curtiss Cronn/flickr

Black Friday is almost here – the day stores used to target as the start of the holiday shopping season. Now, they start holiday marketing and slashed prices as early as late October: It seems retailers have been marketing products with “Black Friday prices” or “doorbusters” since Halloween. KUT’s Jimmy Maas looks at what seems to be retail’s longest day: Black Friday.

_formula_one/instagram

There are cracks in what many thought was a rock-solid relationship between Circuit of the Americas and the sport it was built to host, Formula One.

While it’s certainly not over, the future of the U.S. Grand Prix in Austin looks a little murky.


Courtesy of Travis County Courts

UPDATE Monday: Austin Police are saying a person of interest in the shooting of State District Judge Julie Kocurek has been arrested. Austin Police say in a statement released over social media that the person is being held on unrelated charges in Houston.

"We will not make any further comments at this time due to our ongoing investigation," the statement said

YouTube/MigoChannel

It’s not often an international champion is crowned in Austin. Formula One did just that, awarding it World Drivers’ Championship to Lewis Hamilton. But, the most difficult opponent all weekend may have been the rain.


Today is October 21, 2015, a day fans of the 1980s Back To the Future movie franchise have been waiting for all year: the day Marty McFly stumbles upon his older self, and discovers hoverboards, after traveling 30 years in the future in a flux capacitor-enabled DMC-12.

As it turns out, the company behind that time-traveling car has roots right here in Texas, thanks to a recent legal settlement. 


Ilana Panich-Linsman/KUT

The second weekend of the Austin City Limits Festival is upon us.

If you don’t go to ACL, you may just view the two-weekend music event as a headache that consumes a lot city attention and resources. But, the thousands of visitors it brings to the city pump millions of dollars into the Austin economy – $194 million last year, according to C3 Presents. 

Tom Pennington/Getty Images

In football, there are positions, like quarterback, that get you a lot of attention. They get the glory, the endorsements, and the scrutiny when things go wrong. Take, for example, the heap of blame Russell Wilson took for that last-minute interception in the Super Bowl.

However, one of the most anonymous positions in football, if not in all of sport, is the long snapper. But an ex-Longhorn who's battled the odds throughout his career in football — from learning to long snap on YouTube to joining the Special Forces to becoming a walk-on at UT — is raising the profile of the position in his quest to become the NFL's oldest rookie.

Television icon Regis Philbin and comedy legend Don Rickles have been performing live shows together for a while now. Philbin, who's been half of more than one famous entertainment team, working with people like Joey Bishop and Kelly Ripa, says that Rickles tops his list of favorite co-performers.

"First of all, he's the funniest guy of all the comedians that Hollywood ever had," says Philbin, who was working as an entertainment reporter in Los Angeles when he met Rickles.

Minnesota Public Radio/flickr

For fifty years, Fred Willard has been entertaining America. He is one of the more prolific working actors of our time. He’ll be in town tonight for a taping of the public radio show, “Wits.” Spanning genres from ground-breaking comedies to tween sitcoms to animation voice work, he has more than 275 film and TV credits as an actor and more than 130 appearing as himself. Willard could be the embodiment of the improv comedy "Yes, and..." credo.

Minnesota Public Radio/flickr

Wits, the live public radio show that brings comedians, actors and musicians to the stage, is coming to Austin's Paramount Theater this week.

Host John Moe has managed to combine two of his interests – acting on stage and creating public radio — into what has become a pretty good gig. He talked with KUT’s Jimmy Maas this week about how it all began while he was still the host of “Marketplace Tech” based in Minneapolis.

Brian Khorey/AP

Update 4:45 p.m. Governor Greg Abbott today declared a state of disaster in Bosque, Clay, Denton, Eastland, Gaines, Montague and Van Zandt counties, authorizing further mobilization of state resources to assist affected communities. Additional counties may be added to the declaration as the situation develops.

Current state forecasts indicate the continuation of possible severe thunderstorms, large hail, damaging winds, flash flooding, river flooding and tornadoes across the state throughout the week. 

Sarah Jasmine Montgomery/KUT

This week, it finally ends for the handful of shops still operating in what’s left of Highland Mall. The mall closes to the public for good Thursday after years of decline. Austin Community College will soon take over the rest of the site.

Walking around the giant, mostly empty space, with Captain and Tennille playing in the background, you might think this is a relic of conspicuous consumption’s past.

But this isn’t about what Highland Mall is now. This story is about what it used to be.

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