KUT Staff

Ways to Connect

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Austin is a place that not only prides itself on bars and festivals, but also on its wildlife. While bats and salamanders have long enjoyed a certain ecological cache, lately the great tailed grackle has become a controversial contender for unofficial city mascot. Still, it flies in a strange borderland between love and hate.

Pixabay

From Texas Standard.

YouTube remains under fire for disturbing content made available in the Suggested Videos area of its YouTube Kids app, and for collecting data on young children. Even as recently as a couple of weeks ago, publications including Wired reported that the app was still awash in creepy and violent videos targeted at kids.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

As part of KUT’s ongoing coverage of race and racism in Austin, Morning Edition Host Jennifer Stayton talked recently with Carolyn Helsel, a Presbyterian minister who teaches preaching at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Helsel has spent more than 10 years facilitating white congregations’ discussions about racism and published a book called Anxious to Talk About It: Helping White Christians Talk Faithfully about Racism.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

We hosted a live discussion this morning about the Austin bombings and the response by police, the media and the community during Morning Edition. Panelists included Chas Moore of the Austin Justice Coalition, Emlyn Lee of Brave Communities, Gilbert Rivera of the Rosewood Neighborhood Association, interim Austin Police Chief Brian Manley and UT Austin professor S. Craig Watkins. KUT's Jennifer Stayton moderated the conversation.

Andrea Garcia for KUT

The investigation continues into the serial bombings this month that killed two people and seriously injured four others in Austin. The bomber, Mark Conditt, detonated a bomb and killed himself as police were closing in on him in Round Rock on Wednesday. 

KUT's Jennifer Stayton talks with Austin Mayor Steve Adler about the issues the case has raised and how the city can move forward.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Members of the Austin City Council want to formally appoint interim Police Chief Brian Manley as the city's permanent chief. If a resolution is approved, City Manager Spencer Cronk would need to make the final hiring decision.

Shortly after the announcement yesterday of the death of Austin's serial bomber, City Council Member Delia Garza made the call to hire Manley permanently.

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.

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