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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.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

From Texas Standard.

During Hurricane Harvey, the Army Corps of Engineers decided to open the floodgates to release water from the Addicks and Barker Reservoirs. Thousands of downstream properties flooded. Now, many of those affected are suing to recoup damages from that flood.

They’re arguing that the government essentially took their property without permission when they released water from the dams.

L.M. Sixel, a business reporter with the Houston Chronicle, says it’s turning into quite the frenzy for lawyers of all stripes.

Screenshot via PBS NewsHour

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is on Capitol Hill this morning before the Senate Judiciary Committee. He's expected to brief lawmakers on Justice Department efforts to crackdown on immigration and so-called sanctuary cities.

But the committee's nine Democratic senators have made it clear they intend to question their former colleague's involvement in the 2016 presidential campaign – and whether he had any contact with Russian officials. 

KUT Facebook Live screenshot

All Things Considered host Nathan Bernier talks with newscaster Joseph Leahy about funding for CodeNEXT, Visit Austin's operating budget and President Trump's pick to chair the White House's Council on Environmental Quality.

The National Guard/Cpt. Martha Nigrelle/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

With a deadline to apply for FEMA assistance looming for Texans rebuilding after Hurricane Harvey, questions about getting federal and state help remain for many residents in areas hit the hardest by the storm.

Martin do Nascimento

A free public restroom has been installed downtown near I-35 and Sixth Street to help tourists, runners, bikers, homeless people and late-night crowds. 

On Sunday, Oct. 1, KUT will begin airing a new weekend schedule. We'll be expanding Weekend Edition and BBC World Service, increasing our news programming to eight hours a weekend. Here's a look at the new schedule.

Here are additional details and information about the changes.  

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT News

From Texas Standard:

When asked about their daily commute to work, residents of some of Texas’ largest cities may offer a groan in response. But solutions to Texas’ traffic problems – a lack of reliable mass transit, and increasingly congested roadways – may require a change in the way Texans think about transportation.

Jorge Sanhueza Lyon / KUT

Austin’s centralized shelter for Hurricane Harvey evacuees at the Met Center could close by the end of the week. About 170 people remain at the South Austin shelter. It held as many as 400 evacuees after the storm, which brought record flooding in Houston and devastated parts of the Gulf Coast and Southeast Texas.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Texas has the highest population of uninsured people in the nation. 

Roughly 4.5 million people in Texas didn’t have health insurance in 2016, leading the nation in both the number and percentage of residents who are uninsured, according to a U.S. Census Bureau report released today.

Screenshot via YouTube

President Donald Trump held a joint news conference with the leader of Kuwait, Amir al-Sabah.

Watch below: 

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

A federal court in San Antonio has blocked much of Senate Bill 4, Texas' so-called "sanctuary cities" law.

"The best interests of the public will be served by preserving the status quo and enjoining, prior to September 1, the implementation and enforcement of those portions of SB 4 that, on their face, are preempted by federal law and violate the United States Constitution," U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia said.

Facebook Live screenshot

Austin Mayor Steve Adler is calling on Austinites to help fellow Texans taking shelter here by making 6,000 "welcome kits" for the Austin Disaster Relief Network.

Nathan Bernier / KUT

Thousands of people have been forced from their homes due to Hurricane Harvey, which made landfall on the Texas coast Friday and is now a tropical storm. Harvey made landfall again early Wednesday along the Louisiana border.

According to Gov. Greg Abbott, 32,000 people are now housed in shelters.

White House/YouTube screenshot

President Trump is holding a press conference with Finnish President Sauli Niinistö. 

He began by addressing the situation in Texas in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, which is now a tropical storm.

 

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

A flash flood warning has been extended for parts of Fayette County until 2:45 p.m. Monday as rain continues to fall across the region. Mandatory evacuations are under effect in Fayette County along the Colorado River in La Grange, where the water has risen above 50 feet. People are advised to stay off the roads.

National Weather Service

Updated at 11:30 p.m.

One person is dead in Rockport in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Harvey, according Aransas County officials. Another person is confirmed dead in Houston, as unprecedented rainfall brings flooding across Southeast Texas. As it continues to linger, state officials are urging Texans to expect persistent rains and underscoring the potential for life-threatening floods for the next few days across the state. Hundreds of thousands are without power along the coast, where cleanup efforts are just beginning.

Gov. Greg Abbott is giving an update about the state's preparation for Hurricane Harvey, which is expected to become a Category 3 storm before making landfall along the Texas coast overnight tonight.

Listen live: 

Final update  Friday, 9:11 p.m.
Find future updates here.

President Donald Trump has signed a declaration of disaster for the state of Texas, allowing federal money to flow to areas affected by Hurricane Harvey.

NPR

President Trump is addressing the nation Monday night on U.S. engagement and "the path forward" in Afghanistan and South Asia. 

Senior U.S. officials tell NPR that the president is expected to order about 4,000 additional troops to Afghanistan.

The decision follows months of deliberation within the Trump Administration, involving top military commanders, political advisers and even enlisted veterans of the nearly 16-year war.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

A lot of Austinites were out taking in the eclipse this afternoon. And whether you were one of them or not, it was just a warmup for a couple more eclipses not too many years from now. 

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT News

From Texas Standard:

On Saturday, members of the media received a press release titled: “Today Charlottesville, Tomorrow Texas A&M.” The message came from a group organizing a White Lives Matter rally featuring white nationalist Richard Spencer, scheduled to take place on September 11th at the Texas university. There's plenty of outrage on social media, and a counter-protest has already been planned.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The Austin Police Department is taking its fleet of more than 400 Ford Explorers out of service amid concerns of carbon monoxide leaking into the cabins.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

Fifteen immigrant rights activists were arrested Wednesday after blocking traffic at the intersection of 15th Street and Congress Avenue during a sit-in to protest Attorney General Ken Paxton's push to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Law enforcement officials from across the state spoke out today at the Texas Capitol against proposed legislation that would restrict bathroom access to transgender people. Senate Bill 3, known as the “bathroom bill,” would restrict access to restrooms in government buildings to the sex listed on a person’s birth certificate.

Chiefs and other high-ranking law enforcement officers were uniform in their condemnation of the bill, which is a priority item during the special legislative session.

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