Matt Largey

Managing Editor

Matt Largey is the managing editor at KUT. He previously worked at WBUR in Boston. His work has appeared on many national radio shows. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including a national Edward R. Murrow award in 2013. He’s originally from Maine, but has lived in Austin since 2006. While it might sound hard to believe, he thinks Maine and Texas are remarkably similar.

Ways to Connect

Julia Reihs / KUT

When it's hot in Austin, you just want to go somewhere to cool off, somewhere you can take a swim and forget the oppressive heat that lingers for six months of the year.

There are lots of great spots.

But there's one place you definitely cannot go swimming: Lady Bird Lake (Town Lake, if you're OG).

Montinique Monroe for KUT

Texas is again leading the nation in fast-growing cities, according to newly released data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Three of the top five growing U.S. cities in 2016-2017 were in Texas.

Gabriel C. Pérez/KUT

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott started a series of roundtable discussions today, aimed at coming up with ways to address school shootings.

Gabriel C. Pérez/KUT

On Friday, Santa Fe, Texas, was the site of the latest mass shooting at a school in the U.S. Ten people were killed and 13 injured after a 17-year-old student entered the school with his father's shotgun and handgun.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT

It’s go time (again)!

Early voting in the Democratic and Republican primary runoffs runs through May 18. You may have only a few races (or none at all) on your ballot, depending on where you live.

The Moody College of Communication at UT-Austin announced today that Patti C. Smith has been named interim general manager of KUT and KUTX Public Media.

She'll assume the role on May 14.

Ilana Panich-Linsman / KUT

The former head of the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency says the hysteria over a 2015 U.S. military exercise in Central Texas, known as Operation Jade Helm 15, was caused or fed by Russians working to use information warfare.

The exercise became big news when conspiracy theorists began spreading rumors that it was part of a government plot to lay the groundwork for martial law and mass internment.

KUT reported at the time:

Gabriel C. Pérez/KUT

In the median of Highway 183 near the Austin airport, there’s a scraggly patch of mesquite trees. The grass around it is overgrown. In the shade of those trees is the final resting place of at least six people — buried more than a 100 years ago. The historical marker at the little graveyard says it’s the Davidson-Littlepage Cemetery.

Now, as the cars zoom by within feet of the graves, a massive construction project looms nearby.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

Interim Austin Police Chief Brian Manley is on Capitol Hill this morning, testifying before the U.S. House Homeland Security Committee as part of a hearing about local, state and federal law enforcement responses to major events from the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing to the 2018 Austin Bombings.

NASA

Private space launch company SpaceX is launching a rocket to the International Space Station this afternoon. 

It's the second time the company is re-using one of its Falcon 9 rockets to make the trip into orbit. The rocket will carry supplies to the ISS. The launch is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Central from Cape Canaveral, Fla. 

Watch the launch live in the player below:

Department of Defense

On Saturday, the Pentagon identified an Army soldier killed in Syria this week as Master Sgt. Jonathan J. Dunbar, 36, from Austin.

Dunbar was killed on March 30 when a roadside bomb blew up near his patrol vehicle in Manbij, Syria.

He was born in Minnesota, but graduated in 1999 from John B. Connally High School in Austin.

Dunbar had deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan six times since he joined the Army in 2005.

Eddie Gaspar/KUT

UPDATE:  Ashbel Smith Hall in downtown Austin was demolished Sunday morning to make way for a new office tower. 

Andrea Garcia for KUT

Over three weeks this month, a serial bomber killed two people and injured four more in Austin.

The first three bombs killed and injured people of color, raising fears that this was the deadly political statement of a racist. According to law enforcement, a video confession of the now-dead bomber does not mention race or politics as motives. But the deadly attacks in East Austin highlighted long-standing problems about Austin’s racial climate.   

Joey Palacios / Texas Public Radio

Two package bombs found at two separate FedEx facilities in Texas today are connected to a string of bombings in Austin, local and federal officials say. 

One of the packages exploded early this morning at a FedEx distribution center in the San Antonio suburb of Schertz. The other package was found at a facility near the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. It is suspected that they may have been shipped from a FedEx Office store in Sunset Valley.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Interim Austin Police Chief Brian Manley says an explosion that injured two white men in their 20s in the Travis Country neighborhood in Southwest Austin was caused by a bomb. Authorities are "operating under the belief" that the explosion is connected  to three package bomb explosions in Austin this month, Manley said.

A 26 year-old man is in custody on charges he made a terroristic threat Saturday when he emailed a bomb threat aimed at the Fair Market venue on East Fifth Street.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

During early voting in the primaries, a theme developed around what was happening in Texas. The narrative became that Democrats ­– perhaps improbably – were outpacing Republicans at the polls. Gov. Greg Abbott and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz sounded the alarm to Republicans.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

When Eric Howard drives by the building at 4400 Shoal Creek Boulevard, he can’t help but think of Indiana Jones.

Specifically, the final shot of Raiders of the Lost Ark, when the U.S. government loads the Ark of the Covenant into a crate and then carts it off into a vast warehouse, presumably filled with similarly sequestered treasures.

President Donald Trump is expected to deliver a statement on yesterday's shooting at a high school in Parkland, Fla. that left 17 people dead and more wounded.

He's scheduled to start speaking at 10 a.m. CST.

National Weather Service

UPDATE 12:00 pm: Austin is seeing some scattered freezing rain this afternoon, which could make for some icy conditions on elevated roadways. Some scattered thunderstorms are moving through the area.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. /KUT

In our ATXplained project, we answer your questions about Austin.

Now it's your turn to answer a question. 

Listener Dan Brooks is looking for the best books about Austin (or Texas) for newcomers to the city. So we're asking you for your recommendations. 

This March, Texas voters will decide who will appear on November's general election ballot.

Primary elections work a little differently from general elections, and the barriers to participation in Texas appear to be higher. Texas consistently has among the lowest voter turnouts in primary elections. In 2016 — even with a battle over presidential nominations playing out — only 21 percent of Texas voters turned out.

So, we want to help make participation in primaries easier for voters – by making the primaries themselves easier to understand.

On Thursday, KUT aired a story, reported by Syeda Hasan and edited by myself, about the language used in the debate around CodeNEXT, Austin’s re-write of its land development code.

We’ve gotten a good deal of reaction to that story — much of it negative.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

At the corner of Airport Boulevard and Schieffer Avenue, there’s something that sticks out. Next to the community garden and skate park in Patterson Park, there’s a giant metal flower, surrounded by a colorful concrete mosaic. On a pole nearby, there’s a plaque shaped like a leaf that explains — kind of.

Lynda Gonzalez / KUT

Twenty-six people are dead after a mass shooting at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, about 30 miles east of San Antonio.

Gov. Greg Abbott called it "the largest mass shooting in our state's history."

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

Austin City Council members have been meeting this week with candidates to be Austin’s next city manager — which is among the most powerful positions at City Hall. But the city's gone to great lengths to keep this selection process secret. 

It's declined to name the candidates, and council members appear to have gone to great lengths to conceal their identities.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT News

Editor's note: This post contains explicit language.

A series of sexual assault scandals has prompted an intense debate in Austin’s independent film community — and beyond — for the past year, reaching a fever pitch in the past few weeks. 

Austin is one step closer to being at the center of the world's first Hyperloop transportation system.

The technology — the brainchild of SpaceX and Tesla founder Elon Musk — is envisioned as passenger pods traveling at speeds up to 700 miles per hour through a low-pressure tube. So far, only a short test track has been constructed.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is expected to announce an end to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which shields people brought to the U.S. illegally as children from deportation. The program was started by an executive order from former President Obama in 2012.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

After Hurricane Harvey, some state officials are insisting there is no shortage of gasoline in Texas. 

The record rains and flooding limited the state's oil refining capacity, which has led to long lines at gas stations across Texas. But while drivers worry of a possible gas shortage in the near future, Texas Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton said the problem is really just a matter of logistics and demand.

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