Sangita Menon | KUT

Sangita Menon is a general assignment reporter for KUT. Before switching over to journalism in 2017, she was a circuit designer for a high-tech company in Austin. She has a degree in electrical engineering and computer science from UCLA. Sangita was born in India, grew up in California, lived in Oregon and finally made her way to Texas in 2007.  She lives in Austin with her husband and two daughters.

Ways to Connect

A member of the media has his temperature checked before entering the Alternate Care Site at the Austin Convention Center on July 24.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Austin Public Health officials want people to continue social distancing, wearing masks and practicing good hygiene even though the health authority has loosened guidelines due to a recent plateau in COVID-19 cases.  

People gather in Austin on May 30 to protest racism and police brutality. Local leaders want to ensure the movement for racial justice continues for generations to come.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Black leaders in Central Texas are forming a new coalition called the Black Leaders Collective to address systemic racism.

The group has about 40 members, including activists, educators, artists and policymakers, who say they want to create meaningful and transformative change that goes beyond conducting studies and making plans. 

A police officer walks through the hall of LBJ High School in 2016.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

As the school board finalizes its FY2021 budget, racial justice advocates are calling on the Austin Independent School District to move money away from policing.

A mobile COVID-19 testing cite operates off of Interstate 35 in North Austin on May 22.
Michael Minasi / KUT

While the Austin area doesn’t currently have a shortage of hospitals, ICU beds or ventilators, that could all change if the upward trend in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continues over the next three to five weeks, the local health authority said on Wednesday.

The City of Austin is looking for applicants to help redraw Austin City Council district boundaries. The new boundaries will go into effect for the November 2022 elections.
Julia Reihs / KUT

Austin residents can now apply to be on the commission to redraw City Council district boundaries. The city’s charter requires those lines be redrawn after the U.S. Census is taken every 10 years. 

Austin police
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Austin police officers should be given more time to engage with the community outside of responding to calls, city auditors say in a new report.

The auditors examined the effectiveness of the department’s community policing – that is, how well it builds relationships with individuals and groups in the community. 

Singer Mela Sarajane Dailey hosts a free concert on the lawn of a Northwest Austin home on Saturday.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Singers belted out duets from the front yard of a Northwest Austin home Saturday, as an audience of about 30 physically distanced neighbors watched from the lawn and across the street.

A health worker screens a driver at a drive-thru COVID-19 testing site in South Austin.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

We Are Blood collected plasma Wednesday from a third person who has recovered after testing positive for COVID-19. The plasma – the part of blood without red blood cells – could contain antibodies to help current patients with the coronavirus disease.

Vivian Abagiu / University of Texas at Austin

A 3D atomic map could lead the way toward a vaccine for the 2019 novel coronavirus, researchers at UT Austin and the National Institutes of Health said Wednesday.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Nationwide, 32 children have died of flu this season, including eight in Texas. The figure is up from 16 last year – a jump that may be partially due to the strain of virus.

A male house finch
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Bird and nature enthusiasts have volunteered to count and identify as many species of birds as possible within certain areas across North America between Dec. 14 and Jan. 5.

A man stands at a voting machine
Julia Reihs / KUT

Travis County officials are letting voters try out the county's new voting system ahead of the November elections.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Public support for legal access to abortions has been relatively stable across the country in the last five years, according to a national survey released Tuesday.

A dog jumps into Lady Bird Lake
KUT

Updated on Aug. 7 at 3:58 p.m.: Assistant City Manager Rey Arellano said Wednesday that Red Bud Isle would be closed to the public until further notice.

"The algae is especially prevalent near Red Bud Isle," he said, "with up to 40 percent of the water surface in that area covered."

Julia Reihs / KUT

The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention met with other health care leaders in Austin on Tuesday to discuss the need for "disruptive" strategies to address the growing number of HIV infections in Central Texas.

Jessica Lo Surdo and Ross Marklein do stem sell research for the FDA
U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Austin is a “hot spot” for clinics marketing stem-cell treatments directly to consumers. In 2017, 100 of the 716 clinics in the U.S. that promoted the regenerative properties of stem cells to treat everything from dental problems to neurological diseases were in Texas. But there is limited research to prove the safety and efficacy of some of those treatments, and new research suggests there are unqualified people administering them.

Cockrell School of Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin

Researchers at UT Austin have designed a device that can measure both the electrical and mechanical pulses of the heart using a sensor so thin and stretchable they're calling it an "electronic tattoo."

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The Austin City Council voted unanimously Thursday to add 400 properties along Lake Austin onto the city’s tax rolls.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

People across the state will be able to fish in any public water body without a fishing license during the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's 30th annual Free Fishing Day on Saturday.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

A bill before the Texas Senate would allow felons to seek public office only if they have received a pardon.

Current election code says a candidate who has been convicted of a felony must either be pardoned “or otherwise released from the resulting disabilities” – but it doesn’t define “resulting disabilities.” Senate Bill 466 would remove that clause.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

A dozen community activists assembled outside Andrews Elementary School in East Austin on Monday to demand the school district do more about Andrews' principal, who is accused of discriminating against immigrant parents.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

African-Americans are 20 percent more likely to experience serious mental health issues than the general population, according to Integral Care, which provides mental health care in Travis County.