KUT News Now

Casa Marianella in East Austin
Julia Reihs / KUT

For many people seeking asylum or citizenship in the U.S., getting here is just the start. Then there’s often the long legal work that needs to be done to stay in the country. For some families, there’s also the need for shelter.

Pu Ying Huang for KUT

The Austin City Council on Friday declined to revise rules passed in June that rolled back ordinances that banned camping, sitting or lying down in public. Council members may take up the measures again next month.

Austin is about to become the first city in the U.S. to fund groups that help women who seek abortions pay for related logistical costs, such as a babysitter, a hotel room or transportation.

The move is an effort to push back against a new Texas law that went into effect Sept. 1. The state law bans local governments from giving money to groups that provide abortions — even if that money doesn't pay for the actual procedure.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The Austin City Council voted to scale back city rules on camping, panhandling and sitting or lying down in public. Council members heard hours of impassioned testimony on the ordinances at the tail end of a marathon meeting that stretched into early Friday morning. 

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Mark Charbonneau’s neighbor was visiting a widower one day and noticed something a little odd: pictures of babies all over his house. When she asked him what the story was, he told her he and his wife used to be foster parents.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Cities across the world are celebrating Pride this month with parades and events to honor the queer and trans activists who put their lives on the line for gay liberation during the Stonewall riots of 1969. The event marked the start of the modern gay liberation movement.

But in Austin, the city’s “official” Pride celebration isn’t until August.

Hazel O'Neil for KUT

Lyzz Donelson lives in a quiet neighborhood in Southwest Austin. Occasionally, she hears the rumble of a motorcycle with an unusual rider.

“He’s just this really interesting character that drives through our neighborhood periodically," she says, "and he’s wearing the most outrageous outfits."

Properties along Lake Austin are exempt from city taxes.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Housing affordability is one of Austin's biggest challenges during this period of economic growth. Even after someone buys a home or rents property, as the value of that property goes up, so does the annual tax bill. But some of the most desirable homes in Austin – a few hundred right on Lake Austin – are not subject to any city property taxes.

That might be about to change.

Julia Reihs / KUT

An iconic Austin golf course could be changing management soon.

If the Austin City Council approves a recommendation from the Parks and Recreation Board, Butler Pitch and Putt may not have a Kinser running the clubhouse for the first time since it opened in 1950.

Julia Reihs / KUT

Susan Morrison was two years old when her dad left.

Her mother, Eleanor, was left to care for Susan and her two siblings. The experience led Susan on a journey to change the Texas Constitution to make sure other kids didn't have the same experience she did growing up.

Gauze and other medical supplies on a tray in a hospital room.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced Wednesday that his office filed a brief with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, arguing the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional.

Austin City Limits is produced at the Moody Theater in downtown Austin.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Austin City Limits is in the middle of taping shows for its 45th season, which will begin airing on PBS stations across the country in October.

The eclectic mix of musicians invited each year to perform for the public television series prompted KUT listener Dana Harada to ask our ATXplained project:

How are musicians selected to record an ACL Live taping? Do they get paid?

Real estate agents board a school bus
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Two dozen realtors sit in the bleachers of the Burger Athletic Center, eating pastries and sipping on coffee. They’re listening to administration from the Austin Independent School District preview the day ahead: a six-hour tour of schools in South Austin.

The point of the tour is to help families moving to or within Austin to better understand the district's schools – through their real estate agents.

The seal of the Republic of Texas on the floor of the Capitol rotunda
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

A federal judge in San Antonio will hear arguments Thursday over whether Texas should have to clear its political maps with the federal government in 2021.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Unlike other voting rights lawsuits filed against Texas officials in the past decade, the challenge to the state’s noncitizen voter-removal effort was settled relatively quickly.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Austin ISD announced in February its plan to close and consolidate schools, and now it has a clear plan for how to choose which ones.

The Texas Vertebrate Paleontology Collection
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

This is a story about 10-million-year-old bones. But it starts in the 1930s.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

State lawmakers started this year’s legislative session with the intention of tackling bipartisan issues — namely, education and property taxes. Last week, though, abortion politics complicated that goal.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Austinites will have their chance to sing like the Supremes and move like the Temptations starting this Saturday. “Motown: The Sound of Young America” is a new exhibit about the iconic music label opening at the LBJ Presidential Library.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Natural gas is a valuable commodity in most of the world – but not in parts of Texas. Now, in West Texas, oil well operators will pay you to take their natural gas. The practice is called “negative pricing,” and it could change everything from the price of electricity to the use of renewable energy.

Laura Skelding for The Texas Tribune

On Monday, Texas State University's student senate passed a controversial resolution to bar the conservative group Turning Point USA from campus — a move shut down by the student body president and campus administration. But the resolution caught the attention of Gov. Greg Abbott.

KUT's local newscast from 8 a.m.

John Moore/Getty Images

John Moore, a special correspondent for Getty Images, lived and traveled around the world for years before deciding to focus his time and work on the U.S.-Mexico border. His frequent requests to photograph Border Patrol agents dealing with families crossing the border went unanswered – until one day last year when he got a call out of the blue.

Gabriel C. Pérez/KUT

"We all have to come in here with humility," Dr. Peniel Joseph says about getting people to the table to talk about racism and equality. "We're all looking for, basically, unearned grace in this conversation."

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

Last week in Waco, two teams met to play for the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools’ (TAPPS) six-man football division final. The paths they took to get there couldn't be more different.

Courtesy of SKAM Austin

SKAM Austin is a typical teen drama in a lot of ways. There are hookups, breakups, cattiness and plenty of awkwardness. But, while the drama itself may walk a well-tread path, the path the show takes to reach its viewers is anything but. 

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Census tract 48453002411 has a lot to offer. There’s a brewery on the north edge of the tract. There’s a neighborhood park, and you’re not too far from McKinney Falls State Park. On a good day, you can drive from this part of Southeast Austin to downtown in 20 minutes.