News

The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor educates, entertains and inspires with brief facts and poetry related to each day's date. It celebrates the birthdays and works of poets, writers, composers, philosophers and historical figures.  It is heard Monday through Friday evenings at 8:01 p.m. on KUT 90.5. On weekends you can find the Writer’s Almanac right here on KUT.org each morning at 8. Find more information and other shows at http://writersalmanac.org/

  

KUT Weekend brings you our favorite stories from the KUT newsroom. Updated Fridays.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT

From Texas Standard:

The end may be near for straight-ticket voting in Texas. House Bill 25, which would ban the practice, passed out of the Senate Thursday. It's got one more stop in the lower chamber before heading to Gov. Greg Abbott's desk. Prominent Democrats are decrying the bill – saying it would dilute Democratic votes.

dallashabitatphotos/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

On its current path, the Dallas police and fire pension fund would run out of money in 10 years, leaving thousands of public safety pensioners in the lurch.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

Prosecutors will begin giving out letters to some undocumented witnesses and victims that could potentially shield them from deportation, Travis County District Attorney Margaret Moore said Thursday.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

This may be the most anxious time of year for affordable-housing developers in Texas. In a few weeks, they'll find out whether their applications for low-income housing tax credits have been approved, and the decision could spell life or death for their proposed projects.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Austin City Council members voted today to challenge the state’s so-called sanctuary city law in court. The council passed a resolution, 10-1, instructing the city manager to “pursue effective litigation and defense” for a legal battle against Senate Bill 4, which was signed into law last week by Gov. Greg Abbott.

Council Member Ellen Troxclair was the sole opponent.  

iStock.com/Naufalmq

The Texas House on Thursday passed a package of sweeping measures aimed at addressing a crisis in the state's child welfare system.

After a lengthy debate, the House passed Senate Bill 11, a measure that would have Texas shift to a "community-based care" model for handling some endangered children and allowing contracted organizations — not just the resources-strapped state — to monitor children in foster care and adoptive homes.

https://www.google.com/maps/place/San+Antonio

From Texas Standard:

Each legislative session, there are bills that grab the spotlight and then those that move through far more quietly, but still have the potential to affect a lot of lives. That may be the case this session for Senate Bill 715.

President Donald Trump is holding a press conference with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos Thursday afternoon.

The remarks will be Trump's first live, on-camera remarks since Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein tapped Robert Mueller to be a special counsel overseeing the Justice Department's Russia probe.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. for KUT

For many Austin artists, finding affordable space to create is an enormous concern. The Austin City Council is set to consider a plan Thursday to help them out.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Ann M. Williams, the founder and artistic adviser of Dallas Black Dance Theatre, and Zenetta S. Drew, its executive director.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

Texas Senators have approved a bill that creates statewide regulations for ride-hailing apps like Uber and Lyft. House Bill 100 would preempt regulations on the so-called transportation network companies in cities like Austin. The Senate passed the bill on a 21-9 vote.

Pat Jones Photography/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0)

From Texas Standard:

It was May 17, 2015, shortly after noon in the parking lot of a Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco, Texas. Little is known about what started it. Some say it was a fight over a parking space that led to a patron’s foot being run over. And suddenly in the mix – a flurry of gunfire.

Gage Skidmore/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Some Texas Democrats in Washington are suggesting a Trump impeachment. U.S. Rep. Al Green of Houston was the first to call for the president's impeachment on Monday. U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, also of Houston, and U.S. Rep. Filemon Vela of Brownsville have said it is a possibility.

Texas Republicans, meanwhile, are either waiting to weigh in or are silent.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

With deadlines looming, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick on Wednesday threatened to push for a special session of the Legislature to pass a bill to regulate bathroom use for transgender Texans and legislation to set new thresholds for when cities and counties must get voter approval for their tax rates.

After its Broadway debut in 2005, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee was nominated for a half dozen Tony awards (it won two of them), and quickly became a popular musical worldwide. It's toured America and has been produced in, among other places, Hong Kong, Oslo, Mexico City, and Jerusalem. So when the members of Sam Bass Theatre had a chance to put the show on in Round Rock, they jumped at the chance.

"What's really great about Putnam County," says Sam Bass board president Brett Weaver, "is that you have the laugh moments and you have the serious stuff, and it goes back and forth [between] really funny, silly dances and then really serious internal dialogues."

Official House portrait

WASHINGTON - Amid multiple Trump-related scandals rocking the Capitol, U.S. Rep. Al Green, D-Houston, called for the impeachment of President Donald Trump from the House chamber on Wednesday morning. 

"I rise today, Mr. Speaker, to call for the impeachment of the president of the United States of America for obstruction of justice," he said. "I do not do this for political purposes. ... I do this because I believe in the great ideals this country stands for: liberty and justice for all. 

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Texas leads the country in wind energy production and, because of the way the state’s electric grid is set up, most of that power stays right here. But a plan that would allow the state to make money exporting wind and solar power is moving slowly. 

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Billy Thogersen offered to narrate the scene.

“People are [milling] about, looking at 24-by-48-inch maps of the new zoning, lots of colors and confusing acronyms and codes,” he said in the cafeteria at LBJ High School in Northeast Austin. The room, emptied of students, held roughly 30 community members interested in hearing more about CodeNEXT, the city’s rewrite of its land development code.

Pages