KLRU News Briefs: Revel in Old School Charm at the Drive-In and Voter Registration Deadline Nears

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Our Saturday news brief during PBS NewsHour Weekend comes from KLRU’s Arts in Context Shorts series. This week they go inside The Blue Starlite, a vintage drive-in which utilizes vintage speakers, trailers and the tarmac of the former airport.

A few nights every week cars gather just before sundown and line up in front of the screen, the distant city skyline appearing as a backdrop. What started as a stunt to impress his then girlfriend and now wife, owner Josh Frank’s drive-in has grown to accommodate up to 50 cars, a handful of walk-ins, and a Winnebago-housed concession stand.

“The whole combined experience, especially with being outside and under the stars – it’s just a very unique experience that’s totally outside of what you would get at a traditional theater,” Manager Gregg Wehmeier said.

The last day to register to vote in the November election is Monday, October 6. So, on Sunday, we take a look back at the final two debates for Lieutenant Governor and Governor, which both took place this week. Monday, in the race for Lt. Governor, Republican Nominee Dan Patrick and Democratic Nominee Leticia Van de Putte faced off in KLRU’s Studio 6A. On Tuesday, Gubernatorial candidates, Republican Nominee Greg Abbott and Democratic Nominee Wendy Davis, debated in the KERA studio in Dallas.

KLRU News Briefs air locally during PBS NewsHour Weekend at 6:30pm on Saturday and Sunday. 

Lt. Gov. Debate Livestream 9/29

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We’re livestreaming the only lieutenant governor debate of the 2014 general election between state Sens. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, and Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio. Texas Tribune Executive Editor Ross Ramsey will moderate. Livestream takes place starting at 7 pm on Sept. 29.

Special thanks to Texas Association of Broadcasters and Univision Austin.

KLRU News Brief: Lt. Governor Debate Preview

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On Sunday evening during PBS NewsHour Weekend we’ll preview the only scheduled debate in the race for Lieutenant Governor of Texas.

Republican nominee State Senator Dan Patrick and Democratic nominee State Senator Leticia Van de Putte will face off in KLRU’s Studio 6A Monday, September 29, at 7pm. Texas Lieutenant Governor Debate 2014 will be broadcast statewide on PBS stations, on radio and on some commercial TV stations.

You can also join the conversation on social media with the hashtag: #LtGovDebate.

KLRU News Briefs air locally during PBS NewsHour Weekend at 6:30pm. 

Civic Summit: Obesity, Weight Loss and Body Acceptance Online Screening 9/17 at 3:30pm

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Join KLRU and the Obesity Action Coalition for an online social screening of Civic Summit: Obesity, Weight Loss and Body Acceptance on Wednesday, September 17 at 3:30pm. The program, which first aired in March, is a conversation about the complex issues and experiences surrounding obesity and weight loss.

You can find the screening here.

The discussion will use a platform called OVEE, which allows viewers to watch and discuss PBS programs together from anywhere. Conversations that happen during an OVEE are enlightening and engaging.

You’ll also get the chance to ask questions of our panelists from the show. Joining us are Dr. Connie Stapleton, psychologist and author of Eat it Up! and Thriving! – Triumph after Trauma, Joe Nadglowski, President/CEO of Obesity Action Coalition, Abby Lentz, Founder of HeavyWeight Yoga, and John Archibeque, Bariatric Surgery Program Coordinator at The Bariatric Center at St. David’s North Austin Medical Center. We’ll discuss the struggles members of the obese community face and the many options available to them.

KLRU NewsBrief: Huston-Tillotson Launches First Master’s Program

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This weekend during PBS NewsHour, Austin’s oldest university is beginning a new chapter in its 140 year history.

Huston-Tillotson University will launch its first ever Master’s program in January. The degree is a Master’s in Educational Leadership with a principal certification. Principals in Texas are required to have Master’s degrees but most program offer the certification separately. Dr. Ruth Kane, Department of Educator Preparation Department Chair, said the program prepares graduates to fill a void in school administrations in our region.

“Research says that it’s important that students have a person who is their teacher or administrator or their counselor or even their librarian that looks like them, who they have an easier time relating to,” Dr. Kane said. “We have many wonderful Anglo principals out there but they can’t be everything to African-American and Hispanic students.”

Corey Wiggins, a 6th grade English Language Arts teacher at Kealing Middle School, is hoping to join the program in January. He’s been teaching for three years and said he does think students would benefit from more African-American or Hispanic principals in area schools.

“I think that just having that awareness of knowing how certain things work in certain families based on socioeconomic background and things like that, it really makes a really big impact,” Wiggins said.

The program is four semesters and is designed for working teachers.

This story airs Sunday evening at 6:30pm during PBS NewsHour Weekend. 

 

 

KLRU NewsBriefs: Education Advocates Focus on Attendance, UT Program Supports Financially Independent Students

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The school year is now in full swing, and we have two education stories during PBS NewsHour this weekend to help ease you into things.

On Saturday, we hear from AISD Interim Superintendent Dr. Paul Cruz about why attendance is one of the district’s top priorities.

“We can tell from early on, as early as 5th grade, we can look at if a student is meeting promotion standards, if the student has a good attendance record and if a student is passing all of his or her classes,” Dr. Cruz said. “If that’s not happening, there’s a student who is at risk of not graduating on time with his or her class. [Our first step is] an immediate conversation with the parents to see what we can do to help out the student and the family.”

On Sunday, we hear about Horns Helping Horns, a group from New Student Services on the UT campus which offers emotional and financial support to students who are not receiving any financial help from family.

“I think students have challenges no matter what their background is and I think our students and our community a lot of times because they don’t have that emotional and financial support are dealing with a lot more stuff,” Esmer Bedia, the Horns Helping Horns Coordinator said. “But, the majority of our students are succeeding and graduating and I think that’s because we’re telling them, ya’ll can do it, you will do it and they do succeed.”

KLRU NewsBriefs air locally during PBS NewsHour Weekend, Saturday and Sunday evening at 6:30. 

 

 

 

Civic Summit: Mayoral Candidate Forum is now online

Austin voters will elect 10 council members in November from 10 new geographic districts. They’ll also elect a new mayor who will be the only person on the dais tasked with governing the city as a whole. On Wednesday, August 27, KLRU and the Austin Urban Land Institute hosted the first televised mayoral debate of the election cycle.

Steve Adler, Sheryl Cole, Mike Martinez, Todd Phelps and Randall Stephens answered questions from moderator Jennifer Stayton, host of Morning Edition on KUT 90.5, Austin’s NPR station. Most of the conversation centered around transportation as well as how the mayoral candidates plan to manage a larger, more diverse City Council.

Watch the video above to hear each candidate’s plan to move Austin forward. Election Day is November 4.

KLRU NewsBriefs: Drought impacts state’s freshwater supply

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This weekend during PBS NewsHour we have two stories that’ll make you appreciate your local swimming hole over the holiday weekend. Both stories come from our partners at The Texas Tribune.

Labor Day tubers heading for the Guadalupe River may want to watch our story from the Tribune’s Alana Rocha on Saturday. Riders are seeing slower currents and at some spots they have to get out and walk.

“With the reduced spring flow, the speed of the current is so slow that what normally a float trip would require a six-pack – now will require a case,” Bill West of the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority quipped.

A longer version of this story is available on The Texas Tribune’s website.

On Sunday, our story travels further south from Austin, all the way to Matagorda Bay. The state’s second largest estuary is at the intersection of the inter-coastal waterway and the Colorado River. Less rain means less freshwater flowing into the area, which is harming seafood and the businesses that depend on it.

“For the Bay to recover we need several things: we need a lot of rain. Also we need to look for cooperative management of our freshwater inflows into the bay,” Leslie Hartman, Matagorda Bay Ecosystem Leader for Texas Parks and Wildlife said. “Certainly people in Austin need fresh water but our bays need fresh water as well.

You can see an extended version of that story here.

 KLRU NewsBriefs air locally during PBS NewsHour Weekend at 6:30pm on Saturday and Sunday. 

KLRU NewsBriefs: Expanding Health Education in Austin and Harris County Jail program helps female inmates

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On Saturday during PBS NewsHour Weekend, we hear about an Austin based non-profit establishing innovative techniques in the realm of healthy living education.

KLRU intern Bria Lott brings us the story about WeViva, an organization dedicated to promoting healthy eating and regular fitness habits to adults living in Austin’s low income communities. They provide a team of traveling nutritionists and fitness instructors to people who might not have access to these resources otherwise.

“We bring it to locations that may not have that supportive environment built in. Maybe they’re typically unsafe neighborhoods or people don’t want to go outside, but by bringing something to them that’s fun and enjoyable and free they’ll want to come out for it,” Founder Carolyn Haney said.

In the beginning stages WeViva started in only one neighborhood. They now serve 14 communities across Austin with intentions for growth in the near future.

On Sunday, our story comes from our partners at The Texas Tribune. Reporter Alana Rocha went inside the Harris County Jail to talk to female inmates participating in the “We’ve Been There Done That” rehabilitation program.

Most of the women have been charged with prostitution and those sentenced to the program must serve a minimum of 90 days, time that counts toward their sentence. The program has been so successful that the 83rd state legislature passed a law to establish prostitution courts elsewhere in Texas.

You can learn more about the program in the Tribune’s story here.

KLRU NewsBriefs air locally during PBS NewsHour Weekend at 6:30 on Saturday and Sunday evening.