Matt Largey, KUT News | KERA News

Matt Largey, KUT News

Matt has been a reporter at KUT off and on since 2006.  He came to Austin from Boston, then went back for a while--but couldn't stand to be away--so he came back to Austin.  Matt grew up in Maine (but hates lobster), and while it might sound hard to believe, he thinks Maine and Texas are remarkably similar.

The Austin-based company at the center of a lawsuit over 3D-printable guns will send plans directly to customers, its founder said Tuesday, a day after a federal judge blocked the State Department from letting the company publish the files online for free.

A federal judge in Seattle has agreed to extend an order blocking an Austin-based company from publishing 3D-printable gun designs on the internet. 

A court battle over an Austin-based company’s plans to post 3D-printable gun designs online continues Tuesday. Nineteen states and the District of Columbia are asking a judge in Seattle to block the U.S. State Department from allowing the files to be posted until the case can be argued in court.

The judge temporarily halted the posting on July 31.

A federal appeals court is upholding a decision to dismiss a challenge to a 2015 Texas law allowing licensed handgun owners to carry concealed weapons in most places on public college campuses. Three UT-Austin professors brought the lawsuit, arguing it violated their constitutional rights — mainly that it has a chilling effect on free speech by introducing guns into a classroom setting.

Update: A federal judge in Seattle has issued a temporary restraining order stopping the designs for 3D-printable guns from being posted online.

Our original post continues:

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Austin-based firm Defense Distributed published designs over the weekend for 3D-printable guns that can be fabricated at home and would be virtually untraceable. So far, thousands have downloaded the files, but a handful of attorneys general are seeking to block the firm’s ability to post the designs online.

Update: A federal judge in Austin has denied a request by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and other gun control groups to block Defense Distributed from posting plans for making 3D-printable guns online. 

The Brady Campaign called the ruling disappointing, but said the fight wasn't over and urged the State Department to act.

Human attempts to control the weather go back millennia.

There was fire, of course, for keeping warm when winter's cold takes hold, but taming the sweltering heat of the summer is a much newer pursuit. 

Austin will be the home of the U.S. Army's new Futures Command, the installation intended to modernize the Army by developing new weapons systems and technologies.

In an announcement this morning, Army Secretary Mark T. Esper said the site in Austin will allow for an "entire modernization process under one roof." Raleigh, Boston, Minneapolis and Philadelphia were also finalists for the site selection.

Congressman Beto O’Rourke (D-El Paso) says he raised a massive $10.4 million between April and June for his campaign to unseat Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

The sum brings O’Rourke’s total raised since he began his campaign to more than $23 million. He ended the first quarter of 2018 with more than $8 million in cash on hand.

The City of Austin says it will no longer enforce a ban on single-use plastic bags at most retail outlets, following a state Supreme Court ruling last month that struck down Laredo's bag ban.

The court ruled Laredo's ban was at odds with state law, but urged the Legislature to pass more specific laws to allow similar bans in the future.

Texas politicians have called on the Trump administration to end its policy of separating immigrant families crossing the border illegally, and are asking the state to stop assisting immigration authorities along the border until the policy ends. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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."

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.

5:05 p.m. President Trump has left Austin after meeting with state officials at the Texas Department of Public Safety.  

4:18 p.m. Trump again praised state relief efforts following Tropical Storm Harvey, according to pool reports. The president said the recovery is going to be long term, but that it would be a "costly proposition." 

A federal judge in Corpus Christi has issued a permanent injunction against Texas' voter ID law, which required voters to show one of several approved forms of photo ID before casting a ballot.

There's a fight looming at the Texas Legislature: how to balance the state budget for the next two years.

The Texas House's version of the budget pulls $2.5 billion from the state's savings account, also known as the Economic Stabilization Fund, or Rainy Day, Fund.  Right now, there's more than $10 billion in that reserve.

The Senate, though, says it doesn't want to pull out any of that money.

But before that debate heats up, we got to wondering how all that money got there in the first place.

A panel of federal judges in San Antonio found Texas lawmakers intentionally discriminated against minority voters in some areas when they drew district maps for the Texas House of Representatives.

This story was originally performed as part of Pop Up Magazine.

 

With everything that’s going on in politics these days, it helps to remember the power that we have as individuals to make change. Examples of this are far too few, of course.

But there is one that stands out. And you’ve probably never heard it.


Brenham-based Blue Bell Ice Cream is expanding a recall of its products that include cookie dough from a third-party supplier, over concerns that the cookie dough could be contaminated with Listeria. 

That's the same bacteria that shut Blue Bell down for months last year. It can cause serious, even fatal, infections in young children, the elderly and people with compromised immune systems. 

It’s no secret that Austin is growing and changing fast. In some parts of the city, it's happening more quickly than others. Maybe no place in Austin has seen a more noticeable transformation than East Austin


UPDATE 5:15 p.m.: The car has been lowered to the ground.

EARLIER: Just before 3 p.m. word came from the Austin Fire Department's Twitter account: a car was dangling off the roof of a parking garage at Congress and 6th Street in downtown Austin. 

Editor’s Note: This is an updated version of a story that originally ran in January 2013.

The Texas Legislature is just now getting into full swing. We're more than two months into the session, but you might notice that things have been relatively quiet so far when it comes to actual law-making.

And while it might seem like a slow start to the every-other-year meeting, actually, it’s all part of the plan.

In musical terms, each session has its own rhythm and tempo.


Parts of Central Texas saw as much as 12 inches of rain over the weekend. Water levels in the Highland Lakes  rose slightly, but the storm was far from a drought-buster.

Lakes Travis and Buchanan remain only about one-third full.