Nathan Bernier, KUT News http://tpr.org en A Brief History of Student Conservatives' 'Catch an Illegal Immigrant' Games (Update) http://tpr.org/post/brief-history-student-conservatives-catch-illegal-immigrant-games-update <strong style="line-height: 1.5;">Update</strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;">: </span><strong style="line-height: 1.5;">Controversial Event Called Off</strong><p>The Young Conservatives of Texas has canceled its “Catch an Illegal Immigrant” event, originally scheduled for Wednesday.&#160;<p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Citing the university’s condemnation of the event, UT chapter chair Lorenzo Garcia claims he canceled the event out of fears the university would retaliate against the group’s members, “and that the protest against the event could create a safety issue for our volunteers.”</span><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">You can </span><a href="https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/836373-yct-ut-illegal-immigration-event-statement.html" style="line-height: 1.5;">read Garcia’s full remarks here</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">.</span><p><strong>Original Story</strong> (Nov. 19):&#160;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">The news that the University of Texas chapter of the </span><a href="http://yctut.org/" style="line-height: 1.5;">Young Conservatives of Texas</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&#160;is planning a campus "Catch an Illegal Immigrant" game for this week has </span><a href="http://www.salon.com/2013/11/18/texas_campus_group_launches_undocumented_immigrant_sting/" style="line-height: 1.5;">taken</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> the political blogosphere by </span><a href="http://gawker.com/conservative-college-kids-host-catch-an-illegal-immigr-1466830894" style="line-height: 1.5;">storm</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">.</span><p>In case you haven’t heard: The group’s UT chapter <a href="https://www.facebook.com/events/570575573015284/?ref_newsfeed_story_type=regular">has stated on Facebook</a> that it’s planning to hold the “Catch an Illegal Immigrant game” this Wednesday. (Here’s <a href="http://imgur.com/885UwmY">a screen grab of the invitation</a> in case it’s taken down.)<p> Tue, 19 Nov 2013 18:33:30 +0000 Nathan Bernier, KUT News 22187 at http://tpr.org A Brief History of Student Conservatives' 'Catch an Illegal Immigrant' Games (Update) Hays Seeks Alternative Groundwater Sources, Could Affect San Antonio http://tpr.org/post/hays-seeks-alternative-groundwater-sources-could-affect-san-antonio <span style="line-height: 1.5;">Hays County is looking for alternative groundwater supplies. An open <a href="https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/694213-hays-county-rfp-alternative-groundwater-supply.html">Request for Proposals</a> seeks to pipe in water from aquifers that could be tapped to supplement water from the Edwards and Trinity aquifers. </span><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">County Commissioner <a href="http://www.co.hays.tx.us/index.php/government/comm-court/commissioner-precinct-4/">Ray </a></span><a href="http://www.co.hays.tx.us/index.php/government/comm-court/commissioner-precinct-4/">Whisenant</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&#160;(R-Precinct 4) says the existing supply of water appears to be unsustainable with the county's current growth rate.</span><p> Tue, 30 Apr 2013 14:58:32 +0000 Nathan Bernier, KUT News 10555 at http://tpr.org Hays Seeks Alternative Groundwater Sources, Could Affect San Antonio Religious Leaders Demand Money For Women's Health http://tpr.org/post/religious-leaders-demand-money-womens-health <span style="line-height: 1.5;">Religious leaders from Christian, Buddhist, Sikh and Jewish faiths are calling on state leaders to increase funding for women’s health programs. Clergy members held a news conference at the Capitol today to highlight a statement signed by </span><a href="http://www.tfn.org/site/PageServer?pagename=clergy_contraception_letter#LIST" style="line-height: 1.5;">more than 370 religious leaders</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> from various faiths.&#160;</span><p>"We are voices of faith that minister to people of all levels of economic ability in our state and we’ve seen these cuts especially affect women in poverty in Texas," said&#160;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">Larry&#160;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Bethune, pastor</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&#160;of the University Baptist Church in Austin. Bethune sits on the board of the <a href="http://www.tfn.org/">Texas Freedom Network</a>, an organization that says it exists to counter the "religious right."</span><p> Tue, 05 Mar 2013 17:04:36 +0000 Nathan Bernier, KUT News 7442 at http://tpr.org Religious Leaders Demand Money For Women's Health Jeb Bush Pushes Charter School Expansion, Rigorous Standardized Testing http://tpr.org/post/jeb-bush-pushes-charter-school-expansion-rigorous-standardized-testing One of the biggest Republican stars in the country provided some advice on overhauling public education to the state Senate today.&#160;<p>“I would advocate that when you have a chance to reform, it ought to be big,” former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush told the Senate Education Committee. “You ought to go big or go home.”<p>Bush said that his state’s education policy changes would also suit Texas. Thu, 28 Feb 2013 14:56:54 +0000 Nathan Bernier, KUT News 7138 at http://tpr.org Jeb Bush Pushes Charter School Expansion, Rigorous Standardized Testing Barbara Cargill Named New State Board of Education Chair http://tpr.org/post/barbara-cargill-named-new-state-board-education-chair For the first time since 2005, the Texas Senate has confirmed someone to serve a full term as head of the <a href="http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index3.aspx?id=1156">State Board of Education</a>. Barbara Cargill, a Republican from The Woodlands, was appointed by Gov. Rick Perry in 2011.<p>Cargill has&#160;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">supported a measure that requires students to question evolution. State</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> Sen. </span><a href="http://www.watson.senate.state.tx.us/" style="line-height: 1.5;">Kirk Watson</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, D-Austin, says Cargill reassured him that she would not allow </span><a href="http://kutnews.org/post/state-board-education-chair%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%9Cchristian%E2%80%9D-remark-draws-fire" style="line-height: 1.5;">her religious conservatism</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> to interfere with her leadership of the board.</span><p> Thu, 21 Feb 2013 15:04:41 +0000 Nathan Bernier, KUT News 6748 at http://tpr.org Barbara Cargill Named New State Board of Education Chair From the Fort Hood Tragedy, An Unlikely Friendship Emerges http://tpr.org/post/fort-hood-tragedy-unlikely-friendship-emerges http://kut.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/QA-Bernier-Cahill-Hasan-NAWAL.mp3<p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The daughter of a man killed in the Fort Hood </span><a href="http://kutnews.org/term/fort-hood-shootings" style="line-height: 1.5;">shooting rampage</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> is now friends with the cousin of the accused shooter.</span><p>Kerry Cahill <a href="http://kut.org/2009/11/central-texan-among-13-killed-at-fort-hood/">lost her father Michael Cahill </a>at Fort Hood in 2009. Now, she's working with Nader Hasan, cousin of alleged shooter&#160;Nidal Hasan the alleged shooter, on Nader's effort to speak out against extremism through his organization, the <a href="http://nawalfoundation.org/beta/">Nawal Foundation.</a><p>Listen to our conversation with them by clicking the player above.&#160;<p> Tue, 19 Feb 2013 14:57:40 +0000 Nathan Bernier, KUT News 6614 at http://tpr.org From the Fort Hood Tragedy, An Unlikely Friendship Emerges Will Surplus Revenue go to Public Education? http://tpr.org/post/will-surplus-revenue-go-public-education One of the men who controls the state’s checkbook is leaving the door open to restoring some of the $5.4 billion in public education cuts enacted two years ago.<p>House Appropriations chair <a href="http://www.house.state.tx.us/members/member-page/?district=10">Jim Pitts</a> took questions from lawmakers on the House floor today, including one from Austin Democrat <a href="http://www.house.state.tx.us/members/member-page/?district=48">Donna Howard</a>.<p> Tue, 12 Feb 2013 19:53:09 +0000 Nathan Bernier, KUT News 6285 at http://tpr.org Will Surplus Revenue go to Public Education? Dewhurst Aide Accused Of Stealing $1 Million From Senate Campaign http://tpr.org/post/dewhurst-aide-accused-stealing-1-million-senate-campaign A former aide to Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst is being accused of stealing at least $1 million from Dewhurt’s campaign for the U.S. Senate.<p>Kenneth “Buddy” Barfield was already <a href="http://kutnews.org/post/dewhurst-accuses-campaign-manager-embezzling-600k">facing accusations</a> that he embezzled at least $600,000 from a state campaign account. Now, a spokesperson for Dewhurst says they believe Barfield stole more than $1 million from a separate campaign fund aimed at securing Dewhurst the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate.&#160;<p> Fri, 08 Feb 2013 15:13:51 +0000 Nathan Bernier, KUT News 6080 at http://tpr.org Dewhurst Aide Accused Of Stealing $1 Million From Senate Campaign Could Same-Sex Marriage Come to Texas? http://tpr.org/post/could-same-sex-marriage-come-texas <a href="http://cpa.ds.npr.org/kut/audio/2013/01/Bernier_Texas_SCOTUS_Gay_Marriage_MIX.mp3" class="asset-audio">Could Same-Sex Marriage Come to Texas?</a><p>In recent weeks, same-sex couples in Maine, Maryland and Washington have gotten the right to marry. That's after voters in each of those states approved ballot measures clearing the way for them.<p>That has some people wondering: Will same-sex couples in Texas be allowed to marry?<p>A ruling from the U.S. Wed, 02 Jan 2013 16:36:22 +0000 Nathan Bernier, KUT News & Nathan Bernier, KUT News 4136 at http://tpr.org Could Same-Sex Marriage Come to Texas? For Texas, Fewer State Layoffs In 2012 http://tpr.org/post/texas-fewer-state-layoffs-2012 The number of state employees let go this year was down dramatically compared to 2011, according to <a href="http://www.sao.state.tx.us/reports/report.aspx?reportnumber=13-704">a report from the State Auditor's Office.</a> But that’s mainly because so many people lost their jobs last year, after lawmakers slashed the two-year state budget by $14 billion.&#160;<p>Those cuts led to a round of government layoffs: <a href="https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/549878-texas-auditor-general-classified-employee.html#document/p3/a85254">1,225 people</a> lost their jobs last year as the result of a "reduction in force," the bureaucratic term used to label job cuts caused by budget reductions. This year, that number <a href="https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/549878-texas-auditor-general-classified-employee.html#document/p3/a85254">was 96</a>.&#160;A lot of people were fired for other reasons, but the number of state employees "involuntarily" laid off still dropped by more than 15 percent compared to last year.<p> Thu, 27 Dec 2012 20:15:48 +0000 Nathan Bernier, KUT News 3901 at http://tpr.org For Texas, Fewer State Layoffs In 2012