• Perry absent from presidential arrival

    President Barack Obama arrived in Air Force One to meet a crowd of about 50 media members and 50 citizens on the tarmac at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. Governor Rick Perry was not among them, though he did greet the president during Obama's visit to Austin in August 2010. Obama shook hands with the crowd before departing in the motorcade to the downtown W hotel for a Democratic National Committee fundraiser. His speech may address his immigration policy, among other topics. His arrival was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for most of the crowd. Austinite Lori Steinbarger brought her 10-month-old son Colton and said the president grabbed Colton's hat playfully as he passed by. Tom Ash worked the Obama campaign in 2008 and will do so again for 2012. "It was wonderful to meet the man I worked so hard for," Ash said. "I'm a big fan."

  • Obama to land in Austin in 30 minutes.

    President Barack Obama will land at Austin Bergstrom in 30 minutes for two fundraisers. The first is a Democratic National Convention event at the W, and the second is a private event. Obama kicked off his campaign on April 4 and is starting his nationwide campain efforts, but we can only speculate about what he will address tonight. Obama spoke earlier in El Paso and addressed his goals for immigration reform. Stay tuned online for coverage of the event.

  • Texas Senate votes approves guns on campus

    AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas Senators have voted to allow concealed handgun license holders to carry their weapons into public college classrooms.

    Monday's vote is a major push on an issue that had stalled in the Senate and House despite overwhelming numbers of lawmakers in support in the Republican-dominated Legislature.

    Sen. Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio, had been unable to muster the votes he needed under Senate rules to pass the issue as its own bill. After several failed attempts, Monday's vote tacked the measure onto a universities spending bill.

    Supporters call it a critical self-defense measure and gun rights issue. Opponents worry concealed handguns could lead to more campus violence and suicide.

    The measure has met stiff resistance from higher education officials, notably from within the University of Texas system.

  • Powers outlines plan to maintain excellence at UT

    In an address early this morning, President William Powers Jr. addressed University goals, state budget cuts and the importance of research at UT.

    His speech came at a time when higher education officials are nervous about a perceived anti-research message from the governor's office and the UT System Board of Regents. UT also anticipates at least $50 million in state funding cuts as the state legislature this session strives to balance a budget shortfall that may be as high as $27 billion.

    Powers commended the efforts of the Commission of 125, a group of 125 individuals from outside the University who outlined a set of goals to improve the UT curriculum in 2004, including ensuring that all undergraduate students study broad range of topics. Other initiatives, like the Freshman Research Initiative and the Course Transformation Program, are helping improve the undergraduate experience, he said.

    The University must focus on increasing its graduation rate and helping students graduate in four years, Powers said, and it must also increase business efficiency while maintaining excellence in teaching and research.

    "I will continue to defend our Constitutional mandate to remain 'a university of the first class,'" he said. "I will work night and day to achieve our vision for the public research university of the future. And I thank everyone in the Longhorn family for helping me do that."

    Read the full transcript of Powers' speech here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/55032005/0509-Powers-Speech

  • Student robbed at gunpoint

    Police are looking for two armed robbery suspects who approached a female student last night at MLK and Brazos. The suspects are described as two Hispanic males, one heavy set and the other of muscular build.  The robbers approached the victim with a gun and demanded money and the student was not harmed. APD is asking anyone with information to contact the robbery tip line at 512-974-5092.