• UTPD arrests homeless man on the Drag

    Around 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, the University of Texas Police Department responded to an incident involving a homeless man at 2400 Guadalupe Street.

    UTPD spokeswoman Cindy Posey said the department received a report of an aggressive subject threatening people with a knife and shouting at them. Posey said she is aware of three people he threatened by telling them to "shut up" but believes no one was hurt.

    The police did arrest the man and Posey said they will have more information once they process him.    

    UTPD sent out emails and text alerts to students about the situation saying they were looking for a male subject with a tyedye shirt and asked students to avoid the area. The department followed up shortly afterward, saying they were in contact with the subject and he was not an ongoing threat.

    During the officers' search, a said second homeless man was questioned but was not taken into custody. Posey said she did not have any information about the second person. 

  • Records show many influential Texans helped underqualified students get into UT

    The Dallas Morning News reported Monday "dozens" of notable Texans, lawmakers, lawyers and even UT regents helped influence the admissions process for students deemed unqualified. 

    According to records The Dallas Morning News obtained, among the people who directly bypassed the admissions office and wrote to then-President William Powers Jr. and then-Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa were famed golfer Ben Crenshaw, former UT regent Scott Craven, Austin lawyer Roy Minton, Sen. Kevin Eltife (R-Tyler) and Sen. Carlos Uresti (D-San Antonio).
     
    Other figures discovered to have helped included Texas House Speaker Joe Strauss, former U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, and former regents Jess Hay and Thomas Hicks.
     
    Strauss wrote a letter in November 2012 to the director of admissions regarding the close daughter of a family friend.
     
    “I know [the student] well as our families are close friends,” Strauss said in the letter. “[She] is a multi-generation Longhorn legacy, dating back to 1924.” 
     
    A letter of recommendation from W.A. “Tex” Moncrief, a millionaire oil man in Fort Worth, said he did not know the student but came from a good family legacy.
     
    “I do not know this young man or anything about his qualifications, but I do know [the student’s] parents and I know his grandparents very well,” Moncrief wrote in the letter. “[The student] is certainly from a very fine and highly respected family. 
     
    These letters were spotlighted in an outside investigation known as the Kroll Report. Under this report, Powers directly admitted 73 students from 2009–2010 with GPAs less than 2.9 and SAT scores less than 1100.

  • Nineteen-year-old male dies after sustaining head injury in West Campus on Friday morning

    This article has been updated since its original publication.

    Update: KXAN has confirmed that the victim was named Stephen Sylvester, and the suspect in custody is Sylvester's boyfriend, Bryan Canchola. 

    According to the article, Sylvester and Canchola were in a physical altercation after a night of drinking downtown. Canchola is currently held in Travis County Jail on murder charges with a bail of $500,000.

    Original story: The Austin Police Department responded to a call at 5:49 a.m. and found a 19-year-old man unconscious with a head wound at the GrandMarc apartment complex. He was transported to the University Medical Center Brackenridge and later died.

    There is a suspect in custody, and the victim’s family has not yet been notified, police said. Until police can reach his next of kin, no other information will be released. Police are investigating the death as a homicide.

    UTPD did not notify students through email of the suspected homicide, sending out a single tweet at 2:33 p.m. Posey said that UTPD knew enough from the incident to decide it was not a danger to the campus.

    “When an incident occurs off campus, we are dependent upon APD for information,” Posey said. “UTPD knew enough information to determine the campus was never threatened and did not need a Safety Alert. UTPD publishes the previous day’s information in the crime reports called Campus Watch. UTPD posted information on social media when we had confirmed information from APD."

    UTPD did not respond to the call because the area is out of their jurisdiction, spokesperson Cindy Posey said.

    “APD is the primary law enforcement agency for off campus calls,” Posey said. “We assist as requested. If we are in the area and see a crime or one is reported to an officer on scene, we will respond, but APD is still considered primary.”

    Although no formal charges have been made, the suspect would most likely be charged with some form of homicide, according to APD homicide investigator Brett Bailey.

    “I think the range is too wide,” Bailey said. “The charges would likely be related to some form of homicide. That can range from criminal negligent homicide to murder. [Criminal negligent homicide is] the lowest classification of murder.”

    The suspect and victim knew each other, according to a letter residents received today from Neal Toddy, GrandMarc’s resident services manager.

    “An arrest has been made in the case and therefore should pose no risk to other residents,” Toddy wrote. “The management team here is currently working with local authorities while they continue the investigation and we will communicate additional information to you as necessary.”

    This is the 16th murder in Austin this year.

  • Recent UT graduate reportedly found dead in Acapulco, Mexico

    This article has been updated with our own translation of the Mexican news article.

    Recent UT radio-television-film graduate Marcelo Flores was found dead this morning in Acapulco, Mexico, according to Zocalo Saltillo.

    Twenty-three-year-old Flores went missing in Acapulco, Mexico, yesterday around 1 p.m. GMT. He was on vacation with family. Relatives reported seeing him last around the Hospital Farallón.

    Family and friends began the search on social media with the hashtag #encuentramars. A woman who identified herself as Flores’ sister on Facebook shared a photo of him yesterday afternoon.

    The hashtag #encuentramars is trending in Austin on Twitter, more than 50 tweets since yesterday. Flores’ friends from organizations such as Texas 4000 and Texas Blazers shared the hashtag, urging friends and followers to share the hashtag and help the search gain exposure.

    The article in Enlish is as follows:

    "Marcelo Flores, 23, of Eagle Pass, Texas was found dead this morning [July 15, 2015] in Acapulco, according to his family.

    "Flores disappeared yesterday [July 14, 2015] at about 1 p.m. according to a police report filed by the family and he was searched by the federal police, the Acapulco police and the state prosecution office.

    "The victim enjoyed vacations with his brothers Francisco and Robbie after having graduated from the University of Texas at Austin. Due to work related issues, Marcelo’s brothers decided to return to the border of Coahuila and Texas, but he decided to stay in Acapulco with other family members.

    "It wasn’t detailed if Marcelo had injuries, but it was confirmed that his body was found near Farallon avenue where he had disappeared."

  • Fenves reportedly meets with Patterson to discuss issues in athletic department

    One month after UT President Gregory Fenves announced an internal review of Texas' athletic department, a high-ranking University source told the Austin American-Statesman on Tuesday that Athletic Director Steve Patterson is "in trouble."

    The source told the Statesman the Fenves and Patterson met to "discuss various issues within the athletic department."

    In early June, the Chronicle of Higher Education released a report detailing an incident where former Texas basketball player Martez Walker committed academic dishonesty by taking pictures of his test with his phone.

    A week later, Fenves announced an independent review of the entire athletic department. Gene Marsh will oversee the review and release his findings in a public report.

    In a conference call, Patterson said he "welcomed the review."

    The Statesman reported that Fenves and Patterson have met twice and that a third meeting is "tentatively" scheduled for Friday.

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