Associated Press | KERA News

Associated Press

Shutterstock

Lou Reed, the punk-poet of rock ‘n’ roll, died Sunday. He was 71. He died from an ailment related to a recent liver transplant.

Reed was leader of the 1960s cult band Velvet Underground. He later became a solo performer. He influenced generations of musicians from David Bowie and R.E.M. to Talking Heads and Sonic Youth.

He was a legendary musician – and legendary for being a difficult interviewee. But KERA’s Jerome Weeks turned around a nice radio piece in 2010 about Reed, focusing on his photography. Many of his landscape pictures were on display at the Wichita Falls Museum of Art at Midwestern State University.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT Radio

AUSTIN -- Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has promised to review the performance of contractors who helped build a foundering website intended to help people buy health insurance.

Sebelius, who visited Austin on Friday, was on damage control as she's been criticized for the website's rocky rollout. She promised that problems with Healthcare.gov would get fixed. She said she would make sure taxpayers got their money's worth from the private companies contracted to build the website.

RR Auction

Lee Harvey Oswald's gold wedding band has sold at auction for $108,000.
 
RR Auction said the ring sold to a buyer from Texas who wished to remain anonymous. The ring that once belonged to the assassin of President John F. Kennedy was among almost 300 items linked to Kennedy's life and death that went up for auction Thursday in Boston.

Texas A&M

Texas A&M University plans to create an A&M branch in Israel.

The announcement was made Wednesday in Israel at the Jerusalem residence of Israeli President Shimon Peres.

Gov. Rick Perry and Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp are traveling in Israel this week. Sharp says that A&M will open a "peace university" in Nazareth, Israel's largest city.

Bob Daemmrich / Texas Tribune

A Texas House panel investigating University of Texas System Regent Wallace Hall heard its first round of testimony today in Austin. The investigation could lead to the first impeachment of a nonelected official in state history.

Some state lawmakers have accused Hall of misusing the authority of his office in an effort to force out UT Austin President Bill Powers.

State of Texas

The Texas attorney general's office says new abortion limits seek to expressly protect fetal life -- not just the safety of the woman terminating a pregnancy.

Advocacy groups have sued in federal court to block as unconstitutional parts of an abortion law that threw the Legislature into chaos over the summer. A judge is hearing arguments in court today in Austin.

State Fair of Texas

Visitors to this year’s State Fair of Texas spent $37.2 million on food, amusement rides and other fun.

That made for a strong year, and better than last year, but just short of the 2010 record of $37.3 million.

Shutterstock

Black Friday not good enough for you?

How about shopping on Thanksgiving?

J.C. Penney is opening its doors on Thanksgiving evening to kick off the holiday shopping season. The beleaguered Plano-based retailer hopes to get back in the game for the crucial selling period.

Penney will open most of its 1,100 stores at 8 p.m., the same as rival Macy's. So instead of getting up super early on Black Friday, you can feast on turkey, take a long nap and head to the mall and wait in line before the sun goes down. 

American Airlines

After years of losses, American Airlines is making money by boosting revenue and cutting labor costs.

American's parent company, Fort Worth-based AMR Corp., said Thursday that it earned $289 million, or 76 cents per share, in the third quarter. That's a turnaround from a loss of $238 million, or 71 cents per share, a year earlier.

Heritage Auctions

A rocking chair used by President John F. Kennedy in the White House is on display in New York City -- and it will be auctioned in Dallas in November.

The chair is part of a collection of Kennedy memorabilia that Heritage Auctions will offer Nov. 23. The display, which also features items including two flags from the Oval Office, went up Thursday at the auction house's New York City location, where it will remain through Oct. 30.

Shutterstock

The South by Southwest Music Festival has released its first list of artists for 2014, which includes 183 acts from 27 countries.

The six-day conference takes over downtown Austin in March and specializes in showcasing up-and-coming acts and a handful of established talent in thousands of performances.

Americans Eugene Fama, Lars Peter Hansen and Robert Shiller won the Nobel prize for economics on Monday for developing new methods to study trends in asset markets.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said the three had laid the foundation of the current understanding of asset prices.

While it's hard to predict whether stock or bond prices will go up or down in the short term, it's possible to foresee movements over periods of three years or longer, the academy said.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

Gov. Rick Perry has added proposed legislation tightening abortion regulation and a mandatory life sentence for murders committed by 17 year olds to the agenda of Texas' special legislative session. 

Aman Batheja / Texas Tribune

At this hour Gov. Rick Perry is signing House Bill 4 which  creates a $2 billion state fund to finance new water projects.  Voters in November will have the final say on whether to approve the fund. 

Late yesterday Perry convened a special session of the legislature almost immediately after the regular session ended.  

He’s asking lawmakers to approved redistricting maps that have been tied up in the courts.

Silvery Smith / silvery.com

The company that designed and built the ill-fated Dallas Cowboys' practice facility knew long before it collapsed three years ago that it was in danger of falling and concealed the problem.

Major League Baseball expanded its playoff format to 10 teams Friday, adding a second wild-card in each league.

The decision establishes a new one-game, wild-card round in each league between the teams with the best records who are not division winners, meaning a third-place team could win the World Series.

This is the only change in baseball's playoff structure since the 1995 season, when wild-card teams were first added.

Pages