Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Who Are Those People Who Ride Horses Around Downtown Austin?

It’s a beautiful Sunday morning in Austin and I’m struggling with a recorder in one hand and a mic in the other. The rest of me is riding a mule. That’s right: a mule. The scene gets weirder. The man riding another mule next to me is dressed as Santa Claus. His name is Sam Grey Horse.

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Former President Barack Obama released a video earlier this week urging people to hurry up and shop for health insurance on the Affordable Care Act exchange.

"This year I'm giving it to you straight," Obama says in the video. "It's important to have health insurance in case, God forbid, you get really sick, or hurt yourself next year."

Nancy Wilson died Thursday after a long illness at her home in Pioneertown, Calif., her manager Devra Hall Levy told NPR. She was 81.

Born in Chillicothe, Ohio, in 1937, Wilson has recounted in interviews that she started singing around age 3 or 4.

"I have always just sung. I have never questioned what it is. I thank God for it and I just do it," she told Marian McPartland, host of NPR's Piano Jazz in 1994.

Updated at 10 a.m. ET Friday

A 7-year-old Guatemalan girl who crossed the southern border into the United States illegally earlier this month died of dehydration and shock after being apprehended by the U.S. Border Patrol in New Mexico.

Updated at 11:50 a.m. ET

Michael Cohen, President Trump's onetime lawyer and fixer, says his former boss knew it was wrong to order hush-money payments made during the 2016 presidential campaign to two women who allege they had affairs with Trump — but he directed Cohen to do it anyway to help his election chances.

Cohen also said in an interview with ABC News aired Friday that the president's repeated assertions that Cohen is lying about the payments and other aspects of his work for Trump were false.

Julia Reihs / KUT

The staff at our sister station KUTX scour the earth to bring listeners the best music. Each Friday, they share three of their favorite songs on Morning Edition

A portable public restroom in the parking lot under Interstate 35 in downtown Austin on Sept. 28, 2017.
Martin do Nascimento / KUT

"Pit stops for pedestrians" in the form of prefabricated restrooms will be making their way to Austin streets, City Council decided Thursday.

How Pop-Up Super PACs Influenced The Texas Senate Race

19 hours ago
Montinique Monroe for KUT

From Texas Standard:

Weeks before Election Day in November, reports indicated that the Texas Senate race would be the most expensive one in U.S. history. The last campaign-finance report showed that Ted Cruz and Beto O'Rourke collectively raised more than $100 million.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

AUSTIN — A commission convened by Gov. Greg Abbott to focus on rebuilding after Hurricane Harvey issued a report Thursday saying the state should take a series of steps to prepare for the next big storm, including hardening utilities against natural disasters, improving the debris removal processes and expanding a council devoted to emergency management.

Kimberly-Clark has issued a voluntary recall of some U by Kotex tampons, after a "quality-related defect" caused the tampons to come apart inside of consumers' bodies, leaving pieces behind after the tampon was removed.

The problematic tampons have pushed users to "seek medical attention to remove tampon pieces left in the body," the personal care company says. "There also have been a small number of reports of infections, vaginal irritation, localized vaginal injury, and other symptoms."

For Ryan Crowder and the other folks at Penfold Theatre Company, producing old fashioned radio plays has become a holiday tradition. “This is our seventh Christmas radio show to do,” Crowder says. “We started out in downtown Round Rock in this little British tearoom. We took a radio script that was already adapted – of It’s a Wonderful Life – and had such a great time… we said, ‘Oh, we have to do this again.’”

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