KTEP - El Paso, Texas

ON FILM: Peter Svarzbein & Jesus Nuñez

An initiative to create grant-based financial support for local filmmakers is making progress in the city of El Paso and will soon start giving out its first grants. Charles Horak is joined by Peter Svarzbein, El Paso City Council Representative for District 1, and Jesus Nuñez, local filmmaker and advocate, as they discuss the latest developments in the city of El Paso's process to create grant funding for film productions.
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An initiative to create grant-based financial support for local filmmakers is making progress in the city of El Paso and will soon start giving out its first grants. Charles Horak is joined by Peter Svarzbein, El Paso City Council Representative for District 1, and Jesus Nuñez, local filmmaker and advocate, as they discuss the latest developments in the city of El Paso's process to create grant funding for film productions.
Local support for local films!

Sylvia Aguilar Zéleny, novelist and short story writer, joins host Daniel Chacón in-studio for an enlightening conversation on her newest book, Todo Eso Es Yo. We also take this time as an opportunity to formally welcome Aguilar Zéleny back to the University of Texas at El Paso as she returns as a new professor in our Creative Writing Department!

Dr. Armin Shwartzman, an associate professor at University of California San Diego, received a Ph.D. in statistics from Stanford University and since then has used statistics for image analysis. On this week's science studio, we begin a new season with Dr. Shwartzman as he shares with us his expertise in statistics and how he has advanced his studies. 

Augment El Paso bridges the gap between traditional print media and interactive computer media through the use of Augmented Reality. Through the use of a smartphone or tablet, an augmented image becomes a multi-sensory experience as the viewer gains the ability to interact with 3D models and graphical interfaces, view animations and streaming video, and listen to narration, sound effects, and or music. 

Tai chi is an internal Chinese martial art practiced for both its defense training and its health benefits. Originally developed as a martial art, tai chi has evolved into a graceful form of exercise that's now used for stress reduction and a variety of other health conditions. 

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Hurricane Irma — still swirling with Category 5 winds — could make a direct hit on Florida within days. And residents are preparing for a whopper of a storm, whether or not they plan on evacuating their homes.

Gov. Rick Scott said Thursday morning that Miami-Dade County should prepare for "deadly storm surge and life-threatening winds."

"If you're in an evacuation area, do not wait to get out," Scott warned. "This thing is bigger than our entire state right now, so take this seriously."

The record is clear: Neither Charles Manson nor any of his murderous followers in the Tate-LaBianca killings have been released from prison so far, but attorney Rich Pfeiffer is hoping to change that.

Pfeiffer represents Leslie Van Houten, 68, who has spent more than 40 years in prison.

She and others were convicted in the murders of Los Angeles grocer Leno LaBianca and his wife, Rosemary, in their home on Aug. 9, 1969.

Several states are suing the Trump administration to block it from terminating the program protecting young immigrants known as DREAMers.

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in the Eastern District of New York, was brought by the attorneys general of 15 states and the District of Columbia. All are Democrats.

It follows the administration's announcement Tuesday that it would phase out the Obama-era program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said DACA would end in March 2018 unless Congress takes action to salvage it.

Police say they have identified a 15-year-old boy suspected of setting off fireworks that may have sparked a massive wildfire raging outside Portland, Ore.

"It is believed he and others may have been using fireworks which started the forest fire along the Eagle Creek Trail," Oregon State Police said in a news release.

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The disaster relief bill moving through Congress can't come too soon for the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Officials confirm FEMA's cash box could be empty as early as this weekend, right around the time that Hurricane Irma is scheduled to slam into southern Florida, while southeast Texas and Louisiana are still drying out from the Hurricane Harvey.

The agency can "easily go through $200 million in a day" according to Elizabeth Zimmerman, a former associate administrator at FEMA, "just gearing up, responding and being prepared for a disaster that's coming."

One ad for a 2018 congressional candidate shows him wearing a T-shirt with an unofficial Marine Corps motto, "Pain is weakness leaving the body." Another ad shows a candidate boasting, "I was the first woman Marine to fly in an F-18 in combat. And I got to land on aircraft carriers."

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Now, two of the governors who testified before the Senate about health care today - John Hickenlooper, the Democratic governor of Colorado, and Gary Herbert, the Republican governor of Utah. Gentlemen, thanks for joining us today.

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Jonathan Guffey has chiseled youthful looks and, at 32, does not have the haggard bearing of someone who's spent more than half his life hooked on opioids. That stint with the drug started at 15 and ended — he says for good — 22 months ago. He has a job working with his family in construction, but his work history is pockmarked by addiction.

"I've worked in a couple of factories for a short amount of time, probably just long enough to get the first check to get high off of," Guffey says.

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Long & Foster, one of the largest privately held companies in the Washington, D.C. region, was acquired Thursday by HomeServices of America. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"This is big," David Charron, chief strategy officer of Bright MLS, a multiple listing service told The Washington Post. "This is yet another data point that suggests that real estate drives the economy.

Equifax, an international credit reporting agency, has announced that a cybersecurity breach exposed the personal information of 143 million U.S. consumers. In a statement released Thursday, the Atlanta-based agency acknowledged that "criminals exploited a U.S. website application vulnerability to gain access to certain files."

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[Warning: This essay — and this episode of Pop Culture Happy Hour — contains references to sex and assorted body parts, as well as spoilers about the first two seasons of Outlander. Proceed with caution.]

In her modernist loft in LA's arts district, author Marie Lu has a modular workspace and lounge area whimsically dubbed The Writer's Block. "We wanted it to be playful," she says.

But writer's block doesn't seem to be much of a problem for the 33-year-old science fiction and fantasy novelist. Her dystopian trilogy "Legend" and her fantasy trilogy "The Young Elites" both became bestsellers.

It sounds like an avant-garde theater maven's most cherished dream: Every year a small town writes and stages a topical "autodrama" based on the residents' own experiences. But a Tuscan village's 51st annual spectacle — Spettacolo in Italian — may be the last.

Home Again, a shambles of a first feature written and directed by Hallie Meyers-Shyer, purports to tell the story of a woman reinventing her life in Los Angeles as she confronts middle age. On more levels than one, though, the film is about the enduring potency of Hollywood connections.

It feels weird to recommend a Dardenne film on its entertainment value alone. Imagine if a new Philip Glass track turned out to be bubblegum pop: not a bad thing, just not what you came for.

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When William Bolcom's opera A View from the Bridge premiered in Chicago in 1999, one critic described it as "Brooklyn verismo," invoking the emotive style popularized by Italian composers such as Puccini. And that pretty much hits the nail on the head.

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