• UT CPE engineering building evacuated

    UT’s Chemical and Petroleum Engineering Building, located at Dean Keaton and Speedway, was evacuated shorty after 1 p.m. Monday because of reported smoke. 

    University spokeswoman Rhonda Weldon said construction in the building caused dust to be mistaken for smoke, leading someone to pull a fire alarm. It was originally thought smoke was coming from the third floor. The building has now been cleared for re-entry.

    Software developer Michael Jackson, who works in CPE, said there was a large amount of confusion during the evacuation.

    “I was just working when the alarms went off and they rushed us out,” Jackson said. “I didn’t smell any smoke or hear anything, it was just a nice, pleasant day at work.”

    Jackson said this type of incident is becoming common. Thursday, the Engineering Sciences building on Speedway was evacuated because of an air conditioning problem.

    Masa Prodanovic, an assistant professor of engineering, came back from lunch to find the building had been closed off.

    “We just want to get back in there and get back to work,” Prodanovic said.

    Follow Andrew Messamore and Christine Ayala on Twitter @ucme_ and @christine_ayala.

  • The Morning Texan: Dry Monday, Urban Rail and more

    According to the National Weather Servie, today's high is 98 degrees. A few clouds are expected to roll in tonight, but there is not a chance of rain.

    Here is some morning reading: 

    This weekend's most read story online: From Jenji Kohan, the creator of the award-winning television series “Weeds,” comes the new Netflix original series “Orange is the New Black.” About a woman with a complicated history landing in an all-female federal prison, this show is a must-watch. Check out our review here.

    In case you missed it: Check out our Daily Texan Podcast, where Bobby Blanchard, Christine Ayala, Jody Serrano and special guest Jacob Kerr discuss the UT regents, MyEdu and ESPN's X Games. They also get off topic for a little bit and discuss the royal baby and tea.

    What you have to read: The City of Austin is currently planning where the Urban Rail may go. While the University want it to go along San Jacinto Boulevard, students may prefer it in West Campus.

  • The Morning Texan: Rain, 'Orange is the New Black' and more

    While Austin has had a dry week, that might all end tonight. According to the National Weather Service, there is a 20 percent chance of rain tonight. As of Friday morning, the National Weather Service says that is the only chance of rain this weekend. Today's high is 99 degrees.

    Here is some morning reading:

    Yesterday's most read story online: From Jenji Kohan, the creator of the award-winning television series “Weeds,” comes the new Netflix original series “Orange is the New Black.” About a woman with a complicated history landing in an all-female federal prison, this show is a must-watch. Check out our review here.

    In case you missed it: The first student housing project to be built on University-owned land but developed and maintained by an outside company opened Tuesday.

    What you have to read: The United States Senate passed a bipartisan agreement Wednesday on student loan rates, nearly a month after the July 1 deadline. Student interest rates for subsidized loans hiked from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent after the July deadline because of the struggle for a Senate agreement.

  • US Senate passes student loan deal

    The United States Senate passed a bipartisan agreement Wednesday on student loan rates, nearly a month after the July 1 deadline.

    Student interest rates for subsidized loans hiked from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent, after the July deadline because of the struggle for a Senate agreement.

    The legislation now puts undergraduate Stafford loan rates at 3.86 percent, graduate Stafford loans at 5.4 percent as well as parent and graduate student PLUS loans at 6.4 percent. According to ABC, this will apply retroactively to loans issued after the deadline.

    Politico reported these new rates would come with interest rates cap, allowing rate to increase without exceeding a set limit of 8.5 percent for undergraduates, 9.5 percent for graduates and 10.5 for PLUS loans.

    It came to a 81-18 vote, with Democrats split on the bill.

    Follow Christine Ayala on Twitter @christine_ayala.

  • UT engineering building evacuated

    UPDATE: According to a UT safety alert, the building has been ventilated and cleared for re-entry.

    The Engineering Science Building on Speedway was evacuated Thursday morning, because of smoke spreading from the seventh floor caused by the air conditioning.

    The building was evacuated after the smoke triggered fire alarms. UTPD is now asking those on campus to stay away from Speedway between 24th Street and Dean Keaton. The building is being ventilated to clear the smoke. There was no fire involved.

    UTPD spokeswoman Cindy Posey said the building will reopen later today.

    Spanish and Electrical Engineering senior Cristina Landivar said she evacuated the building when the alarms went off.

    “I was on the third floor and I could smell smoke,” Landivar said.

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