Austin

News, events, and entertainment happening in and around Austin and the Central Texas counties of Travis, Hays, Caldwell, Bastrop and Williamson

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

A lawsuit challenging Austin's ban on camping in public places was in court today.

Attorneys representing Gary Bowens, who is chronically homeless, argued in front of Municipal Judge Mitchell Solomon that the city law is unconstitutionally vague and violates the Eighth Amendment protection against cruel and unusual punishment.

KUT Weekend brings you some of our favorite stories from the KUT newsroom. Updated Fridays.

Emree Weaver for KUT

Paul McCartney, Metallica and dockless scooters are all back for the second weekend of the Austin City Limits Music Festival. And as thousands of people make their way to Zilker Park, many will do so riding a scooter. And, like in other parts of town, parking them will be an issue.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The Diocese of Austin says it will release the names of clergy who have been accused of molestation.

Julia Reihs / KUT

Residents in the Greater Austin area ranked high in voter turnout and knowledge of key issues, but have lent less of a helping hand, according to the 2018 Greater Austin Civic Health Index.

Montinique Monroe for KUT

The race for District 8 in Southwest Austin is wide open. In July, incumbent Council Member Ellen Troxclair, who has represented the district since 2015, announced that she would not seek re-election. During her tenure, Troxclair earned a reputation as the lone conservative on the Austin City Council.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera for The Texas Tribune

A Houston-based religious nonprofit behind the so-called bathroom bill is suing the City of Austin over its anti-discrimination hiring ordinance. The U.S. Pastor Council filed suit in a federal district court late last week, alleging the city rule's lack of exemptions for churches or other religiously affiliated groups violates state and federal law.

San Jacinto Museum

Whether you end up pronouncing it differently or not, the road formerly known as Manchaca has a new name: Menchaca. The Austin City Council overwhelmingly approved an ordinance to change the name of the South Austin road to honor the Tejano revolutionary and San Antonio luminary, José Antonio Menchaca.

So who was he?

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

The city has given the go-ahead to a contract that would keep its portable public toilet operating for the next five years. The 24-hour toilet, which aims to keep the downtown area clean over special events like this weekend's Austin City Limits Festival, will cost Austin $115,000 this year.  

Austin History Center

The Austin City Limits Music Festival, which kicks off tomorrow at Zilker Park, has long drawn comparisons to Austin’s first big festival: Aqua Fest.

What ever happened to Aqua Fest? And why did it stop?

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

City Council members voted today to rename the South Austin road some believe was named for José Antonio Menchaca to reflect the correct spelling of his name. Currently spelled Manchaca – note the "a" in lieu of an "e" – its colloquialism, Manchac, has been chiseled into the cerebellum of any human who's ever crossed into Austin's city limits.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Six candidates are running for the Austin City Council District 3 seat. The district includes parts of East and Southeast Austin, much of it east of I-35. A majority-minority area, the population of District 3 is about 62 percent Latino. It’s also a district made up mostly of renters, with a median household income of $29,430. The city as a whole has a median household income of $52,460.

Nasha Lee for KUT

Update: Travis County Commissioners voted 3-2 to continue negotiations with ROT Rally organizers to keep the annual event at the Expo Center.

Our original post continues: 

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The Austin City Limits festival starts up again at Zilker Park this weekend, and as one of the city’s biggest festivals begins, another could meet its end. A vote today by Travis County Commissioners could mean farewell for the ROT Rally.

Emree Weaver for KUT

It's a new fiscal year for the City of Austin, and one of the myriad items on City Council agendas over the next year will be an overhaul of ordinances relating to homelessness. That won't be easy, as federal courts could inform – and complicate – that effort.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Every Oct. 1, the City of Austin welcomes a new budget – and with it, new city fees. These can be anything from public library fines to what it costs to adopt a dog from the city shelter.

Emree Weaver for KUT

There are five Austin City Council seats up for grabs in the November election, along with a race for mayor. To help get you ready to vote, KUT will publish overviews of each race. We kick off with District 1.

This race is wide open because City Councilwoman Ora Houston decided not to seek re-election. Six candidates have jumped at the chance to replace her.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

You might have seen signs around town telling you how to vote on certain ballot propositions in November. It’s a big list. There are 11 of them — Proposition A through K.

Lynda Gonzalez for KUT

Austin is a city of renters: 55 percent of households here rent. The number drops slightly when you look at Travis County. That got KUT’s Audrey McGlinchy wondering: How common are evictions?

KUT, the Austin Monitor, Glasshouse Policy and A Functional Democracy are hosting a series of forums for candidates running for Austin City Council this fall.

Join us at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 25, at the North Door at 501 Brushy St. for a kick-off event.

Thomas McConnell / Salvation Army

Salvation Army, one of the largest service providers for homeless women and children in Austin, is adding thousands of square feet to its shelter in East Austin.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Cody Wilson, founder of the 3D-printed gun firm Defense Distributed, has been accused of sexual assault of a minor last month, a second-degree felony. In a press conference today, the Austin Police Department said the self-styled "radical libertarian" and gun-rights activist was last seen in Taipei, Taiwan and that he missed a flight back to the United States.

Martin do Nascimento for KUT

The City of Austin will host three community forums over the next week to consider changing how city police officers are supervised.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

A new study from the University of Texas points to widespread gentrification in Austin, stretching from northern neighborhoods to the eastern edge of South Austin. Researchers say the groups most impacted by displacement are low-income African-American and Hispanic renters.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

For the first time in four years, the housing choice voucher program – formerly known as Section 8 – has reopened its waitlist to Austin residents in need of rental assistance.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The Austin City Council approved a $4.1 billion budget for the upcoming fiscal year, with more money going toward homelessness outreach and an increase in the minimum wage for city employees.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

Heavy rains are moving through the Austin area this morning. A flash flood warning is in effect for areas south of Austin, including New Braunfels, San Marcos and Kyle, until 10:15 this morning.

To keep you up-to-date, we've collated a list of handy resources during severe weather.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Correction: The city filed a brief in response to an injunction temporarily halting its sick pay ordinance. It has not yet appealed.

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The City of Austin said it plans to appeal a state court’s decision to put on hold the city’s paid sick leave ordinance, which was set to go into effect Oct. 1.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Austin is slowly making progress toward becoming a more affordable city, according to a new analysis, but many residents are still finding it difficult to pay for housing.

That Time ZZ Top And 80,000 Fans Trashed Memorial Stadium

Aug 31, 2018
Andy Sieverman, via Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

Forty-four years ago tomorrow, DKR Memorial stadium hosted one of the biggest concerts in Austin's history. The Rompin' Stompin' Texas Size Barn Dance and Barbecue was hosted by Texas trio ZZ Top, with a lineup that included Santana, Bad Company, Joe Cocker and Jimmy Page – and 80,000 sweaty fans.

Things got out of hand.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The Austin City Council passed a resolution Thursday encouraging local stores to keep honoring the city’s so-called bag ban. It’s the latest response to a state Supreme Court ruling this year that found Texas cities and towns could not enforce regulations of single-use plastic bags.

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