Austin

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.  

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.

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.

Wikimedia Commons/U.S federal government (public domain)

From Texas Standard:

One question Amazon's Alexa won't be able to answer – at least not yet – is where Amazon will build its next headquarters.

It's been a year since the tech company announced it has outgrown its Seattle home base and needs to expand elsewhere. But the $1 trillion company has been tight-lipped about where that might be.

Since that announcement, 238 U.S. cities ingratiated themselves to the company, trying to win its favor. Amazon whittled that list of bids to 20 finalists, and among them are Austin and Dallas.

Sarah Jasmine Montgomery for KUT

Both the Austin Municipal Court and the Community Court buildings downtown were evacuated this morning after a bomb threat. The evacuations came after threats at UT Austin and Texas State University. 

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The Austin City Clerk has reversed her decision to challenge Lewis Conway Jr.'s candidacy for Austin City Council.

Courtesy of SKAM Austin

SKAM Austin is a typical teen drama in a lot of ways. There are hookups, breakups, cattiness and plenty of awkwardness. But, while the drama itself may walk a well-tread path, the path the show takes to reach its viewers is anything but. 

Ilana Panich-Linsman for KUT

Update: A federal judge in Seattle has issued a temporary restraining order stopping the designs for 3D-printable guns from being posted online.

Our original post continues:

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Austin-based firm Defense Distributed published designs over the weekend for 3D-printable guns that can be fabricated at home and would be virtually untraceable. So far, thousands have downloaded the files, but a handful of attorneys general are seeking to block the firm’s ability to post the designs online.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Austin has endured several legal jabs from the state in the past couple months.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT

From Texas Standard.

The Austin City Council will vote this Thursday on a package of proposals designed to make the capital city Texas’ first “freedom city.”

KUT's 8 a.m. newscast during NPR's Morning Edition.

KUT's 7 a.m. newscast during NPR's Morning Edition.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Public health experts in Texas are concerned that a growing number of American children are forgoing services like Medicaid and food stamps because their parents are undocumented. The trend could get worse, they say, if a proposed change to immigration policy goes through.  

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

Grace Johnson, a senior at Santa Fe High School, said she was in the band room when the fire alarm went off last Friday. She got up to evacuate.

“When I walk out into the hallway, I see a kid get shot,” she told Gov. Greg Abbott and others gathered at the Capitol on Thursday for the third in a series of roundtable discussions on school safety. “And he falls. In Santa Fe, we know what guns sounds like ... but you never think it’s going to be in the school.”

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is hosting three roundtable discussions this week in response to the school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas. The first roundtable, held Tuesday, focused on "school and community safety."

The meeting was private, but afterward Abbott read reporters “a list of suggestions and ideas that came out of" the discussions.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Amazon made a big splash when it announced it is looking for a home for its second headquarters and subsequently placed Austin on its short list with 19 other cities. But beyond those big, public proclamations, not much is known about what the company will do next. 

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT

From Texas Standard.

A lot of interesting people pass through the Texas Standard studios – high-profile politicians, authors, and musicians among them. But the guest who came through this week caused a bit of a stir. Native Texan, Academy Award winner, and proud Austinite Matthew McConaughey sat down with host David Brown – not to plug a movie, but to talk about why he calls Austin home.

Dan Brooks is moving to Austin from Philadelphia next week. But before he got here, he wanted some reading material.

“I like to know as much as possible about where I am, what community I’m a part of, where I’m living," he said. "It’s important for me to have an idea of the space that I’m occupying, and books are generally one good way to learn about a place.”

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

The federal health insurance marketplace has been a big help to startups in Austin in the past few years. It's giving tech workers the ability to buy health insurance when their fledgling employers are too small to provide benefits.

Adler Says ICE Arrests Make Austin 'Less Safe'

Feb 14, 2017
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

After dozens of Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrests last week, Mayor Steve Adler wrote an open letter in opposition to deportation action in Austin by the federal agency.

In a letter on Medium, Adler characterized the detainment of undocumented immigrants in Austin as counterproductive and harmful to Austin.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

An Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent was hurt early this morning while trying to arrest a person in Northwest Austin.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

Have you ever looked up at construction cranes around town and wondered why it takes so long for things to get built in Austin? Developers will quickly say the city's permitting process has a lot to do with it. Now the city is about to start a new program to hopefully speed things up, but with speed comes a new set of rules.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Next week, the city of Austin is set to release the first draft of CodeNEXT, a much-awaited overhaul of the land development code. These rules govern everything from parking to how neighborhoods look. But as the change rolls in, some city leaders worry Austin’s affordable housing may be at risk.

Jillian Schantz Patrick for KUT

Most of us ride up and down highways without giving them a second thought. But there seems to be something different about MoPac. The glorified parking lot known, at least officially, as Loop 1 has given many a driver plenty of time to ponder its quirks while stuck in traffic.

Photo Illustration by Andrew Weber, Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Austin’s got a checkered past when it comes to digital road signs. The blinking roadway signs have been hacked a few times in the past to warn of zombies, to taunt the OU Sooners and to even pay tribute to the meme-launching death of Harambe. But the City of Austin Transportation Department has decided to harness that creative energy for good, by allowing anyone to submit safe-for-work language for road signs starting today.

Courtesy of Kara Henderson

Fatima Mann operates under a simple premise: change doesn’t always come from the top. So when she decided to start a group to advocate for equality in Austin– specifically, equality for black women – she decided to keep it local.

Audrey McGlinchy via Twitter

Flanked by city colleagues and leaders in both academia and the nonprofit world Wednesday, Mayor Steve Adler introduced the city of Austin to its newest task force: a group that will combat “institutional racism.” The group will be made up of local community leaders in education, immigration and housing.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Attempts to eliminate so-called sanctuary cities has begun anew with another Texas legislative session and new national leadership that has singled out these municipalities. And while Austin is often labeled a sanctuary city, it’s not clear that the city indeed is one.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Jessica Foulke teaches seventh grade social studies at a North Austin charter school. She says her students started texting her early on Election Night as the results came in. Many of them were worried because Hillary Clinton was losing.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

From the Austin Monitor: According to an Austin Monitor poll, the fate of the mobility bond is anyone’s guess.

The poll was sponsored by Perry Lorenz and conducted by Public Policy Polling. On Oct. 5 and 6, Public Policy Polling surveyed 585 Austin voters by phone about November’s $720 million transportation bond.

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