Austin

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

Martin do Nascimento for KUT

A district judge has ordered the Austin City Council to put a petition on the November ballot that, if passed, would require land development code rewrites, such as CodeNEXT, to be approved by voters. 

La política de inmigración de la administración del Presidente Donald Trump ha provocado la indignación de algunos, el elogio de otros, y en algunas partes de la comunidad, el miedo.

Le invitamos el miércoles, 18 de julio, a las 7:00 p.m. en el Museo George Washington Carver y Centro Cultural para Más Allá de la Frontera: Cómo afecta la aplicación de la ley de inmigración a Austin. 

U.S. Army

Austin will be the home of the U.S. Army's new Futures Command, the installation intended to modernize the Army by developing new weapons systems and technologies.

In an announcement this morning, Army Secretary Mark T. Esper said the site in Austin will allow for an "entire modernization process under one roof." Raleigh, Boston, Minneapolis and Philadelphia were also finalists for the site selection.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

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

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The Austin City Council’s lone conservative, Ellen Troxclair, announced today that she will not run for re-election for her District 8 seat in November.

Troxclair, who represents Southwest Austin, called the decision not to run an “incredibly difficult one.”

In an emailed statement, Troxclair said she was proud to have served as "a voice of reason" and "a fiscal watchdog" on the Council and said the city's taxation and regulation had led it down an "unsustainable path."

Shelby Knowles / Texas Tribune

The controversial Texas law allowing students to bring guns into classrooms is facing another showdown as a lawsuit challenging the law heads to federal appeals court on Wednesday.

Julia Reihs

Austin is ending its ban on free single-use plastic bags at stores and restaurants after a state Supreme Court ruling against a similar ban in Laredo. But repealing the ordinance, commonly known as the “bag ban,” doesn't mean every store will start handing them out again.  

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

A city statute that governs the makeup of Austin’s Planning Commission is at the center of a legal challenge from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office.

Paxton is taking legal action to remove eight members of the 13-member commission, citing a rule that limits how many commissioners can have some sort of affiliation with real estate or land use interests.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The Austin City Council will have the chance next month to tweak the specifics of a $925 million bond package it approved last month for the Nov. 6 ballot. But the vote was not unanimous, as some council members expressed concern about the accompanying property tax hike.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

After months of negotiation, the Austin City Council has opened the door to seizing the site of the old Montopolis Negro School in East Austin.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

This post has been updated.

It’s the Fourth of July. Here’s everything you need to know.

Julia Reihs / KUT

The City of Austin says it will no longer enforce a ban on single-use plastic bags at most retail outlets, following a state Supreme Court ruling last month that struck down Laredo's bag ban.

The court ruled Laredo's ban was at odds with state law, but urged the Legislature to pass more specific laws to allow similar bans in the future.

Callie Hernandez for KUT

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is seeking to remove eight of the 13 members of Austin’s Planning Commission. The commission is responsible for making and amending a master city plan, making recommendations to the City Council on proposed zoning changes and weighing in on land use decisions.

Gabriel C. Pérez/KUT

Film producer Harvey Weinstein is now facing sexual assault charges from a third woman. His case has focused attention on some of the darkest manifestations of stereotypical male behavior – racking up large numbers of unwilling sexual conquests. 

Two Central Texas life and relationship coaches say the case has also necessitated a close examination of what shapes the male identity.

Callie Hernandez for KUT

Austin City Council members have outlined a $925 million bond to pay for items such as affordable housing, park updates and road repairs that will be put to voters in November. The bond could be paid for, in part, by raising the property tax rate.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Austin City Council members voted Thursday to ask the city manager to look into creating a new department to oversee its labor rights laws – including rules that guarantee rest breaks for construction workers and mandate paid sick leave for private employees.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Austin’s system of police oversight may be more effective than others at promoting long-term change, but there's still skepticism about the agency, according to a new report

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Brian Manley is now officially the chief of police in Austin, after serving as interim chief for more than a year and a half. He says he believes he is the right guy for the job, though he admits there is challenging work to do in repairing relationships with some communities here.

Montinique Monroe for KUT

The Austin-Round Rock metro area is the ninth fastest growing in the country, according to 2017 population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Dripping Springs wants to be able to discharge treated wastewater into Onion Creek, but that's rubbed a lot of people downstream the wrong way. Now, city officials say, there may be a compromise on the table.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

On this Juneteenth, people in Austin had a chance to get a taste of history.

The holiday celebrates Union Gen. Gordon Granger delivering news of the Emancipation Proclamation in Texas in 1865, two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln signed it.

Juneteenth is now the most prominent Emancipation Day in the U.S. and is celebrated by people around the world. To mark the occasion in Austin, the George Washington Carver Museum hosted the second annual Juneteenth Lunch and Learn.

Callie Hernandez for KUT

Three women have sued the City of Austin and Travis County, alleging their sexual assault cases were inadequately handled because of their gender. The class-action lawsuit claims that sexual assault survivors “have been denied equal access to justice and equal protection of the law.”

Julia Reihs/KUT

Stewart Vanderwilt is leaving KUT and KUTX after 18 years at the helm to become president and CEO of Colorado Public Radio. On his last day on the job, he reflects on his time in Austin, how public radio and the medium in general have changed during his tenure and where he sees the industry heading.

Nathan Bernier / KUT

If an Austin police officer stops someone for a nonviolent misdemeanor – such as possessing a small amount of marijuana or driving without a valid license – the officer has a choice: issue a citation or arrest the person. Simply put, the officer has discretion.

Austin City Council members voted 9-0 (two council members were not present) Thursday to do away with some of this discretion. Proponents cited police data that show black and Hispanic people stopped for low-level offenses are more likely than white people to be arrested than cited.

ATXN

There’s an old adage: Nothing screams comedy like line-item contract bid awards.

That is not a true statement. That was a joke. And it wasn’t funny.

The tedium of local government contracts – particularly, on the line-item level – doesn’t leave an audience in peals of uncontrollable, full-body-heave, bladder-evacuative laughter. It doesn’t inspire the mirth or hysteria or even mild bemusement.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Austin City Council unanimously confirmed Brian Manley as the Austin Police Department's new chief Thursday. Manley has served in an interim role since former Police Chief Art Acevedo left to head up Houston’s police department in 2016.

Julia Reihs / KUT

When it's hot in Austin, you just want to go somewhere to cool off, somewhere you can take a swim and forget the oppressive heat that lingers for six months of the year.

There are lots of great spots.

But there's one place you definitely cannot go swimming: Lady Bird Lake (Town Lake, if you're OG).

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

About 140,000 people are protesting their property appraisals this year – an all-time high, according to the Travis Central Appraisal District.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The race to fill the District 1 seat in November is wide open after Austin City Council Member Ora Houston announced today she would not seek re-election.

Callie Hernandez / KUT

The Austin City Council is set to vote tomorrow on adopting the city manager’s recommendation for a 2018 bond package. Austin voters would decide on whether to approve the $816 million referendum this November. 

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