Austin

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

Syeda Hasan / KUT

On Haverford Drive in North Austin, the front door of the home where Anthony House lived has been boarded up with plywood. Save for that, there’s nothing to indicate what happened on this quiet residential street March 2.

Andrea Garcia for KUT

Alberto Orozco probably won’t open his dating apps during SXSW.

Courtesy of the Hispanic Bar Association of Austin

On Monday, 17-year-old Draylen Mason was killed by a package explosion at his home on Oldfort Hill Road. It was the second in a string of three attacks in the past two weeks that the Austin Police Department says are related.

By all accounts, Draylen was a remarkable kid, and there have been hundreds of remembrances in the past couple  days that testify to that.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

For some local festivalgoers, South By Southwest means more than just music, movies or tech; it means finding as much free food and drink as you possibly can. But just how far can you take it? And is it worth it?

It’s a challenge I put to Twitter earlier this month, and one local man was willing to find out.

Jimmy Maas/KUT

South By Southwest has been around for more than three decades. It's grown from a small music festival into a business behemoth celebrating tech, music, film and most things creative. But every year there are always people who come to the festival for the first time.    

Marjorie Kamys Cotera for The Texas Tribune

Gov. Greg Abbott himself was opposed to the controversial “bathroom bill” that dominated debate at the Texas Capitol for much of 2017, according to a state representative involved in keeping the legislation from passing the Texas House.

State Rep. Byron Cook, R-Corsicana, the chairman of the House State Affairs committee that blocked the bill from reaching the House floor for a full vote, said Tuesday that Abbott “did not want that bill on his desk.”

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The Austin Police Department says it has received 265 calls about suspicious packages after two package bombings in Austin yesterday. None has turned out to be dangerous, APD said.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

"We will leave no stone unturned," interim Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said today in response to three package explosions in Austin over the past 10 days. 

Marshall Tidrick for KUTX

To stay safe at music festivals, Liliana Díaz and her friends question one another – constantly.

“Like, ‘Who’s she’s talking to? Who is that? Did she just meet him?… Hey do we know him? Do we not know him?'” 22-year-old Díaz  said Saturday as she wandered around a SXSW party hosted by the Austin-based dating app Bumble.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Well. It's here. Again. 

The music, film, education and tech-minded masses have descended on Austin. Here's a rundown of how to avoid traffic and get around during the festival – without wanting to claw your eyeballs out, unless you're looking for a parking spot. 

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The Austin City Council passed a resolution Thursday that aims to help bring families displaced by gentrification back to the city.

The measure calls for giving preference for affordable housing to displaced people who have generational ties to certain neighborhoods. Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo, who wrote the resolution, calls it a “right to return” ordinance.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

On the floor of Austin airport, right by the baggage claim, there is a cryptic map made of terrazzo tile. It represents downtown Austin, but not quite as it is today. The story of how it came about reveals much about Austin’s past – and maybe its present.

Marshall Tidrick for KUTX

With SXSW kicking off this week, Austinites and visitors alike can expect a bit of chaos. If you’re a newbie headed to the festival, no worries. We've compiled a list of stories to help orient you to the city.

Consider this a little guide on how to get the most out of Austin.   

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

When Lauren Johnson started job-hunting in the early 1990s, she walked from business to business filling out applications by hand. “It’ll be so much easier someday when this is all computerized,” she remembers thinking.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

As the number of demolitions soars in Austin, the city is considering changing the way it issues permits to make sure teardowns are done safely and people affected are properly notified.

Audrey McGlinchy / KUT

An anti-CodeNEXT group says it has enough signatures to ask residents whether they should have the right to vote on major changes to Austin's land development code.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

It's Election Day. Here's a rundown of everything you need to know before heading to the polls.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

If you’ve crossed the street at a handful of intersections in Austin recently, you may have noticed a new voice beckoning you to walk. It doesn’t sound like the typical robotic voiceover you may hear on a bus or at older crosswalks.

It got one of our listeners, Jenny Stirrat, curious.

Gabriel C. Perez / KUT

A website that warns Central Texans about road flooding is getting an overhaul this month. The designers of the new site say the changes should give visitors more detail about flooding near them.

Jorge Sanhueza Lyon / KUT

After passing rules that require all private employers to offer workers six to eight paid sick days a year, the City of Austin has agreed to extend its own policy to all local government employees. Previously, temporary employees, like lifeguards and crossing guards, were not covered.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

Austin's Historic Landmark Commission is paving the way for a major renovation of Rosewood Courts. The public housing project in East Austin was the first in the country built for black residents.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

When Eric Howard drives by the building at 4400 Shoal Creek Boulevard, he can’t help but think of Indiana Jones.

Specifically, the final shot of Raiders of the Lost Ark, when the U.S. government loads the Ark of the Covenant into a crate and then carts it off into a vast warehouse, presumably filled with similarly sequestered treasures.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Central Health has parted ways with the firm previously selected to redevelop the old Brackenridge Hospital site.

Instead, the Travis County health care agency is now in talks with the nonprofit 2033 Fund. The group is interested in developing part of the campus, which spans six blocks of prime downtown real estate.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Has a foreign government infiltrated the CodeNEXT process?

Well, no one’s saying that. But in his annual State of the City address on Tuesday, Austin Mayor Steve Adler said the "alleged Russian infiltration" on our nation’s politics has inflamed divisions across the country – and highlighted rifts at the local level, as well.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Austin Mayor Steve Adler will give his 2018 State of the City address Tuesday evening. We’re not sure what he’ll say, but read through Adler’s three previous speeches and you’ll find more than one theme or phrase repeated.

So, to help you follow along – and to add some excitement to what is usually a dry event – we’ve created several State of the City BINGO (though, we replaced B-I-N-G-O with A-D-L-E-R – because, duh) cards. Print them out or play online (click to highlight a square). You can also turn it into a drinking game, although KUT would never promote alcohol consumption.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

Austin is often cited as one of the most economically segregated cities in the nation. Some researchers say that divide has major social and economic implications.

Lynda Gonzalez / KUT

A mural honoring mostly black musicians at the corner of 12th and Chicon in East Austin was painted over last May. It depicted artists like Tupac Shakur, James Brown, Michael Jackson and Stevie Ray Vaughan, among others. An outcry followed. Though the mural was only a handful of years old, painting over it — with white paint, no less — held huge symbolism for this neighborhood, which has been remade in recent years by rising property values.

Jorge Sanhueza Lyon / KUT

Austin City Council members voted early Friday to require all private employers in the city to provide employees at least six to eight days of paid sick leave, depending on the size of the company. 

Austin Price for KUT

Colter Sonneville had a hunch that it might be legal to walk down the street with an open beer in most of Austin’s residential neighborhoods. It started when he noticed some big signs around Chicon and East Cesar Chavez streets.

“The sign says, 'No alcohol consumption on public streets/sidewalks and pedestrian way designated area,’” he says. “‘Open glass containers prohibited.’”

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