Austin

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

Montinique Monroe for KUT

The City of Austin has released its third draft of CodeNEXT, the ongoing overhaul of the rules governing what can be built where. Staff held an open house Monday at City Hall on the proposed land development code, inviting residents to view the new zoning maps and ask questions.

US National Archives and Records Administration

In 1967, famed landscape artist Peter Hurd unveiled a portrait of then-President Lyndon B. Johnson. It was to be Johnson's official portrait and would hang in the White House in perpetuity. There was one problem: LBJ hated it. 

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

On Feb. 8, 2016, Austin Police Officer Geoffrey Freeman fatally shot 17-year-old David Joseph. Four months later, a Travis County grand jury declined to indict the officer for his death.

Martin do Nascimento for KUT

Less than a week out from the release of the latest version of CodeNEXT, city commissions are weighing in on what they’d like to see in this latest draft of Austin’s land development code.

The Zoning and Platting Commission laid out its plan last night for gathering public feedback on the new rules, which would regulate everything from parking requirements to the types of housing that can be built in Austin. Commissioners want to hold at least two public meetings in different parts of town, possibly holding a combined hearing with the city’s Planning Commission.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Since 2000, the City of Austin has had a lot of ideas about how to slow down gentrification. A task force recommended in 2002, for example, that the city educate residents about available property tax exemptions. In 2008, City Council members asked the city manager to find city-owned land suitable for affordable housing.

Austin Price for KUT

At a new 28-home development in East Austin, workers for Lighthouse Solar pull solar panels from the back of a trailer, haul them to a ladder, and then carry them 30 feet up to the recently shingled rooftops where they'll be installed.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Welcome to Austin, Spencer.

We’re a vibrant city nestled in the Texas Hill Country that combines tech-minded innovation with the laid-back feel of a college town. And – you may or may not have heard – we’re always trying to keep it weird. You may or may not have also heard, we’re a pretty big deal these days, and it’s easy to understand why.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Like many University of Texas freshmen, Rylan Maksoud was looking forward to moving out of his dorm to an apartment off campus in the fall.

He signed a lease in September with the University House Apartments on San Antonio Street and put down a deposit. Then, in December, he got an email saying that the contract was being “mutually terminated.” 

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

About seven years ago, Lynn Meredith and her husband moved into a high-rise downtown. They can see the state Capitol from the building, and over the years, Meredith has watched as new skyscrapers have sprung up around the Capitol, while other construction plans have fallen through.

Callie Hernandez / KUT

Austin City Council members have made official the hiring of Spencer Cronk as the new city manager. The vote Thursday was unanimous and without debate.

Cronk, the current city administrator in Minneapolis, will start Feb. 12. Interim City Manager Elaine Hart will return to her previous job as chief financial officer.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Austin’s Equity Office is considering how to make good on a report published last April that laid out more than 200 recommendations for how the city can combat institutional racism.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. for KUT

Austin’s Historic Landmark Commission has approved the demolition of the so-called Graffiti Park on Castle Hill – a street-art-adorned collection of concrete slabs on the site of an unfinished multifamily development west of downtown.

Martin do Nascimento for KUT

Austin’s police union says it’s ready to resume contract negotiations after the City Council rejected a new five-year contract in December. 

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The 2018 tax filing season officially begins Monday, and Austin residents who meet certain income requirements can get free help preparing their taxes.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

For the past several weeks, a group of nine local nonprofits, government agencies and private companies have been mapping out new solutions to the city’s housing affordability problem. Last night, they presented their ideas at the Impact Hub, a coworking space on North Lamar, which organized the effort.

Gabriel C. Pérez

Once a week, KUT listeners hear an ominous recording.

“This is a test of the capital area warning system,” says a male voice, followed by a sequence of blaring tones. It’s not quite as unnerving as getting a smartphone alert that a ballistic missile is headed for your state, but it can still be jarring.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon

Volunteers will fan out around the Austin area early Saturday to count people who don't have a place to live. The annual Point in Time Count is done to determine how many people don't have homes, as well as find out more about them: who they are and why they are on the streets.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The City of Austin is suspending its Citizens Review Panel, leaving police with less public oversight – at least for now. The move ends 17 years of volunteer panel members weighing in on complaints from the public about Austin police officers.

Precourt Sports Ventures

Precourt Sports Ventures, the firm that’s hoping to bring a Major League Soccer team to Austin, isn’t happy with the Austin City Council – specifically, Council Member Ann Kitchen.

Courtesy of the City of Austin

When incoming City Manager Spencer Cronk moves to Austin next month, he'll have some help. 

Austin City Council members are scheduled to vote Thursday on a compensation package for Cronk, who is coming from Minneapolis and starts Feb. 12.

Sean Murphy for KUT

Today is officially “Hi, How Are You Day” in Austin – a holiday that both honors onetime Austinite Daniel Johnston and hopes to raise awareness of mental health issues.

Jorge Sanhueza-lyon / KUT

Women's Marches are taking place across the country on the anniversary of Donald Trump's inauguration. Last year, tens of thousands of protesters packed streets in many cities — including in Austin, where an estimated 50,000 people crowded along Congress Avenue and on the Capitol grounds. 

This morning, a much smaller group of protesters gathered at Austin City Hall in preparation for a march to the Texas Capitol. 

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

By March, all Austin patrol officers will be wearing body cameras, according to estimates by the Austin Police Department. Currently, 658 body cameras are in use; another 200 will be added.

“After that, we’ll be looking to [give them to other] units throughout the department,” said Cmdr. Brent Dupre, who heads the department’s technology unit.

Campaign finance reports reveal that Austin Mayor Steve Adler is the only member of the City Council who has begun seriously fundraising for re-election.

Jon Shapley for KUT

A group of local nonprofits, government agencies and private companies are taking part in what’s called the Affordable Housing Accelerator to address Austin’s housing affordability issues.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

It’s 5 p.m. on a Friday at Native, a new bar and hostel in East Austin. Half a dozen people occupy the blue velvet booths and alternative dance music blares overhead. Leigh Salinas walks in carrying a duffel bag. She’s there to spend the weekend studying – sort of.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Updated at 7:30 a.m.

Officials say road conditions in Austin have improved, but with the risk of ice lingering through the morning hours, a number of Central Texas school districts and the City of Austin will operate on a two-hour delay Wednesday. The National Weather Service says a Hard Freeze Warning will continue through noon on Wednesday. 

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Austin pretty much shut down for the day today. The freezing temperatures, sleet and (a little) snow iced-over roads throughout Central Texas – and even closed a few – leading the Austin Police Department to ask drivers to stay off the roads, giving them (more or less) a snow day. 

Here’s a look around town from our photographers, who ventured out into the cold.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The voice of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. echoed across the East Mall of the UT-Austin campus this morning, as hundreds gathered to honor the legacy and impact of the civil rights icon. Participants in the annual march gathered at the feet of King's statue at UT before making their way toward the Texas State Capitol and wrapping up the rally at Huston-Tillotson University in East Austin.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Winter is here. For the third time in a little over a month, Austin is staring down another storm system that's expected to bring ice, sleet and maybe snow to Central and South Central Texas. 

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