Andrew Weber

Digital Reporter

Andrew Weber is a digital reporter for KUT News. A graduate of St. Edward's University with a degree in English, Andrew has previously interned with The Texas Tribune, The Austin American-Statesman and KOOP Radio.

Ways to Connect

Julia Reihs / KUT

The Austin Transportation Department will roll out bus- and bike-minded improvements on Lavaca and Guadalupe streets, with construction starting next month.

Crowds and scenes from Rainey Street in downtown Austin during South by Southwest Music Festival.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

New numbers out today from the U.S. Census Bureau confirm something you’ve definitely known, noticed or complained about in the last eight years: Austin is growing.

But that growth isn’t confined to the Austin area.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

After a damning report that suggested Austin police officers used force in traffic stops at alarming rates, the department is defending its data-collection – sort of.

An analysis of the department's use of force last month by Scott Henson on his criminal justice blog Grits for Breakfast found the department used force that caused injury 921 times in 2018 — a rate of 77 times per 10,000 traffic stops, which dwarfed other, large metropolitan departments in Texas.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The Austin City Council has adopted a long-term transportation plan – its first since 1995. It's a 337-page document, so there's a lot to unpack.

The Austin Strategic Mobility Plan is meant to cement how Austin's streets are designed and how both cars and buses and pedestrians (and scooters and maybe automated cars) occupy them.

KUT

The state’s labor regulator on Tuesday approved a controversial new rule on gig economy workers – a rule opponents say will have far-reaching implications for these workers going forward.

Miguel Gutierrez / Texas Tribune

The former UT Austin men's tennis coach will plead guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud for receiving money to recruit an unqualified student to the university's tennis team in 2015, the Department of Justice said.

Michael Center was put on administrative leave the day he was indicted on two charges of mail fraud for accepting $60,000 personally in the scheme and was later fired. He also received $40,000 on behalf of the university's tennis program, authorities say.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

A national nonprofit says Texas’ system for putting holds on driver licenses is unconstitutional and is threatening to take the state to court as lawmakers decide the program's future this legislative session.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

Austin's rules on short-term rental units – those vacation rentals on apps and sites like Airbnb and Homeaway – are under fire at the Texas Capitol. House lawmakers heard testimony Thursday on a bill that would override the city's ban on properties in residential areas that aren't owner-occupied.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

A new study shows a high rate of incarceration for fine-only offenses in Texas, particularly in Travis County.

The study from social justice advocacy nonprofit Texas Appleseed found more than 30,000 jail bookings for class C misdemeanors across 11 Texas counties in 2017. Those are offenses that are typically punishable by a citation of up to $500 – without required jail time. 

Reconnect Austin

"Cut and cap" – the idea of burying I-35 in the downtown corridor and paving over that chasm to create greenspaces or mixed-use development – is no longer in the rearview mirror.

YouTube

Austin-based conspiracy theorist Alex Jones admitted in a newly published video deposition that he believes 26 people were killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting and that "a form of psychosis" made him believe it was staged.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The Texas Relays are back in town. The annual NCAA track and field contest hosted by UT Austin always draws hundreds of athletes and fans – and some street closures. But that won't be the only congestion this weekend. On top of that, there are a couple of 5K runs, a kite festival, a music festival and a political rally smack dab in the middle of downtown for some guy named Robert Francis "Beto" O'Rourke. All those events will close streets.

Here's a map of all the closures:

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

For years, short-term rentals – the rooms and homes on apps like Airbnb and HomeAway – have been the subject of lawsuits and hand-wringing on the part of regulators and people looking to rent out properties.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

As the City Council celebrated Austin's no-kill animal-sheltering policy today, volunteers running the city's shelter called the goal "unsustainable." 

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

Workers' rights advocates called on the Texas Workforce Commission to abandon a proposed rule that would exempt gig economy contractors from unemployment benefits. They say the rule was crafted by industry lobbyists and could encourage businesses to adopt online-only models to dodge state taxes for worker benefits.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Homelessness increased 5 percent in Austin over last year, according to the results of Ending Community Homelessness Coalition's annual census. 

The survey, which was conducted overnight on Jan. 26 by about 500 volunteers, found 2,255 people experiencing homelessness on Austin streets and in shelters, compared to 2,147 people last year.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Rentable scooter riders on the 40 Acres will now no longer be able to ride faster than 8 mph, according to UT Austin.

The university said Bird, Jump, Lyft and Lime's e-scooters will have speed restrictions on the lion's share of UT's campus starting tomorrow. The decision comes at the suggestion of a campus safety group and was done in cooperation with the providers, UT said.

Renee Dominguez for KUT

A new study shows immigrants have an outsized impact on Austin’s economy.

Overall, 4.8 million immigrants in Texas paid $34.8 billion in taxes and had an economic footprint of $109.9 billion, according to an analysis of 2017 census data from the bipartisan immigrant advocacy group New American Economy.

Tony Hisgett/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Lemonade stands aren't legal in Texas, but House lawmakers gave a preliminary OK today to a bill that would undo that legislative oversight that's dragged on for 85 legislative sessions.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Note: This story includes raw data from the Austin Transportation Department. Official data would not have included trips of under a 10th of a mile or over 500 miles. 

Dockless scooters were the headliner in their first year at SXSW.

City data show the scooters outpaced rentable dockless bikes over the festival, accounting for nearly 434,000 rides over the 10 days of SXSW – 12.3 percent of the 3.5 million scooter rides since the scooters descended upon Austin last April.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Texas is lacking in low-income housing, according to a new study from the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

The availability of affordable rental housing for extremely low-income renters in Texas – those making below the federal poverty level or 30 percent of an area's median income – was 29 homes available for every 100 renters. The national rate is 37 homes.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

UT Austin has been named in a class-action lawsuit over a national, $25-million college admissions scandal that has led to scores of indictments across the country – including the university's men's tennis coach, who was fired yesterday.

Miguel Gutierrez / Texas Tribune

A day after his indictment in a wide-ranging college admissions scandal, longtime UT Austin tennis coach Michael Center has been fired.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

UT Austin men's tennis coach Michael Center has been arrested and charged with mail fraud and conspiracy to commit mail fraud in a wide-ranging, multimillion-dollar college admissions scandal.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. for KUT

Seven out of 10 driver's license suspensions in Texas are due to drivers' inability to pay fees and surcharges from courts and the Texas Department of Public Safety, according to a new study from nonprofits Texas Appleseed and Texas Fair Defense Project.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The effort to create a public defenders office in Travis County isn't dead after all.

At its board meeting this morning, the Texas Indigent Defense Commission OK'd a move to waive a requirement for a letter expressing interest in a $15-million grant to establish a public defender office in Travis County for adult felony and misdemeanor cases – something the county has tried and failed to do for decades.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

An audit out today of homeless service providers in Austin says the city doesn't always hold them accountable.

Gabriel C. Pérez

Austin Mayor Steve Adler sent a letter to the moon offering aliens unlimited queso. Yes, that is indeed a statement of fact.

Texans, it turns out, don't know their U.S. history. A new study from the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation found 63 percent of respondents in Texas failed a quiz based on questions from the U.S. citizenship examination.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Prepare to be shocked: People keep moving to Texas.

A new Texas Realtors study looking at Census Bureau and U-Haul rental data found more than half a million people relocated to the Lone Star State in 2017 – the second highest number of relocations in the U.S. after Florida. 

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