Andy Jechow

Social Media Coordinator

Andy Jechow is the social media coordinator for KUT News. After graduating from American University in Washington, D.C., with a bachelor's degree in international studies, he returned home to Texas — in need of greasy Tex-Mex — and became a TV news producer. Before joining KUT in November 2018, he worked as a digital content producer at Austin NBC affiliate KXAN News. When he's not at work, Andy enjoys attending book signings and watching classic movies.

Ways to Connect

The Trail Foundation is closing outdoor gym equipment around Lady Bird Lake.
Julia Reihs / KUT

The Trail Foundation recommends people exercise as close to home as possible and stay off the Butler Hike and Bike Trail around Lady Bird Lake to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

A man carries groceries on the UT Austin campus during spring break on Tuesday.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

We'll keep this post updated on how people can help and get help in the Austin area during the coronavirus pandemic. Know of something missing from this list? Email Andy@KUT.org.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Three presumptive positive cases of the coronavirus disease COVID-19 were confirmed in Austin Friday, city health officials said. The cases are the first confirmed in Central Texas.

mrlaugh / Flickr

The Americas Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas has been postponed until November due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, MotoGP said.

Dr. Mark Escott, interim director of Austin Public Health, gives an update on what public health officials are doing to protect the community from the new coronavirus.
ATXN screenshot

There is no evidence canceling South by Southwest will make the city safer from the spread of the new coronavirus, Austin public health officials said Wednesday, adding that they are reevaluating the situation on a daily basis.

Democratic state Sen. Kirk Watson
Julia Reihs / KUT

State Sen. Kirk Watson, who has represented Austin in the Texas Senate since 2007, announced he's resigning this spring to become the founding dean of the Hobby School of Public Affairs at the University of Houston.

Julián Castro speaks at a rally at Cheer Up Charlies in Austin on June 28, 2019.
Michael Minasi for KUT

Julián Castro, the former U.S. secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Obama and mayor of San Antonio, announced Thursday morning he is dropping out of the race for the presidency.

Auditorium Shores
KUT

Austin's New Year's Eve festivities kick off tonight at 7:30 on the south shores of Lady Bird Lake. With street closures downtown and free public transportation options, here's what you need to know to get around smoothly.

KUT News

Cedar Creek High School and Bluebonnet Elementary School will not have school today following a water line break, Bastrop ISD said in a Facebook post.

ATX Helps says it wants to provide at least one temporary shelter from Sprung Instant Structures to hold 150 bunk beds and comfortably sleep 300 people.
Sprung Instant Structures

A group of Austin businesses, nonprofits and faith-based organizations is trying to raise $14 million to build and operate a temporary shelter for Austinites experiencing homelessness.

South Congress is closed between West James Street and Academy Drive.
Andrew Weber / KUT

A man who climbed a construction crane on South Congress Avenue has climbed down and is in police custody. South Congress was closed for several hours Monday morning as crews tried to get the man down.

Val Bugh / via Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Go outside. Look up. If you're in Central Texas, you're in a hotspot for monarch butterfly watching.

At 97, Professor John Goodenough becomes the oldest-ever Nobel laureate, seen here in 2017.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

If you have a cellphone or a laptop or an electric car, you have UT Austin professor John Goodenough to thank for helping create the lightweight, rechargeable battery that makes it work.

Goodenough was awarded the 2019 Nobel Prize in chemistry Wednesday for his part in the creation of the lithium-ion battery, almost 35 years after it became commercially viable.

Early voters gather outside of the Flawn Academic Center on the UT Austin campus to vote on the first day of early voting for the 2018 midterm elections.
Salvador Castro for KUT

Travis County has more registered voters than ever before. The Travis County Tax Office said this week that 93.5% of all eligible voters — more than 800,000 people — have registered ahead of the November election.

DPS troopers block the road at a shooting scene in Odessa, Texas.
Mitch Borden / Marfa Public Radio

Seven people were killed and more than 20 others were injured Saturday afternoon by a man shooting at random near the West Texas cities of Odessa and Midland, the Odessa Police Department said. 

Matthew McConaughey with writer-director Harmony Korine and his spring 2018 UT Austin class
Natalie England / UT Austin

Matthew McConaughey has been a visiting instructor at UT Austin for several years now, co-teaching with director Scott Rice. Starting this semester, McConaughey adds the title of professor of practice to his résumé. 

Traffic is diverted onto the northbound I-35 access road after "large pieces" of the upper deck fell onto the lower deck Tuesday night.
Stephanie Federico / KUT

The northbound lanes of the Interstate 35 lower deck were closed near 34th Street for more than three hours Tuesday after debris fell into the roadway from the upper deck.

The Texas Transportation Department said crews had to clear the lanes after a bridge rail was struck in a crash.  

Elijah Phillips
Austin Police Department

Update: The Austin Police Department said a 3-week-old boy who was taken from Seton Northwest Hospital on July 23 was located and is with Child Protective Services. The mother's cousin, Brandy Galbert, is in police custody. Police are still trying to find the boy's mother, 30-year-old Brittany Smith.

Carissa Suarez and Dusana Schnell
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Dozens and dozens of people waited for hours at the Texas Capitol building to give blood during a donation drive Monday. The We Are Blood event was inspired by the need for blood in El Paso and Dayton, Ohio, even though the blood donated here will stay in this area.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The Austin Symphony's July Fourth concert and fireworks show is set to begin at 8:30 Thursday night. Here's what you need to know to get there in one piece. 

Austin Animal Center

Four dogs missing from the Austin Animal Center are presumed stolen, the shelter said in an email Thursday.

The layout planned for Shoal Creek Boulevard from 38th Street to Foster Lane would include a two-way bikeway.
City of Austin

City planners have picked the layout for protected bike lanes that will run the length of Central Austin's Shoal Creek Boulevard – although most residents who live on the street would prefer it stay as-is. 

Bikers gather on Congress Avenue as part of the ROT Biker Rally weekend last year.
Eddie Gaspar for KUT

Starting at 6 p.m. Friday, motorcycle riders will descend on Congress Avenue for the annual Republic of Texas Biker Rally and parade.

Bill Wittliff
Courtesy of Texas State University

Bill Wittliff, the celebrated screenwriter behind Lonesome Dove, Legends of the Fall and The Perfect Storm, died Sunday of a heart attack. He was 79.

All northbound main lanes will close overnight Friday and Saturday.
Jorge-Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The northbound main lanes of Interstate 35 through North Austin will close overnight this weekend so crews can demolish the St. Johns Avenue bridge and U-turn bridge. 

A time-lapse video of a massive sandstorm approaching Lubbock
The National Weather Service in Lubbock

The alert went out after 6 p.m. Wednesday: A dust storm is coming.

The wall of dust swept across the South Plains of Texas, creating low-visibility conditions in Lubbock.

TxDOT

If you were planning to take Interstate 35 through North Austin this weekend, don't.

Richard Overton at his East Austin home during his 112th birthday celebrations on May 11, 2018.
Montinique Monroe for KUT

A bill dedicating part of Austin's Airport Boulevard to longtime Austinite and World War II veteran Richard Overton is awaiting approval from Gov. Greg Abbott. The measure passed the Texas Senate late last week, on what would have been the 113th birthday of the man who was once known as America's oldest veteran.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Travis County is one of 25 counties in the U.S. that is at highest risk for a measles outbreak, according to a study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

Researchers from Johns Hopkins University and UT Austin ranked Travis County 22nd on the list, citing its high rates of nonmedical childhood vaccination exemptions and its high volume of international travel. 

The start of Austin City Limits Fest frenzy is here: The lineup is out, tickets are on sale and our sister station KUTX's top picks are in.

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