Genna Eneman

News intern

Genna is a news intern at KUT. She is a graduate of Texas State University.

Photo by Daniel Reese for KUT News

City Council Revises Downtown Parking Plan

After much hand wringing, Austin City Council has voted on new rules for parking downtown. In March, the council voted to extend downtown metered parking until midnight every day but Sunday. After public outcry, some council members proposed postponing the plan and possibly scrapping it altogether.

Yesterdays vote is being billed as a compromise. Under the new rules, parking meters will run until midnight Thursday, Friday and Saturday, but only until six PM Monday through Wednesday.  Extended hours will be enforced from Lady Bird Lake to 8th Street, instead of 10th Street as was initially planned. Council member Laura Morrison voted against extending hours in March, but voted in favor of the new plan.

Correction: The plan was changed to extend extend meter hours back to 10th St. And Morrison voted against the plan, although it was passed 6-1.

Photo courtesy of National Center for Missing and Exploited Youth

UPDATE: Authorities in Galveston County initially said the man Andrea Fox was believed to be with was stationed at Fort Carlson, Colorado. They now say that James Dean Martin is stationed at Fort Carson, Colorado. Galveston County and DPS officials say the Amber Alert is still active, as of 11:10 a.m.

Photo by EriK Reyna for KUT News

Austin Moves to Stage 2 Water Restrictions

The city of Austin will move to Stage 2 water restrictions next month. The Austin American-Statesman reports, starting September 6th homes and businesses will only be allowed to water lawns once a week. Under the new restrictions, restaurant may only serve water when requested and outdoor fountains must be turned off unless to keep fish. Stage 2 also includes a ban on all charity car washes.

Photo by KUT News

Fire Destroys 15 Homes in Leander

Firefighters are watching for flare ups this morning, after a fast moving brush fire consumed 30 acres Monday. Just after 4:00 p.m. a grass fire sparked in a neighborhood near Leander Middle School forcing 189 homes to evacuate. Fifteen homes were destroyed in the fire. Most families have been allowed to return to their homes, but Lexi Maxwell of the Texas Forest Service told KUT News there is high chance of another flare up.

Andrea Bean sits and cracks tile in to smaller, tiny pieces. She stops and looks up at the massive tile mural in front of her and hunts for the small gaps between the larger tile pieces that need to be filled.

“It’s very tedious. It could never end and at some point you have to say ‘okay that’s enough,” she said.

Photo by Daniel Reese for KUT News

Little zombies invaded Zilker Park this morning.

Over a hundred children gathered for a flash mob as part of National Park and Recreation Month. Children were called to perform the dance from Michael Jackson's Thriller music video for submission in a contest. The National Recreation and Parks Association invited cities  to submit a video of their best flash mob. 

Sketch courtesy of Pat Lopez

An arraignment date has been set for the accused Fort Hood shooter.  Major Nidal Hasan’s will hear the charges filed against him for his general court-martial on Wednesday afternoon on post. At the proceeding Hasan will be asked to enter a plea.

Photo by Jesse Wang for KUT News

It's another busy weekend in Austin, but before you hit the roads here’s a round-up of road closures and other traffic news for this weekend.

Construction continues this evening on several connecting fly-over ramps at the intersection of I-35 and Ben White Boulevard. The southbound I-35 frontage road will be closed between the intersections of the eastbound and westbound US 290 frontage roads.

Traffic will be diverted down the US 290 frontage road to the turnaround at Congress Avenue. Ben White Boulevard will also be narrowed between Burleson Road and South Congress Avenue to allow one lane of traffic in each direction.

View Austin Street Closures- ROT Rally in a larger map

Fire up your choppers! The annual Republic of Texas Biker Rally is underway. The four day event is the largest motorcycle rally in Texas and brings over 200,000 bikers and spectators to downtown Austin.

The main event - the ROT Motorcycle Parade and Downtown Bash - is set to begin at 7:30 this evening. The 11 mile parade was named in 2006 as the "Longest Parade of Motorcycles Known to Mankind” by the Guinness Book of World Records.

Photo courtesy of Anthony Cramp

Extreme drought could put a damper on some Fourth of July festivities this year. The Travis County Fire Marshal announced today that local authorities will not approve any permits for public fireworks displays.

According to Travis County, the decision came after multiple wildfires have ignited in the past two months. Most recently, a four-alarm brush fire broke out after a transformer caught fire near Hamilton Pool Park.