Austin

"Mini murals" painted on traffic signal cabinets
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Four intersections around Austin are now home to murals by local artists. The city’s Artbox program worked with Houston-based UP Art Studio to commission artists to paint traffic signal cabinets — which hold the guts of stoplights — as the first round of “mini murals.”

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

When art teacher Cristina Coro picks up doughnuts at the Krispy Kreme on Stassney Lane, her day is sweetened by an uplifting employee.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

After decades of serving burgers to patrons downtown, Hut's Hamburgers is shutting down. The beloved burger spot, which originally opened its doors in 1939, is closing, according to owners Mike and Kim Hutchinson. Its last day of business will be Oct. 20.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

City Council members voted to expand the number of beds in Austin's homeless shelters.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Development has overtaken Rainey Street for the past decade and a half, but musician John Contreras was long a stalwart in the face of expansion and said he never planned on selling his home at 71 Rainey St. But now it's for sale. 

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

For the last handful of legislative sessions, the Texas Legislature has had it in for Austin and other cities.

GOP lawmakers who regularly thumb their noses at "big government"-minded efforts in D.C. have filed bills targeting city laws regulating everything from plastic bag usage to how residents preserve trees, arguing city laws in Austin create a so-called patchwork of onerous regulations.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

For the last decade or so, Austin has been one of the fastest growing cities in the country – last year the city's population grew by about 145 people a day on average. But that number only tells part of the story. The rest of that story – the where – is a proverbial question for our ATXplained project.

So, where are these new Austinites coming from?

Nathan Bernier

The strong storms moving through Central Texas have knocked our FM transmitter off the air. Our engineers are working to get us broadcasting again as soon as possible.

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.

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. 

Hazel O'Neil for KUT

Nearly 30 people leaned against the railing on the second floor of a bar made out of shipyard containers. It was a warm Saturday night in September. Down the street, people sat on the front porch of Icenhauer’s, which pours grilled-pineapple-infused tequila.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Austin likes to think of itself as a progressive city. For many, the liberal label is a point of pride, but for others, it doesn't ring true.

Pixabay

From Texas Standard:

Not since the heady days of the dot-com boom more than 20 years ago has Austin witnessed so much venture capital cash invested in a single year. $1.33 billion in venture funding was invested in companies in and around the Capital City in 2018. Similar investments are being made statewide. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, Texas companies landed $2.2 billion in VC cash. Are happy days here again? The situation appears to be a bit more complicated than it was in the past.  

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

A new report says a third of households in Travis County struggle to make ends meet; in Austin, that number was higher, at 42 percent.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

A lawsuit challenging the City of Austin's decision to rename Manchaca Road will go to trial. 

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

It’s a beautiful Sunday morning in Austin and I’m struggling with a recorder in one hand and a mic in the other. The rest of me is riding a mule. That’s right: a mule.

The scene gets weirder. The man riding another mule next to me is dressed as Santa Claus. His name is Sam Grey Horse.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The city says it's working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to study dockless scooter-related injuries and incidents in Austin – a first for the nation's public health institute.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

A Travis County district judge has paused the city's attempt to change Manchaca Road to Menchaca – again.

Business owners from a group called Leave Manchaca Alone sued to block the Austin City Council's October decision to change the name of the 8-mile South Austin road earlier this month on grounds that the city failed to give public notice and that the name-change would be cost prohibitive for businesses along the road who would have to alter signs and other branding.

Martin do Nascimento for KUT

What makes a “real” Austinite?

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Friday, while millions of Americans recovered at home from Turkey-induced torpors, the Trump administration released a report on climate change that forecasts a grim future for Texas. 

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

People experiencing homelessness can now work for the City of Austin.

The city's Parks and Recreation Department, along with the Austin Public Health Department, The Other Ones Foundation and Austin City Council Member Ellen Troxclair highlighted the pilot program Monday in southeast Austin.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Austin led Texas in the number of hate crimes reported last year, according to FBI data. The FBI’s 2017 hate crime statistics data show the state capital had 18 total incidents, marking the third year in a row the city saw hate crimes in the double digits.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Manchaca Road is still Manchaca – for now.

A Travis County judge has temporarily blocked Austin from changing the name of the 8-mile South Austin road from Manchaca to Menchaca the day before it was slated to go into effect.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

A group of property owners and businesses along what's (for now) Manchaca Road is challenging the city's move to change the South Austin road's name before it goes into effect Thursday.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. for KUT

A municipal court on Friday ruled in favor of Austin's ban against camping in public places.

In his decision, Municipal Judge Mitchell Solomon sided with the city in the case of Gary Bowens, an Austinite who has multiple citations for camping in public, a Class C misdemeanor that his attorneys and homelessness advocates say targets homeless people unfairly.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

The city has given the go-ahead to a contract that would keep its portable public toilet operating for the next five years. The 24-hour toilet, which aims to keep the downtown area clean over special events like this weekend's Austin City Limits Festival, will cost Austin $115,000 this year.  

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

City Council members voted today to rename the South Austin road some believe was named for José Antonio Menchaca to reflect the correct spelling of his name. Currently spelled Manchaca – note the "a" in lieu of an "e" – its colloquialism, Manchac, has been chiseled into the cerebellum of any human who's ever crossed into Austin's city limits.

Emree Weaver for KUT

It's a new fiscal year for the City of Austin, and one of the myriad items on City Council agendas over the next year will be an overhaul of ordinances relating to homelessness. That won't be easy, as federal courts could inform – and complicate – that effort.

Wikimedia Commons/U.S federal government (public domain)

From Texas Standard:

One question Amazon's Alexa won't be able to answer – at least not yet – is where Amazon will build its next headquarters.

It's been a year since the tech company announced it has outgrown its Seattle home base and needs to expand elsewhere. But the $1 trillion company has been tight-lipped about where that might be.

Since that announcement, 238 U.S. cities ingratiated themselves to the company, trying to win its favor. Amazon whittled that list of bids to 20 finalists, and among them are Austin and Dallas.

Sarah Jasmine Montgomery for KUT

Both the Austin Municipal Court and the Community Court buildings downtown were evacuated this morning after a bomb threat. The evacuations came after threats at UT Austin and Texas State University. 

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