Austin

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

Callie Hernandez for KUT

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is seeking to remove eight of the 13 members of Austin’s Planning Commission. The commission is responsible for making and amending a master city plan, making recommendations to the City Council on proposed zoning changes and weighing in on land use decisions.

Gabriel C. Pérez/KUT

Film producer Harvey Weinstein is now facing sexual assault charges from a third woman. His case has focused attention on some of the darkest manifestations of stereotypical male behavior – racking up large numbers of unwilling sexual conquests. 

Two Central Texas life and relationship coaches say the case has also necessitated a close examination of what shapes the male identity.

Callie Hernandez for KUT

Austin City Council members have outlined a $925 million bond to pay for items such as affordable housing, park updates and road repairs that will be put to voters in November. The bond could be paid for, in part, by raising the property tax rate.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Austin City Council members voted Thursday to ask the city manager to look into creating a new department to oversee its labor rights laws – including rules that guarantee rest breaks for construction workers and mandate paid sick leave for private employees.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Austin’s system of police oversight may be more effective than others at promoting long-term change, but there's still skepticism about the agency, according to a new report

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Brian Manley is now officially the chief of police in Austin, after serving as interim chief for more than a year and a half. He says he believes he is the right guy for the job, though he admits there is challenging work to do in repairing relationships with some communities here.

Montinique Monroe for KUT

The Austin-Round Rock metro area is the ninth fastest growing in the country, according to 2017 population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Dripping Springs wants to be able to discharge treated wastewater into Onion Creek, but that's rubbed a lot of people downstream the wrong way. Now, city officials say, there may be a compromise on the table.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

On this Juneteenth, people in Austin had a chance to get a taste of history.

The holiday celebrates Union Gen. Gordon Granger delivering news of the Emancipation Proclamation in Texas in 1865, two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln signed it.

Juneteenth is now the most prominent Emancipation Day in the U.S. and is celebrated by people around the world. To mark the occasion in Austin, the George Washington Carver Museum hosted the second annual Juneteenth Lunch and Learn.

Callie Hernandez for KUT

Three women have sued the City of Austin and Travis County, alleging their sexual assault cases were inadequately handled because of their gender. The class-action lawsuit claims that sexual assault survivors “have been denied equal access to justice and equal protection of the law.”

Julia Reihs/KUT

Stewart Vanderwilt is leaving KUT and KUTX after 18 years at the helm to become president and CEO of Colorado Public Radio. On his last day on the job, he reflects on his time in Austin, how public radio and the medium in general have changed during his tenure and where he sees the industry heading.

Nathan Bernier / KUT

If an Austin police officer stops someone for a nonviolent misdemeanor – such as possessing a small amount of marijuana or driving without a valid license – the officer has a choice: issue a citation or arrest the person. Simply put, the officer has discretion.

Austin City Council members voted 9-0 (two council members were not present) Thursday to do away with some of this discretion. Proponents cited police data that show black and Hispanic people stopped for low-level offenses are more likely than white people to be arrested than cited.

ATXN

There’s an old adage: Nothing screams comedy like line-item contract bid awards.

That is not a true statement. That was a joke. And it wasn’t funny.

The tedium of local government contracts – particularly, on the line-item level – doesn’t leave an audience in peals of uncontrollable, full-body-heave, bladder-evacuative laughter. It doesn’t inspire the mirth or hysteria or even mild bemusement.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Austin City Council unanimously confirmed Brian Manley as the Austin Police Department's new chief Thursday. Manley has served in an interim role since former Police Chief Art Acevedo left to head up Houston’s police department in 2016.

Julia Reihs / KUT

When it's hot in Austin, you just want to go somewhere to cool off, somewhere you can take a swim and forget the oppressive heat that lingers for six months of the year.

There are lots of great spots.

But there's one place you definitely cannot go swimming: Lady Bird Lake (Town Lake, if you're OG).

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

About 140,000 people are protesting their property appraisals this year – an all-time high, according to the Travis Central Appraisal District.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The race to fill the District 1 seat in November is wide open after Austin City Council Member Ora Houston announced today she would not seek re-election.

Callie Hernandez / KUT

The Austin City Council is set to vote tomorrow on adopting the city manager’s recommendation for a 2018 bond package. Austin voters would decide on whether to approve the $816 million referendum this November. 

Eddie Gaspar for KUT

Thousands of motorcycles and their riders snaked their way from the Travis County Expo Center to downtown Austin last night for the annual Republic of Texas Rally parade. It’s become an Austin summer tradition, but it could be going away.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

After roughly a month of collecting public feedback, City Manager Spencer Cronk has nominated interim Austin Police Chief Brian Manley to head the department permanently. The appointment requires a City Council vote; members are scheduled to discuss it Thursday.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long Center opened in 2008 as the performing arts home for the Austin SymphonyBallet Austin and Austin Opera. Ten years later, it is asking its audiences – and people who don't attend shows there – what they think of the center and how it can do better.

ATXN screenshot

Austin City Council members are fine-tuning their goals for a new land-development code at a meeting Tuesday, and they’re trying to do it in a respectful manner. 

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The road that leads to Blanca Torres' home isn't much of a road at all. It's a half-mile stretch of gravel and mud, surrounded by tall grasses. In certain parts, the road dips into stark potholes, and in others, large white rocks protrude from the earth.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The City of Austin just wrapped up a public comment period on the appointment of interim Austin Police Chief Brian Manley as permanent chief. It's also holding a series of meetings about the upcoming budget and is in the middle of a public comment period on revised cemetery rules.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Austin's first recorded African-American resident, who was brought here as a 10-year-old slave, is a focal point of a new art installation at a bus stop at the intersection at 12th and Chicon streets. The installation pays tribute to the city's African-American history.

KUT's 8 a.m. newscast during NPR's Morning Edition.

KUT's 7 a.m. newscast during NPR's Morning Edition.

Julia Reihs / KUT

Bee Cave or Bee Caves? Whether discussing the city or the road, it seems the names have vexed Austin-area residents for years.

Even more vexing? They may have been misnamed the whole time.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

In one rapidly changing East Austin neighborhood, dogs now outnumber children nearly 2 to 1, according to a new report from UT’s Institute for Urban Policy Research and Analysis.

Montinique Monroe for KUT News

Austin residents expressed strong feelings for and against CodeNEXT today at the first public hearing on the final draft of the rewrite of Austin’s land development code.

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