Austin

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

Clockwise from top left: Renee Swan, Rick Kennedy, Pete Sessions and David Jaramillo, make up the four hopefuls to represent the sprawling 17th District in Congress.
Courtesy of the candidates

When Republican Congressman Bill Flores announced he was retiring, a large group of hopefuls jumped at the chance to represent Texas’ sprawling 17th Congressional District. The district includes parts of 12 counties — stretching from Pflugerville to Waco and east to College Station. Twelve Republicans and three Democrats were on the ballot in the March primary.

Now, we’re down to two from each party.

People line up for drive-thru COVID-19 testing in Austin.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Austin surpassed a crucial threshold for COVID-19 hospitalizations Tuesday, which could signal possible restrictions on businesses and nonessential travel.

Donna Imam (left) and Christine Mann (right) are competing for the Democratic nomination in Texas' 31st Congressional District election.
Courtesy of the candidates

In 2018, MJ Hegar challenged Republican incumbent John Carter, who has represented Texas’ 31st Congressional District since 2003. Although she lost, the narrow race opened the door to future Democrats competing for Carter’s seat. Two candidates, Christine Mann and Donna Imam, say their personal careers have prepared them to unseat the longtime U.S. Representative, but only one will make it beyond the runoff ballot. 

Protesters march from Huston-Tillotson to the state Capitol, demanding an end to systemic racism and police violence.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The recent police killings of Black people, the subsequent protests and the removal of Confederate statues and other symbols have focused attention this summer on systemic racism. What has received less attention is the deep and ongoing trauma that racism has laid in.

People walk along South Congress Avenue wearing masks on Wednesday.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

This post has local news on the coronavirus pandemic from Friday, July 3. If you have a news tip or question, email us at news@KUT.org.

All city parks, including Zilker Park (pictured), will be closed over the Fourth of July weekend.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Lee esta historia en español. 

The City of Austin is closing all parks and recreational facilities over the Fourth of July weekend to try to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

CommUnityCare conducts drive-thru COVID-19 testing in Hancock Center.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Lee esta historia en español. 

Ahead of the Fourth of July weekend, health officials say Austin is at the precipice of a spike in COVID-19 cases that could lead to another full shutdown of businesses and social activity.

An officer points a shotgun at a protester.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The Austin Police Department has named five officers it says may be responsible for seriously injuring people demonstrating during the first weekend of protests against systemic racism and police violence.

Shoppers at Barton Creek Square wear face coverings.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

This post has local news on the coronavirus pandemic from Friday, June 26. If you have a news tip or question, email us at news@KUT.org.

An employee at the Domain wears a face mask.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

This post has local news on the coronavirus pandemic from Thursday, June 25. If you have a news tip or question, email us at news@KUT.org.

Spencer Selvidge / KUT

Lee esta historia en español. 

Gov. Greg Abbott has suspended elective surgeries and procedures at hospitals in Travis, Bexar, Dallas and Harris counties as COVID-19 hospitalizations surge across Texas.

A mural on Sixth Street by @noted.tx on May 21.
Michael Minasi / KUT

What's behind the recent surge in coronavirus cases across Texas and what can we do about it? Dr. Liz Douglass from Dell Medical School joined us Wednesday afternoon for a live conversation to answer those questions.

Flags mark the number of COVID-19-related deaths in Texas.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

This post has local news on the coronavirus pandemic from Wednesday, June 24. If you have a news tip or question, email us at news@KUT.org.

An employee at Little Woodrow's on West Sixth Street wears a mask on May 22.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

This post has local news on the coronavirus pandemic from Tuesday, June 23. If you have a news tip or question, email us at news@KUT.org.

A sign at the entrance of Austin Public Health's drive-thru testing site in North Austin.
Michael Minasi / KUT

Lee esta historia en español. 

As Texas sees record spikes in new coronavirus cases, Austin and Travis County's accounting for infections is lagging. A record-breaking surge in cases is partly to blame, but there's another culprit: the fax machine.

Austin Water

Berl Handcox, Austin’s first elected African American City Council member since Reconstruction, has died at the age of 88. Handcox was elected as part of the seven-member Council on May 1, 1971, and reelected on April 7, 1973. He received about 62 percent of the vote for both elections. He resigned from his seat in the spring of 1975 to serve as the head of the Texas Equal Employment Opportunity Office, part of the governor’s office.

People wear masks while waiting in line to enter a business on South Congress.
Michael Minasi / KUT

Businesses in Austin must require their employees, customers and visitors to wear face coverings starting Tuesday, otherwise they could face a fine of up to $1,000.

Under Gov. Greg Abbott's plan to reopen the economy, bars can be open at 50% capacity and restaurants at 75% capacity.
Michael Minasi / KUT

This post has local news on the coronavirus pandemic from Monday, June 22. If you have a news tip or question, email us at news@KUT.org.

A mail carrier wears a mask and gloves while delivering mail in March.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Lee esta historia en español. 

Travis County election officials are seeing record numbers of vote-by-mail applications ahead of the July 14 primary runoff.

According to the Travis County Elections Division, the office has received more than 28,000 applications so far.

Under Gov. Greg Abbott's plan to reopen the economy, bars can be open at 50% capacity inside. Outdoors, there are no capacity limit.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

This post has local news on the coronavirus pandemic from Sunday, June 21. If you have a news tip or question, email us at news@KUT.org.

Graffiti references the police killings of George Floyd and Mike Ramos on the side of Austin Police Department headquarters.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Lee esta historia en español. 

The release of body camera footage in the police killing of Mike Ramos is being delayed, the city said Sunday. The Austin Police Department had planned to release the video Monday, but failed to follow proper procedure, according to City Manager Spencer Cronk.

A mural of Everett Givens at Givens Park in East Austin.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

As hundreds of Black Austinites flocked to Givens Park on Friday to celebrate Juneteenth, the holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States, Michael "Malik" Williams was working. 

Artists paint "Black Austin Matters" on a portion of Congress Avenue on Tuesday.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Here are several ways you can celebrate and learn more about Juneteenth:

Austin Public Health says it will need an ever-increasing supply of masks and gloves at its COVID-19 testing site in North Austin.
Michael Minasi / KUT

In an effort to secure N95 masks for first responders and public health workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Austin has had to cancel deals with vendors that couldn’t deliver and return thousands of lesser-quality masks.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Lee esta historia en español. 

In an effort to get younger people in Austin to become poll workers during upcoming elections, local groups have put together a simple online application.

Austin Police Chief Brian Manley, with City Manager Spencer Cronk and Austin Mayor Steve Adler behind him.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Austin Police Chief Brian Manley will stay in his position, a city spokesperson confirmed in an email Thursday.

Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X cross paths as the U.S. Senate debated the Civil Rights Act of 1964 on March 26, 1964. It was the only time the two men met.
Marion S. Trikosko / Library of Congress

Peniel Joseph writes that Martin Luther King Jr. is "most comfortably portrayed as the nonviolent insider," while Malcolm X "is characterized as a by-any-means-necessary political renegade."

But those familiar biographies, he says, don't capture the nuanced evolutions their activism and politics underwent during their lives.

UT Austin grad Kevin Robles is a DACA recipient
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Lee esta historia en español. 

When recent UT Austin graduate Kevin Robles woke up Thursday morning, he checked his phone, saw the breaking news notification and felt some of the fears he’s been holding the last few years dissipate. 

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

A week after many UT Austin football student-athletes returned to campus for voluntary workouts, 13 players have tested positive or are presumed positive for COVID-19.

Some people wear face masks on East Sixth Street on May 22.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

A record 220 new COVID-19 cases were reported in Travis County on Wednesday evening. The previous record was 161 new cases on June 9. 

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