Austin

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

A sign in front of the reopened Revelry Kitchen + Bar says, "No shirt, no shoes, no mask, no service."
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Austin Public Health said it can administer 1,750 COVID-19 tests per day at its drive-thru testing site, but only 200 to 350 people are being tested each day.

East Austin bars and restaurants began to reopen May 22, including Lazarus Brewing Co.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

This post has local news on the coronavirus pandemic from Wednesday, May 27. Read Thursday's live updates here. If you'd like to go through a roundup of COVID-19 news from Tuesday, read it here. If you have a news tip or question, email us at news@KUT.org.

A busy South Congress Street on Friday, the first day bars were allowed to reopen in Texas.
Michael Minasi / KUT

Latinos account for three-fourths of all COVID-19-related hospitalizations in the area – a "substantial" increase in the last week, according to health officials.

A COVID-19 testing site off I-35.
Michael Minasi / KUT

This post has local news on the coronavirus pandemic from Tuesday, May 26. Read Wednesday's live updates here. If you'd like to go through a roundup of COVID-19 news from Monday, read it here. If you have a news tip or question, email us at news@KUT.org.

Residential mailboxes
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The Texas Supreme Court has ruled that "lack of immunity" to the coronavirus is not a disability under state law that would qualify someone for a mail-in ballot. In the same ruling, the court acknowledged that county election clerks have no duty to question or investigate the disability of voters who claim it.

But if you’re curious about how you would even go about voting by mail (or if you’re eligible), here’s how it works.

A Willie Nelson statue outside the Moody Theater in downtown Austin.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

An agreement to buy the Block 21 development in downtown Austin – home to ACL Live at the Moody Theater and the W Hotel – is off due to the economic impact caused by the coronavirus pandemic. 

Nashville-based Ryman Hospitality Properties Inc. made the deal in December to buy Block 21 from Stratus Properties Inc. for $275 million.

Flowers are placed near a headstone at the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery in Killeen, Texas on Feb. 27, 2019.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

This post has local news on the coronavirus pandemic from Monday, May 25. Read Tuesday's live updates here. If you have a news tip or question, email us at news@KUT.org.

The Red Line station downtown
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Capital Metro is closely monitoring data to determine how and where to ramp up transit service that was cut back because of the coronavirus pandemic. Some MetroExpress commuter routes were restored earlier this week, but the bulk of Cap Metro’s bus routes remain on a Sunday schedule.

Ashlene Etkie, a senior at the Texas School for the Deaf, throws her graduation cap up in the air.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

High school senior Rey Garza knows a lot about adapting to “new normals.” He was 9 when he lost vision in his right eye, and when he entered his freshman year, he started losing it in his left eye, too. 

KUT Projects Editor Matt Largey spent the first few months of the pandemic working from his garage outfitted with a desk, mixing board, lamp and coffee maker (plus a washing machine and assorted tools).
Matt Largey / KUT

"I think anybody out there with a second-grader probably feels my pain, but feels her pain, too," KUT Projects Editor Matt Largey says from his home "office."

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Today is the last day to register to vote before the July 14 primary runoff elections in Texas. Here’s what you need to know to register.

People walk and ride bikes near Auditorium Shores and the Long Center on April 13.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

We'll be updating this story throughout the day Friday with the latest local news on the coronavirus pandemic. If you'd like to go through a roundup of COVID-19 news from Thursday, read it here. If you have a news tip or question, email us at news@KUT.org.

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

Latinx communities in Austin have been hard-hit by the coronavirus. Latinx patients account for nearly two-thirds of COVID-19 hospitalizations in the Austin area, and at some sites they are nearly four times more likely to test positive for the coronavirus. 

Officials said Wednesday they're forming a task force to address that disparity, which was news to the Latinx advocates who called for one in the first place.

Austin ISD serves curbside meals to students during the coronavirus pandemic.
Michael Minasi / KUT

This post has local news on the coronavirus pandemic from Thursday, May 21. Read Friday's live updates here.. If you'd like to go through a roundup of COVID-19 news from Wednesday, read it here. If you have a news tip or question, email us at news@KUT.org.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

A 42-year-old black and Hispanic man died from multiple gunshot wounds in a police shooting in April, according to a report the Austin Police Department filed Wednesday with the Texas Attorney General's Office. 

A crowd from the ACL Music Festival in 2018.
Julia Reihs / KUTX

Barring an unforeseen breakthrough in COVID-19 testing or treatment, Austin public health officials say, it's unlikely large-scale events like ACL Fest or UT Longhorn football games will happen for the rest of the year.

Barton Creek Square Mall opens for business in South Austin on May 1 as shopping centers were allowed to reopen in Texas.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Austin Public Health leaders hosted a live question-and-answer session with the media on the city's response to the coronavirus Wednesday. 

Sixth Street businesses are boarded up as bars closed at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.
Michael Minasi / KUT

In March, the coronavirus began to change Austin — the sounds, the music and the people within it. Over the past month, KUT and KUTX have been asking Austinites to write love letters to their empty city.

Protesters drove along I-35 during the coronavirus pandemic on May 1.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

This post has local news on the coronavirus pandemic from Wednesday, May 20. Read Thursday's live updates here. If you'd like to go through a roundup of COVID-19 news from Tuesday, read it here. If you have a news tip or question, email us at news@KUT.org.

Gov. Greg Abbott deemed construction workers "essential" during the coronavirus pandemic.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

People are afraid during this pandemic. And in some cases, they’re more afraid of being out of work and unable to provide for their families than they are of the coronavirus.

Dr. Mark Escott, interim health authority at Austin Public Health, said that's a "substantial barrier" that will "create challenges for us as we try to control the outbreak of COVID-19 in Austin and Travis County as we open things up.”

Julia Reihs / KUT

The number of people experiencing homelessness in Austin hit a 10-year-high in 2020, according to a new report.

Austin ISD distributes meals to students at Josephine Houston Elementary in March.
Michael Minasi / KUT

This post has local news on the coronavirus pandemic from Tuesday, May 19. Read Wednesday's live updates here. If you'd like to go through a roundup of COVID-19 news from Monday, read it here. If you have a news tip or question, email us at news@KUT.org.

A notice to vacate is posted on an Austin home in 2018.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The Texas Supreme Court is letting its ban on eviction proceedings expire today, meaning that starting tomorrow there is no longer a state ban on a landlord’s ability to evict a tenant.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaks from the State Operations Center on Feb. 27.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

As more businesses begin to reopen, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said child care is essential and announced that providers would be allowed to reopen immediately.

The governor also said at a news conference Monday that bars would be allowed to reopen at 25% capacity starting Friday. Restaurants will be allowed to expand to 50% then, too, he said. These limits will not apply to outdoor patios where customers can maintain safe distances.

Voters line up outside Fiesta to cast ballots in the 2016 presidential election.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Travis County voters won’t be able to cast their ballots in grocery stores during July’s runoff election. Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir said the option is too risky during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds flew over Austin on Wednesday as a salute to frontline COVID-19 responders in Texas.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

This post has local news on the coronavirus pandemic from Monday, May 18. Read Tuesday's live updates here. If you have a news tip or question, email us at news@KUT.org.

Oakwood Cemetery is Austin's oldest city cemetery.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

For a century and a half, their graves went unmarked, their lives unconsidered, and their legacies paved over. They are survived by buttons, by buckles and by beads – by the things with which they were interred.

But now, those 59 people buried in Oakwood Cemetery are being reconsidered, their legacies unearthed, because of the things they took with them to the grave.

Sosa is a 3-year-old German pointer/hound mix, who was fostered and later adopted from Austin Pets Alive!
Sophia Ding

The coronavirus pandemic has put a lot of people’s plans on hold, leaving extra room in otherwise-busy schedules. Austin resident Sophia Ding is spending her newfound free time volunteering for a cause she's passionate about: helping animals get adopted.  

Cars line up to receive food boxes during a Central Texas Food Bank emergency food relief distribution at Toney Burger Stadium on April 30.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

We'll be updating this story throughout the day Friday with the latest local news on the coronavirus pandemic. If you'd like to go through a roundup of COVID-19 news from Thursday, read it here. If you have a news tip or question, email us at news@KUT.org.

UT student Sean Saldana in his North Austin apartment
Michael Minasi / KUT

Sean Saldaña decided earlier this year that at 23 he was too old to be sharing an apartment with his dad. So, the UT Austin senior began hunting for a new place to live.

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