Austin

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

Gabriel C. Pérez/KUT

"We all have to come in here with humility," Dr. Peniel Joseph says about getting people to the table to talk about racism and equality. "We're all looking for, basically, unearned grace in this conversation."

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

Austin's rules on short-term rental units – those vacation rentals on apps and sites like Airbnb and Homeaway – are under fire at the Texas Capitol. House lawmakers heard testimony Thursday on a bill that would override the city's ban on properties in residential areas that aren't owner-occupied.

Hazel O'Neil for KUT

We want to hear from you about the people around Austin you want to know more about — or the people you think the rest of us should.

Lynda M. González for KUT

Are there people in your life you see all the time, but have never actually met? Sure there are.

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Austin-based conspiracy theorist Alex Jones admitted in a newly published video deposition that he believes 26 people were killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting and that "a form of psychosis" made him believe it was staged.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The Texas Relays are back in town. The annual NCAA track and field contest hosted by UT Austin always draws hundreds of athletes and fans – and some street closures. But that won't be the only congestion this weekend. On top of that, there are a couple of 5K runs, a kite festival, a music festival and a political rally smack dab in the middle of downtown for some guy named Robert Francis "Beto" O'Rourke. All those events will close streets.

Here's a map of all the closures:

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

As the City Council celebrated Austin's no-kill animal-sheltering policy today, volunteers running the city's shelter called the goal "unsustainable." 

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.

Renee Dominguez for KUT

A new study shows immigrants have an outsized impact on Austin’s economy.

Overall, 4.8 million immigrants in Texas paid $34.8 billion in taxes and had an economic footprint of $109.9 billion, according to an analysis of 2017 census data from the bipartisan immigrant advocacy group New American Economy.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

"The first thing we need to do is remember and give a prayer" for the victims of the serial bombings last year, Austin Mayor Steve Adler told community leaders and others gathered at City Hall on Thursday for a memorial service on the anniversary of the bombings.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

South by Southwest will soon leave in its wake thousands of exhausted panel- and partygoers. It will also leave behind thousands of people who worried that no matter what events they attended, something better was happening down the street. The same thing will happen during spring break. Someone else is always headed to a more fun or satisfying destination.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

UT Austin has been named in a class-action lawsuit over a national, $25-million college admissions scandal that has led to scores of indictments across the country – including the university's men's tennis coach, who was fired yesterday.

Salvador Castro for KUT

Update: Spamarama will make its return this year, the event's co-founder says, on July 6 at Moontower Saloon in South Austin. 

Spam, the canned meat product, helped Allied soldiers win World War II and later helped baby boomers and their parents stretch that food budget a little further.

But Spam also served as the centerpiece of one of Austin’s odder and more popular festivals: Spamarama.

Miguel Gutierrez / Texas Tribune

A day after his indictment in a wide-ranging college admissions scandal, longtime UT Austin tennis coach Michael Center has been fired.

Courtesy of the filmmakers

For the better part of three decades, Joe Ables was on an island, surrounded by used car lots and some dilapidated apartments.

He says when he opened Saxon Pub on South Lamar, it had little competition. The only other music venues nearby were the Broken Spoke and the Horseshoe Lounge. But over the last 15 years, South Lamar has filled in. There are more apartments, restaurants and businesses – and most of those car lots are gone. The Saxon looked like it would be headed out, too.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

UT Austin men's tennis coach Michael Center has been arrested and charged with mail fraud and conspiracy to commit mail fraud in a wide-ranging, multimillion-dollar college admissions scandal.

Julia Reihs / KUT

Dear Austin,

I have a confession to make: I have misled you. It’s not something any reporter wants to say, but here we are.

I did it in a story I wrote a few years ago, after a listener asked about Austin’s claim to be the “Live Music Capital of the World.” 

The workout apparel retailer Lululemon "took over" Clive Bar on Rainey Street last week and turned it into a meditation spot for SXSW festivalgoers.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

A week ago, Clive Bar on Rainey Street looked the way it always does: dark wood paneling and floors, a deck off the inside bar with tables for people to drink outside.

Friday afternoon, it was a different story.

KUT/X General Manager Debbie Hiott says there are "goods and bads" to working at the same place for 28 years. After her time at the Statesman, Hiott says she knows the Austin market and media landscape, but is still learning the ropes of radio.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Debbie Hiott started at the Austin American-Statesman as an intern in 1990 while she was still a student at what was then Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University). After 28 years in reporting and editing jobs at the Statesman, Hiott has taken over as general manager of KUT and KUTX. 

Hiott told KUT that although this is her first job in radio, she is committed to the stations' missions.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Bri Rodriguez buckled her son Rocky into his car seat. “Little grumps,” she said, teasing the 1-year-old as he scrunched up his face, unhappy at having to be in the car.

The official merchandise booth at this year's South by Southwest festival.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The challenge: Getting to South by Southwest 2019 – or avoiding it altogether – with as little pain and suffering as possible.

We're here to help. But you should know, getting around during this year's fest may be a little bumpier than before.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

On March 2, 2018, Monica Sledge and her 2-year-old son, Luke, were playing in the living room by their back door. Suddenly, there was a loud boom.

“The windows shook,” Sledge said. “My son said ‘bunder,’ [and] I was just like ‘No, it's not thunder.’"

Lynda Gonzalez for KUT

A fatal package bombing at a North Austin home on March 2, 2018, was thought to be an isolated incident. Instead, it turned out to be the first of five bombs that would go off over the next few weeks. The bomber later killed himself in a separate explosion.

One year later, KUT is revisiting the serial bombing and its impact on the city.

Nathan Bernier / KUT

The Austin Police Department released information to federal immigration officers 581 times in 2018 and asked one detained person about their immigration status, according to a report from Austin Police Chief Brian Manley.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Environmental groups have announced their intention to sue the Texas Department of Transportation over how it has managed construction of its MoPac Intersections highway expansion project in Southwest Austin.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

At around 7 o’clock on the morning of March 2, 2018, 39-year-old Anthony Stephan House was killed when a package bomb left on the porch of his North Austin home exploded. The bomb turned out to be the first of five bombs that would go off over the next few weeks, killing 17-year-old Draylen Mason and injuring five others. The bomber later killed himself in a separate bomb explosion.

One year later, KUT is revisiting the investigation, and the impact and aftermath of the bombings.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Texas lawmakers on Thursday advanced a bill that would prevent a city from requiring private employers to give their workers certain benefits, such as paid sick leave.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

When it comes to invasive wild pigs, Texas is No. 1.

There are at least 2 million feral hogs roaming the state – about half the animal's national population. Authorities say the hogs cause hundreds of millions of dollars a year in damage to property and agriculture. But, despite those numbers, hogs are usually thought to be confined to rural parts of Texas.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT

"History is being wiped away in Austin," the Austin History Center's African American Community Archivist and librarian says.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

An audit out today of homeless service providers in Austin says the city doesn't always hold them accountable.

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