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

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Austin will celebrate the LGBTQ+ community Saturday at the 29th annual Pride festival and parade, despite safety concerns raised following the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, Ohio, last weekend.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

City officials say two separate samples of algae near Red Bud Isle have tested positive for traces of a neurotoxin, but samples in other parts of Lady Bird Lake were found to be "harmless."

Three dogs died recently after swimming in Lady Bird Lake.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. for KUT

The city's effort to expand the Austin Convention Center will be on the ballot in November. The effort to derail the Austin City Council's roughly $1.2-billion plan was spurred by a citizen-driven petition that was certified late last month.

Gensler Architects

After more than 130 years in Austin, a portion of the University Medical Center Brackenridge downtown will come down this month and be replaced by a 17-story office building. The demolition is part of UT Austin's plan to expand its health care district centered around the Dell Medical School. 

Mexican free-tailed bats emerge from under the Congress Avenue bridge in 2012.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Every night beginning in late March and into early September, nearly 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats emerge from the Congress Avenue bridge in Austin. The bats aren’t the only thing making a nightly exit, though: Bat guano, otherwise known as poop, makes its exit as well.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

A majority of Austin EMS personnel say they've been assaulted while on the job in the last two years, according to an internal survey. Most first-responders also say they don't feel properly trained to address aggressive behavior.

Carissa Suarez and Dusana Schnell
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Dozens and dozens of people waited for hours at the Texas Capitol building to give blood during a donation drive Monday. The We Are Blood event was inspired by the need for blood in El Paso and Dayton, Ohio, even though the blood donated here will stay in this area.

Danny Bonura lives under an overpass
Julia Reihs / KUT

The City of Austin says it's prepared to boost spending on housing and homelessness assistance programs ahead of a state-mandated property tax revenue cap that goes into effect next year.

Brian Fleming lives under an overpass in Austin.
Julia Reihs / KUT

KUT hosted an hourlong discussion during Morning Edition on the issue of homelessness in the city, featuring guests across the spectrum, along with the people with the most at stake — Austinites living on the street.

Big Easy Bar and Grill owner Darold Gordon
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Chef Darold Gordon set up shop in East Austin after moving from New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. Over the last 15 years, he has seen the businesses and population in the neighborhood change.

Angela Hsieh / NPR

While the focus going into Tuesday's debate was on progressive icons like Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, centrists were not afraid to push back. NPR reporters have analysis and fact checks to parse through the candidates' remarks.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. for KUT

An effort to put a planned expansion of the Austin Convention Center to a public vote is one step closer to its goal. Today, the city clerk certified a petition that will send the issue to the city council.

Martin do Nascimento for KUT

Austin’s yearslong effort to rewrite the city’s rules for what can be built where is going to take a bit more time.

Austin Police Chief Brian Manley, left, and the Downtown Austin Alliance's Bill Brice listen to interim Homelessness Strategy Officer Veronica Briseño at the forum on Tuesday.
Richie Loria for KUT

As the city adjusts to new rules for panhandling, camping or sitting or lying down in public, the Downtown Austin Alliance hosted a forum Tuesday to discuss the road ahead for dealing with homelessness and plans to expand emergency shelter access across the city.

Former state Sen. Wendy Davis speaks at a Travis County press conference on Jan. 29.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

WASHINGTON — Former Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis is running for Congress.

Early Monday morning, Davis announced her candidacy for the Democratic nomination in Central Texas' 21st District. She is challenging U.S. Rep. Chip Roy, a freshman Republican from Austin.

Some people are complaining about the appearance of the "crown" at the top of Austin's tallest building, The Independent.
Richie Loria / KUT

The Independent, at 301 West Ave. in downtown Austin, is the city's newest tallest building. Some call it the "Jenga tower" because of its jagged appearance – shapes jutting out from the sides of the building.

The 59-story luxury apartment tower is definitely attention-getting, and some eyes are drawn all the way to the top – to what looks from afar like a tennis court or one of those nets to stop golf balls at a driving range. 

The Austin Convention Center
Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

The city's proposal to expand the Austin Convention Center could be on the ballot in November. A group opposing the City Council's decision to build out the center says it submitted a 30,000-signature petition calling for a referendum that would force a public vote as the city moves ahead with the plan.

Max Shpak holds Caesar, a female red-tailed hawk
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Stacie Ferguson’s commute can get repetitive: She leaves work, picks up the kids at day care and, often, gets stuck in traffic on her way to her South Austin home.

“Sometimes I’m sitting there for a little while and get a chance to kind of observe,” she said.

The Housing Authority of the City of Austin
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Tuesday is the last day for public comment on a proposal that could evict or even separate thousands of families with mixed-citizenship status who receive housing assistance in Texas.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The Austin Symphony's July Fourth concert and fireworks show is set to begin at 8:30 Thursday night. Here's what you need to know to get there in one piece. 

Michael Minasi for KUT

Hundreds of protesters gathered in downtown Austin today to call for an end to the detention of migrants. 

Pu Ying Huang for KUT News

Revisions to Austin's rules against panhandling, camping and sitting or lying down in public are in effect.

Austinites have expressed concern about how the rules will impact those experiencing homelessness and how officers will enforce the laws. KUT asked the Austin Police Department to help clarify things.

Pavel Mezihorak for KUT

Austin is in the grips of an affordability crisis. That's not news to Austinites, really, but a large part of that crisis stems from the housing supply failing to keep up with demand. 

A study out this week from Harvard's Joint Center for Housing Studies shows Austin's not alone.

Austin Animal Center

The Austin Animal Center is at full capacity and is waiving adoption fees this weekend. The city's shelter says it has no more kennels left; it aims to get 500 animals adopted over the weekend to free up space.

Claire Harbage / KUT

Local officials said they were encouraged by a Supreme Court decision today that essentially blocks a citizenship question from being added to the 2020 census.

Lakeside area with water sports zone
Austin Parks and Recreation Department

Austin’s Parks and Recreation Board unanimously endorsed a plan this week to spend hundreds of millions of dollars for improvements at Walter E. Long Metropolitan Park.

Why do some Austin drivers think turn indicators are optional? Why are bugs so big in Austin? Are swingers running rampant in Steiner Ranch? 

The Austin Resource Center for the Homeless
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Mayor Steve Adler is pushing back against criticism of steps the City Council took last week to, as he says, address homelessness more effectively in Austin.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The Austin Police Department is still working out the kinks in its body-camera program, according to a new city audit.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. for KUT

A new report from the Austin Police Department shows crime overall increased in 2018, with property crimes up 9%. Violent crimes dropped slightly, however.