Audrey McGlinchy

City Hall Reporter

Audrey McGlinchy is the City Hall reporter at KUT, covering the Austin City Council and the policies they discuss. She comes to Texas from Brooklyn, where she tried her hand at publishing, public relations and nannying. Audrey holds English and journalism degrees from Wesleyan University and the City University of New York. She got her start in journalism as an intern at KUT Radio during a summer break from graduate school. While completing her master's degree in New York City, she interned at the New York Times Magazine and Guernica Magazine.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. /KUT News

The last time the City of Austin overhauled its land development code, Prince was at the top of the charts, Ronald Reagan was president, and Apple had released the first Macintosh PC. It was 1984.

Needless to say, much has changed.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

Just before the new year, Austin Mayor Steve Adler wrote a lengthy post on the city council message board, titled: “Possible solution to downtown puzzle.”

He later said it wasn't so much a puzzle, but that there were a lot of pieces involved. What he's referring to is a snaking spine of green space, commercial areas and academic space just west of I-35, in the easternmost part of downtown.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

When Austin welcomed its first district-based city council in 2015, it was one of the most diverse councils in the city’s history: majority female, its first-ever Latina council member, plus three fiscal and, at times, social conservatives.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

In a windowless office in a Northwest Austin thrift store, past several racks of high-end used clothing, Todd Logan pores over a list of names.

“We had about 84 folks we were helping through our housing program,” he says. Logan is the director of client services at Project Transitions, a nonprofit that provides medical care and housing for people living with AIDS. He estimates that of the 84 people the group helped last year to keep or find housing, more than half were living on the streets.

 

Via Texas Tribune

Prosecutors will ask a grand jury to indict state Rep. Dawnna Dukes, who was sworn into her position earlier today, on charges of misusing campaign funds and tampering with government documents. Travis County prosecutors and the Texas Rangers will bring their case to jurors next Tuesday, the District Attorney’s office confirmed.

Mary Kang for KUTX

It’s by design that night owls flock in certain parts of Austin.

“Our code currently allows venues within the Warehouse District and the Sixth Street Districts to have amplified sound until 2 a.m.,” said Deputy Director of the Economic Development Department Alex Lopez at a meeting of the Austin City Council’s Economic Opportunity Committee in early December.

via Wikimedia Commons

In some parts of Austin, runaway pets are likely to stay lost.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Half a dozen posters depicting that British hit band the Beatles color the walls of Justin Estep’s office on Rutherford Lane in North Austin. It brings some levity to an otherwise tense space.

flickr/snre

The Travis County Commissioners Court considered options for how to handle a review of criminal cases potentially compromised by the local DNA lab. Run by the Austin Police Department, the lab shuttered its doors in June following an audit from the Texas Forensic Science Commission.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

Testimony included talk of a birthday.

“Ben turned 10 on Monday at a rehabilitation facility in Dallas,” Kathy Sokolic told members of the City Council Mobility Committee on Wednesday. As we’ve chronicled before, a car hit Sokolic’s nephew, Ben, outside his home in the Mueller neighborhood in September. He survived, but his injuries have left him unable to speak or walk.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Holding back tears, Kathy Sokolic told roughly 30 people seated outside City Hall the story of a bruised heart.

“On the evening of Sept. 12, our 9-year-old,” began Sokolic, before pausing to gather herself. “Our 9-year-old nephew, Ben, was hit by a truck on the residential street just feet from his home.”

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Charles Urdy, 82, met his first wife at Charlie’s Playhouse, a now-shuttered club on E. 11th Street in Austin.

“I just walked in,” said Urdy, a former Austin City Council member and professor at Huston-Tillotson University. “A friend of mine and his girlfriend and this young lady were sitting at a table together. And I just walked in.”

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

Two of the city’s three public safety unions are willing to consider a one-year extension of their contracts with the city – but it might not be as simple as giving the go-ahead. Although negotiations for new contracts are set for spring 2017, City Council has said it wants to wait until a new city manager is in place.

Audrey McGlinchy / KUT

Following the announcement of Chief Art Acevedo's retirement, Austin Police Department Chief of Staff Brian Manley has been named as interim police chief. Manley's assignment will take affect Dec. 1.

Audrey McGlinchy via Twitter

Flanked by city colleagues and leaders in both academia and the nonprofit world Wednesday, Mayor Steve Adler introduced the city of Austin to its newest task force: a group that will combat “institutional racism.” The group will be made up of local community leaders in education, immigration and housing.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Attempts to eliminate so-called sanctuary cities has begun anew with another Texas legislative session and new national leadership that has singled out these municipalities. And while Austin is often labeled a sanctuary city, it’s not clear that the city indeed is one.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. /KUT News

At least two state lawmakers filed bills Monday that would strip Texas cities of their power to regulate ride-hailing companies such as Uber and Lyft.

Jon Shapley for KUT

In the year since Texas lawmakers mandated random selection of grand jurors in place of the controversial “key man” system, grand juries in Travis County have become less racially diverse.

Audrey McGlinchy / KUT

Austin voters in five of the city’s 10 districts have decided who will represent them on the city council. This includes districts 2, 4, 6, 7 and 10 – Southeast and most of North Austin. Austinites will also the fate of the $720 million transportation bond. 

10:44 p.m. – In District 7, Council Member Leslie Pool holds a 73 percent lead over challenger Natalie Gauldin, who's garnered 27 percent of the vote with 48 percent of Election Day votes counted.

flickr/snre

Update: The Austin City Council has approved a $3.6 million, six-year contract with Dallas County to send the evidence there for testing. 

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