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Todd Wiseman/Texas Tribune

Increased operational fees for the ridesharing companies Uber and Lyft are heading to the Austin City Council.

The measures were approved by the council’s Mobility Committee yesterday, along with new fingerprint background checks – to the objection of the companies.

Mengwen Cao

Austin City Limits returns today to Zilker Park for two three-day weekends, and as usual, with the hordes of soon-to-be flash-tatted music fans come some street closures, a heightened police presence, probably some unlicensed short-term rentals and considerable congestion in and around the park. So, here's some of the info you'll want if you're rushing to catch a mid-afternoon set or if you're just looking for a re-route on the way to your dry cleaners.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT

Roughly two thousand people, wearing blue shirts and “Police Lives Matter” stickers, crowded in front of the Austin Police Department on Saturday morning. 

Updated: At around 1 p.m. a group of demonstrators walked onto I-35 at Exit 284B at 12th St., blocking traffic, and remained there for about ten minutes. 

Austin Police set up barricades and got the crowd to back off the freeway, at which point they started to walk on 10th St. toward downtown.

Flickr/Anita Gould (CC BY-NC 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

We talk a lot about how the trajectory of the nation turned in the months and years that followed September 11, 2001. One of the many lives that took a turn that day was that of David Peters.

He was a former Marine who reenlisted as an Army chaplain after 9/11. Peters was attached to a combat unit on the ground in Iraq and then served as a chaplain at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in New York. Although he now works and lives in Austin and the surrounding area, on September 11, 2015, Father Peters will return to New York. He’ll be giving a sermon at St. Paul’s Chapel near ground zero.

Quiet Company

Shows in Austin this weekend include performances by a local rock band with dancers, some booty shaking brass music, a Canadian electronica act and a master of the Hammond B3 organ. Listen to our chat with KUTX program director Matt Reilly to learn more.

In the 78704, a Latin-inspired restaurant serving oysters, ceviche and other seafood in a casual setting opened this year. KUT's Nathan Bernier asks Austin American-Statesman restaurant critic Matthew Odam about his review of Alcomar.

Disclosure: Alcomar is an underwriter of KUT.

Veronica Zaragovia/KUT News

The City of Austin filed a lawsuit Monday against the Travis Central Appraisal District, arguing that the agency significantly undervalued Austin’s commercial and vacant properties in its assessments for the past several years. Mayor Steve Adler announced the suit today at a press conference, where he appeared along with Travis Chief Appraiser Marya Crigler of TCAD. 

Photo by KUT News

Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo may be considering a move south to San Antonio. Acevedo announced Thursday that he has been selected as one of five finalists in the running for the Chief of Police position in San Antonio.

He said in a statement released Thursday:

KUT News

A female inmate in the Travis County Correctional Complex has died after being found unresponsive Monday in the shower. 

Investigators announced the death this morning. Autopsy results are pending, but investigators found no evidence of foul play.

No cause of death was immediately released for 40-year-old Athena Covarrubias. Roger Wade of the Travis County Sheriff’s Department says that officials aren’t ready to speak on what the cause of death might be, but suicide is still being considered among other possibilities. “There’s a list of possibilities, but detectives aren’t ready to pin it down to one thing until the [medical examiner]’s office makes a ruling,” Wade says.

KUT News

Travis County residents can now use their phones to register to vote, with a new text-based system available to any eligible voter in the county.

Former State Senator Joe Christie spent the last two years helping to develop the tool, in part to encourage more millennials to get registered.

Flickr/Sergio Olivier (CC BY-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

What would you consider a signature Texas drink? An ice cold Shiner? Perhaps some of Houston’s own Pura Vida Tequila Silver in the form of a Mexican martini? Maybe you want a 20-ounce bottle of Big Red?

Well the country of Peru would like to add a new beverage to the list of Texas drinks — pisco. Its producers are setting their sights on Texas as their next big market. In fact, its popularity is already on the rise in the U.S., where imports of pisco have more than doubled between 2010 and 2014.

Mark Ramirez is a reporter with the Dallas Morning News, and he sat down with the Standard to talk about his recent article on what pisco is and why Peruvian producers are looking to Texas as the next big market for pisco.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr/KUT

Late last week, the number of traffic fatalities surpassed the total number of fatalities on Austin roads in all of last year. Currently, there have been 65 deaths with five months left in the year, compared to 63 in all of 2014. The previous peak for traffic fatalities over last few decades was in 2012, when the city saw 78 road deaths, but, this year, Austin is on track to exceed 100 deaths before the end of the year.

Below, you can view a map of the traffic deaths so far this year.

Collin County Jail

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton turned himself in to authorities in Collin County this morning. He's charged with three felonies relating to his solicitation of investments in a technology company.

He was immediately released from Collin County Jail on $35,000 bond after booking.

Two of the charges — first-degree felony securities fraud — carry the possibility of hefty jail sentences. 

Photo by KUT News

The City of Austin today presented its proposed budget for FY 2015-16 to the new 10-1 City Council, which will work on finalizing the proposal before the new fiscal year on Oct. 1.  [View the proposed budget in full here.]

The proposal calls for spending a total of $3.5 billion, a $39-million increase from last year. The increase in property tax revenue for the city would total about $36 million.


If you drive a car in Texas, every year you need to do two things: get your vehicle inspected and renew its registration. Until this year, those were two separate stickers on your windshield.

But that’s changing now – which means a few new steps you'll want to be aware of.

Starting this year, the two stickers on your windshield are becoming one. Now Texans will get their vehicles inspected before renewing their registration, and then get just one sticker for both when they’re done.

It’s a big change that will eventually affect nearly every vehicle in the state. And it can be kind of confusing.

Callie Hernandez/KUT News

District 6 City Council member Don Zimmerman filed a lawsuit Monday challenging the City of Austin's campaign finance restrictions, which he argues violate First Amendment freedoms.

In particular the suit addresses fundraising caps and blackout periods, arguing that these restrictions impede the council member's ability "to serve as a strong voice of fiscal restraint and liberty on the Council...[and] to communicate my views with my constituents and my city," according to the press release from Zimmerman's office.


Austin’s seen its first triple-digit day of the summer. Just before 1 p.m. yesterday, Central Texas thermometers cracked the triple-digit seal, according to the National Weather Service. While the thermostat has thankfully stayed pretty low so far this year in Austin, that’s going to change.

When it comes to triple-digit days in Austin, the best way to describe what’s happening is, “Never would’ve been better than late.”

Miguel Gutierrez, Jr./KUT

Demonstrators gathered last night for a vigil remembering Sandra Bland in a march that ran from Victory Grill in East Austin and ended in a silent vigil at the Texas State Capitol. Bland was found dead in a Waller County jail cell on July 13 after being arrested for an altercation with police that stemmed from a traffic violation.

Her case has drawn national attention after her family suggested her death wasn’t the result of a suicide, though an autopsy report has suggested there was no evidence Bland’s death was a homicide.

Above you can view a photo gallery of the march through East Austin and the vigil at the Capitol.

The Guardian

Austin has the fourth-highest total number of people fatally shot by police this year, according to a new analysis by the Guardian Newspaper.

The report shows Austin has six deaths caused by police in 2015 – the same as New York City. All six of those shot reportedly had a gun, or one was found near the scene. In one case the weapon turned out to be a BB gun.

Houston had the second-most deaths caused by police this year with eight. Los Angeles, with 11 so far this year, tops the list.

Live music in Austin this weekend includes performances by R&B legend Shuggie Otis, local rapper Phranchyze and funk-soul band Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings. Hear clips from those performers and others as KUT's Nathan Bernier asks KUTX program director Matt Reilly about the shows on his radar this weekend.