Natalie Krebs

Intern for KUT News

Natalie Krebs for KUT News

Out of a small room in the Central Presbyterian Church in downtown Austin, a company called Open Arms makes women’s clothing. It was started about three years ago, with idea of paying refugee women a living wage. More than 4,000 refugees have resettled in Austin since 2001 with many coming from Vietnam, Burma and Iraq with the newest group, which is expected at the beginning of next year from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

flickr.com/robertelyov

Austin-Travis County Health and Human Services says sexually transmitted diseases are costing Travis County residents lots of money.

The department says more than 62,000 new cases of STDs were diagnosed in Travis County in 2011 alone. That’s estimated to cost over $83 million in lifetime medical costs.

Natalie Krebs for KUT News

Two local civil rights groups – the Austin Police Accountability Coalition and the Peaceful Streets Project – gathered in front of City Hall this morning to protest Friday’s fatal officer-involved shooting.

flickr.com/babasteve

Austin's already welcomed the Burmese, the Iraqis and the Bhutanese. But starting at end of this year, Austin will begin to welcome its newest round of refugees – the Congolese.

Over the next few years, the U.S. expects to resettle approximately 50,000 refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the U.S. 10 percent of those refugees may end up in Texas, according to Erica Schmidt, the Austin-area director for Refugee Services of Texas.

Central Texas Veterans Healthcare System

Austin’s new VA clinic opened this week, becoming the largest free-standing VA outpatient clinic in the U.S. The new, state-of-the-art clinic will to help accommodate Central Texas’s fast growing veteran population across 39 counties.

The clinic currently serves 23,000 veterans. The VA hopes to increase that number to 30,000 by 2025 with the expanded facilities, according to Central Texas Veterans Healthcare System spokeswoman Deborah Meyer.

flickruser/duluoz cats

It was a long holiday weekend for Austin Police:  APD made 99 arrests in an increased effort against drunk driving.

July 4 through the morning of July 7 marked a no-refusal enforcement for ​Austin Police. DWI suspects who refused a breath or blood test had to submit a blood sample under a search warrant. There were 55 warrants issued for blood samples over the weekend.

flickr.com/BruceTurner

The days of lost dog posters and last-minute babysitter scrambles may be coming to a close.

Nextdoor is an app that connects neighbors via their smartphone to help organize neighborhood watches and community conversations. Over 200 neighborhoods in Austin have already signed up for the app, which is set to roll out this summer.

Wells Dunbar, KUT News

Austin voters will likely be asked to approve bond dollars for affordable housing, after a similar proposition was voted down in last November.

On Monday, city council members Sheryl Cole, Bill Spelman and Chris Riley, along with housing advocates from Keep Austin Affordable, announced their support for a $65 million bond program on the November 2013 ballot. They said the spending could finance more affordable housing – without raising the tax rate.

Harry Ransom Center

Willa Cather and Don DeLillo are literary names not primarily associated with sports writing.

However, Cather, who attended the University of Nebraska and was an avid football fan, penned in 1894 a short ghost story about football titled "The Fear That Walks at Noonday." In 1997, DeLillo’s “Underworld” was famously framed by the 1951 National League Championship game between the New York Giants and the Brooklyn Dodgers.

An East Austin church is evolving to match the way Austin worships.

Vox Veniae, which is affiliated with the Evangelical Covenant Church, began as part of the Austin Chinese Church for Asian Americans and Asian immigrants to worship. But it has since grown into a very diverse environment. It now has worshipers come to its Sunday service that are white, Latino and African American.

flickr.com/kentuckycountrydayschool

A group of Austin high school students is calling on fellow teens not to text and drive.

The Austin Youth Council is teaming up with AT&T to raise awareness about the dangers of driving while texting, with a car simulator that demonstrates how distracting texting can be.

flickr.com/wallyg

Austin’s summer swimming season is underway, despite a recent drowning.

The first drowning at Barton Springs pool in 23 years happened last Wednesday, when lifeguards failed to resuscitate a 21-year-old at the popular swimming pool. Thirteen lifeguards were on duty when Andrew Guerra, who had been racing with friends, went under. 

flickr.com/joshhikes

The Austin Marathon will be changing tracks next February, metaphorically speaking.

Freescale Semiconductor, a technology company based in Austin, announced this morning that it will sponsor the 2014 race, which takes place on Feb. 16. Livestrong has sponsored the race for the previous three years.

flickr.com/myfwcmedia

A federal district judge has overturned a federal emergency rule that would shorten the red snapper fishing season to as few as 12 days in Texas – down from a projected 22 days.

Environment Texas Director Luke Metzger says that he is disappointed in the ruling. The federal decision that would have shortened the season was put in place to stop the overfishing of red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico.