Austin

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

KUT Weekend brings you our favorite stories from the KUT newsroom. Updated Fridays.

Liang Shi for KUT News

It was as if they’d been studying Austin’s recent petition haps and mishaps.

State lawmakers on the House Elections Committee began hearing testimony Thursday on possible legislative changes to how local petition ballots and bond elections are run. Several of the issues they focused on related to Austin’s May vote on Proposition 1 – although lawmakers did not explicitly call out the capital city.


Miguel Gutierrez Jr.

Veronique Johnson spends her days at a no-nonsense office on Rundberg Lane, instructing nursing students how to insert catheters, draw blood and bathe life-size mannequins at the Central Texas Nursing Network. She’s been doing this work for 10 years, since she started the business. But, she also has side job – one that doesn’t pay.


Shelby Tauber/Texas Tribune

State Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, on Thursday proposed creating an "MD Anderson of the brain" on the site of the troubled Austin State Hospital, a psychiatric facility that has been plagued with staff shortages, crumbling facilities and a failure to meet federal health standards.


KUTX

More than a year to the date music venue Red 7 shuttered its doors, Mayor Steve Adler announced a plan to financially buttress the city’s live music spots in the form of a $10 million “minibond.”

Flickr via Steve Snodgrass

Regardless of what you think of Austin calling itself the “Live Music Capital of the World,” you’ve got to admit it is pretty effective branding. Even people who don’t like music, and who’ve never been here, equate the city with a vibrant scene.


Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

In a repeat match of their neck-and-neck 2014 race, Austin City Council Member Don Zimmerman and challenger Jimmy Flannigan met Tuesday night beneath a giant screen at the Alamo Drafthouse Lakeline.

There was no feature on the bill, but that was alright. The two candidates vying for District 6 representative provided ample entertainment.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

Austin is home to one of the first mental health care facilities in Texas, but state lawmakers are considering selling the property and relocating the facility.


Elizabeth Pagano / Austin Monitor

Two of the three candidates vying for the District 4 City Council seat faced off Monday in a packed North Austin coffeehouse and answered questions from those they hope to represent.

Incumbent Council Member Greg Casar has represented District 4 since his 2014 win. Candidate Louis Herrin III, who works as a state environmental engineer, is running for the District 4 seat for the second time. In 2014, Herrin garnered under 3 percent of the vote in his first run against Casar.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr.

Travis County election officials are introducing a new interactive map that may help voters find the shortest lines at the election polling places in this fall. 


Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

This week, the Austin City Council is set to vote on a rezoning case for a mobile home park in Montopolis. If approved, the change could force residents of some of Austin’s most affordable housing to find new homes. 


Martin do Nascimento for KUT

With a presidential election a short seven weeks away, voter registration is heated up throughout Travis County. At the University of Texas campus, volunteers are signing up so many voters that sometimes it’s hard for them to keep enough forms on hand.


Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

District 10 is Austin’s wealthiest district – it boasts an annual median family income of $131,100. It’s one of the city’s most sprawling districts, stretching from MoPac to Lake Travis.

The race for District 10 is the most crowded among the five districts on the ballot. Council member Sheri Gallo is the current representative, and she faces three challengers – all who, like Gallo, tout fiscal responsibility, but with some added twists. It's a field of candidates who seem to straddle the political aisle; purple people, if you will.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

From the Austin Monitor: After weeks of back-and-forth with city staff and three days of wrangling for dollars and cents on the dais, City Council approved a $3.7 billion budget Wednesday evening for the upcoming Fiscal Year 2016-2017.

Audrey McGlinchy (left) | Leslie Pool campaign, via Facebook

You could classify Austin’s District 7 as the "middle district"  – it falls smack dab between the city’s lowest and highest income districts, with an annual median family income around $74,000. Half (around 56%) of district residents rent their homes. It’s also geographically central and narrow, stretching from the city’s North Loop area to the boundaries of Pflugerville.

Council Member Leslie Pool represents Austin’s District 7. This year, Pool faces only one challenger: Natalie Gauldin, a former teacher and current technical writer.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

From the Austin Monitor: A lengthy series of memos defending the city’s review of the Grove at Shoal Creek planned unit development emerged yesterday, and it could set the stage for the case returning to City Council later this month.


Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

Austin’s District 6 is one of the city’s wealthiest – the median family income falls around $86,000 a year. It also boasts the largest number of Asian residents in the city.

Council Member Don Zimmerman represents Austin’s northernmost district. He has served as a resounding voice of fiscal conservatism, often abstaining from votes because of a general aversion for government spending.


Jenna VonHofe for KUT

Austin’s District 4 is one of its most diverse – more than 65 percent of residents are Hispanic, and nearly 10 percent of the district is African-American.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

When you think of architecture, you probably think about the style and functionality of a building. You may not always think about the people who drew up the plans. But their perspectives can help shape the way our cities look. In Austin, African-American women are hoping to diversify the field of architecture.


Qiling Wang for KUT

­Fifty years ago this month, a small group of farmworkers and their supporters arrived in Austin after marching nearly 500 miles from the Rio Grande Valley to Austin. That event 1966 has come to mean different things to different people, and a march on Sunday reflected on the half-century anniversary.


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