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.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The rising cost of construction has made it harder to build affordable homes in Central Austin, housing analysts said Thursday at the Home Builders Association of Greater Austin midyear housing forecast event.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr., KUT News.

A program the Austin City Council approved in March to fast-track permitting for builders who pay construction workers at least $13.50/hr, offer training in safety and worker's compensation along with other requirements could be eliminated as part of an effort in the Texas legislature to speed up construction permitting.

We spoke to Texas Tribune reporter Andy Duehren about his story on this.


Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Austin resident Richard Overton, the oldest known living World War II veteran, is getting a free home upgrade.

Meals on Wheels Central Texas has partnered with The Home Depot Foundation to repair the homes of veterans around the country. At 111, Overton is one of their oldest clients. He built his home in the late 1940s after returning home from the war and has lived there ever since.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

In Austin and about 60 other Texas cities, you need a permit before you can cut down some large or historic trees. Opponents of those tree-preservation rules –including Gov. Greg Abbott – call them a violation of property rights. Now, Attorney General Ken Paxton has weighed in – and those opponents may not be happy with his opinion.

Syeda Hasan / KUT

Mayor Steve Adler is proposing a new plan for addressing homelessness in downtown Austin – by making tourists chip in.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

Paul Slutes is accustomed to less-than-enthusiastic welcomes.

At times, this often resembles a recent scene at Balcones Pool: Despondent swimmers greet him, seated on the concrete with their knees to their chins. Forty minutes earlier, a lifeguard closed the pool because of low chlorine levels. That’s why Slutes is here.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

The 2017 regular session of the Texas Legislature was one of the most contentious in recent memory. It had plenty of protests, some infighting, a few filibusters and even a death threat. Now, after all that drama, lawmakers are headed back for more.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

On a Sunday in late April, Pastor Clarence Jones asked his congregation to join him.

"Oh magnify the Lord with me and let us exalt his name together. Congregation?" he said, his voice booming from the front of the church. Roughly 40 congregants seated in the pews responded: "I saw the Lord and he heard me ..."

Laura Skelding for The Texas Tribune

More than 100 people filled an auditorium yesterday to hear from Democratic candidates running for the Texas House District 46 seat – a district that stretches from East Austin out to Manor and north to Pflugerville – to hear five candidates opposing 12-term state Rep. Dawnna Dukes of Austin. 

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

When we talk about gentrification in Austin, the conversation tends to center around rapid redevelopment on the city’s East Side. But residents of other neighborhoods near the city center have their eyes on the changes that Austin’s new land development code, CodeNEXT, could bring.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

Texas’ new voter identification law fully absolves the state from discriminating against minority voters in 2011, and courts should not take further action in a battle over the state’s old voter ID law, President Donald Trump’s Department of Justice argued in a legal filing Wednesday

KUT

It’s the Fourth of July. Here’s everything you need to know.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

If there were a checklist of things to do in Austin, Cherno Nije has checked a lot of boxes.

He moved to Austin in 1985 to attend UT. He worked for the state, raised a family, moved to Lakeway and eventually started a real estate development firm. He enjoys going to jazz shows downtown.

He also plotted a coup d’état.

Martin do Nascimento

To no one's surprise, Austin is one of the most expensive cities to live in in Texas. 

Residents here need to earn around $23 an hour to afford rent for a standard two-bedroom apartment, a new report finds. That’s more than three times the state’s minimum wage of $7.25.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

When you’re out enjoying some live music in Austin, you’re probably not thinking about the development rules governing the venue you’re in. But Austin’s new land development code, known as CodeNEXT, will have implications for clubs and the city’s other creative spaces. 

We're ready for the next voting round in our ATXplained project, where we collect questions from our audience, put them to a vote and then investigate the winning question.

This time, as we enter the hottest months of the year, we're putting three lake-related questions head-to-head. 

Here are the candidates:

  • What happened to Austin's "Aqua Fest"? Why did it stop?
  • What effort went into taming the Colorado River into the Highland Lakes?
  • Why is Hippie Hollow on Lake Travis clothing optional?

Use the form below to cast your vote!

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

When you're driving down Lamar Boulevard between Lady Bird Lake and Fifth Street, do you ever look at the walls of the underpass beneath the train bridge? Do you look at those blank blue signs on the walls of the underpass and wonder: What the heck are those things?

Laura Bauman does. So she asked about them for our ATXplained project.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

As Austin’s new land development code, known as CodeNEXT is being written, city staff and the private sector are working to understand how it will shape future development.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

The Austin City Council has approved some changes to the review process for the city’s new land development code, known as CodeNEXT, allowing for additional scrutiny at City Hall before its planned adoption in April of next year.

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