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.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

Social service providers didn’t need a survey to tell them there is a substance abuse problem among the homeless community in Austin, as the 2017 Point in Time count shows.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

For years, residents of the Cross Creek Apartments in North Austin have been complaining about poor living conditions. They say they continue to pay rent while living with broken windows, poor security and a lack of hot water, among other issues.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

Members of the Texas House of Representatives today will consider Senate Bill 4, popularly known as the “sanctuary cities” bill. The bill would create criminal and civil penalties for law enforcement officials who do not honor all requests from Immigration and Customs Enforcement to detain suspected undocumented immigrants.

But how does an ICE detainer request work?

Stephanie Tacy for KUT News

Austin and Travis County do not meet the definition of "sanctuary city" in the eyes of the federal government, Mayor Steve Adler said today after a meeting with Attorney General Jeff Sessions in Washington, D.C.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Austin Mayor Steve Adler and other mayors are headed to Washington, D.C., to seek clarity on what a "sanctuary city" is during a meeting Tuesday with Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Adler said in a blog post on Medium that, with so much on the line, including federal funding, "mayors need to know what is meant by a term being used by a lot of people to mean many different things."

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

Results of a survey show a drop in the population of Austinites experiencing homelessness.

The annual tally, released yesterday by Ending Community Homelessness Coalition (ECHO), counted 2,036 people during the January survey.

Stephanie Tacy for KUT News

Here is a list of unsurprising things: Austin has traffic, people here like both breakfast tacos and queso, and most residents don't identify as Republican.

Those startling revelations were revealed in a survey released by Austin pollster Peter Zandan today. Tried-and-true tropes aside, the poll of just over 800 Austinites also teased out some particularly interesting nuggets about residents’ views on transportation, that oft-lauded (or dearly departed, to some) “Soul of Austin” and engagement in local politics.

Here are four takeaways from the Zandan poll.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

Early on June 24, 2016, Austin City Council Member Delia Garza checked her watch.

“We’re making a decision about $720 million at 1:35 in the morning after lengthy discussions,” Garza told her colleagues. “After, in my opinion, no real agreement on this.”  

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

Police say progress has been made in reducing the prevalence of K2 in recent weeks, following a pledge from city officials to double down on efforts to combat the cheap synthetic street drug.

Op-Ed: Let's Tackle Austin's Affordability Crisis Without Villainizing Newcomers

Apr 18, 2017
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Nothing is quite as “un-Austin" and "un-Texan" as to be unwelcoming to new people. Yet some Austinites argue that outsiders are destroying our city; it has even become a mantra for them. But what makes someone an Austinite and gives them the right to be here? Being born here? Being here for 10 years? Longer? While Austin does have growing pains, we also have the tools to deal with them, and that does not mean pulling the ladder up on new people.

City of Austin

The City of Austin has released the first iteration of its CodeNEXT zoning map. It marks city staff’s first public attempt at applying a draft of the city’s new land development code, released in January, to neighborhoods throughout the city.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

Two women – one grown, the other growing – sit in a University of Texas office. The younger one, just 6 years old, wears a gray T-shirt, pink leggings and cowboy boots, which dangle from the edge of her chair. The other woman wears a blue linen top and bangles on her arm. Between them sits a more than 1,000-page document.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

The Austin City Council approved the strategic housing plan Thursday, though the document is now being called the strategic housing “blueprint.” It calls for the construction of 135,000 more housing units by 2025, with 60,000 of them being affordable.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

After hours of debate last night, Austin City Council gave final approval to one of this year’s most divisive zoning cases. The Austin Oaks planned unit development, or PUD, will bring new housing, retail, office space and parkland to the current site of an office park near Spicewood Springs Road and MoPac. Last night’s vote was 8-2. 

KUT

Officers with the University of Texas Police Department have started using body cameras, the university said in a statement Thursday.

The university entered into a five-year contract worth $450,000 to buy body cameras and video storage space from Axon, the technology company formerly known as Taser International. UTPD Police Chief David Carter said the contract has been in the works since he came to the department in 2013.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

Next month, Austin’s Brackenridge Hospital will close its doors for good. Patients will be transferred to the new Dell Seton Medical Center just across East 15th Street. That means the spacious, and centrally located, Brackenridge campus will be open for new development. But the incoming tenant will have to contend with a unique feature of the property, something buried beneath the surface of the old hospital.

Pavel Mezihorak for KUT

The release of Austin’s first-ever strategic housing plan has both faced scrutiny and garnered support at public meetings in recent weeks. The plan aims to address the city’s growing affordability crisis by setting goals for new housing production. Austin City Council members are set to vote Thursday on whether to adopt the plan, and they’re proposing some changes to make the implementation process smoother.

National Weather Service

Severe storms are possible in the Austin area for much of this week. Several inches of rain have fallen in some areas south of Austin so far today.

To keep you up-to-date, we've collated a list of handy resources during severe weather.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. for KUT

For Austin visitors, it’s hard to beat the iconic view of the Texas Capitol from Congress Avenue. But for those who live and work along the corridor, the streetscape could use some improvements. 

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