Austin

Sinclair Black & Andrew Vernooy

Update (June 20): This morning Austin City Council members decided to go ahead and approve a resolution supporting a I-35 National Environmental Policy Act study for a plan to reconnect East & West Austin by submerging it from approximately River Street to Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard.

Council also directed the City Manager to develop an economic impact study and look at associated financing options.

A business in Austin is laying off hundreds of employees. OneWest Bank has notified the Texas Workforce Commission that intents to lay off more than 700 employees in Austin.

The California-based company is a mortgage services provider with offices in the Domain complex.

Filipa Rodrigues, KUT News

To celebrate Juneteenth, KUT News is bringing you voices from Austin's black community on their past, present and future.

Carlos Wilson is a young Austinite whose heritage is rooted in Central America. 

"I imagine that people aren't going to care about what your heritage is and they're just going to think that we're all the same in the future."

Filipa Rodrigues, KUT News

A series of Juneteenth celebrations kicked off this weekend, celebrating the day in 1865 when slaves in Texas learned they were free. To honor these celebrations, KUT News is telling a series of stories about the history of the African-American community in Austin. 

KUT News

Texas was given a $750,000 federal grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to help U.S. veterans find jobs when they come home.

Along with Georgia, Illinois and North Carolina, the grant will reach out to active-duty soldiers within 90 days of their return from the Army, Texas Army National Guard and the Army Reserve.

flickr.com/rutlo

The U.S. House is considering a version of a farm bill that could heavily impact benefits for Texans receiving food stamps.  

The change to state policy standards for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) could take away 482 million meals for the hungry, and could cut 171,000 people from food assistance statewide, according to the Texas Food Bank Network.

flickr.com/USDAGov

A new report spotlights the success and shortfalls of summer lunch programs for Texas students.

The Food Research and Action Center found that the number of lunch programs across the state grew by 17 percent last year. However, these programs only reach about 11 percent of low-income children receiving school lunches.

Caleb Bryant Miller for KUT News

More than 22 percent of Austin area jobs require specialized STEM skills. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

A study released by the Brookings Institution today shows Austin’s percentage of STEM jobs in 2011 was slightly higher than the national average of 20 percent.

Filipa Rodrigues, KUT News

Austin's cemeteries have a long list of problems — broken headstones, aging fences and outdated irrigation systems. Some cemeteries aren't even compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

But the City of Austin is developing a comprehensive plan on how to preserve some of the oldest cemeteries in the city.

The Circuit of the Americas [COTA] and hordes of extreme sports enthusiasts are fighting hard to bring the Summer X Games to Austin next summer.  COTA has now produced a video showing just how extreme Austin can be.

flickr.com/dekstop

Bitcoin is blowing up, both in the successful and not-so-successful sense.

The currency is as volatile as a Texas summer is miserably hot. But the volatility’s not stopping Austin movers and shakers from capitalizing on the craze.

Last week, a Bitcoin startup that will help grow the online currency popped up in Austin. But some Austin Bitcoin’ers are trying to moving the currency offline and into the real world.

It's time to play everyone's favorite game!

The city's Budget in a Box gives folks outside city hall a chance to learn about the city's budgeting process, then try on the shoes of a city budgeter, cutting, padding and managing programs and agencies that keep the city humming along.

KUT News acquired a copy of the game and we gave a two reporters and a few interns the chance to give the budgeting process the old college try. Click the video below to see how we fared.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon, KUT

The Austin City Council is meeting in a work session today. They could talk about accepting a $3.5 million donation from event production company C3 Presents to make improvements to Auditorium Shores.

C3 Presents is a concert promotion and management company that puts on events such as the Austin Food and Wine Festival at the park. The city approved C3 Presents’ request for a second weekend for the popular Austin City Limits Festival in 2013 and later years.

Jillian Schantz Patrick for KUT News

Update: Former Austin Mayor Bruce Todd is returning to the Travis County Commissioners Court.

County Judge Sam Biscoe has selected Todd to be interim Precinct 2 Commissioner, an office Todd held before he was elected Mayor of Austin in 1991. 

Joy Diaz, KUT News

The co-founder of one of the oldest restaurants in Austin died over the weekend. Janie Martinez helped her husband open Matt’s El Rancho in 1952.

Martinez died Saturday at the age of 90. Her death comes almost a year after the Tex-Mex restaurant celebrated its 60th anniversary. Matt himself died in 2003.

KUT News

You know those property tax breaks that Austin uses to lure companies like Apple and Visa to town? A Washington, D.C., group says the city is doing a pretty good job of letting us know how those deals pan out.

The nonprofit research center Good Jobs First gave Austin’s program 100 out of 100 for disclosing annual activity online and for providing third-party audits of each company receiving taxpayer incentives. 

Andrew Weber for KUT News

Austin is no longer a “sleepy college town,” according to Police Chief Art Acevedo.

Austin Police and the U.S. Attorney's office say as Austin grows, so does the risk of drug trafficking. Today, they announced two big busts – one involving a year-and-a-half investigation into a cartel-connected cocaine ring and another that yielded over 20 pounds of methamphetamine.

YouTube

There are many ways to experience Austin.

For Andrew Takano, a UT aerospace engineering grad student, it was to capture what Austin looks like at night. Some 170 hours of shooting and editing later, Takano’s video, “Sleepwalking Austin,” is racking up views on YouTube.

Laura Rice, KUT News

The food trailer park on South Congress was one of Austin’s most popular. But the trailers had to clear the lot this week to make way for a hotel and retail space.

Four food trailers made the two-mile move to a vacant lot at South Lamar and Bluebonnet Lane – including Austin Frigid Frog Shaved Ice.

flickr.com/editor

The City of Austin has received a federal grant to address health problems posed by some older homes. The city already has a program to inspect for toxic lead-based paint

The $2.5 million grant will also allow the city to take care of pest and mold problems in older homes and to install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. The grant will provide for services to 138 homes.

 

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