Austin

Filipa Rodrigues, KUT News

Women dancing with lawn chairs, men dressed as Uncle Sam, and a rabbit in a mini army tank are just a few of the highlights from the scene of the Far West Fourth of July Parade.

courtesy Channel Austin

It’s been 40 years now for Channel Austin, the city’s only nonprofit that runs an independent television channel. And like people turning the big 4-0, Channel Austin is reflecting on its past and looking to the future.

Over the years, Channel Austin has had its brushes with fame.

U.S. Navy

City officials have confirmed that a military training operation took place over Austin today.

A U.S. Navy E-6, similar to a commercial Boeing 707, flew over Austin during a touch-and-go drill, a common exercise in which a pilot lands and takes off again without stopping. The plane was from Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma. 

flickr.com/chrontourage

Hipsters are hard to find.

Or are they?

When they're not shopping for vintage vinyl or eating Moroccan soul food, they're probably at some place you've never heard of. But, thanks to Yelp's Wordmap, the uninitiated can now track the movements of ever-elusive Austin hipster.

flickr.com/bougher7

With a little help from mother nature and the Texas Legislature, fireworks retailers might see a sales boom in the Austin area this Fourth of July.

Last month, Gov. Perry signed HB 1813, which allows Texans to transport and possess fireworks in cities, eliminating previous fines that ranged from $50 to $2,000.

flickr.com/jeffgunn

Sure, Austin's got idiosyncrasies, which is a nice way of saying Austinites are "weird."

But, according to a survey from Travel & Leisure, Austinites have also earned another, less flattering, label: Snobby. 

flickr.com/nagamori

After an unprecedented outbreak of West Nile virus in Texas last year, the state has seen half of the reported cases compared to this time last year.

But, despite the decrease, the Department of State Health Services says environmental factors and the disease's unpredictability don't necessarily guarantee a safe summer for Texans.

This week, forty five Texas high school students participated in the Texas School Safety Center's third annual Youth Preparedness Camp. It's a week-long camp in Kerrville, Texas, aimed to teach students how to respond to emergencies and  increase disaster preparedness in Texas communities. 

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon, KUT News

Gov. Rick Perry is fond of special sessions. Since 2000, he's called for 11 special sessions as governor. And, after the legislative fireworks in the final hours of the last special session, Gov. Perry called yet another special session, bringing lawmakers back to Austin to address transportation, criminal justice and abortion regulations not covered last session's call.

Courtesy of AIDSVu

A new interactive map illustrates cases of HIV and possible treatment and testing centers. The map was compiled by the non-profit AIDSVu, using city, county and federal data.  

National HIV Testing Day was this week, providing a chance to increase awareness about testing and treatment efforts among at-risk populations and inspire who may be living with the disease to seek help in managing it. 

Laura Rice, KUT News

The City of Austin and the Austin Tenant’s Council are hosting a community forum Saturday focused on housing discrimination against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender people.

The prospect of drone-dotted skies across Texas isn’t such a far-off thought.

The technology exists, and Gov. Rick Perry even signed a law regulating their use last week.

While the legislation provides some oversight, it carves out some strange exceptions. And the burgeoning industry is waiting for the FAA to establish federal regulation.

As reported earlier this month, the Austin City Council got a look at the final version of a plan to redevelop the land along Waller Creek into a chain of parks.

They liked what they saw: Today, the council unanimously voted to approve the design plan developed by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates with little argument.

flickr.com/mr-pi

Austin resident Alyshia Foster grew up outside Dallas. When she was nine, she started taking medication to deal with depression.

“There had been this festering ugliness and self-hatred and I felt it was killing everything beautiful about it and I didn’t know what it was," Foster said.

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.

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