Austin

Austin
3:50 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

Council Tables Independent Oversight For Austin Energy

A split City Council groudned the idea of an independent board for Austin Energy today.
I-Hwa Cheng, KUT News

The City of Austin cooled the idea of creating a board to oversee Austin Energy.

The original idea was to form a board whose members are more knowledgeable than city council members are about the electric utility industry, but after concerns that its members would be insufficiently accountable to voters, the plan changed, leaving the proposed board with less authority.

Read more
Texas
3:10 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

As Texans Rush to Help OK, Gov. Perry Urges Emergency Plan

As crews begin relief efforts, Gov. Perry urges Texans to plan ahead in the event of a natural disaster
Wikimedia Commons

Central Texas is helping those in Moore, Oklahoma and surrounding areas in relief and rescue efforts.

Last night, Texas Task Force 1 was dispatched to Oklahoma, an elite search and rescue team which includes 5 members from the Austin Fire Department.

Read more
Austin
5:58 pm
Mon May 20, 2013

Cap Metro Could Raise Rates

Click the image above to view Cap Metro's infographic of possible fare increases.
Courtesy of Capitol Metropolitan Transit Authority

You may have to dig out another quarter to board a bus in Austin.

Capital Metro Transit Authority met today to hear a proposal that could bump up fares over the next two years.

Though the transit board won’t approve anything until September, the possible move to raise rates by 25% could net as much as $2.2 million annually. 

Read more
Austin
2:15 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

Austin Launching 'Office of Innovation' Later This Year

Among other things, an Office of Innovation will provide city data to app makers, like Yelp.
KUT News

The City of Austin plans to launch an Office of Innovation later this year.

Last night, City Council’s Emerging Technology and Telecommunications Committee met to discuss expectations for the office. What would it do? What would it cover? The city is open for innovative suggestions.

Read more
Austin
2:16 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Map Says Many Austinites Bike to Work, But Do They Feel Safe?

This City of Austin Map breaks down the percentage of Austinites commuting to work by area. Click the image for an enlarged view.
City of Austin

It’s no secret that Austin is a biking city. And while cities around the country are gearing up for National Bike to Work Day, riding to work is nothing new for Austinites: according to Census data, people here commute by bike four times more often than the national average. 

To prove it, the city released a map breaking down bike commuting by neighborhood. But while more people are pedaling to work, cyclists don't always feel safe on Austin roads.

Read more
Austin
4:59 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

Travis Co. Stares Down Wildfire Season with New Plan, Chopper

Travis County is taking renewed efforts to prevent wildfires like those in Bastrop in 2011.
Jeff Heimsath for KUT News

Central Texas isn’t taking any chances when it comes to wildfires.

Today, Travis County unveiled a new STAR Flight helicopter designed to fight wildfires, and tomorrow the city and the county are teaming up for a series of public meetings for their “Community Wildfire Protection Plan.”

Read more
Education
8:22 am
Mon May 13, 2013

For One Austin School, Funding Hangs on Affordable Housing

Travis Heights Elementary could see enrollment slide if nearby housing prices rise.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Residents at the Oak Creek Village apartments in south Austin are waiting to see if the state grants a developer tax incentives to construct a new, larger complex in its place.  The developer, Eureka Family Group, wants to keep 173 units as affordable housing — which would allow current residents to stay in their homes.

But, if the state doesn't approve the project, many residents might have to move.  Educators and parents at the nearby school — Travis Heights Elementary — are also concerned.

Read more
Politics
7:00 am
Fri May 10, 2013

Obama in Austin: 'Folks Around Here Are Doing Something Right'

President Obama spoke to crowds at Austin's Applied Materials yesterday.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

President Barack Obama spent about six hours in Austin yesterday touring around the city on the first stop of what the White House is calling a “Middle Class Jobs and Opportunity Tour.

After landing mid-day in Austin, the President headed to Manor New Technology high school. The school is what’s called a STEM academy – focusing on science, technology, engineering and math.

Read more
Austin
12:42 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

A Timeline of Obama’s Visits to Austin (Photos)

President Obama, speaking outside the State Capitol in 2008.
KUT News

President Barack Obama’s got a thing for Austin.

The President is kicking off his “Middle Class Jobs and Opportunity Tour” in the Capitol City today. The White House says Austin was picked as the place to start the tour, because it leads the country in manufacturing and tech job growth. (And we’re sure Austin’s reputation as a Democratic city in a solidly Republican state doesn’t hurt either.)

Read more
Austin
2:03 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Austin's Jails Get Slammed on Yelp

In Austin and abroad, citizens have taken to Yelp to review jails and prisons.
flickr.com/duluoz_cats

Update (June 23, 2014): More reviews are in – and since this post was written, Travis County Jail's Yelp rating has risen a whole star. It now has a 2.5 rating.

Here's more Austin Yelp news:

Listen: The Worst Yelp Reviews of Barton Springs and Mount Bonnell

Looking for a Cheap Pabst Blue Ribbon? Austin's Hipster Map Can Help

Original story: With the news that Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg may be leaving the hoosegow, corrections officers may be looking over their shoulders, hoping that the county’s highest ranking law officer doesn’t write them a bad review.

Read more
Education
5:45 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

Cautious Optimism as Johns Hopkins Tapped to Run Eastside

A group of advocates remains hopeful that the new partnership will revive Eastside Memorial High School.
Ann Choi for KUT News

Last night, the Austin School Board picked Johns Hopkins University to help run Eastside Memorial High School.

Although the partnership is not yet official, the new proposal alleviated some community members’ concerns over the school’s uncertain future.

Read more
Politics
6:48 am
Tue May 7, 2013

President Obama to Visit Austin Thursday (Update)

President Obama at an event in Austin in 2011
Jeff Heimsath, KUT News

Update: President Barack Obama will visit Manor New Technology High School this Thursday during his trip to Central Texas. The Associated Press reports he'll also speak at Applied Materials in Austin.

Obama's visit is the first in a series of trips that will push for new models of economic growth. The President will look at which skills are driving America's economy.

The President will be speaking at Manor New Technology High School at 1:05 p.m. and Applied Materials at 4:30 p.m.

Read more
Austin
12:19 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Here’s Five Historic Pieces Up for Auction at RunTex Tomorrow

Credit txauction.com

Tomorrow, Austin running emporium RunTex will have its assets auctioned off.

It’s the end of the road for the local store, which once counted five locations. After RunTex was evicted from its location at Riverside Drive and South First Street, county tax assessor Bruce Elfant revealed the company owed over $17,000 in back taxes.

Read more
Austin
2:23 pm
Fri May 3, 2013

Despite Viral Video Notoriety, UT's Foam Sword Friday Continues (With Nary a Bus in Sight)

University of Texas students at Form Sword Friday today.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Hear the interview with Nick Engmann, who was struck by a Capital Metro bus during last year's Foam Sword Friday.

It’s the last day of regular classes for the spring semester at the University of Texas. And as it happens every last day of class on UT campus, some students are celebrating with Foam Sword Friday, helping students relieve stress before finals.

The campus tradition used to consist of students charging at one another from either side of Guadalupe Street in front of the University Co-Op. That is, until one student was hit by a bus last spring.

Read more
Austin
8:02 am
Thu May 2, 2013

Money Talk: Austin City Council to Hear Budget Needs Today

Not all the action in City Hall today centers on City Council: the Charter Revision Committee is set to recommend a scheme for future elections.
Jeff Heimsath for KUT News

The Austin City Council begins budget talks today after hearing a financial forecast for the city two weeks ago. This morning, the council will discuss budget presentations by city departments.

For the first time, those presentations are available for everyone to watch on the city’s YouTube channel. The city also included a video describing how revenue from taxes and utilities equate to city services.

Read more
Austin
12:34 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

The X Games Could Come to Austin Next Summer

Motocross jumping could become a familiar sight at the Circuit of the Americas, if Austin secures a three year X Games contract.
flickr.com/mustmoto

Update: It's official: The X Games are coming to Austin. Read more here from KUT News.

Original post: Austin could be getting extreme in the summer of 2014.

The Circuit of the Americas announced yesterday that the 1500 acre racetrack and concert venue is on a list of four finalists to host the 2014 Summer X Games and enter into a three-year contract with ESPN, the event’s sponsor.

Read more
Austin
3:29 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

New Hike & Bike Trail Toilet Celebrates With a First Flush

Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Runners and bikers can breathe a sigh of relief – now that they can relieve themselves in a brand new, site-specific restroom on the Lady Bird Lake Hike and Bike Trail.

The new restroom features stylized concrete and carefully placed rebar. But it’s also sited on one of the most populated sections of the trail – the Johnson Creek trailhead, just below the MoPac bridge.

Read more
Austin
3:14 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

All Austin Restaurants Will Start Composting Food Scraps by 2017

An Austin composter takes his pile's temperature.
flickr.com/smreilly

Taking out the trash is a thing of the past: All Austin restaurants will have to start composting by 2017, and restaurants 5,000 square feet and up only have until 2016. The Austin City Council approved the ordinance change today.

Don’t worry: your favorite restaurant isn’t tearing up the parking lot and turning it into a compost heap. Restaurants will be allowed take their pick of private contractors to pick up their food scraps and haul them off for composting.

Read more
Austin
5:46 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Spring Showers: More Oak Wilt?

Austin live oaks and red oaks could see higher levels of oak wilt infection this summer.
flickr.com/photos/nieve44/

Austin live oaks have benefited from recent rains, but that rain could also put them at risk for oak wilt, a fungus that spreads quickly through trees’ root systems and can kill them in as little as six weeks. 

Chris Dolan, head of oak wilt prevention for the City of Austin Arborist’s office, said oak wilt enters a tree through open wounds from pruning and forms “fungal mats,” which infect trees and make them susceptible to parasites.

Read more
Austin
11:00 am
Wed April 24, 2013

City Conference Looks to End Unfair Housing Practices in Austin

Texas Workforce Commission investigator Robert Sumner said that these seminars benefit those fighting unfair housing practices in Austin and across the state.
Andrew Weber for KUT News

The City of Austin investigates about a hundred claims every year of so-called “unfair housing.” That’s when people are denied a place to live based on their race, disability or other factors.

The City of Austin and the Texas Workforce Commission held a conference yesterday in an effort to prevent that.

Read more

Pages