Austin

News, events, and entertainment happening in and around Austin and the Central Texas counties of Travis, Hays, Caldwell, Bastrop and Williamson

Todd Wiseman/Texas Tribune

Austin Mayor Steve Adler plans to propose a new set of incentives to resolve the standoff over fingerprinting drivers for ride-hailing apps like Uber and Lyft.

flickr/nomadicsun

The City of Austin is considering adding some structures to the downtown landscape: 24-hour public restrooms.

But, the initiative could benefit more than just tourists stuck downtown without a place to go. 


Miguel Gutierrez Jr./KUT

The president of General Motors now says plans with Lyft to bring a fleet of self-driving cars to Austin were only hypothetical. But, what kind of regulations do self-driving cars face in Texas?

The votes are in!

Dozens of you submitted questions you wanted KUT to investigate for our ATXplained project. We chose three for our first voting round (don't worry, the others are eligible for future rounds). More than 600 people voted. Here are the results:

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

There are parts of Austin parks where you can drink alcohol without a permit, but sometimes the rules aren’t so clear. That’s the basis of the City of Austin's decision to redefine some of the parks’ alcohol-free zones.


The Last Dance of David Bowie and Stevie Ray

Jan 13, 2016
Chuck Pulin/Splash News/Corbis, via YouTube

The death of David Bowie has made many an Austinite reflect on the Thin White Duke’s most direct Austin connection: his partnership with Stevie Ray Vaughan that shined an international spotlight on the Austin guitarist. The two met at the Montreaux Jazz Festival in 1982, where Bowie first took a shine to the Austin guitarist despite a less-than-warm reception from the crowd. 

YouTube/Lyft

Update 11:37 a.m. A General Motors spokesperson says that actually, this news is not confirmed; President Dan Ammann was just using Austin as an example.

“At this time, we do not have an active agreement with Austin. We are not pursuing an agreement with Austin. We do not have a forthcoming autonomous vehicle test in Austin. Dan was just using it as a hypothetical example," says Annalisa Bluhm, GM Spokesperson.

The city of Austin continues to disfavor minority- and women-owned businesses in its contracting, a 750-page study finds.

Jon Wainwright, a senior vice president with NERA Economic Consulting, which authored the study, spoke to City Council’s Economic Opportunity Committee on Monday. “We examined a total of over $4 billion across more than 3,500 prime contracts and over 8,500 subcontracts over this six-year period (from 2008 to 2013),” he said. “M/WBEs (minority- and women-owned businesses) received 18.75 percent of those dollars.”


via Flickr/fiftypercentchanceofrain

The Alabama Crimson Tide and the Clemson Tigers will face off tonight in college football's title game. College football has become a popular pastime for students, but new research from Texas A&M University suggests there’s a downside to game day: an increase in sexual assaults on campuses nationwide.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT

Demolition, it seems, follows Robin Wilkins.

Wilkins, 54, moved into the Lakeview Apartments on South Lakeshore Boulevard after another apartment building she was living in was slated to be torn down. She stayed for five years, paying no more than $720 a month for a two-bedroom apartment. Nonetheless, throughout that stay she knew the fate of the building: oblivion.


From the Austin Monitor

From the Austin Monitor: Travis County has seen an astonishing rise in the number of inmates dealing with mental health issues in the past decade.

That message was the thrust of a lengthy briefing delivered to the Commissioners Court on Tuesday by a broad coalition of county officials and community stakeholders, including Austin Travis County Integral Care and the Capital Area Private Defender Service.

flickr.com/amorton

The City of Austin has been under Stage 2 water restrictions since 2010. That means you cannot wash your car at home, and restaurants cannot serve water unless a customer asks for it. Presumably all of these restrictions are temporary, as the City of Austin has the ability to declare a new Level at any time, from the lowest Level 1 up to the most restrictive Level 4.


Andrew Weber/KUT

The emotional bond between a human and an animal can be hard to explain.

A lot of people are skeptical if you talk about your dog or cat like a member of the family. It’s even harder when the animal is not your typical pet, and even harder still when that pet goes missing. 


Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

The Austin Police Department has some ideas how reducing pedestrian traffic fatalities in the new year, some of which they shared with the city’s Public Safety Commission Monday night.

In 2015, more than 100 people died on Austin’s roads. That’s nearly double the number of traffic fatalities the year before. Roughly one-third of those deaths in 2015 involved a pedestrian, which is why APD is considering ways it can make more unsafe pedestrian behavior illegal.


Mengwen Cao/KUT

Over the last month you’ve probably seen plenty of roadside trees decked out for the holidays, and not just in peoples’ front yards. Sometimes it’s trees on public land that get the Christmas treatment, but that can make clean up a challenge on one Austin road now that the holidays are over. 


Screenshot via NBC News

Texas made plenty of national headlines in the New Year, as it became the largest state in the U.S. to allow citizens to openly carry handguns. On Sunday, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick went on national television to defend the new law, and point towards further loosening of gun regulations.


The equipment on Austin’s playgrounds is slowly, but surely, being replaced, and the new equipment looks a little different.


A “Big Year” is a tradition in birdwatching when a birder tries to spot as many bird species as they can over the course of a year in a certain place. It’s an intensely personal thing, when a man or woman travels to far-flung locales just to check another bird off their list. But this year, some Travis County birders put a new, more social spin on the tradition.


Steve Hopson, via WikiMedia Creative Commons

Thirty-five years ago Thursday, the Armadillo World Headquarters was on its last leg.

After a decade on the scene, Eddie Wilson's legendary club had one last blowout to bookend its time at the forefront of Austin's live music scene, culminating in a New Year's Eve party on December 31, 1980.

Screenshot via Youtube

He was a larger-than-life lawyer and a major supporter of the University of Texas at Austin. Word came from Houston this morning that Joe Jamail has passed away at the age of 90 from complications with pneumonia.

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