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

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

The City of Austin announced Thursday that Mayor Steve Adler declared a Local State of Disaster to remain in effect until taken up at an upcoming special called City Council meeting.

At the meeting, to take place this Sunday, the ratification and extension of the declaration has been added to the agenda. Adler stated the declaration in a memo to council:


Austin City Council members are considering regulations for ridesharing companies Uber and Lyft. If passed, the City would collect fees from these companies, and also impose fingerprint-based background checks on drivers. On Thursday, Uber launched a campaign against the Council member who initiated these regulations.

A History of Travis County's Aging Courthouses

Nov 4, 2015
Austin History Center, C05161

For whatever reason, courthouses in Travis County are always hard-built.

Last night, voters rejected a proposal to build a new courthouse to replace the 84-year-old Heman Marion Sweatt Courthouse in downtown Austin. But, while some say a new building is long overdue, it’s not the first time Travis County voters have said so.


Veterans Day is a week away. And, as they have for more than a decade, veterans will take part in a parade around the Texas State Capitol. It also looks like the Confederate flag will be there, as it has been in the past, but this time the flag's appearance comes despite efforts from Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt to ban it from the parade.

Nathan Bernier/KUT News

Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo has said he wants body cameras on his officers by the end of this year. While there have been a lot of questions about what happens with these videos once they’re recorded, APD is considering the best possible practices for dealing with the footage.


Flooding last week caused untreated wastewater to end up in creeks around Austin.  In fact, wastewater seems to end up overflowing almost anytime the region experiences a major storm. 

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT

Austin Energy customers may see an increase in their bill this month.
But the increase isn’t because of higher electricity rates.
The City is changing the way it calculates its drainage fee, and the new fee structure directly affects the city’s ability to handle flooding.

Mose Buchele/KUT

Hundreds are displaced in Bastrop County after flooding that began in Travis and Hays counties on Friday. The emergency is a reminder that floods don’t stop just because the rain does. 

Veronica Zaragovia/KUT

Yet again, homeowners in the Onion Creek area spent Saturday cleaning up after torrential rains flooded their homes, for the second time since the Halloween floods of 2013. And this time around, some residents are losing patience.

That includes homeowners like Jose Vara, who was feeling angry as he stood outside his home wearing tall black rubber boots. His house got about six inches of water inside. From the door you could see mud all over the house floor. 

Nathan Bernier, KUT News

The head of SXSW Interactive, Hugh Forrest, released a statement today announcing that he made a "mistake" in canceling two GamerGate-related panels earlier this week. Instead of reinstating the panels, Forrest says they've been rolled into a newly scheduled day-long summit on online harassment to be held on Sunday, March 12.

Update 2:30 p.m. It turns out that several of the panelists scheduled for this new online harassment summit were not informed about the full panelist lineup. 

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT

The torrential downpours of the past 12 hours have brought as many inches of rains to parts of Austin. The rain is expected to continue through the night, with forecasts anticipating potential flood risks to continue into tonight and tomorrow morning. Below, we've got a list of all the closures in the Austin area. 

Veronica Zaragovia/KUT

An Austin-based nonprofit that helps people sign up for health insurance is teaming up with another group that helps musicians access low-cost medical care. Foundation Communities will work with the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians, or HAAM, to get more Austin musicians insured during the upcoming enrollment period for plans on the federal marketplace.

NWS San Antonio/twitter

11:00 a.m.: The Austin Independent School District has announced classes are canceled Monday, November 2, at Palm Elementary because some classrooms in the school sustained heavy water damage during the storm.  Faculty and staff should report to campus Monday. Two parent meetings will be held Monday to provide more information.

Trey Shaar/KUT

A federal judge has dismissed a manslaughter charge against former Austin Police Detective Charles Kleinert in the death of Larry Eugene Jackson, Jr.

Kleinert, who's white, shot Jackson, an African-American, following a foot pursuit and a scuffle after Jackson approached the scene of a bank robbery in Central Austin on July 26, 2013.

Some Austin City Council members will be up for reelection next year. That means they can start raising campaign money in May 2016.

Council members have already started talking about how to make that process more transparent – along with something else that influences city policy.


An Austin City Council committee is recommending that Barton Springs Pool waive admissions fees for a select group of residents: those 80 years and older.

Though it was free for them before — sort of.

Travis County is working towards using a federal system that verifies the immigration status of those applying to work for the county. But County Commissioners have a few reservations.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

This week, Austin City Council members will reignite a discussion their predecessors started three years ago.

Council will look at the question of whether the city should have a policy to help renters who are forced to move through no fault of their own.

Remember When Bacon Was Actually Good for Us?

Oct 26, 2015

Today, the World Health Organization dropped a bombshell on bacon lovers. The organization revealed the results of its years-long study, which suggests processed meats increase the likelihood of colorectal cancer. Sure, it’s not exactly a huge surprise – studies on processed meats were found to increase the risk of diabetes in 2013, and a 2012 study found eating too much meat increased the overall risk of early death by 20 percent.

But, in a less learned time of Texas’ history, bacon was considered a cure-all for all sorts of maladies.

Scott Tucker/Flickr

Formula One at Circuit of the Americas, or COTA, has now wrapped up. But one thing that still has yet to conclude: a lawsuit COTA filed against the Travis County Appraisal District in 2013.