Austin

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

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Austin City Council is set to take up a measure Thursday to encourage affordable housing to be more evenly dispersed throughout the city.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

The Texas Senate has been moving quickly on many of Gov. Greg Abbott’s priorities for the special legislative session. But one item has seen little movement: a spending cap on city and county budgets in the state.

Martin do Nascimento/KUT

About 85,000 people visit Hippie Hollow every year.

The park on the shore of Lake Travis, just outside Austin, is well-known as a place where you can go to get some sun – without the tan lines. It's thought to be Texas' only clothing-optional public park.

But how did it get that way?

KUT

It's time for another voting round for our ATXplained project.

We've gathered questions from audience members that they want us to investigate. Now, you get to choose which question we pursue. 

This time, we have three questions about streets in Austin.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The Austin Police Department is taking its fleet of more than 400 Ford Explorers out of service amid concerns of carbon monoxide leaking into the cabins.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Did Travis County lower the typical homeowner’s property tax bill in the last year? It depends on how you look at it. Travis County took issue with a KUT story that said despite the county lowering its tax rate, most homeowners ended up paying more in county property taxes.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

During a recent committee hearing on a property tax bill, a state lawmaker made an unusual comment: He praised Travis County.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

It’s hard to come by vacant land in downtown Austin these days, and the few empty blocks that remain are quickly being scooped up by developers. One of the area’s latest projects is at 308 Guadalupe Street.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUTX

People love to wax nostalgic about the Austin of decades past. The rents were cheaper, the traffic was lighter, the music was live-r. Some of that talk may be history viewed through rose-colored glasses, but there is at least one metric by which Austin was, literally, cooler: the temperature.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Earlier this year, Austin announced that it would have to close Givens Pool on East 12th Street for the summer. A couple weeks later, it revealed that Mabel Davis in Southeast Austin would need to close, too. A total of four pools are closed this season. The reason? Leaking and aging infrastructure.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Dozens of activists and affordable housing residents gathered on the steps of City Hall on Saturday to speak against proposed cuts to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

Texas senators are considering a bill that would lower the annual percent increase of property taxes cities and counties would be allowed to collect before triggering an election. The measure was one of Gov. Greg Abbott's priorities for the special session.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The rising cost of construction has made it harder to build affordable homes in Central Austin, housing analysts said Thursday at the Home Builders Association of Greater Austin midyear housing forecast event.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr., KUT News.

A program the Austin City Council approved in March to fast-track permitting for builders who pay construction workers at least $13.50/hr, offer training in safety and worker's compensation along with other requirements could be eliminated as part of an effort in the Texas legislature to speed up construction permitting.

We spoke to Texas Tribune reporter Andy Duehren about his story on this.


Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Austin resident Richard Overton, the oldest known living World War II veteran, is getting a free home upgrade.

Meals on Wheels Central Texas has partnered with The Home Depot Foundation to repair the homes of veterans around the country. At 111, Overton is one of their oldest clients. He built his home in the late 1940s after returning home from the war and has lived there ever since.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

In Austin and about 60 other Texas cities, you need a permit before you can cut down some large or historic trees. Opponents of those tree-preservation rules –including Gov. Greg Abbott – call them a violation of property rights. Now, Attorney General Ken Paxton has weighed in – and those opponents may not be happy with his opinion.

Syeda Hasan / KUT

Mayor Steve Adler is proposing a new plan for addressing homelessness in downtown Austin – by making tourists chip in.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

Paul Slutes is accustomed to less-than-enthusiastic welcomes.

At times, this often resembles a recent scene at Balcones Pool: Despondent swimmers greet him, seated on the concrete with their knees to their chins. Forty minutes earlier, a lifeguard closed the pool because of low chlorine levels. That’s why Slutes is here.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

The 2017 regular session of the Texas Legislature was one of the most contentious in recent memory. It had plenty of protests, some infighting, a few filibusters and even a death threat. Now, after all that drama, lawmakers are headed back for more.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

On a Sunday in late April, Pastor Clarence Jones asked his congregation to join him.

"Oh magnify the Lord with me and let us exalt his name together. Congregation?" he said, his voice booming from the front of the church. Roughly 40 congregants seated in the pews responded: "I saw the Lord and he heard me ..."

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