Austin

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

Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

At Black Star Co-op in North Austin, workers take food and drink orders, doling out burgers and beers on a recent weekday. Ask who owns the place, and the response might confound you: the members, or a select number of customers.


Starting in 1869, the timeline below chronicles past floods that hit the Austin area.

Austin’s First-Ever Housing Plan Hits City Hall

Jun 7, 2016
Ilana Panich-Linsman for KUT

This week, city leaders released a draft of Austin’s first-ever strategic housing plan. Unlike broader visions for the city’s future, it focuses on how development will impact the housing supply. 

Austin’s population is projected to grow by almost 3 percent next year. To meet that growing demand, the plan calls for adding 75,000 housing units with 35,000 of them being affordable.


Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

Austin is one of about two dozen large cities in the U.S. that collects and publishes demographic information about people who get tickets or are arrested as a part of the Police Data Initiative. It’s part of an effort to add transparency when it comes to thing like racial profiling.

Today, Austin’s Public Safety Commission will present some new ways the city can expand its efforts to further improve that transparency.


Austin History Center, PICA 00916

The dog days of summer are nipping at Austin’s collective heel and – though the shuttered city pools and recent gloomy weather in Austin may tell you differently – it’s pool season. And, while you may not be able to bring a beer or even your dog to a city pool, at least the city’s not still regulating the attire of every single swimmer, like it did when it passed the 1919 bathing suit ordinance.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

At a city-run job fair back in March, 15-year-old Jake Santema awaited an interview with city staff as part of the process to become a summer lifeguard signed up to be a lifeguard.

“I’m a little nervous of the feeling of having someone’s life on my hands,” said Santema. “It sounds nerve-wracking a little bit.”


Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT News

Residents in southeast Travis County are cleaning up homes destroyed in last week’s flooding.

Monday, in what would have been Andy Creed’s living room, volunteers were sweeping, unscrewing and pulling out the walls and insulation of his girlfriend’s mother’s house. Creed said that at around 10 p.m. Thursday, during heavy rains, the water started rising. 


A local advocacy group is hoping to shed light on the challenges faced by Austin’s Latino population.

Gilbert Rivera is starting to feel less at home in his neighborhood. For years now, the longtime East Austin resident has been watching the streets around him change.


StarFlight/ATCEMS

At least two people are missing after flooding that occurred late Thursday night into Friday morning, with some areas of Southeast Austin seeing as much as nine inches of rain in the last 24 hours, according to the Lower Colorado River Authority.

Jorge Sanhueza Lyon / KUT

With the promise of rain, Upper Onion Creek resident Ken Jacob says neighbors of his can be found with their eyes to the creek and the internet – where rain gauge levels are updated. So it’s essential to someone like Jacob, who serves on the city’s Flood Mitigation Task Force, that the city continue to discuss flood mitigation.


Mike Davis via Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune: Baylor University has fired head football coach Art Briles and reassigned President and Chancellor Ken Starr after months of scrutiny over how university administrators handled allegations of sexual assault against football players. 

Starr, who was previously chancellor and president, will now be chancellor and professor. Briles is suspended with intent to terminate. And Athletic Director Ian McCaw has been sanctioned and placed on probation.

Jorge Sanhueza Lyon / KUT

"Would you like to have a little Coke?" asks Kathy Bell Hargrave, cracking open a can of soda in her daughter's kitchen.

Some things we do in life without giving a second thought, but when we stop to think about them we realize they raise a lot of questions. 

“Every can that I open, every piece of paper, everything I want to recycle it,” says Bell Hargrave. “I put it all in a giant blue bin, but what happens to it? I don’t know."


A Look at Texas Through Russell Lee's Lens

May 25, 2016
Russell Lee, Library of Congress

What do Ada Lovelace, Adolf Hitler, Kanye West, Donald Trump, Elisabet Ney and even Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson all have in common? At one point, they were all in the running to replace Robert E. Lee as the namesake of a Hyde Park elementary school. 

Earlier this week, the Austin School Board finally decided on someone to replace the Confederate general: Russell Lee, the nationally lauded photographer. He moved to Austin in 1947 and established UT Austin’s photography department, serving as its first instructor. Below are a few of Lee's photographs from his time in Central Texas. 

via Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune: In a stunning comeback, State Board of Education hopeful Keven Ellis won Tuesday's District 9 Republican primary runoff over Mary Lou Bruner, who drew national attention for social media posts touting far-right conspiracy theories and other fringe views.

City leaders are considering a change that could add more affordable housing throughout Austin using the state’s Homestead Preservation District (HPD) designation.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT News

Standing atop the same stage where men and women perform bawdy pranks as part of adult entertainment-themed Bingo every Tuesday at the Alamo Drafthouse’s Highball, local tech leader Joe Liemandt added another ride-hailing company to the list of those scrambling to fill the roads in the absence of Uber and Lyft.

This one is called RideAustin, and it’s a bit different than the others.


From the Austin Monitor: Travis County’s renewed search for a suitable site for a new civil courthouse is facing stiff headwinds from a state law aimed at stifling development in downtown Austin.

Last Wednesday, the Civil and Family Courthouse Community Advisory Committee showed little interest in taking on the Texas Legislature and the Capitol View Corridors that the body established back in the early 1980s.

Miguel Guitierrez Jr./KUT

The Austin Police Department is changing its approach when it comes to dealing with homelessness by starting a new outreach program, targeting two areas in which those experiencing homelessness congregate.


Texas Tribune

It’s no secret that Austin’s rapid growth and gentrification have forced some residents out of their longtime neighborhoods. That trend is also posing a challenge for healthcare providers. 


Miguel Guitierrez Jr./KUT

New numbers out today from the U.S. Census Bureau show that five of the fastest growing cities in the nation are here in Texas.

Georgetown tops the list of cities with a population of 50,000 or more. The latest estimates show the Williamson County seat saw a 7.8 percent jump in residents over a recent one-year period. 


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