Austin

2014 Elections
7:08 am
Tue September 30, 2014

Listen: The Ballot Boxing District 8 Forum

Five candidates joined KXAN's Shannon Wolfson and the Austin Chronicle's Richard Whittaker for the District 8 forum last night.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT

KUT continued its Ballot Boxing series of in-district Austin City Council forums last night in South Austin. Five candidates joined moderators KXAN's Shannon Wolfson and Richard Whittaker of the Austin Chronicle, as well as a sold-out crowd, at the South Austin Alamo Drafthouse on Slaughter Lane last night.

Our Ballot Boxing forums will continue this Thursday Oct. 2 at the Alamo Drafthouse on Anderson Lane with the forum for District 7.

Below you can listen to the full audio of last night's forum and view a photo gallery above.

2014 Elections
5:00 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

Listen: The Ballot Boxing District 6 Forum

Candidates for District 6 gathered last night at the Alamo Drafthouse in North Austin.
Mengwen Cao/KUT

The Ballot Boxing series continued last night with the Austin City Council candidate forum for District 6 in Northwest Austin. Seven candidates gathered at the Alamo Drafthouse at Lakeline with moderators Amy Kamp of the Austin Chronicle and KXAN’s Angie Beavin.

You can view a photo gallery above and listen to the full audio of the forum below.

Austin
4:15 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

Photos: First Responders Gather to Remember Travis County Deputy Jessica Hollis

Several officers with the Travis County sheriff’s office are at the Hill Country Bible Church Austin, to pay respects to Travis County Deputy Jessica Hollis.
Filipa Rodrigues/KUT

Funeral Services for Travis County Deputy Jessica Hollis were held today at the Hill Country Bible Church. The seven-year veteran was swept away by flood waters last week while checking a low water crossing near Lake Austin, where she was found last Friday.

Hundreds of people and first responders from as far away as Burnet County, San Antonio, New Braunfels and Jonestown shared memories and stories to memorialize Hollis at the Hill Country Bible Church in Pflugerville.

Ballot Boxing
11:11 am
Tue September 23, 2014

Listen: The Ballot Boxing District 5 Forum

Austin City Council candidates from District Five answer questions in a forum at the Austin Community College South Austin campus.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon, KUT News

The Ballot Boxing series continued last night with the Austin City Council candidate forum for District 5 in South Austin. Seven candidates gathered at Austin Community College's South Austin campus with moderators Michael Kanin of the Austin Monitor and Mary Tuma of the Austin Chronicle.

You can view a photo gallery above and listen to the full audio of the forum below.

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Austin
10:15 am
Mon September 22, 2014

Photos: Austin Demonstrators Gather in Support of National Climate March

Lola Villamizar, 4, rests before marching for climate change action.
Ilana Panich-Linsman/KUT

Hundreds of activists marched down Congress Avenue yesterday for the Shield the People Climate Change March.

The event was one of hundreds of rallies held across the country in support of climate change ahead of a United Nations summit this week that will discuss the impact of rising global temperatures.

You can view a photo gallery of the march above.

Affordable Housing
11:07 am
Fri September 19, 2014

Can Housing Advocates Help Give Austin a New Lease on Affordability?

Neighbors in Clarksville lease 19 properties to low-income residents in order to expand affordability, and diversity, in the neighborhood.
KUT News

In 2006, the last time Section 8 housing opened up, 7,000 low-income Austinites signed up. Since then, Austin’s growth has been exponential and many expect the waitlist for housing to follow suit with Austin’s growth.

Housing advocates expect the signup to draw at least 20,000 applicants, but a long-time Austin housing advocate and recent MacArthur Genius Grant winner is working to increase Austin’s affordable housing stock without Section 8 by expanding low-income housing in existing neighborhoods.

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Weather
6:39 am
Fri September 19, 2014

Central Texas Downpours: Flash Flood Watch Canceled in Central Texas

A screenshot of last night's rain.

Update: The National Weather Service has extended flood advisories for rivers and creeks in central Travis County and south central Williamson County until 9:30 a.m.

Flooding at Bull Creek at Loop 360 is minor, but has reached 7 and a half feet. Officials advise drivers to be cautious when approaching the F.M. 2222 bridge.

Waters may run high at Gilleland Creek, Shoal Creek, Walnut Creek and Wilbarger Creek for the next few hours.

Update (5:35 a.m.): The National Weather Service has issued an urban and small stream flood advisory for Central Travis County and South Central Williamson County until 7:30 a.m. Friday.

The National Weather Service canceled a flash flood watch that been in effect for Central Texas through the early morning hours of Friday. However, there is still a 40% chance of rain in the forecast for today.

The combination of heavy rains again and an already-saturated ground could potentially produce some problems with flooding. Thursday's downpours brought several inches of rain to parts of the region and caused low-water crossing closures across the area. Thirty-one low water crossings are still closed Friday morning

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2014 Elections
11:19 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Listen: The Ballot Boxing District 4 Forum

Candidates gathered at Marchesa Hall on Sept. 17 for KUT's District 4 Ballot Boxing City Council candidate forum.
Ilana Panich-Linsman/KUT

The Ballot Boxing series continued last night with the Austin City Council candidate forum for District 4 in North Austin. Seven of the eight candidates gathered at the Marchesa Hall with moderators Michael Kanin of the Austin Monitor and Regina Rodriguez of Univision 62.

You can view a photo gallery above and listen to the full audio of the forum below.

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Austin
10:00 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Could Lyft & Uber Soon Be Legal in Austin?

The battle between ride-sharing companies and the city has been going on for years, but a new proposal could allow the services to function within the law.
flickr.com/photos/raidokaldma

As of right now, ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft aren’t exactly legal.

They operate, sure, but the services' drivers face fines of up to $1,500 if they're caught driving-while-ride-sharing. While some tout the apps as a convenient alternative to cabs, many, including the City of Austin, argue the drivers don’t face the same regulatory and safety standards as their cabbie counterparts.

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2014 Elections
7:31 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Listen: The Ballot Boxing District 3 Forum

District 3 candidates gathered at the North Door for the third installment of Ballot Boxing, a partnership between KUT, the Austin Monitor, the Austin Chronicle, KXAN and Univision 62.
Ilana Panich-Linsman/KUT

The 12 candidates vying for District 3's seat on the Austin City Council met for the first time last night at the North Door for the third installment of Ballot Boxing, a series of in-district debates sponsored by the Austin Chronicle, the Austin Monitor, KXAN, Univision 62 and KUT.

Candidates discussed congestion issues, affordable housing, issues surrounding gentrification and the future of Austin going forward with the city's new 10-1 representation system. You can view photos of all the candidates from last night's forum above and listen to the forum in its entirety below.

10-1
8:58 am
Thu September 11, 2014

Listen: The Ballot Boxing District 2 Forum

Three of the four candidates showed up to last night's debate. Mike Owen was not in attendance.
Filipa Rodrigues/KUT

Last night KUT continued the Ballot Boxing series of in-district Austin City Council candidate forums at the Dove Springs Recreation Center last night in Southeast Austin.

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Austin Police
7:18 am
Tue September 9, 2014

Bank Robbery Suspect Dies After Officer-Involved Shooting in Wells Branch

Credit Nathan Bernier, KUT News

A man is dead and two Austin Police Officers are on administrative leave this morning after an officer-involved shooting last night in the Wells Branch neighborhood near Maye Place.

Officials say the two Austin Police officers, one Round Rock Police officer and at least one FBI agent were involved in the shooting. They were members of the Central Texas Violent Crimes Task Force investigating a suspect involved in a bank robbery investigation.

The officers were serving a warrant to the suspect when he exited the vehicle and began firing.

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10-1
6:52 am
Tue September 9, 2014

Listen: The Ballot Boxing District 1 Forum

The District 1 candidates: George Hindman, Sam Osemene, Christopher Hutchins, DeWayne Lofton, Valerie Menard, Michael Cargill, Ora Houston and Andrew Bucknall. Norman A. Jacobson did not attend the forum.
Jenna VonHofe/KUT

Last night KUT kicked-off the Ballot Boxing series of in-district Austin City Council candidate forums at Wesley United Methodist Church in East Austin.

KUT's Joy Diaz and the Austin Monitor's Mike Kanin hosted and moderated the event, which featured eight of the nine candidates vying for the seat in District 1 this Election Day, with help from our additional partners the Austin Chronicle, KXAN and Univision 62.

You can listen to the entire forum below.

2014 Elections
11:23 am
Mon September 8, 2014

As State & City Campaigns Ramp Up, County Races Remain Dormant

Travis County races don't typically draw the same profile as their statewide and city campaign counterparts.
Photo by Nathan Bernier for KUT News

It’s election season and races are in full-swing. Whether it’s the governor’s race or the 78 candidates running for Austin City Council, candidates are busy attending rallies and debates.

But, with Election Day less than two months away, why haven't races at the county level been as active?

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Austin
8:00 am
Mon September 8, 2014

How Austin's Growth and Project Connect Could Impact the City's Bats

People gather on the Congress Avenue Bridge to watch the bats fly out in the evenings - but what happens if something is built in their flight path?
Caleb Bryant-Miller/KUT News

The bats that roost under the Congress Avenue Bridge have a hard-flown journey after their nightly show for tourists and passersby.

They cruise over the trees bordering Lady Bird Lake's southern shore – flying up to 40 miles away from the city every night – then come back, roost and feast on insects between Congress Avenue and I-35.

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Tejano Trails
5:09 pm
Fri September 5, 2014

Trails in a Changing East Austin Preserve Decades of Tejano History

Johnny Degollado, Tejano music legend, plays his accordion at the outdoor venue named in his honor – the Johnny Degollado Pavillion at Fiesta Gardens.
Veronica Zaragovia/KUT

Many Latinos in Texas can trace their history back to the 1690s. They're descendants of Spanish, Mexican and indigenous people who were here when the land was subject to the Spanish crown, then later a part of the sovereign state of Mexico, the Republic of Texas and, finally, the United States.

They don’t consider themselves either Mexican or Anglo-Texan. They’re Tejanos, and they always have been.  Now, a six-mile path through Austin aims to preserve some of that history.

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SXSW 2014
2:49 pm
Fri September 5, 2014

Austin Calls for Less Free Booze, More Enforcement Before the Next SXSW

The city says the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission will have an expanded presence at this year's South By Southwest.
Jeff Heimsath for KUT News

City of Austin officials are out with their evaluation of this year’s South by Southwest Music Festival. Most of the changes and recommendations involve alcohol consumption and crowds.

A major issue, according to city officials, is over-consumption of free alcohol. The city says next year, a representative from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission will be at the South by Southwest command post during the day.

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Austin Police
1:03 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

APD Faces Tough Questions at Community Forum

Credit Austin Monitor

From our reporting partners the Austin Monitor:  

During an emotionally charged public forum on police accountability, Austin Police Department Chief Art Acevedo defended the department against accusations that officers unfairly target minorities.

The Travis County Democratic Party hosted Tuesday’s forum at the North Door after it passed a resolution calling for action for APD to “address systemic issues surrounding racial profiling, excessive use of force and accountability in relations to the African-American community.”

In particular, Travis County Democratic Party Secretary Vince Harding said members were alarmed that while black people account for only 8 percent of Austin’s population, they make up 24 percent of drivers whose cars are searched by APD. Also, between 2002 and 2012, seven of the 10 unarmed people killed by APD were black.

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10-1
2:11 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Ballot Boxing: The Austin City Council District Forums

Join KUT, the Austin Monitor, Univision 62, KXAN and the Austin Chronicle for our series of in-district Austin City Council candidate forums. All forums begin at 7 P.M. They are free and open to the public.
RSVP is recommended. 

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2014 Elections
10:35 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Why 10-1 Isn't Austin's First Go-Around with Geographic Representation

A map of Austin from 1873 by Augustus Koch.
Wikimedia Commons

Let's go back in time. It's 1839. Austin’s a brand new baby, the capitol is a one-story building at the corner of 8th Street and Colorado, the Austin City Gazette costs $5 for a yearly subscription, and Lamar is the President of the Republic of Texas, not an overly-congested thoroughfare.

While all that may sound antiquated, there was something else in Austin that only recently has been considered a fresh, previously unheard of idea: geographic representation.

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