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 Austin City Limits music festival started today. Barton Springs Road is now closed until early Monday morning, and while the traffic and the tents dotting Zilker Park are temporary, there is a part of the festival that will stick around.

Mengwen Cao

Austin City Limits returns today to Zilker Park for two three-day weekends, and as usual, with the hordes of soon-to-be flash-tatted music fans come some street closures, a heightened police presence, probably some unlicensed short-term rentals and considerable congestion in and around the park. So, here's some of the info you'll want if you're rushing to catch a mid-afternoon set or if you're just looking for a re-route on the way to your dry cleaners.

Texas Portal to History

Today marks the 146th anniversary of the resignation of Texas Gov. Elisha M. Pease, who resigned during Reconstruction during the state’s years-long battle towards reunification — the only governor to be appointed to the state's highest office by the federal government.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT

City of Austin ethics commissioners have decided they’ll hear two of four complaints filed against Austin City Council member Don Zimmerman. The two they decided not to hear? They were the ones focused on his use of social media at work — and a controversial post he made on Facebook.


From the Austin Monitor: On the eve of Fiscal New Year’s Eve, Travis County commissioners voted to adopt a brand-new budget that will keep the lights on through 2016. Along the way, they managed to inject some last-minute drama into the proceedings by restoring in-person visitations at county jail facilities.

Lori Belloir/flickr

There was a time when women were told their place was in the kitchen. Despite that history, there continues to be an imbalance in the food industry – and not in the way you might think.

amorton via flickr

Some City of Austin residents have recently seen high water bills compared to previous months – as much as four times the typical amount by some accounts – and some are wondering if the city’s at fault.

Nathan Bernier for KUT News

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has released its annual crime statistics report. Between 2014 and 2013, Austin saw a nearly 15 percent increase in violent crime, plus a slight rise in robberies. But the figure that stands out the most is the number of reported rapes – a number that more than doubled since 2013.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT

From the Austin Monitor:

Members of the Ethics Review Commission didn’t seem to know what to make of the four complaints lodged against Austin City Council Member Don Zimmerman. The charges, leveled by Mark Walters, a law clerk, forced the panel to explore the murky line between the public and private life of an elected official, a line that the world of social media has made all the more difficult to define.

Tamir Khalifa/Texas Tribune

So far this year, 82 people have died in Austin as a result of more than 70 crashes on the city’s roads. At the same time, this is the first year of the city’s hands-free ordinance, a law intended to make driving safer.

So how many of this year’s deaths have been because someone answered a call or responded to a text?

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

More than 30 neighborhoods in Austin have a neighborhood plan, a document that lays out priorities for that part of the city. And each plan comes with a team made up of residents who make sure that new development projects fit the plan. But, at least one City Council member thinks these neighborhood plan contact teams need more oversight.

The First 100 Years of Austin's Paramount Theatre

Sep 23, 2015
Marshall Tidrick/KUT

After a prolonged absence, the Paramount Theatre’s once-iconic sign will light up Congress Avenue tonight for the first time in 51 years.

Council Pursues Unusual Process for STRs

Sep 23, 2015
KUT News

From the Austin Monitor: The debate over short-term rentals isn’t over in Austin. Not even close. After approving a series of recommendations for future restrictions Tuesday, City Council delayed further action on its ongoing resolution until Oct. 8.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr./KUT News

The story of Austin's Australian opal will come to an end next month when members of the Adelaide City Council come to town to celebrate its sister city-ship with Texas' Capital City. Austin City Council will return the opal, a gem gifted to Austin as a result of some Adelaidian drama some 30 years ago.

Todd Wiseman / Karolina Michalak / Felipe Hadler/Texas Tribune

For some low income families in Texas, access to childcare is not possible without state assistance.  The Texas Workforce Commission, the state agency in charge of instituting a low-income childcare program, is looking for feedback on how it’s doing in a series of public forums.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT

The Memorial Day Floods are just over three months behind us.

Here in Austin, flood-affected businesses, like the Shoal Creek Saloon, have since reopened, but some of the outdoor features here in Austin – including some pools and parks – are still waiting on repairs.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT

Roughly two thousand people, wearing blue shirts and “Police Lives Matter” stickers, crowded in front of the Austin Police Department on Saturday morning. 

Updated: At around 1 p.m. a group of demonstrators walked onto I-35 at Exit 284B at 12th St., blocking traffic, and remained there for about ten minutes. 

Austin Police set up barricades and got the crowd to back off the freeway, at which point they started to walk on 10th St. toward downtown.

Marcus Calderon/flickr

What’s in a name? Or rather, what’s in a naming process? These are the questions Austin’s Parks and Recreation Department is hoping to answer soon. The department has made its first stab at a new ordinance that lays out a specific process for naming its parks and recreation facilities.

KUT News

From the Austin Monitor: Some call Type 2 short-term rentals miniature hotels in neighborhood homes, while others call them an honest way for residents to make money. Either way, they have become a major point of contention, and City Council is considering putting a moratorium on issuing new STR operating licenses while it tests out new regulations.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr./KUT

Update, Thursday 1:45 p.m. The City of Austin reports that Council approved the Cemeteries Master Plan.

Original story: The Austin City Council will vote today on whether to approve the city’s Historic Cemeteries Master Plan. Clocking in at 510 pages, the CMP is a massive document that envisions the future of the city’s five publicly owned burial grounds. This includes suggestions on how to preserve, document and fund Austin’s cemeteries.