Austin

Halloween Floods
4:49 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Photos: Cleaning Up After Flooding in Dove Springs, Onion Creek

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon, KUT News

Austin and Travis County leaders have declared states of disaster in the wake of last week’s flooding, with more than 600 homes damaged and 37 destroyed. It's the first step in getting federal disaster aid. Officials and residents are still working to clear away debris, while emergency responders continue to provide shelter, food and help as victims figure out their next steps.

On South Pleasant Valley Road in Dove Springs, volunteers set up underneath tents along the road handing out everything from blankets and diapers to deodorant. Neighborhood association president Edward Reyes, says people remaining in their homes could face complications as a result of flood damage.

Read more
Halloween Floods
3:01 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Austin, Travis County Works to Rebuild From Devastating Halloween Floods

A house on South Pleasant Valley Road suffered heavy structural damage as a result of the weekend flooding
Kate McGee for KUT News

Update (Monday): Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell has filed a resolution to declare a state of disaster in Austin in an effort to secure state and federal funding for affected areas. 

Read more
Austin Film Festival
10:02 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Immigration Theme Gets Strong Role in Austin Film Festival

"With '120 Days', I'm trying to challenge people to take a moment at the end of the documentary…and open their mind and heart and try to understand the immigrants perspective.", says Ted Roach.
120daysmovie.com

Disclosure: KUT is a media sponsor of the Austin Film Festival. 

Although it's featured through different film genres, the topic of immigration has a solid presence in the lineup of this year's Austin Film Festival. 

Read more
Halloween Floods
12:54 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Video: Floodwaters Overtake Barton Springs This Morning

Barton Springs Pool was supposed to re-open today. The beloved swimming hole had closed following heavy rains and flooding two weeks ago.

Cleanup at the pool was finally complete. But in the video below, you’ll see rain this morning has flooded the pool again: 

Read more
Halloween
11:33 am
Thu October 31, 2013

Austin Reddit Helps a Hospitalized 10-Year-Old Have a Happy Halloween

When her 10-year old son’s hospitalization put a crunch on costume making, Laura Wilson-Swanson got a boost from Austin’s Subreddit. Pictured, the deadmau5 mask in progress.

An Austin mother sent out a call for help Monday night – although she was already at the hospital with her son.

Laura Wilson-Swanson had taken her 10-year-old Gabe into Dell Children’s Hospital earlier in the week. Laura says he’s affected by an autoimmune disease called PANDAS that can lead to seizure-like episodes.

Read more
Turning the Corner
9:53 am
Thu October 31, 2013

The Mendez Middle School Orchestra Just Got 15 Brand New Instruments

Sixth grader Marlonique Johnson plays one of the 15 new music instruments donated to Mendez Middle School Wednesday. The instruments are a gift from Fidelity Insurance, which donates music instruments to schools across the country.
Kate McGee, KUT News

The student orchestra at Mendez Middle School has 15 new musical instruments, thanks to a large donation from Fidelity Investments’ new Austin location. The company surprised orchestra students during a special assembly Wednesday with $20,000 worth of violins, violas, saxophones and other instruments.

Jeffrey Hall, the school’s orchestra director, applied for the gift last year.  For the past four years, he’s built an orchestra program that now consists of 65 sixth, seventh and eighth graders.

Read more
Austin
1:45 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

Austin Audit Finds City Vehicles Spend Too Much Time in Repair Shop

The audit found the City of Austin especially has a hard time keeping emergency vehicles out of the repair shop.
Daniel Reese for KUT News

The City of Austin Auditor’s office says city vehicles seem to have a problem with breakdowns.

The vehicles aren’t always getting preventative maintenance and they’re spending more time in repair shops than the best practices standard.

Local politics news service In Fact Daily reports that the city’s Fleet Services Department doesn’t have enough repair space.

Read more
Affordable Housing
10:42 am
Tue October 29, 2013

Are Bonds Austin's Best Way to Support Affordable Housing?

If approved, a $65 million bond proposition would go toward building, renovating and funding affordable housing projects.
flickr.com/dragontomato

This November, Austinites are being asked to approve a $65 million affordable housing bond. The money would go toward building and renovating affordable housing projects; purchasing land to build affordable housing on; and funding of ongoing affordable housing initiatives. You can see a sample ballot here.

But it was just one year ago that voters rejected a similar bond proposition.

With that recent loss, some have asked whether issuing tax-supported municipal bonds is the best way to fund affordability in Austin.

Read more
Turning the Corner
8:00 am
Fri October 25, 2013

Video: Dove Springs Students Find Discipline Inside the Boxing Ring

At Mendez Middle School, about a dozen students are learning how to box in a new after school program hosted by the Police Athletic League and the after school program, ACE. Here, Ricardo Ramos spars with Mendez seventh grader Benjamin Munoz.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon, KUT News

Read more
Weird
2:51 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Coming Soon to Austin Parks: Brush-Clearing Goats?

A Swede Farm goat chows down on some poison ivy at the SFC East Market.
Courtesy of Sustainable Food Center

The Sustainable Food Center's East Austin farmer's market had a perennially irritating problem: Poison ivy was blocking a portion of the market's space. They couldn't use chemicals or herbicides — it wouldn't exactly jive with their goal of sustainability. 

So they got creative, turning to a four-legged, environmentally (and people) friendly alternative: Goats.

Now, Austin parks may be looking to adopt the strategy to beautify green spaces across the city, as well.

Read more
Police
5:23 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

Austin Lieutenant Clay Crabb, 42, is Laid to Rest

(left to right) Lt. Crabb with his son Harrison (9), his daughter Megan (7), his wife Anne and their youngest son Ronin (4).
Photo courtesy of Cook-Walden/Forest Oaks Funeral Home and Memorial Park

Austin Police Lieutenant Clay Crabb was laid to rest today. He was killed last week while driving to work in heavy rain – one day before his 43rd birthday.

Hundreds of police officers came from all over Texas for the funeral and tears flowed freely as mourners remembered the decorated 19-year veteran police officer, father of three and husband of 10 years.

Read more
Development
4:58 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

Colony Park: Can Austin Transform a Community Without Displacing it?

Residents in Colony Park expressed concern over the weekend about the possible gentrification of the neighborhood as the city develops the area.
Carrie Powell for KUT News

A new master plan for the Colony Park neighborhood will use a $3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in an effort to revitalize the area. The project resembles the planning of Mueller in scope and ambition, but some residents are concerned the project might eventually displace them.

At a Saturday community engagement meeting, residents in the Colony Park area said they were concerned the city might move on to implementation of the plan without their approval.

Read more
Redistricting
11:09 am
Mon October 21, 2013

Citizens Weigh in on District Maps That Will Shape the Face of Austin City Council

A city employee during a lottery to decide members of the Independent Citizen's Redistricting Commission.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

The holiday season will bring more than presents for Austinites. It will also bring maps outlining the boundaries for 10 City Council districts — if the grueling process of tweaking and finalizing the districts wraps up in time for Christmas. 

But the Independent Citizen's Redistricting Commission — the volunteer citizen group charged with drawing the maps — is accepting comments on its preliminary map during a regular meeting tonight and a public input meeting Wednesday.

Read more
Parks
10:12 am
Fri October 18, 2013

Can Runners, Cyclists and Dogs Coexist on Auditorium Shores?

One of regular trail user Marc Morrison's three dogs. Morrison opposes changes to Auditorium Shores that would close part of the area to dogs.
Jorge Corona for KUT News

Proposed changes to Auditorium Shores – and specifically, changes to the area available to dogs and their owners – have people talking.

As part of a $3.5 million renovation, the city’s proposed moving the off-leash dog area closer to the Lady Bird Lake shoreline – and away from joggers and cyclists using the trail. And while the change would shrink the current off-leash area, it would also restrict dogs entirely from the largest portion of Auditorium Shores – the so-called “Event Lawn.” (See a map of the proposed changes in the slideshow above.)

Read more
Austin City Council
9:40 am
Thu October 17, 2013

Council Preview: Putting Austin Cemetery Changes to Rest?

The Austin City Council is seeking guidance on how and when to clean up city-run cemeteries today.
Phoebe Ann Flanigan for KUT News

Earlier this month, Austin’s Parks and Recreation Department took on a difficult task – cleaning up Austin’s five city-owned cemeteries. But the cleanup policies have rankled some families of the dead.

The city received a barrage of complaints after it began citing graves adorned with extra objects for code violations: benches, birdbaths, vegetation, wind chimes, stones and more.

Today, the Austin City Council will look to revise the city’s strategy and finally put the issue to rest. The cleanup, which was slated to begin Nov. 1, could be delayed another six months.

Read more
SXSW
2:21 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

SXSW Music Announces First Bands for 2014

SXSW hopes to be bigger and better than ever when the fest begins on March 7.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

South By Southwest Music announced the first salvo of artists gracing the badge-laden official stages.

The list includes just over 180 bands from all over the world, including 26 Austin acts including Whiskey Shivers, Shakey Graves, The Sour Notes and Wild Child.

The festival will begin on March 7 and all three phases — Film, Interactive and Music — will wrap up on March 16.

Austin
10:50 am
Tue October 15, 2013

Do Austin Policies Help or Hurt Affordable Housing?

The Austin City Council recently OK'd putting a $65 million affordable housing bond to voters this November.
Daniel Reese for KUT News

Austin’s the fastest-growing large city in the country.

All of the city’s socio-economic groups are growing – from the very affluent to people with lower incomes. It’s those low-income Austinites who struggle to find housing as prices climb higher.

Starting next week, Austin voters will decide whether to approve $65 million in bonds to pay for affordable housing initiatives. But regardless of the election results, the need is not likely to go away soon.

Read more
Austin
3:54 pm
Mon October 14, 2013

From Ghana to Austin: An African Journalist on ACL, Floods & More

"Austin is an awesome place to be," says Lorrencia Nkrumah, a visiting journalist from Ghana.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon, KUT News

Each year, KUT is fortunate enough to host traveling journalists from around the world. Recently arrived in Austin is Lorrencia Nkrumah, a broadcast journalist at Citi 97.3 FM in the Republic of Ghana. What follows are her thoughts on her first weekend in Austin. 

As a visiting journalist from Ghana, it is not surprising to wake up and find some parts of my capital Accra – or anywhere else, flooded. So when I came to the United States – and to Austin for the first time – I was a bit surprised by the rains that led to flooding in several areas.

In the midst of a multi- year drought, many locals were surprised too.

Read more
ACL Cancellation
8:46 am
Sun October 13, 2013

Heavy Rains Soak Austin, Central Texas; ACL Festival Cancels Final Day

A flood warning remains in effect along the Colorado River for Travis and Bastrop Counties, and a flash flood watch for Central Texas remains in effect until this evening.
YNN Austin

Because of the weather, all of Austin Parks and Recreation systems trails are closed. Parks and Recreation also closed the Barton Springs Pool because of flooding, and all of Austin's golf courses are also closed. The Austin Police Department is urging limited driving on roads. 

Extreme flooding also impacted the Travis County wastewater lift station. It spilled 500,000 gallons of wastewater earlier this morning. The lift station, located at 4504 Travis Country Circle, has been repaired by Austin Water crews. Austin Water urges residents to avoid the area's creeks, though Austin Water's drinking water supply isn't affected.

Read more
Austin City Limits Fest
4:14 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

Austin Charges ACL $53,000. Chicago Has Lollapalooza Pay 28 Times That

Festival-goers at this year's Austin City Limits Music Festival.
Mary Kang, KUT

The Austin City Limits Music Festival isn’t the only production put on by parent company C3 Presents. In addition to booking and promoting Austin concerts throughout the year, C3 also puts on Chicago’s annual Lollapalooza music festival.

Like ACL, Lollapalooza is hosted on public parkland, requiring a contract with the city. So how do the contracts compare? KUT scoured C3’s deals with Austin and Chicago to find out.

Read more

Pages