Austin

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

Veteran's Day Parade Austin
Photo by Matt Largey for KUT News.

Thousands of people marked Veteran’s Day with a parade this morning in downtown Austin.  Gabriel Galindo served two tours in Iraq.  He now supports other veterans through the Texas Veterans Commission.   Galindo says when veterans leave the service, they often don’t want to talk to someone who hasn’t been through what they’ve been through.

Simrat Sharma/KUT News

Veteran's Day Closures

City of Austin offices are closed today for Veteran's Day. But garbage, recycling and yard trimmings collection will be picked up as usual.  All recreation centers, cultural centers, and senior centers are closed. 

Veteran's Day Parade

On Thursday, we'll take a minute to pause in appreciation for the men and women who put their lives on the line for the United States without asking any questions. 

Veterans are never immune to aging or poverty, and as we see in this video produced by KUT News intern Sobia Lodhi, local agencies like Meals on Wheels are there to lend a helping hand when others are not.

LifeWorks East Austin Youth and Family Resource Center
Image courtesy LifeWorks

The Austin non-profit LifeWorks broke ground today on a new East Austin family resource center. The social services organization says it will increase its ability to serve young people and families in crisis by 25 percent.

LifeWorks already helps about 10,000 families a year through housing programs, counseling and education. They have surpassed their capacity to serve more people, so this will allow them to expand in a community with increasing need.

bus
Photo by KUT News

Quintana Arrested For Domestic Dispute

Former Austin police officer Leonardo Quintana was arrested by Leander police yesterday.  He was charged with four misdemeanors connected to a reported domestic violence incident last year.  Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo fired Quintana (for the second time) over the incident late last month.  The first firing was for a DWI arrest.  An arbitrator ruled that punishment was too severe.  Quintana is the APD officer who fatally shot Nathaniel Sanders in northeast Austin last year.

Austonian
Photo courtesy Visualist Images http://www.flickr.com/photos/visualistimages/

People who live at the Austonian can now enjoy an exclusive distinction beyond the downtown condo's luxurious modeling. The Austonian has been granted a four-star energy ranking under Austin Energy's Green Building program. It's the first downtown condo to earn the recognition.

A statement issued today by the developer, Benchmark Development, lists the reasons why. Here are some highlights:

Newsweek is the latest national publication to give Austin's economy high praise for being pretty awesome compared to everywhere else.

In its list of the 10 American cities best situated for the recovery, Newsweek repeats the familiar refrain of reasons why Austin's economy rules.

Austin Memorial Park Cemetary
Photo courtesy City of Austin

Someone walked through Austin Memorial Park Cemetery last night kicking over gravestones and smashing amenities like a park bench, according to Austin police and Austin Parks and Recreation.

Preliminary estimates peg the damage at $20,000, according to Parks and Rec spokesman Victor O'Valle. He said about 25 gravestones were damaged.

"I think the emotional damage is probably the greatest damage that those vandals are causing," O'Valle told KUT News. "A lot of people spend their hard earned money to provide memorials for their loved ones."

Ben Philpott/KUT

President Bush Kicks Off Book Tour

Former President George W. Bush will be at a Borders bookstore near his Dallas home today to sign copies of his newly released book "Decision Points".  In the book, President Bush writes about the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Hurricane Katrina.  

Just hours before a public meet-and-greet scheduled for this evening, the City of Austin announced one of the five candidates for Chief Animal Services Officer has dropped out of the race.

City spokesperson Patricia Fraga told KUT News that Abigail Smith withdrew her name for "personal reasons." As executive director of a "No Kill" shelter in Ithaca, New York, Smith was a favorite of some "No Kill" advocates.

Oscar Brockett
Photo courtesy of UT Austin's Department of Theatre and Dance.

Oscar Brockett Passes Away

University of Texas at Austin Professor Emeritus and internationally known theater historian Oscar Brockett has passed away.  He died Sunday morning after suffering a stroke.  In the late 60s he wrote “History of the Theatre”.  The website for UT's Department of Theatre and Dance says:

The festival starts tonight and goes through Sunday
Photo Courtesy of FunFunFun

The 5th annual FunFunFunFest is set to kick off tonight at Waterloo Park. The weekend long festival is a smaller, more eccentric alternative to the Austin City Limits Music Festival, and while it primarily focuses on music, other activities ranging from professional wrestling to veggie hot dog eating contests to comedy acts give the event more of a rollicking, carnival-like feel than its heavily-sponsored big brother.

The city will interview the six finalists on November 12
Photo Courtesy APD

The City of Austin has selected six semifinalists today for the police monitor position. The nominees, who will be interviewed for the position on November 12th, are:

Cristina Beamud, who is the executive director of the City of Atlanta Citizen Review Board.

Rebecca Bernhardt, a contact researcher at the Laura and John Arnold Foundation in Houston. She is also a policy director of the Texas Defenders Service.

Ann del Llano, a family law attorney and owner of the Capitol City Solutions.

The Texas Rollergirls move to the Austin Convention Center for the 2011 seasons
Photo Courtesy of Jason Bechtel

The Texas Rollergirls, self-proclaimed “godmothers of modern flat track roller derby,” are leaving the Playland Skate Center and headed to the Austin Convention Center for the 2011 season. The group is hoping to roughly triple capacity, increase visibility for the organization, and enhance the fan-going experience with the move.

Photo by KUT News

Fort Hood Marks Anniversary of Shootings

Fort Hood is holding ceremonies today to mark the one-year anniversary of the shootings on post last year.  A private award ceremony will start at 10:00 a.m. to recognize soldiers and civilians who Army commanders say went above and beyond the call of duty that day. 

recycling
Photo by KUT News.

Texas House District 48 Race Still in Limbo

Democratic Incumbent Donna Howard maintains her position by only 15 votes.  Many wonder when or if her Republican challenger Dan Neil will ask for a recount.  Neil released a comment on his Facebook last night:

Zilker Tree
Image courtesy Jen W. http://www.flickr.com/photos/atxjen/

Austin City Council announced in September it was axing the Trail of Lights because of budget constraints. It saved the city $400,000 that will be spent on park maintenance.

But this morning, Austin Energy announced it was keeping one local holiday tradition. The Zilker Tree will be set up tomorrow.

Proponents of a $90 million dollar bond to fund local transportation are already celebrating over early voting totals that give them a 10 percentage point advantage, 55 points to 45.

Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell tells KUT's Mose Buchele that it's "safe to say victory is at hand" on Proposition 1.

Mose says the mood was jubilant at the Shoal Creek Saloon, where the mayor and other supporters were gathered.

Austin police badge
Image courtesy APD

Updated 5:15 pm:  An Austin police officer shot and killed a 26-year-old man this morning. Police say the man killed had already taken one person's life and was aiming an assault rifle at police. 

A suspect opened fire on police from a house at 5:17 a.m. this morning. The officers were responding to reports of a medical emergency on the 12300 block of Tomanet Trail in Northwest Austin. 

Photo by KUT

The City of Austin has announced the list of finalists for the Chief Animal Services Officer position that's been vacant since May.  The finalist chosen for the job will have authority over the city's shelter operations, and will oversee the move from Town Lake Animal Center to the city's new shelter in East Austin. 

The finalists will be in Austin on Monday, November 8th for interviews and a public meet-and-greet.  The city is wants feedback from the public.

From the City of Austin:

Pages