Austin

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

Photo courtesy Liza Lagman Sperl at flickr.com/kodamakitty

Katz's Deli and Bar, the downtown restaurant with the iconic sign, "Katz's Never Kloses," will close January 2.

Owner Marc Katz confirmed the news for KUT this afternoon, saying that after 32 years, "It's time."  The restaurant at West 6th and Rio Grande, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last summer -- the second time in the past six years.

Katz said their last hurrah will be Christmas and New Year's weekends, but that the deli will close after the New Year's weekend.

Austin police say the stretch of southbound I-35 around William Cannon is now open. A portion of southbound I-35 had been shut down this morning because of a fatal traffic accident that happened earlier today. Southbound traffic had been diverted off of I-35 at the William Cannon exit onto the frontage road while police were on the scene investigating.

AISD Seeks Budget Input

The Austin Independent School District will take public comment on next year's budget at a meeting tonight at AISD headquarters.  The Austin American-Statesman reports that the district could be as much as $60 million short in revenues for the 2011-2012 school year.  Budget writers expect to present the proposed plan at the end of February.

Fireworks Go On Sale Today

http://www.flickr.com/photos/rafaelmarquez/2947247065/

 

Armadillo
Sue Clark www.flickr.com/photos/perpetualplum/

Austinites have until the 24th to check out the City's annual holiday market. It's happening this year at the Palmer Events Center, but it wasn't  always so.

Check out a history of the Armadillo Bazaar here.

Photo by KUT News.

Busy Day at Austin's Airport

Alfie and Oreo put aside their differences in an effort to get adopted
picture courtesy the Austin Humane Society

Workers and volunteers at the Austin Humane Society will spend the night at the shelter to honor all of the animals that will be homeless during the holidays.  The 5th annual sleep over starts tonight at 7 with a visit from Santa.  After the jolly fat guy poses for pictures with the shelter pets, the dogs will be allowed to run around an indoor dog park.  While all cats will be allowed to roam around the shelter as well.  Shelter staff and volunteers will spend the night all around the shelter, including dog kennels, cat rooms and play areas

Jennifer Gale resting under a tree in Austin TX
Photo courtesy flickr.com/Patrick Dentler

The Austin city council opened today's council meeting with a tribute to Jennifer Gale.  Gale was ever-present at council meetings and ran for Mayor and several other elected positions over the years.  She was also homeless.  Gale was found dead two years ago tomorrow in front of a church near the UT-Austin campus.

Photo courtesy of Texassports.com

City May Support Payday Lending Legislation

The City of Austin will consider a resolution today to endorse state legislation to regulate payday and auto title loan lenders.  These lenders often have high interest and fees that consumer advocates say can trap people in a spiral of debt.  Right now there is a loophole that allows these stores to run without oversight.  If the resolution is passed, the city would officially endorse Rep. Eddie Rodriguez's House Bill 212. 

On Santa's lap
Image courtesy Joe Shlabotnik http://www.flickr.com/photos/joeshlabotnik/

If you want a picture of your kid with Santa but can't brave the mall before catching a flight out of town, Austin-Bergstrom International Airport has got you covered.

ABIA is hosting Santa at the airport at various times throughout the day from December 17th until the 20th. He'll be behind security, so you'll have to be a ticketed passenger. There is no cost to having your picture taken, but you'll probably have to look at Southwest Airline's logo, as they're sponsoring the event.

The New York Times has produced this map that plots data from the US Census Bureau's American Community Survey on a map. It lets you see the results of your neighborhood down to the census tract, providing a fascinatingly high level of granularity.

Mino the parrot
Image courtesy Will Zhang

This missing pet notice was too unusual to ignore.

Downtown resident Will Zhang is trying to find his beloved African Grey Parrot, Mino. Zhang bottle fed Mino since he was a baby in 1995. Cutest of all, the parrot speaks both English and Mandarin.

"He just gets freaked out by moving objects and sudden sounds," Zhang told KUT News. "We had some guests over and he wasn't familiar with them, and opening the door, he just took off out the glass window."

Zhang says it's been emotionally difficult for him.

Kuempel's Son Wins HD 44

Image courtesy http://www.flickr.com/photos/s_cindric/

Some of the audio news we've produced in the last 24 hours.

So How 'Bout That Weather?

You know that old saying “If you don’t like the weather in Texas,then just wait a few minutes?” As KUT's Mose Buchele reports, this fall, it’s truer than ever.

Healthcare Law Takes A Tumble In Virginia

Logo courtesy of the Austin Independent School District.

AISD Changes Class Rank Calculation

Last night the Austin School Board approved changes to the way class rank is determined.  Class rank will now be calculated using a student's highest grades in 16 core classes such as math and science, plus two foreign languages.  That means electives such as home economics will no longer count for class rank. The

Damaged police cruiser
Image by Nathan Bernier for KUT News

Austin police chief Art Acevedo is sending a message to members of the department's SWAT team: Don't get drunk and wreck a police cruiser like your colleague Michael Hamilton is alleged to have done.

Sunday News Roundup

Dec 12, 2010
Image courtesy Rhodes http://www.flickr.com/photos/rhodes

If you’re a Longhorns fan, you probably already heard the stunning news that defensive coordinator Will Muschamp is leaving to coach the Gators.

Moontower at night
Image courtesy Matthew Rutledge

Two historically significant moonlight towers, or moontowers, were removed to make way for the development of two downtown high-rise buildings, but both structures were completed months and neither moontower has been returned to its original location.

The annual Coats For Kids Program reports a record breaking number of donations this year. More than 35,000 coats will be distributed to low income children tomorrow at the Palmer Events Center.

All the coats are new or gently used.

Some of the audio news we've produced over the last 24 hours.

As Austin Lures Business, Some Fear For Blue Collar Workers

Facebook, Hangar Orthopedics, and solar power giant SunPower are a few of the big fish Austin has recently reeled in, but as KUT's Mose Buchele reports, for all that success, the long-term unemployment trends for large swaths of Austin's workforce look dire.

Economists Predict Solid Growth For 2011

What might the future hold for Austin’s economy? A panel of economists, hosted by the Austin Chamber of Commerce Thursday, tried to answer that question. KUT's Matt Largey was there.

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