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


It’s not often an international champion is crowned in Austin. Formula One did just that, awarding it World Drivers’ Championship to Lewis Hamilton. But, the most difficult opponent all weekend may have been the rain.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez

We’re in the middle of festival season in Austin. On the heels of the Austin City Limits Music Festival, Fun Fun Fun Fest is coming up in less than two weeks. Both events are held at city parks.

A task force is looking at how the city allows its parkland to be used for music festivals. One topic it’s just beginning to tackle: the fees the city charges music festival organizers.

Austin Water says it has received more than 10,000 phone calls about unusually high bills since August. So Austin City Council member Don Zimmerman proposed a solution: partial reimbursements from the city.

The only problem is, for the most part, that’s not legal.


To the chagrin of many international auto racing fans hoping to enjoy sunny Texas weather, Austin and surrounding areas are expecting heavy rain this Formula One weekend, beginning in earnest Friday night and lasting at least through Saturday. Area drivers will want to pay close attention to road conditions and be aware of road closures due to either the F1 Fan Fest or to flooding.

cover art by Ed Emshwiller, via

Back to the Future Part II lied to us. It’s 2015 and we don’t have flying cars, the Cubbies aren’t (likely) going to win the pennant, and where we’re going we most certainly need roads. Sure, hoverboards technically exist, but you’re not going to be able to hitch a ride on the back of a hover-converted Jeep any time soon.

But Back to the Future isn’t the first work of fiction to bungle utopian promises of the future, let alone the future of the Lone Star State. So, in honor of the unofficial Back to the Future Day, we’ll look back at nine times when fiction got it wrong.

Jillian Schantz Patrick/KUT News

Travis County Commissioners took up the issues of deportation and prescription medication donation at its voting session Tuesday.


Austin City Council members say they continue to get calls from residents with abnormally high water bills, and now one Council member is now asking the city to pay.

What We Learned at The Texas Tribune Festival

Oct 19, 2015
Image via Josh Guerra/Texas Standard

From Texas Standard:

This weekend, as thousands of politicians and political insiders gathered for the 2015 Texas Tribune Festival, more than a few GOP members were talking about what they plan to make a priority in the next Texas legislative session.

Here's what they told Texas Standard.  

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT

A local non-profit is offering to replant trees lost along the Blanco River during the Memorial Day floods, but the trees are more than just replacements. They also might help mitigate future flooding.

KUT News

Austin City Council members are one step closer to requiring fingerprint-based background checks for Uber and Lyft drivers in the city. But the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the Austin Urban League have sent a letter to City Council alleging that these kinds of background checks discriminate against minorities.

At last check, Smithville's Hidden Pines Fire has claimed 40 home structures and burned over 4,000 acres. While the fire is 25 percent contained, officials say the low humidity and dry conditions may fuel the fire for a week or more. 

With scores of firefighters from across the state coming to Central Texas to help battle the blaze, officials are requesting donations of supplies, time and money in the days ahead. Below is a list of outlets accepting assistance, as well as a map of shelters for residents, pets and livestock displaced by the Hidden Pines Fire. 

KUT News

The Austin City Council today will tackle rules on transportation network companies, short-term rentals and so-called accessory dwelling units.

These decisions have been a long time coming, because, at least in the case of short-term rental rules, postponements have been rampant.

From Travis County

From the Austin Monitor: With less than a month to go before Election Day, the first organized effort to oppose Travis County’s $287 million Civil & Family Courts Complex bond has finally materialized.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr./KUT News

Our Friday coverage of the Hidden Pines fire is here.

A wildfire that started Tuesday in Bastrop County continues to spread, thanks in part to high, shifting winds on Wednesday, officials say. 

Timeline: Before Manor Was Manor

Oct 14, 2015
Houston & Texas Central Railway, via the Woodson Research Center and the Museum of Houston

This week with our partners KLRU and the Austin Monitor, KUT launched a reporting project called Austin's Eastern Frontier, a series that examines the population boom and its effects on transportation, housing, health and healthcare. 

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT

From the Austin Monitor: The Ethics Review Commission voted unanimously to sanction City Council Member Don Zimmerman for two violations of city campaign finance code Tuesday night. They also voted unanimously to issue a written reprimand to Zimmerman, though they did not recommend prosecuting the matter further.

Dennis Nauert

Austin has a new and bigger dental clinic for patients living with HIV and AIDS. The new Central Austin location can serve 1,600 patients within a 10-county service area.

Paul Scott, the executive director of AIDS Services of Austin, says an oral health indicator is usually a first sign that something’s going on related to an HIV infection.

How much does the layout of a neighborhood affect the health of the people who live in it?  That’s a question researchers at Texas A&M will try to answer by taking a closer look at the Mueller Development in Austin. They’ll do so with a $2.7 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.

John Shapley/KUT

Austin Mayor Steve Adler has set a goal to end veteran homelessness in the city by Veterans Day. This year, that’s Nov. 11. Despite reports that have said the mayor has had to push back that date, Adler says he’s sticking to his deadline.

Ilana Panich-Linsman/KUT

The second weekend of the Austin City Limits Festival is upon us.

If you don’t go to ACL, you may just view the two-weekend music event as a headache that consumes a lot city attention and resources. But, the thousands of visitors it brings to the city pump millions of dollars into the Austin economy – $194 million last year, according to C3 Presents.