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

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Officers with the University of Texas Police Department have started using body cameras, the university said in a statement Thursday.

The university entered into a five-year contract worth $450,000 to buy body cameras and video storage space from Axon, the technology company formerly known as Taser International. UTPD Police Chief David Carter said the contract has been in the works since he came to the department in 2013.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

Next month, Austin’s Brackenridge Hospital will close its doors for good. Patients will be transferred to the new Dell Seton Medical Center just across East 15th Street. That means the spacious, and centrally located, Brackenridge campus will be open for new development. But the incoming tenant will have to contend with a unique feature of the property, something buried beneath the surface of the old hospital.

Pavel Mezihorak for KUT

The release of Austin’s first-ever strategic housing plan has both faced scrutiny and garnered support at public meetings in recent weeks. The plan aims to address the city’s growing affordability crisis by setting goals for new housing production. Austin City Council members are set to vote Thursday on whether to adopt the plan, and they’re proposing some changes to make the implementation process smoother.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. for KUT

For Austin visitors, it’s hard to beat the iconic view of the Texas Capitol from Congress Avenue. But for those who live and work along the corridor, the streetscape could use some improvements. 

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

I was born in Seton Hospital in Austin on Nov. 13, 1982. I grew up in Dove Springs, a neighborhood on Austin’s Southeast Side. When I was growing up, being an Austin native didn't mean much, because everyone was an Austin native. Among the kids in Dove Springs, it was assumed you had always been in the neighborhood.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

In November, Austin Mayor Steve Adler announced the formation of a group of local leaders tasked with suggesting city policy that could begin to ensure equity throughout the city. On Tuesday, the Mayor’s Task Force on Institutional Racism and System Equities published its nearly 70-page final report.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

Socar Chatmon-Thomas pointed at an apartment building under construction along the south shore of Lady Bird Lake, near East Riverside Drive.

“This whole thing used to just be nothing,” said Chatmon-Thomas, who has worked in Austin real estate since 1994. “Just fields and that’s it, and nobody lived over here.”

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

This week, the Austin City Council is set to take up the city’s first-ever housing plan. The plan aims to address Austin’s growing affordability crisis by setting goals for new housing production. But apart from encouraging more affordable housing, there’s also the question of where exactly it should go. 

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Austin Mayor Steve Adler said today that he came away from a meeting with U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday wishing for more clarity on the administration’s planned crackdown on “sanctuary” jurisdictions.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Austin’s hotels bring in millions of dollars in tax revenue for the city each year. For the past few months, the city has been exploring new uses for that money. As the revenue continues to grow, some local parks groups think it could be a way to fund their proposed improvement projects. 

It's time for the next voting round in our ATXplained project.

We've been collecting your questions about Austin's people, places and phenomena. Now, it's time to weigh in on which question you want us to investigate next.

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Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Austin City Council members learned last week that the completion of the new downtown public library has been hit with delays, again.

“I do think that it is getting very close, but I don’t have a specific date that I can give you quite yet,” Toni Lambert, acting director of libraries, told council members at a budget meeting.

Bob Daemmerich / Texas Tribune

Austin Mayor Steve Adler is set to meet Wednesday with U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly as the debate over "sanctuary cities" continues to ripple across Texas. 

Adler said Sunday he will attend the meeting in Washington as part of a group of mayors from the U.S. Conference of Mayors as well as police chiefs associated with some of the cities.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

KUT's Jennifer Stayton spoke with Nefertiti Jackmon, executive director of Six Square, and Natasha Madison of the 12th Street Merchants' Association at a live broadcast during Morning Edition from the Urban Co-Lab on 12th and Chicon streets. The broadcast can be heard in its entirety here. 


In October, KUT embarked on a project to tell the story of a neighborhood in transition: the area around 12th and Chicon streets in East Austin. Decades ago, it was a center of black life in the city, but over the past few years, the forces of gentrification have taken hold.

The series was called On My Block.

Trey Shaar / KUT

Fifteen percent of undergraduate women at the University of Texas at Austin say they have been raped, according to a report released Friday.

The report is part of a larger study conducted across the University of Texas system. The survey of more than 28,000 students also found that 18 percent of students say they experienced “unwanted sexual touching,” and 12 percent say they experienced attempted rape.  

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT

As the Austin Independent School District deals with declining enrollment and decisions about facilities and campuses, many wonder if students across the district are getting the same quality of education. AISD school board member Ted Gordon, who represents District 1 in East and Northeast Austin, joined KUT’s Jennifer Stayton to discuss achievement gaps and possible solutions in the district.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Walk into Rio Rita’s new location at 12th and Chicon on a Friday night, and you’re likely to see a single-file line leading up to the bar. Behind it, two bartenders mix up complicated craft cocktails with homemade infused spirits. Sarah Tibbits, Rio Rita’s manager, says the line, which customers form on their own, is a carryover from the old location on East Sixth Street. 

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

While Austin’s overall population has exploded over the past few decades, Austin’s black population has declined the past 20 years. From 2000 to 2010, African-Americans were the only racial group in Austin that saw a drop in numbers. Austin was also the only fast-growing city in the country that had a decrease in its black population during that stretch.

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