Austin

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

Why Nobody Knows Who Designed the Texas Flag

Jun 15, 2016
flickr/ctj71081

Well, yesterday was flag day – a day that marks the anniversary of the adoption of the U.S. flag, Betsy Ross' famed stars and stripes design.

But, if you’re a Texas history buff, or if you’ve been to a location of a popular, national theme park, you’ll know that Texas has had six flags fly over it. Perhaps the most recognized, however, is the state’s iconic Lone Star Flag, the state’s current flag. 

The problem is, unlike Betsy Ross’ design, nobody can say for sure who designed the Lone Star flag, and there’s been a fight for decades about whom, if any one person, did.  

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

He’s cleared out one joint six times in just the past few months. In one video captured by a homeowner, he wore gloves. And he often doesn’t bother to close doors behind him. 

According to at least four Austin residents, one man has not been playing by the rules of neighborhood Little Free Libraries. The man is said to have been emptying the book trade depositories throughout the city. The libraries, which often look like roomy birdhouses, are posted like mailboxes on front lawns. The idea is to encourage book sharing among neighbors. Passersby are encouraged to “take a book, return a book.”

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

A few months ago, residents of Austin’s Shoal Creek neighborhood sued to stop a massive new development from going up. Now, that legal battle is getting more complicated. 

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

The last time KUT spoke with Vernon Rust, Helen Bird, Trenda McMillan and Jim, the mechanic, they were all living out of their cars in the Walmart parking lot at Slaughter and I-35.

Rust and his partner Helen thought telling their story might take it in a new direction. Instead, things took a turn toward the familiar. 


Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

In a dark room usually reserved for musical performances in South Austin’s Strange Brew coffee shop, four Austin residents met on Monday to talk about the process of citizen petitions — the most recent of which resulted in Proposition 1 — and the debate over local regulations for ride-hailing companies.


Graphic by Andrew Weber/KUT

From the Austin Monitor: A poll commissioned by the Austin Monitor with the help of sponsors shows that more people approve of Mayor Steve Adler’s job performance than that of City Council as a whole — with 51 percent of respondents endorsing Adler’s leadership, compared to 40 percent approval for Council.


Syeda Hasan / KUT

Austin’s LGBTQ community held vigils Sunday evening for victims of the shootings at a gay nightclub in Orlando that left as many as 49 victims dead and 53 wounded. It’s the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. Last night, hundreds marched from the Texas State Capitol, where Austin Mayor Steve Adler addressed the crowd, before marching down Congress to the Warehouse District. 

http://www.flickr.com/asaustin

LGBT groups are planning vigils tonight in Austin in the wake of the shootings at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida that left at least 50 people dead and more than 53 wounded early this morning.

It was the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.

flickr/wallyg

A Travis County grand jury has indicted 17-year-old Meechaiel Criner on capital murder charges for the killing of Haruka Weiser, a 19-year-old University of Texas dance student, in April on UT’s campus as she was walking home to her dorm.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

A new report finds the poverty rate in Travis County may be increasing.

First, let's define just what we mean by poverty. By the federal government’s standards, a family of four is living in poverty if they earn $24,036 or less annually.


Austin Drivers File Suit Against Uber, Lyft

Jun 10, 2016
Shelby Knowles / Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune: A pair of former drivers for Uber and Lyft filed dual class action lawsuits Thursday against the ride-hailing companies over their abrupt exit last month from the Austin market.


franzconde flic.kr/p/8UQeDP

Negroni Week is a nationwide fundraising event to raise money for charity and dozens of bars and restaurants in Austin are participating. KUT's Nathan Bernier learns more about the drink and the fundraiser from Texas Monthly drinks columnist Jessica Dupuy.


iStock.com/DragonImages, via Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune: When a patient sits before Dr. Cynthia de las Fuentes, a licensed psychologist in West Austin, she says they get much more than an empathic ear.

“It’s much more science-based,” she said. She noted that a person doesn't need to be a licensed psychologist to talk with another person through their problems. People do that all the time with friends, family members and co-workers. 

Jorge Sanhueza Lyon / KUT

Today, the Republic of Texas Biker Rally will begin it's festivities in Austin and thousands of bikers from all over the country.

The Rally's parade, which the city says will shut down over 50 city blocks, kicks off the event in earnest tomorrow. It starts at the Travis County Expo Center on Friday night and snakes through Austin before ending outside the Capitol on Congress Avenue. 

Street Closures

Traffic will be heavy due to several street closures downtown and surrounding streets starting tomorrow:

Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

At Black Star Co-op in North Austin, workers take food and drink orders, doling out burgers and beers on a recent weekday. Ask who owns the place, and the response might confound you: the members, or a select number of customers.


Starting in 1869, the timeline below chronicles past floods that hit the Austin area.

Austin’s First-Ever Housing Plan Hits City Hall

Jun 7, 2016
Ilana Panich-Linsman for KUT

This week, city leaders released a draft of Austin’s first-ever strategic housing plan. Unlike broader visions for the city’s future, it focuses on how development will impact the housing supply. 

Austin’s population is projected to grow by almost 3 percent next year. To meet that growing demand, the plan calls for adding 75,000 housing units with 35,000 of them being affordable.


Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

Austin is one of about two dozen large cities in the U.S. that collects and publishes demographic information about people who get tickets or are arrested as a part of the Police Data Initiative. It’s part of an effort to add transparency when it comes to thing like racial profiling.

Today, Austin’s Public Safety Commission will present some new ways the city can expand its efforts to further improve that transparency.


Austin History Center, PICA 00916

The dog days of summer are nipping at Austin’s collective heel and – though the shuttered city pools and recent gloomy weather in Austin may tell you differently – it’s pool season. And, while you may not be able to bring a beer or even your dog to a city pool, at least the city’s not still regulating the attire of every single swimmer, like it did when it passed the 1919 bathing suit ordinance.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

At a city-run job fair back in March, 15-year-old Jake Santema awaited an interview with city staff as part of the process to become a summer lifeguard signed up to be a lifeguard.

“I’m a little nervous of the feeling of having someone’s life on my hands,” said Santema. “It sounds nerve-wracking a little bit.”


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