Austin

Austin
1:50 pm
Thu October 2, 2014

CPS Fires 3 Employees for Failing to Act in Colton Turner Case

Credit Texas Tribune

Child Protective Services has fired three caseworkers for failing to protect Colton Turner, the 2 year-old whose body was found buried in Southeast Austin last month. 

Colton Turner's mother, Meagan Work, and her boyfriend, Michael Brandt Turner, had been the subjects of four CPS investigations. Allegations included excessive drug use and the toddler's physical and sexual abuse.

Today, CPS spokesperson Patrick Crimmins called it a "very difficult case, a very tragic case."

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Affordable Housing
11:02 am
Thu October 2, 2014

Austin Bans Discrimination Against Voucher-Holding Renters (Update)

City council will vote on an ordinance that would make it illegal for landlords to deny rental applicants on Section 8 housing vouchers.
Wells Dunbar/KUT News

Austin’s long on housing stock, but the city's still struggling to expand affordable housing options across Austin.

Today, the Austin City Council passed an ordinance to “create” more affordable housing units by requiring existing apartments to accept Section 8 housing vouchers – subsidies from the Department of Housing and Urban Development that can pay up to 70 percent of rent for low-income, disabled and elderly tenants.

The ordinance increases options for Section 8 holders ninefold, but some landlords aren’t happy about it.

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Austin Energy
10:14 am
Thu October 2, 2014

Austin Water Bills to Get Increased Scrutiny After Audit

More oversight is expected on water bill charges after an audit revealed nine of 10 customers were overbilled for water.
Austin Monitor

From The Austin Monitor:

(This story was updated Oct. 2 to correct an editing error that overstated the risk of the city’s billing system overcharging residents for their water bills. The audit found no large-scale issues with water meter accuracy.)

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Ebola
5:19 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Ebola Case in Austin Unlikely, But Officials Say City's Prepared

Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services Director Ernesto Rodriguez speaks at a press conference on Oct. 1, 2014.
Veronica Zaragovia/KUT

Austin officials say the city has a plan to address any cases of Ebola, now that the first confirmed case in the U.S. is up the road in Dallas.

Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services says it's been ready since the Ebola outbreak in West Africa began.

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Austin
7:36 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Muslim Group's Adopt-A-Highway Sign Vandalized

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community's Adopt-A-Highway sign was vandalized over the weekend. It's in Round Rock on A.W. Grimes Boulevard between Old Settlers and University Boulevards.
Yasir Mirza

An Austin-area Muslim community that helps maintain a stretch of road in Round Rock had its official Adopt-A-Highway sign vandalized. The sign is on A.W. Grimes Boulevard between Old Settlers and University Boulevards. 

Someone over the weekend sprayed black paint over the part of the sign that said "Ahmadiyya Muslim," the name of the community that cleans litter from the stretch of highway every three months or so.

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ACL 2014
2:41 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Map: Austin City Limits Parking & Street Closures

It’s that time of year. The weather’s (kind of) cooling down and the vacation rental beds are about to warm up with music-loving out of towners.

Austin City Limits is upon us and while some may forego the fest, it’s safe to say many Austinites will join the revelry both at Zilker Park and downtown for the after-shows.

With that in mind, here’s a map of the street closures over the festival weekend and some of the parking spots in the downtown area suggested by the festival organizers and the City of Austin.

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2014 Elections
7:08 am
Tue September 30, 2014

Listen: The Ballot Boxing District 8 Forum

Five candidates joined KXAN's Shannon Wolfson and the Austin Chronicle's Richard Whittaker for the District 8 forum last night.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT

KUT continued its Ballot Boxing series of in-district Austin City Council forums last night in South Austin. Five candidates joined moderators KXAN's Shannon Wolfson and Richard Whittaker of the Austin Chronicle, as well as a sold-out crowd, at the South Austin Alamo Drafthouse on Slaughter Lane last night.

Our Ballot Boxing forums will continue this Thursday Oct. 2 at the Alamo Drafthouse on Anderson Lane with the forum for District 7.

Below you can listen to the full audio of last night's forum and view a photo gallery above.

2014 Elections
5:00 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

Listen: The Ballot Boxing District 6 Forum

Candidates for District 6 gathered last night at the Alamo Drafthouse in North Austin.
Mengwen Cao/KUT

The Ballot Boxing series continued last night with the Austin City Council candidate forum for District 6 in Northwest Austin. Seven candidates gathered at the Alamo Drafthouse at Lakeline with moderators Amy Kamp of the Austin Chronicle and KXAN’s Angie Beavin.

You can view a photo gallery above and listen to the full audio of the forum below.

Austin
4:15 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

Photos: First Responders Gather to Remember Travis County Deputy Jessica Hollis

Several officers with the Travis County sheriff’s office are at the Hill Country Bible Church Austin, to pay respects to Travis County Deputy Jessica Hollis.
Filipa Rodrigues/KUT

Funeral Services for Travis County Deputy Jessica Hollis were held today at the Hill Country Bible Church. The seven-year veteran was swept away by flood waters last week while checking a low water crossing near Lake Austin, where she was found last Friday.

Hundreds of people and first responders from as far away as Burnet County, San Antonio, New Braunfels and Jonestown shared memories and stories to memorialize Hollis at the Hill Country Bible Church in Pflugerville.

Ballot Boxing
11:11 am
Tue September 23, 2014

Listen: The Ballot Boxing District 5 Forum

Austin City Council candidates from District Five answer questions in a forum at the Austin Community College South Austin campus.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon, KUT News

The Ballot Boxing series continued last night with the Austin City Council candidate forum for District 5 in South Austin. Seven candidates gathered at Austin Community College's South Austin campus with moderators Michael Kanin of the Austin Monitor and Mary Tuma of the Austin Chronicle.

You can view a photo gallery above and listen to the full audio of the forum below.

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Austin
10:15 am
Mon September 22, 2014

Photos: Austin Demonstrators Gather in Support of National Climate March

Lola Villamizar, 4, rests before marching for climate change action.
Ilana Panich-Linsman/KUT

Hundreds of activists marched down Congress Avenue yesterday for the Shield the People Climate Change March.

The event was one of hundreds of rallies held across the country in support of climate change ahead of a United Nations summit this week that will discuss the impact of rising global temperatures.

You can view a photo gallery of the march above.

Affordable Housing
11:07 am
Fri September 19, 2014

Can Housing Advocates Help Give Austin a New Lease on Affordability?

Neighbors in Clarksville lease 19 properties to low-income residents in order to expand affordability, and diversity, in the neighborhood.
KUT News

In 2006, the last time Section 8 housing opened up, 7,000 low-income Austinites signed up. Since then, Austin’s growth has been exponential and many expect the waitlist for housing to follow suit with Austin’s growth.

Housing advocates expect the signup to draw at least 20,000 applicants, but a long-time Austin housing advocate and recent MacArthur Genius Grant winner is working to increase Austin’s affordable housing stock without Section 8 by expanding low-income housing in existing neighborhoods.

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Weather
6:39 am
Fri September 19, 2014

Central Texas Downpours: Flash Flood Watch Canceled in Central Texas

A screenshot of last night's rain.

Update: The National Weather Service has extended flood advisories for rivers and creeks in central Travis County and south central Williamson County until 9:30 a.m.

Flooding at Bull Creek at Loop 360 is minor, but has reached 7 and a half feet. Officials advise drivers to be cautious when approaching the F.M. 2222 bridge.

Waters may run high at Gilleland Creek, Shoal Creek, Walnut Creek and Wilbarger Creek for the next few hours.

Update (5:35 a.m.): The National Weather Service has issued an urban and small stream flood advisory for Central Travis County and South Central Williamson County until 7:30 a.m. Friday.

The National Weather Service canceled a flash flood watch that been in effect for Central Texas through the early morning hours of Friday. However, there is still a 40% chance of rain in the forecast for today.

The combination of heavy rains again and an already-saturated ground could potentially produce some problems with flooding. Thursday's downpours brought several inches of rain to parts of the region and caused low-water crossing closures across the area. Thirty-one low water crossings are still closed Friday morning

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2014 Elections
11:19 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Listen: The Ballot Boxing District 4 Forum

Candidates gathered at Marchesa Hall on Sept. 17 for KUT's District 4 Ballot Boxing City Council candidate forum.
Ilana Panich-Linsman/KUT

The Ballot Boxing series continued last night with the Austin City Council candidate forum for District 4 in North Austin. Seven of the eight candidates gathered at the Marchesa Hall with moderators Michael Kanin of the Austin Monitor and Regina Rodriguez of Univision 62.

You can view a photo gallery above and listen to the full audio of the forum below.

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Austin
10:00 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Could Lyft & Uber Soon Be Legal in Austin?

The battle between ride-sharing companies and the city has been going on for years, but a new proposal could allow the services to function within the law.
flickr.com/photos/raidokaldma

As of right now, ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft aren’t exactly legal.

They operate, sure, but the services' drivers face fines of up to $1,500 if they're caught driving-while-ride-sharing. While some tout the apps as a convenient alternative to cabs, many, including the City of Austin, argue the drivers don’t face the same regulatory and safety standards as their cabbie counterparts.

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2014 Elections
7:31 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Listen: The Ballot Boxing District 3 Forum

District 3 candidates gathered at the North Door for the third installment of Ballot Boxing, a partnership between KUT, the Austin Monitor, the Austin Chronicle, KXAN and Univision 62.
Ilana Panich-Linsman/KUT

The 12 candidates vying for District 3's seat on the Austin City Council met for the first time last night at the North Door for the third installment of Ballot Boxing, a series of in-district debates sponsored by the Austin Chronicle, the Austin Monitor, KXAN, Univision 62 and KUT.

Candidates discussed congestion issues, affordable housing, issues surrounding gentrification and the future of Austin going forward with the city's new 10-1 representation system. You can view photos of all the candidates from last night's forum above and listen to the forum in its entirety below.

10-1
8:58 am
Thu September 11, 2014

Listen: The Ballot Boxing District 2 Forum

Three of the four candidates showed up to last night's debate. Mike Owen was not in attendance.
Filipa Rodrigues/KUT

Last night KUT continued the Ballot Boxing series of in-district Austin City Council candidate forums at the Dove Springs Recreation Center last night in Southeast Austin.

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Austin Police
7:18 am
Tue September 9, 2014

Bank Robbery Suspect Dies After Officer-Involved Shooting in Wells Branch

Credit Nathan Bernier, KUT News

A man is dead and two Austin Police Officers are on administrative leave this morning after an officer-involved shooting last night in the Wells Branch neighborhood near Maye Place.

Officials say the two Austin Police officers, one Round Rock Police officer and at least one FBI agent were involved in the shooting. They were members of the Central Texas Violent Crimes Task Force investigating a suspect involved in a bank robbery investigation.

The officers were serving a warrant to the suspect when he exited the vehicle and began firing.

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10-1
6:52 am
Tue September 9, 2014

Listen: The Ballot Boxing District 1 Forum

The District 1 candidates: George Hindman, Sam Osemene, Christopher Hutchins, DeWayne Lofton, Valerie Menard, Michael Cargill, Ora Houston and Andrew Bucknall. Norman A. Jacobson did not attend the forum.
Jenna VonHofe/KUT

Last night KUT kicked-off the Ballot Boxing series of in-district Austin City Council candidate forums at Wesley United Methodist Church in East Austin.

KUT's Joy Diaz and the Austin Monitor's Mike Kanin hosted and moderated the event, which featured eight of the nine candidates vying for the seat in District 1 this Election Day, with help from our additional partners the Austin Chronicle, KXAN and Univision 62.

You can listen to the entire forum below.

2014 Elections
11:23 am
Mon September 8, 2014

As State & City Campaigns Ramp Up, County Races Remain Dormant

Travis County races don't typically draw the same profile as their statewide and city campaign counterparts.
Photo by Nathan Bernier for KUT News

It’s election season and races are in full-swing. Whether it’s the governor’s race or the 78 candidates running for Austin City Council, candidates are busy attending rallies and debates.

But, with Election Day less than two months away, why haven't races at the county level been as active?

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