Austin

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

Daniel Reese for KUT News

Austin City Manager Marc Ott announced he’s resigning from the city, effective October 30. Ott has accepted a new position in D.C., where he’ll serve as executive director of the International City/County Management Association, a group that advocates for city management.

Pu Ying Huang/KUT

The Austin City Council approved a measure Thursday clarifying the process municipal judges use to deem someone incapable of paying a municipal fine –emphasizing community service as an alternative to jail time for unpaid fines.

District 2 Council Member Delia Garza brought the item forward in an effort to reduce the number of people being sent to jail for unpaid fines.

Rodolfo Gonzalez, Austin American-Statesman

Inside the new Hotel Van Zandt in downtown Austin is restaurant called Geraldine's that aims to attract locals and tourists alike. KUT's Nathan Bernier asks Austin American-Statesman restaurant critic Matthew Odam about his latest review.


Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

You may know that Austin's rapid growth is rapidly making it an expensive place to live. Home prices have jumped in recent years, and rents have followed suit. And, as college students head back to campus, they're feeling the pinch as well. 


Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

The Austin City Council has decided to postpone a zoning decision for the Elysium Park apartment complex, a new affordable housing development planned for North Austin. 


Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

This week, the University of Texas at Austin revealed its memorial for the victims of the Tower shooting – a single piece of granite that features the names of the 16 victims of the mass shooting along with the Latin inscription "Interfectum."

Well, as the Statesman's Ralph K. Haurwitz pointed out, that inscription isn't exactly the most appropriate verbiage for the memorial. But why? 

We asked Karl Galinsky, a Latin expert and longtime UT Austin professor of the classics – who, incidentally, first arrived on campus just weeks after the shooting in 1966 – three simple questions about the dustup.

KUT News

Ride-hailing company Uber has confirmed several of the company’s mapping cars have hit Austin streets. The cars are part of the company’s plans to create its own mapping tool, and to relinquish its reliance on other, more established mapping services.

Pixabay, via Austin Monitor

Update: The Austin City Council approved the teleconferencing item on consent. The pilot program will begin in District 6 and will ultimately expand to all Austin City Council districts.

Original post: In a quest to simplify the lives of some constituents, while easing some downtown traffic, Austin City Council Member Don Zimmerman has proposed testing out videoconferencing for some citizen communication.


Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

In today’s politically charged environment, it’s not often you get together with a group of strangers and talk about racial profiling and prejudice. But this week the Austin Police Department is doing just that with a series of community discussions designed to improve interactions with police.

Austin American-Statesman

In 1966, Gordon Knight quite literally dodged a bullet.

The longtime Austin American-Statesman newspaper salesman should’ve been walking his usual beat on the west side of UT Austin on August 1, when Charles Whitman opened fire from his perch on the UT Tower. But he wasn’t, and late that morning, a bullet from Whitman’s rifle found another newsboy: 17-year-old Alex Hernandez.

Jenna VonHofe for KUT

To understand political action committees, it’s useful to think of them in terms of families. For example, if a candidate for City Council or mayor were the older sibling, a PAC would be the baby – that is, it would generally have fewer rules imposed upon it.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

City officials are looking at expanding a tool to bring more affordable housing to Austin neighborhoods.

That tool is called a “density bonus.” Here’s how it works: The city grants developers certain privileges, like building more housing units or taller buildings than are typically allowed. In return, the development must provide a public benefit, like adding some units designated to be rented at below-market rates.

Travis County Sheriff's Office

The Travis County Sheriff's Office is warning of significant traffic impacts Tuesday morning as a result of the funeral procession for Sergeant Craig Hutchinson, 54, who was shot to death at his home in Round Rock last Monday.

A reward is out for information leading to the arrest of his killer.

Police are asking those who want to pay their respects to Sgt. Hutchinson along the procession route to do so safely.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT News

Fifty years ago Charles Whitman began a rampage that left 16 dead with dozens injured. Today the University of Texas at Austin will rededicate its memorial to the massacre.

Today's ceremony will take place in the shadow of the Tower at the Tower Gardens memorial site, often called the Turtle Pond.


Ben Philpott/KUT

UPDATE 10 pm: Austin Police say they've issued a warrant for the arrest of Endicott McCray on a First Degree Murder charge. He has still not been found after this morning's deadly shooting on Sixth Street.

UPDATE 2:30 pm: Austin Police has named a "person of interest" in the shooting death of a woman on Sixth Street this morning. APD is looking for a 24 year-old man named Endicott McCray. McCray is described as 5’9”, 130 pounds, with long corn rows and a goatee.

A hot air balloon carrying at least 16 people crashed in central Texas after catching fire, and the Caldwell County Sheriff said "it does not appear there were any survivors."

Sheriff Daniel C. Law said in a statement that "investigators are determining the number and identities of victims at this time."

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The headline says it all in this one, really.

In the latest installment of our ATXplained series, KUT's Phil Benpott tried to answer the eternal question: Is Austin really that weird? It's a question without a definitive answer, it seems. And, even though Phil struggled to find a clear-cut "yes" or "no" response, plenty of folks had opinions about the story.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

From the Austin Monitor: City of Austin documents show that employees in the Neighborhood Housing and Community Development Department have made numerous complaints involving inappropriate behavior, a hostile work environment, sexual harassment and retaliation over the past five years. Many of those complaints revolve around Steve Ritchie, director of construction and development, and former Director Betsy Spencer’s alleged favoritism toward Ritchie.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

With three months to go before Election Day in November, campaign signs for local, state and presidential candidates have bloomed — despite the incessant heat and current watering restrictions — on Austin lawns. 

And whether you’ve been fixated by the past two weeks of convention speeches and endorsements and even non-endorsements (or not), there’s one element underpinning it all: money. And, in the hopes of making the inner workings of Austin's campaign finance more digestible, here's another installment of our series explaining the process

For our ATXplained project, we're asking for your questions about people, places and things around Austin. Then we put those questions to a vote. We've gotten a lot of great questions, but in our voting rounds, there can be only one winner. 

This time, we're bringing back some runners-up from past rounds for a second chance at being investigated by KUT reporters.

Cast your vote for one of these silver medalists and help pick which one will be next for ATXplained!

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