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

KUT News

From the Austin Monitor: After years of decline, Austin’s African-American population appears to be growing again.

In a presentation during a City Council work session Tuesday, city demographer Ryan Robinson explained to Council members that the black population within Austin’s city limits increased by an estimated 8,000 in the four years following the 2010 census. In the entire Austin metropolitan area, it grew by an estimated 20,000.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT

Austin is trying to end homelessness among veterans. Homeless advocates say the city has already attained “functional zero” veteran homelessness, and they’re awaiting formal recognition from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The term “functional zero” could be confusing, because Austin still has veterans living on the street. So what does it mean?

Austin History Center, PICA 01090

Well, it’s summer. And, if there are any certainties in this life, you’re bound to hear people complaining about the heat – you’re also likely to see a smattering of summer recipes, as well as tips for beating the heat. So what sage wisdom did Austinites of summers past have to offer? What were Victorian-era Austinites' summer complaints?

Groups around Austin have organized various events to raise money for victims of the deadly shooting earlier this month at an Orlando nightclub. Forty-nine people were killed and dozens more sustained injuries. If you want to show your support for the victims, here are some of the benefit screenings, concerts and parties you could attend around Austin this week. 

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

From the Austin Monitor: It appears that United States Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx has decided that Austin is not a Smart City.

On Tuesday, Ohio’s two members of the U.S. Senate announced that their state capital, Columbus, won the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Smart City Challenge and the $50 million purse that comes with the title.

Daniel Reese for KUT News

Austin City Manager Marc Ott may be leaving.

Ott told members of the Austin City Council on Monday that he’s a finalist for the executive director position at the Washington, D.C.-based International City/County Management Association, a self-described research and training organization for municipal managers. Ott explains he was approached about the job about a year ago.

From the Austin Monitor: According to a poll conducted for the Austin Monitor, a majority of those polled in City Council Member Don Zimmerman’s district — 52 percent — approve of how Council handled the Uber/Lyft election issue. At the same time, 51 percent said they would vote to re-elect their Council member, who was not mentioned by name in the question.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

District 6 Austin City Council Member Don Zimmerman has filed a lawsuit against Mayor Steve Adler that seeks to quash the result of Austin's ride-hailing election on May 7, arguing the Austin City Council misled voters and that the "swiss-cheese" framework of regulations is unenforceable.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

April Marshall stood among the remains of her mother’s home last month in southeast Travis County, pointing out the new, donated couch still wrapped plastic. The family was still in the process of furnishing their home wrecked by flooding in October, when roughly three feet of floodwaters rushed their home again in May.

Deborah Cannon, Austin American-Statesman

A Peruvian restaurant in a strip mall in North Austin has graduated from the food court. Is Lima Criolla worth a trek to the Linc Austin shopping center? KUT's Nathan Bernier asks Austin American-Statesman restaurant critic Matthew Odam about his review.

UPDATE: Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo has announced the arrest of Patrick Eugene Johnson, 59, on one count of attempted aggravated assault in connection with the rock throwing cases on I-35.

Why Nobody Knows Who Designed the Texas Flag

Jun 15, 2016

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, like 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.

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.


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.