Austin

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

Mose Buchele for KUT News

You know what happens when you leave your car under a tree full of grackles? What your car looks like after a day or two? To hear John Burns tell it, there was a time when the University of Texas campus looked like that.

Miguel Guitierrez Jr./KUT

Recently, local political action committee Ridesharing Works for Austin hired two Republican campaign veterans – Reed Galen and Travis Considine. Between them, they’ve worked on campaigns for John McCain, George W. Bush and Rick Perry.

And in what feels like the same breath, the Travis County Democratic Party formally took a stance in opposition of Proposition 1, the ride-hailing regulations proposed by Ridesharing Works for Austin as an alternative to those passed by the city. The regulations were submitted by petition in January.


Miguel Gutierrez Jr./KUT

Some birds are well-liked. Some are considered pests. Many just slip under the radar—but not the grackle. The grackle demands that you take notice. Pamela Gooby certainly did. 

“It’s like this big velvet wave of grackle in the parking lot of the grocery store," says Gooby, whose question was chosen for this edition of KUT's ATXplained series.

Carlos Lowry via Flickr

Mention the lowly-but-ubiquitous grackle to an Austinite, and you'll likely elicit a binary, typically love/hate, response. Unlike the city’s other winged mascot, the bat, which is more or less tolerated by some and celebrated by others, the grackles of Austin have been hunted, hated, loved and praised since their migration here more than a century ago.

darrellrhodesmiller from flickr

As visitors to Austin-area pools multiply, some local municipalities are having a hard time accommodating all those would-be swimmers. That’s the case with Hamilton Pool, which is managed by Travis County.


2015 Racial Profiling Numbers Point at Trend Within APD

Mar 28, 2016
Nasha Lee for KUT News

New racial profiling data from the Austin Police Department solidifies what the Austin Police Monitor says is a five-year trend of policing people of color most often.


Nathan Bernier, KUT News

Today, the state’s largest law enforcement association formally appealed the firing of Austin Police Officer Geoffrey Freeman for the shooting death of 17-year-old David Joseph.

Attorneys with the Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas (CLEAT) filed the paperwork Thursday with the Austin Civil Service Commission, arguing that Freeman acted in accordance when he shot and killed Joseph last month. Freeman was fired on Monday.

Syeda Hasan/KUT

If you’ve taken a drive through Central Texas lately, you might have noticed that bluebonnets are already dotting some roadsides, which prompted some to ask whether state's famous flower is early or right on time this year.


Neal Douglass, via Austin History Center, ND-66-290-01

On Thursday, the next Batman movie will hit screens in Austin. While it’s technically a Superman movie, the Dark Knight’s top billing in “Batman v. Superman” and some of the early reviews intimate otherwise. But, nearly 50 years ago, the Caped Crusader’s first film outing flew into Austin for its premiere.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. for KUT News

As the temperature in Austin climbs, kids and adults flock to the city’s several dozen pools. But while the industry puts a pool’s lifespan at 30 years, many of Austin’s are 50 years or older. So in 2012, the city decided it would create an Aquatic Master Plan, a document that would imagine the future of Austin’s pools. That process is now in its third and final phase of completion.


Via Endeavor Real Estate Group

After much back-and-forth with labor groups, Capital Metro’s board of directors approved a final agreement Monday with developers for its Plaza Saltillo project. The final agreement addresses two points that labor groups have been pushing for – better wages and on-site supervision.


Miguel Guitierrez Jr. for KUT News

For many women in Texas, abortions are getting harder to obtain.

The cost of the procedure is increasing, and so are the distances people have to travel to get one.

For some, that’s making it almost impossible to get an abortion, but there are groups here in Austin working to transport women to clinics far from home and help them cover the costs.


Jorge Sanhueza Lyon/KUT

South By Southwest is known for drawing leaders in film, music, and tech to Austin. The festival may be over, but some are hoping it can leave lasting impression. Some groups are used the festival to promote social causes.

One night two years ago, Terrence Henry (devout KUT listeners will probably remember him) was at home during SXSW when he felt his floorboards start to vibrate.

“I stepped outside, and it sounded like there was a concert happening a couple blocks away. I could hear the bass. I could hear the lyrics," he said. "After a little bit of research, we determined it was Snoop Dogg."

Syeda Hasan for KUT News

Capital Metro unveiled plans Thursday for its Plaza Saltillo redevelopment, but some labor groups are concerned about working conditions on the project.


via Facebook

For three decades now, musicians have been making their ways to Austin in March, hoping South by Southwest will provide that elusive boost to their musical careers. It’s happened countless times.

But as my band, Dread, experienced back in 1989, it often doesn’t happen exactly as planned.


Jorge Sanhueza Lyon/KUT

This time of year, thousands of visitors flock to Austin to network and to party. And thousands of Austinites still need to get up in the morning and go to their jobs. It’s not easy, and sometimes it’s just not even possible. 


Miguel Guitierrez Jr./KUT

On 6th Street just past midnight, small herds of young people mill in the street or near the entrances of bars – some smoking cigarettes, others looking at their phones. Virginia Alexander honks at them to move. She is trying to drive her ATV down the street to get to the trash cans.


Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon for KUT News

Near the intersection of Red River and Cesar Chavez, a large construction project is underway. A $370 million luxury hotel is being built there, the Fairmont Austin. A year ago, this construction site was a parking lot, rented out as a venue during South by Southwest. 


A Look Back at Austin's Eternal Arguments

Mar 16, 2016
Frank Albrecht, via Southwestern Historical Quarterly

Austin, it seems, is locked in an eternal personality crisis. To some, it’s the greatest city in the world – a wellspring of natural beauty, good food and plenty of live music. To others, it’s an ever-expanding, traffic-plagued, corporate-sponsored city that’s not as good as it used to be.

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