labor day

Jeff Heimsath for KUT News

Today marks two years since the start of the Labor Day wildfires – the worst in Texas history.

The fires in Bastrop, Pflugerville, Spicewood and Steiner Ranch in September of 2011 killed two people, destroyed 1,600 homes and burned tens of thousands of acres of land.

KUT produced an oral history titled “Forged in Flames” last year for the first anniversary of the fires. Go to KUT.org to hear the documentary, produced by KUT's Emily Donahue and the KUT News staff.

KUT News

Another Labor Day is here in Austin. Here’s a rundown of street closures, holiday schedules, rules for the road and more:

Road Closures:

Several downtown and South Austin streets are closed or partially-closed this morning for a triathlon.

Lea Luchsinger

Tomorrow marks the one year anniversary of the Central Texas wildfires.

Thousands of people were forced out of their homes last Labor Day weekend by the massive wildfires and clouds of black smoke.

The fires went on to claim two lives and destroy more than 1,600 homes and thousands of acres of land.

Chris Barron is the Executive Director of the State Firemen’s & Fire Marshals' Association. He recalls getting the first notification about a fire in Pflugerville.

"We sent a brush truck from my fire department up there and a tender, a water tender up there, and, next thing you know, Spicewood had a major fire also and then Steiner Ranch had a major fire and so it was just back to back to back," Barron says.

Jillian Schantz Patrick for KUT News

Happy Labor Day! It will be a pretty hot one with an expected high of 100.

City of Austin Offices Closed – But Animal Center Open

It’s Labor Day and that means City of Austin offices are closed – as are recreation centers, senior centers and libraries.

But the Austin Animal Center is open today and is offering free adoptions. The center says they received lots of new pets in August but that adoptions were slow. It’s once again “severely overcapacity” and has no room for incoming animals. The free adoptions are being offered at the Austin Animal Center at 7201 Levander Loop and the Town Lake Animal Center at 1156 W. Cesar Chavez.

City pools, golf courses and tennis centers are also open today.

Trash and recycling collections will remain on schedule.

Mark Dewey for KUT News

Good morning and happy Friday. It may be a long weekend for many as Labor Day approaches.

It's Official: Longhorn Network on AT&T U-verse

University of Texas at Austin Women's Athletic Director Chris Plonsky confirms this morning that the Longhorn Network is now available for AT&T U-verse customers.

The Twittersphere is buzzing with the news that the LHN is now available on AT&T U-verse channel 1609.

In a report KUT News aired this morning, David Preschlack, ESPN’s head of affiliate relations said: “We’re doing everything that we can to get full distribution of the network. There’s nothing more important that I’m working on personally. And to me this is not an if, it’s a when, and we’re hopeful that we get there just as quickly as possible.”

That “when” finally sounds like "now" for local Longhorn fans.

Photo by Renee Silverman http://www.flickr.com/photos/reneesilverman/

People pulled over for suspected drunk driving over the Labor Day weekend may have their blood forcibly withdrawn by Austin police officers. It’s part of the so-called “No Refusal” policy that APD conducts over long weekends.

But this weekend, a new law will increase penalties for first-time offenders with a blood alcohol level of 0.15, almost double the legal limit of 0.08.