Travis County Commissioners Court

Environment
12:42 pm
Tue August 7, 2012

Burn Ban Back in Place

It's back: A countywide burn ban is in place through Labor Day weekend.
Flickr user Dawn Huczek, http://bit.ly/Nzgxld

A burn ban is back in effect in Travis County. Fire Marshal Hershel Lee recommended the ban be put back in place during a county commissioners’ meeting this morning.

Central Texas had been without a burn ban since mid-July.

But Lee says the last few weeks have been pretty dry and the forecast looks like it will bring more heat and little rain.

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Transportation
1:30 pm
Tue June 5, 2012

Some Elroy Residents Concerned About F1 Traffic

Construction of the Circuit of the Americas track continues.
Photo courtesy Circuit of the Americas

The roads of Southeastern Travis County will be flooded with people when Formula One holds its first Austin race this November. Travis County Commissioners heard from the public today about a mass gathering permit requested by the Circuit of the Americas for the event.

The track is being built near Elroy and there’s some concern over whether existing roads will be able to handle the race day traffic.

Race organizers want an attendance cap of 250,000 people over three days. Elroy resident Cathy Olive thinks the commissioners should lower that.

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AM Update
8:23 am
Tue May 29, 2012

AM Update: Texas Primaries Finally Arrive, Fatal SMU Standoff, County Commissioners Meet

Polls are open until 7 p.m. in the Texas primaries today.
Photo by KUT News

Polls Open for 2012 Texas Primaries

After being pushed back repeatedly, the Texas primary elections are here.

Voters in the Republican and Democratic primaries will nominate candidates for offices ranging from the President and U.S. Senate to county positions like District Attorney and Tax Assessor-Collector.  You can view the parties’ sample ballots online.

Polls opened at 7 a.m., and although early voting numbers have been low, Texas Secretary of State Hope Andrade is hoping for a higher election day turnout.

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AM Update
8:49 am
Tue May 15, 2012

AM Update: Round Rock Soldier Death, Austin Musician Passes Away, Travis County Talks F1

Specialist Alex Hernandez III hailed from Round Rock.
Image courtesy U.S. Department of Defense

Round Rock Soldier Dies in Afghanistan

The U.S. Department of Defense has released the name of a Central Texas soldier who died in Afghanistan. Specialist Alex Hernandez III of Round Rock died Saturday in Kandahar in southern Afghanistan.

The 25th Combat Aviation Brigade says Hernandez was found unresponsive in his room.

Alex Hernandez was based in Hawaii . He was 21.

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AM Update
7:50 am
Fri March 30, 2012

AM Update: Whole Foods Sinks 'Red-Rated' Fish, More Apple Incentives, UT Tower Darkens for Cause

Whole Foods is phasing out endangered fish in its 300-plus stores.
Photo courtesy wholefoodsmarket.com/news

Whole Foods Bans Unsustainable Seafood

Announced today and beginning on Earth Day (April 22), Whole Foods Market will no longer carry red-rated wild-caught fish, making it the first national grocer to enact such a move. 

Just what is a "red" rating? Using guidelines issued by Blue Ocean Institute and Monterey Bay Aquarium, the designation describes marine life afflicted by overfishing, or invasive fishing methods that harm surrounding species. 

Many of the usual suspects appear on the red-rated list for the Southeast region, which includes Texas: Albacore tuna, bluefin tuna, and imported shrimp. But Whole Foods will also say goodbye to mahi mahi, shark, red snapper, and tilapia – at least until those fish rebound in numbers.

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Austin
1:25 pm
Tue January 17, 2012

Travis County Burn Ban Back On

The Travis County Commissioners Court and county Fire Marshall agree it's time to reinstate the burn ban.
Photo courtesy www.flickr.com/compasspoint

The burn ban is back.

At their meeting this morning, the Travis County Commissioners approved a recommendation from county Fire Marshall Hershel Lee to reinstate the ban.

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Politics
2:51 pm
Wed January 11, 2012

Travis County Asks: Can You Help Us Build Our Courthouse?

Travis County Commissioners want to build a new courthouse to replace the 80-year-old Heman Sweatt Courthouse building at 10th and Guadalupe.
Photo by Eric Reyna/KUT News

Travis County wants assistance in planning their new civil and family courthouse. “We are currently analyzing how to finance and build the new courthouse and develop the site in the way that is most cost-effective and responsive to the community,” they write in a release promoting a community meeting next week. But it sounds like there’s also dissension on the Travis County Commissioner’s Court about how to proceed.

In December 2010, the county purchased land at 308 Guadalupe, a parking lot bounded by Third, Fourth, Guadalupe and San Antonio. The Austin American-Statesman reported the purchase price at $22 million.

The following spring, the county asked for pitches from developers on how to build – and more importantly, how to finance – the project.

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Austin
4:12 pm
Tue August 23, 2011

Amid Accusations of Gerrymandering, Travis County Accepts New Political Boundaries

Map Courtesy of Travis County.

Tensions were high at Travis County Commissioners Court on Tuesday as the court voted on a new precinct map that left some commissioners accusing others of gerrymandering and behind the scenes negotiations.

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development
2:48 pm
Tue December 28, 2010

Travis County Buys Downtown Parking Lot To Build New Courthouse

Travis County Commissioners cleared the way to buy this plot of land downtown between 3rd and 4th streets to the north and south and Guadalupe and San Antonio streets to the east and west.
Image courtesy Google Street View

Travis County Commissioners didn't take any moves to block the planned purchase of a lot in downtown Austin, clearing the way for the deal to close tomorrow morning at 9 o'clock.

As KUT News reported two weeks ago, the county will pay $21,750,000 for the downtown block next to Republic Square Park.

County Judge Sam Biscoe says that’s half a million more than the appraised value.

“But I think that the location, more than justifies that. Plus it’s the size that we need,” Biscoe told KUT.

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Environment
2:28 pm
Tue December 14, 2010

Bottle Deposit Vote Sends Commissioners Down Memory Lane

In eleven states cans and bottles are redemable for a deposit of five to ten cents.
Thomas Hawk www.flickr.com/photos/thomashawk/

Travis County Commissioners Court unanimously endorsed the so-called  "Texas Bottle Bill" today, a statewide proposal that would introduce redeemable deposits on bottles and cans in Texas.  

The proposal evoked fond memories of childhood among Commissioners. 

"As a kid, it dawned on me that if I would go out and collect empty bottles, and just take them home and collect the deposit, that would be a little business!" mused County judge Sam Biscoe.

"We all did that!" interjected Commissioner Ron Davis, as other commissioners present murmured in agreement.

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Environment
11:55 am
Tue December 14, 2010

Burn Ban Effective Immediately In Travis County

Camp fires like this one are prohibited in Travis County after County Commissioners issued a burn ban today.
Image courtesy Dido http://www.flickr.com/photos/iyadtb/

Citing extremely dry conditions in Central Texas, Travis County Commissioners followed the lead of some neighboring counties today and issued a burn ban. The ban prohibits anyone from burning "any combustible material outside of an enclosure which serves to contain all flames and/or sparks."

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