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Austin police rape kits: Mold found on containers, memo says

Hundreds of sexual assault kits in Austin police storage have been determined to have mold growing on the outside of them, prompting officials to seek guidance from state and national experts about how to properly preserve the evidence and raising questions about whether forensic samples may have been compromised. So far, officials said they have no indication that the mold will prevent analysts from...


Austin startup Alegion brings in $3.6 million to ramp up AI initiatives

Austin startup Alegion brings in $3.6 million to ramp up AI initiatives

Alegion, an Austin startup that operates a crowd-sourcing automation platform used by Condé Nast, Charles Schwab and the state of Texas, has raised $3.6 million for expansion. The company received the Series A funding from RHS Investments. Launched in 2012, Alegion partners with crowd-sourcing marketplaces to deliver structured data to businesses and government agencies that have ongoing or...
EU hits Google with $2.7B fine for abusing weaker rivals

EU hits Google with $2.7B fine for abusing weaker rivals

European regulators fined Google a record 2.42 billion euros ($2.72 billion) for abusing its dominance of the online search market in a case that could be just the opening salvo in Europe's attempt to curb the company's clout on that continent. The decision announced Tuesday by the European Commission punished Google for unfairly favoring its own online shopping recommendations in its search results...
Europe's once positive world view of US slips under Trump

Europe's once positive world view of US slips under Trump

Slightly more Europeans now view the United States unfavorably under President Donald Trump than favorably, according to a survey of public attitudes in three dozen countries that comes as Trump prepares for a return visit to the continent early next month. The Pew Research Center survey released Monday also found scant confidence outside the U.S. in Trump's leadership on the world stage, with many...
Herman: Energy Secretary Rick Perry energetic in White House spotlight

Herman: Energy Secretary Rick Perry energetic in White House spotlight

Our current governor might be decidedly down on Austin, but, bless his heart, our most recent former governor on Tuesday put in a high-profile tourism pitch for his former longtime hometown. During a half-hour guest appearance at Tuesday’s White House briefing (back on camera this time!), Energy Secretary Rick Perry turned a somewhat-awkward answer about France into an invitation for folks to...
Neighbors worry about the traffic Live Oak Springs would bring

Neighbors worry about the traffic Live Oak Springs would bring

Don Cash took the opportunity at Tuesday’s Travis County Commissioners Court meeting to publicly apologize for hitting a neighbor’s mailbox as he veered to avoid pedestrians on the sidewalk-less road in Southwest Austin. “It’s because the road is narrow,” Cash said, as the room erupted with laughter. “I didn’t want to hit the dog walkers … Thankfully...
JUST IN: Williamson sheriff’s cold case unit may get its own TV show

JUST IN: Williamson sheriff’s cold case unit may get its own TV show

The Williamson County sheriff’s office has signed a two-year contract with a New York production company to film its cold case unit at work, Sheriff Robert Chody said Tuesday. If the company, called Hit +Run Creative, sells the show to a television network, Chody said, viewers could provide new clues about unsolved cases. “Some of these cases are 15 to 25 years old,” Chody said....
No fault found in Ethics Commission probe of Zimmerman payment to wife

No fault found in Ethics Commission probe of Zimmerman payment to wife

Former Austin City Council Member Don Zimmerman is off the hook for a 2015 complaint over a $2,000 payment his campaign made to his wife. Zimmerman signed a formal letter that the Texas Ethics Commission accepted this month. This “assurance of voluntary compliance” includes no determination of fault, but in it Zimmerman acknowledges the law and agrees to follow it in the future. Attorney...
How do you make any student ready for a career in tech?

How do you make any student ready for a career in tech?

Matt Stephenson saw the handwriting on the wall. Working for the giant financial firm Goldman Sachs Group, in credit derivatives and mortgage-backed securities, he sensed that the market was going to experience an upset. So in 2007, a year before the financial collapse on Wall Street, he got out. “I cut it a little close,” recalls Stephenson, 35, who later founded the Austin nonprofit...
At White House briefing, Rick Perry mused energy, the French, pot

At White House briefing, Rick Perry mused energy, the French, pot

Energy Secretary Rick Perry was given a featured spot at the White House press room podium Tuesday to talk about “Energy Week.” But the former Texas governor went all out, reveling in the spotlight, joking with reporters, stretching his moment to talk beyond energy and even giving reporters a brief history of the French — “they’re a little different” — and...
Energy Secretary Perry touts nuclear power at White House briefing

Energy Secretary Perry touts nuclear power at White House briefing

Energy Secretary Rick Perry was given a featured spot at the White House press room podium Tuesday to talk about “Energy Week.” But the former Texas governor went all out, reveling in the spotlight, joking with reporters, stretching his moment to talk beyond energy and even giving reporters a brief history of the French — “they’re a little different” — and...

Authorities searching for suspect in at least 10 car wash burglaries

CENTRAL TEXAS Burglaries targeting car washes Police are searching for a man they believe is behind at least 10 car wash burglaries since Saturday in Round Rock, Pflugerville and North Austin. According to Round Rock police, the suspect, a man in his 20s between 5-foot-8 and 6 feet tall with a short fade haircut, has been breaking into the businesses between 2 and 6 a.m. and targeting cash drawers...
Police: Man ran half-dozen illegal gambling rooms in Austin area

Police: Man ran half-dozen illegal gambling rooms in Austin area

Austin police have arrested a man in connection to citywide illegal gambling activities, but the case remains open as they expect to file more charges in the future against others, police said. Authorities identified 53-year-old Chong Pak as their primary suspect in the case. No other warrants have been issued yet, police said. In January, Austin police began an investigation into several illegal...
Archaeologists unearth fountain from long-gone Waco neighborhood

Archaeologists unearth fountain from long-gone Waco neighborhood

An archaeological firm has started unearthing one of the last remnants of the long-gone downtown Hispanic neighborhood known as Calle Dos. The Waco Tribune-Herald reports crews were chipping away and sifting 2 feet of fill dirt that for half a century has covered a neighborhood fountain at Jefferson Avenue and University Parks Drive, known as La Pila. The partial unearthing shows that the concrete...
Voters to weigh Austin district’s $1.05 billion single-proposition bond

Voters to weigh Austin district’s $1.05 billion single-proposition bond

Austin voters in November will weigh a $1.05 billion, single-proposition Austin school bond package. Funds from the bond package would rebuild several campuses, construct new schools and target overcrowding in pockets of the 83,000-student district. Among the most contentious projects in the package is the relocation of the Liberal Arts and Science Academy out of LBJ High School and into the former...
CAR WASH CAPERS: Police searching for suspect in burglaries across Round Rock, Pflugerville, North Austin

CAR WASH CAPERS: Police searching for suspect in burglaries across Round Rock, Pflugerville, North Austin

Police are searching for a man they believe is behind at least 10 car wash burglaries since Saturday in Round Rock, Pflugerville and North Austin. According to Round Rock police, the suspect, a man in his 20s between 5-feet-8 and 6-feet with a short fade haircut, has been breaking into the businesses between 2 and 6 a.m. and targeting cash drawers or safes inside. Authorities said he has been seen...
BEER BATTLE: Man accused of hurling Dos Equis cans at clerk who tried to stop theft, police say

BEER BATTLE: Man accused of hurling Dos Equis cans at clerk who tried to stop theft, police say

An Austin man is accused of stealing beers and throwing them at the store clerk who tried to stop him, according to court documents. A man who police identified as 47-year-old Douglas Wright Jr. was heading out the door of the Wells Grocery bodega on the 1900 block of Rosewood Avenue in East Austin with a stolen 12-pack of Dos Equis when the store clerk jumped over the counter and tried to stop him...

Business Digest: Former first lady coming to Austin tech conference

TECH SECTOR Former first lady coming to Austin tech conference Michelle Obama just can’t get enough of Austin. The former first lady is coming back to our city in October for a tech conference hosted by social media software company Spredfast. The company posted the news to its Twitter account on Tuesday morning. Called “Smart Social Summit,” it takes place Oct. 16-18 at the W Hotel...
Williamson County sheriff warns about telephone scam

Williamson County sheriff warns about telephone scam

A fraudulent caller is using a phone number from the Williamson County sheriff’s office to scam people out of money, officials said Tuesday. The caller is using the sheriff’s phone numbers at 512-943-1300 or 512-943-1100 and falsely identifying himself as a deputy, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office. The caller told one man he owed money and that if the man failed...
NORTH AUSTIN: Police ID suspect in series of sexual assaults in Georgian Drive area 

NORTH AUSTIN: Police ID suspect in series of sexual assaults in Georgian Drive area 

Austin police are asking for the public’s help in finding sexual assault victims who might have been attacked in North Austin since last year.  Police have received reports since October of a man targeting women in the Georgian Drive area late at night or in the early morning, officials said. Police say the suspect, identified by police as 32-year-old Wahab Thejeil, would convince his...
After strong start to 2017, Austin-area auto sales cool off

After strong start to 2017, Austin-area auto sales cool off

After a strong start to the year, Austin-area auto sales have cooled off a bit, a new report shows. Sales of new vehicles declined by 2.4 percent in May, compared to the same month last year, according to data from the Freeman Auto Report, a Dallas-based service that tracks those purchases in Bastrop, Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Hays, Travis and Williamson counties. Austin-area consumers bought 10,919...
AFFIDAVIT: San Marcos woman kidnapped in West Campus by man 'obsessed' with her, police say

AFFIDAVIT: San Marcos woman kidnapped in West Campus by man 'obsessed' with her, police say

A San Marcos woman told Austin police that the man accused of kidnapping her wouldn’t take no for an answer.  Police say Stephen Milder, who has been charged with aggravated kidnapping with bodily injury, abducted the woman in front of a West Campus student housing cooperative. The woman told police he drove her around the city, telling her, “If you love me, you will understand...
UPDATED: Police charge man with running half-dozen illegal game rooms in Austin area

UPDATED: Police charge man with running half-dozen illegal game rooms in Austin area

4:40 p.m. update:  Austin police have arrested one man in connection to citywide illegal gambling activities, but the case remains open as they expect to file more charges in the future against others, police said.   Austin police Cmdr. Troy Officer of APD’s organized crime unit provided details Tuesday afternoon on the case, which targeted several illegal gambling operations across...
Growth of Texas manufacturing, service-sector activity cools in June

Growth of Texas manufacturing, service-sector activity cools in June

The growth of Texas factory production and service-sector business activity slowed in June, but outlooks on the statewide economy remained optimistic and employers continued to expand their payrolls during the month, according to a pair of reports from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. The state production index, a key measure of Texas factory output, dropped to a reading of 12.3 in June from 23...
CITY MEMO: Mold found in containers of about 850 Austin police rape kits

CITY MEMO: Mold found in containers of about 850 Austin police rape kits

Hundreds of sexual assault kits in Austin police storage have been determined to have mold growing on the outside of them, prompting officials to seek guidance from state and national experts about how to properly preserve the evidence and raising questions about whether forensic samples may have been compromised. So far, officials said they have no indication that the mold will prevent analysts...
It’s not even July, but the Texas peach season is ending soon

It’s not even July, but the Texas peach season is ending soon

It’s not July yet, but we’re getting down to the last of the Texas peaches. Last week, I was in Fredericksburg to tour the Peach Haus, headquarters for Fischer & Wieser, the company that makes jams, jellies and sauces and started as a peach stand years ago. Peach Haus had some local peaches for sale, but the owners, like many growers in the area, said the season is quickly...

Community news: Lakeway hosts ‘Patriotism on Parade’ on July 4

TRAVIS COUNTY LAKEWAY ‘Patriotism on Parade’ on July 4 The city of Lakeway will hold its Independence Day celebration July 4 with the theme of “Patriotism on Parade.” The celebration will begin with a parade at 8:30 a.m. departing from the driving range at the Live Oak Golf Course on Lakeway Drive, going down that street and ending adjacent to the Lakeway Activity Center, 105...
JUST IN: Man faces organized crime charge, accused of stealing motorcycles during ROT rally, affidavit says

JUST IN: Man faces organized crime charge, accused of stealing motorcycles during ROT rally, affidavit says

Austin police are seeking a Houston man who they say is a serial thief with ties to two homicide suspects, and who made off with at least five motorcycles as part of a robbery crew. Authorities have filed an organized crime charge against Marks Rivers, 32, and have asked for bail to be set at $150,000, court papers filed Tuesday show.  Police in the documents describe a scheme...
Edible Austin files lawsuit after canceled Beer and Bacon Festival

Edible Austin files lawsuit after canceled Beer and Bacon Festival

Edible Austin filed a lawsuit last week against a local event venue, claiming the venue failed to obtain the permits needed for the magazine’s Beer and Bacon Festival in January of 2016. Fair Market hosts numerous food events throughout the year, but in a new lawsuit, Edible Austin claims that it had to cancel its Beer and Bacon Festival because the venue...
Round Rock house fire from fallen candle warmer causes $30K in damage

Round Rock house fire from fallen candle warmer causes $30K in damage

A Round Rock home sustained $30,000 worth of damages after a fire caused by a fallen candle warmer ignited the structure, according to a city press release. The fire occurred Friday night at a home in the 2700 block of Lake Forest Drive. Crews received a call at 7:18 p.m. and firefighters arrived at 7:22 p.m., the release says. Smoke was initially seen outside the structure and crews found a fire...
LAKE ON ALERT: Invasive zebra mussels found in Lake Travis, Texas wildlife officials say

LAKE ON ALERT: Invasive zebra mussels found in Lake Travis, Texas wildlife officials say

Zebra mussels, which have seriously affected the economy, environment and recreation on Texas reservoirs and rivers, have been found in Lake Travis, state wildlife officials said Tuesday. Biologists from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Lower Colorado River Authority confirmed the presence of the zebra mussels in the lake Thursday after a worker at a marina reported seeing a single...
PolitiFact: When are health-care ‘cuts’ really cuts?

PolitiFact: When are health-care ‘cuts’ really cuts?

Politics and math don’t always get along, and counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway raised a common complaint about how people talk about the future of Medicaid spending under the Senate Republican health care bill. In an interview Sunday, ABC news host George Stephanopoulos brought up the bill’s projected $800 billion in Medicaid savings and asked Conway if that undermined the president&rsquo...
WEATHER UPDATE: Showers in Central Texas have cleared   

WEATHER UPDATE: Showers in Central Texas have cleared   

8:15 p.m. update: Storms and scattered showers have passed Central Texas as they continue to move west, the weather radar shows. 6:30 p.m. update: Scattered showers and a few thunderstorms will continue to move west through the Central Texas area, the National Weather Service said Tuesday.  The showers could produce moderate to brief heavy downpours and occasional cloud-to-ground lightning...
CAREFUL WITH SCAMS: IRS warns of summertime tax schemes

CAREFUL WITH SCAMS: IRS warns of summertime tax schemes

Even though tax season has ended for most taxpayers, the IRS said in a press release Monday that tax-related scams continue across the nation. “We continue to urge people to watch out for new and evolving schemes this summer,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen in the release. “Many of these are variations of a theme, involving fictitious tax bills and demands to pay by purchasing...
Austin, other cities spar with state, DOJ in ‘sanctuary cities’ hearing

Austin, other cities spar with state, DOJ in ‘sanctuary cities’ hearing

Lawyers from numerous Texas cities sparred with the state and the U.S. Department of Justice on Monday in the first hearing in their attempts to upend Senate Bill 4, the so-called sanctuary cities ban, before it can be implemented. The hearing, held in a federal courtroom in San Antonio, brought forward many previously filed arguments, claiming that SB 4 is unconstitutional, violating the First and...
Arkansas ruling could affect Texas gay marriage benefits case

Arkansas ruling could affect Texas gay marriage benefits case

Arkansas cannot exclude the names of same-sex spouses from their children’s birth certificates, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday in a case that gay marriage advocates said should be a wake-up call for the Texas Supreme Court. Texas’ highest civil court is preparing to rule on a challenge by opponents of gay marriage who want to stop government-paid benefits to same-sex spouses, arguing...
Austin worker who used resources for second job is latest in a string

Austin worker who used resources for second job is latest in a string

An Austin Energy information technology analyst used city equipment to send hundreds of emails and scan or print dozens of files related to his second job, according to an investigative audit released Friday — the latest in a series of probes that have shown employees working second jobs on the city clock. Brent Curry, a senior IT geospatial analyst, owns several rental properties, which he...
Austin kidnap suspect foiled by Facebook, caught at Iron Maiden show

Austin kidnap suspect foiled by Facebook, caught at Iron Maiden show

If you’re going to listen to Iron Maiden’s advice and “Run to the Hills” to avoid police, just don’t post it on Facebook. An Austin man who was wanted by police on a kidnapping charge got caught by the Bexar County sheriff’s office Saturday at an Iron Maiden concert in San Antonio after a friend of his posted images of their tickets on social media, leading officers...

Attorney asks for change of venue in Crispin Harmel murder retrial

WILLIAMSON COUNTY Change of venue asked in murder retrial An attorney for a man accused of killing a woman in Cedar Park has asked for a change of venue for his second trial after the first ended in a mistrial. Crispin Harmel’s attorney, Kristen Jernigan, asked Wednesday for the new trial to be moved out of Williamson County because of the publicity the case has received locally, according to...
Where to watch Fourth of July fireworks in Austin and around Central Texas

Where to watch Fourth of July fireworks in Austin and around Central Texas

There’s no better way to celebrate America’s birthday than with a big, loud and colorful display of fireworks. Fortunately, Austin and surrounding cities have no shortage of them — a couple of which will erupt the weekend before the Fourth of July, a Tuesday this year. Patriotic ladies and gents, show off your red, white and blue attire and get your fireworks fix at these Independence...
Monk parakeet nest sparks North Austin pole fire, cuts power to 3,200

Monk parakeet nest sparks North Austin pole fire, cuts power to 3,200

More than 3,000 Austin Energy customers were left in the dark Monday morning after a monk parakeet nest sitting on top of a utility pole sparked a fire in North Austin. Austin Energy spokeswoman Jennifer Herber said the fire began around 5 a.m. and left a large area of North Austin — stretching east to west from Lamar Boulevard to MoPac Boulevard, and from north to south from Rundberg and Braker...
SB 4 court hearing brings hundreds of protesters to San Antonio

SB 4 court hearing brings hundreds of protesters to San Antonio

As lawyers argued for and against a state ban on “sanctuary cities” inside a federal courtroom in San Antonio on Monday, about 600 immigrant rights advocates rallied nearby in protest of the law. The protesters are concerned that the law will lead to increased racial profiling and to families being torn apart as a result of deportation. It also will allow law enforcement officers to ask...
‘CONFUSINGLY SIMILAR’: Yeti sues 3 more companies over tumblers

‘CONFUSINGLY SIMILAR’: Yeti sues 3 more companies over tumblers

Austin-based Yeti Coolers is continuing its crusade against companies that make products it contends are “confusingly similar” to the ones it manufactures, suing three more companies this month. In a filing in U.S. District Court in Austin, attorneys for Yeti say tumblers sold by RELYMedia, CreekFire and Nine Line Apparel too closely resemble some of the tumblers in its top-selling Rambler...
Yeti sues 3 more companies over ‘confusingly similar’ tumblers

Yeti sues 3 more companies over ‘confusingly similar’ tumblers

Austin-based Yeti Coolers is continuing its crusade against companies that make products it contends are “confusingly similar” to the ones it manufactures, suing three more companies this month. In a filing in U.S. District Court in Austin, attorneys for Yeti say tumblers sold by RELYMedia, CreekFire and Nine Line Apparel too closely resemble some of the tumblers in its top-selling Rambler...
Woman attacked with hot sauce bottle in Austin karaoke fight

Woman attacked with hot sauce bottle in Austin karaoke fight

A woman has been charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after attacking another woman with a hot sauce bottle following a karaoke performance, according to an arrest affidavit. Austin police responded to a call Thursday at La Catedral del Marisco on Oltorf Street concerning an altercation between two women who sing karaoke at the restaurant every week. According to the affidavit...
How to teach Austinites about CodeNext? Let’s try Legos

How to teach Austinites about CodeNext? Let’s try Legos

For those looking to learn more about how CodeNext could affect the city, two Austin organizations say the best learning tool might be an old childhood favorite — Legos. The city’s land development code rewrite, known as CodeNext, is expected to be one of Austin’s most impactful long-term policies. But some residents have criticized the 1,100-plus page document’s complexity...
Austin ISD could shutter East Austin schools to keep bond under $1B

Austin ISD could shutter East Austin schools to keep bond under $1B

The Austin school district could shutter a handful of East Austin schools to bring down the costs of the proposed bond package that trustees are expected to approve tonight. Multiple school properties could be sold in the next five years to lower the bond project costs to under $1 billion, according to district documents obtained by the American-Statesman. A line item in other bond package documents...
Police: Trucker hauling beam charged after swerving ‘all over’ I-35

Police: Trucker hauling beam charged after swerving ‘all over’ I-35

Police arrested a truck driver hauling an 80,000-pound cement beam Thursday after seeing him weaving in and out of lanes on Interstate 35 in Georgetown, according to an arrest affidavit. Jeff Mills, 53, of San Antonio, was charged with possession of a controlled substance, a state jail felony punishable by up to two years in jail. He also was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, which is...
PolitiFact: Rick Perry’s climate change comment is hot air

PolitiFact: Rick Perry’s climate change comment is hot air

U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry downplayed the role of human activity in the recent rise in Earth’s temperature, saying natural causes are probably the main driver of climate change. Perry was asked in a CNBC interview if he believed carbon dioxide was the “primary control knob” for Earth’s temperature. “No. Most likely the primary control knob is the ocean waters and...
LAWSUIT FILED: Woman sues Austin, accusing city of negligence after convention center fall

LAWSUIT FILED: Woman sues Austin, accusing city of negligence after convention center fall

A Florida woman who had attended a conference at the Austin Convention Center is suing the city and two other defendants for more than a $1 million after a set of stage stairs she was walking down collapsed, leaving her with “severe personal injuries and damages.” The lawsuit, filed in Travis County district court on Friday by Julie Auslander, accuses city employees of failing to...
Georgetown bakery offering free cupcakes for crime tips

Georgetown bakery offering free cupcakes for crime tips

That’s one way to crack down on crime ... Georgetown bakery Gigi’s Cupcakes is looking to serve up sweet, sweet justice in the form of free cupcakes for anyone who can help the shop track down a man they say is a counterfeiter, KVUE reports. The bakery is looking for information about a man whom owner Chet Kenisell said used fake $50 bills to buy a single cupcake...
JUST IN: Man rushed to hospital after falling 30 feet from scaffolding in West Austin

JUST IN: Man rushed to hospital after falling 30 feet from scaffolding in West Austin

Paramedics rushed a man to Dell Seton Medical Center in serious condition Monday afternoon after he fell off of scaffolding that was 30 feet high in far West Austin, Austin-Travis County officials said. His injuries are not expected to be life-threatening, authorities said.  The victim, a man in his 20s, fell shortly after 1 p.m. from a scaffolding set up along St. Stephens School Road...
JUST IN: Suspect in rape case also accused of robbing man of cash, stealing his Yorkie

JUST IN: Suspect in rape case also accused of robbing man of cash, stealing his Yorkie

Austin police have brought new charges against Emmanuel Grear, who authorities say was at the center of a supposed drug deal in Southeast Austin earlier this month that led to four women being sexually assaulted.  Grear, 20, was booked into the Travis County Jail on Saturday, three days after he was caught by law enforcement in Corpus Christi. He faces robbery, rape...
THE LATEST: Judge jabs at challengers’ arguments over ‘sanctuary cities’ bill

THE LATEST: Judge jabs at challengers’ arguments over ‘sanctuary cities’ bill

In Monday’s first court hearing on challenges against Texas’ “sanctuary cities” ban, lawyers representing various Texas cities and counties have focused largely on the constitutional issues they believe enforcing Senate Bill 4 would cause. During the first half of the day’s hearing at the federal court in San Antonio, presiding federal District Court Judge Orlando Garcia...
REPORT: Baylor to release information on sexual assaults going back to 2003

REPORT: Baylor to release information on sexual assaults going back to 2003

Baylor University will release information in sexual assault reports dating back to 2003, the Waco Tribune-Herald reported on its website Monday. According to a brief filed Friday by Baylor lawyers, the information will be organized in a spreadsheet and will include dates and locations of reported assaults, the genders of victims and accused assailants, and dispositions of the complaints. The...

Community news: Input sought on Austin’s budget priorities

TRAVIS COUNTY AUSTIN Input sought on budget priorities The city of Austin’s budget office is seeking resident input and feedback on city services and budget priorities as part of the budget development process. Residents may use the Austin Budget Simulator to provide funding preferences by 11 city of Austin service areas. It is designed to be accessible and inclusive, with versions in English...
Authorities arrest person after seven-hour standoff in Hutto

Authorities arrest person after seven-hour standoff in Hutto

1 p.m. update: Authorities arrested a person at 12:44 p.m. in Hutto who had been barricaded inside a home since 5 a.m., an official said. No injuries were reported, said Sgt. David Daniels, a spokesman for the Austin Police Department. Previously: Authorities are in a standoff in Hutto with a person barricaded inside a home, an official said. Austin police working with the Williamson County sheriff&rsquo...
Minority groups threaten to oppose $990 million Austin ISD bond plan

Minority groups threaten to oppose $990 million Austin ISD bond plan

The Austin school board tonight is slated to call for a November bond election, putting before voters more than $990 million worth of bond projects packaged into one proposition. As it was last week, this meeting could become heated as some community members plan to rally against the package in its current form. Latino and black community leaders have said the bond in its current form is inequitable...
AUSTIN PROTESTS: A guide to marches demonstrations and rallies coming up this summer

AUSTIN PROTESTS: A guide to marches demonstrations and rallies coming up this summer

Ready to throw yourself behind a cause this summer? Here are some Austin protests, marches and rallies scheduled in the coming weeks that you can join:   The Austin Gay & Lesbian Pride Foundation (AGLPF) in conjunction with Transgender Education Network of Texas, Equality Texas, and Austin's fabulous Drag Community Wednesday, June 28 7 p.m. Texas Capitol     Protest for the Impeachment...
Immigrants’ rights rally draws more than 600 to San Antonio courthouse

Immigrants’ rights rally draws more than 600 to San Antonio courthouse

1:05 p.m. update: More than 600 immigrants rights protesters have been rallying against Senate Bill 4 in front of the federal courthouse in San Antonio, through intermittent showers and sunshine since early Monday morning. The Austin-based Workers Defense Project brought a bus full of about 50 people and left Austin at 6 a.m. Monday to attend the event. Gerardo Tovar, 60, a member of the group&rsquo...
AFFIDAVIT: Man posed as his brother to elude additional charges, authorities say

AFFIDAVIT: Man posed as his brother to elude additional charges, authorities say

Authorities are on the lookout for a man with 27 previous license suspensions who they say used his brother’s name to elude being jailed because his outstanding warrants, according to an arrest affidavit. A Texas Department of Public Safety trooper pulled over 41-year-old Michael Russell on Wednesday on suspicion that he was driving an unregistered car with insufficient window tint, the...
FOILED BY FACEBOOK: Austin kidnapping suspect caught at Iron Maiden concert

FOILED BY FACEBOOK: Austin kidnapping suspect caught at Iron Maiden concert

Bexar County sheriff’s office deputies caught an Austin kidnapping suspect at an Iron Maiden concert in San Antonio after a friend of his posted images of their tickets on social media, leading officers right to their seats. Authorities in San Antonio arrested Derrick Roseland, who was wanted in Austin on an aggravated kidnapping charge, at his plaza level seat at the AT&T Center without...
WEATHER UPDATE: Weather advisory for Travis, Williamson counties expires

WEATHER UPDATE: Weather advisory for Travis, Williamson counties expires

10:22 p.m. update: A bridge in Old Spicewood Springs has flooded over, Austin police said. APD has advised that  bridge located between 5200 and 5300 Old Spicewood Springs Road be avoided as the water is “fast moving.”  10:10 p.m. update: The significant weather advisory for Williamson and Travis counties have expired, the National Weather Service said.  9:15 p.m. update...
JUST IN: Outage in North Austin affects 3,300; crews restore power after fire on pole

JUST IN: Outage in North Austin affects 3,300; crews restore power after fire on pole

Austin Energy reported that a weather-related fire in a bird nest on a power pole knocked out electricity to nearly 3,300 customers in North Austin early Monday morning. The outage struck around 5:30 a.m., knocking out the lights along a broad swath of North Austin, stretching from about Lamar to MoPac boulevards (east to west) and from Research Boulevard (along the south) to Rundberg and Braker lanes...
Police: Woman used company credit card to pay her bills in Georgetown

Police: Woman used company credit card to pay her bills in Georgetown

A former employee of a management company in Austin is accused of making unauthorized charges on company credit cards of more than $14,000, according to an arrest affidavit. Emily Colleen Springs, 41, of Georgetown was charged with theft, a state jail felony punishable by up to two years in jail. Springs was the controller at CM Management, the affidavit said. The company manages accounting departments...
Nonprofits say new child services law could be tough on youths

Nonprofits say new child services law could be tough on youths

A new law that allows public and private foster care and adoption agencies to deny services and placement to people based on “sincerely held religious beliefs” will be toughest on youths in foster care, some local experts say. And the organizations that serve youths are wondering how to help them navigate the new system. The law goes into effect Sept. 1. “A lot of the focus on this...

Community news: Sidewalk project’s completion celebrated Thursday

TRAVIS COUNTY CENTRAL AUSTIN End of sidewalk project celebrated The city of Austin will host an event to celebrate the completion of the first 2016 Mobility Bond sidewalk project, a newly constructed sidewalk in the North Loop neighborhood, at 8:30 a.m. Thursday. The celebration will start in the parking lot of the Sky-View Baptist Church, 211 W. Koenig Lane. Mayor Steve Adler, Mayor Pro-Tem Kathie...

Texas Digest: Officer’s widow gets 12-year sentence for killing him

SAN ANTONIO Officer’s widow sentenced for killing him A woman has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for killing her husband — a San Antonio police officer — by running him over with her vehicle. The San Antonio Express-News reported that Diana Marileen Lopez, 27, was sentenced after a court hearing Friday. She had pleaded guilty in April to failure to stop and render aid resulting...
Express’ scheduling is matter of night-and-day

Express’ scheduling is matter of night-and-day

In summer time at Dell Diamond, high heat isn’t just something that comes from the pitching mound. With average temperatures of 96 to 98 for home games, Round Rock Express management grapples with day vs. night scheduling on Sundays, traditionally reserved for afternoon baseball. Since 2015, attendance has been 7 percent higher for night games, with the Express averaging 9,348 tickets sold on...
Fonda San Miguel chef shaped Austin’s food scene

Fonda San Miguel chef shaped Austin’s food scene

Chef Miguel Ravago, one of the early leaders of the Austin culinary scene and a founder of seminal interior Mexican restaurant Fonda San Miguel, died Saturday, according to friends. He was 72. Fonda San Miguel helped shift the way Austinites understood their neighbor to the south, and before the ubiquity of celebrity chefs on television, Ravago served as a shining light in the Austin restaurant world...
Victims of fatal single-car crash in Burnet County identified

Victims of fatal single-car crash in Burnet County identified

Authorities have identified driver Lila Acosta, 34, of El Paso and passenger Audrey Regnold, 31, of Marble Falls as the victims of a fatal single-car crash that occurred Saturday afternoon on U.S. 281 near Park Road 4 in Burnet County. STAY ON TOP OF THE NEWS: Click here to sign up for our Breaking News emails The Texas Department of Public Safety said the two women were traveling on U.S. 281 &ldquo...
Fonda San Miguel chef and co-founder Miguel Ravago has died

Fonda San Miguel chef and co-founder Miguel Ravago has died

Miguel Ravago, chef of Fonda San Miguel, with a welcoming smile at the well-known front doors of the restaurant. American-Statesman 2003 One of the early leaders of the Austin culinary scene and a founder of seminal interior Mexican restaurant Fonda San Miguel, chef Miguel Ravago has died, according to friends of the chef. He was 72. The Phoenix, Arizona, native learned to cook at a young age, assisting...
Storms roll through Bastrop, Elgin

Storms roll through Bastrop, Elgin

Update 1:30 p.m. Rainstorms, some heavy, are rolling through Bastrop and Elgin right now with scattered showers expected for the rest of the afternoon. “We’re not expecting anything severe,” said Yvette Benavides, a National Weather Service meteorologist. “It’ll be ongoing for the next several hours, but then die off in the evening.” Earlier: Keep those umbrellas...
How gerrymandering helped the GOP in 2016

How gerrymandering helped the GOP in 2016

The 2016 presidential contest was awash with charges that the fix was in: Republican Donald Trump repeatedly claimed that the election was rigged against him, while Democrats have accused the Russians of stacking the odds in Trump’s favor. Less attention was paid to manipulation that occurred not during the presidential race, but before it — in the drawing of lines for hundreds of congressional...
Wear: Barton Creek bike bridge built, but few coming so far

Wear: Barton Creek bike bridge built, but few coming so far

I tweeted out just after sunrise Friday that I was hanging out at the new Barton Creek bike bridge in Southwest Austin to see how many cyclists and others might be using the $14.5 million edifice. I noted that in the half-hour or so I was there, I had seen one commuting cyclist cross the 1,045-foot span over the creek gorge. Not surprisingly, the qualifiers quickly started appearing in my...

Traffic report for June 26, 2017

Interstate 35 (Travis County): The outside lane on the southbound access road will be closed between Parmer Lane and Rundberg Lane from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Monday and Tuesday nights; locations will change nightly, and Exits 245 through 241 will be closed as needed. Multiple southbound lane closures between Colonial Park Boulevard and Boggy Creek from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Monday and Tuesday nights; may be...
Emails chart how ‘Mad Men’ archive landed at UT’s Ransom Center

Emails chart how ‘Mad Men’ archive landed at UT’s Ransom Center

An archive of props, clothing, scripts and abandoned story lines from a TV series might not seem at first blush to embody the literary, cultural or artistic significance of the Gutenberg Bible, Frida Kahlo’s “Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird” or any number of other holdings at the University of Texas’ Harry Ransom Center. But the “Mad Men&rdquo...
PolitiFact: Paxton uses old line about Obama that’s no longer true

PolitiFact: Paxton uses old line about Obama that’s no longer true

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, pleased at the revocation of a federal effort to shield some older immigrants from deportation, says that then-President Barack Obama repeatedly acknowledged that his administration’s 2014 immigration order wasn’t legal. In a recent press release, Paxton applauded the Homeland Security Department’s June 5 decision rescinding the Obama-era policy...
Challengers of ‘sanctuary cities’ ban to get their day in federal court

Challengers of ‘sanctuary cities’ ban to get their day in federal court

Challengers of Senate Bill 4, the “sanctuary cities” ban, will have their first day in federal court Monday before a presiding judge who has recently ruled that federal immigration detention requests central to the controversial state law are unconstitutional. Monday’s hearing in San Antonio before U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia will be the first time a coalition of advocacy...

Community news: Survey launched for Austin’s artists

TRAVIS COUNTY AUSTIN Survey launched for Austin artists The city of Austin’s Economic Development Department has launched a “Creative Space Survey” to gain an understanding of the specific space needs of Austin’s artists, arts organizations and other creatives. The survey will be conducted annually as part of the city’s cultural planning efforts and will help the city...

Man accused of exposing self in Jack in the Box drive-thru lane

A man has been accused of exposing himself and masturbating in front of customers outside a Jack in the Box at 9825 Burnet Road. Joshua Reeves, 19, was arrested on a charge of indecent exposure. The incident took place around 3 a.m. Saturday. Reeves was wearing no shirt and was lying on the ground behind the building and in the drive-thru lane, according to an arrest affidavit. Police said he also...
Troopers: Single-car crash kills two women in Burnet County

Troopers: Single-car crash kills two women in Burnet County

Two women in their early 30s died Saturday afternoon in a single-car crash on U.S. 281 near Park Road 4 in Burnet County, officials said. The crash happened around 2 p.m., said state Trooper Shannon Simpson. “Two females going south on U.S. 281 at a very high rate of speed passed a vehicle and lost control,” he said. The 2012 Hyundai carrying the two women passed through a fence, trees...
Authorities: Small plane damaged during landing at Burnet airport

Authorities: Small plane damaged during landing at Burnet airport

A small plane carrying only its pilot was damaged while landing at around 7:21 a.m. Saturday at Burnet Municipal Airport, officials said. Department of Public Safety officer Andrew Thomas said the pilot, Mark Rankin, was uninjured and that the airport runway was not damaged. “It was a pretty simple crash,” Thomas said. “The plane touched down and the pilot said it started pulling...
Stand-up air travel? Not yet, but Colombian budget airline would consider it

Stand-up air travel? Not yet, but Colombian budget airline would consider it

BOGOTA, Colombia — In its quest to make air travel accessible to the masses, Colombia’s no-frills carrier, VivaColombia, would be more than happy to rip out the seats and make passengers stand — if it only could.  “There are people out there right now researching whether you can fly standing up,” VivaColombia’s founder and CEO William Shaw told the Miami Herald...
Few overseas have faith in Trump’s leadership, survey finds

Few overseas have faith in Trump’s leadership, survey finds

Faith in American leadership has plunged in many nations around the world in the months since President Donald Trump took office, according to a new survey, underscoring the challenges facing the new president as he prepares to make his second overseas trip next week. Just 22 percent of those interviewed outside the United States expressed confidence in Trump to do the right thing, compared with 64...
If you didn't know better, you'd think Raiders are prospering in Oakland

If you didn't know better, you'd think Raiders are prospering in Oakland

Each week, The Washington Post's Mark Maske provides in-depth NFL analysis with "First and 10," a dissection of the league's most important developments. Season tickets are sold out for this coming season. The team is coming off a playoff season and has legitimate Super Bowl aspirations. The quarterback has a new $25 million-a-year contract. The running back had the league's top-selling...
Questions and answers about the travel ban case

Questions and answers about the travel ban case

The Supreme Court upheld some portions of President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban Monday, setting the stage for arguments on the case in October. Here are some major questions the case presents: A: The court did two things: it agreed to evaluate the ban next term, and, in the meantime, the court overturned the decisions of lower courts, saying that Trump’s administration could enforce...
Try this refreshing salad for the Fourth, or anytime

Try this refreshing salad for the Fourth, or anytime

Enjoy this salad for the upcoming July 4 holiday or anytime. It’s a one-dish meal that won’t heat up the kitchen. Cooked chicken breast, plump blueberries and red bell pepper make this a colorful dish. Blueberries are in season now and are packed with good nutrition. The dressing lightly coats the salad. It’s made with mayonnaise mixed with nonfat yogurt and a little horseradish...
No frills, no crowds, no money: The lonely road to tennis glory

No frills, no crowds, no money: The lonely road to tennis glory

Less than a half-hour after a crushing defeat in front of two spectators, Alexandra Wozniak paced the hallways of the municipal tennis center in Dothan, Alabama, pleading on the phone with an airline representative. Wozniak, a former top-25 player, had hoped to stay longer at the small tournament, but the loss forced her to immediately arrange a cheap 6 a.m. connection back home to Montreal. Once...
Interactive museum brings the American Revolution to life

Interactive museum brings the American Revolution to life

  It's tough to impress a 12-year-old.   "It was so cool," said Maggie Lowman of Staunton, Va., to her mother, Denise. "The seats rumbled and you could smell the sea!"   Maggie had just come from the short film "The Siege of Yorktown" in the 180-degree experiential theater at the new American Revolution Museum at Yorktown in the small burg on...
Gorsuch joins Thomas as Supreme Court's new conservative anchor

Gorsuch joins Thomas as Supreme Court's new conservative anchor

Justice Neil Gorsuch didn't wait long to assert his place on the far right of the Supreme Court. Less than three months after being sworn in, the Donald Trump appointee marked the end of the court's term Monday by signing onto a barrage of opinions involving guns, gay rights, religion and the president's travel ban. With each, Gorsuch aligned himself with arch-conservative Justice Clarence Thomas...
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