New Details: Ride-Hailing

Police revise drunken driving crash stats key to Prop 1 campaign
Laura Skelding

Police revise drunken driving crash stats key to Prop. 1 campaign

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The Austin Police Department provided new data this week showing the city didn’t see a sizable drop in drunken driving-related crashes in 2014, undercutting the previously reported statistics that Uber and Lyft officials had touted as part of the public safety benefit ride-hailing services brought to Austin.

As recently as last fall, Austin police had reported 454 driving-while-intoxicated crashes in 2014, which would have been a 23 percent drop from the previous year.

Public Safety: Blanco

Blanco couple accused of injuring kids
Blanco Police Department

Blanco couple accused of injuring kids, including 1-year-old who died

A mother and her boyfriend are accused of injuring her three children, including a 1-year-old girl who died Thursday morning in what Blanco Police Chief Mike Ritchey called “the worst child abuse case I’ve ever seen” in 43 years of law enforcement.

The baby girl, Sunny Dakota Bort, died at 9 a.m. Thursday at University Hospital in San Antonio, Ritchey said. She had been sexually assaulted and physically abused, hospital doctors told police.

The child’s mother, Jamie Petronella, 23, and her boyfriend, John Lawrence, 24, are currently in Blanco County Jail on three charges each of injury to a child, Ritchey said.


Manor Schools

Manor school district narrows superintendent pool to five candidates

Manor school district narrows superintendent pool to five candidates

The Manor school board narrowed its pool of superintendent candidates to five and could announce their top pick as early as next week.

The school district received about 60 applicants and interviewed the five this week. As protected under state law, the district will not release the names of the candidates.

Board President Marlin Thomas described the five candidates as “very strong leaders who fit the profile” set by district officials, staff and the community.

Electronic Cigarettes

FDA brings e-cigarettes under federal authority

FDA will require e-cigarettes and contents to be reviewed

The federal government announced sweeping new rules Thursday for electronic cigarettes that will for the first time require the devices and their ingredients to be reviewed, a mandate that could offer protection for consumers and upend a multibillion dollar industry that has gone largely unregulated.

Before brands are allowed to stay in the market, regulators will check the e-cigarettes' design and the liquid nicotine they contain.

Ken Herman: Commentary

Herman: A towering life worth celebrating

Herman: A towering life worth celebrating

I’m sorry to have to tell you about Ken Towery’s death. But I’m honored to be able to tell you about his life.

Towery passed away in Austin on Wednesday at age 93, years he honorably filled as a public servant, a war hero and a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter whose work benefited veterans.

He grew up on a South Texas farm and enlisted in the Army in World War II.

2016 Presidential Race: GOP

How Trump broke the rules of modern politics, and won anyway

Polling? Who needs to do that? Fundraising? Can't be bothered. Parse your words? Fuhgetabout it.

Donald Trump took the rules of modern politics, trashed them and became the last man standing for the Republican nomination anyway.

12 ways Trump did it his way:



It's what Trump's supporters love about him: He blurts out whatever pops into his head.

Zika Virus

Study strengthens suspected link between Zika and paralysis

A study in Brazil found nearly 90 percent of people with a rare paralyzing condition said they had symptoms of Zika earlier — contributing to mounting evidence that Zika may be a cause.

But there are caveats: It's a small study, and investigators don't yet have blood test results confirming the patients were infected with Zika before they suffered muscle weakness and paralysis.

Mother's Day Dining

Austin restaurants: Where to eat on Mother’s Day

Austin restaurants: Where to eat on Mother’s Day

Andiamo Ristorante. 2521 Rutland Drive. 512-719- 3377, The Italian restaurant in North Austin will serve its first-ever brunch. A four-course prix fixe menu that includes orecchiette with ground sausage, homemade meatballs and tiramisu will cost $38. A la carte options will also be available at the brunch that runs from 11 a.


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