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Census: Austin metro hits 2 million mark again, this time for real

Perhaps the balloons and confetti fell a little too early last year when the Austin metro area celebrated surpassing 2 million residents. Turns out, after some routine revisions to the U.S. Census Bureau data, Austin actually hit that milestone later than originally thought, according to new numbers released Thursday. Specifically, the five-county metro area cleared that population hurdle by July...
Trump’s Texas border wall hits a snag in Falcon Lake

Trump’s Texas border wall hits a snag in Falcon Lake

A few days before a late winter bass fishing tournament, a steady stream of anglers backed their motorboats into the chilly waters of Falcon Lake and zipped away in hopes of finding a lucky spot among the lake’s many inlets and islands. The largemouth bass are almost always biting in this 154-square mile reservoir, the largest lake on the Rio Grande and in many ways the economic lifeblood of...
Texas Republican holdouts imperil GOP health care bill

Texas Republican holdouts imperil GOP health care bill

Heading into what could be the most critical vote of the Trump presidency, about 10 of the 25 Republican members of Congress from Texas have yet to declare their support for the GOP plan to replace Obamacare with the American Health Care Act. Three of the seven Republicans representing parts of Travis County have yet to give a firm “yes,” though U.S. Reps. Roger Williams, R-Austin, and...
Emotional Day, defending champ, withdraws from Dell match play event

Emotional Day, defending champ, withdraws from Dell match play event

Defending champion Jason Day was struggling early in his round Wednesday as the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play opened at Austin Country Club. Day, ranked third in the world, double-bogeyed No. 6 and then unexpectedly conceded the match to Pat Perez, who was leading by three holes. Day proceeded to stun the international golfing community. As he struggled to control his emotions, Day wiped back tears...
Schedule scraps Man United, Man City soccer match planned for Austin

Schedule scraps Man United, Man City soccer match planned for Austin

An International Champions Cup soccer match between two English Premier League giants that was proposed for Austin this summer has been scrapped because of scheduling conflicts. Manchester United was to play Manchester City in July at Royal-Memorial Stadium. Team officials were here negotiating during South by Southwest, but the sides could not agree on a revised date, multiple sources told the American-Statesman...
Fate of Texas 45 Southwest toll road project now in judge’s hands

Fate of Texas 45 Southwest toll road project now in judge’s hands

Opponents of plans to build the Texas 45 Southwest toll road returned to federal court on Wednesday, asking a judge to stop the project now under construction and send planners back to the drawing board. Critics have long argued the 3.6 mile-long toll road, the subject of fierce debate in Austin for three decades, would harm the environment. Supporters and transportation planners have countered...
Judge rules lawsuit can proceed in violent arrest of Breaion King

Judge rules lawsuit can proceed in violent arrest of Breaion King

U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks has ruled that a lawsuit against the city of Austin in the July 2015 violent arrest of teacher Breaion King can proceed and denied a request by city officials that it be thrown out. Sparks had initially dismissed the city as a defendant, saying that the lawsuit wasn’t specific enough. But King’s attorneys refiled the case, which Sparks said meets legal standards...
AP Exclusive: Before Trump job, Manafort worked to aid Putin

AP Exclusive: Before Trump job, Manafort worked to aid Putin

Before signing up with Donald Trump, former campaign manager Paul Manafort secretly worked for a Russian billionaire with a plan to "greatly benefit the Putin Government," The Associated Press has learned. The White House attempted to brush the report aside Wednesday, but it quickly raised fresh alarms in Congress about Russian links to Trump associates. Manafort proposed in a confidential...
Herman: JetBlue pays off with Zilker Botanical Garden project

Herman: JetBlue pays off with Zilker Botanical Garden project

Remember last year when Austin Mayor Steve Adler encouraged you to stuff the ballot box? And remember when some of you did? And remember when we won? We weren’t exactly sure what we had won, but we won. We found out this week what we won: Our prize package includes mulch. Lots of dark, mulch-smelling mulch. And much more than mulch. Let me explain. JetBlue is an airline. It runs an annual Green...
State freezes bid to privatize foster care in northwest Texas

State freezes bid to privatize foster care in northwest Texas

A much-heralded effort to privatize foster care in 30 northwest Texas counties is on hold while the state investigates whether the bidding process was compromised by the wife of the former inspector general. The Health and Human Services Commission has put its request for proposals for “foster care redesign” on pause, saying in a letter to bidders that the contract is on hold “due...
Spying claim by Intel chair renews fight over Russia probe

Spying claim by Intel chair renews fight over Russia probe

Private communications of Donald Trump and his presidential transition team may have been scooped up by American intelligence officials monitoring other targets and improperly distributed throughout spy agencies, the chairman of the House intelligence committee said Wednesday — an extraordinary public airing of often-secret information that brought swift protests from Democrats. Republican Rep...
NEW DETAILS: Road rage led to shots being fired downtown amid SXSW crowd last week, police say

NEW DETAILS: Road rage led to shots being fired downtown amid SXSW crowd last week, police say

An apparent episode of road rage in downtown Austin resulted in gunshots being fired into the air last week as thousands of people crowded the streets for the South by Southwest Music Festival, according to court documents filed Wednesday. Police said they think the shooter was 22-year-old Eric Benitez, who faces a felony charge of deadly conduct, an arrest affidavit said. He was in Travis County...
FORECAST: Warm, windy day expected in Austin ahead of Friday storms

FORECAST: Warm, windy day expected in Austin ahead of Friday storms

Thursday forecast for Austin: Forecasters are calling for a cloudy day in Austin on Thursday with wind gusts of up to 30 mph ahead of a cold front expected to roll through the Austin metro area on Friday. According to the National Weather Service, cloud cover should break up a bit throughout the day as wind speeds steadily increase. Forecasters say they expect wind speeds to hover around 10 to 15...
UPDATED: Dozens hold vigil calling lawmakers to save Obamacare

UPDATED: Dozens hold vigil calling lawmakers to save Obamacare

10:25 p.m. update:  Roughly 80 people gathered Wednesday in front of University Medical Center Brackenridge to urge their federal lawmakers to vote no Thursday on a bill that would repeal and replace Obamacare.The vigil was one of many across Central Texas to call on lawmakers to save the Affordable Care Act. The event was organized by liberal activist group Indivisible. Several people...
JUST IN: Man may have tried to impersonate an officer while pulling driver over, Hays County deputies say

JUST IN: Man may have tried to impersonate an officer while pulling driver over, Hays County deputies say

Investigators are looking for someone who may have been impersonating a police officer while attempting to pull someone over in Hays County. On Thursday night, a woman reported that she was driving with a friend on FM 2001 near Goforth Road in Kyle when a light-colored Chevrolet pickup truck with damage to its front left quarter panel activated red-and-blue interior lights, the Hays County sheriff&rsquo...

Murder suspect out on bond after DA fails to take case to grand jury

A murder suspect who authorities believe has deep ties to the Crips street gang is out on bond because Travis County prosecutors didn’t take his case to a grand jury in the time required by state law. On Monday, state District Judge Brad Urrutia released Joseph Sterling, 28, on a personal bond that cost the defendant about $40. Law mandates a case go before the grand jury within 90 days of an...
UPDATE: Hays High School student dead, 2 others seriously injured after crash near Buda, officials say

UPDATE: Hays High School student dead, 2 others seriously injured after crash near Buda, officials say

9:10 p.m. update: School district officials have identified the Hays High School sophomore who died in a two-vehicle crash near Buda Wednesday afternoon as Brynn Aylor, 16.  Aylor was killed after a crash in the 2600 block of Jack C. Hays Trail, officials said. Two women who were traveling in the other vehicle involved were seriously injured and taken to area hospitals, Texas Department of Public...
Abbott’s Texas stomps Austin, local governments

Abbott’s Texas stomps Austin, local governments

Governor Greg Abbott speaks before signing his new book ‘Broken but Unbowed’ as he launches his book tour at the Austin-based Texas Public Policy Foundation.

Central Texas nurse likely infected patient with Hepatitis C in 2015, federal report says

A Central Texas nurse likely infected at least one patient with Hepatitis C when the nurse reused saline syringes, according to a report this month from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The 2015 incident happened in Region 7 of the Department of State Health Services, a 30-county area that includes the Austin metro area counties of Travis, Williamson, Hays and Bastrop, agency...
678-home subdivision to bring traffic signal to Hamilton Pool Road

678-home subdivision to bring traffic signal to Hamilton Pool Road

A 678-home development will begin construction in June, and it is expected to bring a new traffic signal and possibly an elementary school to the winding, narrow thoroughfare of Hamilton Pool Road. The first phase of Provence, a development planned on the 910-acre Hatchett Tract with two entrances on Hamilton Pool Road, received approval from the Travis County Commissioners Court this month and previously...
Round Rock man acquitted of aggravated robbery over pellet gun dispute

Round Rock man acquitted of aggravated robbery over pellet gun dispute

Defense attorney Daniel Wannamaker asked jurors to “do the impossible” and return a not guilty verdict even though substantial evidence tied his client to a Spicewood convenience store robbery in December 2015. Wednesday, following two days of discussion about the functionality of a couple of pellet guns that were used in the crime, the jury found 21-year-old Dustin Clark of Round Rock...

Business Digest: AT&T says data usage doubled during SXSW

SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST AT&T: SXSW data usage doubled since 2015 AT&T users attending South by Southwest this year used more than 86.36 terabytes of data, the company said. That’s equivalent to 247 million selfies or streaming music for 122,000 straight days, according to AT&T. This year’s figure is more than double the data used just two years ago. In 2015, Dallas-based AT&T reported SXSW...
Texas state senators meet Trump for health care discussion

Texas state senators meet Trump for health care discussion

Two Texas state senators, both physicians, took part Wednesday in a White House panel on women in health care — attended by President Donald Trump — in preparation for Thursday’s U.S. House vote on the Republican plan to replace Obamacare. “Unfortunately, Obamacare is making it much harder for all of the doctors, nurses and health care professionals, men and women alike, to...
Head of Austin’s Hispanic chamber leaving for national post

Head of Austin’s Hispanic chamber leaving for national post

Mark Madrid, president and CEO of the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, has resigned to take a new position elsewhere, the organization said Wednesday. Madrid, who joined the chamber in 2014, has been named executive director of the Latino Business Action Network. Under his leadership, the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce was named United States National Hispanic Chamber of the...
State freezes bid to privatize foster care in northwestern Texas

State freezes bid to privatize foster care in northwestern Texas

A much-heralded effort to privatize foster care in 30 northwestern Texas counties is on hold while the state investigates whether the bidding process was compromised by a purchasing director who is the wife of a high-ranking state official forced to resign in 2014. The Health and Human Services Commission has put its request for proposals for “foster care redesign” on pause, saying in...
Pedestrian hit by car last week in North Austin dies, police say

Pedestrian hit by car last week in North Austin dies, police say

A pedestrian who was hit while walking on North Lamar Boulevard on March 12 has died after being in the hospital for more than a week. Austin police on Wednesday identified the man who died as 59-year-old Tomas Garcia-Servin. Garcia-Servin was crossing North Lamar Boulevard near Rundberg Lane in the middle of the block when he was struck by a car. He was taken to University Medical Center Brackenridge...
After state inspection, 90 animals seized from Florence shelter

After state inspection, 90 animals seized from Florence shelter

Williamson County’s animal control unit seized 89 cats and a dog from a no-kill shelter in Florence on Wednesday following a state inspection, officials said. The cats and dog were being evaluated but their conditions were not known, the Williamson County sheriff’s office said in a news release. It said the Texas Department of State Health Services filed a complaint against the shelter...

Promoting Texas’ oil, gas industry

From left, Chris Ryan, Gabriel Briseno and Casey Abate with Cheniere Energy Partners offered demonstrations with liquefied natural gas during Texas Energy Day at the Texas Capitol on Wednesday. The event was intended to promote Texas oil and gas industry and to showcase industry technologies. RALPH BARRERA/AMERICAN-STATESMAN
Police: Road rage episode led to downtown shooting amid SXSW revelers

Police: Road rage episode led to downtown shooting amid SXSW revelers

As throngs of people crowded onto downtown Austin’s streets during the South by Southwest Music Festival last week, an apparent argument between the occupants of two cars triggered a violent response from one of the passengers, who fired gunshots into the air, according to court documents filed Wednesday. Austin police said they think the shooter was 22-year-old Eric Benitez, who was arrested...
Is Austin home to millennial ‘slackers’? Yes, but not as much as other Texas cities

Is Austin home to millennial ‘slackers’? Yes, but not as much as other Texas cities

The Pew Research Center found last year that the current generation of 18-to-34-year-olds (millennials) are more likely to be currently living with their parents than to be living with a spouse or significant other, or living alone or with roommates, for the first time in 130 years.
Gang member accused of murder out on bond due to technicality

Gang member accused of murder out on bond due to technicality

A murder suspect who is a high-ranking member of the Crips street gang is out on bond because Travis County prosecutors did not take his case to a grand jury in the required time. On Monday, State district Judge Brad Urrutia released Joseph Sterling, 28, on a personal bond that cost the defendant about $40. The state law mandates a case go before the grand jury within 90 days or else the judge...
Could old medical building become new affordable housing complex?

Could old medical building become new affordable housing complex?

On the northeastern edge of downtown sits an empty four-story building that could help meet Austin’s growing demand for affordable housing. The city recently bought the HealthSouth building at Red River and 12th streets, a facility that previously housed a physical rehabilitation center. Now some City Council members want to investigate the possibility of converting the nearly 88,000-square-foot...
Millennial-minded Moxy hotel would bring 154 rooms to The Drag

Millennial-minded Moxy hotel would bring 154 rooms to The Drag

It appears Marriott is looking to bring a little Moxy to The Drag. The hotel company has submitted preliminary plans to the city of Austin seeking approval to build a 154-room boutique hotel targeting millennials on the rapidly changing stretch of Guadalupe Street adjacent to the University of Texas campus. City documents indicate the hotel would be constructed at 2552 Guadalupe St., taking the place...
Senate approves bill opposed to boycott of Israel

Senate approves bill opposed to boycott of Israel

The Texas Senate on Wednesday approved legislation banning state contracts and investment in companies that boycott Israel. Senate Bill 29, sent to the Texas House on a 25-4 vote, was a response to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement that seeks to change Israeli policy toward Palestinians. Texas should not do business with companies that participate in the “BDS” movement, which...
Accused robber who wielded pellet gun acquitted by Travis County jury

Accused robber who wielded pellet gun acquitted by Travis County jury

A Travis County jury returned a not guilty verdict in Dustin Clark’s aggravated robbery trial. Although Clark’s attorney admitted in Tuesday’s closing arguments that his client robbed a Spicewood Quick N Save in December 2015, Clark was ultimately acquitted because the weapons he and two co-defendants used to threaten the cashier were two pellet guns incapable of killing. The...
Texas Senate gives initial OK to ban on abortion insurance

Texas Senate gives initial OK to ban on abortion insurance

The Texas Senate, voting 19-10, gave initial approval Wednesday to a bill that would ban insurance coverage for abortions in the state. Senate Bill 20 by Sen. Larry Taylor, R-Friendswood, would prohibit abortion coverage in private plans, under the Affordable Care Act and in state-issued insurance plans, except for medical emergencies. Those interested in abortion coverage would have to purchase supplemental...
UPDATE: State complaint led to animal seizure at Florence shelter

UPDATE: State complaint led to animal seizure at Florence shelter

3:00 p.m. update: The seizure of 89 cats and one dog from an animal shelter in Florence was prompted by a complaint from the Texas Department of State Health Services, according to a news release from the Williamson County sheriff’s office. It said the complaint led to an animal cruelty investigation by the county’s animal control unit, and that the animals were seized at 10:40 a.m. Wednesday...
AFFIDAVIT: Mom says she choked her 6-year-old son for acting out, police say

AFFIDAVIT: Mom says she choked her 6-year-old son for acting out, police say

A 36-year-old Austin mother has been accused by police of choking her 6-year-old son in his bed Sunday evening. Sara Inez Gonzales, 36, was booked into the Travis County Jail on Sunday night on a charge of injury to a child, according to jail records. An arrest affidavit said the child’s grandmother called police around 8:18 p.m. after she found the Gonzales straddling her son and choking...
THE LATEST: Environmentalists make case against Texas 45 Southwest

THE LATEST: Environmentalists make case against Texas 45 Southwest

Opponents of Texas 45 Southwest returned to federal court Wednesday morning, arguing that transportation officials should be sent back to the drawing board and required to do a more comprehensive environmental review of the project and two others on South MoPac Boulevard. The 3.6 mile stretch of Texas 45 Southwest, a toll road now under construction, would link MoPac’s southern terminus to FM...
UPDATE: Four hospitalized after rollover crash in Northeast Austin

UPDATE: Four hospitalized after rollover crash in Northeast Austin

Four people were hospitalized on Wednesday morning after a crash in Northeast Austin. Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Service medics were called out to the crash at 10:44 a.m. in the eastbound service road of U.S. 290 at Parmer Lane after receiving reports that as many as four people had been injured, two of whom may have been pinned inside their vehicle. Crews arrived shortly after and found...

Community news: Stories about Austin’s historic squares sought

TRAVIS COUNTY DOWNTOWN AUSTIN Stories about city squares sought The Downtown Austin Alliance, in partnership with the Austin Parks and Recreation Department, is looking for people to share their stories, memories, photos and experiences of the city’s historic downtown city squares: Republic, Brush and Wooldridge. Community meetings will be held to collect stories that demonstrate the diverse...
NEW TODAY: Man accused of taking nude photos of ex-girlfriend without permission, police say

NEW TODAY: Man accused of taking nude photos of ex-girlfriend without permission, police say

A man accused of texting an ex-girlfriend nude photos of her that he snapped without permission faces a charge of invasive visual recording. The woman called police on Valentine's Day to file a report against Gary Saucedo Guzman, 53, who she said took the photos while she was sleeping, according to an arrest warrant affidavit. The affidavit said the woman told investigators Guzman spent the night...
Speaker Joe Straus says Senate ‘cooking the books’ in ‘Enron’ budget

Speaker Joe Straus says Senate ‘cooking the books’ in ‘Enron’ budget

The Texas Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday unanimously approved a $106.3 billion two-year budget that relies on an accounting trick that delays a $2.5 billion payment for transportation funding to the following budget cycle. The maneuver prompted harsh criticism from House Speaker Joe Straus and further distanced the two chambers as they struggle to find common ground in a tight budget year....
How Austin mom Jinny Suh is taking on anti-vaxxers, President Trump and RFK Jr. in defense of inoculation.

How Austin mom Jinny Suh is taking on anti-vaxxers, President Trump and RFK Jr. in defense of inoculation.

  Good day Austin: Jinny Suh is a South Austin mother with a baby and a four-and-half-year-old, a lawyer who received a bachelor’s and master’s in biology and the founder and leader of Immunize Texas, the grassroots organizing arm of the Immunization Partnership, which is having a lobby day the Capitol today. Here is her story. Suh, who grew up in northern California, and her husband...
When it comes to this list of heavyweights, San Antonio is way ahead of Austin

When it comes to this list of heavyweights, San Antonio is way ahead of Austin

The San Antonio Riverwalk is a great place for a stroll — or to sit down and have some drinks.
Love books? Austin ranked best Texas city for readers

Love books? Austin ranked best Texas city for readers

If you’re a book lover and you live in Austin, you’re in the right place, according a Texas book publication.
Fryer fire closes Sonic restaurant at Stassney Lane in Southeast Austin

Fryer fire closes Sonic restaurant at Stassney Lane in Southeast Austin

A Sonic Drive-In restaurant on Stassney Lane in Southeast Austin will be closed for cleanup Wednesday after a fryer fire damaged the building, Austin fire officials said. Firefighters around 5:45 a.m. Wednesday extinguished the fire, which was contained to the fryer at the restaurant at 5105 E. Stassney Lane, near the intersection with Nuckols Crossing Road.  No injuries were reported, Austin...

Kyle police drop probe of teacher, aide accused of assaulting student

Update: The Kyle Police Department in October 2014 dropped its investigation of two people who worked at Fuentes Elementary School and were accused a month earlier of assaulting a special-education student, according to a police document. The two employees were Kelly Cedillo and Shannon Wages. The document says Kyle police detectives were “unable to prove an offense occurred.” The Texas...
Patchy fog could meddle with morning commute in Austin; sunshine likely in afternoon

Patchy fog could meddle with morning commute in Austin; sunshine likely in afternoon

Wednesday forecast for Austin: Patchy fog is likely through the morning commute in Austin on Wednesday ahead of another warm, sunny afternoon. According to the National Weather Service, fog in the area should break up around 9 a.m., clearing the way for partly sunny skies through the rest of the day. Temperatures were recorded at 68 degrees in the Austin metro area around 6 a.m., and afternoon highs...
NEW DETAILS: Travis County sheriff’s office questions DHS report on immigration detainer requests

NEW DETAILS: Travis County sheriff’s office questions DHS report on immigration detainer requests

The Travis County sheriff’s office argued in a press release Tuesday evening that a recent Department of Homeland Security report was misleading. The DHS report, released Monday, concluded that the Travis County sheriff’s office refused more jail detention requests from federal immigration authorities from Jan. 28 to Feb. 3 than any other law enforcement agency that the report...
Travis County considering $30,000 contract with ‘go away’ benefit

Travis County considering $30,000 contract with ‘go away’ benefit

As an appointed official, Cyd Grimes didn’t accrue paid leave like the typical Travis County employee. But after 24 years of service during which she estimates she saved taxpayers millions of dollars, the recently retired purchasing agent feels the county owes her a payout for the vacation time and sick leave she never took. Nearly $30,000 of it, to be exact. The county attorney’s office...
ICE denies targeting Austin, but says more enforcement needed

ICE denies targeting Austin, but says more enforcement needed

Federal immigration officials Tuesday evening denied that a new policy by Sheriff Sally Hernandez led them to conduct a major enforcement operation in the Austin area. But, in a hint of their changing strategy, federal agents said more enforcement is needed in places such as Travis County where local authorities don’t fully cooperate with them. “Rumors and reports that recent ICE operations...
Travis County deputies searching for home invasion suspects

Travis County deputies searching for home invasion suspects

TRAVIS COUNTY Deputies searching for home invasion suspects Travis County sheriff’s deputies are searching for two armed men who were caught on surveillance cameras kicking in the door of a home in the Springdale Heights Subdivision during a burglary in early February. According to the sheriff’s office, the smash-and-grab happened at a home on Magna Carta Loop around 10:30 p.m. on Feb...
Crowd turns out for hearing on ‘private school voucher’ bill

Crowd turns out for hearing on ‘private school voucher’ bill

Public school officials and their advocates told Texas lawmakers Tuesday that an effort to redirect state money to private schools is unconstitutional and unlikely to improve academic performance, particularly for low-income minority students. “There has been a lack of any real evidence to show that this works,” said Yannis Banks with the Texas NAACP. “I’ve heard people mention...
Texas educators weigh in on proposed changes to school grades

Texas educators weigh in on proposed changes to school grades

About two dozen education advocates, many of them school district superintendents, weighed in during a public hearing Tuesday afternoon on proposed changes to a new state grading system for schools and districts. House Bill 22, filed by state Rep. Dan Huberty, R-Houston, who is also the House Public Education Committee chairman, would scale back the new A-F accountability system, which is set...
Ben Crenshaw backing bill to transfer Muny from UT to state parks unit

Ben Crenshaw backing bill to transfer Muny from UT to state parks unit

Pro golfer Ben Crenshaw testified Tuesday in support of proposed state legislation that would remove Lions Municipal Golf Course from University of Texas ownership to prevent potential development of the historic West Austin site. The two-time Masters winner and three-time NCAA champion at UT, who grew up playing at the course, said its value as a civil rights landmark and as green space in a rapidly...
Bill aims to expand coverage of new breast cancer screening technology

Bill aims to expand coverage of new breast cancer screening technology

Austin resident Anne Hunt gets a mammogram every year, and she didn’t hesitate to pay extra for a more detailed 3D scan that can detect cancer in its earlier stages last year, though Texas insurers typically don’t cover the cost. The $60 fee for the imaging — not covered by Hunt’s insurance — was “worth every penny,” she says. But that cost could put the technology...
Woman featured in CDC anti-smoking ad talks about pregnancy and smoking and her experience

Woman featured in CDC anti-smoking ad talks about pregnancy and smoking and her experience

Amanda Brenden is featured in Tips from a Former Smoker ad campaign from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
UPDATE: U.S. 183 reopened north of Liberty Hill after 4-car crash cleared

UPDATE: U.S. 183 reopened north of Liberty Hill after 4-car crash cleared

5:15 p.m. update: U.S. 183 has been reopened after all cars involved in a crash north of Leander have been cleared from the highway, the Williamson County sheriff’s office said. Earlier: A four-car crash on U.S. 183 has the highway shut down north of Liberty Hill. The crash was reported south of the highway’s intersection with FM 3405, according to the Williamson...

Texas Digest: ‘Affluenza’ teen’s lawyers seek his release from jail

FORT WORTH ‘Affluenza’ teen’s lawyers seek his release from jail Lawyers for a Texas teenager who used an “affluenza” defense in a fatal drunken-driving wreck have turned to the Texas Supreme Court in an effort to secure his release from jail. The motion filed Friday on behalf of 19-year-old Ethan Couch argues that a judge had no authority to sentence Couch to nearly...
Police: Lakeway woman killed in Dallas hit-and-run, suspect arrested

Police: Lakeway woman killed in Dallas hit-and-run, suspect arrested

A Lakeway woman was killed in a hit-and-run in the uptown Dallas area Saturday morning, Dallas police said. John Adrian Esparza has been arrested in connection with the death of Rachel Spelman, 23. Esparza is charged with an accident involving death, a second-degree felony punishable with up to 20 years in prison. Spelman was hit by a car in the 2200 block of Cedar Springs Road around 2:10 a.m., police...

Cities, sheriffs find flaws in Trump’s immigration jail list

Several city officials and sheriffs around the U.S. lashed out Tuesday at a White House report aiming to shame them over what the Trump administration sees as lax immigration policies, saying it includes wrong or misleading information about recent arrests of immigrants or their jail policies. The pushback was not just from liberal local governments that are at odds with President Donald Trump over...
Travis County-Austin agreement to review DNA lab fallout moves forward

Travis County-Austin agreement to review DNA lab fallout moves forward

The Travis County Commissioners Court on Tuesday approved its part of an agreement with Austin that will pave the way for a review of the fallout from the shuttering of Austin police’s DNA lab. The Austin City Council will vote Thursday on the agreement and on a plan to turn over the operations of a new DNA lab to the Texas Department of Public Safety. “I have been disappointed at the...

Business Digest: Expansion underway for Banger’s on Rainey Street

ENTERTAINMENT Expansion underway for Banger’s on Rainey Street An expansion of the Banger’s Sausage House and Beer Garden will add 15,000 square feet of dining, lounge, event and performance space and give it one of the largest draft systems in Texas. The new building will be at 81.5 Rainey Street, just north of the current set of brick-red bungalows in what had previously been a staff...
Man accused of 10 robberies faces up to 99 years in prison

Man accused of 10 robberies faces up to 99 years in prison

At the center of an aggravated robbery trial this week in Travis County is whether a pellet gun is a deadly weapon or more of a fake weapon. Daniel Wannamaker, attorney for 21-year-old Dustin Clark of Round Rock, emphasized during Tuesday’s closing arguments of Clark’s aggravated robbery trial that the gun amounts to a little more than a toy. Clark and two other men in their 20s &mdash...
More parking, more gates, more amenities as Austin airport grows

More parking, more gates, more amenities as Austin airport grows

The growth at Austin’s airport continues to be so relentless — departures and arrivals are up 51 percent since 2009 — that before officials even started construction on the latest parking garage, they decided to add another level. Construction of what will now be a 6,000-space, $250 million garage and an adjoining office building could begin in a little over a month, they said...
Bill requiring classroom instruction on police interaction advances

Bill requiring classroom instruction on police interaction advances

Responding to a rash of violent encounters between police and the public, a Texas Senate committee approved a bill Tuesday that would require high school instruction on how best to interact with officers during traffic stops and other situations. The goal is to avoid or defuse confrontations by teaching students what is expected of them during encounters with police — including instruction on...
ICE denies targeting Austin, but says more enforcement needed

ICE denies targeting Austin, but says more enforcement needed

Federal immigration officials released a statement late Tuesday, denying that they targeted Travis County in a recent operation that led to 51 arrests. However, they add that more ICE activity is needed in communities that decline to honor so-called “detainers,” as Sheriff Sally Hernandez has begun doing in most cases. Here’s ICE’s statement: “ICE officers routinely...
Whole Foods shows love for its hometown with new ‘atx’ sculpture

Whole Foods shows love for its hometown with new ‘atx’ sculpture

The ‘atx’ sculpture is in front of the downtown Austin Whole Foods store. Next time you head to the flagship Whole Foods Market store in downtown Austin, keep an eye out for something new.
U.S. 290 reopens in Bastrop County after crash

U.S. 290 reopens in Bastrop County after crash

4:15 p.m. update: U.S. 290 has reopened after a crash in McDade, officials said, but expect residual delays. Earlier: All eastbound lanes, and one westbound lane, of U.S. 290 are shut down at FM 2336 in McDade after a crash, the Bastrop County sheriff’s office said. No one was injured in the two-vehicle crash, officials said. A man was pulling out of his driveway onto U.S. 290 when...
Police: Man returns to set cars ablaze after neighborhood altercation

Police: Man returns to set cars ablaze after neighborhood altercation

About six weeks after a man was yelled at by residents for running a stop sign in a Georgetown neighborhood, he returned and set fire to two of their cars, according to an arrest affidavit. Wayne Paul Franks, 38, of Georgetown, was charged with arson, a second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Police were notified at 12:50 a.m. Jan. 24 about a car fire in the 100 block of Woodmont...
Texas Senate votes to limit city and county property tax increases

Texas Senate votes to limit city and county property tax increases

The Texas Senate on Tuesday voted 18-12 to approve a bill that would trigger an automatic referendum if a city or county raises property taxes by 5 percent or more. Currently, a tax ratification election only takes place if local governments raise taxes 8 percent or more and if taxpayers petition to force the referendum. State Sen. Paul Bettencourt, R-Houston, who authored Senate Bill 2, drummed up...
Women dress as ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ characters to protest anti-abortion legislation at Texas Capitol

Women dress as ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ characters to protest anti-abortion legislation at Texas Capitol

Women dressed in long, red robes and white bonnets protested anti-abortion legislation at the Texas Capitol on Monday. The women were dressed like character’s from Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel “The Handmaid’s Tale,” which depicts a world where women have been stripped of their rights. In the book, some of the women, called “handmaids,” are...
Downtown Austin hotel moving forward — without Trump affiliation

Downtown Austin hotel moving forward — without Trump affiliation

A developer is releasing new details about a hotel planned for downtown Austin that last fall was linked to the development team of then-presidential candidate Donald Trump. This week, however, Empyrean Development said Trump is not involved in the Austin project, which developers are calling Hotel Mirabeau. “We are focused on moving forward with the current team that has been assembled. Neither...
Millennial parents, your daycare for one child is like paying college tuition every year

Millennial parents, your daycare for one child is like paying college tuition every year

Child Care Aware of America’s map of cost of child care of Millennial parents found these statistics about Texas.
Travis County deputies searching for home invasion suspects who busted into home last month

Travis County deputies searching for home invasion suspects who busted into home last month

Travis County sheriff’s deputies are searching for two armed men who were caught on surveillance cameras kicking in the door of a home in the Springdale Heights Subdivision during a burglary in early February. According to the sheriff’s office, the smash-and-grab happened at a home on Magna Carta Loop around 10:30 p.m. on Feb. 5. Surveillance footage captured the moment the men busted...
Parents of murder victim want his killer spared from execution

Parents of murder victim want his killer spared from execution

The parents of a North Texas man shot to death during a robbery in 2006 believe the execution of their son’s killer set for next month should be called off and the man convicted in the killing should be locked up for life without parole. Glenn and Judy Cherry, whose son, Jonas, was killed in the robbery of an amusement center outside Fort Worth, have written state and Tarrant County officials...
UPDATE: Man arrested in deadly hit-and-run that killed Lakeway woman

UPDATE: Man arrested in deadly hit-and-run that killed Lakeway woman

4 p.m. update: A suspect has been arrested in connection with the hit-and-run death of Lakeway woman Rachel Spelman, according to Dallas police. John Adrian Esparza is charged with an accident involving death, a second-degree felony. Dallas police and local Oklahoma deputies arrested Esparza in Madill, Okla., based on intelligence provided to them to a residence there, a Dallas Police Department blog...
JUST IN: Travis County deputies ID victim in Thursday’s fatal shooting, suspect in custody

JUST IN: Travis County deputies ID victim in Thursday’s fatal shooting, suspect in custody

The Travis County sheriff’s office has identified a man who was shot and killed Thursday near Wells Branch as 26-year-old Trevon Darnell Fox, of Austin.  Deputies responded at 5:27 p.m. to a shooting at the 14100 block of Thermal Drive, officials said. They found Fox with gunshot wounds and tried to resuscitate him, but he died at the scene. Travis County have also identified Deandre Eric...
Key things to know as trial begins over Texas 45 Southwest, MoPac

Key things to know as trial begins over Texas 45 Southwest, MoPac

A challenge by environmentalists to the construction of three highway projects in Southwest Austin comes before a federal court Wednesday, the culmination of decades-long resistance to building Texas 45 Southwest. Here are some key things to know about the dispute: • Who’s involved: The challenge was filed in February 2016 by a dozen plaintiffs, including the Save Our Springs Alliance,...
Texas Senate OKs plan to phase out franchise tax

Texas Senate OKs plan to phase out franchise tax

A measure that could eliminate Texas’ franchise tax — the state’s primary tax on business — within a decade won swift approval from the Texas Senate on Tuesday. Senate Bill 17, filed by state Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, and backed by the Texas Association of Business and other industry groups, mandates a cut to the franchise tax every two-year state budget cycle if state...

Community news: Volunteers sought for airport emergency exercise

TRAVIS COUNTY SOUTHEAST AUSTIN People sought for emergency exercise The city of Austin is seeking volunteers to help with a full-scale exercise demonstrating proper planning of its Airport Emergency Plan from 8 a.m. to noon April 4. Volunteers should plan to arrive at 7:30 a.m. at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, 3600 Presidential Blvd. Approved volunteers will be selected to play the role...

UPDATE: 19-year-old killed in crash on Southwest Parkway identified

Austin police on Tuesday identified the teenager killed in a crash on Southwest Parkway on Saturday as Nicholas Joseph Young, 19. Young died after the 2009 Dodge Charger he drove hit a tree near the road’s intersection with MoPac Boulevard (Loop 1). According to an Austin police news release, Young was headed east on Southwest Parkway when he failed to negotiate a curve and left the road. Young...
JUST IN: FBI Director James Comey to speak at UT on Thursday

JUST IN: FBI Director James Comey to speak at UT on Thursday

FBI Directory James Comey, fresh off an appearance before the House Intelligence Committee, will be in Austin on Thursday to speak at the University of Texas. Comey will speak during UT’s Intelligence Studies Project Spring Conference at a panel titled “Intelligence in Defense of the Homeland,” according to the university. Comey had been slated to speak last week during South by...
Texas Senate approves bill that would limit local property tax growth

Texas Senate approves bill that would limit local property tax growth

The Texas Senate on Tuesday voted 18-12 to approve a bill that would trigger an automatic referendum if a city or county raises property taxes by 5 percent or more. Currently, a tax ratification election only takes place if local governments raise taxes 8 percent or more and if taxpayers petition to force the referendum. State Sen. Paul Bettencourt, R-Houston, who authored Senate Bill 2, drummed up...
Jury deciding if pellet guns used in 2015 robbery are deadly weapons

Jury deciding if pellet guns used in 2015 robbery are deadly weapons

A Travis County jury has been released to determine if pellet guns used in a convenience store robbery qualify as deadly weapons. Defense attorney Daniel Wannamaker made it clear in Tuesday’s closing arguments that his client, 21-year-old Dustin Clark of Round Rock, was one of the three men who took more than $1,000 from the cash register at a Quick N Save store in Spicewood on Dec. 9, 2015...
Roger Stone to Alex on Infowars: “I’m Jonesing to appear before the committee.’

Roger Stone to Alex on Infowars: “I’m Jonesing to appear before the committee.’

    Good day Austin Let’s start with Marlanna VanHoose singing the National Anthem at President Trump’s rally last night in Louisville, Kentucky. Wow. OK. Now to the news. The House Intelligence Committee opened hearings yesterday on ties between Russia and the Trump administration with testimony from FBI Director James Comey and NSA Director Mike Rogers, and a lot of Democratic...
WATCH: Water-bottle challenge is out; this trend's flipping in

WATCH: Water-bottle challenge is out; this trend's flipping in

If you thought the water-bottle flipping was annoying, wait until you see the latest trend.  It’s called the Cup Blowing Challenge. Watch and — maybe — be amazed.  The goal is to blow one plastic cup into the other one.  Everyone from students...  .. to news anchors are trying the challenge.  People are even mixing trends (watch until the end). And, for the...