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Local


UT offers to renew city of Austin’s Muny lease, but at a higher price

In an abrupt policy reversal, the University of Texas is offering to extend its lease of Lions Municipal Golf Course to the city of Austin beyond 2019 — provided that the city is willing to pony up lease payments that are closer to market value. UT President Gregory L. Fenves made the offer in a letter to Mayor Steve Adler dated Tuesday, asking the mayor to let him know by March 1 whether the...
Barton Springs Pool closed because of flooding, Austin parks officials say

Barton Springs Pool closed because of flooding, Austin parks officials say

         Austin parks officials have closed Barton Springs Pool until further notice because of flooding from recent heavy rains. The Austin Parks and Recreation Department said it will reassess pool conditions as waters recede. Until Barton Springs Pool reopens, early morning swimmers can use Deep Eddy Pool, which will open at 6 a.m. beginning Thursday.   ...

Fire at North Austin triplex displaces 13, including 4 children

A fire at a North Austin triplex displaced 13 people, including four children, the Austin Fire Department said. The fire in the 300 block of John Nance Garner Circle resulted in one man in his 60s being taken University Medical Center Brackenridge for second-degree burns and smoke inhalation, but 8 other adults and four children escaped safely, officials said. Austin firefighters received reports...
San Marcos City Manager Jared Miller is leaving for Amarillo

San Marcos City Manager Jared Miller is leaving for Amarillo

After three years running one of the fastest growing cities in the country, City Manager Jared Miller announced he is leaving San Marcos. Miller, 47, has accepted the job of city manager of Amarillo. He announced his departure at the City Council meeting Tuesday evening. “We have achieved many wonderful things together during the last three years in San Marcos,” Miller said, according...
Cedar Park woman accused of breastfeeding while on meth

Cedar Park woman accused of breastfeeding while on meth

A Cedar Park woman is accused of breastfeeding her baby while she was illegally taking methamphetamines, according to an arrest warrant. Melina Wright, 30, was charged with endangering a child, a state jail felony punishable by up to two years in jail. Cedar Park police were notified about 10:30 a.m. Dec. 25 that a 1½-month-old boy had been left alone at a house on South Buffalo Avenue, according...
What was the fastest speeding ticket issued in Texas in 2016?

What was the fastest speeding ticket issued in Texas in 2016?

2/7/2012 – Jay Janner/AMERICAN-STATESMAN – A sign warns of a red light camera on the I-35 northbound frontage road at 11th Street on Tuesday Feb 7, 2012.
Suspected I-35 rock-thrower turns down 30-year offer, asks for trial

Suspected I-35 rock-thrower turns down 30-year offer, asks for trial

Suspected Interstate 35 rock-thrower Patrick Johnson rejected a 30-year offer Wednesday in open court and told all parties he’d like a jury trial. Prosecutor Leslie Booker told Johnson she is removing the offer from the table and will not present any counteroffers. Johnson, who is already serving a 99-year sentence for sexual assault of a child, turned down a 40-year offer in the rock-throwing...
Austin giving pedestrians, cyclists a piece of traffic light time

Austin giving pedestrians, cyclists a piece of traffic light time

Pedestrians and cyclists are getting a head start at more Austin intersections, part of a broad set of changes by the city to make it easier and safer for people to travel around town under their own power. Added time has been provided for pedestrians to cross at eight intersections along South Congress Avenue while all cars are idled at red lights. The city also plans to install bike signals at 12...
Some Austin people avoiding social media to avoid inauguration vitriol

Some Austin people avoiding social media to avoid inauguration vitriol

Friday will be the first time in 35-year-old Stephen Hood’s adult life that he will miss the inauguration of the president of the United States. That peaceful transition of power is an important aspect of American society, said Hood, a high school teacher in Austin. The self-described political junkie has watched every inauguration since George H.W. Bush’s. But “an inauguration is...

Community news: Veterans benefits fair Saturday

TRAVIS COUNTY SOUTHEAST AUSTIN Veterans benefits fair Saturday The Veterans Land Board will host a free benefits fair for Texas veterans from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Austin Outpatient Clinic, 7901 Metropolis Drive. Board officials will provide information on state programs, including land, home and home improvement loans, as well as Texas State Veterans Homes and cemeteries for veterans...
Austin-area home sales, median price hit all-time high in 2016

Austin-area home sales, median price hit all-time high in 2016

Central Texas home sales and home prices hit a record high in 2016, the Austin Board of Realtors said Wednesday. It was the sixth straight year of record sales and prices in the Austin metro area. Economists are forecasting a strong housing market for 2017, though perhaps not as robust as 2016. Austin-area buyers purchased 29,569 single-family homes last year, the board said, a 3.9 percent increase...
San Marcos baby who appears to have been mauled by family dog is identified

San Marcos baby who appears to have been mauled by family dog is identified

2:50 p.m. update: San Marcos police are investigating the death of a 2-month-old baby girl, who the father said was killed by the family dog, as an accidental death, a police spokesperson said. Police and Child Protective Services are investigating the case together, said San Marcos police Cmdr. Kelly Earnest. The Travis County medical examiner’s office will be conducting the child&rsquo...
Police: Bicyclist killed in North Austin crash was 61

Police: Bicyclist killed in North Austin crash was 61

A bicyclist who died last week after being hit by a Ford Explorer in North Austin has been identified as 61-year-old Paul Pittman. Austin police said Pittman was headed west on Riata Trace Parkway around 3:31 p.m. on Jan. 8 when he rode in front of the SUV as it headed north on the U.S. 183 frontage road. The SUV slammed into Pittman, who was taken to St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center where...
Austin sailor honored in Japan for heroism

Austin sailor honored in Japan for heroism

Six U.S. service members, including a sailor from Austin, were recognized by the mayor of a Japanese city for their heroic efforts to aid passengers in a vehicle mishap on New Year’s Eve. A vehicle with a family of five inside fell from a fifth-floor parking garage near the U.S. Navy base in Yokosuka. Four Marines and two sailors were able to help rescue two boys from the wreckage. Three adults...
Pedestrian hospitalized after hit by vehicle in South Austin

Pedestrian hospitalized after hit by vehicle in South Austin

A man in his 50s was hospitalized on Wednesday morning after being hit by a vehicle in South Austin, authorities said. Austin-Travis County EMS medics were called out to the crash in the 3600 block of Manchaca Road near Larchmont Drive around 7:27 a.m. EMS officials said the man was taken to St. David’s South Austin Medical Center with potentially serious, but not life-threatening injuries. ...
13 displaced after space heater causes triplex fire in North Austin, officials say

13 displaced after space heater causes triplex fire in North Austin, officials say

10:45 a.m. update: A fire at a North Austin triplex Wednesday morning that displaced 13 people has been blamed on an electrical malfunction in a space heater, the Austin Fire Department said. The fire in the 300 block of John Nance Garner Circle resulted in one man in his 60s being taken University Medical Center Brackenridge for second-degree burns and smoke inhalation, but 8 other adults and 4 children ...
Storms drift eastward; flood advisory for Austin metro area ends

Storms drift eastward; flood advisory for Austin metro area ends

11:05 a.m. update: Doppler radar shows the large band of heavy storms that soaked Central Texas early Wednesday is drifting eastward toward the Piney Woods and the Louisiana border. Flood advisories that had been issued for the Austin metro area, including parts of Travis and Hays counties, have expired. In the past 24 hours, more than 3 inches of rain have fallen throughout Travis County, with...
Police ID man charged with DWI after driving $385,000 Ferrari off Westlake bridge  

Police ID man charged with DWI after driving $385,000 Ferrari off Westlake bridge  

Wednesday update: Austin police have identified a man who is accused of drunken driving after he drove a $385,000 Ferrari off a bridge in Westlake last week. According to police, 28-year-old James Allen is facing a charge of driving while intoxicated. A witness had been stopped at a boat ramp near Redbud Trail when he saw a vehicle drive by travelling faster than 100 mph, according to police...
Teen faces murder charge as 2nd suspect in North Austin homicide

Teen faces murder charge as 2nd suspect in North Austin homicide

NORTH AUSTIN Second teen accused in homicide Austin police have accused a second 19-year-old of being involved in the shooting death of a man over a marijuana deal about three weeks ago in North Austin. Police on Tuesday issued a warrant for the arrest of Javier Teague-Salas, 19, on a charge of murder in the Dec. 29 killing of Anthony Brown, 26. Police have already arrested 19-year-old Mosses Howell...
Man who fired rifle into air, was killed by police is identified

Man who fired rifle into air, was killed by police is identified

Austin police have identified the man killed in a fatal police shooting on Saturday as 47-year-old Scott Laurance Gilpin. Gilpin died after a 2 ½-year veteran of Austin police shot him near a Northwest Austin church. Police on Tuesday also identified that officer as Jesse Lane. Lane is assigned to patrol in Northwest Austin. He is on paid administrative leave while police investigate the incident...
Austin police to help with Trump inauguration, plan for local protests

Austin police to help with Trump inauguration, plan for local protests

Austin police will send 67 officers from the department’s specialized crowd control team to Washington, D.C., to help with Friday’s inauguration of Donald Trump, but will keep the rest of the unit on hand in preparation for local protests expected to draw thousands. The number represents about half as many officers as the Police Department sent to inaugurations in 2013 and 2009. The remaining...
Mother, daughter charged in North Austin game room killing

Mother, daughter charged in North Austin game room killing

Austin police have identified more suspects in the fatal shooting of a 58-year-old woman over the summer at an illegal North Austin game room.  Lestelle Scott, 47, and Shalonda Scott, 23 – an Austin mother and daughter – are wanted on charges of capital murder in the shooting death of Ga Young Chon, according to their arrest affidavits. Police believe that Chon managed and owned...
Astronaut Gene Cernan to be buried at Texas State Cemetery

Astronaut Gene Cernan to be buried at Texas State Cemetery

Gene Cernan, the last human to walk on the moon, will become the first astronaut to be buried at the Texas State Cemetery in East Austin, officials said Tuesday. Cernan, who died at a Houston hospital Monday after ongoing health issues at age 82, will be buried with full military honors during a private service Jan. 25, said Harry Bradley, cemetery superintendent. “He was a strong Texan,&rdquo...
Now appearing at Strange Brew: Locked doors, ‘for lease’ sign

Now appearing at Strange Brew: Locked doors, ‘for lease’ sign

Say so long to Strange Brew? What the popular South Austin music venue and coffee shop first described as a temporary closure last week increasingly appears to be permanent, with its doors still locked and a “for lease” sign now posted in the parking lot. Employees and musicians were taken by surprise Thursday when landlord Republic Commercial Properties locked the doors of the business...
Sheriff’s stand on ICE detainers could cost Travis County $1.8 million

Sheriff’s stand on ICE detainers could cost Travis County $1.8 million

Travis County stands to lose about $1.8 million in state grants because of a soon-to-be-announced policy of new Sheriff Sally Hernandez under which she is expected to stop detaining inmates for federal immigration checks. Under a longstanding agreement, agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement have placed “immigration holds” or “detainers” on Travis County inmates...
U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett joins Democratic boycott of Trump inauguration

U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett joins Democratic boycott of Trump inauguration

U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin, has joined some 50 House Democrats — including two others from Texas — who will not be attending President-elect Trump’s inauguration as the 45th president of the United States Friday. “We are sending a message to Mr. Trump. Respect, like Pennsylvania Avenue, is a two-way street,” Doggett said in a tweet Tuesday afternoon. “Instead...
Gov. Abbott: Liberty and chips and salsa for all?

Gov. Abbott: Liberty and chips and salsa for all?

From La Posada, a Mexican restaurant on West Gate Boulevard in Austin, this is menudo with handmade corn tortillas, chips and salsa and cinnamon-spiced horchata (a sweet soft drink made from rice milk).
200 rally at Capitol to stop efforts to loosen gun restrictions

200 rally at Capitol to stop efforts to loosen gun restrictions

More than 200 gun safety advocates rallied at the Capitol on Tuesday to call on lawmakers to beat down any legislation aimed at loosening gun laws they say are already too lax. As they gathered on the south steps of the Capitol around 9:30 a.m., heavy rain forced the members of Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America to go inside until the storm passed. They entered...
Man killed in Austin police shooting Saturday is identified

Man killed in Austin police shooting Saturday is identified

Austin police have identified the man killed in a fatal police shooting on Saturday as 47-year-old Scott Laurance Gilpin. Police on Tuesday also released the name of the officer who shot Gilpin. Officer Jesse Lane has been with Austin police for 2 ½ years, officials said. He is on paid administrative leave, which is customary in cases of fatal police shootings. Austin police are conducting...
Audit: Ex-Austin Water spokesman took favor after a pricey contract

Audit: Ex-Austin Water spokesman took favor after a pricey contract

An Austin Water spokesman accepted a favor from a website creator whose work he approved for the city at a wildly inflated cost, a city audit found this month. The city auditor’s office received a tip last March that Jason Hill, then a program manager for Austin Water’s public information office, “steers advertising dollars to his friends and other people with (whom) he does business...

Mesquite Police Department adds cowboy hats to uniform

You know how you tell people who aren’t from Texas that it isn’t all the things they’ve imagined? Well the Mesquite Police Department is here to prove you wrong. Of Mesquite’s 220 police officers, 180 have chosen to wear a new, optional part of the uniform: a black straw cowboy hat. According to CBS DFW, the new $46 hat is an alternative to the standard hat all officers...
PEC board rebukes, but doesn’t remove, director for controversial post

PEC board rebukes, but doesn’t remove, director for controversial post

The Pedernales Electric Cooperative board of directors voted to reprimand one of its directors for a controversial Facebook statement and demote him from a leadership position on the board — a move that some critics, who called for his removal from the board, said did not go far enough. The disciplinary action stemmed from a comment director James Oakley made in November that it was “time...
Dale: It’s time to act on statewide ride-hailing services

Dale: It’s time to act on statewide ride-hailing services

Dale represents southwestern Williamson County, which includes Cedar Park, Leander, Brushy Creek and parts of Austin and Round Rock. It has been just over a year since the Austin City Council chose to rewrite regulations for ride-hailing services that led to a shakeup of transportation in the city. It claimed that fingerprinting drivers was absolutely necessary to guarantee public safety. However...

Community news: Austin hosts recycling presentation Thursday

TRAVIS COUNTY DOWNTOWN AUSTIN Recycling presentation Thursday The city of Austin will hold a presentation on recycling research from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday at Austin City Hall, 301 W. Second St. Members of the city’s Design, Technology and Innovation Fellows will discuss their findings on how Austinites view their role in recycling and will explain the next steps for transforming their research...

Gun control advocates to rally Tuesday morning at Texas Capitol

Activists pushing for tighter gun control legislation will gather at the Texas Capitol on Tuesday morning to call on lawmakers to axe bills that would loosen gun restrictions. Volunteers from Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and gun violence survivors from the Everytown Survivor Network plan to rally on the south steps of the Capitol at 9:30 a.m. to speak out against permitless carry legislation...
Showers likely in Austin through Wednesday; warm weekend ahead

Showers likely in Austin through Wednesday; warm weekend ahead

9:45 a.m. update: Scattered showers with brief thunderstorms will continue to move north at 20 mph across South and Central Texas throughout the day Tuesday, the National Weather Service said. Since midnight, more than two-tenths of an inch of rain has fallen in parts of central and eastern Travis and WiIliamson counties, according to rain gauges monitored by the Lower Colorado River Authority. Tuesday...

Community news: CAMPO offers survey, meetings on regional plan

TRAVIS COUNTY NORTH AUSTIN Meeting on North Shoal Creek plan The city of Austin Planning and Zoning Department will hold a meeting for the development of the North Shoal Creek Neighborhood Plan from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at Pillow Elementary School, 3025 Crosscreek Drive. The plan will guide development in the approximately 1-square-mile area bounded by Burnet Road to the east, Anderson Lane to...
A&M spokesman Lane Stephenson retiring after 50 years on the job

A&M spokesman Lane Stephenson retiring after 50 years on the job

When Lane Stephenson was hired as the spokesman for Texas A&M University, tools of the trade included manual typewriters and telegrams dispatched from a Western Union office on campus. He dictated many a press release over the phone to reporters. Stephenson, the director of news and information services, is retiring at the end of this month after an A&M career that has spanned 50 years, 10 school...
H-E-B’s Charles Butt pledges $100 million to train school leaders

H-E-B’s Charles Butt pledges $100 million to train school leaders

H-E-B Chairman and CEO Charles Butt has pledged to invest $100 million in the creation of a training and leadership development center in Austin for school district leaders from across Texas. Butt envisions that the Holdsworth Center — named for his mother, Mary Elizabeth Holdsworth Butt, who was an educator and lifelong philanthropist — will support current leaders and develop future...
More than 200 at interfaith forum hear update on Islamic Center blaze

More than 200 at interfaith forum hear update on Islamic Center blaze

Investigators offered new details Sunday about the investigation of the blaze that leveled the partially constructed Islamic Center of Lake Travis in Hudson Bend last weekend. The fire harmed no one but has left the area’s Muslim community on edge. The update on the investigation, which authorities described as an around-the-clock affair, came during an afternoon interfaith forum hosted by a...
Foggy, soggy weekend weather to remain for next few days

Foggy, soggy weekend weather to remain for next few days

The Austin metro area spent most of the weekend blanketed in a thick veil of fog, with patches of mist and rain breaking through the clouds. Similar conditions, including more rain, are likely to continue through the first half of the week, according to the National Weather Service, because of a strong cold front moving across Texas from the west. Stormy weather Sunday evening triggered a tornado...

Rainy forecast for Austin Tuesday through Thursday

As the work week returns Tuesday, so will the rain, forecasters projected Monday afternoon. The dreary forecast from the National Weather Service came a day after the Austin area was soaked by powerful thunderstorms that brought blustery winds and lightning. Nearly an inch of rain fell at Camp Mabry from Sunday night to Monday morning. The showers persisted east of Austin for much of Monday afternoon...
At MLK Day march, activists call to keep action on civil rights going

At MLK Day march, activists call to keep action on civil rights going

Eleven-year-old Danielle Todd-Harris called this a moment not to miss. The fifth-grader took the podium before hundreds Monday on the University of Texas campus, ahead of the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Community March and Festival. She mulled what she would say to King if she could meet him, spoke of her anxiety about the national political climate and rapped the words of Broadway’s &ldquo...
Michelle Obama takes dogs Sunny and Bo on final walk through White House

Michelle Obama takes dogs Sunny and Bo on final walk through White House

The Obamas will soon leave the White House for the last time as the president and first lady. Their eight years in the historic house is coming to an end. First lady Michelle Obama took the Obama’s Portuguese water dogs Bo and Sunny on what’s described as a final walk through the building the Obama’s have called home now since 2009. She tweeted out a short video of the stroll, as...
Dog found in Detroit with ears, nose cut off

Dog found in Detroit with ears, nose cut off

The Michigan Humane Society is seeking the public’s help in a horrific case of animal abuse. The organization received a call from a concerned citizen in a Detroit neighborhood on Tuesday, and a rescue team located the injured Rottweiler mix and rushed him to an animal hospital after observing his severe wounds, according to a press release from the Michigan Humane Society. The dog’s ears...
Disney video appears to confirm theory that every Pixar movie is related

Disney video appears to confirm theory that every Pixar movie is related

One of the longest-enduring fan theories about movies is that in the Disney Pixar universe, all the films are related to each other. One theory by film reviewer Jon Negroni, aptly named, "The Pixar Theory," goes so far as to say that all Pixar movies take place within the same universe. The A.V. Club reported that, according to a video posted to the Toy Story Facebook page Sunday, numerous...
World’s primates in crisis, on track for extinction, new study warns

World’s primates in crisis, on track for extinction, new study warns

Half of the world’s primates, including gorillas, apes, monkeys, lemurs, and others are in crisis and on track for extinction, mainly due to a growing human population and habitat loss. Some “60 percent of primate species are now threatened with extinction and 75 percent have declining populations,” according to a new study published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances. That...
Hero grandfather stops woman from kidnapping his granddaughter at the park, police say

Hero grandfather stops woman from kidnapping his granddaughter at the park, police say

An Auburn, California, grandfather enjoying the duck pond at a park with his two grandchildren won a "tug of war" with an apparently sober stranger who tried to run off with his three-year-old granddaughter, whom the accused addressed by a different name. KTXL reported that Lindsay Frasher, 28, was arrested, police say, after she "approached one of the children, called her by a...
UT offers to renew city’s Muny lease, but at a higher price tag

UT offers to renew city’s Muny lease, but at a higher price tag

In an abrupt policy reversal, the University of Texas is offering to renew its lease of Lions Municipal Golf Course to the city of Austin — provided that the city is willing to pony up lease payments that are closer to market value. UT President Gregory L. Fenves made the offer in a letter to Mayor Steve Adler dated Tuesday and asked the mayor to let him know by March 1 whether the city is interested...
Police officer accused of assaulting 5-year-old

Police officer accused of assaulting 5-year-old

A polilce officer in Revere, Massachusetts, was arrested over the weekend on charges of child abuse. Police say Marcos Garcia, 32, of Saugus, physically abused the 5-year-old child of a woman he was having an affair with. The child, who is not being identified by name or gender, is now in the care of a family member. Neighbors in Saugus say Garcia lived at home with his wife and toddler. Garcia is...
Madame Tussauds in London unveils Trump wax figure

Madame Tussauds in London unveils Trump wax figure

Other Madame Tussauds locations also have Trump wax figures on display, including Washington, D.C., Orlando and New York, according to The Telegraph.
“He’s hacking into her!” Chilling 911 calls describe machete attack on teen

“He’s hacking into her!” Chilling 911 calls describe machete attack on teen

A North Carolina teen attacked with a machete by an alleged stalker survived more than 46 cuts to her face, head and hands as her assailant tried to “saw her head off,” her family and prosecutors said. Priyanka Kumari, 18, of Apex, had just gotten off of her school bus Thursday afternoon when she was attacked. Her alleged assailant, Neel Salil Mehta, 20, of Cary, is charged with assault...
Police: Florida woman punches pregnant sister in fight over wig

Police: Florida woman punches pregnant sister in fight over wig

A fight over a hairpiece landed a Florida woman in jail, according to authorities. The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said Aryanna Reed, 25, punched her pregnant sister several times after she refused to return a weave. On Saturday, police responded to a domestic violence incident. The victim, who is one month into her pregnancy, told JSO that her sister, who gave her the wig for Christmas, demanded...
Dating website matches Trump supporters

Dating website matches Trump supporters

One California man wants to "make dating great again" with a Trump-themed dating website. Trump Singles is a not-quite-new, but suddenly ignore-at-your-own-peril dating site is aimed squarely at supporters of the president-elect. Founder David Goss launched the site in May 2016 for "like minded" people with the same political views. "Sometimes it's tough to date when you're...