TOP LOCAL STORIES OF THE WEEK


MONDAY

Council OKs plan to cut all electric rates: The Austin City Council unanimously approved Austin Energy’s bid to reset its residential electric rates Monday, after the city-owned utility dropped its controversial proposal to increase its base electric rate.

Under the revised rate structure, all of Austin Energy’s 400,000 residential customers would see their electric bills cut — with the average customer projected to save $62 a year, utility figures show. The council also signed off on the $42.5 million package of annual cuts that Austin Energy and its major customers agreed to earlier this month.

TUESDAY

Breaion King sues police officer, city over violent arrest: Austin teacher Breaion King, whose violent arrest has received national attention and led to several ongoing internal police investigations, sued the city and an officer Tuesday.

Police dashboard camera videos obtained by the American-Statesman in July showed an officer dragging King out of her car and throwing her to the ground during a confrontation that unfolded quickly after she was pulled over for speeding.

King and her layers claim they asked to meet with city officials after the matter became public, but received no reply.

WEDNESDAY

UT unveils sweeping safety plan: A comprehensive safety review of the University of Texas recommends that UT hire more police officers and security guards, improve lighting and reduce the presence of homeless people on campus, among other improvements, officials said Wednesday.

UT President Gregory L. Fenves had asked the Texas Department of Public Safety for the review after a teenage runaway killed and sexually assaulted freshman Haruka Weiser on campus grounds in April. Fenves echoed on Wednesday his previous pledge to implement all of the review’s recommendations.

Austin head among four let go by CPS: Child Protective Services officials fired four high-ranking managers this week — including a regional director in Austin — saying the changes are part of a strategy to reform an agency under fire for failing to protect the state’s most vulnerable children from being abused or killed, the American-Statesman reported Wednesday.

The Austin region of CPS, which has been losing tenured workers at an escalating rate, has been faulted in several high-profile child deaths in recent years.

THURSDAY

Victims, advocates call on city leaders to resolve rape kit backlog: A group of sexual assault victims and advocates pleaded with Austin City Council members to resolve the backlog in thousands of rape kits waiting to be tested.

The Austin police forensic lab closed in May to update its protocols and training. The earliest it is expected to reopen is February. Meanwhile, cases are being sent to the Department of Public Safety, but the backlog continues to grow. A 20-year-old University of Texas student who addressed the council Thursday said she has been waiting for more than one year for her kit to be tested.

The council will decide later this month whether to include the money to address the backlog.

FRIDAY

Apple widens net for Austin talent: Apple Inc., which recently completed its expansive campus in Northwest Austin, has been discreetly building a core engineering team across town, fueling a new wave of growth in Central Texas, the American-Statesman reported Friday.

Its newly constructed, 215,000-square-foot building in Southwest Austin has the ability to hold 1,000 workers, and Apple intends to fill it in part by tapping into local talent, company officials said. Apple currently employs about 500 engineers at the location.

Apple’s Austin team, which the company began building several years ago, is now its biggest research and development group outside of its Cupertino, Calif., headquarters.


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