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Legislature approves $216.8 billion state budget

Both houses of the Texas Legislature approved a $216.8 billion state budget for 2018 and 2019 on Saturday that does little to improve the state’s widely criticized school finance system, boosts funding for scandal-plagued child protection agencies and maintains the state’s $800 million commitment to border security. The House voted 135-14 to approve the budget, with all “no&rdquo...


Greg Kelley’s sex abuse trial, like many, hinged on one child’s word

Greg Kelley’s sex abuse trial, like many, hinged on one child’s word

When Greg Kelley went to jail in 2014 after being convicted of super aggravated sexual assault , it was on the word of a 5-year-old child. There was no eyewitness, no physical evidence, no confession. But when the little boy told his story of molestation at a Cedar Park in-home day care center, he told it in graphic detail. The jury believed him. Kelley went to jail. ...
How a possible suspect was ignored in Greg Kelley sex assault case

How a possible suspect was ignored in Greg Kelley sex assault case

Cedar Park police detectives never questioned a man who has emerged as a suspect in the sexual assault of a 4-year-old and instead focused their investigation solely on Greg Kelley, whose subsequent conviction is now being called into question. But Johnathan McCarty’s name came up numerous times during the investigation which, according to Kelley’s defense team, should have been a...
Teen banned from graduation 'not because she is pregnant but because she was immoral'

Teen banned from graduation 'not because she is pregnant but because she was immoral'

A small Christian school in western Maryland is not backing down from its decision to ban a pregnant senior from walking at graduation next week.  Despite a public outcry and growing pressure from national antiabortion groups to reconsider, Heritage Academy in Hagerstown, Maryland, says that senior Maddi Runkles broke the school's rules by engaging in intimate sexual activity.  In a letter...
20 years after deadly tornado, Jarrell trying to not awaken memories

20 years after deadly tornado, Jarrell trying to not awaken memories

Charline Adams is still finding reminders of the storm that tore through this small town, 20 years later. She was not home when the Jarrell tornado, as it’s come to be known in Central Texas, ripped her home apart. But a few weeks later, Adams said, she found the church bulletin announcing her marriage — a memento she had kept in a closet — more than 2 miles away, on her uncle&rsquo...
What to do Memorial Day weekend in Austin

What to do Memorial Day weekend in Austin

A three-day weekend is upon us. Here’s how to spend it in Central Texas.  Wednesday, May 24: Watch the new “Baywatch” on a beach. The Rock. The Rock’s pecs. Zac Efron. Zac Efron’s pecs. Drinks and waterpark fun. Need we say more? Friday, May 26 through Sunday, May 28: Fredericksburg Crawfish Festival. Live music, crawfish, vendors,...
U.S. death rate from Alzheimer's rose dramatically over 15 years. Why?

U.S. death rate from Alzheimer's rose dramatically over 15 years. Why?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has just put out a grim report about Alzheimer's disease in the United States. Death rates from Alzheimer's climbed 55 percent from 1999 to 2014, CDC found, and the number of Americans afflicted is likely to rise rapidly in the coming years. About 5.5 million people 65 years and older have the disease — a wretched and fatal form of dementia...
Joe Straus, Dan Patrick snipe on bathroom bill, special session

Joe Straus, Dan Patrick snipe on bathroom bill, special session

Speaker Joe Straus said the House will budge no further on transgender bathroom legislation and that the Senate can take the measure the House passed Sunday, which Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick did not feel went far enough, or leave it. “The House approved language last Sunday night that required schools to make private accommodations for students who want them,” Straus said Friday at a brief press...
Austin’s A-List: Chamber singles out 17 stellar startups you should be watching

Austin’s A-List: Chamber singles out 17 stellar startups you should be watching

The Greater  Austin Chamber of Commerce has unveiled its annual A-List, which spotlights 17 local startup companies that the chamber says have breakout potential. This year, 176 companies were nominated, and the winners were announced Thursday night at an event at ACL Live at the Moody Theater. Any stage startup in any industry was eligible to apply. A panel of independent judges evaluated the...
Budget, planning woes on the horizon for deteriorating Austin pools

Budget, planning woes on the horizon for deteriorating Austin pools

Three Austin neighborhood swimming pools will sit out the 2017 swim season for repairs, while others remain in “critical” condition and the city grapples with the future of an aquatics system that is rapidly deteriorating. Givens and Govalle pools in East Austin, and Shipe pool north of downtown, all in various stages of repair, will not open this year, said parks department spokeswoman...
In fatal struggles with police, a controversial killer is often blamed

In fatal struggles with police, a controversial killer is often blamed

Juan Lozano’s death in South Texas during the summer of 2006 was a mystery. Dimmit County Sheriff’s deputies came upon the 26-year-old Crystal City man around midnight after a call about a man behaving bizarrely: screaming, running in the street and hiding in the bushes. A struggle broke out — officers say they pushed him to the ground after he tried to flee — and Lozano was...
Unexpected bond changes foster parents’ understanding of family

Unexpected bond changes foster parents’ understanding of family

The enemy was in my car. I could see her earrings glint in the sunlight and smell her perfume. I fiddled with the radio, realizing I had no idea what type of music she listened to. I thought about turning it off, but any noise seemed better than silence. I opened my mouth to speak, then closed it like a goldfish behind glass. I needed to choose my words carefully. The stakes were too high. It started...
Spokesman: Abbott has concerns about texting-while-driving ban

Spokesman: Abbott has concerns about texting-while-driving ban

The texting-while-driving ban is not quite in the garage yet. A spokesman for Gov. Greg Abbott, who has had House Bill 62 on his desk for several days, gave an equivocal statement Friday about the governor’s intentions for the legislation. “The governor believes texting while driving has become deadly dangerous and that something must be done about it,” spokesman John Wittman said...

Community news: Youth Innovations Showcase on Tuesday

TRAVIS COUNTY DOWNTOWN AUSTIN Innovations Showcase on Tuesday EcoRise Youth Innovations and the city of Austin’s office of sustainability will host the third annual Student Innovation Showcase from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall, 301 W. Second St. Middle and high school students from local public, private and charter schools will demonstrate the sustainability projects they have created...
What shape is Austin in heading into summer? Better than you think

What shape is Austin in heading into summer? Better than you think

The gloomy skies and downpours that finally arrived eight days ago might not have been ideal spring weather. But they have left Central Texas in great shape heading into summer. The area’s lakes are full. The soil is moist. The plants are generally a well-hydrated shade of green. Those rains that began falling on Central Texas two Sundays ago — 1 to 2 inches in most places in a single...
Surge in patients at new Austin VA clinic prompts review

Surge in patients at new Austin VA clinic prompts review

Four years after the Department of Veterans Affairs outpatient clinic in Austin opened as the largest in the country, skyrocketing growth in the number of veterans using it has officials already looking at ways to prevent overcrowding and extend the lifespan of the facility. The Austin clinic is five years ahead of growth projections, said Christopher Sandles, hired in February to oversee the Central...
Feds go quiet on push to protect rights of citizen-soldiers

Feds go quiet on push to protect rights of citizen-soldiers

Six months ago, members of Congress asked the Department of Labor to change rules that were shielding the identity of employers who routinely run afoul of a landmark law meant to protect the jobs of U.S. service members and reservists when they are called to duty. The House Veterans Affairs Committee opened an inquiry into the matter last year after an American-Statesman investigation into violations...
7 things you need to know about SB 4, the ‘anti-sanctuary’ law

7 things you need to know about SB 4, the ‘anti-sanctuary’ law

Senate Bill 4, the measure banning so-called sanctuary cities by punishing jurisdictions that do not fully cooperate with federal immigration officials, was signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott earlier this month. As Austin and other cities across the state prepare to challenge it in court, local officials, law enforcement agencies and immigration attorneys continue to study what changes the new law...

Traffic report for May 29, 2017

Interstate 35 (Travis County): The outside lane on the southbound access road will be closed between Williamson Creek and Stassney Lane from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday. The outside lane on the northbound access road will be closed just past The Lakes Boulevard from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. The inside lane on the southbound access road will be closed between 290/71 Ben White...
Texts, Uber and tolls: Transportation’s session in the shadows

Texts, Uber and tolls: Transportation’s session in the shadows

Transportation was always destined to be something of a sideshow for the 85th Legislature, which with any luck will complete its business Monday. The center ring, it became obvious months ago, was to feature such matters as school potty protocols, and which jail guests Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez must out to federal authorities. That 82,000-mile network of state highways and bridges? Pshaw...
Where to honor those who sacrificed

Where to honor those who sacrificed

Memorial Day events No matter where you are in Central Texas, there will be a place nearby to remember those who died while serving the country’s armed forces. The following are among the places to go this Memorial Day weekend. TRAVIS COUNTY West Austin: World War II close assault re-enactments, 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Sunday at Camp Mabry, 2200 W. 35th St. East Austin: Ceremony, 10 a.m. Monday,...
Round Rock WW II veteran still remembers disastrous plane crash

Round Rock WW II veteran still remembers disastrous plane crash

First the B-29 bomber got hit by anti-aircraft guns and lost one of its four engines. Then it ran out of gas at night over the Indian Ocean during a rainstorm. When the plane crashed into 8- to 10-foot waves, it felt as if it were “running up against a solid wall,” Elwin Hudson said. Hudson, a 95-year-old Round Rock resident and World War II Army Air Forces pilot, still has a photo of...
Chipotle: Breach compromised payment data at 22 Austin-area locations

Chipotle: Breach compromised payment data at 22 Austin-area locations

An investigation into a previously disclosed data breach at Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. revealed security breakdowns in about 2,250 of its restaurants — including 22 in the Austin metro area. The company said hackers installed malware “designed to access payment card data” from the restaurants’ registers between March 24 and April 18. The malware could pull cardholder names...

Teens accused of burglaries in Round Rock, Florence

WILLIAMSON COUNTY Teens accused of burglaries in Round Rock, Florence Police have accused four men, including two they interviewed at Florence High School, of being involved in a burglary at a Florence business, according to arrest affidavits. Three of them were also accused of being involved in a burglary at a Round Rock pawnshop, the affidavits said. Florence residents Miguel Vences, 17 , his brother...
Legislature approves $216.8 billion state budget

Legislature approves $216.8 billion state budget

Both houses of the Texas Legislature approved a $216.8 billion state budget for 2018 and 2019 on Saturday that does little to improve the state’s widely criticized school finance system, boosts funding for scandal-plagued child protection agencies and maintains the state’s $800 million commitment to border security. The House voted 135-14 to approve the budget, with all “no&rdquo...
Most Texas House changes kept in voter ID bill

Most Texas House changes kept in voter ID bill

The voter ID bill emerged from conference committee Saturday with many of the House amendments intact — but with a compromise on the criminal penalty for lying on a document that allows registered voters to cast a ballot without a government-issued photo ID. The reworked bill will next be presented to the Senate and House for approval. If granted, Senate Bill 5 would go to Gov. Greg Abbott,...
Gov. Greg Abbott signs court safety law named for Judge Julie Kocurek

Gov. Greg Abbott signs court safety law named for Judge Julie Kocurek

Nearly 19 months after state District Judge Julie Kocurek was shot outside her West Austin home, Gov. Greg Abbott signed a law named in her honor that aims to boost security for judicial officers. “The craven attack against Judge Julie Kocurek is deeply troubling, and Texas must be committed to protecting those who uphold the rule of law in this state,” Abbott said Saturday in a statement...
Texas Senate resurrects school finance, ‘school choice’ bill

Texas Senate resurrects school finance, ‘school choice’ bill

House Bill 21, the school finance and school choice bill that was declared dead earlier this week, might have been resurrected. Without much discussion, the Texas Senate on Saturday appointed senators to a conference committee to hash out differences in the bill with members of the House, who were appointed on Wednesday. Without a compromise by midnight Saturday, HB 21 is dead — again. Senate...
Fear of lawsuits prompts late change to Senate bill

Fear of lawsuits prompts late change to Senate bill

Language was stripped out of a relatively minor bill that would allow businesses to sue over local ordinances that affect their operations, including bars and strip clubs impeded by zoning or noise regulations, the Texas Municipal League said in an alert issued Saturday morning. Soon after, the Senate author of the bill — intended to void local regulations on what seeds can be planted &mdash...
Dan Patrick, Joe Straus share stage amid ‘bathroom bill’ showdown

Dan Patrick, Joe Straus share stage amid ‘bathroom bill’ showdown

Amid the legislative showdown over the so-called bathroom bill, the Republican “big three” of Texas state government — Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Speaker Joe Straus — shared the stage in the House on Saturday morning for a Memorial Day weekend event honoring Texans who have died while serving in the armed services. None acknowledged publicly what had happened...
Police: SB I-35 frontage road at Parmer Ln. reopens after body found

Police: SB I-35 frontage road at Parmer Ln. reopens after body found

11:45 a.m. update: Southbound I-35 frontage road at Parmer Lane has reopened, Austin police officials said. The road was closed while police investigated a body found at a nearby transient camp, police said. According to their preliminary investigation, the death does not appear to be suspicious. Earlier: The southbound Interstate 35 frontage road at the intersection of Parmer Lane is closed while...
Public needs data to know if SB 4 increases racial profiling

Public needs data to know if SB 4 increases racial profiling

With the 2017 legislative session all but over, Texas police departments have begun the tough job of figuring out how to address one of the session’s most controversial laws: Senate Bill 4, aimed at eliminating so-called sanctuary cities and counties. Republican lawmakers passed the legislation over the objections of Democrats and police chiefs of major cities who said a certain provision of...
Trump budget may slash aid to Austin housing, elderly, flood recovery

Trump budget may slash aid to Austin housing, elderly, flood recovery

Child care help so minimum-wage parents can work and earn a paycheck. Social workers to care for elderly people who need help getting through their daily lives. After-school programs for kids who’d be left to their own devices otherwise. Housing vouchers for people who’d be on the streets. Those are the programs targeted in a 2018 budget proposed by President Donald Trump. It would eliminate...
Several Texas cities use sirens, but Austin is not one of them

Several Texas cities use sirens, but Austin is not one of them

Several North Texas cities use outdoor sirens to warn citizens of impending threats, including dangerous weather events. But Austin doesn’t have such sirens. So why do North Texas towns have sirens? They are specifically designed to warn those outdoors to find shelter during severe weather and other major emergencies. Kevin Oden, Dallas assistant emergency manager, said his city’s 156...
Latinitas celebrates 15 years of media, tech training for girls, teens

Latinitas celebrates 15 years of media, tech training for girls, teens

After recently receiving a tech-focused city grant for marginalized communities, Latinitas co-founder and CEO Laura Donnelly looked around her East Austin office and felt proud. Latinitas, the nonprofit group she started 15 years ago to empower young girls, received the grant recognition alongside some bigger organizations and some of the community’s most respected nonprofits. “I feel...
At 25 years old, an arts awards event learns to adapt

At 25 years old, an arts awards event learns to adapt

Described as the kind of awards show where you can take your drink up on the stage, the Austin Critics Table Awards has served as an annual night of camaraderie and recognition for local artists in theater, dance, design, classical and visual arts for 25 years. But as both the arts and the art-critics communities have changed amid industry turbulence in recent years, the event has adapted to fit the...

Are the robots eating our lunch?

I was leaving my dry cleaner’s when I saw her — our local meter maid writing a parking ticket. She smiled. I grimaced. Had she hit my car too? I instinctively drew my cellphone and checked my Park Boston app. Relief. My car was good for another half-hour. No longer worried about me, I started worrying about her. Would she still be working in six months? Surely, they’ll put cameras...
Top Local Business Stories of the Week

Top Local Business Stories of the Week

BACK IN AUSTIN Uber, Lyft say they are coming back to Austin: National ride-hailing services Uber and Lyft say they will return to Austin on Monday. Drivers who have worked for Lyft in the past were notified of the company’s return in a text message sent this past Thursday, while an Uber spokesman confirmed his company’s return in an email to the American-Statesman. Lyft and Uber pulled...
Teenagers accused of burglaries in Round Rock, Florence

Teenagers accused of burglaries in Round Rock, Florence

Police have accused four men, including two they interviewed at Florence High School, of being involved in a burglary at a Florence business, according to arrest affidavits. Three of them were also accused of being involved in a burglary at a Round Rock pawnshop, the affidavits said. Florence residents Miguel Vences, 17 , his brother Juan Vences, 19, and their cousin Javier Vences, 17, were each charged...
Cedar Park gold coin company owner accused of stealing from client

Cedar Park gold coin company owner accused of stealing from client

A Cedar Park man who owns a gold coin company has been accused of stealing from one of his clients, according to an arrest affidavit. Donald McBride, 47, was charged with theft, a state jail felony punishable by up to two years in jail. McBride is the owner of David Maxwell Gold Advisors LLC, the affidavit said. One of his customers bought 500 Silver American Eagle Coins from him on Oct. 7, the affidavit...
Police seeing uptick of phone scam reports in South Austin

Police seeing uptick of phone scam reports in South Austin

An increasing number of people in South Austin are falling victim to a phone scam, in which the caller pretends to be a family member in desperate need of money to bail them out of jail, Austin police said. In some instances, the scammer tells the person receiving the call that his or her voice sounds different because they have a cold. In other instances, the caller is posing as a government...
Legislature keeps cuts to program for poor kids with disabilities

Legislature keeps cuts to program for poor kids with disabilities

Over Democratic objections and against Texas House Speaker Joe Straus’ wishes, the Legislature this year won’t undo severe cuts adopted in 2015 to a program that serves low-income children with disabilities. The House on Friday voted 115-21 to go along with a Senate budget plan that declines to alter the dramatic reductions — totaling about $350 million in state and federal money...
Former nurse accused of killing dozens of kids in 1980s

Former nurse accused of killing dozens of kids in 1980s

A Texas nurse who is in prison for the 1982 killing of a toddler has been charged with murder in the death of an infant a year earlier, and authorities said Friday that they think she might have killed as many as 60 young children around that time. Genene Jones, 66, is serving concurrent 99-year and 60-year sentences at a Gatesville prison for the 1982 killing of 15-month-old Chelsea McClelland and...
1 shot, 1 stabbed, 1 hit by car in melee between families, police say

1 shot, 1 stabbed, 1 hit by car in melee between families, police say

SOUTHEAST AUSTIN Police: 1 shot, 1 stabbed, 1 hit by car in melee A fight between two families in Southeast Austin on Friday morning left one man shot, another stabbed and a third injured after being hit by someone driving a car, Austin police said. No one had injuries that were life-threatening, police said. One man was arrested, but a police spokesman at the scene did not have information about...

Instead of cuts, UT would get 3 percent increase in appropriations

The University of Texas at Austin, whose budget seemed to be on the chopping block a few weeks ago, instead would see a 3 percent increase in legislative appropriations under the two-year state spending plan approved by a House-Senate conference committee. Senate Bill 1, which the two chambers will consider this weekend, would provide a total of $835.6 million to the flagship campus for the 2018 and...
Round Rock ISD trustee Paul Tisch to resign

Round Rock ISD trustee Paul Tisch to resign

Paul Tisch announced Friday his plans to resign from the Round Rock school district board of trustees after serving since 2013. In a district news release, Tisch said he will be relocating to College Station for his job. “I am proud to have served the students, staff and Round Rock ISD community and work with such an outstanding group of individuals as a Trustee,” he said. “While...
Campus sex assault reporting measures gain traction, Abbott’s support

Campus sex assault reporting measures gain traction, Abbott’s support

A package of measures addressing sexual assault involving college students has come together in recent days, with two bills bound for Gov. Greg Abbott and a third expected to be approved this weekend by the House and Senate. The measures include protections against prosecution and other sanctions for underage drinking by victims or witnesses of sexual assault who report such incidents, as well as...

Hutto men among 21 defendants in widespread sex trafficking operation

Two Austin-area men had key roles in a large-scale international sex trafficking operation that made tens of millions of dollars by luring women from Thailand with false promises of a better life in the United States, according to an indictment unsealed Thursday in Minnesota. Gregory Allen Kimmy, 36, and Saowapha Thinram, 43, both from Hutto, advertised the women for sex through online websites and...

Business Digest: Texas official leads trade trip to China

TEXAS ECONOMY Texas official leads trade trip to China Texas Secretary of State Rolando Pablos was in China this week, leading a group of Texans at the 2017 World Forum for Foreign Direct Investment in Shanghai to promote opportunities in the state for foreign investors. “China is a growing partner in elevating the Lone Star State’s continued economic prosperity,” Pablos said in...
To send students to quiet rooms, Texas educators must follow 7 rules

To send students to quiet rooms, Texas educators must follow 7 rules

A Bastrop mom this week posted a photo on Facebook of a padded room where she found her son without supervision, sparking outrage over the practice. A similar controversy flared up in New Braunfels in 2015. Here are seven rules Texas educators must follow when sending students to such quiet rooms: 1. Time out rooms, also called cool down, calm, quiet or safe rooms, are permissible by the state for...
Sweeping abortion regulations sent to Gov. Abbott

Sweeping abortion regulations sent to Gov. Abbott

Eleven months after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned abortion regulations that would have left only nine clinics open in Texas, sweeping new restrictions are on their way to Gov. Greg Abbott for his signature. Voting 22-9, the Texas Senate on Friday gave final approval to Senate Bill 8, which requires fetal tissue to be buried or cremated, restricts the most common procedure for second-trimester...
George P. Bush: Coast-to-coast border wall ‘probably not feasible’

George P. Bush: Coast-to-coast border wall ‘probably not feasible’

Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush on Friday said President Donald Trump’s plan to build a wall along the entire U.S.-Mexico border is “probably not feasible,” joining other Texas Republicans who have cast doubt on Trump’s signature campaign promise. “We need to have a strategic, methodical process to deal with illegal immigration and to work on enhancing legal immigration...
Power and devastation of the Jarrell tornado, by the numbers

Power and devastation of the Jarrell tornado, by the numbers

The Jarrell tornado, which struck on May 27, 1997, was one of the most destructive events in Central Texas history. It wiped out an entire subdivision and wreaked the worst tornado damage ever captured on film. Here are some numbers that convey what Central Texas endured that day: • 24: The number of tornadoes that struck the region. The night before, severe thunderstorms that had developed over...

Sales tax holidays this weekend encourage energy, water conservation

Texans get two sales tax holidays in one weekend: From May 27-29, shoppers can save money on certain items carrying an Energy Star logo or the WaterSense logo. Energy Star tax holiday According to the Texas comptroller’s office, the number of qualifying items you can buy is unlimited and you don’t need an exemption certificate. You can buy, rent or lease only these Energy Star-labeled...
1 shot, 1 stabbed, 1 hit by car in Southeast Austin melee between families, police say

1 shot, 1 stabbed, 1 hit by car in Southeast Austin melee between families, police say

A fight between two families in Southeast Austin this morning left one man shot, another stabbed and a third injured after being hit by someone driving a car, Austin police said.  No one has injuries that are life-threatening, police said. One man was arrested, but a police spokesman at the scene did not have information about what he did or what he was charged with.  Austin police said...

Instead of cuts, UT would get 3 percent increase in appropriation

The University of Texas at Austin, whose budget seemed to be on the chopping block a few weeks ago, instead would see a 3 percent increase in legislative appropriations under the two-year state spending plan approved by a House-Senate conference committee. Senate Bill 1, which the two chambers will consider this weekend, would provide a total of $835.6 million to the flagship campus for the 2018 and...

Opinion: Stroke awareness month shows need for lifesaving health care

May is National Stroke Awareness Month. It was elevated for recognition by former President George H.W. Bush for a significant reason. A stroke occurs in the United States approximately once every forty seconds and remains the leading cause of long-term disability that Americans face. Consequently, almost everyone has a connection to someone who has had a stroke, whether it be a friend or family member...
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott jokes he’ll carry riddled target ‘in case I see any reporters’

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott jokes he’ll carry riddled target ‘in case I see any reporters’

After signing into law Senate Bill 16, which reduces the fee for a handgun license in Texas, at The Range, an indoor shooting range in South Austin, Abbott did some target shooting with a SIG Sauer P320 pistol. Abbott proved a good shot and, proudly displaying the target showing his marksmanship, the governor joked, according to the Texas Tribune reporter and photographer who were within earshot,...

Community news: Cap Metro modifies holiday service

TRAVIS COUNTY AUSTIN Cap Metro modifies holiday service Capital Metro will operate on a Sunday-level schedule in observance of the Memorial Day holiday Monday. There will be no MetroRail, UT Shuttle or E-Bus service, and the administrative offices and the Transit Store will be closed. Services will return to its regular weekday schedule Tuesday. All MetroAccess subscription trips will be automatically...
Appeals court will not rehear Charles Kleinert police-shooting case

Appeals court will not rehear Charles Kleinert police-shooting case

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans says it will not rehear the officer-involved shooting case of former Austin police detective Charles Kleinert. On April 20, a three-judge panel at the court of appeals upheld a lower court’s dismissal of manslaughter charges against Kleinert, who said his gun accidentally went off when he shot Larry Eugene Jackson Jr. on July 26, 2013. District...
Review this checklist before you hit the road Memorial Day weekend

Review this checklist before you hit the road Memorial Day weekend

  An estimated 2.8 million Texans are expected to be on the roads this Memorial Day weekend, according to AAA Texas. The group anticipates that more than 330,000 drivers will require a roadside rescue – at least 21,500 in Texas alone – AAA Texas spokeswoman Anne O’Ryan said. So here are some safety steps that O’Ryan says motorists should take if they&rsquo...
Gov. Abbott predicts agreement on tax and bathroom issues Saturday

Gov. Abbott predicts agreement on tax and bathroom issues Saturday

Gov. Greg Abbott predicted Friday that House and Senate negotiators will reach agreement on property tax reform and transgender bathroom legislation Saturday. “As you may have heard, conference committees have been assigned for those two issues,” Abbott told reporters. “That’s positive. It means the House and the Senate are going to be getting to work on those two issues and...
Beware of phone scammers asking for gift cards, Austin police warn 

Beware of phone scammers asking for gift cards, Austin police warn 

The Austin Police Department has issued a warning for South and Southwest Austin residents about fake callers targeting the elderly for gift cards. Police have seen an increase in these phone scams in the past week, according to a statement from APD Region 4 District Representative Philip Kelly. Kelly said the scam works like this: Someone posing as a loved one, or someone pretending to...
FORECAST: Oppressive humidity coupled with heat Friday, storms possible by Sunday

FORECAST: Oppressive humidity coupled with heat Friday, storms possible by Sunday

Friday’s forecast for Austin: A wretched mix of heat and humidity will send “feels-like” temperatures soaring well past 100 degrees across the Austin area, bringing the sort of oppressive heat typically associated with the Gulf Coast for the Friday and Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. The National Weather Service’s computer models show the heat index (which factors...
San Marcos mayor: City will ‘vigorously oppose’ Trump’s proposed cuts

San Marcos mayor: City will ‘vigorously oppose’ Trump’s proposed cuts

The loss of a federal development grant program that has been a cornerstone for fast-growing Central Texas cities, especially those recently struck by historic flooding, would be “devastating” for San Marcos, Mayor John Thomaides said Thursday. The Community Development Block Grant Program, which provides funding for urban development projects, including disaster relief, is among a plethora...

Krauthammer: Why Middle East peace starts in Saudi Arabia

“Whom the gods would destroy, they first tempt to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict.” — Irving Kristol The quixotic American pursuit of Middle East peace is a perennial. It invariably fails, yet every administration feels compelled to give it a try. The Trump administration is no different. It will fail as well. To be sure, no great harm has, as yet, come from President Trump&rsquo...

Collins: Trump Can’t Add Things

We’re now getting a feel for what it was like to work in a business run by Donald Trump. His budget is out, and it predicts we will have super-duper, excellent, great — no, huge — economic growth based on monster tax cuts for the rich and cuts in spending that will leave the poor with no money to buy anything. It was produced in concert with that great health care bill, which the...
Niño de 10 años muere aplastado por portón eléctrico, según demanda

Niño de 10 años muere aplastado por portón eléctrico, según demanda

Un niño de 10 años murió después de que el portón de seguridad en la casa de un amigo lo aplastó, según una demanda en contra de los fabricantes del portón y la propietaria de la casa, entre otros. El 18 de febrero, el niño estaba de visita en la casa ubicada en la cuadra 5500 de Shoal Creek Blvd. cuando se metió en un hueco entre...
School-rule amnesty in sex assault cases bill sent to governor

School-rule amnesty in sex assault cases bill sent to governor

A college student who is a victim of or witness to a sexual assault would have amnesty for violating the school’s code of conduct at or near the time of the incident under legislation headed to Gov. Greg Abbott. The Texas Senate approved the measure on a 30-1 vote Thursday evening. Senate Bill 969, authored by Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, is intended to encourage reporting of sexual assault among...
Court: Texas must reveal execution drug supplier

Court: Texas must reveal execution drug supplier

A state appeals court ruled Thursday that Texas prison officials must identify the pharmacy that supplies the state with drugs used in executions. Prison officials have worked for years to avoid identifying the source of its lethal injection drugs, fearing the publicity would produce protests and threats from death penalty opponents that would deter suppliers from selling to the state. The Austin-based...
Bills aimed at restricting lobbyists die in Texas House

Bills aimed at restricting lobbyists die in Texas House

When meetings of the Texas House stretch late into the night, some legislators take breaks from the action by walking out the back of the House chamber, taking the elevator down to the basement and enjoying some food or a drink in what’s known as Club Geren. In Room GW.15, the office of state Rep. Charlie Geren, lawmakers, staffers and lobbyists mingle behind closed doors as the people&rsquo...
Rep. Terry Canales says Sen. Charles Schwertner ‘lacks a spine’

Rep. Terry Canales says Sen. Charles Schwertner ‘lacks a spine’

In an angry speech on the Texas House floor, Rep. Terry Canales on Thursday tore into Sen. Charles Schwertner for derailing a bill that would have required governments to disclose how much they pay performers at parades following a controversial open-records fight over how much the city of McAllen paid singer Enrique Iglesias for a 2015 concert. Schwertner, a Georgetown Republican who killed the bill...

Hutto men accused of operating brothels in U.S. sex trafficking ring

Two Austin-area men had key roles in a large-scale international sex trafficking operation that made tens of millions of dollars by targeting women from Thailand with failed promises of a better life in the United States, according to a superseding indictment unsealed Thursday in Minnesota. Gregory Allen Kimmy, 36, and Saowapha Thinram, 43, both from Hutto, advertised the women for sex through online...
Mets prized prospect Amed Rosario looks like one of MLB’s next stars

Mets prized prospect Amed Rosario looks like one of MLB’s next stars

One of the real treats in Minor League Baseball is catching a glimpse of hot prospects from visiting teams who are blazing trails to the big leagues. In recent years, Round Rock Express fans have seen a long list of blue-chippers who already are making a major-league impact, including Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, Javier Baez, Corey Seager, George Springer, Alex Bregman, Charlie Blackmon and Carlos...
Task force: Raise hotel tax to pay for convention center expansion

Task force: Raise hotel tax to pay for convention center expansion

A city task force is recommending that the Austin City Council vote to expand the convention center downtown and pay for the $609 million addition with a 2-cent hike in the city’s hotel occupancy tax, the group’s chairman said. The 2-cent increase would create about $24 million a year, said James Russell, who led the Visitor Impact Task Force. The convention center would sell bonds against...

Dallas seeing a sharp increase in drive-by shootings

Dallas police say an increase in gang violence has led to a spike in drive-by shootings that are often fueled by social media. Interim Police Chief David Pughes told The Dallas Morning News that more than 120 drive-by shootings have been reported so far this year, compared with not quite 50 during the same period last year. Most of the shootings have occurred in southern Dallas. While overall crime...

Texas Digest: Woman leaps from RV before man shoots self

ARLINGTON Woman leaps from RV before man shoots self Authorities say a woman suffering gunshot wounds jumped from a motor home on a North Texas highway to escape her assailant before two young children were later released and the RV was destroyed by fire. Investigators say the woman and the man who abducted her are the parents of the children who were also in the RV. Arlington police Lt. Christopher...
Lockhart balloon crash hearing, safety calls scheduled for October

Lockhart balloon crash hearing, safety calls scheduled for October

The final investigatory hearing into the deadly Lockhart balloon crash, where officials will make what could be far reaching safety recommendations for the ballooning industry, has been tentatively scheduled for mid-October, according to a draft version of the National Transportation and Safety Board’s hearing calendar. At the hearing, investigators will also release their findings into what...
Texas Senate trims House bills to address STAAR, A-F rating system

Texas Senate trims House bills to address STAAR, A-F rating system

The Texas Senate early Thursday passed stripped-down versions of House bills that would address state standardized tests and how the state evaluates school districts and campuses starting in 2018. House Bill 22, which passed 29-2, would reduce the number of categories from five to four in which schools and districts would be graded under the A-F accountability system. Those categories would evaluate...
4 children, mother kidnapped at gunpoint found, police still searching for suspect

4 children, mother kidnapped at gunpoint found, police still searching for suspect

An Amber Alert in Tennessee for four children and their mother is over after authorities located the family, according to a Facebook post from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. The family was  kidnapped at gunpoint in Lexington early Sunday morning.  Investigators are still searching for the suspect identified as Octavious Crout, 28. Investigators say Crout abducted Amanda Manley Crout...

This week’s music picks: Tull tales with Ian, Allstars with Dickinsons and more

[youtube=] Wednesday: Jethro Tull at ACL Live. Technically these shows are billed as “Jethro Tull by Ian Anderson,” an odd specification given that Jethro Tull, by any other name than Ian Anderson, would most assuredly not be Jethro Tull. Technically, the band called it quits five years ago, and longtime members Martin Barre and Doane Perry aren’t along here, but the lineup does...
Top-seeded Kerber stunned in first round of French Open 

Top-seeded Kerber stunned in first round of French Open 

Angelique Kerber became the first top-seeded women’s player in the Open era of tennis to lose in the first round of the French Open, falling 6-2, 6-2 to Ekaterina Makarova on Sunday.  >> Read more trending news Makarova was successful against Kerber’s serve and took advantage of the No. 1 seed’s numerous mistakes to earn the victory. The momentum seemed to turn toward...
Study: Dads’ brains respond differently to daughters than sons

Study: Dads’ brains respond differently to daughters than sons

Fathers with toddler daughters are more attentive and responsive to their needs than fathers with toddler sons, according to a study published in an American Psychological Association journal. >> Read more trending news  Behavorial Neuroscience journal. Fathers of young boys engaged in more rough-and-tumble play and used more achievement-related language, while fathers of daughters...
Gal Gadot, Lynda Carter meet at ‘Wonder Woman’ premiere

Gal Gadot, Lynda Carter meet at ‘Wonder Woman’ premiere

Two are more wonderful than one. Gal Gadot and Lynda Carter met, embraced and posed for photographs at Thursday’s premiere of “Wonder Woman” in Hollywood, ETOnline reported. >> Read more trending news Carter, 65, made the Wonder Woman character famous during its television series run from 1975 to 1979. Gadot is starring in the movie version, which debuts nationally on...
Girl turns Justin Trudeau’s office into a pillow fort

Girl turns Justin Trudeau’s office into a pillow fort

A 5-year-old girl who got to be prime minister for a day in Canada put Justin Trudeau to work, directing him in building a pillow fort, the Huffington Post reported. >> Read more trending news When Bella Thompson won a CBC Kids’ contest, she went to Trudeau, Canada’s prime minister, and made her unique request. Trudeau obliged, rearranging his desk to build the shelter...
You can make the best doughnuts you'll ever eat. Here's how.

You can make the best doughnuts you'll ever eat. Here's how.

It's easy to wax poetic about doughnuts. Whether they're light as air and melt in your mouth or caky and sugarcoated, ready to dunk, who can pass up a fresh one? The best are made by hand with wholesome ingredients. Even the ones that start with a mix - and those include your Krispy Kremes and Dunkin' Donuts - still taste pretty good, to be honest. It's fried dough. For me, the perfect yeasted doughnut...
Ex-jocks bring athleticism, diversity to NASCAR pit crews

Ex-jocks bring athleticism, diversity to NASCAR pit crews

Mike Metcalf grew up in Charlotte, played basketball and football at Charlotte Christian, and attended occasional Charlotte Hornets and Carolina Panthers games. Charlotte Motor Speedway was about 30 minutes from his parents' home in south Charlotte, but might as well have been in another world. Metcalf was never a fan of racing ... until he made it his career. When NASCAR Cup series point leader Kyle...
A shiny new ride above the sand at the Jersey Shore

A shiny new ride above the sand at the Jersey Shore

SEASIDE HEIGHTS, N.J. — It was one of the indelible images of the wrath of Hurricane Sandy: a famous Jersey Shore roller coaster reduced to a twisted, mangled wreck in the surf off Seaside Heights, its decades-old iron and steel slicing the coming waves.  It was removed months later, but the gash along the coast remained for years, the emptiness above the rehabilitated pier an ever-present...
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