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Smithville woman gets 20 years for violating probation in child’s death

A Smithville woman with three DWI arrests was sentenced to 20 years in prison for violating the conditions of her probation in connection with her young daughter’s traffic death. A September 2015 crash report shows Jennifer Lynn Zapalac’s blood alcohol level was 0.211 — more than twice the legal limit for driving — when her 7-year-old daughter, Victoria, was killed along a...


Austin launches Anti-Displacement Task Force to combat gentrification

Austin launches Anti-Displacement Task Force to combat gentrification

The city of Austin is kicking off its latest task force to tackle gentrification with a public forum Saturday, which proponents hope will offer more substantial action to combat the displacement of minorities than previous efforts. The latest effort is the city’s new Anti-Displacement Task Force, a 17-member group of appointees who will have until October to deliver action items to the City...
Denton man won’t register as sex offender after attack on Austin trip

Denton man won’t register as sex offender after attack on Austin trip

A Denton man accused of trying to sexually assault his adult niece at an Austin vacation home pleaded guilty in Travis County district court on Thursday. Charles Wayne Beverly, Jr., 46, accepted a third-degree felony unlawful restraint conviction in exchange for a deal that will likely send him to jail for 30 days when he is sentenced on April 5. But the victim, Beverly’s 26-year-old niece,...
Herman: Should doctors play with guns?

Herman: Should doctors play with guns?

It remains a Rorschach test for our times. As I’ve noted after previous incarnations of this ongoing discussion, different people see different things when they see a gun. Some see only a potential murder weapon. Some see good, clean recreational fun. Few have no reaction when they see or talk about guns. So perhaps it was foreseeable that the Travis County Medical Society event that had been...
‘What happened to Austin?’ This one-handed barber has a story to tell

‘What happened to Austin?’ This one-handed barber has a story to tell

On the door of Austin’s Most Wanted, a no-frills barbershop in an industrial strip off Burleson Road in Southeast Austin, a muscular character with an impeccable fade smirks through prison bars he bends like rubber bands. Inside, Lawrence “Lench” Martinez efficiently wields his clippers to help his clients achieve similar swag. Working with his left hand, the only hand he has, he...

Arrests target 145 immigrants in Texas with criminal history, ICE says

Immigration authorities on Thursday announced the arrest of 45 people in Austin as part of a wider federal operation earlier this month that targeted undocumented immigrants with criminal histories throughout South and Central Texas. According to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, agents arrested a total of 145 people in Austin, San Antonio, the Rio Grande Valley, Laredo and Waco in the seven...
UPDATE: Bowie High School student hit, critically injured by car Wednesday

UPDATE: Bowie High School student hit, critically injured by car Wednesday

Austin school district officials have confirmed it was a Bowie High School student that was struck by a vehicle and critically injured near the school Wednesday night. Austin-Travis County EMS reported at 5:41 p.m. Wednesday that a teenage boy had been struck by a vehicle and injured near the high school at 4103 West Slaughter Lane in Southwest Austin.  Medics reported a trauma alert for...
Man killed, another critically injured in crash in FM 620 near Lake Travis

Man killed, another critically injured in crash in FM 620 near Lake Travis

One person is dead and another one is critically injured after a two-car crash near Lake Travis on Thursday afternoon, Austin-Travis County EMS said. The crash occurred on FM 620 near Mansfield Dam Road around 2 p.m., according to the Texas Department of Transportation.  EMS officials said a man in his 20s has been pronounced dead and a second man believed to be in his 60s is being taken to Round...
Scott Milder’s run against Dan Patrick gets boost from education groups

Scott Milder’s run against Dan Patrick gets boost from education groups

Former Rockwall City Council Member Scott Milder is a long shot to win the Republican primary for lieutenant governor as he faces Dan Patrick, a powerful incumbent with a massive fundraising advantage. Milder’s best chance might be to capitalize on his alliance with teachers and education groups outraged by Patrick’s first term in statewide office, when the lieutenant governor delayed...
These Texas schools, including St. Edward’s, are ideal for B students, study says

These Texas schools, including St. Edward’s, are ideal for B students, study says

You know what they say: C’s get degrees. But wouldn’t you feel a little better getting a B instead? U.S. News & World Report compiled a list of “A-Plus Schools for B Students,” ranking universities and colleges that “accept a significant number of students with nonstratospheric transcripts.” Each college on the list had to admit a “meaningful...
More than 140 arrested in Texas immigration operation in mid-February

More than 140 arrested in Texas immigration operation in mid-February

More than 40 people were arrested in Austin as part of a federal immigration operation targeting undocumented immigrants with criminal histories in South and Central Texas in mid-February. According to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, authorities arrested 145 people in Austin, San Antonio, the Rio Grande Valley, Laredo and Waco over a seven-day period ending on Feb. 16. ICE said most of...
Police ID 23-year-old pedestrian killed in South Austin last weekend

Police ID 23-year-old pedestrian killed in South Austin last weekend

Austin police have identified a pedestrian who was fatally struck by a vehicle in South Austin last weekend as 23-year-old Devon Reed Gerald. According to a preliminary police investigation, a Toyota Highlander was traveling east on West Slaughter Lane around 8:40 p.m. Saturday, when it approached the intersection of Southpark Meadows Drive and West Slaughter Lane with a green traffic light. ...

Community news: Little Walnut Creek Greenbelt meeting Saturday

TRAVIS COUNTY EAST AUSTIN Greenbelt meeting Sunday The Austin Parks and Recreation Department will host a meeting about the Little Walnut Creek Greenbelt from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Givens Recreation Center, 3811 E. 12th St. The meeting will gather feedback after a presentation and an open house with discussion on the Little Walnut Creek Greenbelt Master Plan initiative, a community-driven effort...
Man accused of pulling gun on off-duty cop in South Austin traffic, affidavit says

Man accused of pulling gun on off-duty cop in South Austin traffic, affidavit says

Authorities have accused a driver of pulling a gun on an off-duty police officer in an apparent road rage incident in South Austin, court documents say. Michael Christopher Tello, 21, was booked into the Travis County Jail on a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, a second-degree felony punishable up to 20 years in prison. According to an arrest affidavit, the off-duty officer was heading...
Hutto hires 4 new staff members

Hutto hires 4 new staff members

The city of Hutto has four new staff members, including a new chief financial officer and a new director of human resources. The city also has a new executive director of engineering and construction, and a new city secretary. Hutto’s former chief financial officer, Michel Sorrell, left to spend more time with family and friends, according to a release from the city. Sorrell served as Hutto&rsquo...
UPDATE: 17-year-old arrested after making threats, prompts Akins High lockdown

UPDATE: 17-year-old arrested after making threats, prompts Akins High lockdown

3:50 p.m. update: A 17-year-old former student has been arrested after authorities say he threatened to “shoot and blow up” Akins High School, causing officials to lock down the campus Thursday, Austin school district police Chief Chris Evoy said. Police seized a magazine and ammunition from him, but no gun, the chief said. The teen, who is now in custody, is charged with making a...
WEATHER UPDATE: Thunderstorms, lightning move through Austin area

WEATHER UPDATE: Thunderstorms, lightning move through Austin area

10 p.m. update: Lightning and thunderstorms are moving through the Austin metro area. There is a 60 to 70 percent chance of rain Thursday night into Friday morning. The chance for thunder increases Friday, according to National Weather Service data. Track the storms using the American-Statesman’s weather radar.  Earlier: Thursday forecast for Austin: It’s miserable...
Packed town hall showcases finalists for Austin Public Health director

Packed town hall showcases finalists for Austin Public Health director

A town hall Wednesday night showcased the two finalists running to become Austin Public Health’s next director. Stephanie Hayden, the current interim director, and Dr. Philip Huang, with the department’s Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Division, are the two remaining candidates vying to lead the department that manages a variety of health-related issues in the city, including immunizations...
79-year-old woman safe after being reported missing, police say

79-year-old woman safe after being reported missing, police say

8:45 a.m. Thursday: Austin police say 79-year-old Herminia Gomez, who was reported missing Wednesday, has been found and is safe.  Wednesday: Austin police are asking for the public’s help in finding a 79-year-old woman that went missing in North Austin.  Herminia Gomez was last seen Wednesday about 1:30 p.m. near the 300 block of Home Place, officials said. She...

Austin police ID man killed in Monday shooting, name officers involved

Austin police have identified a man who was fatally shot during an officer-involved shooting on Monday as 23-year-old Thomas Vincent Alvarez. Police also named seven officers who were placed on administrative leave after opening fire on Alvarez as Matthew Henion, DeAndre Wright, Nicholas Grebhart, Benjamin Rogers, Robert Brady, Rafael Rosales and Khristof Oborski. Henion and Wright, both six-year...
Hundreds of Austin-area students walk out in wake of Florida shooting

Hundreds of Austin-area students walk out in wake of Florida shooting

Nearly 500 students at schools across Central Texas staged walkouts Wednesday to demand safer campus policies, call for stricter gun laws and show their solidarity with students in Florida after a high school shooting there that left 17 people dead. The demonstrations came one week after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., and amid a nationwide call for stronger...
Central Health parts ways with firm redeveloping Brackenridge site

Central Health parts ways with firm redeveloping Brackenridge site

Central Health has changed course on its plans to choose one master developer to redevelop the prime six-block site in downtown Austin that was once home to University Medical Center Brackenridge. Travis County’s health district in October had selected Baltimore-based Wexford Science & Technology, one of several contenders, as its preferred partner for the yearslong project, but Central Health...
Vehicle strikes, injures teenage boy near Bowie High School, EMS says 

Vehicle strikes, injures teenage boy near Bowie High School, EMS says 

A teenage boy was struck and injured by a vehicle near Bowie High School in Southwest Austin, Austin-Travis County EMS officials said Wednesday.  The incident happened about 5:41 p.m. The incident was reported at the school’s address at 4103 West Slaughter Lane, officials said.  Medics have reported a trauma alert for the teenager, who is being taken to St. David’s South Austin...
Man charged with shooting Judge Julie Kocurek takes witness stand

Man charged with shooting Judge Julie Kocurek takes witness stand

The man charged with hatching a plan to kill Travis County state District Judge Julie Kocurek unexpectedly took the witness stand Wednesday in federal court as he tried to persuade a judge to toss out cellphone records that put him in Austin around the time of the November 2015 attack. At times playful and at other times uncooperative, Chimene Onyeri, 30, described the events that preceded his arrest...
State of the City: Adler pledges to make Austin a global leader

State of the City: Adler pledges to make Austin a global leader

Calling this year “a new Austin moment,” Mayor Steve Adler vowed to make the city a global leader in politics and culture in spite of what he sees as a wider environment of political turmoil. “It seems our country is losing its way in the world,” Adler said during his State of the City address Tuesday evening. “Here in Austin, though, we know who we are. And if we remain...

2 hospitalized, 7 floors evacuated after carbon monoxide leak at the Fairmont Hotel

Two people were hospitalized on Wednesday afternoon after a pizza oven spewed carbon monoxide through several floors of the Fairmont Hotel in downtown Austin. Austin firefighters were called out to the hotel at 3:26 p.m. First responders found high levels of the colorless, odorless gas through the first seven floors of the building, and evacuated everyone from those floors. Two people were taken to...
Man accused of lunging at H-E-B manager with knife

Man accused of lunging at H-E-B manager with knife

A man faces up to 99 years in prison if convicted of lunging at an H-E-B grocery store manager with a knife in Austin after she caught him shoplifting, an arrest affidavit said. Samuel Briseno Jr., 32, of Austin, was charged with aggravated robbery, a first-degree felony. Police were notified at 8:58 p.m. Thursday about the incident at the H-E-B at 14028 U.S. 183 North in Northwest Austin, the affidavit...
Austin police ID man killed in Monday shooting, name officers involved

Austin police ID man killed in Monday shooting, name officers involved

Austin police have identified a man who was fatally shot during an officer-involved shooting on Monday as 23-year-old Thomas Vincent Alvarez. The department also identified seven officers who were placed on administrative leave after opening fire on Alvarez as Matthew Henion, DeAndre Wright, Nicholas Grebhart, Benjamin Rogers, Robert Brady, Rafael Rosales and Khristof Oborski. Henion, a six-year...
Affordable housing advocates push back against latest CodeNext draft

Affordable housing advocates push back against latest CodeNext draft

The most recent iteration of Austin’s land use policy rewrite might give a sigh of relief to neighborhood activists, but it does nothing for affordable housing, affordability activists said Wednesday. Representatives of Habitat for Humanity, Austin Housing Coalition and Austin Cooperative Business Association gathered at City Hall to lodge opposition to CodeNext’s third draft, which dialed...
In two days, two handguns left unattended in women’s restrooms at UT

In two days, two handguns left unattended in women’s restrooms at UT

In the space of two days this week, handguns were left unattended in two women’s restrooms at the University of Texas. A holstered pistol was found Tuesday on top of a toilet paper dispenser in a restroom stall at the Graduate School of Business building on the main campus, said Cindy Posey, a university spokeswoman. Then, on Wednesday, a pistol was found in a bathroom at the Commons Learning...
San Marcos police arrest man charged with murder in Virginia

San Marcos police arrest man charged with murder in Virginia

San Marcos police on Wednesday arrested a man wanted on a murder charge in Virginia. Police in Axton, Va., reached out to San Marcos police after they learned that 23-year-old Jake Andrew Lewis, the suspect in the shooting death of Eric L. Adams on Feb. 17, may have been in the Central Texas city. Investigators tracked Lewis down to The Metropolitan apartments at 121 Craddock Avenue. Police said...
UPDATE: Driver who fled traffic stop, endangering deputy, arrested, Williamson Co. sheriff says

UPDATE: Driver who fled traffic stop, endangering deputy, arrested, Williamson Co. sheriff says

8:30 a.m. Thursday update: Williamson County authorities have arrested a man who they said fled a traffic stop Tuesday night and almost dragged a deputy for the second time this month, Sheriff Robert Chody said via Twitter. Chody had posted a video of the traffic stop on Wednesday, which showed a white SUV fleeing a traffic stop in the Liberty Hill area, while Deputy Tabitha Horseman and another...
LATEST: Travis County flu death toll hits 39, officials say

LATEST: Travis County flu death toll hits 39, officials say

The flu death toll in Travis County hit 39 this week, continuing what public health officials have described as one of the deadliest flu seasons in recent memory. Austin Public Health spokeswoman Carole Barasch said the majority of deaths so far have been people age 80 and older and that no children have died from the illness. The death toll is now more than double the second deadliest season in...
FLU WATCH: Flu cases in Hays County decline for second consecutive week

FLU WATCH: Flu cases in Hays County decline for second consecutive week

Positive flu cases in Hays County dropped off for the second consecutive week in mid-February, according to county officials. Authorities said 107 positive case were reported between Feb. 14 and Feb. 20, which was down from 275 cases the week before, and 366 the week before that. No additional deaths have been reported. “Hopefully, this signals the down-slope of the peak Flu season, but Flu...
Wimberley man released after jailed by ICE in Hays County

Wimberley man released after jailed by ICE in Hays County

A Wimberley man who was booked into the Hays County Jail on misdemeanor charges and handed over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement was released from federal custody on Tuesday. Victor Avendano-Ramirez, 46, was arrested by Kyle police on Jan. 31 during a traffic stop. Police said Avendano-Ramirez had two outstanding warrants for his arrest from 2014 and 2015. One was for driving without a...
NEW INFO: Man arrested after I-35 SWAT standoff now tied to bank robbery

NEW INFO: Man arrested after I-35 SWAT standoff now tied to bank robbery

A San Antonio man who was arrested after a three-hour SWAT standoff with police that closed Interstate 35 Monday night is now accused of robbing a bank earlier this month, New Braunfels police said. Ruben Ramirez Jr., 46, was taken into custody Monday after police said he robbed a Lowe’s home improvement store, led authorities on a chase and refused to stop for officers until they threw...

Community news: Blood bank reports shortage of O negative blood

TRAVIS COUNTY AUSTIN Donate O negative blood We Are Blood is seeking healthy donors with blood type O negative to help combat a recent shortage. After traumas over the weekend, the already-low O negative blood supply took a decline. We Are Blood also has seen lower than usual donations, likely due to the ongoing cold and flu season. O negative blood is the universal blood type that can be transfused...
TONIGHT: Public can meet finalists to lead Austin health department amid flu crisis

TONIGHT: Public can meet finalists to lead Austin health department amid flu crisis

In the midst of one of the deadliest flu seasons in recent memory, Austin will soon make a decision on who will be the next person to helm its Public Health Department. The community on Wednesday night will have a chance to weigh in on the two finalists for the job: the department’s interim director, Stephanie Hayden, and its medical director and health authority, Dr. Philip Huang. The candidates...
Preschool program benefits foster children

Preschool program benefits foster children

Students at Xplor Preschool at Circle C in Southwest Austin partnered with Carrying Hope to provide essentials to infants in need. From left, Madison Rasp, Helen Giarratani and Harmony Morgan, who are “junior counselors” for the school, fill backpacks with essential items they bought to create “Hope Packs” for Carrying Hope. The preschool collected 1,250 diapers and 14 cans...
Abbott orders flags lowered to half-staff in honor of Billy Graham

Abbott orders flags lowered to half-staff in honor of Billy Graham

Gov. Greg Abbott ordered Texas flags lowered to half-staff Wednesday in honor of iconic Christian evangelist Billy Graham, who died Wednesday at 99. Here’s Abbott’s statement on Graham: “The Rev. Billy Graham left an indelible mark on America and the world. His passion to serve God and share His love touched countless Texans over the years. From his first major event in Fort Worth...
Study: Austin indisputably the best! (among state capitals, at least)

Study: Austin indisputably the best! (among state capitals, at least)

Move over, Madison. Back off, Boise. Lump it, Lincoln. Who’s No. 1? That’s right, Austin is. Don’t you forget it. The new study by WalletHub, 2018’s Best State Capitals to Live In, might not be the most exclusive list — NYC, L.A., San Francisco and even other Texas rivals aren’t in the running — but the key point is Austin has found a list that it can dominate...
Some Ohio school districts arm staff, but don't tell public 

Some Ohio school districts arm staff, but don't tell public 

Several school districts in Ohio have armed staff and teachers in an effort to prevent school shootings, but some of those districts have not told parents, students and taxpayers about the firearms in their buildings. On Wednesday, President Donald Trump said that if one of the victims, a football coach, in last week’s Florida school shooting had been armed “he would have shot...
NC woman wins $1 million scratch-off jackpot

NC woman wins $1 million scratch-off jackpot

Winner, winner, before that chicken dinner. A North Carolina woman is $1 million richer after buying a scratch-off ticket while purchasing her meal, WRAL reported. Sayanna Bragg bought a dozen chicken wings and a soft drink at a Durham convenience store and decided to purchase a Million Dollar Fever scratch-off ticket.  When she got to her car, Bragg began to scratch the ticket. “When...
Georgia dad, daughter sing their way to more Girl Scout cookie sales

Georgia dad, daughter sing their way to more Girl Scout cookie sales

Who knew Childish Gambino’s “Redbone” would make good Girl Scout cookie-selling music? A father and daughter team from Georgia created a viral video in which they ride in the car while subbing out the song’s original lyrics to push Girl Scout cookies. The song is performed by Grammy-winning Georgia artist Childish Gambino aka Donald Glover. Seymore Harrison Jr. and his...
67-year-old Jane Seymour poses for ‘Playboy,’ ‘I feel much sexier now’

67-year-old Jane Seymour poses for ‘Playboy,’ ‘I feel much sexier now’

Elegant actress Jane Seymour is about to grace the pages of “Playboy” magazine at 67-years-old. >> Read more trending news  The former Bond girl took to social media Wednesday to share a modest photograph from her upcoming spread in the iconic men’s magazine. “I’m thrilled to finally share this with you! I was recently photographed and interviewed in my home...
One Texas city is getting a taco fest. But it’s not Austin

One Texas city is getting a taco fest. But it’s not Austin

Taco fest? Yayyyy. Not in Austin? Boooo. Austin’s Central Texas neighbor and taco war adversary, San Antonio has announced Taco Fest: Music y Más, a new food and music festival to be held in April, the San Antonio Express-News reports.  The festival is set to feature the tortilla-wrapped creations of more than 30 taco vendors and 20 live music acts. According to the...
5 Austin spots to get both chili and a margarita

5 Austin spots to get both chili and a margarita

Sometimes things just work out.  Today is both National Margarita Day and National Chili Day. That’s Texas’ official state dish and unofficial, but mostly official, state drink. Sounds like a meal if I’ve ever had one.  Because we live where we do, you don’t have to choose which favorite you’ll honor by celebrating today. You can do both! Here are five spots...
Here are tips on keeping a snake-free yard

Here are tips on keeping a snake-free yard

Forget about "Snakes on a Plane," we're more concerned with snakes in the yard. Even though snakes are nowhere near as prevalent as our irrational fears would have us think (assuming you don't live smack dab in the middle of rattlesnake territory), if you're a homeowner with a bit of landscape or yard under your direction, you may encounter snakes on occasion. That should be no biggie...
Father intentionally killed 5-year-old son, police say

Father intentionally killed 5-year-old son, police say

A father is in custody after police say he intentionally killed his 5-year-old son at a DeKalb County, Georgia, home Wednesday night. It was not immediately clear what led to the homicide or how the boy was killed. According to police, the child lived at a home on Rocky Pine Drive in Lithonia with his grandmother. His parents drove from California for an unannounced visit Wednesday, authorities...
Seasonal allergies could be affecting your pets

Seasonal allergies could be affecting your pets

The weather in some parts of the country is not helping people with allergies, and your pets could also be feeling the effects of the high pollen (and other allergens) count.  >> Read more trending news  Pets are often sniffling grass, other pets and the ground. They are also much closer to where the allergens can sit, so they could be more exposed to more allergens, such...
Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux's relationship had issues before marriage, report says

Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux's relationship had issues before marriage, report says

Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux may have been doomed from the start. A new report in People claims that the celebrity couple’s relationship was riddled with issues even before they got married. “Ever since they became serious, the living issue often made them bicker. It was always hard for Jen to understand why Justin didn’t like, or at least could learn to like...
Tennis champ Serena Williams reveals she ‘almost died’ after giving birth to first baby

Tennis champ Serena Williams reveals she ‘almost died’ after giving birth to first baby

Tennis champion Serena Williams revealed she “almost died after giving birth” to her first child, daughter Olympia, last fall, according to a column by Williams on CNN.com.  >> Read more trending news  Williams had a relatively easy birth Sept. 1, 2017, delivering her daughter by C-section, but two hours later, she was in a fight for her life that lasted six days,...
What is Graves’ disease? Wendy Williams opens up about her condition

What is Graves’ disease? Wendy Williams opens up about her condition

Fans of the “Wendy Williams Show” will have to watch re-runs for nearly a month, because the media maven is taking a three-week hiatus to treat her Graves’ disease.  >> Read more trending news  She made the announcement on air Wednesday, revealing that her doctor is requiring her to take a break from work to “get her levels and medication in sync,&rdquo...
This Austin therapy dog comforted an entire community after the Florida school shooting

This Austin therapy dog comforted an entire community after the Florida school shooting

Kermit, who normally lives his life as a therapy dog in Austin, expanded his reach to comfort a community grieving after a shooting that left 17 people dead in Florida last week. Kermit’s owner, Melissa Unfred, said it “just so happened” that she and Kermit were in Florida last week.  “Kermit and I drove to Parkland today to provide comfort to their community as they...
Ten Lake Travis school board candidates line up

Ten Lake Travis school board candidates line up

Ten individuals have thrown their hat in the ring for candidacy in the May 5 Lake Travis school board election - six for full terms and four for the unfinished term of recently resigned board member Alex Alexander. Running for Place 1 are incumbent candidate Guy Clayton and resident David Lovelace. Running for Place 2, the seat being vacated by board member Lisa Johnson are Daniel Gonzales, Jan Moreland...
Inside Billy Graham’s friendship with LBJ

Inside Billy Graham’s friendship with LBJ

After news of the Rev. Billy Graham’s death broke Wednesday morning, the LBJ Library paid tribute to the pastor by sharing pictures of him alongside “close, personal friend” former President Lyndon B. Johnson.  According to the library, Graham not only spoke at every prayer breakfast during Johnson’s presidency but often conducted religious services at Johnson&rsquo...
Sneaky ways to save money on your next road trip

Sneaky ways to save money on your next road trip

You hop in the car with a few friends or the family and a mere 1,000 miles later you're down $400 when you only intended to spend $150. What happened? Probably just a few overruns on the road trip budget. With a little effort, you'll find it's just as simple and sometimes even more pleasant to take a road trip that will save you hundreds. Credit Donkey shared the secret to saving money on road trips...
REVIEW: I tried Whole Foods’ viral sandwich

REVIEW: I tried Whole Foods’ viral sandwich

Whole Foods' answer to "But what about bacon?" is the TTLA: a vegan BLT, made with tempeh bacon, avocado, tomato, lettuce and vegan garlic aioli.  And it’s also, according to some, a life-changer.  The sandwich went viral after actress Tabitha Brown posted a video of herself literally singing its praises to Facebook in January. “Honey, I’m looking around and stuff...
Don't try this at home: Top home repairs that aren't DIY

Don't try this at home: Top home repairs that aren't DIY

Everyone wants to feel self-sufficient, and even those with deep pockets find it's a good idea to stick to some kind of home maintenance budget. If you chuckled at the thought of having "deep pockets," you're probably even more concerned with controlling costs on the home front. But frugal isn't always better, even if you have monster DIY skills. "When it comes to doing your own home...
UT student claims pistol left in bathroom as a second pistol turns up

UT student claims pistol left in bathroom as a second pistol turns up

A holstered pistol left Tuesday in a women’s bathroom at the University of Texas McCombs School of Business has been claimed by a student who has a license to carry a handgun, according to UT police. Meanwhile, the police said Wednesday that they received another report of a pistol found unattended in a women’s bathroom, this time at the Commons Learning Center on UT’s Pickle Research...
Relive it: Astros championship trophy returning to Austin

Relive it: Astros championship trophy returning to Austin

Houston Astros fans, it’s only 36 days until Opening Day, and while you might be counting the 52,000 minutes until your world champions face the Texas Rangers on March 29 … just hold on. There’s no reason to leave the 2017 season behind just yet. The Astros Championship Trophy Tour is making one more run through Austin next week, giving fans another chance to pose with the Commissioner&rsquo...
WEATHER UPDATE: Scattered showers bring ¼ inch of rain to Austin

WEATHER UPDATE: Scattered showers bring ¼ inch of rain to Austin

5 p.m. update: Austin has received about a quarter-inch of rain so far as scattered showers roll through the city. A rain gauge on Waller Creek at East 12th Street recorded 0.24 inches of rain since midnight. Rain chances, which were 90 percent for most of Wednesday, will drop to 40 percent at 6 p.m. The likelihood of rain will stay at 40 percent for the rest of the day, then rise to 70 percent for...
Michelle Obama praises 'Black Panther' on Twitter: 'I loved this movie'

Michelle Obama praises 'Black Panther' on Twitter: 'I loved this movie'

Former first lady Michelle Obama tweeted a shoutout Monday to the new Marvel superhero film, “Black Panther.” “Congrats to the entire #blackpanther team!” she tweeted. “Because of you, young people will finally see superheroes that look like them on the big screen. I loved this movie and I know it will inspire people of all backgrounds to dig deep and find...
'I am not a crisis actor': Florida teens fire back at right-wing conspiracy theorists

'I am not a crisis actor': Florida teens fire back at right-wing conspiracy theorists

Welcome, Parkland shooting survivors, to the ugly world of politics in 2018. In the aftermath of last week's school shooting in Parkland, Florida, some of the most powerful testimonies have come from the teenagers who survived the rampage. They have repeatedly detailed their harrowing experience to national news networks, many calling for stricter gun control laws while decrying President Donald Trump...
Weeping yaupon, like a living piece of art

Weeping yaupon, like a living piece of art

The weeping yaupon holly is beyond stunning right now. No, the weeping plant wasn’t nuked or genetically modified to obtain that graceful appearance. It was found naturally and native and then simply propagated vegetatively by cutting. Yaupons are native geographically in almost a third of North America. Botanically speaking they are Known as Ilex vomitoria with the weeping type known as Ilex...
Bring your personality to life in your decor

Bring your personality to life in your decor

The secret to creating a beautiful home isn’t in cloning a big-name designer’s style, or washing a room in the latest trend. It’s about thoughtfully constructing a space that celebrates the people who live there. Our design choices should not only be inspired by today’s “it” color palettes or furniture styles, but by the opportunity to bring to life the story of...
The 9 affordable buys that make every first home look expensive

The 9 affordable buys that make every first home look expensive

Whether you’re moving into your first apartment or a new rental, there’s always a myriad of things to consider. But perhaps the first and foremost is your budget. While your stylish eye wants all the designer pieces, your frugal purse is looking at those luxury look-alikes with an affordable price tag. But you don’t have to declare war with your bank account — it is possible...
How fungi grow in forest, lawns

How fungi grow in forest, lawns

I discovered fungi in the coastal forests of Northern California. There I came to recognize the mushrooms, lichens and liverworts, all small primitive plants you might not notice. What makes fungi different is they cannot photosynthesize like green plants because they lack chlorophyll. That’s why edible mushrooms are cultivated in darkness. Due to the primitive nature of fungi, it’s doubtful...
Insider secrets to online design — and an awesomely eclectic home

Insider secrets to online design — and an awesomely eclectic home

SEATTLE — Granted, Hayley Francis holds a couple practical advantages over the rest of us run-of-the-mill do-it-ourselves-ers. Professionally, Francis is the Trend & Design manager of The Mine, a Kirkland-based online home-furnishing company with an uncanny knack for … well … trends and design. It’s fair to assume she is rather plugged-in to cool things. Genetically, her...

Set of chairs is attractive and functional, but not antique

Dear Helaine and Joe: I am looking for information about a set of chairs I purchased a few years ago. They were found in a barn, covered with layers of dust, and the owners sold them to me. The seats appear to have been recovered at some point. One is a captain’s chair, and there are five others without arms. There is a paper label on one that reads, “Square Brand, Burlington, Iowa.&rdquo...
Manchaca vs. Menchaca: Step closer to renaming South Austin road

Manchaca vs. Menchaca: Step closer to renaming South Austin road

It’s always been a head-scratcher for outsiders — Austinites pronouncing Manchaca Road as “MAN-shack.” But after decades of confusion, will Austin finally get it right? After six years and more than $24,000 raised, retired Judge Bob Perkins certainly hopes so. Since 2011, he’s been a champion for Texas Revolutionary captain José Antonio Menchaca, who Perkins...
Queen Elizabeth surrounded by fashion royalty at her first London runway show

Queen Elizabeth surrounded by fashion royalty at her first London runway show

This year’s London Fashion Week ended with the biggest name in fashion meeting the biggest name in London. >> Read more trending news  Queen Elizabeth II made quite the splash Tuesday as she sat next to Vogue’s infamous editor-in-chief Anna Wintour in the queen’s historic appearance at a fashion show. Her Majesty came dressed to impress in a pastel blue coat and jacket...
Mayor Adler’s State of City address covers taxes, CodeNext and Russia

Mayor Adler’s State of City address covers taxes, CodeNext and Russia

Austin Mayor Steve Adler delivered Tuesday a State of the City address that blamed the state for continual rises in property tax bills, touted the numerous amount of road projects ahead that will — hopefully — improve traffic and vowed to make Austin a global leader. In an address that checked in at about 42 minutes, Adler hit on many of the big challenges facing the city, including CodeNext...
These are the records 'Black Panther' has smashed so far

These are the records 'Black Panther' has smashed so far

“Black Panther” has taken theaters by storm, breaking box office goals.  Over the Presidents Day weekend, the Marvel flick made a whopping $242 million, much more than the $150 million predicted.  >> Read more trending news  That wasn’t the only success the film saw. It also made history for Marvel, on social media and beyond. Here’s a list...
Williamson County approves its first fire marshal

Williamson County approves its first fire marshal

Williamson County now has a fire marshal. Commissioners on Tuesday appointed Marty Herrin, the chief of the county’s HazMat team, to the new position. Herrin said he will be able to investigate fires in the county that are outside the cities. The county fire marshal also will inspect businesses when there are complaints about fire safety hazards, including not having two exits, he said. The...
Austin council member denied a visit with asylum-seeker in detention

Austin council member denied a visit with asylum-seeker in detention

Advocates for a suicidal woman held at an immigrant detention center in Taylor who has alleged she was sexually assaulted by a guard have stepped up pressure on officials to release her amid reports that her health was declining. Austin City Council Member Greg Casar issued a news release Tuesday asking for the release of Laura Monterrosa, but officials refused to allow him to visit her in the afternoon...
Read the text of Mayor Steve Adler’s State of the City address

Read the text of Mayor Steve Adler’s State of the City address

Below is the prepared text for Mayor Steve Adler’s State of the City address. This text was provided before the mayor’s speech began Tuesday evening at City Hall, and his spoken remarks may deviate from this format. Follow our live coverage on Twitter by @PhilJankowski and @Connor_Brown1. *** Mayor Pro Tem and my colleagues on the Council, Manager Cronk, distinguished guests, and fellow...
Austin City Council member not allowed to visit woman in detention

Austin City Council member not allowed to visit woman in detention

5 p.m. update: Prison officials have refused to allow Austin City Council Member Greg Casar to visit Laura Monterrosa at the T. Don Hutto Residential Center, Casar said. He said he was told it was because he was a public official who might talk to the media before or after the visit. Casar also said U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials had called him while he was driving to the center...
Missing Uber, Lyft driver found at LA hospital

Missing Uber, Lyft driver found at LA hospital

A California man who worked for two ride sharing services and had been missing for more than a week was found Monday night in a Los Angeles hospital, KABC reported.  Joshua Thiede, an Uber and Lyft driver, was last seen around 11:30 a.m. Feb. 11 in Los Angeles, KABC reported. The next day, his mother said a 911 call had been made from his home but the caller had hung up. On Monday,...
Officials: Woman started massive blaze after losing home in divorce

Officials: Woman started massive blaze after losing home in divorce

Authorities said a Georgia woman accused of setting a fire that spread to 19 houses started it in the house she lost in a divorce. Paulding County fire officials said Adrienne Satterly, 41, of Hiram, stacked a pile of mattresses in the living room of the home, on Rosemont Court in Hiram, early Sunday morning. She then lit the mattresses on fire and left the house with her two cats, fire officials...
Travis County invites developers, land owners to pitch courthouse plan

Travis County invites developers, land owners to pitch courthouse plan

Travis County Commissioners on Tuesday voted to seek out a land owner and developer team to build the county’s civil and family courthouse facility. The courthouse would replace the 85-year-old Heman Sweatt Travis County Courthouse, which officials have said is overcrowded and dilapidated. Voters in 2015 rejected a $287 million bond package to build a new one at 308 Guadalupe St., sending county...
Police ID pedestrian struck and killed Feb. 6 in Southeast Austin

Police ID pedestrian struck and killed Feb. 6 in Southeast Austin

Austin police have identified a pedestrian that was fatally struck by a vehicle in East Austin earlier this month as 38-year-old Mark Antonio Rodriguez. Police say Rodriguez was hit by a Chrysler 300 as he crossed in the middle of the 7300 block of East Riverside Drive near Uphill Lane on Feb. 6.  Rodriguez was taken to St. David’s South Austin Medical Center, where he died from his injuries...
911 dispatcher dies in crash; husband hears emergency call on scanner 

911 dispatcher dies in crash; husband hears emergency call on scanner 

A Minnesota man listening to emergency dispatch audio learned that his wife, a 911 dispatcher, was killed in a crash with a wrong-way driver as she headed for work, the Star Tribune reported. Jenna L. Bixby, 30, died Saturday night in the head-on crash in the Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Park, authorities said. Her husband, Daniel Bixby, was listening to the audio that first reported the crash...
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