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In January 2020 — just before COVID-19 unleashed its wrath — Austin-based Tso Chinese Delivery raised $2 million in venture capital and had big plans for expansion. The company, which has two locations, was preparing to open a third store in South Austin, with additional openings to follow. "We put everything on hold," said Min Choe, CEO of Tso Chi…
 
The Austin school district has released an overview of its health and safety protocols for the fall, emphasizing mask-wearing and for parents to keep their kids home if they feel sick or are exposed to COVID-19. Austin Public Health and the American Academy of Pediatrics have recommended everyone, including those vaccinated, wear masks indoors agai…
 
A state appeals court on Thursday rejected Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton's bid to dramatically increase a $9,000 fine levied against the city of Austin for violating a state law by banning firearms from City Hall in 2016. Paxton asked the 3rd Court of Appeals to boost the fine to $5.76 million, arguing that the $9,000 penalty imposed by a trial…
 
A landmark 32-story office tower in downtown Austin is on the market. With its signature tiered design, One American Center at 600 Congress Avenue was built in the early 1980s and has been a fixture on Austin's skyline for nearly 40 years. The tower was put up for sale early last year but was taken off the market not long after the coronavirus pand…
 
A member of the Texas Democratic delegation has returned to Austin from Washington, D.C., to negotiate with Republicans over their voting legislation, h. Rep. Philip Cortez, D-San Antonio, made the announcement Wednesday on Twitter, saying that he intended to "engage in good-faith dialogue about the aspects of the bill that I, and others, think are…
 
Texas and Oklahoma have been talking with Southeastern Conference officials about leaving the Big 12 Conference and joining the 14-team SEC, to permanently changing the college athletic landscape. The Houston Chronicle first reported the possible move, and initially, high-level sources at both Texas and OU were evasive with the American-Statesman. …
 
An imminent change to how online sales taxes are collected stands to devastate Round Rock’s municipal finances and upend its nearly 30-year-old incentive agreement with Dell Technologies that brought the computer maker to the suburb just north of Austin in 1994. That's according to a recent lawsuit filed by Round Rock against Texas Comptroller Glen…
 
Defense attorneys for Rodney Reed continued to call witnesses to the stand Tuesday to bolster their theory that it was not Reed who killed 19-year-old Stacey Stites over two decades ago, but rather her fiancé, Jimmy Fennell. The testimony shared this week was not presented during Reed's trial in the late 1990s in which he was convicted of capital m…
 
Health leaders on Tuesday said all Austin-Travis County residents, including those vaccinated against thecoronavirus, should return to wearing masks in public to avoid a surge in coronavirus cases as the delta variant continues to spread. The Austin area could return to Stage 4 of Austin Public Health's risk-based guidelines as early as Thursday, s…
 
Senate Bill 3 states that a "teacher may not be compelled to discuss a particular current event or widely debated and currently controversial issue of public policy or social affairs." The bill is a follow-up to an already passed House bill that Abbott signed in May. Among the changes in SB 3 is the removal of a reference to the Ku Klux Klan being …
 
A man was killed in Northwest Austinthis month trying to defend his stepdaughter from her former co-worker, who had followed her home, according to police. Aaron David Garza, 18, was charged with murder in the shooting death of 35-year-old Joshua Cooper on July 12, according to an arrest affidavit released Monday. The charge is a first-degree felon…
 
Travis County prosecutors will not proceed with a case against an Austin police officer, saying Monday that an assistant district attorney who initially handled the case failed to disclose favorable evidence to his defense and to colleagues. The case against officer Gregory Gentry was dismissed "in the interest of justice," according to court recor…
 
Hospitalizations and cases of coronavirus are continuing to rise, and on Monday night reached levels that are likely to send Travis County back into the stricter Stage 4 of Austin Public Health's risk-based guidelines, according to Austin Public Health officials. Austin and Travis County on Monday night reached the threshold to enter Stage 4, which…
 
Four Austin startups have combined to raise $58.5 million in separate funding deals in the past week. The largest of the funding deals was raised by Billd, a startup focused on construction material financing, which landed $30 million to expand its product and technology. The round was led by LL Funds and included investment from RJT Credit and Ull…
 
As early as age 6, Walsh Middle School seventh grader Akshainie Kamma has had a fascination for the Scripps National Spelling Bee. This year, the Round Rock 13-year-old was one of 11 finalists in the national spelling event on July 9 in Orlando, Florida, placing seventh. The spelling bee was aired on ESPN 2. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy …
 
A federal judge in Houston on Friday ruled that an Obama administration program protecting undocumented immigrants who were brought into the United States as children is illegal and halted accepting any new applications for the program. The decision comes out of a challenge to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that was filed in 201…
 
A site near Taylor is competing with Austin to land Samsung's $17 billion new chipmaking facility, and the Taylor school district is considering an incentives deal that could give the tech giant a $314 million tax break over 10 years, according to new documents filed with the state Thursday. Filings with the Texas comptroller's office earlier this …
 
Employers in the Austin metro area added more than 8,000 workers to payrolls last month amid what continues to be a fast-paced economic recovery for the region as the coronavirus pandemic wanes. The local unemployment rate for June slipped to 4.4 percent, according to seasonally adjusted figures released Friday by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas…
 
An Army sergeant charged with murder is alleging that he’s getting a raw deal and that the Travis County district attorney has stacked the deck against him in the case. Friction between District Attorney Jose [hoh-ZAY] Garza and Austin police is emerging in the case against Daniel Perry, a former Fort Hood soldier who says he acted in self defense …
 
After the pandemic stopped many businesses in their tracks for months, new stores and services have started to crop up in Westlake over the past several months. Brett Thomas Studio at Westlake, a new hair salon that shares a parking lot with H-E-B off of Loop 360 (Capital of Texas Highway), opened in May. Thomas said the goal was to bring an elevat…
 
El Paso Democratic congressman Joe Moody was removed from his post as speaker pro tempore of the Texas House on Thursday, as Speaker Dade Phelan of Beaumont, exercised one of the few options available to Republicans who remain at the state Capitol to punish quorum-busting Democrats in Washington. Phelan on Thursday also announced that he plans to c…
 
Former Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody has dropped his lawsuit against current Sheriff Michael Gleason that alleged election fraud when Gleason beat him in the November 2020 sheriff's race. Chody's lawyer, Kellye SoRelle, said that the suit was dropped Wednesday because the "whole purpose of filing suit is to get the evidence, which I receiv…
 
After seeking to have absent Democrats arrested, Texas Republicans found another target — asking the Texas Supreme Court to dismiss a challenge by House Democrats that seeks to overturn Governor Greg Abbott's veto of funding for the Legislature. By fleeing Texas, Democrats prevented the proper forum — the special session — from addressing the matte…
 
Austin-Bergstrom International Airport will lose its South Terminal as the Central Texas travel hub is revamped over the next 15 years to increase passenger capacity, the airport announced this week. The terminal will be removed over the next two years to make way for a new concourse that will bring 10 new gates and two new taxiways to the airport,…
 
Travis County on Thursday slid back into the less safe Stage 3 of Austin Public Health's risk-based guidelines after four cases of the delta variant, a highly contagious mutation of the coronavirus, were confirmed in the Austin area this week, according to the Austin-Travis County health authority. Earlier this month, the community was on the verge…
 
Solar panels and other sustainable features are rising in popularity for individual homeowners — Austin is soon to be home to a solar- and alternative-powered community fueled by Tesla technology. The project, called SunHouse at Easton Park, is a partnership between Tesla, Brookfield Asset Management and real estate developer Dacra. It will be the …
 
Texas officials this week added 59 deaths to the toll wrought by the statewide February freeze and the ensuing collapse of the Texas electric power grid. The deaths newly tallied by the Texas Department of State Health Services boost the toll from 151 to 210 deaths, most from exposure to the sometimes subzero temperatures, and others to carbon mono…
 
The family of slain U.S. Army Specialist Vanessa Guillen learned this week that none of more than a dozen Fort Hood soldiers accused of wrongdoing in her case have been removed from the military. Army General John Michael Murray, commanding general for Army Futures Command, met with the Guillen family Tuesday to discuss the results of the completed…
 
State Representative Celia Israel, an Austin Democrat, had different plans for her time on the House floor this week. Israel was set to get married to her partner of 26 years, Celinda Garza, on the House floor Thursday. However, those wedding plans evaporated Monday after House Democrats fled the state to break quorum and put a stop to Republican-l…
 
Austin-based legal technology company Disco is going public, with plans to raise as much as $203 million. The company, which makes an artificial intelligence powered platform to assist legal teams, set pricing terms for its initial public offering of stock in an amended filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The company has declin…
 
Abortion providers filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday that seeks to block a new state law that would ban most abortions in Texas. Senate Bill 8, set to take effect Sept. 1, would prohibit abortions as early as the sixth week of pregnancy, before most women know they are pregnant. Between 85 percent and 90 percent of abortions take place after the sixt…
 
Austin Public Health on Tuesday set a new goal to have 70% of Austin and Travis County residents fully vaccinated against the coronavirus by Sept. 1, an urgent aim just as the average number of new daily cases nearly doubled in one week. Dr. Desmar Walkes, Austin-Travis County health authority, said it was imperative for vaccine-hesitant Austinites…
 
Plans to restart criminal felony jury trials in Travis County since the start of the coronavirus pandemic hit a snag Monday when too many potential jurors were disqualified from the selection phase, forcing a delay of the case. Paul Adams, 38, was scheduled to go to trial this week after he was charged with murder last year. Adams confessed last ye…
 
The Texas House voted Tuesday to send for the Democrats who left the state for Washington, D.C., in a dramatic move intended to block the passage of a GOP priority elections bill — authorizing the use of arrest warrants if needed to compel attendance. Democrats officially broke quorum in the chamber on Tuesday, when the 150-member body convened jus…
 
The city of Kyle will host the La Verde Park and Cultural Trail groundbreaking and street fair from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the intersection of Doherty and Burham. Attendees may park at the Performing Arts Center, 979 Kohlers Crossing. The event will offer community members an opportunity to learn about the unique features that will be included …
 
The city of Austin has expanded the days and hours people experiencing homelessness can access storage bins from the Violet KeepSafe Storage program, which began last year and provides bins to about 170 people to store items for safekeeping. The bins became crucial to those who were evicted from street camps near City Hall last month and could be m…
 
A company affiliated with the Boring Company, Elon Musk’s tunneling and infrastructure transportation company, is buying property in Bastrop County, the latest Austin-area expansion for companies led by the billionaire entrepreneur. Property records filed with Bastrop Central Appraisal District show an entity called Gapped Bass LLC purchased 73 acr…
 
Former state Representative Matt Rinaldi became the next chairman of the Republican Party of Texas on Sunday, one month after Allen West resigned. The State Republican Executive Committee elected Rinaldi, of Irving, to the chairmanship with 34 votes from the 64-member committee. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.…
 
With Austin's office market continuing to rebound from the pandemic, plans are in the works to transform 57 acres in Northwest Austin where 3M once operated a manufacturing plant into a new office campus with more than 1 million square feet of space. Dallas-based Trammell Crow and Los Angeles-based Karlin Real Estate LLC are aiming to build the pro…
 
Taking an admittedly bold step, Democrats in the Texas House left the state Monday afternoon to break quorum and derail GOP plans to pass sweeping changes to election and voting laws during the special session of the Legislature. The Democrats chartered two flights from Austin to Washington, D.C., with the House Democratic Caucus picking up the tab…
 
The city of Austin is expanding the days and hours people experiencing homelessness can access storage bins in the Violet KeepSafe Storage program. The program, which began last year, provides purple bins to around 170 people experiencing homelessness to store items for safekeeping. The bins became crucial to those who were evicted from street camp…
 
Austin-based chipmaker Cirrus Logic is buying California-based Lion Semiconductor for $335 million, an acquisition aimed at adding to the company's product lines and speeding its growth. The boards for both companies have approved the all-cash deal, which is expected to close within 30 days. Cirrus Logic, which has about 800 local employees, makes …
 
In an unexpected boost for Austin residents dealing with rising expenses, the tax revenue rate proposed by city officials for the upcoming fiscal year is well below the maximum increase allowed under state law, while service fees also would increase at a modest rate. For the typical Austin taxpayer and ratepayer, those combined increases, under a p…
 
Outnumbered and with little hope of derailing a Republican voting bill they bitterly oppose, Senate Democrats filed legislation Friday designed to spotlight the path they would take toward making voting easier for Texans. Senate Bill 61, dubbed the Barbara Jordan Fair Elections Act in honor of the late Texas Democratic voting rights icon, would exp…
 
Last month's plea for Texans to conserve electricity — despite seemingly typical mid-June weather — was triggered by breakdowns at some of the same power plants that failed during February’s winter freeze, when extended blackouts contributed to dozens of deaths and millions of dollars in property damage. The repeated problems are heightening concer…
 
With the Legislature's special session only one day away, Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday unveiled 11 issues lawmakers will tackle during the 30-day overtime period — including conservative-pleasing measures on election laws, border security, transgender student athletes, critical race theory and abortion regulations. Abbott also directed lawmakers t…
 
An Austin man accused of participating in the U.S. Capitol riot on January 6th was killed last month after running a red light in West Austin, according to authorities. On June 12th at around 8:14 a.m., 35-year-old Joseph Cable Barnes was riding a motorcycle near the intersection of Loop 360 (Capital of Texas Highway) and Westbank Drive, west of Be…
 
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