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After climbing steadily the past few months, Austin-area gasoline prices finally retreated this week, dropping about 4 cents per gallon as oil prices stabilized. In Austin, the average price for a gallon of unleaded gasoline dipped to $2.77 per gallon, according to GasBuddy.com, a fuel industry website. That's down 4 cents from the previous week's …
 
A federal judge in Austin has dismissed a lawsuit filed on behalf of white students who claimed the University of Texas did not give them a fair chance to apply for admission because of their race. U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman said the lawsuit was barred because it involved the same issues, and was pushed by the same people, as a previous chal…
 
At least a dozen cases of the delta variant, a highly contagious mutation of the coronavirus, have been confirmed in the Austin area in a third wave of COVID-19 cases that is straining local hospitals. The national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday reversed course and urged fully vaccinated people to go back to wearing masks ind…
 
Round Rock police say a man was found dead with gunshot wounds early Monday in a parking lot near Interstate 35 and Texas 45. Police said they responded to a caller reporting gunshots at 6:30 a.m. It is believed the man was shot by the occupants of a pickup that left the scene, according to police. The man's identity was not released and police are…
 
Seven candidates are still in the mix to be the next chief of the Austin Police Department after 39 others were eliminated through an initial screening of applications, city officials said Monday. The finalists include Austin interim Police Chief Joe Chacon, along with six other candidates who have police chief or assistant chief experience. Four o…
 
The Austin school district will offer a virtual option for students in kindergarten through sixth grade this fall, district officials told parents in an email Monday afternoon. The school board is expected to discuss the virtual option at a meeting Monday at 5 p.m., and officials said more details would be released by Friday. See omnystudio.com/lis…
 
When Gov. Greg Abbott issued a directive to the regulators of Texas' power grid earlier this month, he did something that that could be considered unthinkable for a state chief executive who might have his eyes on a higher office in Washington. Abbott called for more — not less — government regulation of the state's electricity market. His orders t…
 
Many shoppers on South Congress Avenue on Saturday chose not to cover their faces to protect against the coronavirus and instead continued post-pandemic practices, a concerning trend Austin area health leaders say has to stop after moving to Stage 4 of Austin Public Health's risk-based guidelines following an uptick in cases. Dozens of maskless Aus…
 
It was Parker Kilpatrick’s first week on the University of Texas pom squad when her hand shot up during the inaugural team meeting. She needed to know one thing. Do I have to straighten my hair? Kilpatrick, who will be a junior this fall, was one of three Black pomdancers on a team of 23 for the 2020-2021 school year. Being the Black girl in the ro…
 
University of Texas professor and Nobel laureate Steven Weinberg, lauded for his work in theoretical physics, died Friday at age 88, the school announced Saturday. Weinberg earned the Nobel Prize in physics in 1979 and wrote dozens of books and papers. Last year he earned the Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics for his leadership and …
 
Next year when you summon Lyft for a ride in Austin, your trip might be driverless. Austin is set to be one of the first markets to offer autonomous vehicles as an option for people who use the ride-hailing service Lyft. Lyft will partner with Ford and Pittsburgh-based autonomous driving company Argo AI on the venture, which is expected to debut in…
 
Austin-Travis County's top health authority on Friday requested that residents return to wearing masks as the area moved back into Stage 4 coronavirus guidelines, a sign of worsening pandemic conditions in Central Texas due to the presence of a highly contagious variant known as delta. Dr. Desmar Walkes, Austin-Travis County's health authority, ann…
 
Austin police will now release video footage from critical incidents, like shootings that involve officers, within 10 business days of the event, the department announced Friday. In May 2020, former Police Chief Brian Manley signed a policy that said footage had to be released within 60 days of the incident. Critical incidents include: Shootings in…
 
When Gov. Greg Abbott issued a directive to the regulators of Texas' power grid earlier this month, he did something that that could be considered unthinkable for a state chief executive who might have his eyes on a higher office in Washington. Abbott called for more — not less — government regulation of the state's electricity market. His orders t…
 
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…
 
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