Road closures, bus detours, increased bus trip frequency and extended MetroRail operations will take place July 4 as the city celebrates Independence Day and Capital Metro aims to accommodate residents and visitors.

Bus route changes

From 8 p.m. to midnight July 4, MetroRapid Route 801 on North Lamar Boulevard/South Congress Avenue and Route 803 on Burnet Road/South Lamar Boulevard will operate on a special 15-minute frequency to accommodate more riders, according to a Capital Metro news release.

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From left: Chris Hamje, John Stecker and Kamon Sams are owner/operators at 4th Tap Brewing Co-Op opening in North Austin.

From left: Chris Hamje, John Stecker and Kamon Sams are owner/operators at 4th Tap Brewing Co-Op opening in North Austin. Amy Denney

Chris Hamje grew up in North Austin, so it made sense to choose his own neighborhood as a location for the brewing facilities of 4th Tap Brewing Co-Op.

“We’re local kids; this is our neighborhood,” he said, adding four of the brewery’s other worker-owners also live in North Austin. “We’re from here and we built this here.”

The brewery is still under construction at 10615 Metric Blvd., but when it opens in late July or early August it will also have a taproom—with air conditioning—open daily to the public. The space will have tables and benches made from pallets and glass windows overlooking the production side.

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Tawny Hammond will be the new Chief Animal Services Officer of the Austin Animal Center

Tawny Hammond will be the new Chief Animal Services Officer of the Austin Animal Center City of Austin, Austin Animal Center

The Austin Animal Center’s new Chief Animal Services Officer Tawny Hammond started her new position in mid-June. With 26 years of public service under her belt, Hammond said June 29 she is ready to enrich the animal welfare program of Austin.

Hammond previously served as the director of the Fairfax County animal shelter in Virginia before relocating to Austin. Impressed by the commitment and thoughtfulness of the city when it came to animal welfare, Hammond said she saw this opportunity as being at the right place at the right time.

“Austin is a beacon of hope for other communities that want to do what we’re doing,” Hammond said.

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Travis County Commissioners Court members were updated on the proposed civil and family courts complex during the court’s June 30 meeting.

Voters will decide in November whether to support the county’s $291.6 million bond proposal to build a new civil and family courts courthouse. There are also plans to develop an adjacent office tower along Fourth Street between Guadalupe and Lavaca streets.

On June 23, commissioners agreed to hold an industry forum and establish a formal process for developing the south portion of the proposed complex. During that process it will be decided whether to develop the office portion at the same time as the courthouse.

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A map of repeat violators of city short-term rental laws can be found online.

A map of repeat violators of city short-term rental laws can be found online. Courtesy city of Austin

Code enforcement on Austin’s short-term rentals will increase as part of a pilot program that kicks off July 4.

The new effort to further regulate short-term rentals comes after increased complaints from city residents, according to a news release. The program also follows a June 18 City Council resolution directing city staff to find ways to increase enforcement of short-term rental laws.

“Residents are encouraged to call 3-1-1 if they suspect there is a nuisance or illegal short-term rental operating in their neighborhood,” said Candice Cooper, Austin Code public information and marketing manager, in a news release.

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