2018 in review: The most-read articles in Round Rock, Pflugerville and Hutto

live pd

With the approval from commissioners secured, the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office have entered into an agreement to appear on the A&E show, ‘Live PD.’ (via Courtesy Fotolia)

1. Williamson County Sheriff’s Office receives go-ahead from commissioners to appear on ‘Live PD’ reality show

With a unanimous vote Jan. 18, Williamson County Commissioners approved a contract to allow deputies with the sheriff’s office to appear on “Live PD,” a reality television show that follows police officers on their daily rides.

Sheriff Robert Chody first appealed to commissioners last week to allow his deputies to take part in filming the show, which airs on A&E and bills itself as “unfettered and unfiltered live access” to a typical night on patrol.

Fogueira Gaucha

Fogueira Gaucha serves endless portions of skewered meat and more for a flat rate during lunch and dinner. (via Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)

2. In case you missed it: 5 new restaurants that have opened in Round Rock, Pflugerville and Hutto

This roundup of five restaurants that opened by June 2018 was the most-read food article of the year.

Toll plaza

Starting Nov. 1 qualified veterans can drive for free on certain Central Texas toll roads. (via Amy Denney/Community Impact Newspaper)

3. Qualified veterans can drive for free on certain toll roads in Central Texas starting Nov. 1

Starting Nov. 1, tolls will be waived for qualified veterans who drive on certain toll roads in Central Texas.

The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority approved its Qualified Veterans Discount Program in July to waive tolls on Toll 183A, Toll 290 and SH 71 as well as the future US 183 South and SH 45 SW projects when those open in 2020 and 2019, respectively.

Round Rock water tower

4. Everything you need to know about Austin’s boil water advisory in Round Rock, Pflugerville and Hutto

Water customers in the city of Austin are currently under a boil water advisory after historic water levels have overwhelmed the city’s water treatment system with tremendous amounts of silt.

On Tuesday morning, Travis County Chief Emergency Management Coordinator Eric Carter told the Commissioners Court the boil water notice for the city of Austin could last up to two weeks, though city of Austin officials have since walked back that assertion.

In Austin’s surrounding communities, the boil water advisory has caused some confusion and concern among water purchasers.

Campaign sings in Pflugerville

PfISD residents voted on an ACC annexation proposal today. (via Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)

5. PfISD voters reject ACC annexation

Pflugerville ISD residents have rejected Austin Community College’s annexation proposal, according to Travis County election returns. With 93.71 percent of votes recorded, the measure was rejected by 53.45 percent of the vote.

Pflugerville’s Costco store is set to open July 26 at 1901 Kelly Lane, Pflugerville. (via Kirby Killough/Community Impact Newspaper)

6. Costco on track to open July 2018 following economic development deal

GALLERY: Take a peek inside Pflugerville’s Costco, set to open July 26

On Nov. 14, Pflugerville City Council approved an economic development agreement allowing plans for the Pflugerville Costco store to move forward.

“It’s no longer speculative—they’re coming,” Pflugerville City Manager Brandon Wade said.

The agreement states the Pflugerville Community Development Corporation, the Travis County Emergency Services District No. 2/Pflugerville Fire Department and the city will provide a maximum of $6.25 million to fund infrastructure costs for the Costco store. The agreement will last 15 years or until the maximum amount is reached, whichever happens first.

Valerie Milo (center) and sons Sammy, 9, and Ben, 6, join over 100 other people outside the Williamson County courthouse to encourage the court to end its contract with T. Don Hutto Detention Center and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement effective Jan. 31, 2019. (via Ali Linan/Community Impact Newspaper)

7. Williamson County cuts ties with ICE and T. Don Hutto detention center

Williamson County Commissioners Court voted June 26 to end its contract with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and CoreCivic Inc. which runs T. Don Hutto Residential Center, effective Jan. 31, 2019.

Commissioners voted 4-1 to end the county’s contract with the center, located at 1001 Welch Street, Taylor, that currently houses women detained—including some 35 moms who were separated from their children—by federal officials at the U.S. border.

Flooded road

The N. Lee St. bridge over Brushy Creek in Round Rock remains closed due to flooding. (via Kirby Killough/Community Impact Newspaper)

8. Portions of roads in Round Rock, Hutto still closed due to high water levels on Brushy Creek

Local officials have closed a handful of roads in Round Rock in Hutto due to flooding caused by heavy rains. Williamson County has received anywhere from 2-4 inches of rain over the past 48 hours, according to the National Weather Service.

Officials caution residents to avoid low water crossings during flooding periods and to actively look for water that may be covering roads. Drivers are advised to turn around if a road is closed or if water is covering the road.

Williamson County rescue teams have conducted two water rescues today, according to a press release issued this morning. One rescue off CR 251 in the Andice area required two occupants of a flooded vehicle to be sent to the hospital.

john restaurant

John Brotherton and Tre Dotson will open Liberty Barbecue in Round Rock. (via Joe Warner/Community Impact Newspaper)

9. John Brotherton and Tre Dotson join forces for new Round Rock restaurant, Liberty Barbecue

A new business is coming to downtown Round Rock, led by two longtime restaurant owners.

John Brotherton and Tre Dotson have joined with partners to start Liberty Barbecue, which will occupy the former Fire in the Hole Pizza space at 103 E. Main Street.

The wood-fired pizza oven will remain while other construction will take place to update the sit-down service restaurant that will seat approximately 80 people.

Paradigm Metals

Paradigm Metals is set to expand to a new Hutto location that is 100,000 square feet large. (via Courtesy Paradigm Metals)

10. BREAKING: Manufacturer relocating to Hutto poised to become one of city’s largest employers

The first tenant announced at Titan Development’s Innovation Business Park is projected to become one of Hutto’s largest employers.

Paradigm Metals, a Pflugerville-based manufacturer, announced at Thursday’s Hutto City Council meeting that the company is moving into a 100,000-square-foot custom-ordered building at the Titan Development project just east of SH 130.

“We’re bringing between 250 and 275 employees — minimum — to Hutto when we move into that building,” said Blain Ogea, chief operations officer for Paradigm Metals. “That right there should be exciting for Hutto.”

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Iain Oldman
Iain Oldman joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2017 after spending two years in Pittsburgh, Pa., where he covered Pittsburgh City Council. His byline has appeared in PublicSource, WESA-FM and Scranton-Times Tribune. Iain worked as the reporter for Community Impact Newspaper's flagship Round Rock/Pflugerville/Hutto edition and is now working as the reporter for Northwest Austin.
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