Cap Metro set to hire new leader, flu deaths rise and blood bank seeks Type O: 6 things to know in Central Austin this week, Jan. 8-12

Capital Metro will boost the capacity for its train commuter service, MetroRail, on Sunday, Jan. 7.

Capital Metro will boost the capacity for its train commuter service, MetroRail, on Sunday, Jan. 7.

The regional transit authority Capital Metro is gearing up for big changes in the new year. On Tuesday, the Capital Metro board of directors is set to name its new president/CEO. The organization will give a boost to two of its major services two days earlier.

Here's that and the biggest stories we're following this week in Central Austin.

Capital Metro implements two major service changes

Capital Metro is implementing two significant changes Sunday, Jan. 7, that will boost MetroRail commuter line capacity and increase MetroExpress bus service by 50 percent in the Leander, Lakeline and Austin areas. Changes were approved in September as part of the agency’s investment in expanding MetroRail as well as continuing to implement its Connections 2025 service plan, which outlines service changes for the next 10 years.

Meet the 4 candidates for Cap Metro president/CEO

A public forum is set for Jan. 8 from 6-8 p.m. at Austin ISD’s Performing Arts Center at 1500 Barbara Jordan Blvd., Austin. Capital Metro’s board of directors is holding a specially called meeting Jan. 9 to name the new president/CEO and will approve the contract at its regular board meeting Jan. 29.

Travis County flu deaths on the rise

Austin Public Health reported four additional flu-related deaths have occurred since its report in December, putting the total number of fatalities in Travis County at seven.

Central Texas blood bank faces Type O shortage

We Are Blood is experiencing a critical blood shortage and is in need of donations, especially types O negative and O positive blood, according to organization officials. A recent press release stated donations during the holiday season were lower than anticipated, placing the Central Texas blood supply at a “dangerously low” level.

Ruling issued regarding guns at Austin City Hall

A district court judge's ruling on Dec. 22 provided clarification on a question of whether guns can be carried at Austin City Hall, but the decision will not change the its gun-prohibiting policy.

Increasing rent continues to push some businesses out of Austin

After 42 years, beloved Tarrytown toy store Over the Rainbow will close its doors for good and owner Stanley Moore says it’s for one reason.



Austin, Travis County and Austin ISD officials gathered Sept. 24 to discuss local resilience planning. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin, Travis County, AISD look to build collaboration on community disaster hubs

The governments and school district are looking to grow a network of facilities that can provide resources to residents amid weather emergencies.

Screen shot of Desmar Walkes speaking at a press conference
Austin Public Health eyes possible shift to Stage 4 guidelines

Local health leaders said they want to see the current downward trend of COVID-19 hospitalizations persist before making any changes.

Kyle City Council voted 6-1 and approved the new citywide trail master plan that will utilize 2020 bond election funds for trails that will help connect Austin to San Antonio. (Courtesy Pexels)
CI Nation roundup: Perfect Game coming to Cedar Park; Kyle City Council approves trail master plan to connect Austin to San Antonio and more top stories

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Sept. 24.

Huston-Tillotson University is one of three Austin sites tapped to move toward national historic designation in September. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
East Austin university and high school stadium, Allandale 'air-conditioned village' move toward national historic recognition

The former Anderson High School stadium and Huston-Tillotson University could soon be listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Superintendent Stephanie Elizalde said Sept. 23 though the district has been awarded emergency funding, it has only had access to a fraction of it. (Maggie Quinlan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin ISD superintendent lays out barriers to receiving emergency funding

Superintendent Stephanie Elizalde said while it seems that the district has received "millions and millions," it has been able to use a fraction of granted emergency funds.

Austin is one of five cities worldwide included in the company's new integration. (Benton Graham/Community Impact)
Electric scooter company Bird will now show available Capital Metro bikes in its app

Riding a scooter this weekend? Keep an eye out for Bird’s new integration with Capital Metro’s bikeshare.

Wayback Burgers specializes in cooked-to-order burgers and hand-dipped milkshakes. (Courtesy Wayback Burgers)
Wayback Burgers coming to Leander; former Round Rock Steak N' Shake to become Whataburger and more top Central Texas news

Read the top business and community news from the past week from the Central Texas area.

Kevin Foster, an Austin ISD board trustee, alerted the board Sept. 23 to his concern about a police response at LBJ Early College High School last week. (Maggie Quinlan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin ISD trustee questions police response after hoax 911 call

After a large police response to a falsely reported school shooting last week, one member of the Austin ISD board of trustees is concerned about police scaring students.

The new signs are visible at the intersections of San Antonio Street and Sandra Muraida Way. (Courtesy Austin Transportation Department)
New parking signs in downtown Austin will update number of available spaces for 3 lots in real time

The signs provide real-time parking information for the Austin City Hall, Austin Central Library and Seaholm lots. They will begin to show the real-time data next week.

Several parents of New Caney ISD students spoke at the district's Sept. 20 board meetings about recent allegations that a student brought a firearm to Porter High School's Sept. 18 homecoming dance. NCISD Superintendent Matt Calvert stressed that no gunshots were fired at the event, and that the district is investigating the allegations. (Wesley Gardner/Community Impact Newspaper)
CI Nation roundup: Round Rock ISD trustees considered for censuring; New Caney ISD addresses allegations of student with gun at campus event and more top stories

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Sept. 23.