South Austin CrossFit gym rebrands, Austin ISD trustees push vote to rename campuses associated with Confederate figures and 4 more things to know this week

The gym formerly known as CrossFit BulletProof is now CrossFit SoChac.

The gym formerly known as CrossFit BulletProof is now CrossFit SoChac.

Austin ISD trustees have delayed a February vote on renaming five campuses associated with Confederate figures. Here's a few more things to know this week.



Capital Metro names Randy Clarke sole finalist for president/CEO role
Capital Metro named Randy Clarke on Jan. 12 the lone finalist to lead the transit agency as its new president and CEO.

Clarke, 40, is the vice president of operations and member services at the American Public Transportation Association. Prior to that, he worked for seven years in various positions with the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority in Boston.

An official start date has not been set, but the board is scheduled to vote on Clarke’s contract at its regular meeting Jan. 29.






Manchaca Road CrossFit gym rebrands, adds new classes
As of Jan. 1, the business formerly known as CrossFit BulletProof is now CrossFit SoChac. Following a recent remodel, the gym, located at 11600 Manchaca Road, Ste. 301, Austin, now features new or upgraded equipment and has more space to offer additional classes, such as weightlifting, according to new owner Tim Tuley.






Feds say Texas illegally failed to educate students with disabilities
A U.S. Department of Education investigation concluded Thursday that Texas violated federal law by failing to ensure students with disabilities were properly evaluated and provided with an adequate public education.

After interviews and monitoring visits with parents, school administrators and state officials, the federal investigation found that the Texas Education Agency effectively capped the statewide percentage of students who could receive special education services and incentivized some school districts to deny services to eligible students.

It also told TEA that it needs to take several corrective actions, including producing documentation that the state is properly monitoring school districts’ evaluations for special education, developing a plan and timeline for TEA to ensure that each school district will evaluate students previously denied needed services, and creating a plan and timeline for TEA to provide guidance to educators on how to identify and educate students with disabilities.





Reimbursement resolution gets ball rolling on county bond, capital improvement projects
Travis County commissioners approved a reimbursement resolution at a meeting Jan. 9 that will allow the county to borrow $4.9 million from existing certificates of obligation funds to start some of the bond projects and capital improvement projects approved by voters in November.

After issuing a request for qualifications, David Greear, assistant public works director for Travis County’s transportation and natural resources department, said the county will select a contractor for the projects. He said the goal is to get the projects started in the next few months.






SLAB BBQ expands to include taproom and private dining area
SLAB BBQ—a barbecue eatery offering sandwiches, specialty plates, sides and a variety of homemade sauces—completed the expansion of its Oak Hill location, 7101 W. Hwy. 71, Stes. E1 and E3, Austin, in November. According to co-owner Raf Robinson, the addition included a taproom featuring 12 beers on draft as well as a large selection of craft beers, cider and wine, as well as a private dining space.






Trustees delay scheduled vote to rename Austin ISD campuses named after Confederate figures
A vote to rename five Austin ISD campuses associated with Confederate soldiers and government officials will be delayed to allow for more time to consider the policies and processes surrounding the decision.

The Austin ISD board of trustees decided at its regular meeting Monday to postpone a scheduled Feb. 26 vote to rename the schools.

In November, the board began discussions about renaming the buildings, which include Zachary Taylor Fulmore Middle School, Sidney Lanier Early College High School, John H. Reagan Early College High School, Eastside Memorial Early College High School at the Albert Sidney Johnston campus and the John T. Allan facility.

Trustees requested administration return to the drawing board and develop a firm methodology explaining how schools are chosen for renaming. Board members will then vote to approve the refined policy at a later date.


By Olivia Lueckemeyer
Olivia Lueckemeyer graduated in 2013 from Loyola University New Orleans with a degree in journalism. She joined Community Impact Newspaper in October 2016 as reporter for the Southwest Austin edition before her promotion to editor in March 2017. In July 2018 she returned home to the Dallas area and became editor of the Richardson edition.


MOST RECENT

The new pedestrian crossing signal should be completed by the end of December. (Courtesy Austin Corridor Program Office)
New pedestrian crossing signal coming to Slaughter Lane at Vinemont Drive

The new signal is a part of Austin’s initiative to improve safety and mobility in the Slaughter Lane corridor.

 Redistricting is one of the items on the Texas Legislature's third special session, and the state Senate released proposed maps on Sept. 18. (Ali Linan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Texas Senate releases proposed redistricting maps as special session begins

Redistricting is one of the items on the third special session, and the state Senate released proposed maps on Sept. 18.

Photo of the Travis County sign
Travis County approves fiscal year 2021-22 tax rate

The newly approved rate, paired with higher home appraisal rates, will result in an increase in taxes for many homeowners.

Photo of people attending ACL Fest
City of Austin approves ACL health and safety plan, holds off on final permit

Austin Public Health gave ACL the go-ahead to allow proof of vaccination in lieu of a negative COVID-19 test, but asked organizers to require masking in some areas.

Hundreds of complaints were logged against the Austin Police Department last year related to protests against police brutality and systemic racism. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
Police oversight office challenges APD handling of most 2020 protest complaints

Austin's Office of Police Oversight objected to several aspects of the police department's approach to classifying and investigating protest-related grievances.

Photo of ACL Fest
Zilker Park closes in preparation for Austin City Limits Music Festival

Zilker Park closes in preparation for Austin City Limits Music Festival

Austin city staff and officials are pursuing additional protections related to mold issues in rental housing. (Courtesy city of Austin)
City pursuing improvements to handling of Austin renters' mold complaints

New recommendations from a report launched in the wake of Winter Storm Uri detail adjustments Austin could make to its mold response.

Students at O. Henry Middle School in Austin head in for their first day of school Aug. 17. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin ISD's COVID-19 rate lower than nearby districts after first month of school

Austin ISD recorded more cases in the first month of this school year than in all of the 2020-2021 school year. Still, Austin ISD saw a lower percentage of cases in students than surrounding school districts.

Wayback Burgers specializes in cooked-to-order burgers and hand-dipped milkshakes. (Courtesy Wayback Burgers)
Wayback Burgers coming to Leander; fire kills 75 dogs in Georgetown and more Central Texas news

Read the latest business and community news from the Central Texas area.

Screen shot of Dr. Desmar Walkes speaking
Austin ICUs remain crowded with COVID-19 patients, delaying some critical care

Within the past week, there was a waiting list of patients to be transferred into Austin-area ICUs, Austin Public Health leaders said.

A drone image shows the Dripping Springs Distilling property where a new event hall opened in August. (Courtesy HLK Fotos)
A bar, a food truck and two other new businesses open in Dripping Springs

A new food truck and distillery event hall, plus two other new businesses are now open in Dripping Springs.

Moxie Gymnastics and Cheer celebrated 10 years in business this summer. (Courtesy Moxie Gymnastics and Cheer)
2 locally owned Southwest Austin businesses celebrate milestone anniversaries

A gymnastics and advertising business celebrated a decade and two decades in business, respectively.