Give input on a possible 2018 bond; winter storm is coming: Here's 6 things to know in Central Austin this week, Jan. 15-19

TxDOT crews spent Sunday preparing Austin-area roads for a potential winter storm  coming Jan. 16.

TxDOT crews spent Sunday preparing Austin-area roads for a potential winter storm coming Jan. 16.

The Austin area is under a winter storm warning from Monday night through Tuesday afternoon, according to the National Weather Service. Despite the weather, Central Austin residents have other news items to consider. Here's what you need to know this week.

  1. Winter weather preparations begin

Texas Department of Transportation workers spent Sunday morning spraying deicer on highways across Austin in anticipation of Tuesday’s potential winter storm. The department pre-treats the highways days in advance and then waits for the temperature to drop to apply more treatment.

2. Final two public input sessions this week
Every six to eight years, the city government asks the citizenry permission to take out a large loan—to be paid back over 30 years by tax dollars—in order to fund general service projects around the city. For the upcoming 2018 bond election, City Council advised staff and an advisory task force to focus the funding for projects related to transportation infrastructure, affordable housing, existing city facilities, open space and storm water that can be completed in five years.

Here is the schedule for what the Bond Election Advisory Task Force calls its “listening sessions," which run from 6:30-8 p.m.

  • Wednesday, Jan. 17, Millennium Youth Entertainment Complex, 1156 Hargrave St., Austin

  • Thursday, Jan. 18, ACC Campus South, 1820 W. Stassney Lane, Austin

3. U.S. Supreme Court will hear regional gerrymandering case
Further extending a drawn-out legal battle, the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear a case over whether Texas’ congressional and House district boundaries discriminate against voters of color.

4. Austin police contract fallout driving officers to other agencies
The Austin Police Association still hasn’t reached a new contract agreement with the city. While that remains in the air, a Central Texas sheriff’s office is hiring former Austin Police Department officers, who are retiring because of the contract fallout.

5. Area clinics continue to see rise in flu cases
Travis County is no exception to a nationwide rise in flu cases this year, according to a news release from Central Health on Jan. 12.

Up to 90 people per day have sought care for flu-like symptoms at Central Health’s 19 CommUnityCare Health Centers throughout Travis County since mid-December. About three-quarters of the patients tested positive for a flu virus.

6. Special Olympics Texas needs volunteers
Volunteer opportunities are available for Special Olympic Texas’ 25th annual Winter Games, set to take place Feb. 2-4, where more than 2,600 children and adults with intellectual disabilities from across the state will gather to compete in bowling, powerlifting and volleyball.



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