Travis County files suit against pharmaceutical opioid companies, Pluckers opens first location in Oak Hill and more for South Austinites to know this week

The Pluckers Oak Hill location opening is one of the several news events that broke in Southwest Austin last week.

The Pluckers Oak Hill location opening is one of the several news events that broke in Southwest Austin last week.

New business openings in South Austin and County Judge Sarah Eckhardt's State of the County address dominated the Community Impact Newspaper headlines in South Austin last week. Here's a rundown of what was reported.



Travis County files suit against pharmaceutical opioid manufacturers, distributors and marketers
Travis County filed suit against pharmaceutical opioids companies Feb. 5 claiming the marketing of the drugs has caused harm to the Travis County community and its families.






Endangered Barton Springs salamander found near Dripping Springs’ proposed wastewater discharge point in Onion Creek
The presence of a federally endangered species was recently discovered near the wastewater discharge point proposed by the city of Dripping Springs. Supervising Engineer of the Austin Watershed Department Chris Herrington was unable to say when exactly the species was first discovered outside of its known habitat.






Pluckers now open at Oak Hill Plaza in Southwest Austin
Austin-based sports bar and wing restaurant Pluckers opened Feb. 6 in Oak Hill Plaza. The company’s seventh Austin-area eatery offers signature menu items such as fried pickles, burgers and Pluckers wings with original sauces.






Medical marijuana dispensary in Manchaca now open to eligible patients
Compassionate Cultivation, one of three companies in the state licensed to grow medical marijuana under the Compassionate Use Act signed by Gov. Greg Abbott in 2015, opened to eligible patients Feb. 8.






Judge Sarah Eckhardt provides updates on bond projects, economic development and health care in State of the County
County Judge Sarah Eckhardt addressed county residents, employees and regional leaders Feb. 8 by declaring her goals and desires for 2018 as part of the State of the County address. County bond projects, improvements to eastern Travis County and health care were among the many topics she touched on.


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Will they or won’t they? Austin restaurants split on when to open during coronavirus pandemic

While some restaurants have bunkered down to open at later dates, some Austin restaurants are moving forward with service.

Despite heavy restrictions on public gatherings in place, sizable crowds gathered March 24 on the free side of Barton Springs pool, just hours before Austin's stay-at-home order went into effect. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
Residents have reported 180 violations since Austin area's stay-at-home order went into effect

No penalties have been issued since the order went into effect March 25.

Austin Public Health officials confirmed the first death from the coronavirus in Travis County on March 27. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
First Travis County resident dies from coronavirus

According to public health officials, the woman was in her 70s and had underlying health conditions.

Here is the latest news on stay-at-home orders across the Austin area

Find out if your locale is sheltering in place or what legal consequences the coronavirus is creating in the stories below.

While the agency is still tallying the number of unemployment insurance claims filed thus far in March, in the week prior to March 25, at least 150,000 claims had been filed. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Official: Increase in calls for statewide unemployment benefits is ‘almost vertical’

According to Serna, on an average day the Texas Workforce Commission’s four call centers statewide receive 13,000-14,000 calls; on March 22, the agency received 100,000 calls regarding unemployment insurance benefit inquiries.

A photo of five medical workers wearing hand-sewn masks and holding a sign that reads "Thank you #MakeAMask sewers."
Dripping Springs residents pool efforts to create masks for the Austin area with Make-a-Mask Austin

A Dripping Springs medical administrator drafted people from near and far to make sewn masks for staff on the front lines of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Half of the Austin City Council called in remotely for their March 26 meeting, their first since strict social distancing measures went into effect. (Courtesy ATXN)
Austin economic relief efforts underway for renters, workers and small businesses following series of City Council approvals

Council members said the approvals represent only the start of coronavirus relief work coming from the city.

The Austin Board of Realtors is recommending all of its realtor members suspend in-person real estate showings until further notice. (Community Impact file photo)
ABoR ‘strongly discourages’ real estate showings

The Austin Board of Realtors is recommending all of its realtor members suspend in-person real estate showings until further notice.

(Courtesy University of Texas at Austin)
Central Texas officials: 90% reduction in interaction needs to happen immediately

New modeling from UT shows region could run out of hospital beds without reducing interaction.

The majority of sanitizer produced by Desert Door has since been donated to over 30 different first responders departments across Central Texas. (Courtesy Desert Door Texas Sotol)
Desert Door distilling produces, donates over 1,200 gallons of hand sanitizer to first responders, residents

The majority of sanitizer has since been donated to over 30 different first responders departments across Central Texas.

A man stands in front of a table with Chromebooks and sanitary wipes.
Dripping Springs ISD extends school closures in response to Hays County stay-home order

Dripping Springs ISD has extended virtual learning in response to Hays County's shelter-in-place order.

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