Here's six things Northwest Austin residents need to know this week.
1. Monday is Labor Day
Businesses around Northwest Austin might be closed in honor of Labor Day, and students have the day off. Residents can spend the day relaxing or find ways to donate their time and supplies to help Hurricane Harvey victims, such as attending a CrossFit workout giving proceeds to hurricane relief funding.
2. It might feel a little cooler outside this week
The Austin-area forecast calls for dry conditions and below-normal temperatures, according to Fox 7’s Weather Chief Meteorologist Scott Fisher. There may be a few showers at the beginning of the week as well.
3. No, there’s not a gas shortage
Late last week Texans across the state panicked as gas prices increased following Hurricane Harvey. Though some Houston refineries do remain offline, the national gasoline inventory will prevent a long-term shortage. Although Texans may see a rise in prices, the state will not see a gas shortage.
4. Put down your phones: Texting while driving is now illegal statewide
A new statewide texting-while-driving ban signed into law June 6 went into effect last Friday. The law prohibits drivers from reading, sending or writing a text message, unless the driver is stopped. First offenders caught will be fined $25 and at most $99, and multiple-time offenders will be fined no more than $200.
5. There’s quite a few ways to help out Hurricane Harvey victims
As Houston and cities along the Gulf Coast begin recovery this week from the hurricane, Northwest Austin residents can look for ways to donate goods, services, blood and their homes. Here’s a list of Northwest Austin businesses taking donations.
Mayor Steve Adler is also looking for bilingual residents to translate for non-English speaking evacuees. A least 2,000 evacuees are expected in Austin, and many of them speak Asian languages and Spanish. Volunteers can sign up here.
6. Travis County residents have one more chance to attend a Central Health budget hearing
Last week more than 20 residents made public statements about Central Health’s proposed fiscal year 2017-18 budget at a public hearing. Some residents commended the organization for its support of women’s health, and others voiced their frustration about health care service shortages in northeastern Travis County.
Residents can make final remarks this Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Central Health's offices, located at 1111 E. Cesar Chavez St., Austin.