TxTag accepted in Kansas, staycation ideas, and more things Southwest Austinites should know this week

Austinites can opt for a staycation this summer by visiting one of the many nearby lakes, rivers or parks.

Austinites can opt for a staycation this summer by visiting one of the many nearby lakes, rivers or parks.

Recap the latest Southwest Austin news and see what residents should keep in mind as summer vacation gets underway:

  • APD officers out and about in Southwest Austin
    The Austin Police Department stations district representatives throughout the city to act as the liaison between the department and the residents of the communities they serve. Four officers cover the area of Southwest Austin, known as Region 4. Get to know your district representative here.

  • Texas tolling agencies solidify Kansas agreement
    The state's toll agencies now have an agreement with the Kansas Turnpike Authority to allow the use of Texas toll transponders on Kansas toll roads. Tim Reilly, director of operations for the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority, said TxTag, TollTag and EZ TAG began working on Kansas toll roads in mid-May, and K-TAG may also be used on Texas toll roads as a method of payment. TxTag already works on toll roads in the Houston and Dallas areas.

  • Austin joins legal challenge to sanctuary cities bill
    On Friday morning, June 2, Austin city officials filed as an intervenor in a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the sanctuary city bill. The lawsuit was filed the night before by the city of San Antonio, the Workers Defense Project and the Mexican Legal Defense and Education Fund, or MALDEF. The bill would hold city officials criminally liable for failing to uphold statewide immigration law.

  • Alamo Drafthouse Cinema receives backlash for women-only screening
    All eyes were on Alamo Drafthouse Cinema last week when a sexist email published on Austin Mayor Steve Adler’s personal website berated the theater’s decision to hold a women-only screening of the film “Wonder Woman.” The Austin movie theater chain is well known for its fondness of themed, albeit sometimes less controversial, film screenings or “movie parties.” Check out a roundup of those regular series events here.

  • Schools out for summer
    Schools across the city let out for summer break last week. While many choose to travel to faraway vacation spots, those looking for a nearby getaway, here’s a list of places in and around Austin to enjoy the vacation season.

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.


The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority has named a new executive director. (Courtesy Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority)
James Bass named executive director of Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority

Bass, the former executive director of the Texas Department of Transportation, replaces Mike Heiligenstein, who stepped aside Jan. 24.

A nearly five-year project to improve I-35 in the area of William Cannon Drive and Stassney Lane is set to finish in mid-2021. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)
I-35 news to follow in '21: Work finishing in South Austin, input to be gathered for managed lane projects

While one project in South Austin approaches its final months, the Texas Department of Transportation is gathering input for projects to add nontolled lanes to I-35 over the next several years.

The Texas Legislature is responsible for drawing lines for new state and federal districts. (Ali Linan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Redistricting process affecting every level of government gets underway in 2021

The state's process is largely a political one, while the city's process is left to an independent commission.

Photo of the Travis County sign
Travis County votes to accept application for Silicon Silver development incentives agreement

The company behind the project will be named once it submits an application and pays a $150,000 fee—the same as Tesla paid to apply for its hefty 2020 agreement.

Previous headliners included Cody Johnson, Turnpike Troubadours, Aaron Watson and Mark Chestnutt, among others. (Courtesy KOKEFest)
KOKEFest releases dates in Hutto; Marisol's Mexican Grill taking orders in Georgetown and more area news

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

Alder could open its first units in Southwest Austin this fall. (Rendering courtesy Brandon Miller Group)
New Austin townhome community breaks ground in Oak Hill

Alder could open its first units in Southwest Austin this fall.

See how Southwest Austin's real estate market performed in 2020 compared to 2019. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Those who sold their homes in Southwest Austin in December made $91,000 more per sale than in 2019

See how Southwest Austin's real estate market performed in 2020 compared to 2019.

The school at the end of Sawyer Ranch Road is currently under construction. (Courtesy Dripping Springs ISD)
Dripping Springs ISD's newest school to be called Cypress Springs Elementary, helmed by Principal Kellie Raymond

Cypress Springs Elementary School is named for a group of springs near the district.

Austin ISD reported its highest number of COVID-19 cases the week of Jan. 4, but that number has decreased for two consecutive weeks, according to the district. (Courtesy Austin ISD)
Austin ISD sees 70% drop in on-campus students over past 2 weeks after district asks families to stay home

The district saw a 11,839-student decline in on-campus learning as AISD families opted for online learning from Jan. 12-22.

City officials are facing growing pressure to address the growing visibility of homelessness in Austin. (Olivia Aldridge/Community Impact Newspaper)
Sanctioned homeless camp proposal gains attention from Austin leaders as pressure mounts

Mayor Steve Adler said the urgent need for shelter space and housing could overrule initial objections to sanctioned homeless encampments.

See how COVID-19 continues to impact Travis County. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Despite drop in hospital admissions, Travis County adds 4,039 new COVID-19 cases over past 7 days

Overall, Travis County has reported 65,507 confirmed COVID-19 cases.