1. WilCo ranks as one of Texas' healthiest counties
Williamson County ranked as the second-healthiest county in Texas, according to annual survey results released last week. County Health Rankings, conducted by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and evaluates a county’s public health by collecting data on a number of health factors, such as access to healthy foods, rates of teen births, smoking and obesity. Four other counties in Central Texas—Comal, Guadalupe, Hays and Travis—ranked in the top 25 healthiest counties of the 242 Texas counties that were included in the survey. Williamson County has seen little fluctuation and has remained within the top five counties in the survey since 2011.
2. City Council District 5 election canceled
Georgetown City Council voted last week to cancel the May 5 election for the council’s District 5 seat as only one candidate, BBVA Compass bank President Kevin Pitts, has filed to run. Incumbent District 5 Council Member Ty Gipson is not running for re-election. The May 5 election will still include a contested race for the council’s District 1 position when incumbent Anna Eby faces Mary Calixtro for the council seat that represents an area of Georgetown located to the east of I-35 and south of University Avenue and includes portions of Old Town and St. David’s Georgetown Hospital. Early voting will begin April 23 and continue until May 1.
3. County explores highway bypass in southeast Georgetown
Williamson County is in the midst of an 18-month study—called the Corridor C study—to determine the best route for a future roadway that would begin at the intersection of Sam Houston Avenue and Patriot Way in Georgetown and extend east of SH 130 to Hwy. 29 near CR 120. Georgetown and Williamson County officials have said the roadway, which would extend for roughly 3 miles in length in southeast Georgetown, could help relieve traffic through the city’s downtown and improve east-west vehicle travel through the county. Read more here.
4. Georgetown Chamber names new president
The Georgetown Chamber of Commerce has new leadership. The chamber announced March 9 that its board of directors named Jim Johnson as the organization’s new president. Johnson, who previously served as president and CEO of the Lufkin/Angelina County Chamber of Commerce, takes over for Karen Sheldon, who was the Georgetown chamber’s president for four years before retiring in December.
5. SXSW wraps up in Austin
The annual South by Southwest Conference & Festivals ends Sunday in downtown Austin. The conference drew thousands of people to Central Texas for events and panels on film, interactive media and music. Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage of SXSW can be found at www.communityimpact.com/topics/sxsw.
Some highlights from last week:
- Austin Mayor Steve Adler joins a dozen mayors nationwide in fight for net neutrality
- Austin is already planning for the future of autonomous vehicles, according to SXSW panel
- GALLERY: Cedar Park rocket company Firefly Aerospace offers peek into its operations