8:53 PM Oct 30, 2019 CDT

Toll rate increases stir up debate at Central Texas mobility agency

Two proposals to increase toll rates on some area toll roads were met with hesitation by a few board members from the Central Texas agency that oversees toll facilities.

Bank of America moves 140 employees to new Third + Shoal offices

Bank of America held an open house for clients Sept. 26 at its new location, 607 W. Third St., Austin. Bank …

Uncle Billy's Brewery and Smokehouse relocating to Dripping Springs

Uncle Billy’s Brewery and Smokehouse, located at 1530 Barton Springs Road, Austin, announced its closure on Oct. 21. The restaurant and brewery will relocate to Dripping Springs “in the coming weeks” according to a company social

Not all parolees released from Texas prisons have to come to Austin, despite one city official's claim

Lori Pampilo Harris, the city’s homelessness strategy officer told City Council during an Oct. 29 work session that some of the influx of people coming to the city’s downtown homeless shelter was owed to a state system in which anybody released from prison in Texas is sent to Austin. The system, Pampilo Harris told council members, required those recently released from prison to check in with the Austin Transitional Center, then required them to stay in the area for a specific amount of time.

Mother-and-son volunteer group places over 300 plants along Austin's Butler trail

Westlake’s Young Men’s Service League chapter completed its Ultimate Gift Project on Oct. 26, planting more than 375 plants along a section of Austin’s Butler Hike and Bike Trail at 1200 W. Cesar Chavez St. The goal of the annual Ultimate Gift Project is for the entire chapter to work together on a transformational project that would positively impact the community, the release stated. The mother-and-son volunteer group worked alongside Austin’s Trail Foundation to construction a 0.5-acre tree-planting project on one of the trail’s more underutilized lawn areas, according to a press release. The pilot project consisted of planting 350 trees native to Central Texas including native canopy, understory trees and woody shrubs.

Community members, parents push back against AISD plan for school consolidations and closures

At a community meeting at Northeast Early College High School on Sept. 30, Cuitlahoc Guerra, a community member and teacher, gave an emotional speech in both English and Spanish to Austin ISD staff and administrators.  Guerra laid out the reasons he saw AISD’s plan to close seven schools east of I-35 as inequitable.

Tex-mex restaurant El Mercado weathers 34 years of change

Tony Villegas, owner of El Mercado, said he remembers the first 15 years of running the Austin Tex-Mex restaurant as the golden era.

Aerial arts studio Sky Candy operates with mission to welcome all

Growing up in New York, Winnie Hsia did not have access to dance or gymnastics classes, and team sports did not appeal to her.

Total Project Connect costs could range from $4.7B-$9.8B for expanding transit in Austin area

Capital Metro officials released the estimated costs and potential ridership numbers Oct. 29, a day ahead of a joint meeting with city officials, to discuss expanding transit in the Austin area.

Travis County commissioners receive update on jail population, bond program amid scrutiny

Following scrutiny of Travis County’s bond system, members of the jail population monitoring group told commissioners public data does not accurately reflect who is in custody.

Travis County commissioners approve restrictive covenants for Palm School site

After months of development and soliciting public input , the Travis County Commissioners Court voted 4-1 to approve a set of restrictive covenants—essentially guidelines for future use that will apply regardless of who ultimately owns the property—that will apply to the Palm School site in downtown Austin.

Bee Cave officials clear record on news report regarding housing for people experiencing homelessness

Update: Bee Cave City manager Clint Garza said at around 6 p.m. Oct. 29 he spoke with Rodney Gonzales, Austin's assistant city manager. Garza said Gonzales told him the city of Austin is not looking to purchase property inside Bee Cave's incorporated limits.

One year after boil-water notice, Austin Water implementing changes in tech and process

One year ago, the city of Austin was placed under a weeklong boil water notice due to water-quality issues in the Colorado River caused by flooding locally and upstream.

Texas governor, ‘following through on promise,’ tells TxDOT to clear homeless encampments under Austin highways starting Nov. 4

Homeless encampments under Austin’s highways will be cleared beginning Nov. 4, according to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s office, which said Oct. 29 that the governor was “following through on his promise” to step in and address Austin’s homelessness situation.

McGuire Moorman Hospitality to open three new Austin restaurants in 2020

McGuire Moorman Hospitality will open three new restaurants: Neighborhood Sushi in the former Little Brown & Barrel space at 1716 S. Congress Ave. in 2020; Sammie's, an Italian-American spot in the former Hut's Hamburgers space at 807 W. Sixth St., in late 2020; and Favorite's Pizza, in the former Favorite Liquor & Wine space next door at 801 W. Sixth St., in late 2020; McGuire Moorman owns many restaurants around town, including Perla's Seafood, Josephine House and the recently reopened Swedish Hill .

Travis County becomes second Texas county to adopt environmental purchasing policy

Travis County became the second county in the state to adopt a purchasing policy that prioritizes pollution prevention and environmental friendliness.

New Texas law legalizing hemp causes local enforcement haze

A new state law that took effect in June intended to help Texas farmers produce industrial hemp has taken local law-enforcement agencies by surprise, officials said.

23 things to do in Central Austin this October and November

From Halloween fireworks to the ThunderCloud Subs Turkey Trot, here is what's going on around in Central …

Transportation updates to know in Central Austin

New bike lanes are opening along Shoal Creek Boulevard, speed limits have changed on some major Central …

Hi, How Are You Project celebrates Daniel Johnston's life and encourages conversations on mental health

On Jan. 22, 2018, Daniel Johnston’s 57th birthday, the Austin music and arts community came together for the first Hi, How Are You Day. Inspired by local musician Johnston, who dealt with mental health challenges throughout his life, Austinites were encouraged to check in on each other and talk about what weighed on them. A concert featured a lineup of Johnston and other local artists, and afterwards, Hi, How Are You Day co-founders Tom Gimbel and Courtney Blanton remembered an outpouring of support coming in from around the world.

Capital Metro to resume rail service to downtown Austin on Nov. 4, expand service to Leander

MetroRail service in and out of downtown Austin resumes Nov. 4, and Capital Metro is also expanding rail service to Leander.

Rock n Roll Rentals celebrates 30-year anniversary

Rock n Roll Rentals, a local business that provides low-cost music equipment rentals, will celebrate its 30th anniversary Sept. 29 at its South Austin location at 1420 W. Oltorf St. Its other location is on Burnet Road. 512-447-5305, ext. 1. www.rocknrollrentals.com

Weekend testimony highlights continued rift among Austinites’ competing visions for new land development code

Hundreds of Austinites spent their Saturday at City Hall to tell the city’s volunteer planning commissioners what they thought about the proposed revision to Austin’s rules governing how city land is used. The testimony highlighted the continued gaps between competing visions for the future of Austin’s land use and housing landscape.