7:00 PM Jul 22, 2020 CDT

Lake Travis resort reopens, Hays County issues burn ban: News from Central Texas

Read the latest Central Texas business and community updates.

$118M in emergency relief funding allocated to support Texas higher education initiatives

The funds will come from the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief, made available through the federal coronavirus relief bill.

Austin to consider lower initial property tax impact for $10B Project Connect plan

Project Connect, if approved, is set to be built in phases, which means Capital Metro and the city do not have to ask voters to fund the entire plan all at once.

Miraval Austin Resort & Spa reopens on Lake Travis following coronavirus-related closure

Miraval has also upgraded its sanitation protocols for guest rooms; removed certain items from guest rooms such as magazines and note pads that are difficult to sanitize; and ramped up cleaning protocols for the resort’s restaurant, public areas and spa.

Q&A: Constitutional law expert discusses COVID-19 orders, enforcement

Seth Chandler, a professor of law at the University of Houston Law Center, spoke with Community Impact Newspaper about local and state governments' responses to the COVID-19 pandemic this year.

As coronavirus cases trend downward, Austin's top doc warns: ‘It’s not time to dance’

July has been a turbulent month for Travis County's battle against the coronavirus.

Enrollment at Westlake High School reaches record high

Enrollment at Westlake High School has topped 2,900 students for the first time in Eanes ISD’s history, according to Superintendent Tom Leonard. Spikes have also occurred at the elementary school level, leading district officials to consider contingency teaching positions.

New position at Eanes ISD aims to help rectify what many recall as legacy of racism

A culmination of troubling and racist behavior from recent Westlake High School graduates, former students testifying to Eanes ISD’s racially problematic past and an international movement have resulted in officials adding a new position to the district.

Lakeway budget talks see staff, officials search for savings through numerous avenues

Lakeway Finance Director Shereen Gendy broke down the city’s financial outlook as of the end of June, which shows so far the city is down in revenue.

Extended moratorium will buy Travis County renters more time; direct assistance on the way in Austin

Evictions in Travis County likely will not resume until at least this fall. However, tenant advocates have said that unless more direct help is offered—such as via Austin's RENT program—the moratorium only delays the crisis.

Travis County reports 603 new coronavirus cases July 21

Despite a recent dip in daily cases confirmed, Austin Public Health reported high daily case counts today.

Austin’s rent assistance program could be here to stay after pandemic subsides

The latest iteration of the city's unprecedented program aims to help 2,000 Austin households per month.

UPDATE: In clarified guidance, TABC now states customers may not drink on brewery patios

In a July 22 update, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission states that breweries may not have customers consume alcohol on patios.

8 things parents, teachers should know as Lake Travis ISD drafts plans for fall 2020

LTISD officials overviewed plans for the 2020-21 school year July 15 during the district’s first in-person board meeting since the start of the pandemic.

UIL releases modified sports calendar for 2020-21 school year

The University Interscholastic League released July 21 modifications to the 2020-21 UIL calendar and updated COVID-19 risk mitigation guidelines that will take effect Aug. 1.

Lakeway officials call November special election

The city of Lakeway has called for a special election Nov. 3 that will allow residents to vote on a number of ballot initiatives.

Centralizing, expanding contact tracing in Texas hits roadblocks as cases rise

One easy way to help out contact tracers? Answer the phone if they call.

Travis County sees dip in new COVID-19 cases July 20

Austin Public Health reported 145 new coronavirus cases July 20.

Election 2020 could resurrect battle over Austin’s homelessness ordinances after petition gains over 24,000 signatures

A new proposal would ask voters whether Austin should reinstate its bans on public camping, sitting and lying down. The bans were at the center of local debate in 2019.

Toxic algae blooms found at Red Bud Isle, Festival Beach

The city is monitoring four spots along Lady Bird Lake for the algae, which killed five dogs in 2019.

Time is running short to extend a $600 benefit that has buoyed Austin's 90,887 unemployed workers

Federal lawmakers are meeting to discuss an extension of the coronavirus relief package that could include additional unemployment benefits.