Latest Headlines for Saturday, January 22

First phase of South Lamar bike lanes delayed nearly two years

Work on a major face-lift to South Lamar Boulevard between Riverside Drive and Barton Springs Road was supposed to have been well underway by now, but as those who frequent the stretch know, not much has changed. That’s because the…

County puts millions toward increasing wages for election workers

The Travis County Commissioners Court is investing big in election infrastructure, putting $1.3 million toward a voting system upgrade, including $700,000 to raise wages for all election workers in the county. “The agenda includes significant investments in our electoral system…

Southwest HEB location promises environmental stewardship of Hill Country

A new HEB is on the horizon for Southwest Austin. The store will open its doors sometime this year to the stretch of Hill Country bordered by Oak Hill to the east and Dripping Springs to the west – but…

Leander City Council will decide tonight whether to hold an election on leaving Capital Metro

The Leander City Council is scheduled to vote tonight on whether to hold an election on severing ties with Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority – a move that could end commuter rail service to the suburban community and allow Leander to…

City races to prepare for the next emergency

City Council’s Audit & Finance Committee received an updated report Wednesday on the city’s efforts to prepare for what Assistant City Manager Rey Arellano has described as “complex, cascading disasters,” like the city faced last February during Winter Storm Uri.…

EMS contract talks center on salary and staffing needs

With the city’s rejection of the Austin EMS Association’s proposed wage increase, the two sides now move to the interest-based bargaining phase of negotiations in an effort to achieve common ground on quality-of-life issues such as work-life balance and mandatory…

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New job for Briseño as city announces promotions

City Manager Spencer Cronk has announced the appointment of Veronica Briseño as assistant city manager for the “Government That Works for All” strategic area, starting this week. Briseño has worked for the city for more than 20 years, including an…

Clerk calls out voter suppression under new law

While the authors of Texas Senate Bill 1 call it “an act relating to election integrity and security, including by preventing fraud in the conduct of elections in this state,” Texas Democrats call it voter suppression. At a press conference…

Austin voters to decide on decriminalizing small amounts of weed and banning no-knock warrants in May

Austin voters will be asked in May if they want to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana and do away with no-knock warrants. The former practice is already police policy. In July 2020, the Austin Police Department said it would no longer…

As Bastrop wildfire forces evacuations, Travis County issues burn ban

On Tuesday, the Travis County Commissioners Court unanimously approved a burn ban, beginning Thursday, Jan. 20, at the behest of the fire marshal. The ban comes after a few fires broke out in Travis County over the weekend, and a…

Austin's creeks have many colors – and types of bacteria

This winter, scientists across Austin are observing two types of bacteria in local bodies of water; one looks like orange slime, and another has a rainbow sheen. Despite their interesting appearance, the slime is no cause for alarm, according to…

Council expands virtual participation in city meetings

Due to the omicron variant disrupting in-person city meetings this month, City Council will allow boards and commissions to gather mostly virtually sooner than planned.  Council is set to approve an ordinance today requiring that only one board or commission member…