Stories by Andrew Weber

Thursday, January 28, 2021 by Andrew Weber

Austin buys one hotel to convert into housing for homeless – and puts off purchasing another.

After hours of debate, the Austin City Council OK’d one purchase of a hotel to ultimately house Austinites experiencing homelessness, while delaying the purchase of another until next week. The two hotels – one in North Austin’s District 7 and…

Wednesday, December 23, 2020 by Andrew Weber

Austin’s ailing live music venues could get much-needed money under the new coronavirus relief bill

Live music venues in Austin could see some relief from the new federal coronavirus relief package. The bill, which was passed Monday night, includes $15 billion in relief specifically dedicated to independent venues, theaters and other arts organizations. The bipartisan…

Monday, December 21, 2020 by Andrew Weber

The city is closing shelters it set up for homeless Austinites during Covid. Residents want to know when.

Last Wednesday, Helen Davis was in St. Louis, tired, sore and 825 miles from home without bus fare or a place to stay. As cars whizzed by, she wracked her brain, trying to think of an excuse – something to…

Thursday, December 17, 2020 by Andrew Weber

As active Covid cases rise, officials warn of possible curfew, beg Austinites to have socially distanced holidays

Roughly nine months into the pandemic, Austin is seeing its highest number of active Covid-19 infections ahead of the holidays, and health officials are begging residents to limit contact to battle back the virus’ spread. Austin Public Health attributes the…

Friday, December 11, 2020 by Andrew Weber

Austin opening up relief program for live music venues affected by Covid-19

Austin’s ailing live music venues have been thrown a lifeline ahead of the year’s end. The city will begin accepting applications Friday for short- and long-term grants through the Live Music Preservation Fund. The money, which the city says it…

Friday, December 4, 2020 by Andrew Weber

City Council takes steps toward relief for live music venues and ‘legacy’ businesses

Austin’s struggling live music venues, restaurants, bars and longtime businesses are a step closer to getting some Covid-19-related relief from the city, but some are still holding out hope for quicker relief. City Council approved Thursday the guidelines for two…

Wednesday, December 2, 2020 by Andrew Weber

Another demonstrator sues APD after she says she was shot in the head with ‘less-lethal’ ammunition

Another demonstrator has filed a federal lawsuit against the Austin Police Department and an unidentified police officer over the use of so-called less-lethal rounds. Arianna Chavez filed a complaint in federal court last week, alleging the officer used excessive force…

Tuesday, December 1, 2020 by Andrew Weber

For child care providers in Austin, city relief couldn’t come soon enough

Patsy Harnage doesn’t get a lot of holidays. For the last decade, she’s grown accustomed to working herself to the bone. Operating a child care center is hard work, built on razor-thin margins. That’s part of the job; it’s an…

Monday, November 23, 2020 by Andrew Weber

Austin music venues won’t get Covid relief money until next year. They say they’re running out of time.

Jeannette Gregor was shaking, her voice quivering. “I am not a public speaker. This is actually kind of a nightmare for me – especially after about five months of isolation and no social contact,” she said back in September. “So…

Wednesday, November 18, 2020 by Andrew Weber

Newly sworn in, Travis County Judge Andy Brown says he’ll shift focus from jails to mental health

Andy Brown is now Travis County’s top official. Brown was sworn in at Tuesday’s meeting of the Travis County Commissioners Court by interim County Judge Sam Biscoe, who served in the same capacity for over 15 years before retiring. He…

Tuesday, November 17, 2020 by Andrew Weber

Black coalition says Austin should pay out millions in restitution for long-ignored systemic racism

Black residents are calling on Austin to address decades of racism, inequity and displacement, demanding the city move to potentially provide as much as half a billion dollars in restitution for the Black community. Roughly 50 Black Austinites of all…

Thursday, November 12, 2020 by Andrew Weber

Another protester files suit over APD’s use of ‘less-lethal’ rounds. That’s the second this week.

The Austin Police Department is facing yet another lawsuit over its use of less-lethal rounds during protests this summer. A complaint filed on behalf of Steven Arawn accuses an unidentified officer of excessive force for using a so-called beanbag round…

Wednesday, November 11, 2020 by Andrew Weber

City faces another lawsuit over police using ‘less lethal’ round during protests

A federal lawsuit filed Tuesday argues an Austin police officer used excessive force when he shot a protester with a “less lethal” round in May, irreparably damaging the man’s eyesight. The suit is the latest against the city over the…

Tuesday, November 10, 2020 by Andrew Weber

Officials say Austin will see a second Covid-19 surge, unless people recommit to social distancing

Health officials are pleading with Austinites to avoid gatherings and get tested for Covid-19 as cases and hospitalizations approach the same levels seen in June, right before the first surge. Over the past month, the Austin area doubled its moving…

Friday, November 6, 2020 by Andrew Weber

Austin’s seeing its highest Covid cases since August. Most of those cases are among younger people.

Active Covid-19 cases in Austin have hit their highest levels since August, a rise Austin Public Health officials have largely pinned on 20- to 39-year-olds. In an announcement Thursday morning, health officials said more than half of positive tests in…

Wednesday, October 21, 2020 by Andrew Weber

Austin protester sues officer for shooting him in the face with ‘less-lethal’ round

An Austinite who was shot by a police officer with a so-called less-lethal shotgun round during a protest this summer is suing the officer and the Austin Police Department in federal court. A federal civil rights lawsuit filed Tuesday on…

Friday, October 16, 2020 by Andrew Weber

Mike Ramos’ mother asks Austin police chief whether he’ll fire officer who killed her son

The mother of Mike Ramos, a Black and Latino man who was shot and killed by an Austin police officer in April, is calling on the department to act on investigations into the officer. At a press conference Wednesday, Brenda…

Thursday, September 17, 2020 by Andrew Weber

‘We deserve to be saved’: Austin music venues rally for city-backed relief fund

Austin’s music community rallied at City Hall Wednesday to support a measure to bolster the ecosystem around live music in the face of the pandemic. The rally included everyone in that ecosystem, from the folks who help keep the scene…

Thursday, September 3, 2020 by Andrew Weber

Austin could ‘decouple’ victim services from APD. Here’s what that would look like.

Twenty years ago, trombones were echoing in Courtney Santana’s ears – trombones like the ones in Charlie Brown cartoons. There she was, crumpled on parking lot asphalt. Austin police officers were holding her two kids, including her 8-month-old son, who…

Monday, August 24, 2020 by Andrew Weber

Here’s how to make sure your Austin ISD student has access to a laptop and high-speed internet

Parents, teachers and advocates worry online-only lesson plans could widen the digital divide and exacerbate educational equity issues in the Austin Independent School District. To try to prevent that, the district, which has roughly 81,000 students, is distributing Wi-Fi hotspots,…

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