Stories by Andrew Weber

Monday, August 19, 2019 by Andrew Weber

City memo says Austin could put limits on where homeless people may camp or rest

Austin will reexamine its new rules governing homelessness, according to a memo released Friday.The memo sent to City Council on behalf of Austin’s Homelessness Strategy Office says the city could abandon its idea to make space for emergency encampments in…

Thursday, August 15, 2019 by Andrew Weber

Council members say audit on Austin’s ‘enormous’ wildfire risk doesn’t go far enough

Austin City Council members say they need a better look at where the city could be falling short in terms of its wildfire preparedness.A report out today from the Office of the City Auditor said the city is doing enough…

Tuesday, August 13, 2019 by Andrew Weber

Zebra mussels have muscled their way into Lakes LBJ and Pflugerville

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department announced Monday that reproducing populations of zebra mussels have been found in lakes Lyndon B. Johnson and Pflugerville, bringing the number of statewide lakes infested with the invasive species to 17.In Central Texas, reproducing…

Wednesday, August 7, 2019 by Andrew Weber

A majority of Austin EMS personnel say assaults on the job are common and ‘unavoidable’

A majority of Austin EMS personnel say they’ve been assaulted on the job in the last two years, according to an internal survey. Most first responders also say they don’t feel properly trained to address aggressive behavior.Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical…

Wednesday, July 24, 2019 by Andrew Weber

Packed homelessness forum calls for more shelters, support: ‘We are dealing with human beings here’

As the city adjusts to new rules for panhandling, camping or sitting or lying in public, the Downtown Austin Alliance hosted a forum Tuesday to discuss the road ahead for dealing with homelessness and plans to expand emergency shelter access…

Monday, July 15, 2019 by Andrew Weber

PAC files petition to put Austin Convention Center expansion to a public vote

The city’s proposal to expand the Austin Convention Center could be on the ballot in November. A group opposing City Council’s decision to build out the center says it submitted a 30,000-signature petition calling for a referendum that would force…

Tuesday, July 9, 2019 by Andrew Weber

Families with noncitizens could lose federal housing benefits if HUD proposal moves forward

Tuesday is the last day for public comment on a proposal that could evict or even separate thousands of families with mixed-citizenship status who receive housing assistance in Texas.Since 1980, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has allowed…

Tuesday, July 2, 2019 by Andrew Weber

Austin has new rules on panhandling, camping and resting in public. Here’s what that means.

Three revisions to the city’s rules against panhandling, camping, and sitting or lying down in public went into effect Monday. People have feelings about that, and it’s unclear what impact the rules will have on those experiencing homelessness – or…

Wednesday, June 26, 2019 by Andrew Weber

City audit says Austin police could be better about keeping track of body camera footage

The Austin Police Department is still working out the kinks in its body camera program, according to a new city audit.The report released today by the city auditor’s office looked at footage from 151 body cam videos from Aug. 1,…

Tuesday, June 25, 2019 by Andrew Weber

Austin police report shows a slight uptick in property crimes in 2018

A new report released Monday from the Austin Police Department shows crime overall increased in 2018, with property crimes up 9 percent. Violent crimes dropped slightly, however.The report also acknowledges controversy surrounding the way APD handles sexual assault cases, after…

Thursday, June 6, 2019 by Andrew Weber

Council to weigh money for a new homeless shelter

City Council members will vote today on items that would expand the number of beds in Austin’s homeless shelters.Council will vote to direct staff to find land and funding for an emergency shelter for individuals experiencing homelessness. Members could also…

Friday, May 31, 2019 by Andrew Weber

Texas lawmakers tried to take the reins from cities this session. The results were mixed.

For the last handful of legislative sessions, the Texas Legislature has had it in for Austin and other cities.GOP lawmakers who regularly thumb their noses at “big government”-minded efforts in D.C. have filed bills targeting city laws regulating everything from…

Wednesday, May 29, 2019 by Andrew Weber

Austin can afford to build only 3% of the 2,580 miles of sidewalk it wants, audit finds

The city of Austin has the resources to build out only 3 percent of its missing sidewalks, according to a new city audit.The mobility bond Austin voters approved in 2016 set aside $37.5 million to build and maintain city sidewalks…

Friday, May 3, 2019 by Andrew Weber

CDC study says Austin scooter riders don’t wear helmets, ride fast and don’t know what they’re doing

Nearly 200 people were injured because of rentable scooters between Sept. 5 and Nov. 30 last year, according to a first-of-its-kind study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Austin Public Health Department.During that time, there were…

Friday, April 19, 2019 by Andrew Weber

Yep. A lot more people have moved to Austin, the Census Bureau confirms.

New numbers out today from the U.S. Census Bureau confirm something you’ve definitely noticed or complained about in the last eight years: Austin is growing.But that growth isn’t confined to the Austin area.The data put Texas counties and metro areas…

Tuesday, April 9, 2019 by Andrew Weber

Proposed labor rule would mean gig economy workers in Texas can’t get unemployment benefits

The state’s labor regulator will meet this morning for a final vote on a controversial new rule on gig economy workers that opponents say will have far-reaching implications for workers going forward.The proposed rule from the Texas Workforce Commission would…

Friday, April 5, 2019 by Andrew Weber

Austin defends its short-term rental rules before Texas lawmakers

Austin’s rules on short-term rental units – advertised on apps and sites like Airbnb and HomeAway – are under fire at the Texas Capitol. House lawmakers heard testimony Thursday on a bill that would override the city’s ban on properties…

Wednesday, April 3, 2019 by Andrew Weber

The idea to bury I-35 has risen from the dead

“Cut and cap” – the idea for burying Interstate 35 in the downtown corridor and paving over that chasm to create green spaces or mixed-use development – is no longer in the rearview mirror.Congress for the New Urbanism, a nonprofit…

Friday, March 29, 2019 by Andrew Weber

Here are 3 ways state lawmakers could disrupt (or shore up) short-term rentals in Texas this session

For years, short-term rentals – the rooms, cottages, condos and homes on apps like Airbnb and HomeAway – have been the subject of lawsuits and hand-wringing on the part of regulators and people looking to rent out properties.Texas lawmakers haven’t…

Tuesday, March 26, 2019 by Andrew Weber

Homelessness in Austin increased 5 percent this year

Homelessness increased 5 percent in Austin over last year, according to the results of Ending Community Homelessness Coalition’s annual census. The survey, which was conducted overnight on Jan. 26 by about 500 volunteers, found 2,255 people experiencing homelessness on Austin…

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