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Fully-Local • Non-Partisan • Public-Service Journalism
 

Stories by Andrew Weber, KUT

Are you an Austin Energy customer? Expect a $20 hike in your monthly bill starting Nov. 1.

Austin Energy says customers should expect to pay an extra $20 a month for their electricity starting in November. In a memo to City Council, the publicly owned utility said the increase is due to the rising cost of natural gas,…

Austin OKs an automated license plate reader program

Lee esta historia en español. City Council approved a revival of a police department program to use license plate scanners on police cruisers and at fixed points throughout the city. Council agreed Thursday on a one-year pilot program to reinstate…

Austin-Travis County EMS, city OK new raises, contract for medical first responders

Austin-Travis County’s emergency medical personnel are getting a raise. The city of Austin reached a deal with EMS negotiators late last month, and City Council unanimously approved the one-year contract with medics on Thursday. The deal is a stopgap, but it…

Travis County's program to provide lawyers at its downtown jail is (still) on hold

The first court hearing is often the most crucial for people accused of a crime in Travis County. When defendants are booked downtown, they’re charged and given options on how to get out of jail. In some cases, the first…

Featured Collection: Austin Energy 2022 rate case

Austin Energy ramps up outreach for proposed rate changes

Austin Energy has entered the public hearing phase of its base rate review process, following its proposal to raise service costs. The monthslong dialogue with stakeholders and city staff, slated for resolution by City Council in November, has surfaced predictable…

Austin officials expect more doses of the monkeypox vaccine after U.S. declares a health emergency

Austin health officials say they expect more monkeypox vaccine doses to head to Central Texas after the Biden administration’s declaration of a public health emergency Thursday. Medical Director Desmar Walkes said Austin Public Health anticipates the extra doses next month.…

Texas has an official death count from the 2021 blackout. The true toll may never be known.

In Minal and Rajeeta Shah’s backyard, there once stood a cedar tree. The tall, broad canopy provided shade for the sisters’ garden below, a garden with sunflowers and tulsi and lemongrass. It’s a garden their mother, Manjula, pruned and nurtured…

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Proposed $5B city budget leans on fees, less on property taxes, amid a boom in sales tax revenue

Austinites may not see as steep a hike in property taxes next year. Still, they could see an increase of 2.7% under a budget proposal released Friday. City Manager Spencer Cronk’s proposed $5 billion budget for 2023 leans more heavily on…

The dog-killing algae in Lady Bird Lake is back

Toxic blue-green algae has once again been detected in Lady Bird Lake. The city says it’s working to stifle the blooms that killed a handful of dogs in 2019. Next week, staff will treat the water at Red Bud Isle…

Austin Police Department Budget, 2012-2022

During the 2020-21 budget process, City Council cut $31.5 million from APD’s budget, citing the protests and “community outcry against the disproportionate impact of police violence on Black Americans, Latinx Americans and other non-white ethnic communities,” according to the approved…

Austin OKs $850,000 settlement for volunteer medic shot with 'less-lethal' ammunition during protest

The city of Austin approved a $850,000 settlement to resolve a lawsuit over the Austin Police Department’s use of so-called less lethal ammunition during the 2020 racial justice protests. Maredith Drake, a street medic during protests outside police headquarters, was…

Travis County launched a program to provide lawyers at the county jail. It lasted nine days.

A pilot program to provide legal representation to people in custody at the Travis County Jail had to be put on hold after just nine days because of staffing shortages. The grant-funded program was part of a Texas A&M study to…

Austin Energy wants to raise its rates. Here's how you can give feedback.

Residential customers could see a nearly $16 bump in their monthly electric bills under a rate hike proposed by Austin Energy. But before it can raise base rates, the city-owned utility must first go through a public input process. Austin…

Austin faces another round of lawsuits related to police use of 'less lethal' rounds

Three more demonstrators are suing the Austin Police Department for injuries sustained from so-called less-lethal ammunition fired by police over a weekend of racial justice protests in 2020. More than a dozen protesters have sued the department for use of the ammunition, which include…

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