Stories by Andrew Weber

Tuesday, May 11, 2021 by Andrew Weber

Austin won’t make arrests during first phase of reinstating rules related to homelessness

After voters passed Proposition B on May 1, Austin is reinstating rules that ban homeless encampments on public land, prohibit sitting or lying down in parts of the city, and place a nighttime curfew on panhandling. While those rules go…

Monday, May 3, 2021 by Andrew Weber

Austin voters approve reinstating bans on camping, resting and panhandling

Lee esta historia en español. Austin has voted to reinstate criminal penalties for behavior related to homelessness. With its passage, Proposition B will restore the city’s previous ban on public encampments, prohibition of resting in certain areas and limitations on…

Thursday, April 15, 2021 by Andrew Weber

Austin’s village of tiny homes for formerly homeless folks to triple in size

The nonprofit that runs Austin’s Community First Village has acquired land and plans to build out more tiny homes to house Austinites transitioning out of homelessness. The far East Austin development of tiny homes and trailers, managed by Mobile Loaves…

Wednesday, March 17, 2021 by Andrew Weber

Thousands still waiting for vaccine appointments after Austin Public Health scheduling snafu

People trying to sign up for their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine Monday night faced hourslong delays and were even booted from the queue to get an appointment through Austin Public Health’s site. The glitches were so bad, the…

Wednesday, March 10, 2021 by Andrew Weber

Texas is lifting its mask mandate and Covid restrictions on businesses. Here’s what that means.

Lee esta historia en español. Texas is reopening 100 percent, ending the statewide mask mandate and lifting Covid-related restrictions on businesses. Here’s a rundown of Gov. Greg Abbott’s order and what it means for local officials, schools and businesses. What…

Friday, March 5, 2021 by Andrew Weber

City Council apologizes for Austin’s systemic racism, vows to invest in a Black embassy

Austin City Council has formally apologized for its role in perpetuating racist policies that contributed to historical equity, health and wealth gaps that persist for Black Austinites. A resolution, which passed unanimously Thursday, directs the city to quantify the impact…

Wednesday, March 3, 2021 by Andrew Weber

‘It is now time to open Texas 100 percent,’ Gov. Greg Abbott says

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced he’s lifting statewide executive orders that limit occupancy for businesses and require Texans to wear masks in public spaces. “Effective next Wednesday, all businesses of any type are allowed to open 100 percent,” Abbott said.…

Monday, March 1, 2021 by Andrew Weber

These volunteers didn’t wait around to get homeless Austinites into hotels during the historic freeze

Last Wednesday, Patricia Clark was in a hotel room in North Austin watching “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” She was bored. Just days earlier, she was outside in the 9-degree weather. The 48-year-old has been homeless on and off for…

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…

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