Stories by Audrey McGlinchy

Friday, January 15, 2021 by Audrey McGlinchy

Hundreds line up for Covid vaccines from Austin Public Health. But the wait was ‘worth it.’

Frank Kucharski and his wife, Jill Jones, were near the back of the line that wove around an Austin Public Health vaccination center at least twice in Northeast Austin on Thursday. They estimated they had a three-hour wait ahead of…

Monday, January 11, 2021 by Audrey McGlinchy

Despite fewer drivers, more people died on Austin roads in 2020 than in the past five years

The first traffic death on Aug. 26 happened just before 7 a.m. A man was making a left-hand turn out of an apartment complex in West Austin; he was killed after his car collided with a Jeep Cherokee. Later that…

Wednesday, December 16, 2020 by Audrey McGlinchy

‘I’m so excited, I’m like shaking’: Austin health care workers receive first Covid-19 vaccines

Esmeralda Torres’ eyes lit up above her mask as she talked about the Covid-19 vaccine she’d gotten in her right arm Tuesday morning. “I’m so excited, I’m like shaking,” she said. “I’m so happy.” Torres, a medical assistant at UT…

Monday, December 7, 2020 by Audrey McGlinchy

Austin created a program to pay struggling tenants’ rent. Some say it added to stress.

Petra Antonio and her husband, Domingo Quiroz, got Covid-19 in September. Antonio said she felt OK, but Quiroz had a fever and a cough that kept him awake at night. He wanted to avoid going to the hospital, because he…

Thursday, December 3, 2020 by Audrey McGlinchy

Adler backtracks after initially saying he did ‘not do anything wrong’ by flying to Mexico during the pandemic

After initially saying he didn’t do anything wrong, Austin Mayor Steve Adler now says he realizes he “set a bad example” by traveling to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, for vacation last month. An Austin American-Statesman story revealed Wednesday that Adler…

Monday, November 30, 2020 by Audrey McGlinchy

Austin Public Health urges people who gathered for Thanksgiving to get tested and stay home

Austin Public Health officials are asking people who traveled for the holiday or celebrated Thanksgiving indoors with people from outside their household to stay home for a week and get tested for Covid-19 within the next few days. “It is…

Monday, November 16, 2020 by Audrey McGlinchy

City revives a New Deal program to put people back to work

Lee esta historia en español. The city of Austin is putting up to $2 million toward a new employment program that helps organizations hire people financially affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. The Austin Civilian Conservation Corps is modeled after a…

Friday, November 13, 2020 by Audrey McGlinchy

Austin OKs million-dollar contract to audit police department

The city of Austin has agreed to pay a New York City-based consultant up to $1.3 million to investigate racism and bigotry in the Austin Police Department, including looking into materials used to train new officers and reviewing instances where…

Monday, November 2, 2020 by Audrey McGlinchy

Concerned that money will go unspent, Austin makes changes to its rent help program

Renters affected financially by the Covid-19 pandemic can now apply for up to six months of rent from the city’s rent assistance program, where previously they could apply for only up to three. The change comes as the city worries…

Friday, October 30, 2020 by Audrey McGlinchy

Anticipating election protests, Council members ask Austin police how they plan to avoid injuries

Four City Council members sent a letter Thursday to the chief of police asking him to explain how he plans to keep protesters safe during anticipated demonstrations following the results of the presidential election next week. “As we’re sure you…

Friday, October 23, 2020 by Audrey McGlinchy

Austin’s got millions to help with rent, but giving it away is harder than expected

The city of Austin says fewer people have applied for rental assistance than expected. It’s given out just $1.3 million so far of roughly $13 million available for tenants hit financially by the Covid-19 pandemic. “The need that was anticipated…

Thursday, October 8, 2020 by Audrey McGlinchy

Austin’s DNA lab has had issues for years. A new report outlines how it could be run in the future.

Poor supervision and untrained staff have long plagued the Austin Police Department’s DNA crime lab, forcing it to close briefly in 2016 and then be overseen by the state. So, what will a future lab look like? Consultants hired by…

Wednesday, October 7, 2020 by Audrey McGlinchy

Group begins collecting signatures to put state law limiting police oversight to a vote

A new political action committee is trying to put a state law governing police oversight on the ballot next May. “I think it’s really unique and kind of amazing that (this petition could) allow the voters in Austin to decide…

Thursday, October 1, 2020 by Audrey McGlinchy

Austin City Council set to undo ban against public drinking in East Austin

City Council members are expected to reverse a decades-long ban against the public consumption of alcohol in several parts of East Austin on Thursday. Since the 1990s, drinking alcohol on public streets, roadways or sidewalks in six designated areas of town…

Thursday, September 24, 2020 by Audrey McGlinchy

Audit calls Austin’s ‘bad landlord’ program ineffective, says it doesn’t ensure safe housing

A city program intended to make sure landlords maintain safe apartments is failing to do its job, a new audit finds. The report released Wednesday by the Office of the City Auditor looks at the Repeat Offender Program within the…

Friday, September 11, 2020 by Audrey McGlinchy

After ‘damaging’ diversity training, city won’t use company again for similar workshops

A diversity training described by city of Austin employees as “hurtful” and “emotionally and professionally damaging” has prompted the city to prevent an employee assistance company from doing this type of training for staff again. In August 2019, the Austin…

Tuesday, September 8, 2020 by Audrey McGlinchy

The CDC has banned most evictions. Here’s what Central Texas renters need to know.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published an order last week that could protect renters who’ve lost wages or work hours from eviction until Jan. 1. Why did the order come from a public health agency? The CDC argues…

Tuesday, August 25, 2020 by Audrey McGlinchy

Thousands are out of work, but home sales in Austin are doing fine — better than fine. What gives?

Blake Taylor wants to be rid of the house she hardly leaves. Taylor lives with lupus, an autoimmune disease, and is terrified of what it would mean if she caught Covid-19. She’s been extra careful. When she heads to HEB…

Wednesday, August 19, 2020 by Audrey McGlinchy

Gov. Abbott proposes freezing property tax revenue in cities that cut police funding

In the hopes of discouraging cities from reducing money spent on police, Gov. Greg Abbott said Tuesday he and other state leaders support the passage of a bill halting a property tax revenue increase for any Texas city that cuts…

Tuesday, August 18, 2020 by Audrey McGlinchy

Applications for rent assistance are opening (again) in Austin: Here’s what you need to know

The city of Austin will begin accepting applications for a second round of rent help for tenants affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Applications open here at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 19. “The coronavirus endures, the economy struggles (and) renters…

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