Stories by Audrey McGlinchy, KUT

Friday, June 11, 2021 by Audrey McGlinchy, KUT

Austin raises property tax exemption for homeowners to highest rate allowed

As the median price of a home in Austin surpassed half a million dollars this year, City Council members voted Thursday to tax a smaller amount of owners’ home values. City leaders doubled the current general homestead exemption of 10 percent, taking…

Tuesday, June 1, 2021 by Audrey McGlinchy, KUT

Bill penalizing Texas cities that cut funding for police heads to governor’s desk

Texas lawmakers on Friday gave final approval to a bill that would financially punish large cities that cut their police budgets, including prohibiting them from raising new property tax revenue. The legislation now heads to Gov. Greg Abbott, who has said…

Thursday, May 27, 2021 by Audrey McGlinchy, KUT

Group behind Austin’s camping ban revival says it has new plan to put police staffing on the ballot

Save Austin Now, the local political action committee behind the campaign to reinstate rules against camping in public, has started circulating a petition to put a new proposition on the ballot – a mandate that would require certain levels of staffing…

Friday, May 7, 2021 by Audrey McGlinchy, KUT

Austin will start training new police again this June, after a yearlong hiatus

City Council members voted Thursday to restart cadet classes after a pause to allow the police department to make changes to how it trains new officers. The next cadet class is set to start by June 7. It will be…

Tuesday, May 4, 2021 by Audrey McGlinchy, KUT

After yearlong ban, Austin and Travis County will let some landlords file evictions starting in June

Lee esta historia en español. Austin-area renters who have not paid rent for five months or more and have exhausted all rent assistance will once again be subject to eviction beginning June 1. Most other residential tenants and some commercial…

Monday, March 29, 2021 by Audrey McGlinchy, KUT

It’s been more than a year since Austin started training new police. It could restart this summer.

City Council members voted Thursday to make changes to how Austin police are trained, with the eventual goal of restarting cadet classes by June 7 at the latest. The police academy has not welcomed a group of new trainees since…

Friday, March 26, 2021 by Audrey McGlinchy, KUT

Assistant Chief Joseph Chacon confirmed as Austin’s new interim police chief

Assistant Chief Joseph Chacon will be Austin’s interim police chief starting April 11. City Council approved his appointment Thursday night. “This is not an easy city, probably, to be police chief,” Mayor Steve Adler told Chacon before the vote. “It’s…

Tuesday, March 23, 2021 by Audrey McGlinchy, KUT

Austin nominates interim police chief, permanent chief to be named by August

Joseph Chacon, an assistant chief of the Austin Police Department, has been nominated to serve as interim police chief as Brian Manley readies to leave the department this week. City Manager Spencer Cronk announced Chacon’s nomination in a memo Monday morning.…

Wednesday, February 17, 2021 by Audrey McGlinchy, KUT

Power could get cut to circuits that include hospitals as a ‘last resort,’ Austin Energy warns

Austin Energy could decide to shut off electricity to circuits that include critical infrastructure – such as fire stations, hospitals and 911 operations – to prevent the state’s power grid from collapsing, the municipal utility warned Tuesday. “Only as an…

Friday, February 5, 2021 by Audrey McGlinchy, KUT

Austin officially moves forensics lab out from under police department

In a move long advocated for by survivors of sexual assault, the Austin City Council voted Thursday to officially transfer its forensics bureau out from under the police department. It will now function as an independent entity. “This move is…

Friday, January 29, 2021 by Audrey McGlinchy, KUT

Austin and Travis County extend eviction bans (again), say more rent help is coming

Citing a continuing public health crisis that could only worsen if people have to leave their homes, Austin-area officials have extended protections against most evictions through April 1. “Keeping people inside and housed curbs the spread of the virus,” Travis…

Wednesday, January 27, 2021 by Audrey McGlinchy, KUT

Voters to decide on changes to how Austin’s government works

Austin voters will be asked to decide on a slew of changes to the way local politicians are elected and what power they have in governing after the city clerk validated a petition Tuesday. Earlier this month, Austinites for Progressive…

Thursday, January 21, 2021 by Audrey McGlinchy, KUT

Videos used to train Austin police perpetuate ‘racism, sexist gender norms and classism,’ panel finds

A panel of community members has recommended the Austin Police Department remove 60 videos from its training curriculum after concluding they bolster racist and sexist ideas and do little to help officers constructively interact with the public. “The vast majority…

Friday, January 15, 2021 by Audrey McGlinchy, KUT

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, KUT

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, KUT

‘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, KUT

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, KUT

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, KUT

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, KUT

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…

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