Stories by Audrey McGlinchy, KUT

Wednesday, September 22, 2021 by Audrey McGlinchy, KUT

City backtracks, now says people can testify by phone at public meetings

The proverbial phone line had been cut. Now, it’s being restored. Over the summer, the city of Austin said residents would no longer be able to phone in to public meetings as they’d been doing during the pandemic. The change…

Monday, September 13, 2021 by Audrey McGlinchy, KUT

The battle for 3000 Funston Street

What does a house interrupted look like? On a small piece of land in West Austin, you can see the answer: Wooden boards form a rectangle in the center of the lot meant to case a foundation, but it’s a…

Friday, September 3, 2021 by Audrey McGlinchy, KUT

City pays $2.25 million to family of man killed by police in 2017

In the conclusion of a lawsuit against the Austin police officer who shot and killed a 20-year-old Hispanic man in 2017, Austin City Council Thursday approved $2.25 million to be paid as a settlement to the man’s family. “There’s no…

Monday, August 16, 2021 by Audrey McGlinchy, KUT

Austin narrows police chief search to three finalists

The city of Austin has narrowed its search for a new police chief down to three candidates: Joseph Chacon, Austin’s interim police chief; Avery Moore, an assistant chief with the Dallas Police Department; and Emada Tingirides, a deputy chief with…

Friday, August 13, 2021 by Audrey McGlinchy, KUT

Austin passes $4.5 billion budget, increases police budget per state law

Austin city leaders approved a new budget that boosts spending on policing and puts dollars toward public transit planning and housing. All told, City Council members OK’d a $4.5 billion budget Thursday evening, representing a 7 percent increase over the…

Thursday, August 12, 2021 by Audrey McGlinchy, KUT

Austin and Travis County officials mandate mask-wearing in city and county property, public schools

Austin and Travis County officials are mandating people over the age of 2 wear a mask on public property, including in buildings owned by the city and county and in public schools. “Today’s order to require masks in certain places…

Wednesday, August 11, 2021 by Audrey McGlinchy, KUT

Last year Austin cut its police budget by millions. A new state law means it’ll likely reverse that move this week.

The same day Austin City Council members voted to reduce the police budget by roughly $150 million, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott pledged to make it so cities could never do it again. “Austin’s decision puts the brave men and women of the…

Tuesday, August 10, 2021 by Audrey McGlinchy, KUT

Last time Covid cases surged, Austin opened a field hospital. Here’s why that won’t work now.

When Austin-area hospitals began admitting about 100 new Covid patients a day last January, the city of Austin did something it hoped it would never have to: It set up hospital beds in the convention center, transforming the conference space into a…

Thursday, July 29, 2021 by Audrey McGlinchy, KUT

Would opening Sixth Street to cars on the weekend make it safer? One Council member wants to know.

Austin City Council members will vote Thursday on whether to have city staff look into reopening Sixth Street to vehicular traffic on weekend nights. The intent is to make the street safer, said Council Member Kathie Tovo, whose district includes…

Monday, July 26, 2021 by Audrey McGlinchy, KUT

Austin announces new policy to release video footage of police shootings within 10 business days

The Austin Police Department says it will try to release video footage of incidents where police seriously injure or kill someone more quickly than in the past. Previously, the department’s policy was to release this footage within 60 days; the…

Tuesday, June 29, 2021 by Audrey McGlinchy, KUT

Nearly four dozen people have applied to be Austin’s next police chief. Here are four things to know.

The police chief in Wichita, Kansas. A commanding officer with the Los Angeles Police Department. An engineer with a cybersecurity firm. A real estate investor. These are some of the 45 candidates who have applied to be Austin’s next police…

Wednesday, June 23, 2021 by Audrey McGlinchy, KUT

Home prices in Austin rose $100,000 in six months. When will the surge end?

When Amanda Traphagan was selling her Austin home in April, she and her husband joked that only a wealthy celebrity would be able to offer a significant amount over what they were asking. “We were making jokes about Elon Musk…

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.…

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