Stories by Mark Richardson

Friday, November 21, 2014 by Mark Richardson

Obama immigration plan may end city-county tiff

It may have taken an executive order, but President Barack Obama seems to have headed off a dispute between the City of Austin and Travis County. The long-standing controversy involving Sheriff Greg Hamilton’s participation in the Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s…

Wednesday, November 19, 2014 by Mark Richardson

Commissioners get $294 million courthouse budget

Travis County Commissioners heard a report Tuesday that the budget to construct the proposed new Civil and Family Courthouse comes in at $294 million. After asking their consultants some pointed questions about how they arrived at that amount, they passed…

Tuesday, November 18, 2014 by Mark Richardson

Commissioners to hear budget for new courthouse

Travis County Commissioners are set to hear a report today on the planned Civil and Family Courthouse project, but there have been protests about the project’s proposed $294 million budget even though the report has yet to be made public.Commissioners…

Friday, November 14, 2014 by Mark Richardson

Judge-elect Eckhardt takes aim at jail video system

Incoming Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt says one of the many items on her “to-do” list when she takes office in January is to take on the county jail’s policy of limiting almost all family visits with inmates to a…

Thursday, November 6, 2014 by Mark Richardson

County seeks study to verify office complex budget

Travis County Commissioners are asking for a second opinion on whether the budget to construct a planned office complex at 416 West 11th St. is realistic, or whether they should put the project back out for bids. The initial budget…

Tuesday, November 4, 2014 by Mark Richardson

Early results posted for Mayor, Council, Prop 1

Elections officials have released early voting totals for Austin’s Mayor, City Council and Proposition 1 elections. These are very early returns and are likely to change significantly as more returns come in.In the Mayor’s race, Steve Adler took a strong…

Tuesday, November 4, 2014 by Mark Richardson

Early Voting results are posted

These are the Early Voting returns from the Austin Mayor and City Council and Proposition 1 elections. Elections officials released these numbers shortly after 7 p.m. More results will be posted as they are released.MayorSteve Adler 38.53%Mike Martinez 29.62%Sheryl Cole…

Friday, October 31, 2014 by Mark Richardson

San Antonio approves $3.4B for water pipeline

Saying the city needed to act to secure a new, long-term source of water, the San Antonio City Council voted Thursday to approve a $3.4 billion project to build a pipeline to deliver an estimated 16 billion gallons of water…

Wednesday, October 29, 2014 by Mark Richardson

Report: County jail needs better medical facilities

Travis County’s correctional facilities have an adequate number of beds to handle its jail’s projected population for the next two decades, but current facilities for inmates with medical and mental health needs are acutely inadequate.That was among the key findings…

Tuesday, October 28, 2014 by Mark Richardson

Bankruptcy scuttles Apple’s Arizona operations

PHOENIX — A multimillion-dollar deal put together last year for Apple to manufacture sapphire glass components in a suburban Phoenix factory has unraveled after Apple’s partner in the venture unexpectedly filed bankruptcy Oct. 6, according to court papers.Austin and Phoenix…

Monday, October 27, 2014 by Mark Richardson

Early voting patterns hard to figure in new districts

Political observers have been watching early voting this past week with an eye toward what the voting patterns may mean for Austin’s first election of a City Council with single-member districts.Because of the new 10-1 Council, prognosticators find themselves in…

Thursday, October 23, 2014 by Mark Richardson

County may nominate firm as Enterprise Project

Executives of Rackspace, a provider of cloud-based computer services for businesses, are asking Travis County officials to nominate their company as an Enterprise Project under the state’s Enterprise Zone Program. Travis County Commissioners held a public hearing Tuesday to take…

Tuesday, October 21, 2014 by Mark Richardson

Five seats open on Austin School District board

The Austin Independent School District has seen some tough times over past years, and it does not look like things are going to get better anytime soon.Earlier this year, Superintendent Meria Carstarphen resigned to take the superintendent’s job in Atlanta.…

Monday, October 20, 2014 by Mark Richardson

Trio runs for seat on Barton Springs aquifer board

Three people will be on the Nov. 4 ballot running for the Precinct 2 seat on the Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District board. Candidates include Blayne Stanberry, a civil engineer; Ron Stried, a retired veterinarian; and Terry Newton, a…

Thursday, October 16, 2014 by Mark Richardson

Commissioners debate Capital Metro pass program

A relatively routine spending item at Travis County Commissioners Court Tuesday turned into an extended discussion of the value of providing free Capital Metro transit passes to county employees.The item, to approve a contract with Capital Metro for an initial…

Tuesday, October 14, 2014 by Mark Richardson

Panel narrows social services funding to 4 options

The difficult decisions continued Monday for the Council Public Health and Human Services Committee, which is in the process of dividing a very limited amount of money among numerous social service agencies seeking funding from the city for FY 2016.The…

Monday, October 13, 2014 by Mark Richardson

Austin Energy to operate community solar project

Austinites who want to use solar power but cannot install solar panels will soon be able to draw from a community pool of solar energy.A new project to be operated by Austin Energy will allow electric customers who cannot afford…

Wednesday, October 8, 2014 by Mark Richardson

Biscoe grudgingly delays medical examiner project

County Commissioners, pushing to build a new Travis County Medical Examiner’s office to replace the current cramped and outdated facility, ran into a speed bump in moving the process forward Tuesday.Commissioners Court was set to approve a $2 million contract…

Friday, October 3, 2014 by Mark Richardson

Reporters Notebook

Hey, it’s our med school, so it must be our sky bridge … Central Health is all for the proposed sky bridge between the new medical school at Seton Medical Center and an associated parking garage, as long as there’s…

Thursday, October 2, 2014 by Mark Richardson

Commissioners OK market study of county jobs

Travis County Commissioners approved a plan by the Human Resources Management Department on Tuesday to conduct a classification and compensation study of the county’s classified jobs in order to analyze whether those positions are market-competitive. Officials say the study will…

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