Stories by Mark Richardson

Tuesday, April 8, 2014 by Mark Richardson

Caldwell residents fighting proposed landfill

LOCKHART — Plans for developing an industrial park and landfill in northern Caldwell County have run into fierce opposition from local residents, who say it is a danger to the county’s water supply and that there is no need for…

Tuesday, March 18, 2014 by Mark Richardson

New LCRA manager reorganizes agency, introduces new team

Phil Wilson, the new general manager at the Lower Colorado River Authority, is wasting no time in making high-level changes to the power and water agency. He sent out a message to LCRA employees last week outlining his approach and…

Friday, March 14, 2014 by Mark Richardson

Despite tragedy, the beat goes on at SXSW

After an early morning tragedy that left two people dead and sent 23 others to local hospitals, stunned city officials spent most of Thursday working through the grief and trying to keep the South by Southwest Music festival on track.…

Wednesday, March 12, 2014 by Mark Richardson

Battle over SH45SW features argument between Biscoe and Bunch

The never-ending case of SH 45 Southwest has dogged County Judge Sam Biscoe for the past 25 years of his public life. But at Tuesday’s Commissioners Court meeting – with his December retirement date in sight – the normally reserved…

Friday, March 7, 2014 by Mark Richardson

Spurred by retailers, lawmaker seeks Attorney General opinion on bag ban

Just barely past the one-year-anniversary of Austin’s law banning single-use plastic bags, Texas business interests are taking another shot at it, this time seeking an Attorney General’s opinion on whether such bans violate state statutes.   The opinion was requested…

Thursday, March 6, 2014 by Mark Richardson

Austin wins nearly $12 million in federal funds for Onion Creek

The City of Austin will receive $11.8 million in federal funding for the Onion Creek – Lower Colorado River Basin Project now that Congress finally loosened its purse strings and approved spending the money.   The funds – which will…

Wednesday, March 5, 2014 by Mark Richardson

Gomez cruising to sixth term as Precinct 4 Travis Commissioner

Precinct 4 Commissioner Margaret Gómez cruised to win the Democratic nomination Tuesday with 73 percent of the vote in her bid to keep her seat on the Travis County Commissioners Court.   However, her relatively unknown opponent, Del Valle School Board member…

Wednesday, March 5, 2014 by Mark Richardson

Eckhardt claims victory over Brown in County Judge primary race

Despite a considerable fundraising disadvantage, former Travis County Commissioner Sarah Eckhardt defeated opponent Andy Brown, former Travis County Democratic Chair, Tuesday in the Democratic Primary.   She will face Republican Mike McNamara, Libertaian Richard Perkins and other third-party candidates in…

Wednesday, March 5, 2014 by Mark Richardson

Shea easily bests two opponents for Commissioner Pct. 2 seat

Former City Council member and environmental leader Brigid Shea swept to victory in the race for the Democratic nomination for Pct. 2 Travis County Commissioner Tuesday with 66 percent of the vote as the clock struck midnight.   She will…

Wednesday, March 5, 2014 by Mark Richardson

Ortega Carter holds off challenge to keep County Treasurer post

Incumbent Dolores Ortega Carter fought off a well-funded challenger in the Democratic Primary Tuesday to win the nomination for Travis County Treasurer. There is no Republican candidate but she will face Libertarian candidate Mike Burris on the November ballot.  …

Friday, February 28, 2014 by Mark Richardson

Austin still needs nearly $100 million for flood plain buyout

Four months after raging floodwaters damaged and destroyed dozens of homes in the Onion Creek neighborhood in southeast Austin, city officials say it could cost between $80 million and $100 million to complete a buyout of homes in the flood…

Thursday, February 27, 2014 by Mark Richardson

As county grows so does campaign spending

As Travis County grows, so apparently does the amount of money required to run a campaign for County Judge. According to campaign finance reports filed this week, candidates Andy Brown and Sarah Eckhardt raised a combined $1.1 million since mid-2013…

Tuesday, February 25, 2014 by Mark Richardson

Austin Resource Recovery doubles efforts to collect compostables

The city’s Resource Recovery Department continues its push toward its goal of Zero Waste by 2040 by doubling its current program to test curbside compost collection. Officially calling it the Curbside Organics Collection Pilot, city officials are hoping they can…

Wednesday, February 19, 2014 by Mark Richardson

Travis employees sound off over plans to change parking rules

Travis County Commissioners recently found out that the quickest way to rile Texans is to mess with their ability to buy or sell a gun. Court members may have found out Tuesday that the second quickest way to upset them…

Tuesday, February 18, 2014 by Mark Richardson

Confederation of water utilities presses rate case against Austin

A group of local water districts continues to press their case against the City of Austin, claiming that the city’s wholesale water rates are unrelated to the cost of providing service. Both the Citizens for Fair Rates and the Austin…

Monday, February 10, 2014 by Mark Richardson

Challenger adds some interest to usually quiet County Treasurer’s race

The race in the Democratic primary for Travis County Treasurer hasn’t drawn much attention so far in this election season but that could change as the campaigns near the March 4 Election Day.   Incumbent Dolores Ortega Carter, 63, who…

Friday, January 31, 2014 by Mark Richardson

Complaint targets city’s role in promoting fair housing

A citizen’s complaint filed with the City Of Austin Thursday is demanding that officials take steps to reverse the city’s “patterns of housing segregation established during its origins as a racist, Southern city,” and take immediate action to end de…

Wednesday, January 22, 2014 by Mark Richardson

Sheriff’s office defends no in-person jail visitation policy

Officials with the Travis County Sheriff’s Department defended their policy Tuesday of limiting family visits with Travis County Jail inmates to a for-profit video visitation system, saying that the change in policy was for security reasons and that video visitation…

Friday, January 17, 2014 by Mark Richardson

Still a horse race for Brown, Eckhardt in quest for County Judge spot

The two Democrats battling to replace long-time Travis County Judge Sam Biscoe have raised a combined $464,000 in campaign cash through Dec. 31. Andy Brown and Sarah Eckhardt are waging the first real battle for the top job in Travis…

Thursday, January 16, 2014 by Mark Richardson

Shea raises more than twice as much as nearest opponent for Pct. 2

When it comes to raising campaign funds, Brigid Shea leads the candidates in the Precinct 2 Travis County Commissioner race, with almost double the amount of contributions given to her two opponents combined. They are running for the seat vacated…

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