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Fully-Local • Non-Partisan • Public-Service Journalism
 

Stories by Michelle Jimenez

Council approves major upgrade to video cameras in police units

Austin Police patrol units will soon be getting state-of-the-art digital video camera systems after Council members approved $15.5 million Thursday to upgrade the department’s antiquated VHS tape video cameras. The new technology has been on APD’s wish list for years,…

County to hire lawyer for constable in civil rights lawsuit

Travis County Commissioners have lined up an attorney for Precinct 1 Deputy Constable Richard Furs, defendant in a civil suit filed last month alleging excessive use of force on a woman of Mexican descent.   The suit refers to the…

County Commissioners want to monitor mining sites

Travis County officials on Tuesday said studying two new mining sites before activity begins would allow them to establish a baseline of information that could prove valuable if follow-up monitoring shows the operation has harmed the area’s resources.   “If…

County to consider developing plan to reclaim mining properties

Despite an outcry from concerned community members, the Travis County Commissioners Court in late January reluctantly granted Texas Industries, Inc., a permit to mine sand and gravel on 1,200 acres in eastern Travis County, saying it had no grounds to…

Travis County commissioners to consider parking program

Travis County commissioners are scheduled today to consider launching a pilot program that, ultimately, could reduce the number of employees who wait years, some as many as seven, for a designated parking space.   Currently, 650 of the county’s approximately…

City manager presents Council balanced 2011 budget

City Manager Marc Ott and his staff managed to wipe out, within the past few months, an anticipated double-digit deficit in the 2011 budget — and to do so without pushing the upper limits of the property tax rate.  …

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Sheriff, others may take issue with planned Travis County 2011 budget

In the face of plans by Travis County Commissioners to hold the line on new spending in the 2011 budget, Sheriff Greg Hamilton says his department has voluntarily made requested spending cuts for the past two years, but suggests that…

Ott: Weiss to lead Austin Energy, be highest-paid city employee

It’s official: Larry Weis will become Austin Energy’s next leader and the city’s highest-paid employee.   City Manager Marc Ott announced at a news conference Thursday that he has appointed Weis, general manager of the Turlock Irrigation District in Central…

Central Health ready to issue bonds for North Austin health center

Central Health, formerly known as the Travis County Healthcare District, is on track to issue $18 million in bonds this fall to build a new health center in North Central Austin. Planning for the center began in 2008.   Officials…

As Ott prepares to name new GM, Austin Energy works to balance budget

As City Manager Marc Ott prepares to name his choice for general manager of Austin Energy — Larry Weis, general manager of the Turlock (CA) Irrigation District — the utility’s current staff is scrambling to make up for a projected…

County to tap reserve fund to pay for court-appointed attorneys

The county program that provides legal representation to defendants is short on cash and will receive $600,000 from a reserve fund to help get it through the fiscal year.   Travis County Commissioners approved the transfer on Tuesday to pay…

Aquifer district may dip into reserves to make budget for coming year

Kirk Holland, general manager of the Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Water Conservation District, gave the board of directors a balanced preliminary budget last week.   The problem? Holland had to look to reserve funds, to the tune of $208,000, to get…

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