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Stories by Tyler Whitson

Wednesday, December 2, 2015 by Tyler Whitson

County applies for police body camera grant

The Travis County Commissioners Court voted Tuesday to approve an application submitted by the Sheriff’s Office for a new statewide police body camera grant for a county body camera pilot program.The measure passed on a 4-0 vote, with Commissioner Brigid…

Tuesday, December 1, 2015 by Tyler Whitson

APD outlines body camera policy in forum

Amid calls for increased scrutiny of law enforcement across the nation, City Council has decided that the city should purchase body cameras for the Austin Police Department in the coming months. What that rollout and the policies that govern it…

Monday, November 30, 2015 by Tyler Whitson

Police monitor talks body cameras on task force

As the Austin Police Department prepares to roll out a body camera pilot program in the coming months, city Police Monitor Margo Frasier and law enforcement experts from across the nation are tackling the ethical and legal questions that come…

Wednesday, November 25, 2015 by Tyler Whitson

Cap Metro asks for more transit in spending plan

As City Council considers a plan to disperse the “quarter-cent fund” among transportation projects around the city, the Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority – the agency that initially contributed the funding to the city – is asking Council to prioritize more…

Tuesday, November 24, 2015 by Tyler Whitson

City may hire temp officers for SXSW season

As South by Southwest and the whirlwind of events that surround it loom large on the horizon, the city and the Austin Police Association are discussing ways to cover the festival season without pulling many officers away from their duties.…

Friday, November 20, 2015 by Tyler Whitson

Council loosens rules on accessory dwelling units

Austin homeowners hoping to build accessory dwelling units on their properties now have a better chance of being able to do so, based on new rules that City Council passed on Thursday.The measure reducing restrictions on accessory dwelling units, or…

Thursday, November 19, 2015 by Tyler Whitson

LCRA lowers water rate for cities, municipalities

The Lower Colorado River Authority is “making it rain” – savings, that is.The river authority’s board of directors approved a proposal on Wednesday to lower water rates for “firm” customers, typically cities and municipalities in Central Texas, starting in January.The…

Wednesday, November 18, 2015 by Tyler Whitson

Council mulls granny flats, garage apartments

Ahead of a Thursday vote that could loosen rules for building accessory dwelling units such as granny flats and garage apartments, City Council debated the potential benefits and risks of the move at a work session on Tuesday.Council Member Greg…

Tuesday, November 17, 2015 by Tyler Whitson

Consultant endorses gas plant after study

Navigant Consulting, which the city hired to review the 500 megawatt natural gas plant proposed in the Austin Energy generation plan, has recommended the project.Dan Bradley and Matt Tanner, two of the report’s authors, presented the results at an Electric…

Tuesday, November 17, 2015 by Tyler Whitson

List of proposed Uber, Lyft rules gets longer

In the midst of a heated debate about requirements for fingerprint background checks and fees for transportation network companies such as Uber and Lyft, the City Council Mobility Committee has tossed a slew of additional proposals into the pot.The committee…

Monday, November 16, 2015 by Tyler Whitson

Samsung, Freescale reject new energy tariff terms

Samsung Austin Semiconductor and Freescale Semiconductor – Austin Energy’s largest customers – have rejected the contract terms of a new tariff that City Council unanimously passed on Thursday.Catherine Morse and John Holmes, representing Samsung and Freescale, respectively, issued a statement…

Friday, November 13, 2015 by Tyler Whitson

Council moves to protect tenants from displacement

Following the recent controversy surrounding a Riverside Drive apartment complex demolition permit that displaced around 100 low-income families, City Council has taken a step toward establishing new rules to assist tenants in similar situations in the future.Council approved a resolution…

Wednesday, November 11, 2015 by Tyler Whitson

Council denies land annexation in contentious vote

In an unusual and potentially precedent-setting move, City Council voted 6-4 at a Tuesday work session not to annex a piece of land into the city limits, despite staff’s recommendation to do so.Although the land is bordered on three sides…

Tuesday, November 10, 2015 by Tyler Whitson

Austinites sound off on MoPac South

Austin-area elected officials, advocates and community members gathered at Austin High School on Monday for a forum on the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority’s proposed MoPac South tolled expansion. The event revealed a general dissatisfaction and frustration with the available…

Tuesday, November 10, 2015 by Tyler Whitson

Austin Energy supports Clean Power Plan

Although Texas is a major player in a legal challenge to the federal Clean Power Plan, Austin Energy and three utilities outside of Texas have joined Houston-based Calpine Corp. in a legal motion to support the plan. Austin Energy General…

Friday, November 6, 2015 by Tyler Whitson

City works to incentivize treated wastewater reuse

Although many believe that it is better to reuse treated wastewater than to discharge it into bodies of water, not all agree on how state law could incentivize reuse. City and regional stakeholders are drafting a proposal that might achieve…

Thursday, November 5, 2015 by Tyler Whitson

Central Texas water management plan updated

The Central Texas drought may continue, but the days of uncertainty about how to handle the water on which Austinites and others depend appear to be over for the foreseeable future.The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality approved a major amendment…

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 by Tyler Whitson

Health committee discusses new spending plans

Before adopting the city’s proposed budget in September, City Council added more than $6.5 million in spending for health, human services, social services and quality of life programs. With the new fiscal year in full swing, Shannon Jones, director of…

Monday, November 2, 2015 by Tyler Whitson

Low-Income Weatherization Program scrutinized

The Office of the City Auditor and the City Council Audit and Finance Committee put Austin Energy’s Low-Income Weatherization Program under the microscope on Wednesday, finding that customers are satisfied with the program overall but that it needs improvement.The program,…

Monday, November 2, 2015 by Tyler Whitson

Austin hosts mobility conference, former official

Hundreds gathered in and around Brazos Hall in downtown Austin on Thursday to hear what former New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan had to say about the future of transportation planning in cities across the world, including…

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