City Council meets today (Thu., Feb. 12) with a full agenda, including a couple dozen zoning cases and the mayor's proposal to let the privately funded "Mayor's Better Austin Foundation" expand the capacities of Council and the mayor's office. See "Public Notice," and "Council: Only the Strong Survive."
An Austin father is dead after being shot by a police sniper late Saturday evening. When APD sent a helicopter to investigate reports of 27-year-old Sawyer Flache shooting at streetlights, Flache took aim at the aircraft. Seeing him ready to aim again at the helicopter, on-the-ground SWAT Officer Luke Serrato shot Flache, killing him. It's unclear what motivated the gunman; the Statesman reports Flache's neighbors claim "a recent divorce and custody battle had taken a toll."
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approved $21.4 million in federal funds for Dove Springs area homes affected by the 2013 Onion Creek flood, U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett recently announced. The money – an addition to the $12 million given last summer – will be used to buy out homes, restore the creek, and create a recreational space.
No more temporary permits will be accepted during SXSW 2015 – the city announced Tuesday that the new maximum number of events (246) has been reached, and the Austin Center for Events has stopped accepting Temporary Use Permits, Temporary Event Sound Permits, etc. Last year the city permitted 284 temporary events.
Equity between schools is a top issue in education, and AISD is at least moving forward on a definition of the term. Trustees met Feb. 9 to discuss what equal provision between district campuses really means, before starting plans for a self-assessment later this year.
A "border patrol"-themed party held last weekend has landed a UT fraternity in hot water. Partygoers donned sombreros, ponchos, construction-worker vests, and camouflage. While members of Phi Gamma Delta, aka Texas Fiji, have defended the theme, complaints of cultural insensitivity led to a formal investigation by the UT Dean of Students.
Police Chief Art Acevedo placed an unidentified male officer on administrative leave Tuesday because of his relationship to Samantha Dean, the recently murdered Kyle PD employee. Acevedo has yet to speak publicly about the personnel decision, though it's believed that the officer was the father of the baby Dean was carrying.
Death row inmate Lester Bower Jr. avoided execution Tuesday after the U.S. Supreme Court gave him a reprieve days before his pending death. Bower was sentenced to death in 1983; his attorneys have argued that Bower's 30-plus years on death row have been in violation of the U.S. Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment.
UT-Austin may find itself back at the U.S. Supreme Court over affirmative action – Abigail Fisher, a white student who originally sued the university over the denial of her admission, has asked the Supremes to reconsider a lower court ruling that UT's admissions policy is "narrowly tailored" and constitutional.
The Student Success Act, the successor to the constantly controversial No Child Left Behind, hit real debate as the House Committee on Education & the Workforce began mark-up on the bill on Feb. 11. As it stands, the bill would dramatically cut the federal role in education.