City Council returns from a two-week break to vote on a Fair Chance Hiring ordinance, meant to give offenders a better shot at employment by delaying criminal background checks in the hiring process, and a resolution to review and strengthen the city's gender discrimination policies. The CMs also plan to tackle around 25 zoning cases, but apparently not the controversial Lenox Oaks proposal in Montopolis. For more, see "Council," "Cactus Rose," and "Fair Chance," Mar. 25.
Austin Police Department has a new assistant chief in Frank Dixon. The former lieutenant joined the appointed ranks last week and will manage patrol for five command zones, including highway enforcement and the airport.
Extremely well-known local restaurateur Paul Qui was arrested Sunday for unlawful restraint and assault causing bodily injury to a family member after an argument with his girlfriend. Qui told the Austin American-Statesman in a statement that he's checking into rehab, but maintains he's "innocent of the charge of assault." For more, see "Paul Qui Arrested for Assault," March 21.
AISD trustees are considering asking voters for construction funds. At the March 21 board meeting, the Facilities and Bond Planning Advisory Committee recommended adding a bond package – contents to be determined – to the May 2017 ballot. There are also internal discussions about maximizing the use of existing facilities by redrawing school attendance zones.
The man shot by police Sunday after a lengthy chase was identified Tuesday as William Elliott Mann. The 34-year-old was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and evading arrest. He's currently booked in the Travis County Correctional Complex. See "Officer-Involved Shooting in Northeast Austin," March 21.
Sixth Street Shooting: APD arrested 22-year-old Rondarius Spicer of Killeen for firing a gun at Sixth Street and Trinity in the early morning hours of Sunday, March 20. Though no injuries were reported, Spicer faces several weapons charges and remains in the Travis County jail, which some insist is a marked improvement from living in Killeen.
House Bill 2 continues to inflict damage: A new report published in the American Journal of Public Health by the Texas Policy Evaluation Project finds that the Texas abortion law has led to higher expense associated with obtaining the procedure and increased travel time to clinics, with women who no longer have a nearby provider forced to drive up to an average of four times longer, or 85 miles one-way, for care.
Brian Encinia, the former DPS trooper who pulled over Sandra Bland on July 10, 2015, pleaded not guilty to a perjury charge stemming from last year's investigation into Bland's death. A trial is currently set for Jan. 23, 2017.