Another election, yet again: Early voting began May 16 for the May 24 primary run-offs, with a total of some 332 Democratic voters coming out on the first day – something like 0.05% of the registered voters – and two locations not getting a single customer. Early voting continues through May 20. See our endorsements.
City Council meets today (Thu., May 19) with a substantial agenda and a few potential speed bumps and big-ticket items: notably $15-20 million for police officer body cameras and related technology, and a paltry $418,000 for summer swim staff. Also to be pondered is a potential new taxi franchise, this one a driver-owned co-op. See "It's All on Camera," May 20.
Council also met Tuesday with U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, who heard local officials exchange ideas on how to ease Central Texas congestion. Foxx is touring seven finalist cities in the "Smart City Challenge," $40 million in federal transportation grant money to be awarded next month. See "Outsmarting Traffic," May 20.
A massive shake-up in Austin's music industry as developers Stratus Properties took ownership of local promoters Transmission Events and its Fun Fun Fun Fest music festival. Transmission founders Graham Williams and James Moody have left, and Williams has already established a new booking company, Margin Walker Presents. See "Playback," for more.
Congratulations to Chronicle cover star (Nov. 21, 2014), Austin Police Officer Greg Abbink, who married his longtime girlfriend on Sat., May 14.
Chimene Onyeri, suspect in the November assassination attempt on Judge Julie Kocurek, was removed from a Harris Co. jail after the county dropped murder charges filed against him in connection to a 2015 killing. He was brought to Travis County on Wednesday, where he'll stay in custody.
Pharmaceutical company Pfizer announced measures Friday to curtail the use of their drugs in lethal injections, making it the last and largest FDA-approved pharmaceutical manufacturer to shut off direct sales to prisons. The company will continue selling products that could be used in executions, but it will restrict those sales to select wholesalers that can prove they will not resell to correctional departments that conduct executions.
The number of uninsured Texans fell to 16.8% in 2015, according to the latest National Health Interview Survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While Texas continues to be one of the leading states with a high number of uninsured residents, that number has improved since the Affordable Care Act: In 2010, over 25% of Texans were uninsured.