Fri., July 29, 2016
City Council resumed deliberations on the FY 2017 budget this week, hearing the staff presentation of City Manager Marc Ott's proposed budget. Regular meetings resume next Thu., Aug. 4, while Wednesday budget work sessions are scheduled throughout August.
Aug. 1 marks the 50th anniversary of the UT Tower mass shooting. On that day, engineering student Charles Whitman shot 46 people, killing 14, while perched atop the UT-Austin clock tower. The university will hold a Tower Garden rededication ceremony on Monday, unveiling a new memorial honoring the victims. The event begins at 11:48am, when the Tower Clock will stop for 24 hours.
Capital Metro is overhauling its MetroRapid routes after the board voted Monday to buy 15 more dedicated buses and add four more stations to routes 801 and 803 – in the Burnet and Lamar/Guadalupe corridors where ridership has dropped 16% since those routes were introduced. The agency is also considering dumping the current premium pricing for the service to increase ridership.
The Austin Historic Landmark Commission voted this week to declare Russell Lee Elementary a historic landmark. The issue now heads to Council for final approval.
Four open seats will be up for grabs on the Austin Community College Board of Trustees, as three incumbents won't seek re-election and longtime Trustee Allen Kaplan will step down.
Water reclamation and high-tech water metering in Travis County will get a massive boost after the Texas Water Development Board approved a $167 million loan to the Austin Water Utility – part of a new package of $700 million in projects statewide funded through the new State Water Implementation Fund for Texas (SWIFT).
A new website cataloging 6,913 deaths occurring in Texas state custody between 2005 and 2015 launched Wednesday through UT-Austin's Institute for Urban Policy Research & Analysis. The database, www.texasjusticeinitiative.org, sorts in-custody deaths by gender, race/ethnicity, year, age, and cause of death, and includes state-provided synopses of the events of each death.
Baltimore City State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby dropped charges Wednesday against three Baltimore Police officers still facing prosecution for the April 2015 in-custody death of Freddie Gray. "We do not believe Freddie Gray killed himself," Mosby said, but after previous prosecutorial failures, she doubts her ability to successfully argue the case.
Hillary Clinton is now officially the Democratic nominee for president, and the first female candidate for a major U.S. political party. In a sign of unity, Sen. Bernie Sanders, her lead challenger, offered the motion for her selection.
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