City's First Scooter Fatality: A UT student who, while riding a Lime scooter, collided last week with an Uber driver, has died from his injuries, marking the first scooter-related death in Austin since the now-ubiquitous electric scooters hit streets in spring of last year.
Cats Out of the Cafe: The Navasota property that was once home to piñata shop Jumpolin is set to enter a new era, as the Blue Cat Cafe shuttered earlier this week. Owner Rebecca Gray faced gentrification protests and questions about conditions for the cats during its three-year run.
Get in on the Ground Floor: The Statesman reports that tech giant Google has signed a lease to occupy an entire 35-story building currently under construction in Downtown Austin.
Witless Whitley: As of this week, at least three lawsuits have been filed against Texas Secretary of State David Whitley, after Whitley's report claiming that 95,000 registered voters may be "noncitizens" was quickly revealed as riddled with errors. The groups suing Whitley and other election officials include: 1) MOVE Texas Civic Fund, the Jolt Initiative, League of Women Voters of Texas, the Texas NAACP; 2) ACLU of Texas and national ACLU, Texas Civil Rights Project, Demos, Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law; 3) a group of naturalized citizens inaccurately included on the list, in what may become a class action.
That Trick Never Works: Gov. Greg Abbott delivered his "State of the State" address to the 86th Legislature Tuesday, citing as his "emergency" matters school finance reform, teacher pay, and property tax "reform," and not addressing how capping property taxes could be squared with supporting public schools.
That's Called Kidnapping: After the federal inspector general issued a report acknowledging that thousands more immigrant children may have been forcibly separated from their families than the roughly 2,700 already documented, the Dept. of Health and Human Services told a federal court that it has inadequate records of those separations, and might be unable to return the children from "sponsor homes." The ACLU has sued the feds over the policy, and will return to court Feb. 21.
Wash Those Hands, Y'all: Researchers at Austin Public Health issued a warning Feb. 1 about an emerging drug-resistant "superbug." Medical providers are urged to follow the standard protocol when it comes to carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), including "judicious use of antibiotics" and "hand hygiene."
Boards and Commissions: New District 8 (Southwest Austin) Council Member Paige Ellis is looking for qualified residents to serve on city boards and commissions, from March 2019 through Feb. 2023. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Got Unpaid Tickets? Austin Municipal Court is offering amnesty to anyone who voluntarily appears at court (no appointment required) to pay up, petition for a waiver, or request community service instead, through Feb. 28. Find out more at www.austintexas.gov/court.