Canceled Reservation: City Council backed off the proposed purchase of a second motel on Metro Center Drive to convert to transitional housing for the homeless, after ECHO Executive Director Matt Mollica said the airport overlay zoning restrictions might cause future complications. The site is still under consideration, but Council asked staff for further review before adding it to the likely property list.
Hate Crimes 101: Sworn officers, prosecutors, and a handful of federal agents from throughout Central Texas attended an advanced hate crimes training at Austin Police Department's Training Academy on Wednesday. Put on by the Matthew Shepard Foundation, the daylong training emphasized the need to develop ties between law enforcement and vulnerable communities, appropriate investigative measures, state and federal hate crime laws, and more.
Starbucks Is Coming: For the past 20 years, Austin's airport has eluded coffee megastar Starbucks, but no longer. In 2003, negotiations with the chain fell through after Council stood firm on only having local brands; this week, ABIA announced that two Starbucks, holding a 10-year lease, will open in the airport by early January – one inside the terminal, one at baggage claim.
How Many More? Houston police Chief (formerly Austin Chief) Art Acevedo blasted GOP Sens. Mitch McConnell, John Cornyn, and Ted Cruz for their opposition to the Violence Against Women Act, after a Houston police sergeant was killed responding to a domestic violence report. Acevedo cited their opposition to closing the "boyfriend loophole," because "the NRA doesn't like the fact that we want to take firearms out of the hands of boyfriends that abuse their girlfriends."
Meanwhile, in D.C. ... U.S. House Judiciary Committee leadership announced two draft articles of impeachment on Tuesday against President Trump. The articles say "Trump has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as President and subversive of constitutional government" and deserves removal from office.
Austin Goes Nashville: Block 21 north of City Hall (W Hotel, ACL Live, Steve Adler's home, Willie Nelson statue, etc.) has been sold by local bad-boys-made-good Stratus Properties to the Ryman empire (Grand Ole Opry, Gaylord resorts, Blake Shelton's Ole Red brand).