Headlines / Quote of the Week
The Young and the Diagnosed: Over half of people testing positive for COVID-19 in Austin-Travis County are under the age of 40, according to the latest city data. The age range with the highest number of confirmed cases is between 20-29 years old, recording a total of 134 cases.
AISD Packet Pickups: The Austin Independent School District is providing paper packets for students without access to technology as the district pivots to remote distance learning and online instruction. Every Wednesday from 11am-1pm, parents may pick up packets for students in pre-K through 8th grade from select campuses. A full list of pickup sites is available at sites.google.com/austinisd.org/aisd-learning-at-home.
Speaking of AISD: The search for outgoing AISD Superintendent Paul Cruz’s successor continues. Earlier this week, AISD’s Board of Trustees approved pursuing a contract with executive search firm JG Consulting to help find superintendent candidates. Cruz, who announced his resignation in February, will assume a new position as co-director of the Cooperative Superintendency Program in UT’s College of Education sometime this fall, though it remains unclear when he will leave the district.
Fifth Circuit Upholds Abortion Ban: On Tue., April 7, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled a ban on abortions in Texas can remain in effect during the coronavirus pandemic. In a 2-1 decision, the panel of federal judges affirmed Texas’ right to ban abortions in an effort to combat the spread of the virus given “the escalating spread of COVID-19, and the state’s critical interest in protecting the public health.”
TX Observer Announces EIC: The Texas Observer announced on Wednesday its new editor-in-chief to lead the Austin-based nonprofit news organization: Tristan Ahtone. A Nieman Fellow at Harvard University and current president of the Native American Journalists Association, Ahtone has worked for Al Jazeera America, NPR, and, most recently, High Country News, where he was the Indigenous Affairs editor. The Observer’s previous editor in chief, Texas Monthly and Wired alum Andrea Valdez, left her post earlier this year to become the founding editor of nonprofit news publication, “The 19th*.” Abby Johnston, also a former Texas Monthly staffer, currently serves as the Observer’s executive editor.
Big Plans, Big Game: U.S. Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt proposed today (April 8) a historic expansion of hunting and fishing opportunities across 2.3 million acres at 97 national wildlife refuges, including the Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge northwest of Austin. The proposal includes the expanding of existing big game hunting to new acres in the refuge.