Headlines / Quote of the Week

Graduation in the Age of COVID-19: Akins High School holds a socially distant graduation ceremony at Toney Burger Center on Tue., June 23. The outdoor ceremony was one of several Austin Independent School District held earlier this week for class of 2020 graduates to walk across the stage in cap and gown and receive their diplomas in person. (Photo by Jana Birchum)

Mask Up, Y'all: As of June 23, Austin-Travis County businesses are required to enforce that all employees and visitors wear face coverings. The new orders, issued by Mayor Steve Adler and Travis County Judge Sam Biscoe, come as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to break records at state and local levels amid businesses reopening.

Early voting for the July 14 primary run-off and Senate District 14 election runs from June 29 to July 10; polls closed July 3-4. Info on vote-by-mail, in-person polling locations, and more at austinchronicle.com/elections.

Prosecutors Investigating Javier Ambler's Death: Travis County District Attorney Margaret Moore and Williamson County District Attorney Shawn Dick issued a statement last week saying their offices are conducting a joint investigation into Javier Ambler's death at the hands of Williamson County sheriff's deputies last year. WilCo will take the lead in investigating "possible tampering with evidence 'by personnel from Williamson County Agencies who have had contact or communications'" with A&E reality show Live PD, whose camera crews rode along with deputies that night.

Berl Handcox Dies: Former City Council Member Berl Handcox died Sunday at the age of 88. Handcox, who served on Council from 1971-75, was the city's first Black council member to be elected since Reconstruction.

AISD approves budget to the tune of $1.65 billion for the 2021 fiscal year, with a $47.55 million dip into district reserves.

COVID-19 at TravCo Jail: The Travis County Sheriff's Office said six more jail inmates and six TCSO employees have tested positive for COVID-19. Three inmates have been released on bond while three remain in quarantine, according to the June 22 update.

Here, Tesla, Tesla: Travis County is proposing a 20-year tax incentives deal for electric car company Tesla, which is considering building a "Gigafactory" manufacturing facility near Del Valle. In a Travis County Commissioners Court meeting Tuesday, Judge Sam Biscoe said commissioners could vote on the proposed deal as soon as June 30.

Trump Can't Shut Down DACA: On June 18, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Trump administration cannot end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which protects hundreds of thousands of immigrants from deportation.

Bikin' Fast, Faces Pass In an effort to ensure social distancing, Austin Transportation Department will install temporary protected bicycle lanes on Congress Avenue from Riverside Drive to 11th Street on June 30.

Quote of the Week

Photo by John Anderson

"On our current trajectory, we could reach a point in about four weeks where we have to choose between returning to sheltering at home or watching as our hospitals get overwhelmed and we suffer many preventable deaths."

– Mayor Steve Adler in a June 20 letter calling on Austinites to help change that trajectory by wearing masks and practicing social distancing

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