Headlines / Quote of the Week

Austinites celebrate a rare snowfall in Central Texas at the Texas State Capitol on Sunday (Photo by David Brendan Hall)

Now in Session: The 87th Legislature gaveled in Tuesday at the Texas State Capitol amid heightened security following last week's attack on the U.S. Capitol building. A small gathering of protesters – some armed militia, some anti-vaxxers – were also on hand. Read our Lege preview.

Field Hospital Activated: As Central Texas' continued surge in cases and hospitalizations puts pressure on area hospitals, an alternate care site at the Austin Convention Center opened on Tuesday to deal with overflow. Read more.

Vaccine Town Halls: Austin Public Health is conducting virtual town halls in English (Jan. 13, viewable on APH's Facebook page and ATXN) and Spanish (Jan. 14, viewable on the Univision 62 Facebook page, website, and app) to discuss vaccine safety and distribution.

Vaccine Preregistration Launches: APH has opened a COVID-19 online vaccine preregistration system, intended to get the vaccine to vulnerable populations and communities. (Those with private insurance are encouraged to contact their primary care providers.) More info at www.austintexas.gov/covid19-vaccines.

Not This Time: Ending Community Homelessness Coalition announced it will not be conducting its 2021 in-person Point in Time Count of unsheltered individuals experiencing homelessness due to safety concerns over COVID-19. ECHO encourages community members to find other ways to volunteer at www.austinecho.org/pit-2021-alternatives.

Dawn of a New D.A.'s Office: A grand jury returned an indictment Jan. 4 against Austin Police Department Officer Lando Hall, who is charged with misuse of official information. Expectations are high for the newly elected Travis County District Attorney José Garza, who campaigned on a promise to hold law enforcement accountable.

"Pivot" to Video: The City of Austin Economic Development Department will launch on Feb. 3 a biweekly livestream video podcast focused on the African American experience in Austin. Titled The Pivot, the program will be hosted by T.J. Owens of the department's African American Cultural & Heritage Facility.

Modular Bus Stop, Starts: Capital Metro will test a curb extension technology on the UT campus at Guadalupe and Dean Keeton; the new platform will enable buses to meet the sidewalk and curb without pulling out of a travel lane.

Fauci for the Win: On Thursday, Dr. Anthony Fauci will receive the University of Texas Dell Medical School's 2021 Ken Shine Prize, awarded to leaders who make significant advancements in health.

The Red-Headed Stranger We All Know and Love: SXSW announced Wednesday that country music icon and weed entrepreneur Willie Nelson will deliver a conference keynote address at this year's online festival.

I Painted the Devil (My Intention Is Not Insulting the Devil) by Pepe Yz (Courtesy of Pepe Yz)

Quote of the Week

"People thought that what I said was totally appropriate."

– President Donald J. Trump denying on Tuesday any personal responsibility for the deadly insurrection at the Capitol that followed his Jan. 6 “Stop the Steal” rally

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