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Headlines / Quote of the Week

April 2, 2021, News

Today, April 1, is the deadline for registering to vote in the May 1 special election. Check out for how to register, vote-by-mail instructions, and what's on the ballot.

One-Two Indictments ... Former Williamson County Sheriff's Deputies James Johnson and Zachary Camden have been indicted on second-degree manslaughter charges in the 2019 death of Javier Ambler. Ambler, who was pulled over for not dimming his headlights, died after deputies repeatedly shot him with a stun gun.

New APD Chief ... The Austin Police Department was the main focus of City Council's meeting last week, with Council unanimously approving former APD Assistant Chief Joe Chacon as interim chief of police.

... Same APD Reckonings Although Chacon was confirmed without opposition on the dais, Council split on its vote to resume cadet classes at APD's Training Academy by June 7. See our Council recap here.

Special Ed Lawsuit The Austin Independent School District has been sued in federal court over its special education evaluation system. Filed on behalf of five AISD students, Disability Rights Texas' lawsuit alleges that the district has failed to evaluate students either seeking or already receiving special education services. Revisit our feature "AISD's Special Education System Struggles to Keep Up" (News, Feb. 26).

Connecting the Committee City Council and the Capital Metro Board of Directors approved nominations for community members to serve on Project Connect's Community Advisory Committee. The group will help develop recommendations on community engagement and equity matters.

Travis County Parks will be open on Easter (April 4) with limited capacity. For a list of park-specific operations, visit

Mind the Algae The city recommends that people be cautious about allowing their dogs in Lake Austin and Lady Bird Lake, following the Lower Colorado River Authority's discovery in Lake Travis of toxic blue-green algae, which can be fatal to dogs. Test results from samples taken will be posted at

Austinite Appointed to White House Council: PODER director and local environmental activist Susana Almanza has been named a member of the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council. The advisory council will provide advice and recommendations to White House agencies on how to address current and historic environmental injustices.

Quote of the Week

"I'm trying to understand why the person with the deadly virus should have more power than the person trying to stay alive and not catch the virus."

– Travis County District Judge Lora Livingston on Texas A.G. Ken Paxton’s challenge over Austin’s mask rule. Read more.

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