Headlines / Quote of the Week

Students arrive at Sanchez Elementary School for Austin ISD’s first day of classes on Tuesday, Aug. 17 (Photo by John Anderson)

That's an Order: Mayor Steve Adler and Travis County Judge Andy Brown issued orders last week requiring face masks at public schools, including colleges, as well as city and county properties. Read more.

Make Way for the Chief: City Manager Spencer Cronk announced the top finalists for chief of the Austin Police Department, including APD Interim Chief Joseph Chacon, Dallas PD Assistant Chief Avery L. Moore, and LAPD Deputy Chief Emada Tingirides. Read more.

Behold, a City Budget: City Council adopted Austin's $4.5 billion budget for fiscal year 2022. Council approved funding for new cadet classes at APD's "reimagined academy," Austin Public Health's Community Health Worker program, and paid "quarantine leave" for city employees. Read more.

Next Up, Travis County: The Travis County Commissioners Court is holding public hearings on the county's proposed FY 22 budget today (Thursday, Aug. 19) through tomorrow, Aug. 20. Travis County's Planning and Budget Office has proposed a preliminary budget of $1.43 billion, which is 10% more than last fiscal year's adopted budget.

Austin's Buried History: The city has been awarded a $50,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities for Museum Site Coordinator Jennifer Chenoweth's digital project at Austin's historic Oakwood Cemetery. Chenoweth's project helps determine the location of unmarked graves at the cemetery and provide historical context for marginalized individuals buried there.

Coming to a Screen Near You: This year's all-virtual Texas Tribune Festival program was announced earlier this week. Running Sept. 20-25, the fest will feature a range of more than 170 speakers from Texas and around the country, including Sen. John Cornyn and Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, among others.

Special Enrollment Sign-Ups: During the six-month special enrollment period for signing up for a health insurance marketplace plan, Foundation Communities saw 160% more Central Texans sign up for marketplace plans with help from the Austin-based social services org than during the same time period last year. The 2022 open enrollment period is Nov. 1-Dec. 15.

Finally, Something Good! Algae and water samples taken from Bull Creek have tested negative for toxic cyanobacteria. The city launched an investigation earlier this month after a person developed symptoms associated with exposure to harmful algae after playing in Bull Creek on Aug. 1. As a precaution, the city collected more water and algae samples earlier this week for another round of testing.

Quote of the Week

Photo by John Anderson

"I want to send well wishes myself to everybody across the country, and especially here in Texas ... who is going through the challenge of having COVID."

– Our vaxxed yet anti-mask mandate Gov. Greg Abbott in an Aug. 17 tweet addressing his testing positive for COVID-19

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