• APD counters July 4 drunk driving with "No Refusal"

    This weekend Austin Police Department will be cracking down on drunk drivers celebrating July 4, with a “no refusal” initiative.

    No refusal allows APD to conduct blood search warrants on drivers who refuse to give a breath or blood sample when pulled over. The patrol against drunk drivers will last from 9 p.m. Wednesday to 5 a.m. Sunday.

    Texas law states those found to have a blood alcohol concentration of .15 or above will be charged with a Class A Misdemeanor with a sentence of one year in jail and up to a $4,000 fine for the first time offenders.

  • Austin police have no new information regarding West Campus sexual assault

    Officials at the Austin Police Department said the department has not received any new information regarding the kidnapping and sexual assault of a UT student in the West Campus area early Monday morning.

    According to an APD press release on Tuesday, the female was approached from behind by at least two unidentified males who forced her to the ground, blindfolded her, placed her in a vehicle and sexually assaulted her. The victim was taken to an unknown location and was released at approximately 6 a.m. near the 2200 block of Stephen F. Austin Blvd. On Tuesday, UT-Austin sent out a safety alert email, confirming the victim was a UT student.

    At approximately 3 p.m. July 2, a campus-wide safety alert stating that the University would receive media attention for the incident was mistakenly sent out. According to UTPD spokesperson Cynthia Posey, that message was meant for campus leadership.

    Our intent was to send two messages: One to leadership only, and one to the campus,” Posey said in an email. “The message intended for leadership, because of an email system error, was sent to the entire campus (including leadership).”

    Posey said the message intended for the campus community was sent and delivered to the intended audience as planned. 

    APD detectives are seeking public assistance in identifying the as yet unknown suspects who assaulted a UT student near the 900 block of West 26th street.

    Senior officer Jermaine Kilgore, an APD public information officer, said he cannot remember the last time a similar incident occurred in the West Campus area.

    “I don't know the exact number,” Kilgore said about sexual crimes in the area. “There hasn't been many. [Monday's] sexual assault is definitely an isolated incident.”

    Anyone with more information about the incident is asked to call the APD Sex Crimes Unit at (512)-974-5095 or Crime Stoppers at (512)-472-TIPS. The public can also text information by typing “Tips 103” before their message and sending it to C R I M E S.  

  • The Morning Texan: Abortion bill passes committee and more

    According to the National Weather Service, the high on Wednesday is only 93 degrees. However, temperatures are expected to increase to 97 degrees tomorrow.

    Here is some morning reading:

    Yesterday’s most read article online: The Austin Police Department is seeking help in an investigation of a sexual assault that happened in West Campus Monday morning. Persons with information should call 512-974-5095 or Crime Stoppers at 512-472-TIPS.

    In case you missed it: Jester will be shutting down its dining options for a few days this week, in order to repair a steam pipe.

    What you have to read: In the early hours of Wednesday morning, the House State Affairs Committee passed HB2, an abortion related bill. The committee stopped hearing public and personal testimony on HB2 at 12:01, leaving more than a 1,000 people who registered to testify without the opportunity to do so.

  • APD seeks information following sexual assault in West Campus

    The Austin Police Department has announced detectives are seeking help locating two men who sexually assaulted a female UT student in West Campus early Monday morning.

    According to a press release from APD, a female was abducted in the 900 block of West 26th Street around 2 a.m. Monday morning. At least two men approached her from behind, blindfolded her and sexually assaulted her in a vehicle.

    UT-Austin recently sent out a safety alert saying the female assaulted was a UT student.

    "The victim was driven to an unknown location and was eventually released at approximately 6 a.m. in the 2200 block of Stephen F. Austin Blvd.," the press release said.

    Persons with information should call 512-974-5095 or Crime Stoppers at 512-472-TIPS.

    Correction: this article has been corrected to reflect the correct date of the crime.

  • Texas voters aware of SB 5 were opposed to it, new study says

    A plurality of Texas voters aware of SB 5 were opposed to it, according to a Public Policy Polling telephone study conducted last weekend.

    SB 5, brought forward in the first special session, would have imposed stricter state regulations on abortion. About 28 percent of voters opposed SB 5 while 20 percent supported it, and 52 percent of the 500 Texas voters surveyed by the study were not aware of the bill.

    Two similar bills are currently waiting to go before the Texas Legislature in the second special session called by Gov. Rick Perry. Conservative lawmakers have also tacked on a third new bill that would limit access to abortion-inducing medications.

    Pollsters from the firm, which usually caters to Democratic clients, also found state Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, has become one of the most recognizable names in the state and a better liked public figure than Perry and state Attorney General Greg Abbot.

    Davis’ in-state recognition rate doubled from 34 percent in January to 68 percent this week, according to the firm. Davis approval-disapproval rating now stands at 39-29, higher than Perry’s 45-50 current rating and Abbot’s 32-26 approval-disapproval rating.

    Abbot, who is widely speculated to be a potential contender in the 2014 gubernatorial elections, would still defeat Davis in a race for the governor’s seat by a margin of 48 percent to 40 percent, according to the poll. Perry also trumped Davis in the 2014 election by a margin of 53 percent to 39 percent.

    The poll was conducted from June 28 to July 1 and used an automated message. The margin of error in the study was +/- 4.4 percentage points.