Official newspaper of the University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of the University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of the University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

All content by Joshua Fechter

Texas House to hear campus carry legislation

May 3, 2013

Concealed handgun license holders could carry on university campuses if the Texas Legislature approves a bill going before the House of Representatives on Saturday. The bill, authored by State Rep....

Investigators may find cause of West explosion soon

May 2, 2013

Investigators may find the cause of the fire and subsequent explosion in West by May 10, the state fire marshal told lawmakers Wednesday. The West Fertilizer Co. plant explosion killed 15 people, injured...

Texas House approves fixed tuition

May 2, 2013

The Texas House of Representatives tentatively approved a bill Wednesday requiring universities to offer students the option of a four-year fixed tuition plan in a move similar to one taken by the UT System...

State struggles to fund Texas’ volunteer fighters

May 1, 2013

Nearly two weeks before the April 17 explosion in West killed 15 people, including 12 volunteer first responders, Texas lawmakers voted against providing additional funds to the state’s 1,505 volunteer...

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President Barack Obama, officials promise recovery from West explosion

April 26, 2013

WACO — President Barack Obama told mourners remembering the 12 first responders killed in the explosion in West last week that the country stands with them as they attempt to restore their town. “You...

Bill would allow concealed handguns in vehicles on campus

April 25, 2013

Universities would not be able to prohibit students with concealed handgun licenses from storing handguns and ammunition in their vehicles on university property if a proposed law passes the Texas Legislature. The...

Appropriations Chairman Pitts: amendments limiting UT System spending will stay

April 25, 2013

The Texas House of Representatives’ chief budget writer said Wednesday he intends to keep amendments to the proposed state budget limiting the spending power of the UT System Board of Regents and...

Texas legislators await answers in West explosion

April 23, 2013

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst said last week the Texas Legislature would support West in the aftermath of the explosion, but the region’s representatives said they are waiting for more answers before submitting...

Gov. Rick Perry declares West area disaster zone

April 19, 2013

When marketing senior Hannah Hutyra got a call from her mom, who said there had been an explosion, Hutyra said she didn’t understand why her mom sounded upset. “Nothing ever happens in a...

Student leaders, gay rights group testify against controversial bill

April 18, 2013

Student leaders and a Texas-based gay rights advocacy group voiced opposition Wednesday to a bill that would allow student organizations to exclude members based on race, gender or sexual orientation. As...

Regents’ behavior may be reaction to national events, part of trend

April 17, 2013

The UT System Board of Regents’ increased involvement in UT affairs may be influenced by events at other universities, according to education analysts. Controversies such as the 2011 sex abuse...

Regent behavior prompts reexamination of state’s open records law

April 16, 2013

The UT System Board of Regents’ decision last week to disclose information requested by Texas lawmakers has not stopped legislative efforts to clarify regents’ proper adherence to the state’s...

Political, economic climates affect regent-legislator relations, officials say

April 15, 2013

Conflicts between members of the UT System Board of Regents and the Texas Legislature are nothing new to the two bodies, but their relationship changes with differing political and economic climates, according...

Regents vote to supply information to legislators, allow Texas AG to conduct law school investigation

April 12, 2013

Complying with requests from several Texas lawmakers, the UT System Board of Regents unanimously voted Thursday to release documents requested by legislators and allow the Texas Attorney General’s...

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Groups struggle to preserve habitat of West Texas lizard

April 12, 2013

Environmental groups and governmental agencies are wrestling with how to properly protect a type of lizard that resides on oil-producing lands owned by the UT System. The 3-inch dunes sagebrush lizard...

House committee approves campus carry bill

April 12, 2013

UT administrators continue their opposition to allowing concealed handguns on campus after a House committee approved a bill Thursday to permit licensees to carry on university grounds. The House Homeland...

Bill would clarify regents’ duty to disclose information

April 10, 2013

Under legislation filed Monday in the Texas Senate, the UT System Board of Regents would have to disclose information to legislators despite objections by regents that disclosure may hinder their investigative...

Statewide water shortage threatens Texas economy, population growth

April 5, 2013

Austinites hit by the downpour this week may not realize Texas faces a water shortage that threatens the state’s long-term ability to provide water for citizens and businesses. Dan Hardin, water...

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Lawmakers prepare for ramifications of Fisher case on UT admissions

April 4, 2013

The Texas Legislature is trying to ensure UT can pursue diversity if the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down a portion of its admissions policy that considers race. The Senate Higher Education Committee...

Bill limiting regents moves to Texas Senate

April 4, 2013

The Senate Higher Education Committee voted 4-1 Wednesday to move a bill before the Texas Senate that would limit the power of university boards of regents over individual institutions within a system. The...

Foundation that supports Texas cancer agency to shut doors in 60 days

April 3, 2013

The state’s troubled cancer agency suffered another blow Tuesday after the foundation that supports the agency announced it would close its doors within 60 days. The CPRIT Foundation, which is...

Differing views of regents’ roles cloud governance discussion

April 3, 2013

Following controversy surrounding the UT System Board of Regents’ alleged micromanagement of President William Powers Jr., Texas lawmakers must navigate differing philosophies about the proper governance...

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Vice Chancellor Barry McBee bridges gap between Texas Legislature and UT System

April 1, 2013

While university presidents and the chancellor may be the public faces in front of the Texas Legislature, one UT System official plays a more behind-the-scenes role in the lawmaking process. Since 2006,...

Lawmakers seek end to B-On-Time loan tax

March 29, 2013

Students who receive forgivable loans under the B-On-Time program receive something in addition — an income tax form. Under federal law, forgivable loans such as the B-On-Time loan count as taxable...

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Lt. Gov. Dewhurst joins senators, community members in critique of regents’ decision

March 28, 2013

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst said Wednesday that Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s office should conduct a “duplicative investigation” of the UT Law School Foundation’s relationship...

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Senate of College Councils backs bill to limit regents, elects president

March 22, 2013

The Senate of College Councils showed unanimous support Thursday for legislation to limit the powers of university system boards of regents across the state and elected a new president after the previous...

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Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst shares story of lost father, World War II veteran

March 21, 2013

When a drunk driver killed David Dewhurst, Jr., his 3-year-old son, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, was deprived of the opportunity to learn about his father’s past. Nearly 60 years after the accident,...

Lawmakers request information regarding regent, UT employee

March 20, 2013

A joint legislative committee announced Tuesday that they have requested information from the UT System Board of Regents necessary to investigate allegations that the board is “micromanaging”...

Texas House approves consolidated UT System school in Valley

March 20, 2013

The Texas House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill Tuesday to establish a new UT System university in the Rio Grande Valley. Lawmakers voted 149-0 to combine UT-Brownsville, UT-Pan American...

Lawmakers request information regarding regent, UT employee correspondence

March 20, 2013

Members of a joint legislative committee announced Tuesday that they have requested information from the UT System Board of Regents necessary to investigate allegations that the board is “micromanaging”...

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Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice reaffirms Iraq War support on eve of 10th anniversary

March 19, 2013

Two days before the 10th anniversary of the start of the Iraq War, a conflict that resulted in the deaths of 4,488 U.S. soldiers and thousands of civilians, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice reaffirmed...

Legislative decisions to impact UT, UT System

March 18, 2013

Spring break saw a reaffirmation of the UT System’s opposition to guns on campus and legislative action that may determine how the state would fund UT. This week, the Texas Legislature will decide...

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Committee recommends funding increase for TEXAS Grants, universities

March 8, 2013

The Texas Legislature could boost TEXAS Grant funding to historical levels if it follows recommendations unanimously approved by the House Appropriations Committee on Thursday. The committee approved...

Sequestration impacts UT work-study program

March 7, 2013

The University’s work-study program may face cuts after the federal government failed to agree to a plan that would forestall $85 billion in automatic budget cuts, commonly referred to as sequestration. In...

Committees approve consolidation of UT System schools in South Texas

March 7, 2013

Texas lawmakers will consider consolidating UT System institutions in South Texas after two legislative committees unanimously approved it Wednesday. The bills, approved separately by the House and...

Bill seeks to reverse Austin bag ban

March 7, 2013

Austin’s recent bag ban could face an early demise if the Texas Legislature approves a bill that would abolish it. The bill, filed by freshman state Rep. Drew Springer, R-Muenster, would invalidate...

Voters split on concealed carry for universities

March 6, 2013

Texas voters are largely split on whether or not to allow concealed handguns on college campuses, according to a poll conducted by UT and The Texas Tribune. Three bills in the Texas Legislature would...

Consolidated school in Rio Grande Valley may include law school

March 4, 2013

A law school may join the proposed consolidated UT System institution in the Rio Grande Valley despite claims by the state’s higher education agency that Texas does not immediately need another law...

Texas Legislature may lower number of credit hours required for an associate degree

March 1, 2013

In January, UT and Austin Community College announced a partnership that would allow students who transfer from ACC to the University to earn an associate degree from their previous institution.  Now,...

UT System presidents support fixed tuition, despite mixed results

February 28, 2013

Fixed-rate tuition has been implemented at UT System institutions with varying success, UT System officials told Texas lawmakers Wednesday. The Texas House Higher Education Committee considered a bill,...

Peer, rival universities discourage romantic relationships between faculty, students

February 27, 2013

A brief survey of some peer institutions’ policies regarding consensual romantic relationships between university employees and students found that universities discourage student-employee relationships...

Board chairman Powell calls Dewhurst’s remarks ‘result of misinformation’

February 25, 2013

Capping off a week of drama between the Texas Legislature and the UT System Board of Regents, board chairman Gene Powell released a statement saying Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst’s remarks that the regents...

Texas Legislature targets regents’ authority over universities

February 21, 2013

After allegations arose earlier this week that the UT System Board of Regents is micromanaging President William Powers Jr., the Texas Legislature took steps Wednesday to limit regents’ powers over...

Consolidating South Texas schools would boost economy, officials say

February 21, 2013

Consolidating UT System institutions in the Rio Grande Valley would greatly benefit the economy of South Texas, UT System officials and Texas lawmakers said Wednesday. The Texas Legislature is considering...

Lt. Gov. to announce Board investigation

February 20, 2013

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst is expected to release details Wednesday on the Texas Legislature’s involvement in the ongoing tension between President William Powers Jr. and members of the UT System Board...

Lawmakers defend, praise Powers in time of strain

February 19, 2013

At a time of strain between President William Powers Jr. and members of the UT System Board of Regents, Texas lawmakers defended Powers’ record and heaped praise upon him at a ceremony on the floor...

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Powers to lawmakers: increase support for research

February 18, 2013

Restoring state funding cuts to UT may best be done through funding research projects at the University, President William Powers Jr. told Texas lawmakers Friday. Powers told a subcommittee of the House...

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Texas may meet some higher ed goals, officials say

February 14, 2013

While Texas is currently on track to reach targets intended to improve higher education in the state, some hurdles remain. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board is the state agency charged with...

House Higher Education considers bill to consolidate Valley schools first

February 14, 2013

A bill to consolidate three UT System institutions in the Rio Grande Valley into one university will be the first piece of legislation considered by the Texas House Higher Education Committee during this...

Proposed changes could expand access to TEXAS Grants

February 12, 2013

Texas could expand access to a financial aid program that benefits thousands of low-income students at UT if it enacts recommendations passed down by the state’s higher education agency. Raymund...

TEXAS Grants funds limited despite growing statewide enrollment

February 11, 2013

Texas lawmakers are grappling with how to properly fund a state financial aid program that benefits thousands of UT students. Current funding proposals to the TEXAS Grant Program, which supplies financial...

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State may redirect funding from existing UT institutions to proposed Rio Grande Valley school

February 8, 2013

Texas lawmakers heard testimony Thursday about the impact of a proposed consolidated UT System school in the Rio Grande Valley on a state fund intended for institutions in the UT and Texas A&M systems. Bills...

CPRIT impact on UT research unclear

February 8, 2013

University officials are still unsure of how proposed funding cuts to a troubled state agency would affect the $30 million to $40 million in cancer research grants it has recieved from the agency. The...

Lawmakers confused over M.D. Anderson grant

February 7, 2013

After hours of testimony and extensive questioning, lawmakers did not receive a clear answer about how a $25.2 million grant awarded to the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston wound...

Bills in Texas Legislature would consolidate UT System schools in Rio Grande Valley

February 5, 2013

Bills filed in both houses of the Texas Legislature on Monday would lead the UT System to consolidate its institutions in the Rio Grande Valley into one entity. The bills would bring UT-Brownsville,...

City unveils transit plan to meet growing regional needs

February 4, 2013

City and transportation officials released a transit plan intended to unite the Central Texas region Friday. At a press conference Friday, Mayor Lee Leffingwell said within 15 years, the city will link...

Speaker Joe Straus appoints Texas House Higher Education Committee

February 1, 2013

A mix of old and new faces will fill the House Higher Education Committee, which was announced Thursday. Texas House Speaker Joe Straus renamed state Rep. Dan Branch, R-Dallas, chairman of the committee....

Gov. Rick Perry calls upon Legislature to freeze college tuition

January 30, 2013

Gov. Rick Perry reaffirmed his support for freezing four-year tuition rates for incoming freshmen in his biannual State of the State address yesterday. Perry first proposed fixed four-year tuition...

Bill would mandate annual UT, A&M face-off

January 29, 2013

The University of Texas and Texas A&M University would be forced to hit the field together once a year if the Texas Legislature approves a bill filed Monday. The bill, filed by Rep. Ryan Guillen,...

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UT System, UT-Austin officials testify to Senate Finance Committee, request funds

January 29, 2013

University of Texas at Austin and UT System officials outlined major initiatives — including the consolidation of three System schools in the Rio Grande Valley and the construction of a new building...

Second Texas bill would mandate fixed-tuition rates at universities

January 29, 2013

Universities would be required to freeze tuition for the duration of students’ undergraduate degree plans if the Texas Legislature approves a bill filed in the House of Representatives. The bill,...

Concealed carry bill for universities filed in Texas House

January 28, 2013

A freshman representative’s bill gives the Texas Legislature a bill in both houses that would allow concealed firearms on university campuses. State Rep. Giovanni Capriglione, R-Southlake,...

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst names Senate Higher Education Committee

January 23, 2013

On Friday, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst named the seven members of the Senate Higher Education Committee, which is expected to deal with topics that will directly impact the University. UT spokesman Gary...

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Early state funding proposals suggest 3 percent cut to UT

January 23, 2013

The University would face a cut of almost 3 percent in state funds if Texas legislators follow budget recommendations released last week, although the budget may change during the legislative process. The...

Fixed tuition, outcome-based funding draw UT’s eye

January 18, 2013

UT officials are closely watching a number of bills in the Texas Legislature that could impact the University’s long-term planning. UT spokesman Gary Susswein said the University is paying close...

Students have polarized views on the proposed concealed carry legislation

January 18, 2013

Members of the UT community are revisiting the issue of guns on campus after a state senator introduced a bill Thursday that would allow concealed firearms on university grounds. The bill, filed by...

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Texas budget proposals would cut funds from higher education

January 17, 2013

Higher education institutions would face a 2 percent funding decrease during the 2014-15 biennium if the Texas Legislature passes preliminary budget proposals filed Tuesday.  However, funding may...

UT President William Powers Jr. continues to oppose concealed carry on campus

January 15, 2013

President William Powers Jr. has not signed a petition circulated by university presidents around the country that seeks to encourage lawmakers to place restrictions on firearms, but a spokesperson said...

Texas Legislative Budget Board releases biennial budget proposal

January 15, 2013

The Texas Legislature would adopt a budget of about $187 billion for the upcoming biennium, according to budget proposals released by the Texas Legislative Budget Board on Monday. The Texas Legislative...

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Barack Obama nominates UT alumnus John Brennan to head of CIA

January 14, 2013

President Barack Obama’s nomination of a former UT student to lead the CIA may prompt a public debate about the United States’ increased reliance on drone strikes in the War on Terror and past...

UT plans faculty for medical school after Proposition 1 passage

December 7, 2012

UT aims to hire a nationally-recognized medical professional as the inaugural dean for a planned medical school by fall 2013. Hiring a dean to administrate the medical school and help oversee its...

Texas bill aims to allow more universities to qualify to receive money from the National Research University Fund

December 6, 2012

A state Senate bill, which aims to alter the amount of funds distributed through a state program intended to establish the next major national research university in Texas, would not immediately affect...

New bill to aid in funding of new UT engineering school through bonds

December 5, 2012

A bill in the Texas Senate could help fund the construction of a new building for the Cockrell School of Engineering by allowing the UT System Board of Regents to issue bonds for the project. The...

B-On-Time program reconsiderations aim to support more students

December 5, 2012

A bill in the state Senate seeks to improve a zero-interest loan program that forgives loans for students who complete their degrees in a timely fashion. The B-On-Time loan program was established in...

Proposed Texas Senate bill would exempt textbook purchases from sales tax

November 30, 2012

A bill in the Texas Senate would allow students to purchase textbooks without paying sales tax during two 10-day periods every year. The bill, introduced by state Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo,...

Gov. Perry appoints new secretary of state, chief of staff

November 28, 2012

Texas Gov. Rick Perry filled two positions Tuesday by appointing a longtime campaign donor as secretary of state and UT alumna as the governor’s chief of staff. Perry appointed Ann Bishop,...

Texas bills could help establish new medical, law school

November 28, 2012

Editor’s note: We will feature higher education bills filed for Texas’ 83rd legislative session, which begins Jan. 8, every day until the end of the semester. A series of bills...

Rick Perry appoints chief of staff Jeff Boyd to Texas Supreme Court

November 27, 2012

Texas Gov. Rick Perry appointed Jeff Boyd, his chief of staff, to a vacated position on the Texas Supreme Court on Monday. Boyd is Perry’s 11th appointment to the Supreme Court since he took...

Judge Strikes Down Part of Lawsuit Against Proposition 1

November 16, 2012

A U.S. district court ruled Thursday to deny a portion of a lawsuit that would prevent UT from receiving revenue University officials say is necessary to establish a proposed medical school and teaching...

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Court may rule on Prop 1 soon

November 15, 2012

A U.S. district court is expected to rule soon in a lawsuit that could deprive UT of revenue that UT officials say it needs to fund a proposed medical school and teaching hospital in Austin. U.S. District...

Kirby Hall considers adopting house of former professor

November 14, 2012

A fraternity may pay a local private school up to $25,000 to relocate the former home of a UT physics professor to the school’s property. Phi Gamma Delta would pay between $20,000 and $25,000 to...

Court to hear arguments in Prop 1 case

November 14, 2012

A federal court will hear arguments today over a lawsuit that could prevent the implementation of a tax increase which would help fund operations at a proposed UT medical school and teaching hospital. On...

With Formula 1 approaching, Capital Metro bus drivers may strike

November 12, 2012

The union representing bus drivers on about half of Capital Metro’s 83 routes voted last week to authorize a potential strike, citing unfair labor practices allegedly committed by the contractor...

City Council postpones implementation of Riverside development regulating plan

November 9, 2012

The Austin City Council voted to postpone the implementation of a new regulating plan for development in the East Riverside Corridor at its regular meeting Thursday. Citing the late hour and council...

Businesses may seek temporary exemption from plastic bag ban

November 9, 2012

The Austin City Council unanimously approved amendments to a city ordinance passed earlier this year banning businesses’ use of plastic bags at the council’s regular meeting Thursday. In March...

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New medical school may enroll students by 2015

November 8, 2012

The University of Texas at Austin may break ground on a new UT medical school in 2013 after voters approved a property tax increase that will help fund the school and associated teaching hospital, UT officials...

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Proposition 1 for UT-Austin medical school passes

November 7, 2012

UT is one step closer to establishing a medical school after voters approved a ballot initiative Tuesday that will increase property taxes to partially fund a proposed UT medical school and teaching hospital. 55...

City Prop 1 and 2 pass, Austin to have November city elections

November 7, 2012

Voters decided to move the City of Austin’s general election from May to November and institute new term limits for the mayor and city council members after voters approved two ballot initiatives...

Proposition 1, 2 aim to increase voter turnout, save money

November 2, 2012

The City of Austin’s general election may move from May to November and institute new term limits for the mayor and city council members if voters approve two ballot initiatives Nov. 6. Proposition...

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Fraternity will not immediately demolish house of former UT professor

November 2, 2012

After Austin City Council denied historical status to the former home of a UT physics professor Thursday, the fraternity that owns the house will seek alternatives before it demolishes the building. The...

Student Government passes initiative to support Prop. 1

October 31, 2012

Student Government voted Tuesday to make way for a new effort that will support Proposition 1, a Nov. 6 initiative that would bring UT a step closer to a medical school and teaching hospital. Student...

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Zaffirini supports Proposition 1

October 31, 2012

State Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, former chair of the Senate Higher Education Committee, expressed support Tuesday for a Nov. 6 ballot initiative that would increase property taxes in order to help...

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PAC opposes implementation of Proposition 1 tax increase

October 30, 2012

The founder of a political action committee that opposes Proposition 1 said UT could fund its proposed medical school and teaching hospital without the property tax increase proposed in Proposition 1.  Don...

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Powers speaks out on Proposition 1

October 30, 2012

UT President William Powers Jr. said Monday that UT will not be able to establish a medical school and teaching hospital without the property tax increase proposed by Proposition 1. In a statement emailed...

Student organizations rally for Prop 1

October 29, 2012

Representatives from 20 UT student organizations and the alumni assocation Texas Exes rallied to express support Friday for a contentious Nov. 6 property tax increase UT officials say is the deciding factor...

Event and game parking to stay limited

October 26, 2012

Parking options for UT home football games remain limited for students and the general public, but Parking and Transportation Services has strategies in place to ensure parking is available for concerts,...

St. David’s rejects Prop 1

October 25, 2012

The St. David’s HealthCare network, a Central Texas hospital system with branches in Travis County, will not support a ballot initiative that would help fund a proposed UT teaching hospital and medical...

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New plans promise to change Riverside, as long as they get passed

October 25, 2012

The Austin City Council will decide whether to implement a new regulating plan for development that could change the face of the East Riverside Corridor. At its meeting this week, the Austin Planning...

Legal battle over passage of Proposition 1 continues

October 24, 2012

A lawsuit could prevent voting on a ballot initiative that seeks to help fund operations at a proposed UT teaching hospital if a federal court sides against Central Health, Travis County’s hospital...

Council members on trial for violating Open Meetings Act

October 19, 2012

Austin City Council members may avoid prosecution for allegedly violating the Texas Open Meetings Act by entering into an agreement with the Travis County Attorney’s Office. Mayor Lee Leffingwell...