The Austin Daily Drop

The Austin Daily Drop

A quick and lively update on the most important and interesting stuff happening in Austin today, drawn from our city's most trusted and reliable sources and hosted by veteran Austin broadcaster Chris Mosser. Updated each weekday morning!

Episodes

July 28, 2021 8 min

The spike in local COVID hospitalizations accelerates - we are well on our way to Stage 5 territory - but the State is unmoved, and will not allow cities or school districts to require masking, while also refusing to fund virtual options for Texas school districts, thus AISD's new plans for remote K-6 will be on their own dime. Pandemic concern about gatherings builds in Austin's sports and live music industries as well. Th...

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As local COVID hospitalizations continue to climb, AISD reconsiders plans for an all-in-person fall semester. The City announces a list of seven finalists for the permanent job of Chief of the Austin Police Department. As UT confirms plans to depart the Big 12 for the SEC, State officials convene to consider the move's impact upon other Texas college sports programs. A Texas swimming commit scores gold in Tokyo. Elon Musk annou...

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Local COVID numbers continue climbing - city and county officials are expected to announce the return of Stage 4 precaution guidelines today. AISD and Round Rock ISD make announcements regarding plans for the approaching fall semester. Hot weather returns, and so do concerns about the Texas power grid - will it be able to keep up? ERCOT says yes, but watch for more conservation warnings. Proposed economic reforms to the Texas energ...

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The Rolling Stones reschedule their pandemic-upended Austin date and tickets are on sale now. Local doctors call the incoming COVID wave - in the presence of widely-available vaccines - "astonishing and disheartening" and encourage the hesitant to reconsider, as they now make up 99% of all COVID deaths since February. Any modification of behavior will be up to individual Texans to adopt - Governor Greg Abbott has nixed the ...

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The local COVID situation continues developing rapidly as health officials warn of the "imminent" return of Stage 4 recommendations - all Austinites, vaccinated or not, are now advised to mask up - and confidence in a safe return to school in the fall is now undermined. Breakthrough cases, pediatric cases and those among young adults are all rising with the continued spread of the Delta variant. The sixth Texas Democratic l...

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Local COVID numbers continue to build momentum - Travis County's hospitalization average has broken into Stage 4 territory and Williamson County has declared "red phase" - it's highest level of warning. Researchers at UT predict dire consequences should we fail to react to the new surge, and a sixth Democratic lawmaker sheltering in D.C. has tested positive. Save Austin Now succeeds in pressing a second petition to ...

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A reversal of progress against the coronavirus pandemic spurs a return to Stage 3 precautions in Austin - even as our hospitalization numbers continue rising towards Stage 4 range - leading some back to a policy of using masks in indoor settings, though the City cannot enforce such guidelines under State limitations. Five of the Texas Democrat lawmakers sheltering in Washington D.C. have tested positive for COVID - all of them were...

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The Texas Legislature kicks off the first of two expected special sessions with partisan rancor already dialed up. While Travis County hits 70% vaccinated, local health authorities warn that the Delta Variant may render that figure insufficient. Another fatal shooting this week, which resulted from a conflict at a Cedar Park H-E-B, as Austin's murder rate continues to climb - burglaries are up too, lately affecting bicycle deal...

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Governor Greg Abbott announces 11 priorities for the special session of the Texas Legislature, which starts today - and raises eyebrows by leaving the ailing Texas power grid out, instead prioritizing a second shot at voting access limits, banning the teaching of critical race theory, and limiting sports options for transgender schoolkids. As Austin hits 70% of adults having received at least one vaccination shot, new COVID outbrea...

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A June church camp in Giddings results in a mass COVID outbreak. Governor Abbott wants more coal, nuclear and natural gas power for Texas - and wants to punish providers of renewable energy. An Austin man set to stand trial for his part in the January 6 insurrection dies in a motorcycle crash. The City still doesn't have a site for people experiencing homelessness to camp, as the deadline for citations draws near on Sunday. 87 ...

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We're back! While vaccination numbers are looking great in the Austin area, many parts of Texas and the U.S. continue to lag behind. The Fourth of July weekend in Austin saw the successful return of downtown fireworks, but also damage from illegal personal fireworks, yet another shooting on Sixth Street and multiple injuries on area lakes, including one drowning. APD response times to 911 calls continue to slow, due to understa...

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Good COVID news as Travis County approaches the "herd immunity" benchmark of 70% vaccinated - bad COVID news as the Delta Variant begins to take hold across Texas, a threat to parts of the state where vaccinations are less widespread. Austin U.S. Representative Lloyd Doggett is filing legislation that would allow Texas cities and counties to bypass the State and take advantage of expanded Medicaid benefits under the Afforda...

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The first Texas power grid scare of the summer ends, just as summer officially begins with a threat of storms and heat indexes around 110. Governor Greg Abbott follows through with his threat to defund the Lege. Beto O'Rourke and Texas Democrats address a crowd of For The People Act supporters at the Capitol. Juneteenth sees controversy over an insensitive city-owned marquee message in Llano, while a South Austin couple are und...

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Having signed "Constitutional Carry" into law earlier this week, yesterday Governor Greg Abbott signed a slate of additional gun-related laws including the legalization of silencers and the forbidding of Texas authorities from observing any new Federal gun restrictions. A San Antonio area prison has been cleared to make room for immigrants expected to be detained as part of a new border enforcement initiative. ERCOT says th...

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A rush of activity from the Governor's office yesterday sees the signing into law of the controversial "Constitutional Carry" bill, the announcement of a huge "down payment" on border wall construction from the Texas state budget, and praise from Governor Abbott for the state's beleaguered power grid. Austin officials and APD discuss police staffing and distribution in the wake of last weekend's shooting...

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Democrats in the Texas Legislature implore Governor Greg Abbott and majority Republicans to consider dialing back gun access in light of the mass shooting last weekend on Sixth Street, while Mayor Steve Adler joins the mayors of 26 other major U.S. cities to press the Biden Administration for Federal gun reform. Mayor Adler also criticizes Governor Greg Abbott's silence on ERCOT's recent power woes, while the Governor signs...

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Loathsome flashbacks to the winter freeze as ERCOT marks the first 100-degree day of the summer with a request for conservation from the public, as the Texas power grid begins to struggle against demand, much earlier than expected. A second suspect in Friday's mass-casualty shooting on Sixth Street is arrested at Harker Heights High School. A KVUE study finds crime in Austin rising much faster than our population growth. Police...

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The horrific mass shooting on East Sixth Street on Friday night has claimed one fatality, while one of the two suspected gunmen has been arrested - the other remains at large. We Are Blood needs a wave of donors to offset demands upon its supplies related to the shooting event. Sunday marks a go-ahead for Austin police to ticket people found camping illegally. New fears of the Delta Variant - a new virulent strain of the COVID-19 v...

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Prior to a six week break, the Austin City Council approves both a doubling of Austin's homestead exemption for City property taxes, and commits $100 million of Austin's share of the federal American Rescue Plan Act to homelessness relief. The production company behind "Live PD" sues the Williamson County Sheriff's Office, while a woman whose partner was killed in a car accident with an off duty officer sues the...

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Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton finds himself under yet another microscope - this time, that of the Texas Bar Association. AISD staff will undergo new supplemental training on handling reports of sexual assault from students. Former Austin City Council Member Ellen Troxclair announces a run for the Texas Senate. H-E-B makes masks optional for fully-vaccinated customers and employees. A New Braunfels man is accused of killing a La...

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