Audrey McGlinchy | KUOW News and Information

Audrey McGlinchy

Audrey McGlinchy is the City Hall reporter at KUT, covering the Austin City Council and the policies they discuss. She comes to Texas from Brooklyn, where she tried her hand at publishing, public relations and nannying. Audrey holds English and journalism degrees from Wesleyan University and the City University of New York.
 
She got her start in journalism as an intern at KUT Radio during a summer break from graduate school. While completing her master's degree in New York City, she interned at the New York Times Magazine and Guernica Magazine.

After jumping in an airport shuttle last week in an attempt to maintain secrecy, Austin City Council members agreed Thursday to release the names of second-round candidates for the vacant city manager position.

Up to five names of candidates will be made public no later than Monday.

Attorneys arguing the case of Senate Bill 4 – Texas’ so-called sanctuary cities law –head back to federal court today. Judges of the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans will consider a temporary block placed on most of the law in August, which was partially lifted in September.

Taylor Barnett, 24, hasn’t had a public library card since the 1990s, when she was growing up in Victoria, Texas. She would go frequently to the library with her grandparents, especially after they bought a computer with little idea of how to use it.

Deandra Delgado and her four children took refuge in an Austin shelter after Hurricane Harvey pounded her small Texas town of Edna. As she anticipated returning home to a trampled town, Delgado looked around the cot-strewn gymnasium of the Wilhelmina Delco Center in North Austin, which served as a shelter immediately after the storm hit.

"There's really not much to do," she said. "We sleep a lot."

Nearly 100 people crammed into a backroom of a South Austin lodge to hear Mayor Steve Adler tackle some boring stuff.

Made up mostly of members of the Bouldin Creek Neighborhood Association, the audience sat in cushioned beige chairs looking at times angry, confused and tired. When the seats were full, neighbors leaned against wooden poles and sat atop tables. They listened as residents lined up in front of a mic to air concerns about CodeNEXT, the city’s attempt to rewrite a 30-year-old land development code.

Developers that want to build low-income housing in wealthier neighborhoods should engage more with neighborhood groups to convince them of the merits of affordable housing.

That’s one recommendation in a study published today by the Urban Institute, a nonpartisan think tank.

Internal emails between U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials show that Austin-area immigration officials tried to highlight the most “egregious” cases of suspected undocumented immigrants picked up during two days of immigration raids in February. 

Cecilia Melchor had a friend visiting from out of town last Wednesday. The 22-year-old UT-Austin student didn’t necessarily want to go out, but her friend insisted. They grabbed some dinner before heading to the Chuggin’ Monkey on East Sixth Street.

Melchor had to use the restroom. When she was finished, the bouncer approached her.

Students at a parenting class had trouble focusing the day after a court ruling on Senate Bill 4, Texas' "sanctuary cities" law.

This post has been updated.

Austin City Council approved a new labor contract Thursday that determines pay, discipline and promotions for Austin firefighters.

The City of West Lake Hills started with a drunken plot of revenge.

A decade before Emmett Shelton founded the city in 1953, his brother, Polk, had political aspirations. But when he failed to win the 1937 Democratic primary for a seat in Congress – losing to Lyndon B. Johnson – the brothers and their friends hatched a different plan: build a city to keep their political enemies out.

At least that's how the legend goes.

Austin released a second draft of CodeNEXT, the city’s rewrite of its land development code, on Friday.

"The CodeNEXT code and the maps are getting better and all of the community needs to stay engaged,"  Mayor Steve Adler said.

Austin homeowners will pay more in property taxes and fees to the city next year under a $3.9 billion budget approved by City Council on Wednesday.

Wendy Rivera sat on a metal folding chair outside the shelter for Harvey evacuees in Southeast Austin. She shared a 44-ounce convenience store soda with her husband, Ramiro, a soft-spoken and tattooed man, who used his body and a white towel to shade the two from the sun.

An 8-foot-tall shelf. That’s what it would have taken to keep Dolores Martinez's belongings dry in La Grange.

Martinez, 53, and her family had nearly 8 feet of water in their home when the nearby Colorado River crested at nearly 30 feet above its banks Monday. Then-Tropical Storm Harvey brought a level of flooding some who have lived their whole lives here say they’ve never seen before.

Addi Reichle, 7, stood in the back of her family’s SUV and helped unload diapers, socks, underwear and pillows.

“Can you take two?” she asked her 3-year-old brother, Jude. He obliged, grabbing a second pair of socks to add to an ever-growing hill.

Vanessa Dean, 35, sat in a chair by a row of forest-green cots her family had been sleeping on for four nights and recounted how they left their home in Nixon, Texas, on Friday as Hurricane Harvey barreled toward the coast.

Jay Jajal says he began knocking on doors at 5:30 a.m. Monday.

“There’s flooding here, so you need to start moving your vehicle up high and start moving somewhere else,” he says he told guests at the motel he owns in La Grange, Texas, about an hour east of Austin.

Candelario Vazquez, 34, stands in front of a group of 20 people. None of the adults and children, some of them squirming in their hard plastic chairs, have asked to be in the audience.

UPDATE 8:17 a.m., Aug. 21: The Texas A&M Fire Service reports the fire is now 95 percent contained.

UPDATE 6:10 p.m.: The fire is now 90 percent contained, Texas A&M Fire Service reports. 

Hundreds gathered outside Austin City Hall on Saturday to rally against white supremacy and hear from activists and elected leaders. Demonstrators wrapped around the exterior of City Hall and helped themselves to free water bottles from coolers to combat the triple-digit heat.

An industrial-sized fridge hums in the background as Hannah Frankel, 28, gives a tour of her housing cooperative, pointing out the shared kitchen, pantry and meeting rooms.

“We consistently have a waitlist,” she says. “We consistently have a great demand.”

As cities around the country debate the removal of statues depicting members of the Confederacy, Austin City Council members have initiated their own street-level response: They have applied to officially rename Robert E. Lee Road in South Austin.

Becca Dobberfuhl has a name for her Bouldin Creek home.

“It’s all this rusty, rusty, rusty color,” she says. “And the house is a modern house, and it has a box-like look to it so we call it the ‘Rusty Box.’”

Following a deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville over the weekend, Austin City Council Member Greg Casar is calling for the renaming of Robert E. Lee Road in South Austin and Jeff Davis Avenue in North Austin. 

Nine-year-old Janiyah Johnson shows off her lung capacity.

“Count! Quickly!” she shouts at a reporter who dutifully begins counting the young girl’s time underwater. At her very best, she spends 14 seconds fully submerged.

Austin City Council voted Wednesday to raise the maximum rate at which it can tax homeowners, as it considers a "tax swap" plan that would divert that extra money to the Austin Independent School District.

For five weeks in 2001, Karen Paup spent her afternoons with other Austin residents talking about the city’s changing Eastside. The group included a pastor, a developer and a now-professor at New York University.

Austin homeowners could see higher property tax bills next year. 

Under the city's proposed $3.9 billion budget, most residents with a median-value home ($305,510) would pay an additional $118 in property taxes compared to last year. Utility fees would rise, too – with median-value homeowners seeing an additional $60 annually in fees.

The proposed budget also aims to increase the city’s permitting capacity, while maintaining current service levels across the board.

Did Travis County lower the typical homeowner’s property tax bill in the last year? It depends on how you look at it. Travis County took issue with a KUT story that said despite the county lowering its tax rate, most homeowners ended up paying more in county property taxes.

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