KXAN Austin https://www.kxan.com Tue, 14 May 2024 02:30:16 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=6.2.5 https://www.kxan.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/40/2019/06/cropped-kxan-icon-512x512.png?w=32 KXAN Austin https://www.kxan.com 32 32 Indeed announces layoffs for 8% of staff, just over a year after its last layoffs https://www.kxan.com/news/local/austin/indeed-announces-layoffs-for-8-of-staff-just-over-a-year-after-its-last-layoffs/ Mon, 13 May 2024 17:57:52 +0000 https://www.kxan.com/?p=2244518 AUSTIN (KXAN) — Indeed, an employment company co-headquartered in Austin, is letting go of roughly 8% of its staff, approximately 1,000 people, according to a letter shared with employees Monday from CEO Chris Hyams.

The layoffs affect many groups and regions, but they are not across the board, the letter noted. They are mostly concentrated in the U.S. and are more focused on "R&D and some Go-to-Market teams," Hyams said in the letter.

Around this time last year, Indeed laid off about 15% of its staff, citing a decrease of job openings following a recent post-COVID boom.

Hyams said unlike last year, when cost savings drove the cuts, the reasoning behind the current sweep of layoffs is "because we need to simplify our organization to make it easier and faster for us to make decisions, and help us to more effectively grow revenue and hires," according to the letter.

Hyams noted in the letter that Indeed "worked closely with the HR, Legal, and DEIB+ teams to ensure objectivity and equity in the decision-making process. The final selections have had no measurably disproportionate impact on women and under-represented genders or the under-represented minority population in the US."

I am responsible for how we got here, and the entire SLT is responsible for making the difficult decisions necessary to help set us up for the future. We know these decisions will have a significant impact on people’s lives. I’d like to share some context for why I believe it’s necessary.

Last year we were facing a global slowdown in hiring, which led to multiple consecutive quarters of revenue loss. We reduced our headcount, instituted multiple cost-saving measures, and instilled investment discipline across the company. These measures worked, and we are now operating with stable profitability.

However, while the global economy has improved in several areas over the past year, we are not yet set up for sustainable growth. Despite our efforts so far, our organization is still too complex, we still have significant duplication of effort and too many organizational layers that slow down decision-making. We have been working to simplify every aspect of our business, but without meaningful change, we can’t get where we need to go.

Indeed CEO Chris Hyams

The letter also said that those impacted should receive notice on Monday, including information about separation packages, which the letter noted have been increased for "most employees" over the past year.

The full letter can be read online on Indeed's press room page on its website.

Two days of 90s ahead of our next storm https://www.kxan.com/weather/forecast/todays-forecast/ Sun, 12 May 2024 12:30:00 +0000 https://www.kxan.com/?p=437105 AUSTIN (KXAN) — Overnight tonight, as a weak cold front pushes through, skies clear and drier weather settles in. Overnight lows drop into the mid 60s.

Tuesday and Wednesday

The next two days bring more sunshine and more heat. We're forecasting highs in the low 90s both days. Clouds will slowly increase in Wednesday, but rain chances don't return until Wednesday evening.

Highs next four days
Highs next four days

Next storm: Thursday

Our next decent rain chances come Thursday and into Friday. Thursday already carries a level 2 out of 4 flash flood risk.

Pockets of heavy rain could lead to flood issues Thursday
Pockets of heavy rain could lead to flood issues Thursday

While we're already seeing at least some flash flooding concern, it's possible some storms may be strong or severe.

Some rain and storms may linger into Friday before drier weather settles in by next weekend with more 90s.

FIRST WARNING WEATHER: Stay up to date with your Central Texas forecast, sign up for our weather newsletter at kxan.com/newsletters

Stay up-to-date with the First Warning Weather team

Follow the KXAN First Warning Weather team on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

You can also follow our meteorologists' individual accounts for livestreams and a little bit of what goes on behind the scenes:

70% of Austinites can walk to a park, 2023 environmental report says https://www.kxan.com/news/local/austin/70-of-austinites-can-walk-to-a-park-2023-environmental-report-says/ Mon, 13 May 2024 22:08:41 +0000 https://www.kxan.com/?p=2244930 AUSTIN (KXAN) -- Of the findings in the 2023 "State Of Our Environment" report recently published by the City of Austin, staff say they're getting closer to the 2009 city council-set goal of everyone in our city being able to walk to a park.

According to that report, 70% of people in city limits now live within walking distance of a park, nearly 20,000 more people than the year before.

It also said the City of Austin alone added nearly 130 acres of parkland last year.

"That included Jamestown Neighborhood Park, Little Walnut Creek Greenbelt, Country Club Neighborhood Park…the list goes on," said Scott Grantham, a principal planner with Austin's Park Planning Division.

Much of the 130 additional acres came from parkland dedication -- the process in which the City of Austin gets outdoor space from some developers -- and 2018 Parkland Acquisition Bond funding.

"The Parks and Recreation Department appropriated $17.4 million in Parkland Dedication fees in Fiscal Year 2023," the report said.

A state law could change that

But staff also pointed to a new state law, HB 1526, as a challenge moving forward. Passed in 2023, the new law caps how much parkland can be taken from certain types of development in the five largest cities in the state, according to the report.

"There's another cap that exists which is that if the value of the land is greater than the fee that would be a parkland dedication fee, then PARD would need to pay the developer for that land," Grantham said.

The City of Austin passed an ordinance last year that brought the city into compliance with that law. You can read more about that state law here.

Former Texas linebacker S’Maje Burrell faces felony charge in April crash, affidavit says https://www.kxan.com/news/local/austin/former-texas-linebacker-smaje-burrell-faces-felony-charge-in-april-crash-affidavit-says/ Mon, 13 May 2024 15:55:42 +0000 https://www.kxan.com/?p=2244146 AUSTIN (KXAN) -- Former Texas Longhorns linebacker S’Maje Burrell faces a felony charge in a crash that left at least one other person injured, according to Travis County court documents. The crash is the same one that resulted in Tennessee Titans and former Longhorns defensive lineman T’Vondre Sweat being charged with a DWI last month.

The crash happened Sunday, April 7 on Interstate 35 near Howard and Parmer Lane. Austin police said the call for the crash came in at 4:41 a.m.

Burrell, 19, faces a charge of collision involving injury (failure to stop and render aid), which is a third-degree felony, according to an affidavit obtained by KXAN. As of Monday morning, court records show Burrell has not been arrested.

The affidavit said Sweat, 22, was driving the victim's vehicle -- identified in a separate affidavit as a 2023 orange Ford Bronco -- when another car crashed into the back of the Bronco. The crash caused the Bronco to roll over and land on its side.

The suspect vehicle was identified as a blue 2020 Dodge Charger. According to the affidavit, police identified Burrell as the driver of the Dodge through witness statements and a previous oil change receipt for the car with his name listed as the customer.

According to the affidavit, a witness who was in the Dodge's front passenger seat at the time of the wreck told police Burrell was in the middle lane following Sweat's vehicle when Sweat began braking, and Burrell tried to change lanes but hit Sweat's vehicle. The witness said the airbags in the Dodge "exploded," blocking visibility, and that the witness believed Burrell fled the scene because he was drunk, the affidavit said.

According to the affidavit, Sweat suffered from minor injuries for several days.

Burrell announced on X April 11 that he had entered the transfer portal. Texas Longhorns head coach Steve Sarkisian said on April 10 Burrell was indefinitely suspended from the program.

According to his 247Sports profile, he has not yet officially transferred to another team.

Motorcyclist in deadly crash identified by APD https://www.kxan.com/news/local/motorcyclist-in-deadly-crash-identified-by-apd/ Mon, 13 May 2024 23:53:47 +0000 https://www.kxan.com/?p=2245231 AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Austin Police Department identified a motorcyclist Monday who died in a single-motorcycle crash May 10.

Police said the crash happened in the 13700 block of Immanuel Road. Tarl Sears, 53, was pronounced dead at the scene.

APD said this crash is considered Austin's 26th fatal crash of 2024, resulting in 26 fatalities this year. On the date of this crash in 2023, 34 people had died in 34 fatal crashes.

Police said the investigation is still pending. Anyone with information should call APD's Vehicular Homicide unit at 512-974-8111. You can submit a tip anonymously through the Capital Area Crime Stoppers Program by visiting austincrimestoppers.org or calling 512-472-8477.

How much money did the 2023 ACL Music Festival bring to Austin? https://www.kxan.com/news/local/austin/how-much-money-did-the-2023-acl-music-festival-bring-to-austin/ Mon, 13 May 2024 23:36:56 +0000 https://www.kxan.com/?p=2244225 AUSTIN (KXAN) — C3 Presents, which produces the Austin City Limits Music Festival, presented the Austin Parks Foundation with an $8.1 million check Monday that will go toward improvements at the hundreds of parks and recreation centers throughout the city.

The festival's commitment to Austin parks is nearly $1 million more than last year's contribution to the foundation.

Festival organizers and city leaders said the 2023 festival had a $500 million impact on the city — a more than 10% increase from 2022.

The 2022 ACL Music Festival brought in nearly $448 million for the Austin economy. More than $3 billion has been generated since ACL began tracking the festival’s economic impact in 2006, organizers previously said.

Kendrick Lamar, Foo Fighters, Mumford & Sons, Odesza, The Lumineers, Shania Twain, Alanis Morissette and Hozier headlined in 2023.

The 2024 festival lineup was released on May 9 with Dua Lipa, Tyler, The Creator, Chris Stapleton, Blink-182, Sturgill Simpson, Pretty Lights, Khruangbin and Leon Bridges among the artists scheduled to perform.

Olympic Breakdancing? Meet the Texan who's got a shot to compete in Paris https://www.kxan.com/sports-general/olympics/olympic-breakdancing-meet-the-texan-whos-got-a-shot-to-compete-in-paris/ Tue, 14 May 2024 02:21:46 +0000 https://www.kxan.com/?p=2245056 HOUSTON (KXAN) — From the streets of New York City to the Olympics, breakdancing will debut as a sport at the Paris 2024 Summer Games.

With the freestyling, footwork head spins and countless other moves, the sport is artistry and athleticism.

Houston — a city known for its diverse culture — might have produced its first Olympic break dancer.

His name is Jeffery Louis, who is known in the breaking world as B-boy Jeffro.

How does breaking work?

It's an emerging sport based on a judge's subjective point of view of how they think an athlete performed. Sounds fun, right? Jeffro said it's thrilling.

"The DJ plays whatever song they want to throw out," Jeffro said. "It is your job to perform to it ... They're judging you on five categories: musicality, originality, technique, execution and vocabulary."

Jeffro said it comes naturally to him.

“My style is a vibe of explosions," he said. "It captures people and you're able to just go with it, even if you don't understand it.”

Haiti roots in HTX

Jeffro's parents immigrated from Haiti when he was young, planting roots in Houston. He never imagined taking break dancing as an elective in middle school would lead him to live a less traditional life in the limelight.

"They sacrificed a lot," Jeffro said. "I want to make my parents proud, and I want to do things and provide, but I'm going to do it in a different way ... I changed my degree plan to sports administration — more of a business sport route — and I created my fitness program."

Competing in breaking has carried Jeffro all around the world over the past 17 years, even providing him with a brand deal with Monster Energy. And he's evolving in the sport with every regional experience.

“It's a universal language that everybody speaks," Jeffro said. "It doesn't cost anything. I don't need a racquet, I don't need certain type of shoes, I can literally just go out here and just dance right now.”

A more inclusive sport

The sport also sets itself apart from other more traditional one as it doesn't have many barriers to anyone who wants to try it. 

Jeffro trains at a gym called Break Free Worldwide in Houston. It was founded and is owned by a well-respected, longtime breaker, Moy Rivas.

“Growing up in the early 90s and trying to find somewhere to dance, we couldn't do it," Rivas said. "We'd get kicked out because people thought that it was street-related or was gang-related ... As a kid I grew up bottling up a lot coming from the neighborhoods that I come from ... and just seeing that opportunity to find something to fully express myself [with break dancing] ... a positive alternative, it just really changed my life."

His own story is why Rivas opened Break Free Worldwide. And he's been mentoring kids ever since. Rivas sought out Jeffro about seven years ago when he saw his evolving talent at events. This helped Jeffro get the Monster Energy brand deal, ultimately helping elevate Jeffro's name.

“He's one of the very few dancers that can dance 100 miles per hour, and still connect with the music," Rivas said. "He makes it look so easy."

Breaking through to Paris

Jeffro said he feels his journey to where he is now, has been fueled by always feeling the need to prove himself.

Now that he's one of the top breakers in the country, he's trusting who he is will shine through, and that he’ll get to represent Team USA.

"It took a while but I realized actually belong here," Jeffro said.

Breaking’s Olympic qualifying event is coming up in June. Thirty-two athletes,16 b-boys and 16 b-girls, will compete in Paris for the first time on the Olympic stage.

You can connect with Nexstar Olympic Correspondent Jala Washington on X, Instagram or Facebook if you have Texas athlete you think she should feature.

Some in Kyle worry about the future of water, council member hosts an event https://www.kxan.com/news/local/hays/kyle/some-in-kyle-worry-about-the-future-of-water-council-member-hosts-an-event/ Mon, 13 May 2024 20:59:52 +0000 https://www.kxan.com/?p=2244799 KYLE, Texas (KXAN) – As more people move to one of the fast-growing cities in the country, Kyle residents worry if there will be enough water to support everyone into the future.

Severe drought that has troubled the entire region has led to a shrinking water supply in Kyle. The city remains under Stage 3 drought restrictions and earlier this month the city council approved a contract to buy water from neighboring San Marcos.

Kyle City Council Member Daniela Parsley said some are frustrated the city has had to remain under such severe restrictions and worry about the future of the city's water supply as developers build.

"We have been growing so fast. A lot of the concerns I hear are, 'Why do we keep approving developments if we don't have enough water?' And that is a valid question," Parlsey told KXAN.

Parsley is hosting a meeting Monday night with the water utilities department to help residents understand the city's plans to ensure there is enough water for everyone in the future.

"Our current city manager does have a plan he wants to set for the future to make sure that there is the availability of water [with] new developments," she said. "I would love for the residents to have access to that explanation. And to be able to ask all the questions, they have regarding infrastructure."

Ascension continues to investigate cybersecurity event, notified the FBI https://www.kxan.com/news/ascension-continues-to-investigate-cybersecurity-event-notified-the-fbi/ Mon, 13 May 2024 17:16:31 +0000 https://www.kxan.com/?p=2244205 AUSTIN (KXAN) --- It's now been several days since Ascension, a healthcare company in Central Texas, said it detected unusual activity on network systems, which they believed to be a “cybersecurity event.”

The announcement came May 8.

“At this time we continue to investigate the situation,” Ascension said. “We responded immediately, initiated our investigation and activated our remediation efforts. Access to some systems have been interrupted as this process continues.”

The company said its teams are trained for these kinds of disruptions. Ascension said its hospital and facilities are open.

"There has been a disruption to clinical operations, and we continue to assess the impact and duration of the disruption."


However, several hospitals are currently on diversion for emergency medical services. Ascension said it doesn't have a timeline for when things will be resolved.

Who is investigating?

The company said it's investigating what information, if any, may have been affected by the situation.

Over the weekend, Ascension updated that it's working with cybersecurity experts to investigate the ransomware incident.

The company said it notified law enforcement, as well as government partners like:

  • The Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency
  • The Department of Health and Human Services
  • The American Hospital Association

"While our restoration work continues in earnest, our focus is on restoring systems as safely as possible. While we expect this process will take time to complete, we are making progress and systems are being restored in a coordinated manner at each of our care sites. We will continue to share updates on our recovery process."


What services are impacted?

Ascension said the systems currently unavailable are:

  • Electronic health records systems
  • Various systems used to order certain tests, procedures and medications

The company said some non-emergent elective procedures, tests and appointments have been temporarily paused while it tries to bring systems back online.

'Hours to do a ten-minute job'

Helen Becker found herself caught in the middle of the chaos.

"It takes hours and hours and hours to do a 10-minute job," Becker said.

  • Ascension Cybersecurity Event
  • Ascension Cybersecurity Event

Becker was admitted to Ascension Seton in Williamson County on Wednesday. It was the same day the company announced an investigation into cybersecurity concerns.

"I had an order sent in for an echocardiogram," Becker said. "It sat inside my folder for three days and never was processed."

The problems made electronic health records and systems to order certain tests, procedures and medications, unavailable.

"The orders were transcribed on a post it note. Then they had other people that were runners because the phone system was also down."

Helen Becker

Becker said even though she was discharged, she is still unsettled about the situation.

"I'm afraid something really bad is gonna happen," Becker said.

'Opportunities for human error'

A nurse, who asked us to conceal her identity, said it caused major delays.

"Days behind on results," she said. "Essentially like that game telephone when you're a kid, and you talk to the person to your right or left, and then it goes to the next person. That's how patient care is getting done."

The nurse told KXAN that the reception phones at the nurse's station are working, however, that's not the case for the work phones staff members have with them.

"That system is shut down. So all calls are going through the reception desk at the nurse's station but the receptionist has nowhere to actually forward the call to the individual," she said.

So instead, people are having to use notepads or their private cell phones.

Ultimately, the nurse is worried about potential mistakes.

"This paper system, there are like four times as many opportunities for human error. When you enter something into the computer, it's done."

Ascension Seton Nurse

EMS adjustments

Austin-Travis County EMS also made adjustments during this time.

ATCEMS Chief of Operations Kevin Parker said they're taking patients who need a CT scan or MRI to specific facilities to streamline.

"Dell Seton, Dell Children's, and Seton main," Parker said. "Seton can have those radiologists in-house and available to read those imaging studies."

Less serious patients who wouldn't need the advanced imaging studies are taken a little bit further out.

"So that way, even though we are moving patients between different facilities, the overall load within that network is about the same," Parker said.

Longhorns baseball regains national rankings in two polls after UCF series win https://www.kxan.com/sports-general/horns-report/longhorns-baseball-regains-national-rankings-in-two-polls-after-ucf-series-win/ Mon, 13 May 2024 22:18:28 +0000 https://www.kxan.com/?p=2245031 AUSTIN (KXAN) — Following its fifth consecutive Big 12 series victory, the Texas Longhorns baseball team is creeping back into the national rankings.

After reappearing in the Baseball America rankings last week at No. 25, the Longhorns moved up a slot to No. 24 after claiming the Central Florida series 2-1 in Orlando.

D1Baseball.com voters were convinced to put Texas back in this week after a long absence. Texas is now No. 25 and was the only team in this week's rankings that wasn't included in the previous week's. Troy dropped out of the rankings to make room for the Longhorns.

Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, both teams Texas has won a series over, are ranked above the Longhorns. The Sooners have already claimed the Big 12 regular season championship and are No. 12 in the D1Baseball poll while the Cowboys are No. 19.

MORE THAN THE SCORE: Stay up to date on sports stories like these, and sign up for our More than the Score sports newsletter at kxan.com/newsletters

Four of the top five teams in the D1Baseball poll are from the Southeastern Conference. Tennessee remains at the top, followed by Kentucky, Arkansas, Clemson and Texas A&M. Oregon State, North Carolina, Wake Forest, Georgia and Florida State round out the top 10.

Texas is still on the outside looking in at the USA Today Coaches Poll, but not by much. They earned the most votes out of the "others receiving votes" category with 66.

Texas (32-20, 17-10 Big 12) is tied for third in the Big 12 with West Virginia and finishes conference play with a 3-game series at home against Kansas starting Thursday.

SEC announces Texas men's hoops opponents, sites for first season https://www.kxan.com/sports-general/horns-report/sec-announces-texas-mens-hoops-opponents-sites-for-first-season/ Mon, 13 May 2024 21:17:51 +0000 https://www.kxan.com/?p=2244917 AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Texas men's basketball team knows who and where it'll play in its inaugural Southeastern Conference season after the league announced the pairings Monday.

The SEC schedule makers were overall fairly kind to the Longhorns, not sending them into Rupp Arena to take on Kentucky, Knoxville to play Rick Barnes' Tennessee squad, or to Tuscaloosa to play the Alabama Crimson Tide — a Final Four team last season.

They'll take on the aforementioned three teams at Moody Center during the regular season, along with Arkansas, Auburn, Georgia, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas A&M.

To preserve historic and natural rivalries, Texas will have a home-and-home series with Arkansas, Texas A&M and Oklahoma. The Longhorns will also travel to Florida, Louisiana State, Ole Miss, Mississippi, South Carolina and Vanderbilt.

MORE THAN THE SCORE: Stay up to date on sports stories like these, and sign up for our More than the Score sports newsletter at kxan.com/newsletters

Dates and times will be announced later as broadcasting partners figure out their schedules.

Each SEC team will play each other at least once during the regular season, creating 15 games, then teams will play three other teams a second time to get to 18 conference games. Two of those opponents will be permanent and one will rotate each season.

The SEC tournament is scheduled for March 12-16 at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee.

Proposal to delay regional funding to I-35 expansion project struck down Monday https://www.kxan.com/news/local/austin/proposal-to-delay-local-funding-to-i-35-expansion-project-struck-down-monday/ Mon, 13 May 2024 21:59:12 +0000 https://www.kxan.com/?p=2244998 AUSTIN (KXAN) — A regional transportation policy board voted against a proposal from several Austin City Council delegates Monday to delay funding on the upcoming Interstate 35 expansion until additional environmental studies are completed.

The majority of the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization's transportation policy board opposed the recommendation made during Monday's board meeting. Board members and council delegates Alison Alter, Paige Ellis, Vanessa Fuentes and Natasha Harper-Madison supported the measure, with an additional vote in favor of the proposal from Travis County board representative Amy Pattillo.

The Texas Department of Transportation's I-35 Capital Express Central project is a $4.5 billion, eight-mile long project corridor set to begin construction later this year. Council delegates' resolution requested the delay with the hopes of completing additional air quality studies prior to construction's start.

Along with those studies, the resolution proposed TxDOT's acceleration of other regional projects across the region that had funding deferred to prioritize the I-35 expansion project. With that request, council delegates had asked TxDOT to aid in those funding efforts as well as "funding to cover the remaining costs of the associated planning, design, and construction costs of I-35 caps," an ongoing city-funded initiative running concurrent with TxDOT's project.

Monday's meeting included dozens of public comments from community members, with the majority of those speaking opposed to the project on the grounds of pollution concerns. Austin City Council Member Paige Ellis, a delegate to the CAMPO board, urged fellow board members to take those same concerns seriously.

"I'm just trying to do my part to make sure that, at the end of the day, I can say I did everything I could to make sure that we're taking proper data and taking the time to make sure that if there's anything else that can be added to this project to make it better for the people who interact and live and work near this particular expansion, that we ask for everything that we possibly can," she said.

TxDOT's Austin District Engineer Tucker Ferguson, also a member of the CAMPO board, said his agency will continue advancing these studies and add any findings or recommendations to the expansion project where possible.

Board Member Jeff Travillion noted the significance of those air quality studies and analyses, but also said the highway is in desperate need of an upgrade to alleviate the safety concerns affiliated with it.

"Significant improvements are necessary, just for safety's sake," he said. "You can't drive through the City of Austin on 35 and think that's safe. It's not. It was built for a time that's no longer here."

Following the failure of the Austin delegation's proposal, the majority of CAMPO's transportation policy board approved the draft 2025-28 Transportation Improvement Program and a related amendment to the 2045 Regional Transportation Plan. Those plans, non-amended, outline regional funding allocations to the I-35 central expansion plan.

Horns Report: UT softball gets top seed in tourney for first time; program as a whole wins record amount of Big 12 titles https://www.kxan.com/sports-general/horns-report/horns-report-ut-softball-gets-top-seed-in-tourney-for-first-time-program-as-a-whole-wins-record-14-big-12-titles/ Mon, 13 May 2024 19:41:16 +0000 https://www.kxan.com/?p=2244719 AUSTIN (KXAN) — The NCAA softball tournament bracket is set and the Texas Longhorns are seeded No. 1 for the first time.

The selection committee made the announcement Sunday during a live broadcast on ESPN2, giving the Longhorns the top spot over No. 2 Oklahoma despite the Sooners winning the Big 12 Conference tournament championship game over Texas the day prior. In the end, Texas was still at the top of the RPI table and beat Oklahoma two out of three games during the regular season, so the committee felt Texas deserved the top spot.

MORE THAN THE SCORE: Stay up to date on sports stories like these, and sign up for our More than the Score sports newsletter at kxan.com/newsletters

The Longhorns will open the regional round at home against Siena, the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament champions and first-time tournament qualifier. They'll begin the four-team double-elimination tournament at 3 p.m. Friday while St. Francis (Penn.) and Northwestern will play the other game Friday. If the Longhorns make it through the regional, it's possible they could play either Texas A&M or Texas State in the super regionals. The Aggies are seeded No. 16 overall in the tournament while the Bobcats qualified by winning the Sun Belt Conference tournament championship. They'll play in College Station this weekend.

The athletic department as a whole made some serious hay in their last year as a member of the Big 12 Conference, winning a school-record 14 championships across all sports. Both men's and women's track and field teams were the latest to capture the top trophies, and the baseball and rowing teams still have a chance to make it 16 if things go their way later in May.

The Southeastern Conference also announced opponents and sites for Texas men's basketball's first season, and the schedule is favorable all things considered. Texas won't have to play Kentucky or Tennessee on the road in their inaugural season, only taking them on at Moody Center.

Watch the entire Horns Report live stream with Roger Wallace and Billy Gates at 3:15 p.m. or wait for the replay to be posted in this story shortly after the live stream ends.

Police: Dispute leads to multiple assaults, alleged firearm discharge at Manor football stadium https://www.kxan.com/news/local/manor/police-dispute-leads-to-multiple-assaults-alleged-firearm-discharge-at-manor-football-stadium/ Sun, 12 May 2024 21:28:36 +0000 https://www.kxan.com/?p=2243204 MANOR, Texas (KXAN) — Police are investigating multiple assaults and a possible firearm discharge that happened after a dispute between adult teams at a Manor ISD football stadium.

The Manor Police Department said the assaults and alleged firearm discharge happened Saturday at the Manor New Tech High School football stadium.

Police said a dispute happened during the last moments of a game between two adult teams from Killeen and Round Rock.

Manor police said there were minor injuries from the assaults, and no one was taken to a hospital.

The Manor ISD Police Department is investigating with help from the Manor Police Department. Police asked people with information to contact daniel.sanchez@manorisd.net or police@manortx.gov.

Authorities investigating arson after fire in Manor Walmart gas station bathroom https://www.kxan.com/news/local/manor/authorities-investigating-arson-after-fire-in-manor-walmart-gas-station-bathroom/ Mon, 13 May 2024 11:26:36 +0000 https://www.kxan.com/?p=2243826 Editor's note: Editor's note: The above video shows KXAN News' top morning headlines from Monday, May 13, 2024.

MANOR, Texas (KXAN) -- The Manor Police Department said it and Travis County Emergency Services District 12 are working on an arson investigation after a fire at the Manor Walmart gas station.

Manor PD said on its Facebook page shortly before 9 p.m. the gas station was closed Sunday night after a person went into the bathroom and allegedly started a fire then left.

Police asked that anyone with information regarding the incident contact the Manor Police Department at police@manortx.gov.

How real is the rain shield over Austin? https://www.kxan.com/weather/weather-blog/how-real-is-the-rain-shield-over-austin/ Mon, 13 May 2024 14:00:00 +0000 https://www.kxan.com/?p=2242870 AUSTIN (KXAN) -- Is there an actual rain shield over Austin? Some people think there is. Some people who live outside of Austin will swear there is something that happens when rain is approaching that makes it bypass their locale.

Our weather office receives emails about this after rain events asking, "Why didn't my city get rain when it looked so promising?"

It can be frustrating.

That frustration is made more when rain and storms coming out of the Hill Country get weaker moving into our metro counties (Hays, Travis, and Williamson). Sometimes these storms just completely end resulting in "not a drop" in Austin.

It's akin to a "why does this happen" question. It goes like this: why, when clouds clear from west to east, does the clearing seem to stop at Lake Travis resulting in afternoon high temperatures being less than the forecast because the clearing never made it here?

But it's the rain we're addressing here. Does science accept this or not?

Once again, we can look at the Balcones Escarpment. The Escarpment separates the higher elevation in the Hill Country to the flat topography east of Austin. We know warm surface wind get that lift into the higher levels of the atmosphere from the Hills. There are times that, for whatever reason, these updrafts fall apart when reaching the escarpment. The rain may bypass the city only to re-intensify when the inflow is established a second time.

The opposite is true, too. At times we will get more rain than we bargain for with all that moisture feeding into the area at the surface from the Gulf and at higher elevations from the Pacific. This will happen when a cold front stalls.

More than that, we have many tall buildings in Austin. Too many. These structures will take the wind and contribute to an alteration to their speed and direction. They deter the creation of clouds to generate rain. They can affect changes in winds and temperatures by trapping heat.

In addition, we have a lot of concrete creating the urban eat island effect. The makeup of a thunderstorm will change as it approaches this city. This accounts for, at times, a storm passing detouring the city because of the urban heat island, then becoming one again after it passes.

One reason that there really isn't that proverbial hole over Austin is greenhouse gas emissions. A study shows they cause an increase in rainfall.

So, all this said, while a storm may be hindered by temperatures, and available moisture, there really isn't a rain shield over the Austin area. It only seems that way because, yes, there are times when a promising storm moving east out of, say, Marble Falls, seems to die off when it crosses into Travis County.

It's just another one of the wonderful urban legends that make up this beautiful part of the country called Central Texas.

Democrats urge special session to increase Texas school funding https://www.kxan.com/news/texas/democrats-urge-special-session-to-increase-texas-school-funding/ Mon, 13 May 2024 17:42:33 +0000 https://www.kxan.com/?p=2244438 AUSTIN (Nexstar) — Texas Democrats urged Gov. Greg Abbott to call lawmakers back for a special legislative session Monday, citing "the urgent need to address school finance and improve funding for all of our school districts."

Some of Texas' largest school districts face massive budget deficits, forcing some to cut teachers and staff for next school year. Democrats blame the cash crunch on the legislature's failure to increase per-student funding for the public school system in the last legislative session.

"We have the resources available to better fund our schools, so we should act," State. Rep. John Rosenthal, D-Cypress, wrote in the letter.

Texas lawmakers had a record $33 billion budget surplus to allocate last year, but no money went towards increasing schools' basic allotment - the uniform per-student funding that makes up the foundation of Texas' school funding. Abbott tied school funding increases to his plan for state-subsidized private school tuition vouchers, which did not pass.

Abbott blamed schools' budget deficits on local budgeting problems and an expiration of federal pandemic funding.

"You'll be shocked to hear this, but it's not me that's responsible for this," Abbott said.

In a reply to Rep. Rosenthal Monday afternoon, Abbott blamed the deficits on Democrats' refusal to vote for a package of school funding paired with private school vouchers. He signaled he will not call another special session for this issue.

"My commitment to improving public schools is just as resolute as yours," he wrote to Rosenthal. "To achieve our shared goal, however, it is incumbent upon you to work with your fellow Texas House members to muster the votes to get it passed—something you were unwilling to do last year.”

In the Democrats' letter, they cite $5 billion in the budget already appropriated for public schools but left unspent, and another $18 billion left over from the surplus.

"It's constitutionally our responsibility to provide for the schools," Rosenthal told Nexstar. "Schools across the state having massive budget consequences. While we sit on top of one of the largest budget surpluses in Texas history. I think you can just do the math yourself."

38 House Democrats joined Rep. Rosenthal in signing the letter.

'Semi-truck' rolled over in south Austin, AFD says https://www.kxan.com/news/local/austin/semi-truck-rolled-over-in-south-austin-afd-says/ Mon, 13 May 2024 16:35:49 +0000 https://www.kxan.com/?p=2244342 The above video shows KXAN News' top morning headlines from Monday, May 13, 2024.

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A tractor-trailer truck reportedly rolled over in south Austin Monday morning, trapping the people inside of it, the Austin Fire Department said on social media.

Just after 11 a.m., AFD said it responded to a vehicle rescue call at East Ben White Boulevard and South Congress Avenue turnaround.

In an update, AFD said everyone is out of the truck and the alarm will be downgraded.

Austin-Travis County EMS also responded, AFD said. Officials said to expect traffic delays in the area Monday morning as crews respond to the incident.

Study: Social media break drastically improves young women's mental health https://www.kxan.com/news/simplehealth/study-social-media-break-drastically-improves-young-womens-mental-health/ Mon, 13 May 2024 14:37:36 +0000 https://www.kxan.com/?p=2243900 TORONTO (KXAN) -- Logging off of social media could have major health benefits.

A new study from researchers at York University in Toronto found young women who stayed off of social media for a week reported higher body satisfaction and self-esteem.

Researchers noted that while the negative effects of social media are well documented, there hasn't been much study into the positive effects of staying off of it.

Before taking a break, the researchers asked a group of 85 daily social media users, all women ages 17-24, to fill out a questionnaire scoring their body image and self-esteem.

From there the group was split up, with one continuing to use social media as normal, and the other logging off for the next seven days.

"We saw that the women who had been in the one-week break group had significantly better or more positive self-esteem and body image compared to the group that continued with their normal use," said York University Psychology Professor Jennifer Mills.

To ensure the integrity of the study, researchers had study participants download app-tracking software to monitor their social media use.

After screening out participants who didn't follow the instructions, or didn't report back in a timely manner, the group was whittled down to 66.

As for why body image and self-esteem improved, Mills believes the answer is twofold.

"It gave people the opportunity to get away from one of the things that we know is particularly harmful on social media, which is social comparison," she said. "The other thing is that they could have replaced, and in many cases participants talked about replacing social media with other kinds of healthy activities."

Mills said those healthier alternatives included sleeping, meeting with friends and family face-to-face, exercising, and going outdoors.

In terms of what the public should take from this study, Mills recommends people take a good hard took at how they feel when they're using social media, and plan a course of action based off of that.

"I think putting limits on the amount of social media time makes sense," she said. "When we look at the research, it would suggest that the less time you spend on it, the better in terms of your mental health."

4 puppies left in hot car while owner dined at Disney: animal services https://www.kxan.com/news/4-puppies-left-in-hot-car-while-owner-dined-at-disney-animal-services/ Mon, 13 May 2024 23:55:24 +0000 https://www.kxan.com/?p=2238612 ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — A pet owner could face felony charges after leaving four "Bernedoodle" puppies inside a hot car at Disney Springs last Saturday.

The 13-week-old pups, a mix between a Bernese mountain dog and a poodle, had just been purchased from a breeder.

A security guard saw the puppies in distress inside a hot car in a parking garage. First responders arrived to find one puppy unresponsive. Despite life-saving measures, the puppy died.

According to the Orange County Animal Services (OCAS), the puppies were left in the car for about 90 minutes.

OCAS said the owner had just recently purchased the puppies from a breeder and stopped to have dinner with family at Disney Springs, and assumed that since they were in a covered parking garage and had the windows cracked, things would "be okay for the dogs."

"Every summer we deal with cases like this, where someone runs into a store, the mall, or similar venue and opts to leave their pet in the car, assuming it’ll be a short trip. It’s heartbreaking and infuriating for our staff and animal-loving community when pet owners make this mistake as preventable tragedy can and does occur," Orange County Animal Services Director Diane Summers said.

The three remaining puppies have recovered and were adopted by the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District’s Fire Department staff.

Summers said even in the shade or with the windows cracked, animals should never be left in cars, especially during the summer.

"People have this misconception that shade or cracking the window will alleviate any concerns of overheating. It’s simply not the case. An animal should never be left in a car, especially during the summer months of Florida," she added.

Just two weeks ago, Animal Services dealt with a similar incident at a Goodwill in Orlando when a 7-month-old Shih Tzu was left inside a car.

When Orange County Fire Rescue rescued the puppy, the car's temperature was 140 degrees. Fortunately, the puppy was able to recover at one of OCAS’ local partner veterinary emergency clinics and was released to a rescue group.

The Orange County Sheriff's Office is investigating both incidents. Agricultural Crimes Unit investigators believe they will have probable cause for felony animal cruelty charges against the Bernedoodle's owner.

Jazz saxophonist David Sanborn dies at 78 https://www.kxan.com/news/jazz-saxophonist-david-sanborn-dies-at-78/ Mon, 13 May 2024 23:27:37 +0000 https://www.kxan.com/?p=2244889 TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) -- David Sanborn, known for playing the saxophone on tracks with David Bowie, Stevie Wonder and other iconic artists, has died at age 78.

Sanborn died Sunday in Terrytown, New York, after a years-long battle with prostate cancer. Health issues forced him to cancel several scheduled shows earlier this month.

US saxophonist David Sanborn performs on the Stravinski Hall stage at the 43rd Montreux Jazz Festival in Montreux, Switzerland, late Thursday, July 9, 2009. (AP Photo/Keystone/Martial Trezzini)

"Mr. Sanborn had been dealing with prostate cancer since 2018, but had been able to maintain his normal schedule of concerts until just recently," a message posted to his X account read. "Indeed he already had concerts scheduled into 2025."

Sanborn became known as a renowned session saxophonist and released some albums of his own. His credits include the 1972 Stevie Wonder track "Tuesday Heartbreak," David Bowie's 1975 album "Young Americans" and the James Taylor rendition of "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)."

Throughout his career, Sanborn received six Grammy awards, eight gold albums, and one platinum album.

Video: Louisiana parishioners confront teen with gun trying to enter children's Mass https://www.kxan.com/news/video-louisiana-parishioners-confront-teen-with-gun-trying-to-enter-childrens-mass/ Mon, 13 May 2024 23:17:30 +0000 https://www.kxan.com/?p=2244912 ABBEVILLE, La. (KLFY) – Mass service was interrupted at a Louisiana church on Saturday after a teenager dressed in black allegedly opened a back door and brandished a gun.

Officers received a call about a suspicious person with a gun at St. Mary Magdalen Church in Abbeville just after 10:30 a.m. Saturday, according to police. Parishioners confronted the subject to prevent him from entering the church service.

Responding officers arrested the teen and took him into custody.

Abbeville police and the Vermilion Parish Sheriff's Office also swept the church for any additional threats and confirmed that no one was injured.

The suspect, identified only as a 16-year-old male, was interviewed by officers with a guardian present after being taken to the Abbeville Police Department. After the interview, the juvenile was taken to a hospital to be evaluated.

The teen was charged with terrorizing and two counts of possession of a firearm by a juvenile.

Footage from the church's livestream shows priests ducking behind the table about a minute into the video. You can also hear the congregation being told, "Just get ahold of your child and go slowly. We did apprehend a young man. He is in custody. He is in police custody."

Bishop J. Douglas Deshotel released a statement about the incident.

“We are thankful to God that a tragedy was avoided at the First Communion Mass for the children of St. Mary Magdalen in Abbeville," Deshotel said. "The quick response of the Abbeville Police Department and alert parishioners is a great example of caring for the most vulnerable in our community. Let us pray for an end to all threats of violence to innocent human life.”

In addition to the statement, the Bishop also sent a message to the parishioners of St. Mary Magdalen Church.

This morning, our First Communion ceremony was interrupted when a suspicious person opened the back door. The individual was immediately confronted by parishioners, escorted outside and the police were called. The individual was quickly apprehended by Abbeville Police Department and is in their custody. Once apprehended, law enforcement entered the church to make sure there was no additional danger. This understandably caused panic. While we realize this was a frightening experience for those in attendance, we are incredibly grateful to both parishioners and police officers for acting quickly to ensure the safety of all. Chief Mike Hardy is handling the investigation with cooperation of the Vermilion Parish Sheriff’s office and assistance from the FBI. Out of an abundance of caution, we will have uniformed law enforcement at all upcoming Masses. We invite First Communicants to receive First Holy Communion at whichever Mass they choose to attend this weekend. We are grateful for all the prayers for our St. Mary Magdalen community.

Bishop J. Douglas Deshotel, St. Mary Magdalen

Why you may get another chance to see the northern lights soon https://www.kxan.com/news/why-you-may-get-another-chance-to-see-the-northern-lights-soon/ Mon, 13 May 2024 21:10:20 +0000 https://www.kxan.com/?p=2244596 (NEXSTAR) – The northern lights defied expectations over the weekend by appearing in night skies as far south as Florida and Hawaii. We have solar storm activity to thank – and that activity isn't done just yet.

Solar flares and eruptions will likely increase as we reach “solar maximum,” explained Nicola Fox, the director of NASA’s heliophysics division.

The current solar cycle, No. 25, began in December 2019.

"During the Sun’s natural 11-year cycle, the Sun shifts from relatively calm to stormy, then back again," said Fox. "At its most active, called solar maximum, the Sun is freckled with sunspots and its magnetic poles reverse."

All this activity sparks coronal mass ejections, or CMEs, which are essentially explosions of plasma and magnetic material shooting out of the sun. When they hit Earth’s magnetic field, currents send particles flowing to the North and South Poles, and that's what causes the aurora, or northern lights, to appear in our skies. The stronger the geomagnetic storm, the further south the phenomenon is visible.

The peak of this solar cycle is predicted to happen somewhere between November 2024 and March 2026. The best guess we have from NOAA's space weather modeling is July 2025, but it could happen months sooner or later.

As we approach that solar maximum, we can expect more geomagnetic storms to pop up.

The scientists at the Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) keep a close eye on active regions of the sun to try and predict broadly what might happen over the next several days or weeks, but it's hard to tell exactly when and how CMEs will hit Earth when they're coming from 90 million miles away. Once they reach about 1 million miles from Earth, scientists can take much more accurate measurements and make good predictions – but the lead time is small, about 15 to 45 minutes.

The severe, G5-level storm that hit Earth Friday night and Saturday morning was the strongest to reach us since 2003. Strong geomagnetic storms can cause more than just pretty lights in the sky – they also can create issues for power infrastructure, communications and navigation.

According to the SWPC's scale, a minor G1 storm can bring the aurora to Maine and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula while a moderate G2 storm can bring them into New York and Idaho. When a storm reaches G3 status, aurora can be viewed as far south as Illinois and Oregon. Should it reach G4 strength, those living in Alabama and northern California may have a chance at seeing the northern lights. Solar activity that causes a G5 storm, like the storm we saw Friday, has been known to make aurora appear in Florida and even southern Texas.

VIDEO: Crews conduct controlled demolition of Baltimore bridge wreckage https://www.kxan.com/news/national-news/watch-live-crews-to-conduct-controlled-demolition-of-baltimore-bridge-wreckage/ Mon, 13 May 2024 21:08:08 +0000 https://www.kxan.com/?p=2244856 BALTIMORE (AP) — Crews conducted a controlled demolition Monday to break down the largest remaining span of the collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore.

The explosives flashed orange and let off plumes of black smoke upon detonation, and the span crumpled into the water in seconds. The longest trusses toppled away from the grounded Dali container ship and slid off its bow, sending a wall of water splashing back toward the ship.

Explosive charges are detonated to bring down sections of the collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge resting on the container ship Dali on Monday, May 13, 2024, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

It marked a major step in freeing the ship, which has been stuck amid the wreckage since it lost power and crashed into one of the bridge’s support columns shortly after leaving Baltimore on March 26. The demolished span came crashing down on the ship’s bow and remained resting on its deck for the past six weeks.

The collapse killed six construction workers and halted most maritime traffic through Baltimore’s busy port. The controlled demolition will allow the Dali to be refloated and restore traffic through the port as the cleanup enters its final stages.

Once the ship is removed, maritime traffic can begin returning to normal, which will provide relief for thousands of longshoremen, truckers and small business owners who have seen their jobs impacted by the closure.

Officials previously said the Dali’s 21-member crew would shelter in place aboard the ship while the explosives were detonated.

In a videographic released this week, authorities said engineers were using precision cuts to control how the trusses break down. They said the method allows for “surgical precision” and is one of the safest and most efficient ways to remove steel under a high level of tension.

Explosive charges are detonated to bring down sections of the collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge resting on the container ship Dali on Monday, May 13, 2024, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

The next step is for hydraulic grabbers to lift the resulting sections of steel onto barges.

The Dali crew members haven’t been allowed to leave the grounded vessel since the disaster. Officials said they’ve been busy maintaining the ship and assisting investigators. Of the crew members, 20 are from India and one is Sri Lankan.

The National Transportation Safety Board and the FBI are conducting investigations into the bridge collapse.

Danish shipping giant Maersk had chartered the Dali for a planned trip from Baltimore to Sri Lanka, but the ship didn’t get far. Its crew sent a mayday call saying they had lost power and had no control of the steering system. Minutes later, the ship rammed into the bridge.

Officials have said the safety board investigation will focus on the ship’s electrical system.

1 arrested after 'barricaded' person incident in Round Rock https://www.kxan.com/news/local/round-rock/round-rock-police-responding-to-barricaded-person-report/ Mon, 13 May 2024 18:35:18 +0000 https://www.kxan.com/?p=2244602 ROUND ROCK, Texas (KXAN) — One person was arrested Monday after Round Rock Police Department officers responded to reports of a "barricaded" person, refusing to leave a residence Monday afternoon.

The department posted on X at 12:21 p.m. that the incident followed a domestic dispute. In an update, police said the person was taken into custody and charged with assault by strangulation, a third-degree felony.

The incident happened in the 2400 block of Meadow Brook Drive, a neighborhood between Old Settlers Boulevard and East Bowman Road.

Travis County to discuss how taxpayers can help low-income families access child care https://www.kxan.com/news/local/travis-county/travis-county-to-discuss-how-taxpayers-can-help-low-income-families-access-childcare/ Mon, 13 May 2024 17:26:27 +0000 https://www.kxan.com/?p=2244356 AUSTIN (KXAN) — Dozens of parents, child care providers and employees rallied on the Texas Capitol steps Monday, taking the day off, hoping to get through to lawmakers.

"Dairy Queen workers make more than child care workers," Cherlita Robertson, a childcare center director said.

On the day of a national movement called, "A Day Without Childcare," the group is asking for better funding in order to make child care more affordable, and to improve employee wages.

"It's $1,500 alone a month just for [my son,] Patricia Tobar, a mother said. "I can't pay that that's half of more than half of my check."

This movement comes as Travis County is set to discuss the proposed tax rate election for the 2025 Tax Year. Commissioners will look at how the county can give more people access to early childhood care and afterschool/summer services, according to the May 14 agenda. It's a 2-and-a-half cent tax raise to help fund a new $75 million program.

"We're going to help aid that over 8,000 families get assistance in some way of either child care after school assistance," Brown said.

Travis County Judge Andy Brown and Precinct One Commissioner Jeff Travillion are leading this conversation.

"Kids who are in programs are not my kids who are in trouble," Travillion said. "They have guidance, they have structure."

If approved by voters, it would cost the average household about $10 more a month.
Brown and Travillion hope it would benefit child care providers pay staff more too.