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April Fool's Day is hard on reporters and newsreaders alike. The annual tradition can leave confusion, pain and joy in its wake.
To make things a little easier this April Fool's, we compiled a list of pranks we found across the Austin metro today. Some needed a little work to be convincing, while we're still not sure if others are real or fake.
Here are 7 April Fool's jokes to spice up your afternoon:
1. El Arroyo's 'stolen' sign
It is with great sadness that we share some disheartening news… Our famous marquee sign has been stolen. If you have any information about the whereabouts of the sign, or any leads, please comment. #BringBackTheSign #ElArroyoSign pic.twitter.com/4aeiJVPpPB— El Arroyo (@ElArroyo_ATX) April 1, 2021
We may have fallen hardest to this one. Early on April Fool's morning, the restaurant announced that their iconic sign was missing. They even provided security footage shots of what appeared to be four suspects at the scene at around 4 a.m. Thursday morning.
Many said the restaurant was crying wolf, and it was awfully suspicious timing that the iconic sign, which features hilarious new phrases every single day, would go missing on pranksters' favorite day of the year.
On a phone call with Austonia, a restaurant employee chuckled mysteriously and said, "no comment," when asked about the missing sign at 12:25 p.m.
The restaurant later revealed that the precious sign was found at the Yeti location. In a Tweet, the restaurant mocked Austinites and said, "Y'all fell hard for that one, huh?"
We certainly did. This might be the best prank of the day, and it certainly created an authentically Austin April Fool's panic.
2. Did Elon Musk buy Austin?
In the early hours of April Fool's morning, the Austin Chronicle revealed some shocking news. Gov. Greg Abbott had signed away the Texas Capitol, giving the entire city to billionaire Elon Musk, who declared himself the "Iron Mayor."
In the shocking announcement, the Chronicle wrote that Musk appeared via hologram at the signing ceremony and said if there's ever a scandal about him, he'd like it to be called "Elongate." Some, like Attorney General Ken Paxton, decried the statement as "fake news," while Austin Mayor Steve Adler said having a "Technoking" leader that wishes to colonize Mars isn't that off-brand for the "weird" city of Austin.
Don't worry though—Musk couldn't quite get his hands on the Texas Capitol or University of Texas campus.
Technically, this hasn't been confirmed or denied, but we haven't seen any "Iron Mayor" activity today. Some say the prank was a little too real and that the mysterious tech giant is "scary enough as it is."
A for effort on this one, Austin Chronicle.
3. Camila McConaughey goes classic prankster on her kids
Camila McConaughey became a bad influence for mischievous kids everywhere when she pulled a prank on her son, Livingston, and Matthew himself.
McConaughey took video as she fed her unsuspecting son and husband toothpaste-filled Oreos.
"Spicy," Livingston cried after taking a big bite. "You tricked us!"
Everything was not "alright, alright alright" for Mr. McConaughey. A bit more disgruntled than his son, McConaughey exclaimed "Nasty, what is that?" as he threw the remaining Oreo off a balcony.
Camila even provided a link for more April Fool's ideas, a power move that could inspire thousands of aspiring pranksters.
4. Is Austin's housing market slowing down?
The Austin-based realty group said words that have almost never been spoken by Austinites—especially in the past year.
In an Instagram post Thursday morning, the company posted the harrowing phrase, "the Austin housing market is slowing down." No need to fear—the culprit behind the quote is "literally nobody."
In the post, they said "can't even get through the sentence a second time," adding "Happy April Fool's Day!"
A good marketing trick, but it's not fooling anyone who's seen the city's booming housing market recently.
5. Old Thousand goes emo
Chinese food chain Old Thousand is transforming its two locations for April Fool's Day.
At their location on Burnet, the restaurant is now emo sandwich shop Jimmy Eat Sandwich. All day, they'll be jamming to pop punk, selling T-shirts and offering classic sandwiches.
At their 11th Street location, the restaurant is fusing with Red Lobster-esque meals as "Old Lobster." Menu items include twists like cheddar "Bae" scallion pancakes, crab rangoons and shrimp scampi lo mein.
Seems like this yummy, punk twist on April Fool's is really taking off.
6. Messi comes to Austin
Messi is going to sign with Austin Bold FC next season...got ya...April Fools or whatever.— Austin Bold FC (@AustinBoldFC) April 1, 2021
I guess they are technically Austin's first-ever pro team, but USL soccer club Austin Bold FC isn't fooling anyone.
The team announced they were signing Lionel Messi for next season—and immediately gave away the prank in the same tweet. For those who don't know, Messi is considered one of the best professional soccer players of all time.
Even the most diehard Austin soccer fans would've had a hard time believing this one even without the quick disclaimer.
7. Austin EMS workers get a veggie surprise
The Austin Emergency Center should know better than to mess with Austinites and their tacos.
AEC staff were surprised to see their Taco Cabana boxes were hiding veggies instead of Tex-Mex meals. Luckily for both the center and staff, the AEC revealed where the real tacos were hiding soon after.
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With more research done on the COVID-19 Delta variant, Austin Public Health is upping its goal of 70% vaccinated to at least 80% due to the extreme virality of the strain.
As more Delta cases are identified—up to 29 cases are confirmed in Travis County—health officials are urging the unvaccinated to get their shots to contain the spread and relieve hospitals from reaching full capacity.
Austin-Travis County surpassed the Stage 5 threshold on Friday and has reached a seven-day average of 61 hospital admissions. However, Austin health leaders have yet to make an official shift as the Delta variant calls for new guidance, APH Health Authority Dr. Desmar Walkes said at a joint Travis County Commissioners Court meeting on Tuesday morning.
The new guidance has yet to be released, but Walkes said it will take into account the viral load of Delta on both unvaccinated and vaccinated people.
Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed the Delta variant was as contagious as chickenpox, which has a herd immunity threshold of at least 90% vaccinated.
Although 63.42% of those eligible in Travis County are fully vaccinated, breakthrough cases—where vaccinated people are contracting COVID-19—are being identified. APH has identified 1,496 breakthrough cases of the roughly 800,000 vaccinated. Most breakthrough cases are showing less severe symptoms or are asymptomatic, according to APH.
Health officials are still asking residents to wear masks, although the city cannot mandate any masking orders due to an executive order by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.
"Our challenge is going to be whether we're going to stand as a community and everyone who can get vaccinated, get vaccinated, and everyone where a mask—that's what it's going to take," Walkes said.
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Save Austin Now police petition will reach November ballot after county clerk certifies 25,000 signatures
Save Austin Now is now 2-0 over Austin City Council after its petition to add more staffed police officers to the Austin Police Department was certified, garnering over the 20,000 votes needed to make it on an election ballot.
The petition calls for more police staffing per city resident, quicker response times and more training for city police officers in the wake of increasing violent crime rates nationwide and a year of limited APD staffing. The City Council will now decide whether to implement the ordinance outright or add it to the November election ballot; it will likely do the latter.
Over 25,000 of the 27,778 signatures racked up by the public safety petition were certified as valid, well over the 20,000-vote threshold required to be certified with the City Clerk. City Clerk Jannette Goodall placed the city's seal of approval on the petition on Tuesday morning.
The petition, by the same political group that got the camping ban reinstated through a petition in May, seeks to:
- Require minimum staffing of two officers per 1,000 residents
- Require a minimum standard of 35% community response time
- Add 40 hours of training
- Require city council members, Mayor Steve Adler and other city staff to enroll in the Citizens Police Academy
- Facilitate minority officer hiring through foreign language proficiency metrics
Austin's 160 patrol vacancies have dropped its staffing rate to 1.2 officers per 1,000 residents, according to the department. APD's response time has increased by about one minute and 50 seconds in a year.
The petition comes nearly a year after APD's budgets were slashed by city council following the summer's Black Lives Matter protests, which saw several demonstrators severely injured as millions called for justice in the police-related deaths of George Floyd and locally Mike Ramos, an unarmed Black man killed by APD officer Christopher Taylor, in April 2020.
Austin and the U.S. have experienced a widespread uptick in violent crime rates in 2021. The city has reached 49 homicides in 2021, higher than the total number of murders in all of 2020 and the 38 homicides in the city in 2019. Austin police officers have seen response times rise as the department suffers increased vacancies and fewer newcomers while cadet classes are being readjusted.
Opponents argue the ordinance would ramp up a policing budget while taking away from other departments including Fire, EMS, violence prevention, and mental health care. City Council Member Greg Casar, the Travis County Democratic Party and the Austin Justice Coalition have spoken out against the organization's latest public safety move, calling out the campaign as a "right-wing petition" that misleads those who sign.
🔥 PANTS ON FIRE: Republican-front group Save Austin Now is lying about their petition!
They say their measure is about police reform, when it's really about devastating our city budget - all for the benefit of the police union. Watch the video here ⬇️ #ATX pic.twitter.com/Z6QQSfhHfH
— Gregorio Casar (@GregCasar) August 2, 2021
The latest battle between city council and Save Austin Now will be decided by Austin residents in the Nov. 2 election.
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Austin City Limits fest and iHeartRadio Fest are the latest festivals to announce the removal of rapper DaBaby, who has come under fire for homophobic comments made during a recent festival.
The 29-year-old rapper, whose real name is Jonathan Lyndale Kirk, was dropped by Lollapalooza just hours before his set on Sunday, followed by the Governor's Ball in New York and Nevada's Day N Vegas after making unsolicited comments about men with HIV/AIDS at the Rolling Loud Festival in Miami. Rolling Stone Magazine confirmed with iHeartRadio organizers that DaBaby will no longer perform.
DaBaby will no longer be performing at Austin City Limits Music Festival — lineup update coming soon. pic.twitter.com/jAYfdJFxJf
— ACL Festival (@aclfestival) August 3, 2021
There is no word on who he will be replaced with yet, though rumors on ACL's subreddit, r/aclfestival, are saying they expect Tyler, The Creator, who performed at Lollapalooza. Kirk will be replaced at Day N Vegas by rapper Roddy Ricch.
Kirk later backtracked his offensive statements on his Instagram story, but again faced criticism for not exactly apologizing.
After facing a second round of backlash for his Instagram statements, the rapper posted on Instagram, saying:
In addition to being dropped from the festivals, DaBaby has been denounced by fellow celebrities like Dua Lipa, Madonna and Elton John.
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