Senior Sgt. Steve Urias of the Austin Police Department became the second Austin police officer to die of COVID-19 in just 24 hours, according to a statement from interim Chief Joe Chacon.
Chacon said that Urias was nearing retirement when he tested positive for COVID and died Thursday afternoon. In a written statement on Twitter, Chacon wrote that Urias served over 31 years with the department.
Today, Senior Sergeant Steve Urias lost his battle with COVID-19, and passed away while fighting the good fight. This is the 2nd line of duty death from COVID in as many days with our department, and frankly, it is hard for me to express my grief. pic.twitter.com/BVIBw1aRBx
— Joseph Chacon 👮🏻♂️ (@Chief_Chacon) August 26, 2021
"He was nearing retirement when this horrible disease struck him & his family," Chacon wrote. "He was a wonderful officer, husband, father & friend. He will be missed by us all."
Urias is survived by his wife and 2 adult children, Chacon wrote. "Frankly it is hard for me to express my grief," Chacon said.
The news comes just a day after Austin police officer Randall "Randy" Boyd was the first in the department to die due to complications from COVID-19. Boyd, who died on Wednesday morning, is survived by his wife and young twin boys.
"Randy was a great officer who gave everything he had for a life of service," Chacon said. "Despite the surging pandemic, officers have continued to put their lives on the line, showing up to serve the Austin community while placing themselves in harm's way."
It is once again with a heavy heart that I must inform you of the loss of another of our family - Senior Police Officer Randolph “Randy" Boyd. After a valiant fight against COVID-19, he succumbed to this horrible virus this morning. He is survived by his wife and young twin boys. pic.twitter.com/c4oSTJDzqp
— Joseph Chacon 👮🏻♂️ (@Chief_Chacon) August 25, 2021
Though these are firsts for Austin, police officers have died more from COVID-19 in 2020 and 2021 than any other cause, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.
APD said they would not disclose whether either officer was was vaccinated.
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An Austin-based firm that’s established itself as one of the top Bitcoin miners in North America is set to go public.
On Thursday, the company, known as Core Scientific Inc., announced it’s now trading on Nasdaq as $CORZ. The stock opened at $9.74 per share then peaked at $10.48. The company was assigned a $414 million market cap.
"As one of the largest publicly-traded blockchain infrastructure providers and digital asset miners in North America, we are focused on growing our capacity, defending and securing the blockchain ecosystem and building long-term shareholder value," CEO Mike Levitt said.
As reported by Yahoo News, investors approved a plan for a public debut through a $4.3 billion merger with special purpose acquisition company Power & Digital Infrastructure Acquisition Corp. The deal arrives as Austin sees its crypto scene soar, with increased activity in the NFT economy and groups pooling their money together through DAOs.
Core Scientific was established in 2017 and relocated its headquarters from Seattle to Austin last year. It has a site in Downtown Austin on 106 E. 6th St. and data centers in Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina and North Dakota. More than 100 full-time employees are in the U.S., but it's unclear how many are in Austin.
Now, they say they are the biggest Bitcoin miners based on processing power, with claims that the combined mining capacity on the Bitcoin network exceeds that of competitors. And SEC filings from earlier this month show it's in the process of acquiring Blockcap, Inc., which moved to Austin last year.
The company describes itself as a leader in high-performance, carbon-neutral blockchain infrastructure in an industry that catches flak for its energy use.
Aside from mining, the company provides internet hosting services for other large-scale miners. In fact, it derives about half its revenue by helping big customers mine, a quality seen in what’s often referred to as an “institutional-grade” miner.
Looking ahead, Core Scientific seems optimistic about the year ahead even as Bitcoin falls from its all-time high.
“We’ve worked hard to lay the groundwork that will enable us to achieve our 2022 projections,” Levitt told Yahoo News. “Our objective is to be the best. Being the best means doing all that we can for our business, the industry in which we participate and for the Bitcoin network.”
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Watch some Cricket
When: 5:30-10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
Where: The Crossover, 1717 Scottsdale Drive
What: Looking for a new sport to obsess over? Attend one of Sports Movement’s indoor cricket matches.
Le Garage Sale
When: 11 a.m. Saturday and Sunday
Where: Palmer Events Center, 900 Barton Springs Rd.
What: Find over 100+ boutiques, brands and designers at Le Garage sale. Shop leisurewear, accessories, menswear, children’s apparel, home decor and more. Tickets start at $10.
See a movie at the drive-in
When: 6:25-8:45 p.m., 9:15-10:50 p.m. Saturday
Where: The Globe Drive-In Theater, 8017 Cele Rd.
What: This weekend you can see Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban at 6:25 p.m. or you can see The Cabin in the Woods at 9:15 p.m. at the drive-in. Tickets cost $16 per car.
Museum of Ice Cream
When: 11:30 a.m Saturday and Sunday
Where: Museum of Ice Cream, 11410 Century Oaks Ter.
What: The Museum of Ice Cream is featuring 12 never-before-seen instillations celebrating the enjoyment of ice cream. View tickets here.
The Austin Flea
When: 12 p.m. Sunday
Where: Meanwhile Brewing, 3901 Promontory Point Dr.
What: Find handmade items, vintage wares, food and drink and more at The Austin Flea at Meanwhile Brewing. Vendors are handpicked for each show to guarantee a great selection of items to shop for.