Austonia launched a new texting trial program that brings local news alerts straight to your phone.

There is a lot of news to keep up with right now: COVID-19 trends, protest coverage, near-daily City Council meetings, the upcoming 2020 election.

Even for the most avid news gatherer, it's hard to keep track of the various tweets and tabs.

So we'd like to offer readers a new way to get the news you want and need—at your fingertips.

By signing up for the Austonia Text program, you'll receive one text, maybe two, with the day's top stories—straight from the reporters who wrote them.

This 90 day program is a test for us. It will be completely free for anyone who signs up—we just want to find new and engaging ways to connect with our readers. If enough people are interested, then we will likely make this service an Austonia staple.

I'm leading this effort, so a little bit about me: I've been reporting on local news in Austin since 2017, when I moved here for what I thought was a summer internship.

Since then, I've attended local government, school board and neighborhood association meetings; interviewed candidates, business owners, social-media phenoms and residents; and written many stories.

Now I'm excited to share them—and the stories behind the story—with you.

This service is a one of a kind for local Austin news. We'll only use it when we think a story merits the extra ping.

I also hope y'all will respond with tips, questions and story ideas.

You can sign up by clicking on this link or typing your phone number into the box located in the sidebar of the website.

(Laura Figi)

At the tail end of a tough year for retailers, Black Friday deals appeared to draw fewer shoppers into big box stores around Austin.

Keep Reading Show less
(Tito's Handmade Vodka)


  • 750 mL Tito's Handmade Vodka
  • 1 1/2 cup toasted pecans
Directions: Toast pecans in a 350°F oven until they become aromatic (about 5 minutes). Let pecans cool, drop them into a resealable jar, and fill with Tito's Handmade Vodka. Store in a cool, dark place for 1 month, if you can wait that long.
(Nan Palmero/CC)

Thanksgiving is over and the most wonderful time of year has officially begun. Christmas light shows have been a Texas tradition for years—so beloved that not even a pandemic could stop them from shining this year.

Keep Reading Show less
(Texas Longhorns/Instagram)
Game Preview: Longhorns face off against #13 Cyclones

The Texas Longhorns take the field for the first time in two weeks after postponements and bye weeks, making them one of the most well rested teams in the conference.

Keep Reading Show less

Before the pandemic started, Adult Care of Austin on Menchaca Road didn't offer telemedicine appointments.

Now, the private practice conducts almost all of its visits virtually, either over the phone or on HIPAA-compliant video platforms.

Dr. Steven Dobberfuhl, an internal medicine physician, said telemedicine saved his practice—and has been a boon to his patients, around 75% of whom are 65 years or older and at high risk of contracting COVID-19.

"I didn't believe it would work as well as it has," he said.

Keep Reading Show less

Austin will see "big weather changes" this weekend, with likely thunderstorms Friday morning and early Saturday morning, according to the National Weather Service.

Keep Reading Show less

From pandemic-inspired poetry to a graphic novel based on a Mayan legend, this holiday season offers titles for every taste. Below is a list of books from local authors to add to your Black Friday shopping cart or wintertime to-read list.

Keep Reading Show less