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.

(Eva Rinaldi/Creative Commons)

An Austin man was sentenced to 30 months in prison for stalking and sending threatening letters and emails to pop star Taylor Swift's former record label.

Keep Reading Show less
(Photo courtesy of Marisela Maddox)

Marisela Maddox's two children complete their online schooling from home, a reason she decided she needed to bring in extra help.

Marisela Maddox is no stranger to the nanny game, having hired at-home caregivers in the past to help with her two children, ages 5 and 10.

Keep Reading Show less
(Stock photo)

As some children gear up to head back to school, many parents are wondering what to expect next with their child's learning.

For Ashley McGuire, mother of 6-year-old Mason, in-person schooling can't come quickly enough. The online process, she said, is lonely and has been frustrating for everyone in the family.

Keep Reading Show less
(Associated Press)

Former UT coach Michael Center was part of a string of college admissions scandals last year.

Former University of Texas men's tennis coach Michael Center is in a Texas halfway house and set to be released in October after serving six months in federal prison for falsely designating a wealthy West Coast student as a Longhorns recruit.

Keep Reading Show less

In a historic win for college athletes and voter advocates, led by former NBA champion and Austinite Chris Bosh, the NCAA voted this week to require an annual November Election Day "off day" for Division 1 student athletes to vote or volunteer in election activities if they choose.

Keep Reading Show less

Austin Trail of Lights will take place this holiday season.

The Austin Trail of Lights—an annual event that transforms Zilker Park into a winter wonderland, featuring more than 60 displays and two million lights—will take place this holiday season, despite the pandemic.

Keep Reading Show less