100% Austin news, info, and entertainment, straight to your inbox at 6 a.m. every morning.
In five minutes, you're fully informed and ready to start another great day in our city.
Residents on the 2500 block of Santa Barbara Loop in Round Rock were evacuated from their homes on Tuesday morning after a man found with improvised explosive devices inside his house was arrested.
The Williamson County Sheriff's Office reported that 47-year-old John Christopher Crawson was originally arrested for a third-degree felony charge of making a terroristic threat against a family member before they entered the home and found IEDs.
Neighbors in the immediate area were evacuated and were allowed to return to their homes in the afternoon.
Deputies said a long investigation had been conducted to achieve a warrant. Deputies discovered the IEDs after serving the warrant and were later joined by members of the bomb squad and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Though the Sheriff's Office did not disclose how many or what type of explosives were found, an investigation showed that Crawson had made the devices from inside the home.
Officials will remain on-site until the explosives have been safely removed from the scene and WCSO asks that the public avoid the area for the time being.
- Williamson County judge violated his own stay-at-home order ... ›
- Black man who died after traffic stop in Williamson County heard ... ›
- Williamson County Sheriff Chody indicted in Javier Ambler case ... ›
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Monday that Texas will opt out of further federal unemployment benefits related to the pandemic effective June 26, citing the number of current job openings and concern about potentially fraudulent unemployment claims. The benefits include a $300 weekly supplement.
"The Texas economy is booming and employers are hiring communities across the state," Abbott said in a statement. "According to the Texas Workforce Commission, the number of job openings in Texas is almost identical to the number of Texans who are receiving unemployment jobs."
TWC listed 837,273 job openings as of Monday afternoon compared to 226,849 unemployment insurance claims filed statewide between March 31 and May 1. An estimated 1 million Texans were unemployed as of March, according to latest estimates released by the state agency.
Some local business owners, including Doc's Backyard Grill owner Charles Milligan, suspect unemployment benefits are deterring Austinites from returning to work. But others agree with economists who say multiple factors are at play, including health concerns and child care availability.
We're seeing lots of posts about how nobody wants to work right now. Just wanted to share our experience.
We received over 60 resumes for a taproom bartender position we posted last week. Every applicant we've set up an interview with has shown up.
People want 𝘨𝘰𝘰𝘥 work.
— Austin Beerworks (@AustinBeerworks) May 11, 2021
Abbott also cited fraudulent unemployment claims. Between March 2020 and April 2021, TWC received 4.48 million unemployment benefit applications, 611,000 or around 14% of which were tagged as suspicious. Most of those tagged were blocked before any benefits were paid out, according to an April 29 press release.
Federal law requires the effective date of such benefits change to be at least 30 days after the U.S. Department of Labor is notified.
- Reopening Austin offices plan for one-way foot traffic, sanitizing ... ›
- Buc-ee's avoids national workers shortage with benefits - austonia ›
- Austin restaurants struggle to hire workers after pandemic year ... ›
Is it just us, or is the current Austin mask situation confusing? Are we supposed to wear a mask or not, and where? And should we wear one anyway, even if not requested or required?
Austin health orders requiring masks expire Tuesday. What then?
Take our three-question quiz, and tell us what you're thinking.