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(Liz McGuire/City of Austin)

This year has been off the rails, and this is especially true for Austin's beloved miniature choo choo the Zilker Zephyr.

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(Texas Book Festival)

A family looks through a festival guide at the 2017 Texas Book Festival.

The Texas Book Festival is kicking off virtually for its 25th anniversary, featuring more than 125 guests including none other than actor, UT professor, Austin resident and now author, Matthew McConaughey.

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(Courtesy of Pet Paradise)

Pets live exhausting lives—all the sleeping, playing and endless affection doesn't come easy and they need a break. Pet Paradise seeks to solve that problem, with the added benefit of giving owners peace of mind while they take their own vacation.

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In an effort to help create a safe space for LGBTQIA+ youth, two soccer support groups—Los Verdes and The Plastics—are collaborating on limited-edition merch.

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(Travel with me/Shutterstock)

UT started classes Wednesday for the fall semester.

With University of Texas at Austin classes beginning Wednesday, students' concerns for their safety were exacerbated when a photo and video circulated showing members of UT Greek life gathering off campus without masks or following social distancing guidelines.

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(Pexels)

In the hills of West Austin, bordered by the Colorado River and Barton Creek, Eanes ISD schools ease back into the school year with a stockpile of student laptops and tablets and a bevy of teachers at ease with virtual learning tools.

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'Party Island' on Lady Bird Lake, seen from above on Aug.8. (Jordan Vonderhaar)

Kayaks, tubes and paddle boards jammed side by side have appeared on Lady Bird Lake throughout the summer, despite local orders prohibiting gatherings and advising social distancing. The crowd of mostly young people at a shallow sandbar where Barton Creek flows into the lake has come to be known by locals as "Party Island."

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