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1. Covid vaccine

As it has since Austonia.com launched on April 8, 2020, the ongoing need for COVID-related information has dominated our coverage. Our most-read covid story this week is about the use of technology to identify and book vaccine appointments.

Austin's tech-savvy create 'scraper' bots to find vaccine appointments fast


Additional COVID coverage this week:


  • 2. Mask mandate


Mask on. Mask off. Mask on. The battle between Texas and Austin over COVID-related policy continued as Gov. Greg Abbott removed COVID restrictions. Shortly after, Mayor Steve Adler announced that some restrictions were back in force via health department orders, which resulted in Attorney General Ken Paxton filing suit against Austin to remove local restrictions. Meantime, most businesses are keeping mask requirements in place.


3. APD officer charged


Officer Christopher Taylor has been charged with murder in the shooting of Michael Ramos, the event that ignited Austin's Black Lives Matters protests and led to budget changes at APD.


4. Austin Energy windfall


Austin Energy announces that it most likely made $54-million during the deep freeze by selling excess power to the ERCOT grid. Power prices, around $50 per megawatt hour pre-storm, spiked to the maximum-allowable $9,000 per megawatt-hour at times during the power shortage. There's considerable uncertainty around AE's ability to collect, so it may make as much as $104-million, or suffer a $16-million loss.


5. Former Westlake player killed


Former Westlake High School football standout Jackson Coker died Wednesday morning after rolling his Jeep on Bee Cave Road, returning from an early morning workout. Coker was ejected from the vehicle and pronounced dead on the scene. Coker's high school coach, Todd Dodge, said Coker was the "heart and soul" of the 2019 state championship team. Coker was attending Columbia University remotely, as a member of its football team.


6. Austin FC game announcements

Austin's first major league professional sports team, Austin FC, announced parts of its early season schedule. The team's first-ever game will be Saturday, April 17, against Los Angeles FC, in LA. The nationally-broadcast match will be on FOX and FOX Deportes. Austin FC's first home match, at Q2 Stadium, will take place Saturday, June 19, against the San Jose Earthquakes.


7. Best chicken sandwiches

As our city starts to buzz and hum again with a hint of its former energy, many of our readers resonated with our survey of the chicken landscape.

Popular

Tito's releases (not so?) ugly sweater line for the holidays, profits to charity

Tito's Handmade Vodka

Show your love for Tito's and for the community this year with a wide selection of not that ugly, uglyish, ugly, uglier, and ugliest holiday sweaters.

There's lots choose from, and plenty of accessories like scarves and socks, plus gear for your dog, too.

All of the items can be purchased online or at the Love, Tito’s Retail Store in Austin, TX. 100% of all net proceeds from online or in-store purchases go to one of the nonprofits we’ve teamed up with.

Click here to see the entire collection in the Tito's store.

Mac and Cheese Fest and Free Art Exhibit
Waterloo Greenway, Good Vibrations Installation


🗓 All weekend

🎨 Creek Show Art Exhibit

Check out this highly anticipated art exhibition with illuminated art along Waller Creek. Tickets are free and the event includes food vendors, dazzling lights, live music, and hands-on activities

All weekend 6 p.m - 10 p.m | 📍Waterloo Park

✨ Mozart's Light Show

This iconic holiday tradition lights up for the first time this holiday season starting this weekend! Reserve your spot for an enchanting light and sound performance, delicious hot cocoa, sweet treats, and some overall fun with your friends or family. The show runs till January 6th.

6 p.m and 9 p.m | 📍Mozart's Coffee Roasters - 3825 Lake Austin Blvd, Austin, TX 78703

🗓 Saturday

🥊 Kickboxing in the Park

This fitness event is free and open to the public. Get your morning started right with a "Fitness in the park" class for kickboxing! The class will be led by certified instructors and is a great way to get a cardio workout in while also honing your self-defense skills.

10 a.m - 11 a.m | 📍 Metz Park

🛍 The Front Market

Support local LBGTQ+ and female artists at this outdoor market with over 150 vendors. Get your holiday shopping out of the way at this event, with vendors for food trucks, handmade goods, raffles, hands on workshops and activities, and more.

11 a.m - 5 p.m | 📍Ani's Day and Night - 7107 E Riverside Drive, Austin, TX 78741

🗓 Sunday

🧀 Mac and Cheese Fest

Did someone say cheese?! If you're like me and always willing to get your hands on a bowl of mac and cheese, then this event is for you. Check out the Mac and Cheese festival happening this weekend to decide which vendor has. the best mac and cheese for yourself, and enjoy the bar with creative cocktails while you're at it. Tickets start at $45.

11 a.m - 3 p.m | 📍Lantana Place - 7415 Southwest Parkway