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.
The Travis County medical examiner's office is processing more than 80 deaths since its office closed at the start of the winter storm on Feb. 13.
The medical examiner's office is responsible for completing autopsies to identify a cause of death, which it has not been able to do for a week now, a spokesperson told the Austin American-Statesman.
The number of deaths related to the winter storm has not yet been identified by the office. A number of complications related to freezing temperatures could have occurred between people going days without power and falls on ice.
A final incident report for Feb. 14-19 from Austin-Travis County EMS revealed it had 6,058 calls for service:
- 187 environmental exposures
- 519 falls
- 115 traffic collisions with injures
- 86 carbon monoxide poisonings
Just found out an elderly neighbor of mine died in his home. His son told me he was on dialysis and hadn't been able to make his regular appointments due to #TexasBlackout.
The pain, sadness and anger in the son's eyes when he told me that, is something I'll never forget. 😢😡
— Cornell Woolridge (@RenaissanceXM) February 21, 2021
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.