One of Austin's own was named among the top kids of 2020, according to TIME magazine. We've compiled the latest news headlines around Austin to help catch you up on this story and other breaking news around the city.
Here is what we have shared so far this week:
Dec. 4: Austin teen is one of TIME's best this year and 4 more headlines you might've missed<img lazy-loadable="true" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDg2Njc1NS9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY2OTMyOTI5OX0.vbyIRNojlxZ1HF26ZHqpWv8ITKHS0_SZeMTzy61ohf8/img.png?width=980" id="4dfcd" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="7c5a7d9310cc234688682456d698902e" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="595" data-height="595" />
16-year-old Austinite Ian McKenna was named a finalist for TIME magazine's Kid of the Year honor.
Dec. 3: This South Austin strip mall is getting a major facelift and 4 more headlines you might've missed<img lazy-loadable="true" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDg2MTU0My9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY3MTk4ODgwMX0.M_RV4P9z5dhFPcaUKZJtJ6SXef9zbTpfS8ISnE6RqZE/img.png?width=980" id="0ba17" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="721c8a62a3f7bc802551341d1609f878" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="536" data-height="379" />
Brodie Oaks Shopping Center at South Lamar Boulevard and Loop 360 will be revamped into a 3 million-square-foot mixed-use development by late 2022 or 2023.
(Barshop & Oles)<p><strong>1. Major South Austin project announced</strong>: Brodie Oaks Shopping Center at South Lamar Boulevard and Loop 360 will soon become a mixed-use development with more than 3 million square feet of newly developed residences, retail and restaurants—and one-third of the project includes office space, too. The development will be the size of two Barton Creek Square Malls, <a href="https://www.statesman.com/story/business/2020/12/03/1-billion-project-proposed-for-brodie-oaks-retail-center/115092216/" target="_blank">according to the Austin American-Statesman</a>, and it won't be ready until late 2022 or 2023.</p><p><strong>2. Tax bills behind schedule:</strong> Wondering why you haven't been hit by a Travis County tax bill yet? KVUE learned that <a href="https://www.kvue.com/article/money/travis-county-appraisal-district-property-tax-bill-election-delay/269-63ba8a3b-941e-4b33-bd10-da9dde7b3f8f" target="_blank">most people haven't received their 2020 tax statement </a>because the county waited to see how November's election might impact the city's tax rate. Keep in mind that property valuations were frozen last year, so the tax impact could be less severe in 2020—<a href="https://tax-office.traviscountytx.gov/properties/taxes/account-search" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">check here</a> if you cannot wait for the mail to see the damage.</p><p><strong>3. Slice of Sundance here in Austin: </strong>Austin Film Society will <a href="https://www.austinchronicle.com/daily/screens/2020-12-02/afs-cinema-joins-forces-with-sundance-film-festival/" target="_blank">host a satellite location of the 2021 Sundance Film Festival</a>, which is going virtual this year. Austin Chronicle reports the prestigious movie festival, normally held in Utah, is tapping independent theaters around the country to decentralize the event next year, with <a href="https://www.austinfilm.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">AFS</a> hosting "social distant screenings" to festival-goers. </p><p><strong>4. Pennybacker bridge jumper speaks:</strong> FOX 7 talked to the 21-year-old South Austin man <a href="https://www.fox7austin.com/news/austin-man-jumps-off-pennybacker-bridge-i-did-it-for-followers" target="_blank">who jumped off Pennybacker Bridge in a recent viral video</a>. Naturally, he doesn't regret it and gained about 1,000 extra <a href="https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZpnN1sqlalxldoOQuE3Q7A" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">YouTube followers</a> out of the whole deal—as well as a fractured skull, brain bleeding and emergency surgery.</p><p><strong>5. Final call for COVID relief: </strong>The city is accepting <a href="http://www.austintexas.gov/news/final-call-applications-rent-assistance-program-help-residents-covid-related-income-loss" target="_blank">applicants for its emergency relief funding</a>, which still has more than $4 million leftover for Austin residents who lost income during the pandemic. The city <a href="https://austonia.com/austin-rent-relief" target="_self">told Austonia in mid-October</a> that less than $1 million had been distributed so far due to low demand. Qualifications have since been updated to enable more access to the relief money, with <a href="https://app.powerbigov.us/view?r=eyJrIjoiNDE5MTc3YjQtZGZlMy00NmQ0LWI2MTQtZThjYzQ4YzdmNWE0IiwidCI6IjVjNWUxOWY2LWE2YWItNGI0NS1iMWQwLWJlNDYwOGE5YTY3ZiJ9" target="_blank">nearly $8.5 million now distributed</a> to needy residents.</p>
Dec. 2: Mayor Adler called out for Cabo trip and 4 more headlines you might've missed<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzUzNzU3Ni9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1OTMzNjgyMH0.nGjdfXgkgc1tSRTd5aOnhoNp05l-XAUP04v17LSe7Fw/img.jpg?width=980" id="05903" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="181bcb54b9de4a0cf007d67968c5fb57" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p><strong>1. Mayor Adler doesn't lead by example: </strong>While COVID-19 cases spiked in early November following the Halloween weekend, Mayor Steve Adler urged Austinites to "stay at home." As it turns out, his message was broadcast from Mexico where Adler traveled after his daughter's wedding ceremony in Austin. Austin American-Statesman reporter Tony Plohetski reports that health officials urged gatherings to be limited to no more than 10 people at the time, <a href="https://www.statesman.com/news/20201202/austin-mayor-stressed-residents-lsquoneed-to-stay-homersquo-he-was-vacationing-in-cabo-at-time" target="_blank">yet the wedding hosted about 20 guests</a> who were "probably not" wearing masks the entire time, Adler admits.</p><p><strong><span></span>2. 11 APD officers disciplined</strong>: Confrontations with police in late May resulted in several protestors getting injured by pepper spray, bean bags and foam bullets. Now <a href="https://www.kvue.com/article/news/local/protests/austin-texas-protest-officers-disciplined-memorial-day-weekend/269-60f23a3f-deb4-4b82-95bd-13cbd0458be5" target="_blank">KVUE has counted 11 police officers that have been punished</a> for their actions during those protests—including a cop accused of calling a protestor "<a href="https://www.kvue.com/article/news/local/austin-police-officer-suspended-over-gay-comments-during-protests/269-cfbbdd44-9927-4799-9cfe-7c34872c9d8a" target="_blank">that gay dude</a>." KXAN reports that multiple lawsuits <a href="https://www.kxan.com/news/local/austin/11-apd-officers-disciplined-following-police-brutality-complaints-from-may-protests/" target="_blank">have also been filed</a> by protestors against APD, and Police Chief Brian Manley updated use-of-force policies following the protests.</p><p><span></span><strong>3. Unemployed? Receive a $100 relief gift card</strong>: If you're a musician or worked in the hospitality industry, you likely qualify for a $100 H-E-B gift card from the Red River Cultural District. The business group of mostly music venue owners has distributed $155,000 so far this year in COVID-19 relief money, <a href="https://www.austin360.com/entertainment/20201130/red-river-cultural-district-to-award-another-45000-to-unemployed-workers?rssfeed=true" target="_blank">according to Austin360</a>, and this fourth round of support includes $45,000 for unemployed music industry and service workers.</p><p><strong>4. Road rage is rampant</strong>: Local officials think road rage is a greater issue locally than the 14 combined cases reported so far this year. FOX 7 <a href="https://www.fox7austin.com/news/austin-police-road-rage-is-a-major-problem-within-our-city" target="_blank">talked to traffic patrollers</a> who are concerned that COVID-19 and holiday stress could add to the road rage shooting in southeast Austin last week.</p><p><strong>5. New mental health hospital</strong>: Austin State Hospital is being rebuilt in Austin's Triangle neighborhood as part of a $305 million, 380,000-square-foot project. The <a href="https://www.kvue.com/article/money/economy/boomtown-2040/new-austin-state-hospital-construction-begins/269-44216b63-d42e-4327-b54a-f8bb54dfe1ee" target="_blank">area for the 80-acre campus has been cleared</a>, KVUE reports, putting the 240-bed mental health hospital on track to open by June 2023.</p>
A majority of the charges related to the Black Lives Matter protests over the summer will be dropped.
After a Kentucky grand jury ruled not to charge two of the three police officers involved in the killing of Breonna Taylor, protesters across the country took to the streets, including at the Texas Capitol and Austin City Hall to stand against the decision.
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