Thursday, April 30:
- About 9.6% of people tested for COVID-19 in Travis County were positive, the Statesman reports, but Mark Escott says that number needs to be more like 5% before we can believe "we are testing enough people to effectively identify new cases, do the contact tracing and isolate those individuals."
- Six people under the age of 30 are suing the state for the right to vote by mail during—and because of—a pandemic.
- The $144 million raised by Austin-based venture capital firm Silverton Partners "appears to make it the largest early-stage fund in the state," Austin Inno says.
- In booze-related news, the governor said to-go cocktails may remain a permanent fixture, according to KXAN, while KVUE reports that the state will let taprooms and tasting rooms at breweries and wineries reopen tomorrow.
- KUT interviews an ornithologist who said birds might really actually be louder right now "because they've returned to some sort of pre-industrial sort of amplitude."
Despite the formal cancelation of today's protest at the Texas State Capitol, hundreds of people gathered along 11th Street and marched to Austin City Hall and back. Some shut down I-35 for the second day in a row, and Austin police used tear gas and beanbag rounds in an effort to move people off the roadway.
The police form a line on Cesar Chavez, stopping the demonstrators marching from City Hall. s3.amazonaws.com
The University of Texas-Austin continued its march toward a new normal on Friday, as university President Gregory Fenves marked his last day of leadership after five years in office—the final two months of it dominated by sweeping pandemic-era changes on campus.
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Protests over police killings planned for Austin this weekend following widespread demonstrations across U.S.
At least two protests are planned in Austin this weekend over the recent killings of black men by police: Mike Ramos, who was fatally shot by an Austin Police Department officer on April 24 in Southeast Austin, and George Floyd, who died in police custody on Monday after a Minneapolis Police Department officer knelt on his neck. Both events were filmed.
As Texas navigates reopening restaurants and bars safely, al fresco spots provide the perfect place for long-quarantined Austin residents. Some of these favorites are open only on the patio, others are allowing customers to eat to-go orders in the space, and a few are full service—the details are subject to change. This is not an all-inclusive list, but here they are, in no particular order:
Upscale seafood fare is served under striped umbrellas on the tree-lined porch, with dogs allowed and an unfettered view of South Congress foot traffic.
Address: 1400 S. Congress Ave.
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- Reopening today: the zoo (masks required), water parks (advanced tickets required), driver's license offices (appointments required).
- As protests sparked by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis spread to cities around the county, a demonstration drawing attention to both Floyd and Mike Ramos is planned for Austin this weekend.
- With local businesses concerned they can't make a profit at limited capacity, the city council may soon allow the use of sidewalks and parking lots to increase it, CBS Austin reports.
- KUT notes that, ultimately, it's up to voters to decide who votes by mail.
- Aaron Franklin will be inducted into the Barbecue Hall of Fame, writes Daniel Vaughn at Texas Monthly, just as his restaurant faces its biggest challenge yet.
'This has dwarfed anything else we've seen': Nonprofits adapt to soaring need, fewer volunteers and a fundraising slump
Since the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in Austin, the Central Texas Food Bank has seen a tenfold increase in food costs.
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