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Austin schools, grocery stores, vaccine providers, public transit and airlines announced a third day of closures and other service impacts due to the ongoing winter storm, which has caused mass power outages and other issues. Local officials and community organizations have also opened additional warming centers due to demand.
Austin ISD canceled classes Wednesday and Thursday as buses cannot transport students and internet and power outages may affect their ability to attend online classes. Friday will be an asynchronous learning day. The district will apply for a waiver from the Texas Education Agency to avoid needing bad weather makeup days.
Eanes ISD closed all facilities and canceled remote instruction Wednesday. The district will provide updates on its website.
The University of Texas at Austin campus will remain closed at least through Thursday morning and all classes and events, including virtual and online ones, are canceled.
Austin Community College will remain closed through Sunday, with all online and remote classes also canceled.
St. Edward's University has canceled all on-campus and remote work, virtual classes and activity through Friday morning.
Capital Metro suspended all services Wednesday, after doing the same on Monday and Tuesday. The transit agency is focusing on supporting those at cold weather shelters and those in need of life-saving trips, according to a spokesperson.
H-E-B's Austin stores will be open from noon to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, except for the following locations, which will be closed:
- Hwy. 183 & Lakeline
- 620 & 2222
- 7th & Pleasant Valley
- Spicewood Springs & 183
- Well Branch & 1825
- Slaughter & Menchaca
- Riverside and S. Pleasant Valley
- 183 & 290
- FM1431 & 183
- Lamar & Rundberg
- Parmer & McNeil
- Parmer & I-35
- Anderson & 620
- S. Congress & 1-35
- Parmer & MoPac
Central Market's North Lamar location will be open from noon to 6 p.m. on Wednesday. Its Westgate location will be closed due to a power outage.
Trader Joe's locations—on Great Hills Trail, at Seaholm and in Rollingwood—are all closed Wednesday.
Wheatsville Food Coop's Guadalupe location will be open from noon to 10 p.m. on Wednesday and from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Thursday. Its South Lamar location is closed.
Whole Foods' five Austin locations—Plaza Saltillo, Lamar, Domain, Gateway and Arbor Trails—are all closed Wednesday. According to the store location, all will reopen Thursday morning.
Target's Austin locations are all open.
Austin Public Health closed its COVID-19 testing sites and vaccine clinics on Monday and Tuesday due to inclement weather and has not yet provided an update.
UT Health Austin, the clinical wing of Dell Medical School and one of two vaccine hub providers in Travis County along with Austin Public Health, canceled all vaccine appointments through Thursday. Staff will reach out to appointment holders to reschedule at a later date.
Austin-Bergstrom International Airport plans to resume flights at 1 p.m. Wednesday and advises travelers to check their flight status with their airlines as some delays and cancellations are still expected.
The U.S. Postal Service temporarily suspended mail processing operations at six Texas plants Tuesday. Two have since resumed operations.
Walmart closed 306 Texas stores due to the winter storm, but its Supercenter locations on West Anderson Lane, W. Hwy. 290 and East Ben White Boulevard are still open. A map of the closures can be found here.
Warming centers currently open to the public can be found at:
- Palmer Events Center, 900 Barton Springs Road, Austin
- Del Valle High School, 5201 Ross Road, Del Valle
- Barrington Elementary School, 400 Cooper Drive, Austin
- Joslin Elementary School, 4500 Menchaca Road, Austin
- Russell Lee Elementary School, 3308 Hampton Road, Austin
- Murchison Middle School, 3700 N. Hills Drive, Austin
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Matthew McConaughey is reportedly weighing a run for Texas governor in 2022.
The Austin resident and Oscar winner has been "quietly making calls to influential people in Texas political circles, including a deep-pocketed moderate Republican and energy CEO" as he decides whether to run, according to Politico.
McConaughey said a gubernatorial run is "a true consideration" while on a March episode of Houston's "The Balanced Voice" podcast.
Although most political strategists doubt McConaughey's commitment and viability as a candidate, some are still intrigued by the possibility.
"I find it improbable, but it's not out of the question," Karl Rove, a top Republican strategist with a long history in Austin, told the political news site. He added that the big question is whether McConaughey would run as a Republican, a Democrat or an independent.
Brendan Steinhauser, an Austin-based GOP strategist, told Politico he's surprised McConaughey isn't being taken more seriously. "Celebrity in this country counts for a lot," he said. "It's not like some C-list actor no one likes. He has an appeal."
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott plans to run for a third term and remains popular among Republican voters, 77% of whom approve of his performance as of April, according to the Texas Politics Project.
Some strategists believe an independent McConaughey run would benefit Abbott. But a recent poll from The Dallas Morning News and the University of Texas at Tyler found that McConaughey would beat Abbott, 45% to 33%, with 22% opting for someone else.
Mimi Swartz, an executive editor at Texas Monthly, mulled a McConaughey run in a recent opinion essay from the New York Times. "Texas may not be ready for a philosopher king as a candidate, much less governor," she wrote. "May the best man win, man."
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Some JuiceLand production facility workers and storefront employees are organizing to demand wage increases, better working conditions (including air conditioning in the warehouse) and pay transparency, among other asks. They are also calling on staff to strike and customers to boycott the Austin-based company until their demands are met.
JuiceLand responded on Saturday. "We are listening," the company wrote on their Instagram story. "JuiceLand crew now makes guaranteed $15 an hour or more companywide."
JuiceLand, which was founded in 2001 by Matt Shook and now has 35 locations in Austin, Houston and Dallas, acknowledged the rising cost of living across Texas and the added stress of the pandemic in an email to employees on Saturday, part of which @juicelandworkersrights shared on social media. "There's no denying that times are tough and financial security means more now than ever," the company wrote.
Organized JuiceLand workers rejected this proposal, according to a recent post on the @juicelandworkersrights Instagram account, and reiterated their demands.
"Cost of living in Austin is rising exponentially and will only continue to get worse with the tech boom," the post read. "$15 is barely a sustainable living."