News

Nicole Cobler
Dec 2, 2022 - Politics

Voting begins in City Council runoff races

Illustration of Austin City Hall with lines radiating from it.

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

Voters in City Council Districts 3, 5 and 9 can now decide who represents them for the next four years.

Driving the news: Early voting started Thursday and runs through Dec. 9 in the runoff election for Austin mayor and three city council seats.

Nicole Cobler
Dec 1, 2022 - News

Increasing number of Texas hospitals at risk of closure, report finds

Illustration of a question mark with a dot shaped like a medical cross

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

While the coronavirus pandemic often feels like it's in the rearview mirror, Texas hospitals are still grappling with its aftermath.

Driving the news: Nearly twice as many Texas hospitals, or almost 1 in 10, are at risk of closure since before the pandemic, a new report from the Texas Hospital Association reveals.

Asher Price
Dec 1, 2022 - News

Austin mayoral candidates head to runoff election

Photo illustration of Celia Israel, and Kirk Watson.

Photo illustration: Axios Visuals. Photos: Israel campaign, Hutton Supancic/Getty Images for SXSW

Austin voters get a second chance, starting Thursday, to decide who leads our city.

Driving the news: Early voting runs through Dec. 9 in the runoff election for Austin mayor and several City Council seats.

Asher Price
Dec 1, 2022 - News

Key Texas property poised for redevelopment

A rendering of the view from a terrace in a redeveloped Statesman lot.

The imagined view from a terrace once the Statesman site is redeveloped. Rendering courtesy of Skidmore-Owings-Merrill, via Endeavor

The Austin City Council could give final approval Thursday for the massive redevelopment of the old American-Statesman site.

Why it matters: Positioned against Lady Bird Lake and the Ann Richards Bridge, the 19-acre tract is possibly the most valuable underdeveloped site in the city.

Austin's best Egyptian-barbecue fusion

Dishes at an Egyptian-BBQ restaurant.

A sampling of the food at KG BBQ. Photo courtesy Maurice Chammah

On a recent rainy night I grabbed dinner with friends at KG BBQ, the mouth-watering, newly opened fusion brainchild of Egyptian emigre Kareem El-Ghayesh.

  • El-Ghayesh told me he moved to Austin in 2016 to learn the ways of the city's great pitmasters, putting in time at Lamberts, Interstellar, Kerlin and Valentina's before striking out on his own.

The scene: The food trailer is stationed at Oddwood Brewing, a pizzeria-brewpub with at least a half-dozen shaded, outdoor picnic tables and plenty of cozy indoor seating.

Just a taste: We tried the grilled chicken kebab, marinated in sumac, garlic, thyme and honey — and tender to the teeth; the pink buttermilk potato salad, a Texas classic dressed up in a roasted beet puree, with fresh dill and jalapeños — y'know, the kind your grandmother use to make; a golden, aromatic rice cooked with turmeric, bay leaf and cinnamon, tossed with candied nuts; and classic smoked brisket served, in a typical twist, with a pomegranate-infused barbecue sauce.

Excellent move: Serving smoked meat with a chimichurri sauce of mint, parsley and Serrano chilies, with garlic, onion and cumin.

Three-word review: Smorgasbord of yumminess.

What we're still thinking about: The cardamom and pistachio rice pudding.

  • Do not leave KG BBQ without buying this rich dessert, finished off with pistachio butter and topped with whipped mascarpone and halvah.

If you go: KG, located at 3108 Manor Road, by the intersection with Airport Boulevard, is open Thursday through Sunday, 11am to 8pm — or until sold out.

Asher Price
Nov 30, 2022 - News

City Council weighs another Austin Energy bill hike

Illustration of a hundred dollar bill stylized as an electric symbol.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Conservation-minded retirees Dale and Pat Bulla do everything they can to keep their bills down — they paid a mere $10.83 per month for electricity last year in their Northwest Austin home — but a key Austin City Council decision on Thursday could ballon that utility charge.

The big picture: Austin Energy has proposed a service hike driven chiefly by the higher costs of natural gas.

Asher Price
Nov 29, 2022 - News

Texas county pays thousands for book removal defense

Illustration of a wall of book shelves with gold books aligned in a dollar sign.

Illustration: Victoria Ellis/Axios

Llano County has paid an outside attorney more than $25,000 to represent it in a case in which it's accused of banning books, per information obtained by Axios through an open records request.

Why it matters: The legal fees are a window into how taxpayer dollars are spent to defend a practice that has, to put it lightly, divided the community.

Asher Price
Nov 29, 2022 - News

Austin firm ICON wins NASA contract for lunar construction

A rendering of astronauts outside their lunar home.

Astronauts outside their lunar home. Rendering courtesy of ICON

A cutting-edge Austin construction firm is partnering with NASA to figure out ways to build on the moon.

Why it matters: Astronauts aiming to live on the moon or, one day, Mars, will need to call some place home.

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