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Austin Local News, Photos & Video
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Austin Local News, Photos & Video

Capital Metro says releasing candidates’ names could start ‘bidding war’

by Ben Wear, American-Statesman Staff

Capital Metro, in a letter opposing the disclosure of semifinalists for its open president and CEO position, has become the second Central Texas government to argue that a court ruling protecting businesses in a competitive environment should apply to government entities as well. In a four-page letter sent Wednesday to the Texas attorney general, a lawyer for the transit agency cites the 2015 Texas...

Austin Local News, Photos & Video

16-year-old remembers when he could run before cancer and a wheelchair

by Mary Huber, Austin Community Newspapers Staff

Alden Sherwood, 16, loved the feeling of his heart pulsing in his chest while running. When his family first moved to Austin five years ago, he would play football outside with his friends at their apartment. He wanted to be a running back or wide receiver. That was before he was diagnosed with cancer at age 14 and ended up in a wheelchair. “Everyone would comment about how good I am at football...

Austin Local News, Photos & Video

Fight brewing over Travis County’s $34 million STAR Flight contract

by Taylor Goldenstein, American-Statesman Staff

The helicopter company that lost out on a $34 million bid to replace Travis County’s STAR Flight fleet is protesting the decision, arguing the winning bid was more expensive and included aircraft functions that have not been federally certified. Travis County has stood by its choice of AgustaWestland Philadelphia Corp. for the three helicopters to be used for emergency medical transportation...

Austin Local News, Photos & Video

Man shot by police Sunday stabbed boyfriend, left him bleeding for hours, police say

by Mark D. Wilson, American-Statesman Staff

Before a man was shot by police in Northwest Austin on Sunday morning, authorities said he had stabbed his boyfriend about 10 times and left him bleeding for more than five hours. Quinton Anthony Wiles, 59, was booked into the Travis County Jail on Monday on a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, according to jail records. An arrest affidavit filed against Wiles said police responded...

Austin Local News, Photos & Video

Police: Boy found crawling outside with car seat strapped to him

by Claire Osborn, American-Statesman Staff

Police arrested a man after witnesses saw his three-year-old son crawling with a child car seat still strapped to him in a Round Rock grocery store parking lot, an arrest affidavit said. Troy Anthony Smith, 57, of Round Rock, was charged with abandoning or endangering a child, a state jail felony punishable by up to two years in jail. He was also charged with possession of marijuana, which is a misdemeanor...

Austin Local News, Photos & Video

Mother passed out on heroin while 2-year-old twins wandered alone, police say

by Mark D. Wilson, American-Statesman Staff

Austin police have accused a woman of leaving her 2-year-old twins unsupervised at a hotel in Northwest Austin while she shot heroin in July, according to an arrest affidavit filed Wednesday. The document said Dena Praesel, 43, faces a charge of child endangerment, but jail records indicated she was not in custody at the Travis County Jail on Wednesday morning. Police responded to an Extended Stay...

Community news: Texas Disposal Systems to recycle Christmas trees

by Staff, American-Statesman staff

TRAVIS COUNTY TRAVIS COUNTY Recycle Christmas tree for free Texas Disposal Systems will accept Christmas trees for recycling free of charge beginning Tuesday at sites in Bee Cave and Creedmoor in Travis County, and in Georgetown in Williamson County. Residents can drop off their Christmas trees, holly, pumpkins and other living decorations at the Christmas tree collection sites in Bee Cave at 4001...

Austin Local News, Photos & Video

Texas GOP pulls Farenthold’s name from primary, Democrats sue to keep it

by Nolan Hicks , Johnathan Silver

The Texas Republican Party has withdrawn embattled U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold’s name from the 2018 primary ballot, but not without some more legal drama on Wednesday. Farenthold, a Republican from Corpus Christi, had asked the party to remove his name from the ballot after deciding not to seek re-election last week amid a widening harassment scandal. But Farenthold’s decision came after...

Austin Local News, Photos & Video

FORECAST: Patchy morning fog, but sunshine later as temps hit 75 degrees

by Roberto Villalpando, American-Statesman Staff

Wednesday forecast for Austin: Patchy fog along and west of Interstate 35 could pose a challenge to morning commuters, but sunshine is expected to break through later in the day as temperatures climb to around 75 degrees. According to the National Weather Service, the fog should burn off by 9 a.m., leading to clear skies and temperatures more than 10 degrees warmer than normal for this time of year...

Austin Local News, Photos & Video

Greg Kelley gets engaged after judge recommends conviction overturned

by Katie Hall, American-Statesman Staff

Greg Kelley, a former high school football player sent to prison on child sexual assault charges, got engaged in Cabo on Tuesday, the day after a judge recommended that his conviction be overturned. In a video viewed more than 7,000 times just two hours after it was posted Tuesday on Facebook, Kelley got down on one knee and proposed to his girlfriend, Gaebri Anderson, who, while Kelley was in jail...

Austin Local News, Photos & Video

Damage of Southeast Austin house fire is total loss, officials say

by Katie Hall, American-Statesman Staff

Firefighters battled a house fire in Southeast Austin on Tuesday evening that resulted in a total loss of the house, Austin fire officials said. The call came in just before 7:30 p.m. in the 1200 block of Begonia Terrace, and firefighters arrived to see heavy fire coming from the single-family home, Austin fire officials said. No one was injured, but the significant damage the fire caused to the house...

Austin Local News, Photos & Video

Officials move some inmates after smoke reported at Travis County Jail

by Katie Hall, American-Statesman Staff

Several inmates were moved from one building to another at the Travis County Correctional Complex in Del Valle on Tuesday evening after jail officials reported seeing smoke in a section of the building, Travis County fire officials said. Fire officials received the call around 5:50 p.m. Firefighters did not discover any fire or smoke when they arrived, said Chief Ken Bailey, the fire chief of Emergency...

Austin Local News, Photos & Video

After lengthy search, Austin council picks Cronk for city manager

by Philip Jankowski, American-Statesman Staff

The Austin City Council on Tuesday tapped Minneapolis City Coordinator Spencer Cronk to be Austin’s top administrator, bringing a close to a search for a new city manager that has taken more than a year. The council made its choice at City Hall, emerging after a two-hour meeting behind closed doors to unanimously approve Cronk as their choice. He edged out Ann Arbor, Mich., City Administrator...

Austin Local News, Photos & Video

Austin police union won’t continue contract talks with city for now

Leaders of Austin’s police union have informed city officials that they will not continue negotiations on their contract after the City Council rejected the agreement last Wednesday. The Austin Police Association sent a letter to interim City Manager Elaine Hart on Tuesday morning, saying its members do not believe that they can reach a new agreement with the city within the remaining 30-day...

Austin Local News, Photos & Video

Police identify man killed near Manor, Springdale roads

by Katie Hall, American-Statesman Staff

Police have identified the 29-year-old man who was killed in a crash near Manor and Springdale roads on Dec. 7. Dominique Gaines, 29, died at the scene in the 3300 block of Northeast Drive. Investigators believe the driver lost control, left the roadway and struck a telephone pole, police said. Gaines was a passenger in the car at the time. First-responders got the 911 call at 12:18 a.m. The...

Austin Local News, Photos & Video

Motorcyclist who fell to his death on Research Blvd. was hit from behind, police say

by Mark D. Wilson, American-Statesman Staff

A motorcyclist who died after falling from an elevated portion Research Boulevard last week has been identified as 62-year-old Robert Lance Trewitt. Police said a blue Chevrolet truck was headed south in the 8400 block of the roadway around 2:13 p.m. on Dec. 12 when the vehicle swerved from an inside lane to avoid a crash. The truck moved into the right lane and hit Trewitt, knocking him off the bike...

Austin Local News, Photos & Video

RM 620 reopens in Steiner Ranch after 3 children, 3 adults injured in crash, officials say

by Katie Hall , Rachel Rice , American-Statesman Staff

4:25 p.m. update: RM 620 has reopened in the Steiner Ranch area after a crash injured three adults and three children and prompted authorities to close the road. Earlier: Three adults and three children were injured in a crash on RM 620 in Steiner Ranch around 3:10 p.m., Austin-Travis County EMS officials said. RM 620 will be temporarily closed at Marshall Ford Road, where the crash occurred...

Austin Local News, Photos & Video

Police: Pflugerville man accused of sexual assault of Hutto teen

by Claire Osborn, American-Statesman Staff

A Pflugerville man is accused of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl in Hutto, according to an arrest affidavit. Deandry Drevon Gault, 22, was charged with sexual assault, a second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Hutto police were notified at 8:30 a.m. Sept. 25 about a sexual assault, the affidavit said. The victim told police Oct. 26 at the Williamson County Children&rsquo...

Austin Local News, Photos & Video

Police: Health care worker forged check from client’s stolen checkbook

by Claire Osborn, American-Statesman Staff

A home health care worker has been accused of forging a check she stole from an 89-year-old Round Rock client, an arrest affidavit said. Alexis Dashae Givahn, 20, of Austin, was charged in November with exploitation of an elderly individual, a third-degree felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Police were alerted July 10 by the victim’s niece, who said she her aunt’s driver&rsquo...

Austin Local News, Photos & Video

Motorcyclist killed in crash on Sunday was 23, Austin police say

by Mark D. Wilson, American-Statesman Staff

Austin police have identified a man who died in a motorcycle crash on Sunday morning as 23-year-old Deion Lee Odom. Odom was headed west in the 800 block of West Cesar Chavez Street on a Harley Davidson when he lost control and slammed into several objects around 12:45 a.m., police said. He was pronounced dead at the scene shortly after medics arrived. Investigators are asking anyone with additional...

Austin Local News, Photos & Video

Couple ready for retirement, but need more care, home repairs

by Jake Harris , Nicole Villalpando , American-Statesman Staff

Three days a week, for the past 20 years, Kenneth Marvel has woken up and ridden the bus to his job as a dishwasher at the downtown location of El Mercado. “Oh, he came with the building when we bought it,” current El Mercado manager Lupe Mendoza joked. “He shows up way earlier than he should every day, and, honestly, he’s stronger than many of the youngsters we have working...

Austin Local News, Photos & Video

Herman: Are crosses in Caldwell County office crossways with the law?

by Ken Herman, American-Statesman Staff

At the invitation of an Austinite who’s upset by something he saw in the Caldwell County district clerk’s office, I recently made the 30-mile drive south to Lockhart to take a look at that something. He’s right. It’s wrong. And we’re not the only two who think so. The outside door to the district clerk’s office has a holiday wreath. Festive and seasonal. Nothing...

Community News: Fireworks sales begin, Post Road Bridge to open

by Staff, American-Statesman staff

TRAVIS COUNTY TRAVIS COUNTY Holiday fireworks sales season to begin Vendors in unincorporated Travis County may start to sell holiday fireworks from Wednesday through midnight Jan. 1. The sale and possession of fireworks are prohibited within the city limits of Austin and surrounding municipalities. Additionally, fireworks are not allowed in Travis County parks and parks managed by Travis County....

Austin Local News, Photos & Video

Greg Kelley thanks judge, DA as he seeks to overturn conviction

by News Staff

In a video message to his hundreds of supporters that was posted Tuesday morning on Facebook, Greg Kelley thanks the judge and the district attorney who have played key roles in having Kelley’s 2014 conviction for sexual assault of a child reviewed by the highest criminal court in Texas. Monday, state District Judge Donna King recommended to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals that Kelley...

Austin Local News, Photos & Video

Austin police union won’t continue contract negotiations

by Mark D. Wilson, American-Statesman Staff

Leaders of Austin’s police union have informed city officials that they will not continue negotiations on their contract after the City Council rejected the agreement last Wednesday. The Austin Police Association sent a letter to interim City Manager Elaine Hart on Tuesday morning, saying members do not believe that they can reach a new agreement with the city within the remaining 30-day extensions...

Austin Local News, Photos & Video

Make Christmas travel through Austin’s airport easier with these tips

by Roberto Villalpando, American-Statesman Staff

The busy travel days at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport for the Christmas holiday have already begun. Last year, the airport handled a little more than 1 million passengers in all of December, according to airport data. So here are five ways to make your holiday trip easier: Know your parking options: Beyond uncovered long-term parking at $7 a day, garage spaces are available from $18...

Austin Local News, Photos & Video

Spencer Cronk selected to be Austin’s next city manager

by Philip Jankowski, American-Statesman Staff

The Austin City Council on Tuesday tapped Minneapolis City Coordinator Spencer Cronk to be Austin’s top administrator, bringing a close to a search for a new city manager that has taken more than a year. The council made its choice at City Hall, emerging after a meeting behind closed doors to announce that the group had made its pick. Cronk edged out Ann Arbor, Mich., City Administrator Howard...

Austin Local News, Photos & Video

WEATHER UPDATE: Dense fog advisory in effect until 9 a.m. in Austin

by Roberto Villalpando , Katie Hall , American-Statesman Staff

8:30 p.m. update: A dense fog advisory is in effect for the Austin area until 9 a.m. Wednesday, the National Weather Service announced. The advisory is currently in effect now.  Drivers’ visibility will be drastically reduced to a quarter-mile or less. Austinites should drive slowly, use their headlights and leave plenty of distance between the cars ahead of them. 2:10 p.m. update...

Austin Local News, Photos & Video

Amtrak train crashes into 18-wheeler in San Marcos, officials say

by Katie Hall, American-Statesman Staff

An Amtrak train crashed into an 18-wheeler in San Marcos on Monday evening, according to a spokesman with the agency that owns the tracks. Preliminary reports show no injuries reported, but the investigation is still ongoing, said Jeff DeGraff with Union Pacific. Preliminary information also indicates the 18-wheeler was stopped on the track at the time the train collided into the vehicle, DeGraff...

Austin Local News, Photos & Video

These 28 Austin ISD schools are frozen to transfers in 2018-19

by Melissa B. Taboada, American-Statesman Staff

The Austin school district has announced 28 schools that are frozen to transfers in the 2018-19 school year because the campuses are expected to be above capacity. The school district in recent years have limited more transfers. Priority transfer requests, including sibling, majority-to-minority and tracking transfers, will not be accepted at the frozen schools. The following campuses will not accept...

Austin Local News, Photos & Video

Greg Kelley should be found innocent of child sex assault, judge finds

by Tony Plohetski , Andrea Ball , Claire Osborn , American-Statesman Staff, KVUE News

A state district judge in Williamson County recommended Monday that the conviction of Greg Kelley — a former high school football star sent to prison on child sexual assault charges — be overturned and that he meets the state’s legal threshold to be declared innocent. Had a jury been presented with certain evidence that never made it to trial, Judge Donna King wrote, &ldquo...

Austin Local News, Photos & Video

Austin district to devise local system for grading schools

by Julie Chang, American-Statesman Staff

The Austin school district is one of 20 districts and charter systems statewide chosen to participate in a pilot program to develop a local system of grading schools. The program was established under a new law, House Bill 22, that also scaled back the A-F accountability system, unpopular among school district officials. One of the criticisms of the state’s accountability system is that it&rsquo...

Austin Local News, Photos & Video

Advocates: Lack of Latinos shows flaws in Austin city manager search

by Philip Jankowski, American-Statesman Staff

As the Austin City Council is set to pick the city’s next top administrator Tuesday, many from organizations representing Austin Latinos are crying foul about the selection process because none of the six finalists was Hispanic. The two remaining candidates to be Austin’s city manager are Minneapolis City Coordinator Spencer Cronk and Ann Arbor, Mich., City Administrator Howard Lazarus...

Austin Local News, Photos & Video

Rain a certainty Tuesday but fog might be bigger headache for drivers

by Katie Hall , Roberto Villalpando , American-Statesman Staff

Grab your galoshes and pack your umbrellas — we’re going to get soaked Tuesday in Central Texas. The National Weather Service is all but certain that water will fall from the sky Tuesday, with rainfall amounts of up to 2 inches possible in some spots. Before last weekend, the Austin area had gone more than a week without rain. But Saturday, rain gauges at Camp Mabry — Austin&rsquo...

Austin Local News, Photos & Video

TRAFFIC ALERT: Dense fog advisory extended till 9 a.m. Tuesday

by Roberto Villalpando , Mark D. Wilson , Katie Hall , American-Statesman Staff

6:04 p.m. update: The dense fog advisory for the Austin area has been extended until 9 a.m. Tuesday, the National Weather Service said. The advisory is currently in effect now. Drivers’ visibility will be drastically reduced to a quarter-mile or less. Austinites should drive slowly, use their headlights and leave plenty of distance between the cars ahead of them. 5:37 p.m. update: ...

Austin Local News, Photos & Video

Jack Brown, who kept Austin creased and its children warm, dies at 89

by Ryan Autullo, American-Statesman Staff

Jack Brown, the man for whom the ubiquitous dry cleaning operation was named and who for decades kept Austinites appropriately creased while also warming the poor with winter coats, died Friday after months of declining health, according to family members. He was 89. A University of Texas graduate, Brown lived most of his life in Austin, raising with his wife a large family that to this day gets together...

Austin Local News, Photos & Video

Police searching for robber who stole from Northwest Austin bank

by Mark D. Wilson, American-Statesman Staff

Austin police are searching for a man who robbed a bank in Northwest Austin on Saturday. Police said the man walked into the Telco Credit Union in the 13800 block of the U.S. 183 North service road around 1 p.m., passed a note to a teller and demanded cash. The robber left the store with an undisclosed amount of money, and was last seen headed west, away from the credit union. Authorities said the...

Austin Local News, Photos & Video

Stabbing suspect wounded by Austin police Friday faces murder charge

by Nolan Hicks, American-Statesman Staff

A 50-year-old critically injured in an Austin police shooting last week now faces a first-degree murder charge in connection with a fatal stabbing, court documents show. Aubrey Quentin Garrett was booked into the Travis County Jail on Monday with bail set at $1 million after police say he stabbed a woman to death in the courtyard of a Central Austin apartment complex Friday. The attack only ended...

Austin Local News, Photos & Video

Judge: Greg Kelley should be declared innocent in sex assault case

by Tony Plohetski , Claire Osborn , Andrea Ball , American-Statesman Staff, KVUE News

State District Judge Donna King is recommending that the conviction of Greg Kelley, a former high school football star sent to prison on child sexual assault charges, should be overturned and that he meets the state’s legal threshold to be declared innocent, Kelley’s lawyer said. Under Texas law, a defendant meets the standard for “actual innocence” if a judge believes...

Austin Local News, Photos & Video

Once homeless teen receives laptop for school, needs more help

by Andrea Ball , Nicole Villalpando , American-Statesman Staff

Lyric Wardlow didn’t have much of a childhood. The 19-year-old Austin woman spent most of her time caring for her mother, who had mental illness and hoarding problems. Wardlow didn’t have toys or friends to play with. She entertained herself by singing in the park. Life got much harder when Wardlow was 9 years old after she and her mother were evicted from their Fort Bend, Ind., house...

Austin Local News, Photos & Video

Austin police ID officer, stabbing suspect shot on Sunday

by Roberto Villalpando , Mary Huber , American-Statesman Staff

Austin police have identified a man suspected of stabbing a person in Northwest Austin on Sunday and the officer who shot him. Officers responded Sunday morning to a home in Northwest Hills, where they say 59-year-old Quinton Wiles stabbed another man multiple times. Police said Wiles is being charged with aggravated assault and was booked into the Travis County Jail on Monday but no bail has been...

Austin Local News, Photos & Video

Jack Brown, who kept Austin creased and its children warm, dies at 89

by Ryan Autullo, American-Statesman Staff

Jack Brown, the namesake of the ubiquitous Central Texas dry cleaning operation, has died. An obituary in Monday’s American-Statesman said Brown died Friday in the presence of his family. He was 89. A 1949 University of Texas graduate, Brown worked as a civil engineer for the Texas Highway Department before joining his father in the laundry business. With help from his family, he built...

Community news: Austin looks to hire 700 lifeguards

by Staff, American-Statesman staff

TRAVIS COUNTY EAST AUSTIN City looks to hire lifeguards The Austin Parks and Recreation Department’s Aquatic & Nature Based Programs division will host a staff holiday recruitment event from 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday to employ more than 700 lifeguards to operate aquatic facilities throughout Austin. The recruitment event will be at Fiesta Gardens, 2101 Jesse E. Segovia St., and it will provide those...

Austin Local News, Photos & Video

‘Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again’ trailer answers question: ‘Who is Cher’ in movie sequel

by Natalie Dreier, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

You’re going to have the ABBA earworms again as the first look at “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” has been released. >> Read more trending news  And while fans of the original musical “Mamma Mia” knew that Cher was cast, many didn’t know how the music legend was going to fit into the story. Cher is playing Sophie’s grandmother in the film...

Austin Local News, Photos & Video

Savannah Guthrie to Paul Ryan on tax bill: ‘Are you living in a fantasy world?’

by Matt Naham, Rare.us

“Today” show host Savannah Guthrie wanted to know Wednesday morning, as the Republican tax bill neared the finish line, if Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) was “living in a fantasy world.” >> Read more trending news  Ryan was making the rounds on news shows Wednesday morning, responding to questions about the Republican’s new tax bill called the Tax Cuts and Jobs...

Austin Local News, Photos & Video

Venus Williams won’t face any charges in deadly car crash 

by Hannah Winston, Palm Beach Post

Tennis star Venus Williams will not be charged in a June crash in which a man was fatally injured, according to a Palm Beach Gardens police report released Wednesday. >> Read more trending news  City police released their final report into the fatal June 9 crash investigation and stated neither Williams nor Linda Barson, the 68-year-old Acreage woman whose car crashed into the passenger...

Austin Local News, Photos & Video

Khloe Kardashian confirms pregnancy: ‘My greatest dream realized’

by Shelby Lin Erdman, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

After weeks of speculation, Khloe Kardashian has confirmed, through a social media post Thursday, that she’s pregnant with boyfriend Tristan Thompson’s baby. >> Read more trending news  Kardashian, 33, unveiled her baby bump with a picture on Instagram, saying her “greatest dream” has been realized. “We are having a baby! I had been waiting and wondering but...

Austin Local News, Photos & Video

7 small, doable and meaningful New Year's resolutions you can start today

by Rose Kennedy, For the AJC

Looking for a New Year's resolution? If you want one that will actually improve your health, don't overwhelm yourself, advised employee assistance program expert Mark J. Sagor. "Successfully changing eating, activity or smoking behaviors requires steady and sustained effort and the vagaries of motivation, and the persistence of habit frequently derail the process," he noted at the CompEAP...

Austin Local News, Photos & Video

Deputies: Dogs found in freezer of roach-infested home; woman charged with child neglect

by Michael Springer and Mark Boxley, WFTV.com

A Florida woman was arrested on a child neglect charge last week, two months after investigators said they found her home infested with roaches and fleas during a welfare check. Authorities said they also found the bodies of three dogs in the home’s freezer. Victoria Kanger, 35, was charged with felony child neglect following the October welfare check. Deputies arrived at her home around 5:45...

Austin Local News, Photos & Video

Rome’s sickly $57,000 Christmas tree is being referred to as a ‘toilet brush’ by  locals

by Mary Bowerman, USA TODAY Network

Rome's sickly official Christmas tree is dropping needles and earning nicknames ranging from "toilet brush" to "baldy."  The 70-foot-high tree cost 48,000 euros, or $57,000, to transport from an Italian Alpine region to Rome, where it has been steadily losing needles since being lit on Dec. 8, according to the Associated Press.  Locals...

Austin Local News, Photos & Video

Some caught with pot in Travis County could be 4 hours away from zero charges

by Amanda O'Donnell

What if you could avoid a drug charge by taking a class, much like defensive driving?  According to KUT, the Travis County Commissioners Court unanimously adopted a proposition for a four-hour class that would allow qualifying individuals caught with less than 2 ounces of marijuana to skip charges. The class would cost $45. Prior the proposal, Travis County offered an eight-hour class...

Austin Local News, Photos & Video

Mindy Kaling gives birth to baby girl

by Kelcie Willis, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Mindy Kaling has a lot to celebrate. In addition to co-starring in “A Wrinkle in Time” directed by Ava DuVernay, landing the cover of Time magazine and co-starring in the upcoming heist film “Oceans 8,” the actress is a new mother. >> Read more trending news  E! News reported that Kaling welcomed a daughter, named Katherine Kaling, Dec. 15. It was reported...

Austin Local News, Photos & Video

Heather North, voice of Daphne on 'Scooby-Doo,' dies at 71

by Norman Quarrinton, Rare.us

Heather North, who voiced the character Daphne Blake in various iterations of the long-running cartoon series “Scooby-Doo,” died on Nov. 30, family friend Jodie Mann told The Hollywood Reporter. She was 71 years old. North died at her home in Studio City, California, after a long battle with an unidentified illness, according to The Hollywood Reporter. She began voicing Daphne in...

Austin Local News, Photos & Video

What is selfitis? 5 things to know about the obsessive selfie disorder

by Jason Lemon, For the AJC

The term "selfitis" may have started off as a hoax back in 2014, but now psychologists have warned it's a genuine mental health issue. Researchers form the Nottingham Trent University in the United Kingdom and Thiagarajar School of Management in India actually investigated the social media phenomenon, leading them to create a "Selfitis Behavior Scale." Now, individuals...

Austin Local News, Photos & Video

Don't ever eat raw cookie dough, FDA warns

by Theresa Seiger, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

If you just can't resist eating the last bits of raw cookie dough from the bowl while baking, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has a message for you: don't. As holiday bakers took to kitchens nationwide last week, the FDA reminded people to refrain from eating raw cookie dough or face the possibility of getting sick. The warning comes after the FDA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention...

Austin Local News, Photos & Video

Looking for a gift for someone who really, really likes Franklin Barbecue?

by Amanda O'Donnell

You can only gift someone barbecue sauce so many times.  But what can you give those in your life whose devotion to Austin’s famed Franklin Barbecue is just as constant as the joint’s ‘round-the-block line? Either a lot, a lot of Big Red, or, like Eater Austin suggests, a $175 blue porcelain tray that was designed to “immortalize the iconic Franklin Barbecue tray...

Austin Local News, Photos & Video

Eva Longoria is expecting her first child with husband José Bastón

by Christabel Duah, Rare.us

She played a mom on television for years, and now Eva Longoria is going to be one in real life. People magazine reported that the 42-year-old actress is expecting a baby boy with husband José “Pepe” Bastón, according to People. The actress and producer confirmed through her representative Tuesday that she is four months along with her first child. >> Read more...

Austin Local News, Photos & Video

6 little-known facts about winter solstice

by Avery Newmark, For the AJC

Winter solstice is sneaking up on us just as quickly as stuffed turkeys and Christmas trees. This year's solstice will take place on Thursday, Dec.  21.  RELATED: Debate settled: This is the right time to put up your Christmas tree The astronomical phenomenon happens as the earth orbits the sun (see this helpful animation). During the winter, one hemisphere (this applies to North and...

Austin Local News, Photos & Video

5 Christmas traditions that aren't as traditional as you think

by Mary Caldwell, For the AJC

Your Christmas traditions may feel like they've been around for a long time, but many aren't as traditional as you might think. »RELATED:6 things you may not know about Christmas They may have origins that go back for years, but, in many cases, they've evolved quite a bit. Otherwise, the popular image of Santa Claus might still be "Rough Nicholas" instead of the jolly figure we know...

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5 ways to ensure your fitness New Year's resolution comes to fruition

by Kelly Sundstrom, For the AJC

The new year is quickly approaching, and with it follows your usual list of resolutions that probably includes starting a workout routine. You may have attempted (perhaps unsuccessfully) to keep a health-focused resolution in the past in order to lose weight, feel great and have more energy. However, for one reason or another, your plans fell through and you ended up falling back into your old, comfortable...

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Former state Rep. Ruth Jones McClendon has died

by Nolan Hicks

Former state Rep. Ruth Jones McClendon, who represented San Antonio for two decades at the Capitol, died Tuesday after a long battle with cancer and other ailments.  She was 74.  “It was very peaceful,” said former state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, who served alongside McClendon for years in the statehouse.  McClendon stepped down from her seat in 2016 after health issues...

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7 creative ways to repurpose your real Christmas tree

by Rose Kennedy, For the AJC

While everyone from Pinterest to Martha Stewart is full of advice about decorating Christmas trees, it's a bit tougher to find inspiration when it's time to take a natural tree down.  But there's no need to kick the tree to the curb. If you're willing to redecorate, the birds and squirrels would love to have a second celebration with your tree. This Old House recommends placing...

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Keira Knightley, Mackenzie Foy headline ‘The Nutcracker and the Four Realms’ teaser trailer

by Natalie Dreier, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

You already know the music from the holiday staple, now “The Nutcracker” is getting a big-screen treatment. The teaser trailer for “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms” dropped Tuesday giving a glimpse into the world that is normally reserved for the ballet stage. Mackenzie Foy stars as Clara. You may recognize her name from the “Twilight” series. She played...

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Meryl Streep to Rose McGowan: 'I wasn't deliberately silent' on Weinstein

The Associated Press

Meryl Streep says she did not know Harvey Weinstein was allegedly harassing and assaulting women when they worked together. Streep says in a statement Monday that Weinstein "needed me much more than I needed him and he made sure I didn't know." The Oscar winner says her association with him brought him credibility, which she says he used "to lure young, aspiring women into circumstances...

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Use it or lose it: 9 things to buy now with your FSA health account money

by Mary Caldwell, For the AJC

If you have a flexible spending account, you're saving money on some of your health care expenses, which is definitely a good thing. The account allows you to save pretax dollars in an account that you can use for assorted medical expenses. The only drawback is that in many cases, you have to "use it or lose it," since most FSAs require that you spend the money in your account by the end...

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John Legend tapped to play Jesus in NBC’s ‘Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert’

by Natalie Dreier, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

NBC has announced its next live musical performance and who will be starring in the lead role. John Legend, the 10-time Grammy winner and multiplatinum R&B and pop star, will headline as Jesus Christ in the network’s “Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert,” the “Today” show reported. The announcement of Legend’s casting was made Tuesday morning....

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How soon after President Trump signs the tax bill could you see the effects?

by Herb Jackson, USA Today Network

There's no shortage of Republican optimism and Democratic pessimism about what is going to happen if, as all signs indicate, Congress sends President Trump a sweeping tax bill this week and he signs it before heading to Florida for Christmas.          Trump's Council of Economic Advisers predicted the corporate tax changes alone would ...

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Former ‘Today’ staffer who had alleged affair with Matt Lauer shares story

by Rare.us

The former “Today” staffer who came forward about her alleged in-office affair with NBC anchor Matt Lauer in the early 2000s shared a candid recounting of her story with Megyn Kelly — on the same show at which she worked as a production assistant with Lauer. According to Addie Zinone, whose story was published in Variety on Thursday, her consensual relationship with Lauer began...

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Delta's iconic 747 jumbo jet makes final commercial flight

by Bob D’Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

The final scheduled commercial flight for Delta’s 747 jumbo jet began Monday after a 24-hour delay, the Detroit News reported. The iconic aircraft, the last Boeing 747, had been scheduled to take off Sunday from Detroit Metropolitan Airport, but the flight was canceled when Delta was unable to staff the plane with its required four pilots, the News reported. It had been scheduled to leave...

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SC woman convicted for causing grandson's death by putting Oxycontin in sippy cup

by Bob D’Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

A South Carolina woman was convicted Thursday of causing the death of her 14-month grandson by putting an opioid pain medication in the child’s sippy cup, WMTW reported. Angela Denise Brewer, 46, was found guilty of homicide by child abuse. by a Pickens County jury and was sentenced to 20 years in prison, WMTW reported. Brewer was the sole caregiver of the toddler when the boy was...

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Service dog joins college graduate during ceremony

by Bob D’Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

A college graduate in Texas walked the stage to receive her diploma on Saturday, accompanied by the service dog who served as her inspiration. Taylor Dearman graduated from Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, and she celebrated her milestone with Skittles, a dog she met while in Georgia, KRIS reported. They were paired together almost four years ago when Dearman began experiencing anxiety, depression...

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Anonymous Minnesota donor puts $200,000 check into Salvation Army kettle

by Bob D’Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

An anonymous donor provided a big boost for Salvation Army fundraising efforts in Minnesota, KSTP reported. The Twin Cities Salvation Army said in a release Monday that a check for $200,000 was dropped into a red kettle in the south metro area Saturday. A spokesman for the Salvation Army said the donation was made at a Cub Foods location, but the donor wanted to remain anonymous, KSTP reported...

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Florida attorney accused of using county jail to film porn videos

by Bob D’Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

A Florida lawyer is accused of having sexual relations with a female inmate inside a private room at a county jail, and soliciting sex from another inmate, saying he was filming the acts for a pornographic video called “Girls in Jail,” The Tampa Bay Times reported. Andrew B. Spark, 54, a Tampa attorney, was arrested Sunday on a felony charge of introduction or possession of contraband...

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‘Snooze’ feature debuts on Facebook

by Bob D’Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Facebook can be a great forum for sharing family happenings, funny stories, recipes and clips from the internet. Some people also use it as a forum to rant or post political opinions. There’s relief now for Facebook users who are tired of reading a friend’s posts but don’t want to delete them as a friend. The social media giant announced a new feature called “snooze,&rdquo...

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Georgia students claim racism when black cheerleader cropped from photo 

by Marlon A. Walker, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Students at a Georgia high school are claiming racism after a black cheerleader was cropped out of a team picture. Social media posts popped up over the weekend showing the full photo and its edited version, which eliminated the only black member in the picture. Several dozen students protested outside Dunwoody High School Monday morning, saying they wanted fair treatment for people of color...

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Kelly Ripa’s daughter Lola Consuelos stuns on red carpet 

by Nicole Moschella, Rare.us

Lola Consuelos is growing up right before our very eyes. >> Read more trending news  On Sunday, the daughter of Kelly Ripa and actor Mark Consuelos joined her mother on the red carpet for the 2017 CNN Heroes All-Star Tribute event in New York City. Ripa was hosting the event with old pal Anderson Cooper. Lola, 16, opted for a gorgeous pink frock while her famous mom stunned in a sparkly...

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FOG ADVISORY: Bastrop County could see dense fog until 10 a.m. Tuesday

by Mary Huber, Austin Community Newspapers Staff

Tuesday: A dense fog advisory that was issued for Bastrop County on Monday has been extended past midnight until 10 a.m. Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service. Visibility could be reduced to a quarter-mile or less, creating dangerous driving conditions, forecasters said. Drivers are urged to take caution. Continued rain is also in the forecast for the area Monday night, meteorologists...

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Enrique Iglesias and Anna Kournikova reportedly welcome twins

by Norman Quarrinton, Rare.us and Kelcie Willis, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Enrique Iglesias and Anna Kournikova are parents to twins, according to a report. According to TMZ, Kournikova gave birth to a boy named Nicholas and a girl named Lucy in Miami Dec. 16. >> Read more trending news  The newborn twins are the first children for 42-year-old musician and the 36-year-old retired tennis star, who began dating in 2001. Kournikova even appeared as the...