The oft-photographed flower starts appearing in southern Texas fields as early as late March, and will be in north Texas by mid-April. According to Blue Bonnet Love, the best hotspots to photograph this epitome of Texan beauty are in DeWitt and Washington counties, the Hill Country and Ennis.
There are other wildflowers to check out, too, like the Indian blanket, Pink evening primrose and the blackfoot daisy.
French officials say that have arrested a man, linked to the ringleader of the Paris attacks, in a Paris suburb Friday, the Associated Press reports. 34-year-old Reda Kriket had been wanted since January because of suspicions that he was linked to the terrorist attack. French officials have revealed that Kriket was in the “advanced stages” of planning another attack on a target in France.
Former Austin police officer Geoffrey Freeman has appealed his Monday firing for the shooting death of unarmed teen David Joseph, the American-Statesman’s Philip Jankowski reports. An independent arbitrator will be required to review Freeman’s firing, which came after an internal investigation determined his shooting of the 17-year-old in February was unjustified, and decide whether or not to uphold the decision. Freeman’s lawyers argue that he performed his duties as he was trained to during his encounter with Joseph.
After an Austin City Council vote Thursday night, companies in the city will now be required to hold off on checking a job applicant’s criminal history until after a conditional offer of employment has been issued, the American-Statesman’s Andra Lim reports. This “fair chance hiring” ordinance means that applicants can no longer be required to check a box revealing whether or not they have a criminal history. Companies, which must have more than 15 workers for the ordinance to apply to them, may be fined for violating the new rule. Those who support the ordinance are hopeful it will help provide more job opportunities for those with a criminal background.
UT sophomore Abhishek Deb has started a petition on change.org, which has garnered nearly 1,000 supporters, proposing that the Church of Scientology on Guadalupe Street be replaced with an HEB, the American-Statesman’s Jake Harris reports. Deb said he created the petition for a government class, and it’s meant to be satirical. “It was addressed to President Barack Obama, who obviously has no power over the situation, and it isn’t a viable solution to uproot an institution like the church,” he said. The church has been at that location since 1979. When asked about the petition, someone with the church responded by revealing plans for a “multi-million dollar renovation to the building.”
Not everyone was excited to come face to face with the Easter Bunny Thursday at Barton Creek Mall. Pictures by the American-Statesman’s Rodolfo Gonzalez show a handful of kids, dressed in their Sunday best, looking less than thrilled to be meeting the rabbit behind the Easter baskets.
The petition reads, “The Church of Scientology takes up prime real estate on Guadalupe Street that could better service the local community and UT students by replacing it with a HEB.”
The Church of Scientology of Texas has been at Guadalupe and West 22nd streets since 1979, according to Cathy Norman, the church’s director of special affairs. And they have no intentions of moving.
“We actually have plans to do a multi-million dollar renovation to the building because we’re running out of space,” Norman said. “We have students and other people who are members that come from all over Central Texas, and we’re not planning on leaving.”
Deb said the petition was meant to be satirical, and he didn’t think it would go viral.
“It was addressed to President Barack Obama, who obviously has no power over the situation, and it isn’t a viable solution to uproot an institution like the church,” he said. “And the really crudely drawn Photoshop picture on the petition was meant to show that it was being satirical. It’s interesting to see how it took off.”
As of 6 p.m., the petition has 973 supporters, 27 away from its intended reach of 1,000 supporters and well surpassing his government class’s requirement of 20 signatures. Most of the commenters on the petition are in favor of an H-E-B.
“This is the most amazing idea ever, and offers UT students a closer grocery store & healthier options without the hassle of riding the bus,” one comment reads.
Another comment criticized the church and instead praised H-E-B’s hummus selection: “Scientology is a predatory scam. HEB has a huge selection of hummus.”
H-E-B recently announced new stores in in Hutto and in North Texas.
A second attacker is believed to have been involved in the subway bombing in Brussels and might still be at large, the Associated Press reports. 20 people died during the attack on the Maelbeek subway station and many more were injured. Belgian prosecutors had previously believed four people were involved in the attacks, including brothers and suicide bombers Ibrahim and Khalid El Bakraoui. Najim Laachraoui, who was a suspected bombmaker involved in the Paris attacks, was identified as another suicide bomber. A man seen in a hat, suspected of involvement in the airport attack that left 11 confirmed dead, is also believed to currently be at large. It is still unclear if the suspect at large in the metro attack was killed during the bombing or not. The same cell of the Islamic State that claimed responsibility for the Paris attacks has done so for the attacks in Brussels.
How does it feel to wake up in a city of more than 2 million residents? According to numbers released by the U.S. Census Bureau Thursday, the Austin metro area is home to more than 2 million people and, for the fifth year in a row, holds the top spot as the fastest-growing city with a population over 1 million, the American-Statesman’s James Barragan reports. From July 2014 to July 2015 the Austin metro area grew by nearly 60,000 residents. Although exciting and definitely a factor in the city’s strong economy, Austin’s rapid growth continues to fuel problems like traffic and affordability.
Many Republicans who aim their attacks at their own front-runner, Donald Trump, have said the attacks have the desired effect, even if they wind up weakening the GOP nominee, the Associated Press reports. Many of the ads that attack Trump are sponsored by fellow Republicans (more than are sponsored by Hillary Clinton, the Democratic front-runner) who are attempting to keep him from the nomination. These ads, however, also serve to provide Democrats with pre-fabricated attacks, ready for use when and if Trump becomes the GOP nominee.
The tower at 100 Congress is looking for a joint-venture partner for the 22-story building, recently appraised at $160.5 million by the Travis Central Appraisal District, the American-Statesman’s Shonda Novak reports. The building was developed in 1987 and holds a prominent spot in the city’s skyline in the central business district. The building is currently 95 percent leased (tenants include several law firms) and has 411,536 square feet of rentable space.
After the Travis Central Appraisal District reduced the property values of the Circuit of the Americas track over the past three years, the tax bill for the property has dropped more than $14 million, the American-Statesman’s Claudia Grisales and Shonda Novak report. A settlement that lead to the lowering of the track’s assessed value lead to a property tax bill that was $7.4 million.
Tonight, according to his office, the mayor plans to go to the rodeo with his wife and friends. Official reason: “Because it’s fun, and it’s his birthday.”
Since Adler has officially gone on the record as enjoying fun, we decided to dig into the archive to make sure he has not flip-flopped from the previous anti-fun positions. According to photo and video evidence of the mayor dancing to Pharrell’s smash hit “Happy,” Adler has indeed had fun in the past.
On Jan. 28, representatives from the City of Austin employee wellness program, Healthy Connections, led the Austin City Council chamber in a dance routine as part of encouraging a healthy lifestyle. Among the participants were Council Member Sherri Gallo, city manager Marc Ott and Adler.
Authorities continue to search Wednesday for a man who was seen with two suicide bombers at the Brussels airport ahead of the bombings there Tuesday, the Associated Press reports. 34 were killed and more than 200 wounded during the attacks, which also targeted a subway. The Islamic State group responsible for the terror attacks on Paris has claimed responsibility for the attacks. Two of the attackers, seen rolling suitcases presumably filled with explosives, have been identified as brothers Khalid and Brahim El Bakraoui. A Belgian newspaper has reported that the third attacker is possibly Najim Laachraoui, who has been linked to Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam. The country will remain on the highest threat level until further notice.
Student Phillip Turner, who records police footage for the accountability site Photography is Not a Crime, helped Austin police by directing them to a man he saw holding a handgun during a fight on the final night of SXSW Sunday, the American-Statesman’s Philip Jankowski reports. Turner caught the fight on film, including the two gunshots that were heard, and was able to direct police to a suspect wearing a blue jacket after they wrongfully detained another man. “Police officers — not all, but generally — do not like being recorded. In this case, my film helped them get a guy off the streets,” Turner told the American-Statesman.
Ex-GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush took to Twitter Wednesday to announce his endorsement of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz for president, the Associated Press reports. Bush also posted on Facebook saying Republicans “must overcome the divisiveness and vulgarity Donald Trump has brought into the political arena.” Cruz suggested Wednesday that he would find a place for rival John Kasich in his administration if he agreed to drop out of the race. Cruz said Kasich’s running is helping front-runner Trump by taking votes that could go to Cruz.
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department officials are looking for two people who wrote the words “CA$H TRUCK” on a rock on the south side of Enchanted Rock’s summit Sunday between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. Officials believe the two people are from San Marcos and posted a photo of the suspected perpetrators on the park’s Facebook. Officials will most likely use turpentine to remove the graffiti, although the chemicals will damage lichens on the rock.
The Long Center’s new outdoor, lawn venue to open this spring will be named the Statesman Skyline Theater, in a partnership with the newspaper. The venue, which will have a capacity of 7,000, will open May 20 with a performance by Justin Moore and will later feature performances by the Steve Miller Band and the Goo Goo Dolls. The theater will be located on the north lawn of the Long Center, and a stage will be erected for each performance.
President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro will hold a historic meeting Monday to discuss the U.S.’s recent shift in policy concerning the communist nation, and Cuba’s response to the shift, the Associated Press reports. Obama became the first president to touchdown in Cuba in about 90 years when he landed in Havana Sunday with wife Michelle and his two daughters. Obama will announce that Google has made plans to upgrade Internet access on the island. Obama’s visit to Havana is expected to spur Castro to match the U.S.’s lift on decades-old sanctions.
Police arrested 22-year-old Rondarius Spicer for firing his gun into the air in a crowd of people attending the South by Southwest festival near the intersection of Sixth and Trinity streets, the American-Statesman’s Sean Collins Walsh reports. Two shots can be heard in video recorded of the incident, which happened early Sunday morning. No one was injured during the incident. Police say Spicer will likely face a felony charge for discharging a deadly weapon.
Five short-range projectiles were launched into the sea by North Korea Monday, the Associated Press reports. The recent weapon launches have been in response to the annual South Korea-U.S. military drills that the country sees as a provocation. The projectiles flew about 125 miles before landing in the waters of North Korea’s east coast. South Korea’s military is still trying to determine whether the projectiles are missiles, artillery shells or rockets.
Austin police captured a 34-year-old man after chasing him for hours and shooting him in the shoulder Sunday, Walsh reports. The chase first began after reports of a man wielding a knife outside of a business. He then went on to dodge traffic and cross the highway and was finally bitten by a police dog and captured. The officer who shot the man was placed on administrative leave while the incident is investigated.
Today Apple will release a new iPhone at its product launch in Silicon Valley, the Associated Press reports. The phone is expected to be an upgrade to the four-inch iPhone 5S, which will be aimed toward buyers who haven’t bought one of the 6 models in the past couple of years. On Tuesday the company’s lawyers will fight an FBI request to unlock one of the San Bernardino killer’s iPhone in federal court.
During his visit to town for South by Southwest on Friday, POTUS made a pit stop at the revered taco joint’s South First Street location. Obama ordered a Democrat, a Republican and an Independent at the restaurant. (For the uninitiated: Those are names of tacos on the menu.) The president paid $18.40 for his order, treating his staff and Mayor Steve Adler. Honestly, seems like a cheap receipt for Torchy’s. The American-Statesman’s Matthew Odam reports that the prez paid cash.
There’s a presidential buzz in the air. He’s coming. President Barack Obama is set to kick off South by Southwest’s interactive portion with a keynote conversation with the Texas Tribune’s Evan Smith later on today, but if you’re thinking the presidential motorcade is new to these streets, think again.