Austin’s Top News – March 9, 2021 | KLBJ-AM

Adler asks to keep wearing masks

Austin Mayor Steve Adler is asking people to keep wearing a mask. Since the state mask mandates are to end tomorrow, Mayor Adler asked you to continue masking anyway.

“Practically everyone who handles the data and the doctors tells us what to do, and I hope we do,” says Adler.

Adler said several companies are using social media to find out why there are mask orders remaining and are encouraging more to do the same.

Williamson County officials say all government buildings and facilities will be 100% open starting tomorrow. District Judge Bill Gravell says the decision to wear a mask in a government building is entirely up to you.

Service employees protest against the lifting of the mask mandate

Service workers in Texas gathered outside the capital and urged Governor Abbott not to lift the nationwide mask mandate. Much of the anger among service workers had to do with unsafe working conditions after Governor Abbott lifted the mask mandate that went into effect on Wednesday.

“If you want to open us up 100%, we must at least be allowed to make an appointment to get a vaccine, right?” Prioritizing workers in the service industry for vaccination has been a recurring theme: “We are thanked every day as important workers, but nobody seems to give us any dignity. They don’t even want to raise the minimum wage. You don’t want to make a risk payment. “

Time window for APH vaccines

Austin Public Health has announced that it will provide schedules for vaccine appointments for the first dose every Monday evening. Availability is shown for the entire week and the number of slots may vary from week to week depending on inventory. As more cans become available later in the week, more slots will open to the public on Thursday evening.

COVID-19 update

228 people are hospitalized in Travis County this morning for COVID. That is actually an increase of four from the day before. 72 people are in the intensive care unit, which has actually decreased slightly. The number of active cases has also dropped to 1,411. Out of a total of 76,742 confirmed cases, 74,565 recoveries were made.

STAR test

The Austin School District will host a virtual discussion of the STAR test and other exams at the end of the course. A handful of district officials will be answering questions from parents about the event on Facebook Live, and it all starts at 5:30 p.m. this afternoon

Leander Book Club suspended

Leander School District suspended the student book club after parents recently complained about sexually explicit subjects. Superintendent Bruce Gearing says he thinks they moved too fast with the material chosen.

“When we got into this process, we were hit by COVID and we weren’t careful to make sure it was properly reviewed,” says Gearing.

A team of 70+ parents, teachers, and staff will review all books before approving them for use. The school board is also developing a new policy banning students from buying literature that is deemed inappropriate.

Tesla battery

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, has been a big critic of ERCOT since the power outages. According to a new report from Bloomberg, Musk built a massive 100-megawatt battery in Angleton, not far from Houston, capable of powering 20,000 homes on a typical summer day. According to the report, Tesla is looking for ways to bolster the Texas power grid with this battery, which could be operational by June.

HEAL initiative

The city of Austin blames last month’s winter storm for a delay in updating the HEAL initiative. And that’s the plan that bans public camping in four specific areas and then moves the people who live there to other, safer places. Matt Mackowiak of the Save Austin Now group tells CBS Austin that a weekend fire in a homeless camp under an overpass is a great example of why public camping is so dangerous.

“If you are lucky enough to be in an area that some councilors decide is safe and clean, congratulations. 80 or 90% of the Austinites do not live in and around these four areas, ”says Mackowiak.

The city council is not expected to receive any new information about the HEAL initiative until next month.

Brush fire included

A 100-acre bushfire near the Caldwell Bastrop Travis County Line that broke out over the weekend grew to over 150 acres before it was finally brought under control. The Texas A&M Forest Service says the so-called Brushy Gate Fire is now 100% contained.

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