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Travis County

Part II in a four-part series on why sexual assault cases are so hard to prosecute in Austin.

Warning: This story contains descriptions of sexual assault.

Sexual assault is a crime that can happen to anyone, but women are twice as likely to be victimized in Texas. In a 2015 study, UT Austin’s Institute on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault found 1 in 5 men will experience some form of sexual violence in their lifetime. But for women, it's 2 in 5.

Part I in a four-part series on why sexual assault cases are so hard to prosecute in Austin.

Warning: This story contains a graphic description of sexual assault.

When I first met with Marina Garrett, she was preparing to graduate from UT Austin. Like most seniors, she said she was nervous but excited. It was an especially significant moment for Garrett because, for a long time, she didn’t think it would happen.

Shelby Knowles / The Texas Tribune

Texas’ largest law enforcement agency is moving away from arresting people for low-level marijuana offenses. It’s the latest development in the chaos that has surrounded pot prosecution after state lawmakers legalized hemp this year.

Robin Jerstad / The Texas Tribune

A new super PAC focused on registering new Republican voters in Texas has raised nearly $10 million from some of the state's biggest GOP donors, according to its first report to the Federal Election Commission.

The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention met with other health care leaders in Austin on Tuesday to discuss the need for "disruptive" strategies to address the growing number of HIV infections in Central Texas.

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From Texas Standard:

Three named plaintiffs launched a class action lawsuit last year against the City of Austin, Travis County and several local officials, claiming they failed to adequately investigate and prosecute their sexual assault cases.

Voting rights groups and local election officials say the state’s bungled effort to prove there are thousands of noncitizens on the state’s voter rolls is all about making voter registration harder in Texas before the 2020 election.

A new group that aims to improve the response to sexual assaults in Austin and Travis County was announced yesterday. Its formation comes after public concern over how investigations have been handled. But that concern isn't new: There has been a group in place for nearly three decades tackling these issues, and the work hasn't been easy. 

A rendering of "Genesis," one of We Print Houses' 3D-printed home designs.
We Print Houses

An Austin-based company is ushering in 3D technology that makes it easier for builders to print homes.

Residential building company Sunconomy LLC and California-based Forge New last week introduced We Print Houses, a system that can be licensed by contractors and builders to construct homes in only a few months.

Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber formally announced Tuesday that Austin will be an expansion franchise for the 2021 season.

Two people were killed and four were seriously wounded when bombs exploded outside homes and in other areas in Austin over the span of about three weeks.
Associated Press

The FBI has determined that the man suspected in a series of bombings in Austin last year had no known links to terror organizations or hate groups, but a motive for the attacks remains a mystery.

Texas lawmakers heard hours of public testimony Thursday and into early Friday morning over a bill banning so-called “sanctuary cities” in Texas, ultimately voting early this morning 7-2 along party lines to send the bill to the full Senate.

The Travis County sheriff’s new immigration policy goes into effect today. The policy limits what information local law enforcement share with the federal immigration agency, and it's already stirred up a lot of controversy.

This morning, Gov. Greg Abbott came through on a pledge to cancel $1.5 million in criminal justice grants from his office to Travis County over the policy.

“[A] dangerous game of political Russian roulette.” That’s how Texas Gov. Greg Abbott described Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez’s immigration policy, which was released Friday. And, this morning, Abbott told Fox News that he's directing lawmakers to draft a bill that would penalize similar policies and threatened to remove Hernandez from office.

Update (Jan. 23) – Gov. Greg Abbott sent a letter to Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez today, outlining potential penalties for the county and calling Hernandez’s policy “shortsighted.”

Laura Buckman / Texas Tribune

Update: Gov. Greg Abbott released a brief statement saying Texas law defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman.  

First Same-Sex Couple Married In Austin

Feb 19, 2015
Travis County Clerk Office / Twitter

A same-sex couple was married in Travis County despite the statewide gay marriage ban.

Paxton Requests Emergency Order To Block Gay Marriage Ruling

Feb 18, 2015
Shutterstock

Attorney General Ken Paxton on Wednesday asked the Texas Supreme Court to issue an emergency order blocking a local probate judge's ruling that the state’s same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional.