AUSTIN (KXAN) - Throughout the year, Austin Police have been meeting with residents along Rundberg Lane near the Interstate 35 corridor trying to combat crime in the area.
Linda Krueger, a longtime resident of the Rundberg Lane area, put it simply. "The issue is getting crime under control, so people can walk the streets, feel comfortable and enjoy our parks and all that again."
Thursday night was another community meeting between Austin police and local residents in an initiative made possible by a million dollar grant.
The focus is on an area bordered by Braker Lane and Research Boulevard to the north and south and Lamar Boulevard and Cameron Road to the west and east. It's an area plagued by homelessness, drunks, drug deals, prostitution and violence.
"No matter the change in demographics of who lives in the neighborhood, the crime is always there," said Austin police officer Rafael Kianes. "There are hot spots where crime has been historically over many years."
Police and residents on Thursday discussed local beautification, more police and community patrols, and better street lighting.
In one new initiative, police are approaching merchants, asking them not to sell alcohol to customers who are already obviously drunk. That just exacerbates the problems.
According to APD, merchants agreed, but when police organized a collective meeting for those merchants last week, none showed up.
"We're concerned," Krueger said, "but there's also a sense of community that we want to take back." And police say they want to help.
More than 100 trees covered in lights now shine bright throughout Zilker Park. The Trail of Lights is open for another season.
A 10-year-old was killed while standing outside of a vehicle which lost control during the icy conditions, DPS said.
Travis County non-profit Center for Child Protection will benefit next March from an all day fundraiser at the Circuit of the Americas that will see plenty of donors racing on the track.
Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg heads to court this week as a defendant in a civil trial that could oust her from office.
Santa visited Austin early on Sunday, joining hundreds of motorcyclists for their annual Toy Run.
Late Saturday night into early Sunday morning, a light band of freezing drizzle traversed the I-35 corridor eastward. With sub-freezing temperatures, even the light precipitation created major problems.