Southwest Austin News

Community Spotlight: Overlook Estates

About Overlook Estates

Overlook Estates is a community currently being developed along Lenape Trail. Homes for sale in Overlook Estates are perfect for homeowners looking to buy a piece of their very own land in Hill Country. Overlook Estates homes sit on at least half an acre of land, or more, making the community perfect for sprawling home design spaces and families looking to invest in beautiful greenery.

Overlook Estates real estate commonly feature spacious floor plans, generously landscaped outdoor areas, and magnificent views of Hill Country as featured in large, strategic windows. Overlook Estates not only features amazing views and designer homes. It is also conveniently close to nearby shopping, dining, and entertainment attractions. Located near Hwy 71 off Thomas Springs Road along Lenape Trail and Lenape Drive and 290 West, it is close to many commercial establishments.The ZIP code for Overlook Estates is 78736.

 

Useful Overlook Estates Links

Overlook Estates School Links

Southwest Austin Coyote Response Guide

How to respond to coyotes in your neighborhood

As Austin grows, our interactions with wildlife increase. To keep coyotes and other wildlife wild, we can follow a few, simple preventative measures:

  • Always keep trash and compost in a secure bin
  • Keep your barbecue grill clean
  • Keep the area under your fruit and nut trees free of droppings (a coyote’s diet can be up to 40% fruit in Texas)
  • Avoid feeding pets outdoors (if you must feed pets outside, feed during the daytime and remove the uneaten food as soon as the animal has finished).
  • Feeding wildlife and feral cats can attract coyotes. In addition to coyotes eating the food, mice and other animals will be drawn to leftovers, which can subsequently attract predators such as foxes and coyotes.

Hazing

To discourage coyotes from associating people with safety and food, eliminate the food sources around your yard and engage in hazing if you see a coyote on your property. Hazing is a process used to reinforce a coyote’s natural wariness without harming them. To haze, be big and loud: Wave your arms, shout, use noisemakers, throw non-edible objects in its direction (but not at it), or spray the animal with a hose. It shouldn’t take much for the coyote to get the memo -- just be persistent and maintain eye contact. Do not haze if a coyote is sick, injured, with pups, or is in its territory or out at night.

 

Pet safety

Keep small pets inside when possible and monitor them while outside. While walking dogs, use a secure, 4-6 foot leash and do not let dogs explore vegetation that you can’t see through. It is advised that pets be fed indoors. If pets must be fed outdoors, feed during the daytime and remove food as soon as your pet is finished.

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AISD's Proposed $1 Billion Bond Aims to Bring 21st-Century Learning Spaces To District

Austin ISD's proposed $1.05 billion bond aims to deliver 21st-century learning spaces to campuses across the district.

In preparation of the bond's approval, the board of trustees deliberated about a bond construction delivery plan in order to deliver the proposed bond projects in the most effective and efficient way. The Texas Local Government Code requires the board to consider a construction contract method other than the competitive bidding before advertising solicitations for proposals.

Delivery methods include:

  • Design-build—A single entity is responsible for both the design and construction of a facility. Design of discrete packages of work can be submitted for permitting individually, and construction starts early while the design is still ongoing, resulting in a shorter project delivery schedule.
  • The construction manager at risk, or CMR—An architect and a contractor are hired at the same time, well before the design is complete. The contractor provides preconstruction services, including cost estimating, constructability reviews and other valuable input during design. The contractor will provide a guaranteed maximum price, or GMP, for each bid package, of which there are likely to be several for each project. CMR is particularly relevant for projects with complex building and/or site conditions. The work is typically broken up into phases with the contractor providing a GMP for each phase.
  • Competitive sealed proposal—Price and other factors, such as qualifications and experience, are considered in determining the best value for the district.
  • Job order contract—A job order contracting firm or a cooperative firm is used to provide prices for specific tasks as they occur....

Burn Ban Implemented in Travis Country post 4th of July Celebrations

Travis County announced the implementation of a burn ban with the release of a Press Release on July 6, 2017. The press release states “the Local Government Code allows the Travis County Commissioners Court to prohibit outdoor burning in the unincorporated areas of Travis County. The burn ban expires on August 7, 2017, unless further action is taken by the Travis County Commissioners Court or Fire Marshal prior to that date.”

 

Fire Marshal Tony Callaway said that the county has been on the cusp of a burn ban for the last few weeks but each week the county has received a little rain. About two-dozen grass fires were reported July 4, which is slightly lower than previous years, and about 25 percent of those were a result of fireworks.

 

“We have recently experienced an increase in grass fires in both our county and neighboring counties,” said Travis County Chief Fire Marshal Tony Callaway. “We strongly urge the public to help reduce fire dangers by not throwing cigarettes out of vehicle windows, not parking running or recently driven vehicles on dry grass or operating poorly maintained machinery on dry grass.”

 

If you have questions about the burn ban, contact the Fire Marshal’s Office at 512-854-4621, or contact your local fire department.

Sign up for burn ban status and alerts!

 

To read more about the burn ban, visit TravisCounty.gov 

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Southwest Austin Events: Weekly Update

There's always something interesting going on in Southwest Austin, and this week is no exception. Here are some updates/ events Southwest Austinites should know about going into this next week!

Austin Sound & Cinema - June 28, 2017

  • The four-show series showcases live bands paired with classic Hollywood movies at the Long Center. Doors and food trucks open at 6 p.m., with live music beginning at 7:30 p.m. and the movies beginning at 9 p.m. Free Admission 

Setting Goals for Small Business Excellence Seminar - June 29, 2017

  • Setting Goals for Small Business Excellence provides a hands-on, step-by-step instructions for establishing goals & strategies, defining core values. The purpose of this class is to provide business owners with exactly what they need to discover their most important goals and how to go about achieving them. Attendees must register here! (6/29/2017)

El Chilito - Grand Opening! June 30, 2017

  • El Chilito is an East Austin taquería boasting a delicious selection of Tex-Mex & interior Mexican tacos along with a full espresso bar, and a whole lot of local charm. The Grant Opening will include a pig roast on Friday, June 30th from 6-8pm. CLICK HERE to check out their menu!

Texas Artist...

Hamilton Pool Reopens to Swimmers Today

Austin's famous Hamilton Pool reopens to the public today, May 1, after closing last year due to separate drowning incidents that occurred in the famous tourist spot in 2016. The natural pool located at 24300 Hamilton Pool Road in Dripping Springs was a favorite local attraction where Austinites can visit to beat the gruelling heat of summer until authorities decided to close down the park to determine how to best mitigate future drownings after two consecutive drownings occurred.

The Travis County Park Department reopened the pool with additional safety features offered to the visiting public. Loaner life jackets in varying sizes are offered at the pool entrance, and throw rings have been placed around the pool for easy access in case of an emergency. The effort was made to ensure that visitors planning to escape Austin's typical summer heat would be safe from any untoward incident while enjoying the natural water formation.

Authorities also reiterated that they may close the pool at certain times to check the water quality, especially if high bacteria counts are present. To make sure that you enjoy the day you set for your outing to the area, please make reservations ahead. The official website where you can check out the latest Hamilton Pool updates and make reservations can be accessed here.

Are you planning on taking a trip to Hamilton Pool? Do you think the safety features provided by the authorities are sufficient to keep tourists safe? Let us know your thoughts! Also, please feel free to share this article to your friends! Have a fun outing this upcoming summer season!

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Learn About Austin's Strategic Initiatives for 2017 Here

The Austin Neighborhoods Council outlined four strategic initiatives for 2017 in its monthly meeting held last Wednesday, April 26. 

This year's strategic initiatives are:

1. CodeNEXT - the redevelopment of the city's land use code is the priority of the ANC.

2. The ANC wants to have “a clear, equitable and metric/data-driven land use regulation that adequately addresses problems such as affordability, displacement and lack of public input.” Developing such a system will be discussed in next month's meeting.

3. The ANC also wanted to prioritize the creation of a department of neighborhoods within city government. ANC also insisted that the Austin City Council should publish a tabulated record of council member votes after each council meeting, for transparency.

4. Lastly, the topic of affordable housing has been brought forth for further discussion by the council in efforts to recognize the magnitude of the problem and how it can be solved through community-level intervention. The initiative calls for "result-driven policies for improving affordability for everyone," with special consideration to families living at the 50% limit of median family income.

Interested to know more about the other topics discussed in the last meeting? You can access the article that first appeared in Community Impact Newspaper here. What are your thoughts on the initiatives listed by the ANC? Let us know your opinion in the comments!

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Southwest Austin County Ranked Fifth Healthiest

County Health Rankings has released its ordered list of the healthiest counties in the state of Texas on March 29. Out of 243 total counties that reported data to County Health Rankings, Travis County ranked fifth. Here is how County Health Rankings got that number:

1. Residents of Travis County have access to high-quality clinical care and are ranked eighth throughout the state. The county has a ratio of 1,170 residents to 1 primary care physician. The ratio for dentists is 1,470-to-1 and the ratio for mental health providers is 450-to-1. About 84 percent of residents are monitored for diabetes and 62 percent receive mammography screening. Roughly 19 percent of residents are uninsured, which is below the state average.

2. According to County Health Rankings, Travis County residents have the 10th highest quality of life. About 15 percent of residents are in poor or fair health, compared to 19 percent throughout the state of Texas.

3. Travis County also ranks eighth among health behaviors of residents. Approximately 13 percent of adults smoke in comparison to 15 percent throughout Texas. In the county, 20 percent of residents are obese, in comparison to 28 percent throughout Texas and 26 percent among top performing U.S. counties. About 24 percent of residents exhibit excessive drinking habits, which is higher...

What's Happening in Southwest Austin this Week

There's always something interesting going on at Southwest Austin, and this week is no exception! Here are some updates Southwest Austinites should know:

Improving Affordability in Austin

An action plan aiming to improve affordability in Austin has been announcened by the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce and its coalition partners in an effort to address issues on affordable house, easier permit processing, and easier access to healthcare.

As the city develops further into becoming one of the most sought-after metros for millennials and investors to live in, the influx has adversely affected the standard and cost of living in the city. The action plan aims to counteract the negative changes of the influx to help sustain the favorable living conditions in Austin.

Commuter Safety with Lower Speed Limits

Rep. Celia Israel, D-Austin, introduced a bill to lower speed limits on unmarked Texas roads to 25mph (from 30mph). The bill aims to lower the number of traffic fatalities throughout the state.

Teacher at Oak Hill Elementary School Aims for Rather Prize

Renae Hernandez, teacher at Oak Hill Elementary School, is vying for newsman Dan Rather's $10,000 Rather Prize, in an effort to found the literacy program called "Blast" for kindergarten through second-grade teachers. The winner will be announced at the education innovation conferences of South by Southwest Conferences and Festivals. Please support her cause by voting here.

New Car Vending Machine in Southwest Austin

Are we in Tokyo? The infamous car vending machine craze has arrived in Austin. The new car vending machine of Carvana at Southwest Austin is the third unit to be established in the U.S. Car buyers get to pick their...

What's Happening in Southwest Austin: Weekly Update

There's always a lot of things going on in and around Southwest Austin! Here are some valuable pieces of info that Southwest Austinites need to know:

Now You Can Avoid Traffic at the I-35!

The Texas Department of Transportation recently launched an interactive map and website that provides details on upcoming lane closures, travel delays, and traffic incidents in the counties of Hays, Travis, and Williamson. All you need is a smartphone to check if the I-35 is incident-free or not congested with heavy traffic for you to plan your route for the day. The website can be accessed here.

More Time for Enjoyment for Jacob's Well Natural Area Visitors

The Hays County Commissioners Court voted to extend the open hours of Jacob's Well Natural Area in Wimberley. They have also voted to extend the swimming season from May 1 to October1, instead of the traditional season from Memorial Day until Labor Day. Good news for all locals and tourists!

Parking Laws to be Enforced at the Pennybacker Bridge

Austin's iconic Pennybacker Bridge will soon have more police presence as authorities strive to strictly enforce parking laws at the popular tourist destination. Known as a great venue for sightseeing and as a dropoff pointn for hikers, the Austin Police Department would like to ensure the safety of visitors who frequent the area.

New Southwest Austin Private School to Launch in Fall

A new private school will begin catering to 24 sixth-grade students starting this fall. The Synergy Middle School is located at The Art Garage, 11190 Circle Drive, Austin. For more details, you can check out the school's official website here.

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2016 Southwest Austin Real Estate Market Stats

Travis Country Stats for 2016 Cain Realty GroupAside from our impressive report on real estate stats in Austin for 2016, we've got some good news about our performance in the area of Southwest Austin, too! Using data collected from the MLS, we have compiled a metric measuring how well we fared in providing our excellent home buying and home selling services to our clients in the 78739 and 78749 ZIP Codes.

Here are some of the things you might want to know that truly attest to us being "the most trusted home buying and home selling team" in Southwest Austin!

  • Cain Realty Group sells for 3.56% more than the neighborhood average. This means an average of $13,387, based on the average Southwest Austin home sales price.
  • Cain Realty Group sells their clients' homes in approximately 7 days from the time of listing. That's 24 days faster than the market average.
  • Cain Realty Group gets their clients 5.94% more than discount brokers. 
  • Compared to two other realtors servicing the Southwest Austin area, Cain Realty Group got their sellers over 3.69% more than their immediate competitors' averages.

We may not be the biggest team in Austin, but we hold true to our word that we are "the most trusted home buying and home selling team", and for good reason! As we gear towards growing our team this 2017 to service more clients in Southwest Austin, we aim to provide the same kind of excellent service to more people. If you or anybody you know needs people they can trust for their home buying or home selling needs, please do get in touch with...

Southwest Austin Events for this Week: What You Need to Know

Looking for a fun-filled activity in Southwest Austin this week? We've got new store openings, seminars, and development projects lined up just for you! Here are some local events you might be interested in:

1. Income Tax Code Seminar- The Oak Hill Business and Professional Association is set to hold a luncheon on Thursday, February 2, to discuss updates and changes to the income tax code for the tax returns of 2016. The meeting will take place at Mandola's Italian Market, 4301 W. William Cannon Drive. A $15 will be charged to members and $20 for guests. For more details, you can access the organization's Facebook page here.

2. Welcome back, Lyft and Uber!- Statewide ride-hailing regulations may be the only thing standing between Austin and the return of Lyft and Uber on its streets this year. Rep. Eddie Rodriguez, D-Austin, explains that new regulations may reverse the vote Austinites too last May thet mandate fingerprint background checks for the services' drivers.

3. New Store!- Famous Valentina's Tex Mex will open a new store in Southwest Austin. The popular food trailer outlet located at 7612 Brodie Lane is a best-selling foodie spot for customers craving sandwiches, sides, and briskets. Stay tuned for more updates on when their store will open!

4. New 'The Salt Lick BBQ' Outlet- BBQ lovers, here's some good news for you! Salt Lick recently opened a food truck at the Moontower Saloon to cater to its loyal parishioners. This comes after Salt Lick's proven popularity while serving food at the local bar on a...

What's Happening in Southwest Austin: This Week's Updates

Curious to know what's happening in Southwest Austin this week? Here are some local news and updates for you: 

New Coffee Shop at 5400 Brodie Lane

Good news, coffee and doughnut lovers! Bougie's Donuts & Coffee will open another store at 5400 Brodie Lane, Ste. 930. Known for its donut variety and interesting coffee flavors, owner Ryan Brown promises something new to watch out for at their new store.

Additional Pluckers Wing Bar Branch to Open

A new Pluckers Wing Bar branch is set to open its seventh store in Austin at the Oak Hill Plaza on Hwy. 71. Details about the new sports bar and wing restaurant will be released at a later date.

Proposed New Bella Fortuna District
A public hearing will be held on Tuesday (Jan. 24) to gain feedback from Southwest Austin residents regarding the proposed Bella Fortuna district that is proposed to be developed on the southeast of I-35 and Onion Creek Parkway. The project is set to develop 400 new single-family homes.
 
Women's March

The south lawn of the Texas State Capitol was filled with thousands of supporters of the Women's March, a demonstration of support for the rights and equality of women.

Latest A-F Accountability Report for School Districts in Texas

Two Texas school districts (out of 1,200) managed to receive straight A's under the Texas preliminary A-F accountability report....

Travis County Acquires 1930's U.S. Courthouse to House New Probate Court

Travis County's bid to acquire the historic Austin Federal Courthouse at 200 W. Eighth St. has finally pushed through. The deed was accepted Thursday at the courthouse steps by County Judge Sarah Eckhardt and other elected officials.

Eckhardt expressed that, “we have been hoping and praying for this gift from Uncle Sam for a while.” 

The building was previously declared by the federal government as a surplus, so county officials moved to have the property transferred under local jurisdiction, especially when a bond referendum for a new civil and family courtx complex failed in 2015. The Commissioners Court approved the application to have the said property obtained from the National Park Service for use by Travis County. Travis County was not required to pay any amount for obtaining the said property.

With a $28 million renovation plan for the historic structure, locals are eyeing the property as the new house of probate courts. The Heman Marion Sweatt County Courthouse has been in need for additional space for district courts for quite some time.

Travis County currently only has one probate judge, but with the renovation plans completed for the historic building by 2020, they are expected to open two more probate courts, and by 2035, two more. Probate court deals with wills, declaration of heirs for deceased people who die without a will, establishment of guardianships, court-ordered involuntary mental health commitments, and domain cases.

Want to know more about this awesome Austin local news? You can access Kelli Weldon's Community Impact article from which this post was based by clicking here.

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Austin Police Department Releases Holiday Safety and Travel Tips for Locals and Tourists

With the surge of commuters expected for the holidays, the Austin Police Department has released certain guidelines on how to stay safe during the holiday rush:

Sky Travel

A report released by the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport indicates that peak travel can be expected on December 20-23, December 27-30 and January 2-4, with peak times from 5 a.m. to 8 a.m., 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Make sure to be at the airport 2 hours before your flight is scheduled to depart. Complimentary Wi-Fi has also been made available to travelers who can connect to a Boingo Hotspot to track security check times, schedules, etc.

Travel by Car

A significant percentage of accidents that occur during the holidays are caused by drunk driving. To curb this, the Austin Police Department has extended the implementation of the Driving While Intoxicated Enforcement Initiative until January 1, 2017. The message is clear: Don't Drink and Drive.

Home Security

If you are leaving home to enjoy the holidays elsewhere, the APD suggests that you follow these tips:

  • Always lock doors and windows when leaving the house, even just for quick errands
  • Before taking long trips, ask a neighbor or family member to watch over the house. A good way to thwart any burglary plans is to make the house appear occupied. Have a trusted individual pick up your newspapers and mail so it would appear that someone is home.
  • Use automatic timers to switch indoor and outdoor lights on/off.
  • A radio or television can be left on to make it sound/look like there's someone home.
  • Don't tempt burglars into entering your home by hiding valuables, expensive gadgets, and even large displays of holiday gifts from the view of doors and windows.
  • Instruct carriers to keep expected packages in the facility where you will come to personally pick the item(s) up when you return from...

Get Your Digital Copy of Southwest Austin Times Now!

Southwest Austin Times December 2016 issueGet the latest real estate news in your area! Southwest Austin Times is going digital. The official publication for Southwest Austin by Cain Realty Group is reaching out to a larger audience. If our hard copies aren't reaching your doorstep, you can easily access the latest news, trends, and all things Southwest Austin just by downloading our digital copy for the December issue here.

Get FREE access to the latest Southwest Austin market stats, real estate trends, investment advice, home design tips, and more, just by getting your very own downloadable copy

Stay informed about the community! Download your very own copy and be in the know! Thank you for trusting Cain Realty Group, Austin's Most Trusted Home Buying and Home Selling Team!

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T.A. Brown Elementary School Shut Down Due to Structural Damage

Press Conference for T.A. Brown ClosureAn assessment conducted by Austin ISD officials revealed Friday that the crawlspaces of the T.A. Brown Elementary School building suffered extensive damages to its plaster wings, cafeteria, and administrative offices, leading the district to close down the school indefinitely. At a news conference conducted Friday, district officials explained that the assessment was part of the Facilities Master Plan and that they were in the process of examining the facilities of schools in the district to determine each unit's educational feasibility and structural conditions.

However, the scheduled inspection at T.A. Brown in mid-October led to the unpleasant find, and with reports finalized and submitted at the school district last week, officials have decided to close the school without any future plans to reopen. With the safety of the students and the teaching staff as top priority, members of the board have decided to halt all instruction at the school and make arrangements on how the students can continue their education in safer environments. Because of this, Brown’s 360 students will be relocated to two different sites based on grade level. Children in pre-K and kindergarten, as well as students in special units, will be placed at Reilly Elementary School, while students in grades one through five will be relocated to the Allan Elementary School campus, a facility currently used to house Child, Inc. Childcare Center as well as some of the district’s other partners.

For more details regarding the permanent closure of T.A. Brown Elementary school, you may access the article from which this post was based by clicking on this link.

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New Westcreek Drive Sidewalks Now Usable

Westcreek Drive Sidewalk mapThe addition of new sidewalks on Westcreek Drive near Patton Elementary School has finally been completed, thanks to the support and funding from the city of Austin Quarter Cent Fund. The work concluded in mid-August, but was only opened for use by the public on the first week of October 2016. A project of the city of Austin's Public Works Department, the project aims to add new and updated sidewalks and curb ramps on the east side of Westcreek Drive from the Patton campus to West Hwy. 290. 

Costing $96,000, the project began July 18 and was completed Aug. 16. 

For more information regarding construction projects and new developments in Southwest Austin, please check out out blog. You can also access the article from which this post was based by clicking here:

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5th Street May Soon Accommodate Two-Way Traffic

In an effort to reduce congestion in downtown Austin when Sixth Street is closed, the city is looking to convert one of its one-way streets into a two-way.

By spring, the city could add one westbound lane to the current eastbound-only Fifth Street between Brazos Street and I-35.

“We realized our traffic during special events when Sixth Street is closed is that we have severe congestion in this part of the corridor,” said Rob Spillar, director of the Austin Transportation Department, during Wednesday’s Austin City Council Mobility Committee meeting.

The proposed change came from an analysis the Austin Chamber of Commerce and Hilton Austin Hotel asked the city to conduct because of Capital Metro’s plans to build a permanent MetroRail station on Fourth Street and close through traffic to vehicles.

A pedestrian plaza would also be added, and Capital Metro plans to restrict traffic on Fourth between Red River and Trinity for pedestrian and bicycle use only. Traffic on Neches will end in a cul-de-sac at Fourth.

“We were really concerned about this closure,” said Lee Austin, central area engineer for ATD. “Sixth Street is a major westbound arterial, so when it’s closed, drivers don’t have anything in that area.”

The city’s analysis found that during times when Sixth Street was closed, drivers would use Fourth Street, and traffic would back up on the I-35 frontage road, blocking vehicles coming from Fifth to I-35, Austin said.

Traffic exiting the Hilton would turn left onto Red River and take a left onto Fifth for westbound access, she said.

Spillar said before the city even begins construction it would need to gather public input. The change could be implemented in April or May...

What's New in Southwest Austin

Living in Southwest Austin? There's always something new happening in Southwest Austin, and if the weekend is looming ahead and seems to be pretty boring, here is a list of new things and attractions you can check out to enliven your otherwise-deadbeat weekend:

1. Construction on the new Goodnight Mixed-Use Subdivision has commenced, with the move-in of first residents to take place before the end of 2016. The 104 single-family home, 9 duplex, and 90 townhouse project is a collaboration between Benchmark Development and members of the Goodnight family. You can access our own post about this project here.

2. Gondolas could be the newest transportation option in Austin, IF the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority (which oversees the MoPac toll lane project) will approve funding for a viability study for a proposed 8-mile gondola line that would run above South First and Guadalupe Streets. The proposal, presented by Argodesign last September 7, is behind the urban cable concept called "The Wire".

3. Southwest Austin celebrated the launching of new nonprofit The L.I.F.E. Project, which will serve young adults with autism and neurological and developmental disorders after high school. The nonprofit learning center is located across from Crocket High School.

4. Updates on the expansion of the free program called Highway Emergency Response Operator of the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization are now...