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2021 Hill Country Photo Contest Winners Announced & 2022 Calendar For Sale!

2021 Hill Country photo contest winners announced & 2022 Calendar for sale!

The Texas Hill Country is a unique region filled with diverse wildlife, clear springs, sprawling rural landscapes, historic towns, and some of the starriest night skies in the country. With a rapidly growing population and increasing development coming into the region, many of these special qualities are at risk of being lost forever. Each year the Hill Country Alliance (HCA) holds a photo contest encouraging photographers to capture images of the Texas Hill Country they would like to protect forever.…

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River Otters Are On The Rise In Texas

River otters are on the rise in Texas

With their thick, glistening manes, proclivity for play, and taste for crawfish, members of a growing southeastern species are flocking to Texas. And no, we’re not talking about recent graduates of Louisiana State University. North American river otters, which were scarce in the Lone Star State for most of the last century, are on the rebound.   Read more from Laura Furr Mericas with Texas Monthly here.

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Biedermann Declines Reelection In District 73

Biedermann declines reelection in District 73

After nearly six years in the Texas House of Representatives, Fredericksburg Rep. Kyle Biedermann on Wednesday announced he would not seek a fourth term representing District 73. His statement, posted on his Facebook page just after 10 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 20, hinted at another run for public office closer to home. Meanwhile, former New Braunfels Mayor Barron Casteel announced he’ll seek the GOP nod in District 73, with social worker Justin Calhoun saying he’ll seek the Democratic nomination.   Read…

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Republicans Say Texas’ New Political Maps Are “race Blind.” To Some Voters Of Color, That Translates As Political Invisibility.

Republicans say Texas’ new political maps are “race blind.” To some voters of color, that translates as political invisibility.

As they devised political maps to maximize their hold on power for another decade, Texas Republicans laid the foundation for a crucial argument they may need in defending their handiwork against multiple legal challenges claiming they are discriminating against Texans of color. Their pursuit of partisan advantage produced new districts giving white Republican voters even greater say in deciding who represents Texans in Congress and the Legislature. Despite overwhelming population growth among people of color in the state, the power…

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Farm Families And Mental Health

Farm families and mental health

Farm families face unique stressors, including financial challenges and family-farming relationships that blur the line between their business and personal lives. These stressors can affect the entire family and may lead to physical illness, depression, substance abuse, and suicide. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), farmers are more than five times as likely to commit suicide as the general population and are more likely to report substance abuse. Stress and depression also increase the probability of…

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Texas Is Watering Down Federal Infrastructure Funds

Texas is watering down federal infrastructure funds

A ticking time bomb lies at the bottom of the Llano River, near a small town called Junction. In 2018, major flooding across the watershed overwhelmed the region’s water infrastructure as high waters brought with them silt, dirt and debris. Nearly three years later, the exposed sewer lines under the river still haven’t been buried properly. When the next flood rips through the Hill Country, those lines could rupture, an expert says, causing millions of gallons of raw sewage to…

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Developers Going Big In Surging Town

Developers going big in surging town

It’s a trend in Texas’ fastest-growing county: growing pains. The population of Dripping Springs, a bedroom community west of Austin in Hays County, boomed over 175 percent in the last six years to nearly 7,500 people, census figures show. Now it needs to upgrade roads and wastewater treatment. And it doesn’t have enough restaurants or middle-priced housing for all the newcomers.   Read more from Annie Blanks with San Antonio Express-New here.

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2021 Hill Country Photo Contest Winners Announced & 2022 Calendar For Sale!

2021 Hill Country photo contest winners announced & 2022 Calendar for sale!

This past year has continued to challenge us as a region, a state, and a country in ways that no one could have anticipated, from once-in-a-lifetime snowstorms to an unusually rainy summer. Through it all the Texas Hill Country has given us a steady stream of comfort, resilience, and inspiration. Those of us who have the privilege of calling this place home found that in moments of great difficulty, our spirits could find peace beside a spring-fed creek, if only…

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Developer Aims To Create ‘legacy’ Music Venue With Massive 20,000-seat Amphitheater In Southwest Austin

Developer aims to create ‘legacy’ music venue with massive 20,000-seat amphitheater in Southwest Austin

Developers hope to add a crown jewel to the Austin area's already bustling live music scene: a 20,000-seat amphitheater at the center of a 71-acre entertainment and residential project near Bee Cave. International Development Management Co. aims to open the first pieces of the Violet Crown project in 2023, with the amphitheater targeted to open by Labor Day 2023. Plans also call for two luxury apartment towers, a distillery and tasting room, a Top Golf-style driving range and a parking…

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Freshwater Mussels In Guadalupe River Could Go On Endangered List Because Waters They Live In Have Changed

Freshwater mussels in Guadalupe River could go on endangered list because waters they live in have changed

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed placing six Texas freshwater mussels on the endangered species list and designating nearly 2,000 miles of Texas rivers as critical habitat for them. The Guadalupe River Basin — one of four river basins highlighted by the proposal — is home to three of the mussels: the Guadalupe fatmucket, the false spike and the Guadalupe orb. As bottom feeders, freshwater mussels are vital to the Texas Hill Country’s ecology and food chain.  …

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