John Engel, KXAN News

John Engel


Austin, TX, United States

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Past articles by John:

Gov. Greg Abbott downplays electric grid concerns as Texans are told to conserve

Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday downplayed concerns about the reliability of the Texas electric grid while millions continue to be told to conserve energy because of unexpected outages and demand. → Read More

Several Austin City Council members concerned about spending on homelessness services

The Austin City Council could vote as soon as Thursday to direct millions of dollars in federal pandemic relief funds to homelessness services. But several council members expressed concerns about the path forward and the city’s current spending on programs. → Read More

Democrats backed Dade Phelan for Texas House Speaker; What did they get in return?

AUSTIN (KXAN) — On Nov. 4, 2020, the day after Republicans cemented their control on the Texas Legislature – Beaumont Republican Dade Phelan announced he had the votes to become the next Speaker of the Texas House, in large part because of a block of support from Democratic members. “The race is over,” he said […] → Read More

10 cases of force used against protesters by Austin police expected to go before grand jury this fall

Travis County District Attorney Jose Garza plans to present 10 use-of-force cases to a grand jury this fall involving the Austin Police Department’s response to police brutality protests last year. → Read More

Permitless carry legislation on its way to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk

Rep. Joe Moody described visiting a school cafeteria with Gov. Greg Abbott where families of victims of the Walmart shooting waited for news. → Read More

Texas lawmakers make it easier for doctors to practice in other states

The bill aims to capitalize on regulatory relief granted to health care providers during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in terms of the expansion of telemedicine services. → Read More

Austin city manager expected to release list of potential approved homeless campsites on Friday

Austin City Manager Spencer Cronk is expected to present city council members with a list of potential city-sanctioned campsites on Friday, as the city scrambles to address a public camping ban that took effect earlier in the week. → Read More

Houston is praised for its homelessness strategy — it includes a camping ban

Houston receives national praise for cutting its homeless population in half over the past decade. Part of the approach includes a public camping ban. → Read More

What does the Colonial Pipeline cyber attack mean for Texas’ economy?

A prolonged shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline — shuttered after falling victim to a ransomware attack on Sunday — could send ripple effects through the Texas economy, according to energy experts. → Read More

Bill punishing cities that ‘defund police’ passes Texas House

A bill that would reduce funding for local governments that have decreased funding for local law enforcement passed the Texas House Friday. → Read More

Texas House passes statewide camping ban; how it would affect Austin’s response to Prop. B

House Bill 1925 would create a Class-C misdemeanor for individuals who knowingly camp in a public place and punish local governments that do not enforce the ban. → Read More

Democrats protest GOP election bills with voter obstacle course at the Texas Capitol

The protest focused on House Bill 6 and Senate Bill 7 which, together, would restrict early voting hours, the locations of polling locations, and mail-in ballots → Read More

These 5 ballot propositions could overhaul the structure of government and elections in Austin

The group Austinites for Progressive Reform is behind the bundle of proposals, most notably Proposition F which would replace the city manager with an elected "strong mayor" as the city's chief executive. → Read More

Texas distilleries push for end to Sunday sales prohibition

House Bill 937 would dismantle Texas’ remaining “blue laws” and allow distilleries and liquor stores to sell their products seven days a week → Read More

Rural lawmakers attempt to limit Austin’s enforcement of sound ordinances

Two out-of-town, Republican lawmakers have filed legislation that would limit the City of Austin’s ability to enforce sound ordinances in neighborhoods. → Read More

Austin launches summit to develop homelessness strategy

The City of Austin, in collaboration with non-profit organizations, philanthropists, and community advocates, launched a summit on Tuesday to develop a comprehensive implementation strategy to address homelessness. → Read More

Texas lawmakers try to retroactively shield health care providers from COVID-19 lawsuits

Legal experts question whether the legislature can implement a retroactive statute. → Read More

Three residential towers near Rainey Street could be approved in Austin this week

The Austin City Council could vote as soon as Thursday to approve three residential towers in the Rainey Street District. → Read More

State of Texas: Police reform bill hits ‘huge sticking point’ over qualified immunity for officers

AUSTIN (Nexstar) — This week, jury selection began for Derek Chauvin, the Minneapolis police officer charged in the death of George Floyd. The third-degree murder case is drawing attention to police reform and accountability in Texas. Last May, a video surfaced showing Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes, even after Floyd repeatedly […] → Read More

Mike Ramos Act would create new standards for officer discipline, release of body cam footage in Texas

The Mike Ramos Act --- named for the unarmed man who was killed by Austin police last year --- would create new standards for officer discipline and expand access to body camera footage in use of force cases. → Read More