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Texas Legislature
10:04 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Senate Ends Week Passing Unemployment Drug Testing Bill

Both the House and Senate have started to pass bills in the 83rd Legislature, but nothing has made it to the governor's desk.
Ryan Poppe TPR News

Similar to the bill mandating welfare recipients be screened for drugs, this bill mandates that Texans receiving unemployment benefits also be drug-tested.

Sen. Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, authored the bill that would force all unemployment applicants to go through a drug-screening process with a counselor from the Texas Workforce Commission.

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Classical Spotlight
9:33 am
Fri April 12, 2013

YOSA On The (Fun) Run With Beethoven

Angel Whitley and Steven Payne at TPR
Chris Eudaily/TPR

YOSA (Youth Orchestras of San Antonio) are usually on the move, but this weekend, they hope you will join them in a 5k/10k fun run. This is the second year the group has led a "Beat Beethoven's Fifth" race and they are joined by Fleet Feet Sports San Antonio, as well as Texas Public Radio, for the event Saturday morning.

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City Council
9:12 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Council Postpones Library Vote To Consider Bigger Ethical Issue

Councilwoman Elisa Chan speaks to Councilman Reed Williams during a December city council meeting.
Ryan Loyd Texas Public Radio

The San Antonio City Council followed the lead of District 1 Councilman Diego Bernal Thursday to hold off on a vote about a proposed library branch on the city’s north side.

The 10 members and Mayor Julián Castro initially voted to approve the project at its April 4 meeting, but District 9 Councilwoman Elisa Chan, who represents the district where the library is proposed, asked for the item to be brought back to council. This time she recused herself from the process.

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Classical Spotlight
9:10 am
Fri April 12, 2013

SOLI Is Surreal For McNay Exhibit

SOLI Chamber Ensemble
Courtesy of the artist

While SOLI Chamber Ensemble typically performs 10 to 12 times a season on their subscription series, this year has allowed audiences to hear them a few more times in special settings. This weekend the modern quartet, recognized in January by ASCAP for their adventurous programming, collaborates with the McNay Art Museum for a program called SO(LI) Surreal, based on their visiting Whitney Art Museum exhibit Real/Surreal

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San Antonio Tourism
5:04 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Bexar County Congressmen Introduce Mission Expansion Bill

The newly-restored Mission San Juan.
Eileen Pace TPR

As the Texas legislature takes up the possibility of forming a commission to look at what it would take to transform the area around the Alamo, U.S. congressional leaders are also making strides toward the future integrity of the Missions.

State Rep. Mike Villarreal is attempting to create the Alamo Museum District Commission, a group that would study how to honor the Alamo as a national treasure.

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Texas Drought
4:11 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

SAWS Program Will Help Homeowners Make Drought-Friendly Yard Changes

Lavender is a low-water use plant and is good for San Antonio landscapes.
Eileen Pace TPR

The San Antonio Water System board just approved a program that will help customers transform portions of their landscape to save water.

Though past landscape programs have required customers to make purchases up front to get a rebate, the new program issues a coupon before the purchase, giving households a discount on approved plants and a required amount of mulch at a local nursery.

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Tax Deadline
2:17 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

This Year Post Office Won't Stay Open Until Midnight On Tax Day

Chris Eudaily TPR

If you’re waiting until the last minute to file and mail your taxes, don’t expect to wait in line at the post office until Midnight on Monday, April 15, the last day to file with the Internal Revenue Service.

The post office will not be holding late night drop-off this year due to a decline in the number of people who use the service. With the expansion of e-filing, less and less tax filings are making it to the mail box.

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City Government
1:23 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Updated: Chan Recuses Herself From New Vote On Northside Library Location

Chan motioned for a new vote on Thursday without her participation.
Ryan Loyd TPR News

(Updated: 4/10/13 1:20 p.m.) Following some discussion, city council has postponed the vote on the library location until May.

District 1 Councilman Diego Bernal admonished city staffers, who knew the library location was next to Chan's business.

Chan gave an emotional statement before the council before leaving the dais so the rest of city council could discuss and decide on the issue.

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Natural Gas Exploration
12:34 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Environmental Groups Support & Oppose Fracking Water Recycling Bill

Regulations are struggling to keep up with the natural gas boom that is putting a strain on community and environmental resources.
South Texas Environmental Education and Research

A bill to ensuring that oil companies using fracking techniques are being held to environmental standards has passed out of the Natural Resources Committee and now heads to the House floor for a vote.

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Texas Legislature - Business
10:29 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Bill Encourages Space Exploration Companies To Make Texas Home

Texas could be next to get into private space exploration, the next frontier.
Chandra X-ray Observatory Smithsonian Institution

A bill that would make Texas the next state to possess a commercial rocket launch pad has been unanimously voted out of the Senate Economic Development Committee.

The bill, authored by Sen. Bob Deuell, R-Greenville, facilitates a way for space exploration companies to build and operate in Texas and provides matching funds as an incentive for these companies.

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