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South San ISD
4:06 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

South San ISD Names Fifth Superintendent In Three Years

South San Board President Helen Madla signs the contract for newly hired superintendent Abelardo Saavedra (center)
Joey Palacios TPR News

The South San Independent School District has a new superintendent after a fierce discussion last night where two board members voted against the measure over salary. Abelardo Saavedra is the fifth person to take charge of the district in three years.

In a 4-2 vote, South San’s Board of Trustees hired former Houston ISD Superintendent Abelardo Saavedra. The opposition to the salary came from board members Rose Marie Martinez and Joseph Savage.

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Fronteras
1:43 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Energy Boom, Light Pollution Threaten Astronomy In West Texas

A glow over the northern horizon at McDonald Observatory near Ft. Davis,Texas. The light is generated by round-the-clock oil and gas operations in the Permian Basin.
Bill Wren

Fronteras: The energy boom in Texas and New Mexico is inadvertently compromising the jet-black night skies that astronomers need to do their research. After several decades in the doldrums, the Mexican film industry is seeing some light on the horizon. There’s been a rise of federal immigration crimes -- we speak to an expert from Pew Research about what’s driving that growth. Farmers and ranchers from across the nation are calling for action on immigration reform and the Texas Farm Bureau is asking Congress to “get ‘er done” to help farmers compete.

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Equal Pay Laws
1:33 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Dewhurst Says He Would Let Equal Pay Bill Go To Senate Vote

Dewhurst campaign video

Incumbent Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst has said he would allow another equal pay law to go before lawmakers for a vote, but a political expert says those comments may hurt Dewhurst during the May runoff election.

Following his speech in Arlington to a group of Republican women, Dewhurst, who as lieutenant governor allowed an equal pay for women bill to make it to the Senate floor for a vote, told WFAA-TV that if he won this year's election he would once again move the bill through the process.

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KPAC Blog
12:57 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Prepare To Be Blown Away By The String Trio Coming To Boerne

Time for Three.
Amanda Reynolds

The Boerne performing arts series continues on Tuesday and I caught up with one of the performers, Zachary De Pue from the band Time for Three, a band whose music is difficult to classify. De Pue said all the members attended the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.

“And we met there and jammed together outside of our classical studies and training," he said. "Each one of us, in addition to classical music, had a background in different styles.”

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Texas Matters
12:54 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

What Will We Learn From New Transparency In Privately-Run Texas State Jails?

Flickr User: 710928003 cc

Texas Matters: A court has ruled that privately-run jails are, in effect, governmental bodies when it comes to Texas open records law, so what will be uncovered from the new level of transparency that these institutions must follow? Will the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association be ready to pay out in the event of a destructive hurricane? Also on this show: Whooping crane populations along the coast and a new ocelot kitten in South Texas.

Privately-run jails must now open up records

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Arts & Culture
11:49 am
Fri March 21, 2014

Briscoe Adds An Outdoor Gallery

Denny Haskew, Strength of the Maker & Sandy Scott, Equus Found
Alamo Photographic

The Briscoe Western Art Museum just added another gallery and this one is outdoors. The grand opening of the one-third acre McNutt Courtyard on the east end of the Briscoe’s Market Street museum on Thursday morning unveiled eight western sculptures.

I spoke to the museum’s Executive Director Steven Karr about the process for finding the sculptures.

“It was really trying to find pieces that were emblematic of the American West,” Karr said.

Emblematic, but, Karr hopes, not necessarily what you’d expect.

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Community
11:13 am
Fri March 21, 2014

City Planning Future Of Plaza De Armas, While Preserving Its Past

The exterior of Plaza de Armas. The complex sits in the shadows of City Hall downtown.
Ryan Loyd TPR News

Once a military training ground, the Plaza de Armas building near City Hall is entering a new phase of its historic life.

On Thursday, city council members approved an amendment to the design-and-build contract, increasing the project's cost by $1.4 million for a total of $11 million. The council also voted in favor of Executive Chef Chuck Hernandez's restaurant, O'liva, being located within the complex of Plaza de Armas.

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Water Resources
4:47 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

LCRA Board Approves Money For Major Downstream Reservoir Project In Wharton County

LCRA hearing in Nov. 2013 to decide on raising the lake level threshold for the Highland Lakes.
Ryan Poppe TPR News

 The Board of Directors for the Lower Colorado River Authority has approved the next phase of a downstream reservoir that will capture some of the water heading to Matagorda Bay.

This week, the LCRA board approved spending $17 million that will go toward finalizing the design of the reservoir in Wharton County.

The LCRA’s Clara Tuma said the reservoir in the lower basin will provide fresh water to the Gulf Coast bays, as well as Texas rice farmers on the coastal plains.

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Texas Public Schools
4:01 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

TEA Approves Use Of Tablet Applications During 8th Grade STAARS Math Exam

Officials with the Texas Education Agency say 8th graders this year will be allowed to use calculator apps on a tablet during the math portion of their State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness end-of-course exam.

While to some it may not seem like a big deal, Debbie Ratcliffe with the TEA says it is, especially considering that no other standardized tests allow the use of apps during testing.

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World Music at SXSW
3:41 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Austin Group Atash Brings The Sounds Of The World To Texas

Alejandro Moreno-Alanis

Atash is a multi-cultural band based in Austin, so for them, lodging wasn’t an issue at the jam-packed South By Southwest festival. The members are from Iran, India, West Guinea, Africa, Cuba, Mexico and the United States. We started out talking about the band members, and also got into the subject of Islam and music during our interview.

Deirdre Saravia: "Mohammad, tell me about yourself, where do you come from?"

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