An estimated six people are confirmed dead in Hidalgo County due to the flu -- one pediatric and five adult -- as the flu and flu-like illnesses continue to make their way around the country.
Flu deaths are difficult to confirm as the Texas Department of State Health Services does not require adult deaths to be reported, but Hidalgo County Public Affairs Director Karina Cardoza said the county monitored local clinics on their own.
A new law going into 2014 says applicants will no longer be required to provide a social security number when applying for or renewing a concealed handgun license. The new law was authored by state Rep. Lyle Larson, R-San Antonio.
So what does this mean for the general public and those in the CHL business?
"Some people were just concerned about providing all their personal information," said Michael Cargill, who owns Central Texas Gun Works and is a CHL instructor. "You really don’t need a social security number to do a background check on someone."
The city of San Antonio is looking for its top wordsmith. The pay isn’t great, but according to Dr. Carmen Tafolla, the gig is.
"It is a wonderful, wonderful experience," said Tafolla, San Antonio's current poet laureate whose reign is nearing the end. She said she thinks highly of the city that allowed her the honor to represent it.
"We are very, very fortunate to be in a city that recognizes the power of poetry, the power of words, and its ownership by the community," Tafolla said.
Fronteras: Remember those hard-shelled, spicy ground beef tacos that populated American kitchens a few decades ago? That's not the taco of today. Today it's grilled fish, kosher beef, Korean barbeque and fried eggs. We’re talking all things taco: From the evolution of the taco and how breakfast tacos are a morning staple close to the heart in South Texas, to Kosher tacos and tacos in the Navajo Nation.
*This show is a replay of the August 23, 2013 episode of Fronteras.
Texas Matters: Residents in North Texas are dealing with the increased frequency of small earthquakes that some people are linking to oil and gas drilling in the area. State Rep. Mike Villarreal talks about the possible conflict of interest with William White, who as chair of the Texas Finance Commission is also vice president of a payday loan company. Also on this show: Population growth in Texas and the Kallison ranching family.
San Antonio District 4 Councilman Rey Saldaña has sent a letter to the Texas Education Agency asking it to investigate the South San Independent School District in light of numerous complaints from concerned parents and citizens.
The district is already on the TEA’s radar, but Saldaña is calling for a full investigation. In a two-page letter, Saldaña cites mismanagement of federal and state money, governance concerns, and the academic performance of students as the reason for his request. Although the city has cannot govern the district, Saldaña wants the state to intervene.
The Symphony of the Hills will soon be playing a pops concert in Kerrville.
"The title of this concert is America’s Favorite Music," said Conductor and Artistic Director Jay Dunnahoo, and he’s not kidding. The Symphony of the Hills’ January 11 concert at the Cailloux Theater runs the gamut of American music.
As Dunnahoo explained, the concert starts out with this one:
"'The Colonel Bogey March,' which is the music from the 'Bridge over the River Kwai,'" he said.
You may remember it as the popular song where the tune is kept by whistling.
Starting Jan. 1, 2014, the state will lower how much they charge bars and restaurants with the Texas Mixed Beverage Tax, which decreased from 14 percent down to 7 percent, but those purchasing a mixed drink will face a new surcharge of 8.25 percent, the same tax that is charged for the sale of beer and wine.
Austin businessman Bob Woody, who owns a restaurant, five brewpubs and a bar, said the new law will greatly benefit lounges and restaurants because the bill directly shows the new surcharge, but it may be problematic for high-volume bars.
Bexar County Tax Assessor-Collector Albert Uresti has announced a multi-million dollar delinquent tax collection.
Taxing jurisdictions in Bexar County, including Northside ISD and the City of San Antonio, will be getting their share of more than $5 million after The Dominion Park Apartments on Fredericksburg Road paid its delinquent tax bill.
Uresti said the multi-family housing complex owed that amount in back taxes after its efforts failed to gain an exemption as a community housing development organization (CHDO) over a period of five years, from 2008 to 2012.