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City Government
11:51 am
Wed February 27, 2013

Mayor Castro Outlines Progress In State Of The City Address

Mayor Julian Castro talks to supporters following his annual State of the City address.
Ryan Loyd Texas Public Radio

Standing on a stage inside Ballroom A of the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center downtown, San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro began his annual State of the City address by joking that people should pick up a copy of Vogue.

The mayor and his brother, Congressman Joaquín Castro, are featured in the March edition of the trendy fashion magazine.

Before long Castro was into a list of items he and the city council have taken up over the last year:

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City Government
11:37 am
Wed February 27, 2013

Rey Saldaña Running For City Council Office (pun intended)

Dist. 4 Councilman Rey Saldaña (middle of the pack in red shirt), along with Mayor Julián Castro, runs to City Hall to champion the early education initiative, Pre-K 4 SA ahead of the November general election.
Ryan Loyd Texas Public Radio

The deadline for candidates to file for the San Antonio City Council elections is Friday. So far,  District 4 is the only office with no candidates listed.

The incumbent, Rey Saldaña, said that’ll change Thursday when he runs for the office, quite literally.

The Stanford graduate and former Stanford Cardinal baseball player will run seven and a half miles, do nearly 100 push-ups, 170 squats and finish with 10 burpees – a sort of squat-push up combo.

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NISD Student Locator Project
10:24 am
Wed February 27, 2013

Northside ISD Testing RFID Locators On School Buses

The inside of the RFID chip of John Jay sophomore Andrea Hernandez, who refused to wear the ID and brought suit against the district.
Joey Palacios TPR

Northside Independent School District has begun testing its radio frequency identification project on its buses. While the district has previously stressed that students are only tracked on the two campuses in the RFID pilot, the bus readers are not actively collecting data.

Out of its 850 buses, five special education buses in NISD now have the RFID readers installed. According to the district, that is to test functionality.

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Border & Immigration
7:07 am
Wed February 27, 2013

What Does A Secure Border Look Like? Congress Debates

Deppending on who you ask, the border is the most, or least, safe part of the United States.
Michel Marizco Fronteras

Border security is a critical part of comprehensive immigration reform, but a congressional hearing on Tuesday made it clear that there’s disagreement over what a secure border looks like. 

Since 9/11 he number of border agents has doubled on the southern border, 700 miles of fence was built and new technologies have been deployed like surveillance cameras and unmanned drones.

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Texas Medicaid
5:00 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Bexar County Commissioners Putting Pressure On Capitol To Expand Medicare

Local officials have some work to do to convince Gov. Perry and state lawmakers to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.
Ryan Loyd TPR News

Bexar County Commissioners adopted a resolution Tuesday supporting Medicaid expansion for Texas residents, but commissioners know they have some convincing to do in Austin.

Local leaders are sending a message to lawmakers -- and the governor.

Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff has been spending time in the state capital this year trying to convince lawmakers to stop referring to Medicaid expansion as "optional."

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Border Patrol
2:13 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

U.S. Customs Says Sequestration Cuts Will Hobble Border Trade

Sequestration info graphic outlining how budget cuts will affect Border Patrol.
Rep. Pete Gallego

If Congress isn’t able to avoid the automatic $2.4 trillion budget cuts of sequestration, then border protection and legitimate border traffic could suffer.

"Certainly, without question. If on March 1 -- if sequestration does happen -- the Border Patrol will have reduced capability," said Border Patrol Chief Michael Fisher testifying at a congressional hearing on border security on Tuesday.

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Child Abuse
1:10 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Childsafe Expanding Outreach To Include Physical Abuse And Neglect

Bexar County's only child advocacy center, ChildSafe, has announced a realignment to serve more children, but there are some challenges in the move.

For 23 years, ChildSafe has served child victims of sexual abuse, but the now it's expanding to provide services for children of physical abuse and neglect. The organization is one of the last advocacy centers in Texas to expand to this role.

President Kim Abernethy said she thinks that is because the center started with a major focus on sexual abuse.

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Military Spending
10:20 am
Tue February 26, 2013

Department Of Defense Furloughs Loom At Joint Base San Antonio

Federal furloughs at Joint Base San Antonio require 22 days over the course of six months.
Eileen Pace TPR

Joint Base San Antonio has been working with its civilian workers to communicate the military’s instructions if sequestration kicks in this Friday.

A 20 percent across-the-board cut includes furloughs of federal employees at all military bases across the country.

That’s the bad news. The good news is the furloughs are part-time.

Joint Base San Antonio Spokesman Brent Boller said the sequester will cut $1.2 trillion from government spending, and about half of that will be cuts in Department of Defense spending.

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Higher Education
9:15 am
Tue February 26, 2013

Alamo Colleges Showing High School Students Path To High-Paying Careers

Burbank High School Students aboard the Alamo Colleges' Mobile Go trailer.

The Alamo Colleges is taking its "Mobile Go" RV across City Council District 5 this week with a message of secondary education to high school seniors. The tour is aimed at getting students signed up for college before they walk the stage.  

Representatives from the Alamo Colleges told students they have good jobs waiting for them as soon as they complete programs such as the aircraft certification or an Associates Degree in other aviation fields.

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Museum Reach
7:25 am
Tue February 26, 2013

Updated (with pictures): Winds Damage F.I.S.H. Sculpture On Museum Reach

F.I.S.H. sculptural artwork by Donald Lipski was damaged in Monday's high winds.
Eileen Pace TPR

(Update: 12:35 p.m.) Staffers have cleaned up the fallen pieces and SARA now says they have re-opened the west bank side of the river.

The other side -- the wider east bank of the river -- is still closed so that crews with equipment can access the sculptures for assessment and repair. Visitors can use the stairways to go up to street level and back down again on the other side.

The damage noted by SARA: One of the fish fell down completely, one is barely hanging on and some of the other seven-foot-long sculptures were broken apart by the winds.

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