local news

Eileen Pace

Bexar County commissioners Tuesday approved a nearly $1.7 billion budget for the next fiscal year.

Officials say higher property values allowed the county to lower the tax rate while increasing services for family justice, neighborhoods, and public safety.

County commissioners took a long look at a law enforcement budget request and in the end, approved the largest program change, according to Sheriff Susan Pamerleau, in anyone’s memory.

Bexar County

  

A family court judge is asking Bexar County to help fund a pilot program that would streamline cases in the family courts.  Judge Peter Sakai hopes to add two court managers and other elements to the program that will help connect the dots with other parts of the legal system.

The child abuse and neglect court in Bexar County accounts for $3.5 million a year in fees for court-appointed attorneys.

"And our system is second only to the total felony courts," Sakai said. 

Planned Parenthood

For years, the Planned Parenthood Association of Hidalgo County have served the women of their region by providing physicals, pap smears, mammograms, screening for cancer, HIV and sexually transmitted infections and treatment for diabetes, but not abortions.    

But CEO Patricio Gonzales says the stigma of being associated with abortions led to their board's decision to change the group's name to Access Esperanza, Inc. and split fully with Planned Parenthood.

A new study that uses stem cells to regenerate teeth is underway at the UT Health Science Center in San Antonio. 

 The study is looking at restoring the life of a damaged tooth and bringing the practice to the forefront as the go-to treatment to replace standard root canals, which cause affected teeth to die. 

 Dr. Anibal Diogenes, assistant professor of endodontics at the UT Health Science Center, said children are at risk for serious problems with their teeth, especially the front teeth.

Veterans Treatment Court, San Antonio

    

The Bexar County Veterans Treatment Court is reaching the end of its grant funding and its judge is calling on the county to fund the court's ongoing operation.

The court processes hundreds of veterans – many of whom have been awarded the Purple Heart or Bronze Star. It has been operating out of County Court 6 for the last four years, working with veterans accused of misdemeanor crimes to get them out of the offending cycle and help them back into productive lives. 

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