local news

Veterans Affairs
4:04 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

Van De Putte Says State Should Focus On Current Veteran Health Care Needs

Credit U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

State Sen. Leticia Van De Putte, D-San Antonio, said the state need not focus on Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki's resignation. She said the state’s role in the VA backlog will be getting veterans to doctors while the federal system is being fixed.

Van De Putte, who chairs the Texas Senate Veteran Affairs and Military Installations Committee, said she agrees with other assessments that Shinseki has been too much of a distraction while the federal government attempts to fix the VA’s system for setting medical appointments.

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Texas Politics
1:20 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

Texas GOP Chairman Defends Decision On Gay Republican Groups

Credit Republican Party of Texas

Two Republican groups that support equal rights for the LGBT community are rallying support to have the Republican Party of Texas change its official platform on same-sex marriage and other LGBT issues.

This week the Log Cabin Republicans of Texas and the Metroplex Republicans were denied permission to have a booth at the Texas GOP convention in Fort Worth. The two group's stance on LGBT issues put them in contrast to the official Texas GOP 2012 platform:

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Early Education
10:03 am
Fri May 30, 2014

Child Advocacy Group Says 60% Of Texas School Children Would Benefit From All-Day Pre-K

San Antonio's Pre-K 4 SA, an all-day pre-K program, opens its final two education centers this fall.
Credit Ryan Loyd / TPR News

Houston-based Children at Risk spent a day at the capitol Thursday to update state lawmakers on the benefits of all-day pre-K programs.

"One of the things we know is that 60 percent of Texas school children are low income," said Children at Risk President Dr. Bob Sanborn. "And the research is pretty clear that when you have low-income kids, if you have a high-quality pre-K program they’re going to start kindergarten in a better way, at a more advanced level."

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2014 Election
2:40 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Though They Opposed Him In The Primary, Business Leaders Now Get Behind Dan Patrick

Credit Dan Patrick campaign

Business leaders across the state of Texas are hoping they can convince Dan Patrick, the Republican nominee for lieutenant governor, to work with them on their agenda of providing more money for roads and water.   

During the Republican primary and runoff election, groups like the Texas Association of Business threw their support behind incumbent Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, even going as far as to say Republican voters made the wrong choice with Patrick as the nominee.

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2014 Election
9:44 am
Thu May 29, 2014

Texas Republicans Will Decide On Guest Worker Inclusion At June Convention

Credit Republican Party of Texas

Now that the Republican Party of Texas has formed it’s ticket for the fall elections the party is looking toward their convention in June, which is where they will decide on a platform.

State Sen. Dan Patrick, the Republican nominee for lieutenant governor, and other highly influential groups like the Texas Eagle Forum have said they support removing a guest-worker program from the platform. But the inclusion of a guest-worker program has the support of major business groups and party chairman Steve Munisteri.

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Bexar County Commissioner
1:56 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Calvert & Wilson Win Party Nominations For Precinct 4 Commissioners Court

Tommy Calvert gives his acceptance speech for the Democratic nomination.
Joey Palacios TPR News

The race for the Precinct 4 Bexar County Commissioners Court seat is now narrowed down to two people:  Kirby Mayor Tim Wilson and KROV-FM General Manager Tommy Calvert.

Wilson held a small lead over Windcrest Mayor Alan Baxter with the early voting results and kept that narrow margin to the end, winning the Republican spot with just under 52 percent of the vote. Wilson said if he is elected during the mid-term election, his first move would be the elimination of projects like the streetcar system.

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Agriculture
1:11 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Olive Oil Is Far From Being The Next Boom In Texas, But The Industry Is Growing

Vineyards at Bella Vista Ranch in Wimberley.
Ryan E. Poppe TPR News

In the last five years the number of olive trees in Texas has increased rapidly, but even with tremendous growth several farmers say it’s not enough to call it the next oil boom.

Jim Henry, a pioneer in farming olives and founder of the Texas Olive Oil Council, said in the mid-1990s there were only a handful of trees, but in 2010 that number jumped to over 800,000. Today, Henry said, there are just over a million olive trees in Texas, which in 2013 produced an estimated 30,000-40,000 gallons of oil.

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2014 Election
12:38 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

Tea Party Influence May Dissipate In General Election

Credit Chris Eudaily / TPR News

The Texas Republican primary and runoff elections have been dominated by tea party values, but once the votes are in and a full Republican ticket is formed, will candidates move back to the center?  

Without even looking at the runoff election returns, Professor Mark P. Jones, who heads up the political science department at Rice University in Houston, said the tea party is already a winner in Texas.

"The tea party issues have really defined the terms of this campaign," Jones said.

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Community
10:22 am
Tue May 27, 2014

One Year After Major Flooding, All But 5 Espada Families Have Moved Away

The 100-year floodplain around Mission Espada.
Credit San Antonio River Authority

It was one year ago last weekend that torrential rains flooded much of Central and South San Antonio. The storms killed three, stranded dozens, left thousands without power and displaced more than two dozen families on the San Antonio River.

A year after the devastation, many of those residents have now moved away from the only home their families had known for more than 100 years.

Homeowners near the Espada Mission said they had never seen nine feet of water before, but the water rose within an hour, and 27 families lost everything.

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Border & Immigration
9:53 am
Tue May 27, 2014

"Inhumane" Conditions Reported At Temporary Immigrant Holding Facility In McAllen

Credit U.S. Border Patrol

Overcrowding and disease at a temporary immigration detention center in McAllen has the U.S. Border Patrol themselves calling on congress for humanitarian aid. 

Because of the McAllen facility's temporary status, capacity is about 300. But this past week Border Patrol agents brought in 1,000 immigrants and the situation has Chris Cabrera with the local Border Patrol agent's union calling on Congress for help.

"It’s a humanitarian-type deal as far as seeing these people going through what they’re going through just because we don’t have any bed space,” Cabrera said.

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