Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 12:54 pm
The number of state employees let go this year was down dramatically compared to 2011, according to a report from the State Auditor's Office. But that’s mainly because so many people lost their jobs last year, after lawmakers slashed the two-year state budget by $14 billion.
Those cuts led to a round of government layoffs: 1,225 people lost their jobs last year as the result of a "reduction in force," the bureaucratic term used to label job cuts caused by budget reductions. This year, that number was 96. A lot of people were fired for other reasons, but the number of state employees "involuntarily" laid off still dropped by more than 15 percent compared to last year.
A coalition of the state’s major metro counties has an agenda to convince legislators that a sea-change is needed in rehabilitating jail and prison inmates.
The Offender Re-entry Council has been working to lower costs of criminal justice, reduce recidivism, and improve public safety, but in the early- to mid-90s, the talk around Texas was of jail overcrowding and building more prisons.
While children all over San Antonio spent Christmas at home with family, others spent the holiday in the hospital. It’s not the ideal place for a solemn celebration, so San Antonio’s Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller brought a little Christmas spirit to them.
Through prayer, Archbishop Gustavo, as he likes to be called, went from room to room at Christus Santa Rosa Children’s Hospital downtown.
Residents at the San Antonio Children’s Shelter will be treated to a special Christmas “just like home” this year. Community organizations brought in truckloads of toys and volunteered their time for the kids.
The San Antonio Children’s Shelter usually has upwards of 50 children staying at the center, who usually come from homes in crisis. CEO Annette Rodriguez said the holidays are a sad time of the year for many of the kids.
The founder of the Elf Louise Christmas Project, one of the city’s most notable Christmas charities for children, spent some time healing in a local hospital on Monday.
The name of Louise Locker, AKA “Elf Louise” has become synonymous with cheer at Christmas time and getting presents to those children who otherwise might not have much -- or anything -- under their tree.
Locker, who successfully battled cancer in 2010, had a mild heart attack Sunday evening, and by 3 a.m. Monday she was on Facebook updating her status and complimenting the great staff.
The city has concluded work on a project it started ten months ago to address drainage on Old Highway 90 along Westwood Village Creek. Many other projects from the 2007-2012 bond program are also nearing completion.
On Friday, motorists in the Loop 1604 and Hwy. 281 corridors received an early Christmas gift in the form highway connectors. The Alamo Regional Mobility Authority has opened the last two connectors for the first phase of the project; westbound and eastbound 1604 onto 281 south both opened to traffic at noon.
You may be trying to catch up on a few last minute things this weekend and not had time to check, so here is a list of city services that will have alternate schedules for the holidays. City Hall and most municipal offices will be closed Monday, Dec. 24, 2012 through Tuesday, Jan. 1. but emergency services like SAPD and SAFD will be open.