local news

West, Texas
4:35 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

Homes Destroyed, But School Back In Session In West

Lauren Silverman

Originally published on Mon April 22, 2013 4:15 pm

Only a railroad separated West’s intermediate school from the fertilizer plant that exploded last week. The blast destroyed that school -- and left three out of four West ISD campuses unusable. But many West students are going to finish the school year, just not in West. 

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Texas Legislature
3:03 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

State Of Texas Could Start Paying You 5 Cents For Your Empties

Chris Eudaily TPR

Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, said SB 645 will add a redeemable 5 cents on every beverage bottle sold in Texas - glass, aluminum or plastic. If the bill passes, Texas would join 10 other states who have such a program.

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Science, Technology, Engineering, Math
1:42 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

Toyota USA Foundation Gives Boost To STEM Education

Toyota brought its trucks to The Pearl Monday to highlight its press conference announcing a $100,000 grant for the CORE4 STEM competition
Eileen Pace TPR

The Toyota USA Foundation announced it will contribute $100,000 to the annual CORE4 STEM Expo for students studying science, technology, engineering, and math.

toyota USA National Vice-President Pat Pineda said by 2018, 1.2 million STEM jobs will go unfilled.

"That’s because we don’t have enough people that have the requisite skills, and I think unfortunately we all know that this is a particularly acute problem in the Latino community," Pineda said.

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West, Texas
9:44 am
Mon April 22, 2013

Leading State Environmental Activist Critical Of West Plant, TCEQ

Luke Metzger, director of Environment Texas
Environment Texas

State environmental group are calling for a thorough investigation of the fertilizer plant in the town of West following the fire and explosion that killed 14 people and injured about 200.

Luke Metzger, the executive director for Environment Texas, said there were too many glaring defects at the West fertilizer plant for someone not to notice.

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Northside ISD
4:41 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

Northside Enrolls Record Kindergartners, To Hit 100,000 Students In Fall

Northside ISD

As the Northside Independent School District ends its coordinated kindergarten registration, the district is expected to hit record enrollment for five year olds and finally top more than 100,000 students beginning next year.

When schools starts this fall the district will have 101,600 students.  

For the past week the district has been encouraging parents to enroll their five year olds for the 2013-14 school year. Northside expects to enroll a record 7,700 kindergartners, which spokesman Pascual Gonzalez said it is a barometer for future years.

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West, Texas Relief
3:36 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

UT Health Science Center Professor Helping Oversee Fatality Response Team In West

Relief has been pouring in from across the state.
@sdotmaterson Instagram

Dr. Emily Kidd, an assistant professor in the Department of Emergency Health at the UT Health Science Center, said she was in West from midnight Wednesday to 4 a.m. Thursday to assist at the scene of the explosion.

Kidd said she was impressed with what local responders had been able to do in such a short period of time:

"Initially I thought that we were going to be seeing a lot of patients, however, by the time I arrived, the far majority of the patients had actually already been triaged, treaded and transported to area hospitals," Kidd said.

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Texas Legislature - Transportation
12:12 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

Could A $30 Vehicle Registration Increase Be The Answer To Road Construction?

Are increased fees for vehicle registration going to solve the road maintenance problem?
Chris Eudaily TPR

A bill in the Texas House calls for an increase in vehicle registration fees in order to help fix Texas roads and pay down debt. 

Rep. Drew Darby, R- San Angelo, said his bill does away with fund diversions by reallocating the portion of the state’s highway fund that currently goes towards the DMV and DPS and has that money go toward road construction.

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Texas Legislature
9:38 am
Fri April 19, 2013

Republicans Remove "Global Warming" From Environmental Bill

The United States pollution pie in 2006. Each slice represents a different state.
Anonymous IBM Many Eyes

House Bill 788 will allow the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to issue permits for greenhouse gas emissions, but a last minute change to the bill removed the phrase, "climatic changes, including global warming."

Rep. Chris Turner, D-Arlington, initially supported the bill until this change in wording.

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Travel
5:10 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

Homeland Security-Approved System Lets You Jump To Front Of Security Line

the CLEAR card.
CLEARme.com

Travelers departing the San Antonio airport will soon have another way to get through security faster. A private program will allow travelers to be vetted once for all departing flights from participating airports.

It’s  a new program just approved by Homeland Security called CLEAR, which allows those approved to jump to the front of the line at the TSA security check. CLEAR members still have to take off their shoes and go through security.

San Antonio Airport spokesman Rich Johnson said it’s simple to apply:

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West, Texas Fertilizer Explosion
2:33 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

Fertilizer Plant Failed To Get Reauthorized

Gov. Perry at press conference this afternoon addressing the explosion in West, Texas.
Ryan Poppe TPR News

Gov. Rick Perry said details are coming in about the destruction in West, Texas and there is still an on-going search and rescue effort for missing families near the blast site.

"We know there were 75 residencies that are either going to have minor to substantial damage, up to and including being pushed off their slabs, and you have a school that has a substantial amount of damage," Perry said.

In 2006 the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality was called out to the plant.

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