local news

Texas Parks
2:05 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

Texas Parks And Wildlife Getting By With Help From Private Donations

Thanks to funding help, Bastrop State Park is recovering from the devastating fires.
Texas Parks and Wildlife

Last year Whole Earth Provision raised $30,000 for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and hopes to break its own record this year.

Texas State Parks suffered a tremendous drop in visitors in 2011 that was blamed on extreme heat, the drought and the devastating wildfires - especially in Bastrop State Park.

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City Council Elections
1:39 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

LGBT Group Endorses Candidates For City Election, Castro May Get Another Chance

San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro told the nation he supports marriage equality at the Democratic National Convention in Sept. 2012.
Ryan Loyd TPR News

The Stonewall Democrats of San Antonio are the only Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender organization of their kind in Bexar County to screen and endorse candidates for public office.

For endorsement consideration, candidates must fill out a questionnaire on issues like non-discrimination and during its recent review of candidates for the San Antonio City Council, 22 of the 39 candidates completed their questionnaires.

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Community Fitness
1:15 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

Pedal-Powered Siclovia Draws Record Attendance

A group of people participate in Zumba at a reclovía just outside of Lion's Field.
Joey Palacios TPR

On Sunday San Antonio’s Síclovía attracted thousands of people, who came out to play in the open street. The YMCA, who hosts the biannual event, said 45,000 people came out last October and this year about 65,000 people participated.

Síclovía has become a staple for the Spring and Fall seasons as Broadway Street is closed to traffic and cyclists, runners, roller bladers, and skate boarders make their way down the road without fear of vehicle traffic.

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Medicaid Expansion
12:44 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

Perry Meeting With Florida Governor Rick Scott At "Strategic Forum"

Perry and Florida Gov, Rick Scott could discuss Medicaid expansion, a possibility that some people think is encouraging for eventual expansion in Texas.
rickperry.org

Gov. Rick Perry is visiting West Palm Beach today to take part in roundtable discussion with Florida Gov. Rick Scott at what is being called the Palm Beach Strategic Forum.

Perry's office indicated that he is in the state to discuss his ideas about economic development, but the topic of Medicaid expansion is certainly a possibility. 

Texas Medical Association’s President Michael Spear said that much is encouraging:

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Texas Democrats
9:21 am
Mon April 8, 2013

Battleground Boerne: Democrats Enlist Castro To Help Break Republican Stronghold

Jim McGrody, president of the Kendall County Democratic Club, introduces Congressman Joaquín Castro.
Jack Morgan

  State Democrats are on the move to Turn Texas Blue, a campaign to turn around the last three decades of Republican domination.

The effort went local last week when Kendall County Democrats asked for input from Congressman Joaquín Castro.

Texas has voted Republican in the last nine general elections, and hasn’t elected a Democrat to a statewide office since the 1990s. Between the Tea-Partiers and Governor Rick Perry, Democrats are feeling the squeeze.

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West Side Revitalization
5:15 pm
Fri April 5, 2013

Old City Service Center On West Side Approved For Redevelopment

Urban revitalization continues on the West Side, with projects like the Birdsong Peanut Factory delopment, and this new project.
Ryan Loyd TPR

The City Council has voted to sell land it no longer needs so that it can be redeveloped into shops and businesses.

The location of the land is on South Zarzamora, where the service center that houses public works, fire and solid waste departments will close this summer. A new service center, currently under construction, will open up at West Commerce and Callaghan Road.

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Health In Schools
4:15 pm
Fri April 5, 2013

Senate Bill Requires School Districts To Post School Nurse Schedule Online

Though the bill passed with a unanimous vote from the committe, there were people who testified against it.
Chris Eudaily TPR

A bill that requires schools districts to notify parents when a school nurse will be on campus wins unanimous approval with the Senate Committee on Education. 

The bill is being carried by Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, and requires schools to post online for parents the days and times a nurse is available. Currently the average ratio of nurses to student is 1 to 861. 

Patti Quincy with the Texas Chapter of the American Federation of Teachers testified in favor of the bill.

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Early Education
3:26 pm
Fri April 5, 2013

Texas Educators In San Antonio To Soak Up Pre-K Ideas

Mayor Julian Castro gives impassioned Pre-K 4 SA speech to educators from around the state at the Texas Early Learning Innovation Summit at UTSA Downtown.
Eileen Pace TPR

Educators attending the Texas Early Learning Innovation Summit at UTSA today seemed eager to gather information from San Antonio to take back to their own communities.

Pre-K 4  SA is making strides on its facilities, staffing, and curriculum, and although San Antonio initiated the program through a sales tax, Fort Worth ISD Superintendent Walter Dansby said residents there may be looking for another way to fund a program.

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TEA Performance Ratings
1:55 pm
Fri April 5, 2013

New TEA Rating System: What Does It Mean To Be An "A" Student In An "F" School?

Ryan Poppe TPR News

State Sen. Leticia Van De Putte expressed her outrage and disappointment toward the Texas Education Agency commissioner and his re-vamped public schools rating system. 

Van De Putte said Education Commissioner Michael Williams’ reason for changing the school rating system from language of "acceptable or unacceptable" to a report card system of an "A through F" is an insult.

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State Budget
11:51 am
Fri April 5, 2013

House Passes $93 Billion Budget, Says No To Private School Vouchers

Though the House didn't fully restore education from the 2011 cuts, it did put $3.5 billion back.
Flickr user Phil Ostroff cc

The Texas House passed a $93.5 billion budget bill that bans state funding of school vouchers and open-enrollment charter schools and paves the way for accepting Medicaid expansion.

During the debate on the budget, Rep. Abel Herrero, D-Corpus Christi, introduced the amendment that prohibits the funding of school vouchers.

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