local news

Texas Legislature
10:04 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Senate Ends Week Passing Unemployment Drug Testing Bill

Both the House and Senate have started to pass bills in the 83rd Legislature, but nothing has made it to the governor's desk.
Ryan Poppe TPR News

Similar to the bill mandating welfare recipients be screened for drugs, this bill mandates that Texans receiving unemployment benefits also be drug-tested.

Sen. Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, authored the bill that would force all unemployment applicants to go through a drug-screening process with a counselor from the Texas Workforce Commission.

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San Antonio Tourism
5:04 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Bexar County Congressmen Introduce Mission Expansion Bill

The newly-restored Mission San Juan.
Eileen Pace TPR

As the Texas legislature takes up the possibility of forming a commission to look at what it would take to transform the area around the Alamo, U.S. congressional leaders are also making strides toward the future integrity of the Missions.

State Rep. Mike Villarreal is attempting to create the Alamo Museum District Commission, a group that would study how to honor the Alamo as a national treasure.

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Texas Drought
4:11 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

SAWS Program Will Help Homeowners Make Drought-Friendly Yard Changes

Lavender is a low-water use plant and is good for San Antonio landscapes.
Eileen Pace TPR

The San Antonio Water System board just approved a program that will help customers transform portions of their landscape to save water.

Though past landscape programs have required customers to make purchases up front to get a rebate, the new program issues a coupon before the purchase, giving households a discount on approved plants and a required amount of mulch at a local nursery.

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Tax Deadline
2:17 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

This Year Post Office Won't Stay Open Until Midnight On Tax Day

Chris Eudaily TPR

If you’re waiting until the last minute to file and mail your taxes, don’t expect to wait in line at the post office until Midnight on Monday, April 15, the last day to file with the Internal Revenue Service.

The post office will not be holding late night drop-off this year due to a decline in the number of people who use the service. With the expansion of e-filing, less and less tax filings are making it to the mail box.

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City Government
1:23 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Updated: Chan Recuses Herself From New Vote On Northside Library Location

Chan motioned for a new vote on Thursday without her participation.
Ryan Loyd TPR News

(Updated: 4/10/13 1:20 p.m.) Following some discussion, city council has postponed the vote on the library location until May.

District 1 Councilman Diego Bernal admonished city staffers, who knew the library location was next to Chan's business.

Chan gave an emotional statement before the council before leaving the dais so the rest of city council could discuss and decide on the issue.

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Natural Gas Exploration
12:34 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Environmental Groups Support & Oppose Fracking Water Recycling Bill

Regulations are struggling to keep up with the natural gas boom that is putting a strain on community and environmental resources.
South Texas Environmental Education and Research

A bill to ensuring that oil companies using fracking techniques are being held to environmental standards has passed out of the Natural Resources Committee and now heads to the House floor for a vote.

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Texas Legislature - Business
10:29 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Bill Encourages Space Exploration Companies To Make Texas Home

Texas could be next to get into private space exploration, the next frontier.
Chandra X-ray Observatory Smithsonian Institution

A bill that would make Texas the next state to possess a commercial rocket launch pad has been unanimously voted out of the Senate Economic Development Committee.

The bill, authored by Sen. Bob Deuell, R-Greenville, facilitates a way for space exploration companies to build and operate in Texas and provides matching funds as an incentive for these companies.

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Solar Power
9:37 am
Thu April 11, 2013

CPS Energy Plan To Change Solar Credit Rate Outrages Advocates

Though San Antonio is a leader in Texas solar power, the total amount of solar generated is still a small slice in the overall system.
Environment Texas

CPS Energy is replacing its solar credit system that pays solar energy users with another program that pays slightly less, leaving some solar energy organizations and customers outraged.

CPS Energy customers currently pay 9.9 cents per kilowatt used, but people with solar energy on their home or business receive the same 9.9 cents back as a credit on their bill for every kilowatt they generate in a process called net-metering.

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Texas Legislature
4:53 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

Senate Passes Bill Requiring Welfare Recipients To Be Drug Tested

Texas State Capitol in Austin.
Ryan Poppe TPR News

On a unanimous vote, a bill authored by Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, to require all welfare recipients to take a drug test passed the Texas Senate. 

The bill requires every Texas Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipient go through a drug-screen, which could include a one-on-one interview or questionnaire.

Nelson said her bill also provides $300 million towards rehab.

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SAISD Tutoring
4:08 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

TEA Disciplines Six Tutoring Agencies In Fraud Investigation

San Antonio Independent School District

After a complaint from the San Antonio Independent School District, the Texas Education Agency has suspended or put on probation several tutoring agencies that may have committed fraud.

SAISD filed its complaint in February, claiming several tutoring agencies were falsely submitting names of students they may not have tutored for reimbursement of more than $280,000.

The TEA maintains a list of more than 100 tutoring companies that are entitled to receive school district funds as part of the No Child Left Behind Act and parents choose from that list.

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