local news

Texas Legislature
4:19 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

2013 Budget Bill Passes With Only Two Opposing Votes

Texas State Capitol in Austin.
Ryan Poppe TPR News

Texas lawmakers approved a bill that replaces funds taken from public education and mental health providers but changes the structure of the state’s Medicaid.

The senate voted 29 to 2 in favor of the budget, with Senators Silvia Garcia, D-Houston, and Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, voting against the bill.

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Texas Veterans
2:50 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Bills Filed To Help Veterans Use Military Certification To Find Work

State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte is pushing to make military certifications easier to transfer into civilian life.
Office of State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte

A set of bills in both the Texas House and Senate are there to ensure that the state’s veterans are able to use military training to obtain jobs. 

Sen. Leticia Van de Putte authored the bill that ensures training and certifications obtained by veterans and their spouses while serving in the military immediately transfer with them into civilian life. 

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Fiesta 2013
5:52 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Convention And Visitors Bureau Campaigning To Fill Hotels For Fiesta Week

Eileen Pace TPR

The San Antonio Convention and Visitors Bureau is kicking off a new campaign to increase occupancy at area hotels during Fiesta week.

Krystal Jones, senior brand manager for the bureau, said locals often don’t try to book hotels, thinking they’re booked up long in advance.

"Fiesta, of course, is a busy time, and a lot of locals come and enjoy Fiesta. And automatically you think there might not be room at the hotels but we do have availability. We sit at about 70 percent," she said.

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Teacher Training
5:25 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Google Grant Awarded To TIER Program At Northwest Vista College

The Texas Institute for Educational Robotics (TIER) at Northwest Vista College has been awarded a grant from the Google Computer Sciences for High School program.

TIER is an outreach program at Northwest Vista College to get younger students interested in pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering and math and was awarded the money to give middle school teachers a gaming-type tool to use in teaching their regular classes.

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Local Business
5:05 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Port San Antonio Launches Food Truck Court

Spice Sea food truck is in rotation at Port San Antonio
Eileen Pace TPR

Even though thousands of workers file into different businesses at Port San Antonio every day, there have been relatively few places for them to go for lunch.

As of early March, gourmet foods, burgers and ethnic specialties are offered at the Port in the form of the newest food truck court. Each Tuesday and Thursday at the corner of General Hudnell and Billy Mitchell Boulevard the trucks park for lunch.

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Economy & Jobs
3:48 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Local Economists Say San Antonio Has Bounced Back From Recession

The increase in housing development, like the one at the former Birdsong Peanut Factory on the West Side is helping San Antonio continue to recover economically.
Ryan Loyd TPR

San Antonio economists told members of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce that San Antonio recovered from the recession faster because it didn’t suffer as great an impact as the rest of the nation, or even Texas.

Keith Phillips with the local branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, said metropolitan statistical area's in Texas have recovered all of the jobs lost in the recession, and San Antonio suffered the least:

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Abortion Legislation
2:30 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Debate On Abortion Clinic Standards Touches Off Shouting Match

Texas State Capitol in Austin, where legislators and supporters/opponents are debating proposed legislation.
Ryan Poppe TPR News

A bill requiring higher standards for abortion providers has made it out of the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services and is now on the senate floor for full review.

The discussion on the matter of requiring abortion providers to have a similar setup as surgical office quickly escalated from a civil conversation to a yelling match between the author of the bill, Sen. Bob Duell, R-Greenville, and Virginia Brawn, who owns a North Texas women's clinic.

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Construction
12:56 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

San Antonio And Texas Lead Nation In Construction Job Growth

Texas A&M University-San Antonio is one example of continued construction success in San Antonio through the recession
Eileen Pace TPR

The Associated General Contractors of America reports that Texas leads the nation in the increase of construction jobs.

It's a sign of an economic comeback for the state, and one local construction executive believes San Antonio’s commercial building industry is outpacing the rest of the state.

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Pre-K 4 SA Implementation
11:52 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Pre-K 4 SA Update: Board Putting Pieces In Place In Time For May Enrollment

Mayor Castro and former San Antonio mayors joined to support the Pre-K 4 SA initiative ahead of the November election.
Ryan Loyd Texas Public Radio

The Pre-K 4 SA board members are regularly seen gathering together around City Hall to work out hiring procedures, student enrollment and how the education centers will be managed.

On Tuesday the board voted to keep the language in its job description for the professional development director as "preferred" master’s degree. Board member Bob Bevard suggested the word "preferred" diminishes the applicant pool.

Chair Elaine Mendoza said the board can assess what kind of candidates apply before deciding to amend the description to "required."

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San Antonio Poet Laureate
10:13 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Poet Laureate Carmen Tafolla To Speak In Bordeaux, France

Dr. Carmen Tafolla, reading from her book, Rebozos, in the TPR studio
Chris Eudaily TPR News

San Antonio’s poet laureate is on her way this week to Bordeaux, France, to perform at the International Conference on Interlanguage.

Dr. Carmen Tafolla’s poetry has been heard in countries all over the world, but she said she was invited to the linguistic conference based on her mastery of code-switching. She says this is the natural progression of language, and it happens all the time:

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