local news

Military Benefits
6:46 am
Fri February 1, 2013

New Bill Extends Benefits For Spouses Of Military Members Killed In Action

The state capitol has been busy in the new legislative session.
Flickr user TN Drum Guy cc

State Senator Leticia Van de Putte has introduced a bill to extend homeowner tax exemptions to spouses of military members killed in action.

If it is approved and becomes a law, it would be considered a constitutional amendment for voters to decide.

In 2009, legislation was passed allowing veterans who are fully disabled to get a property tax exemption. In 2011, legislation was passed allowing that exemption to be passed on to surviving spouses if that veteran passed away.

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Lackland Courts-Martial
5:45 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

Acquitted Air Force Instructor Gets Bad Conduct Discharge

The headquarters to the 37th Training Wing at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland where the base's legal offices and courtroom are housed.
Ryan Loyd Texas Public Radio

On Wednesday, Staff Sgt. Donald Davis was found not guilty of abusive sexual contact with a trainee, but after submitting its acquittal, the military jury learned that Davis pled guilty to having an unprofessional sexual relationship with a technical trainee prior to the start of the court-martial.

On Thursday the jury deliberated for about two hours before returning with a three-pronged sentence: A reduction in rank to E-3, three months’ hard labor and a bad conduct discharge. He could have received a prison sentence instead of the discharge.

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Texas Education
4:18 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

What Parents Should Know About Education Cuts

During the last year, Children at Risk conducted a comprehensive research study to provide an objective assessment of the impact of state budget cuts on Texas’ schools and students.
Children at Risk

Lawmakers cut $5.4 billion to public education during the last legislative session, which meant districts had to act fast.

"We have looked at turning lights off, adjusting air conditioning systems, redoing transportation bus routes," said North East ISD Superintendent Dr. Brian Gottardy, who said that 85 percent of his budget is education.

Gottardy didn't have to cut positions and instead reduced his staff through attrition, which still meant larger class sizes.

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Lackland Courts-Martial
9:42 am
Thu January 31, 2013

Lackland Instructor Acquitted On Reasonable Doubt

The sex scandal has rocked Lackland, and now lists 32 suspects and 59 alleged victims.
Eileen Pace TPR News

Staff Sgt. Donald Davis was charged with abusive sexual contact by touching a trainee and placing her in fear of her military career through the abuse of his authority. However, the defense argued the jury could not convict if there was reasonable doubt that the events occurred.

The military jury vote in the seventh court-martial indicated that the government had not met its burden of proof in the case.

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Developing
9:43 am
Wed January 30, 2013

No Word From Local Boy Scout Chapters On Policy Change... Yet

The Boy Scouts of America, one of the nation's largest youth organizations, is considering lifting their national ban on gay scouts and scoutmasters.
Flickr user born1945 Used creative commons

Boy Scouts of America leaders are weighing the possibility of lifting its ban on homosexual members and leaders, but a nation-wide policy could do little to nothing to effect change at local clubs throughout the country.

A statement by the organization said chartered clubs would accept membership and select leaders based on its mission, principles, or religious beliefs.

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Lackland Investigation
7:24 am
Wed January 30, 2013

Court-Martial Testimony: Culture Of Power Kept Trainee Silent

The headquarters to the 37th Training Wing at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland where the base's legal offices and courtroom are housed.
Ryan Loyd Texas Public Radio

A witness in the latest court-martial of a Lackland Air Force Base training instructor told a jury Tuesday that she was afraid to tell the instructor to stop touching her because he was her superior.

The command-directed investigation last fall found that command failures and gaps in institutional safeguards allowed a culture of abuse and secrecy to grow at Lackland.

Staff Sgt. Donald Davis is the seventh MTI to go to trial in the growing sex scandal at the nation’s Air Force boot camp training facility.

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Women In Combat
4:27 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

DOD Decision 'One More Opportunity' For Women In Uniform

Air Force recruiters are not sure how the DOD decision will affect military recruiting efforts.
Eileen Pace TPR

The Air Force is now working on implementing the policy change by the Department of Defense allowing women into combat roles. Coincidentally, 2013 marks the 20th anniversary of women being able to become combat pilots for the Air Force.

Christa D'Andrea is the chief of public affairs for the Air Force Recruiting Service at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph and served on active-duty for 11 years. She said the integration of women in these roles is the next logical step in the military.

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Bexar County
1:58 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

Cowboy Hat Is Back For Bexar Sheriff's Deputies

Bexar Co. Sheriff Susan Pamerleau sports her new "silver belly" gray Western hat, one of those on the new approved list for county deputies' headgear
Eileen Pace TPR

Bexar County Commissioners proclaimed Feb. 7 through Feb. 24 "Official Rodeo Season" and Feb. 7 as "Official Dress Western San Antonio Day."

To herald the official rodeo season and the cooler weather, Bexar County Sheriff Susan Pamerleau has issued an order proclaiming cowboy hats as officially approved headgear for sheriff’s deputies.

"Because it's tradition for Texas sheriffs. When I went to newly-elected sheriffs' school, I was probably one of the only ones who didn't have a cowboy hat on," Pamerleau said.

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Community Education
10:18 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Children's Museum Moving Out Of Downtown

The concept design for the new museum location on Broadway.
Craig McMahon Architects

The San Antonio Children’s Museum will be moving from its downtown location to Broadway and Mulberry, once construction on the massive-scale project is complete.

The project comes at a time when city leaders have focused their attention on revitalizing the urban core, but executive director Vanessa Lacoss Hurd doesn’t see it as leaving downtown.

“We see it about providing a more holistic campus and experience for what we want to accomplish with our mission,” she said.

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Community
2:46 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

"Tin Man" Is Coming Down In Alamo Heights

The "Tin Man" is now no longer an icon of Alamo Heights.
Bob Weston (c) All rights reserved Flickr

A symbol of pride in the Alamo Heights community for nearly 90 years, the old water tower that became known as “Tin Man” is being taken down.

"Here recently in 2010 the city constructed another water reservoir, another tank,” said Alamo Heights Public Works Director Patrick Sullivan.

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