local news

Veteran Employment
11:13 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Senate Committee Looks At Rising Veteran Unemployment Rate

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for Texas veterans is on the rise. In 2012 the unemployment rate for Texas vets was 8.3 percent, but that number has risen in 2013 to 8.7 percent, the national average is at 9 percent.

The Senate Committee on Veteran Affairs and Military Installations is focusing on what state agencies can do to improve these rates.  

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Texas Politics
10:14 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Castro And Patrick Spar Over Immigration, Build Political Capital For The Future

San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro speaks to the press after the immigration debate at the Univision41 studios.
Credit David Martin Davies / TPR News

While Congress is showing no signs of moving forward on passing comprehensive immigration reform, the complicated issue was spotlighted Tuesday night in a heated debate between state Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, and San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro.

Patrick and Castro aren’t running against each other for political office; Castro isn’t running for anything right now.

Patrick is running for what many call the most powerful job in Texas, lieutenant governor, and he’s doing it with ads like this:

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Law
11:17 am
Tue April 15, 2014

Grand Jury Named In Perry Coercion Trial

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Senior State Judge Bert Richardson from San Antonio has helped select 12 jurors in Travis County and two alternates to preside over a special grand jury tasked with determining whether to indict Gov. Rick Perry on criminal charges. 

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Environment
10:13 am
Tue April 15, 2014

Under New EPA Standard, San Antonio May Fall Into "Non-Attainment" With Clean Air Act

If the city falls into "non-attainment" status under the new EPA regulations, vehicles may have to be tested annually for emissions.
Chris Eudaily TPR News

The race is on for this area to stay in compliance with federal guidelines on air quality but local leaders are being pushed up against huge obstacles.

The biggest hurdle may be complying with a lower Environmental Protection Agency standard, currently set at 75 parts per billion. San Antonio is just outside that number, while technically still in attainment of the Clean Air Act.

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Environment
9:49 am
Tue April 15, 2014

Investigators Looking Into Weekend Mission Reach Fuel Spill

Dead grass from an oil spill along the Museum Reach in May 2013.
Credit Eileen Pace / TPR News

Investigators are looking into a weekend fuel spill that shut down paddling trails on the San Antonio River. Oil booms were still in place along the Mission Reach Monday, but parts of the river closed Saturday were open again.

The good thing is the spill was small and no wildlife were harmed, but this is the second spill at the Calumet refinery, which produces ultra-low sulfur diesel, naptha, specialty solvents, vacuum gas and jet fuel, the product that spilled on the ground and into a San Antonio River tributary late Friday evening.

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Chemical Regulations
3:22 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

One Year After West Explosion, State Still Has Dozens Of "At-Risk" Plants Operating

In August 2013, West High School was picking up and getting ready for the school year to start.
Ryan Poppe TPR News

House lawmakers charged with investigating what went wrong during the fertilizer plant explosion in the town of West, Texas heard from state officials this week that 46 “at-risk” chemical facilities similar to the one in West are still operating.

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Same-Sex Marriage
3:01 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Attorney In Texas Same-Sex Marriage Challenge Looks For Signs In Utah Case

*States in purple have made same-sex marriage legal, states marked in yellow have bans against such marriages and states marked in green represent new developments or legal proceedings working through federal court.
Chris Eudaily TPR News

Late last week attorneys for same-sex couples and the State of Utah delivered oral arguments in the case challenging a Utah law that bans same-sex marriage.

Here in Texas, San Antonio attorney Neel Lane, who represents two couples challenging the Texas ban on same-sex marriage, watched the proceedings and said one of the turning points was a concession made by the Utah attorney general’s office.

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Science & Technology
2:20 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

UTSA-Lead Group Gets Federal Grant For Cyber Security Research

Credit UTSA

The University of Texas at San Antonio is collaborating on an  $800,000 grant from the federal government for cyber security research.

The sizable contribution from the Federal Emergency Management Agency isn’t going to student programs, instead it's going to the National Cyber Security Preparedness Consortium, a joint venture between UTSA -- which is the lead -- Texas A&M, Memphis University, University of Arkansas and Norwhich University.

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Community Health
12:41 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

New University Hospital Sky Tower Opens For Patients

Eileen Pace TPR News

At 6 a.m. today University Hospital started moving 200 patients to its new, 1 million sq. ft. Sky Tower extension.

The opening of the new 10-floor tower marks the completion of the county's $899.4 million Capital Improvement Program for the health system and the largest construction project in Bexar County’s history.

A large metal sculpture set against native red Pecos sandstone greets patients at the main driveway of the new Sky Tower with 4,000 hand-painted bluebonnets.

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Minority Studies
11:55 am
Mon April 14, 2014

SBOE Takes Next Step In Creating Mexican-American Studies Class

Last Thursday, April 10, the Texas State Board of Education approved the creation of a new state elective course, which includes a class in Mexican-American studies. The board is now calling on book publishers to submit new textbooks for these courses.

School districts already had permission to create these special interest courses, but many districts wanted to give these courses some teeth.

Marisa Perez, an SBOE member from San Antonio, said that started with the creation of course standards.

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