local news

Texas Film Industry
10:37 am
Thu August 28, 2014

Texas House Lawmakers Look At Film Incentive Program

Credit Texas Film Commission

Yesterday a House select committee discussed the benefits to providing film companies incentives to operate in within the state.

The committee was designed to go through each of the state’s economic incentive programs with a fine-tooth comb to determine if the state is benefiting from these corporate relationships. That list included the Texas Moving Image Industry Incentive Program, which is managed by Heather Page, the director of the Texas Film Commission, a division of the governor’s office.

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City Government
4:12 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

City Seeks Attorney General Opinion On Releasing Audio Evidence In NDO Complaint

Credit City of San Antonio

The city of San Antonio is seeking an opinion from the Texas attorney general's office on whether it must release sensitive audio files under the Public Information Act. The city contends that some of the documents relating to San Antonio’s first non-discrimination ordinance complaint are confidential.

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City Government
2:55 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Non-Discrimination Ordinance Complaint Website Set To Launch Sept. 4

Councilman Ray Lopez at the city council meeting on Sept. 5, 2013, when the council voted to approve the update to the non-discrimination ordinance.
Credit Ryan Loyd / TPR News

The city of San Antonio's mechanism for filing a complaint under the revised non-discrimination ordinance is just about ready to launch.

Nearly one year to the day that city council passed the updated NDO, which adds sexual orientation, gender identity and veteran status to the list of protected classes in the city, the website where people can file complaints will go live. The council voted to favor the ordinance on Sept. 5, 2013.

Deputy City Attorney Veronica Zertuche said Wednesday the website will launch next week on Sept. 4.

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Abortion In Texas
2:47 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Groups Say Texas Is The Center Of Abortion Clinic Restriction Battle

Groups on both sides protested outside the court building in Austin as the hearing got underway earlier this month.
Credit Ryan E. Poppe / TPR News

Abortion-rights groups painted a national legal landscape for challenges to state abortion laws and spoke specifically about Texas, where clinics are eagerly awaiting a federal decision regarding the state’s ambulatory surgical center standards.  

Julie Rickelman with the Center for Reproductive Rights said Texas has become the focal point for the national fight against these types of restrictions.

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Natural Gas Fracking
12:59 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Texas Railroad Commission Introduces New Rules For Fracking Injection Wells

Credit Flickr user Daniel Foster / cc

A seismologist for the Texas Railroad Commission updated the Texas House Energy Resources Committee about the findings of a study on the number of earthquakes occurring near fracking injection well sites.

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Texas Public Schools
11:41 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Senate Education Committee Grills TEA On STAAR Writing Exam Standards

Texas Senate Committee on Education discuss STAAR writing test scores.
Credit Ryan E. Poppe / TPR News

   

State lawmakers took issue with the Texas Education Agency’s plan to keep the standard for writing component of the Texas STAARS exam at a lower level for a third year in a row. Lawmakers voiced concerns with keeping the lower standard and changing the exam while student performance  remains flat.

The state introduced the STAAR exams in 2011 and because of failing test grades the legislature reduced the number of exams from 15 to five in 2013.  

State Sen. Leticia Van De Putte, D-San Antonio, said the STAAR exam may have run its course. 

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Higher Education/Careers
11:10 am
Wed August 27, 2014

UT Health Science School Of Medicine Best For Hispanics In U.S.

A student in the GME program works with a patient at the UTHSC School of Medicine.
Credit UTHSC School of Medicine

  

The UT Health Science Center has been named by Hispanic Business magazine as the top medical school for Hispanics in the U.S.

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Texas Politics
3:58 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Gov. Perry's Legal Team Files To Have Case Dismissed

Gov. Perry's mugshot taken at the Travis County Jail last week.
Credit Travis County Jail

Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s legal team has filed a constitutional challenge seeking to dismiss his two-count felony indictment.

In a writ of habeas corpus filed today, the governor’s legal team contends there are problems with separation of powers, rights to free speech, and say the penal code used to charge Perry is vague and overboard; that it doesn’t clearly define what is and isn’t permissible under the law.  

University of Texas at Austin School of Law professor Jennifer Laurin said this type of challenge has a very limited set of arguments.

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Texas Politics
2:27 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Lawmaker Says Public Integrity Unit Will Likely Move Out Of Travis County DA Office

Credit Ryan Poppe / TPR News

The state’s public integrity unit has filed a request with the governor’s office and legislative budget officials to restore funding to the agency in 2015.

But that effort may not be possible unless the unit is moved out of the Travis County district attorney’s office, which is headed by Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg.

State Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, who chairs the Senate Committee on Finance, said she would like to see the unit moved in 2015. In a statement, Nelson wrote that "we need to move the unit somewhere less partisan."

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Texas Politics
12:51 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

The Story Of The Other Texas Governor Indicted For Vetoing Funds

1914 Jim Ferguson campaign literature. Image URL: https://www.tsl.texas.gov/governors/personality/pferguson-pro-2.html
Credit Texas State Library & Archives Commission

Rick Perry isn't the first Texas governor to stare down an indictment for his actions in the office. 

In 1917 the Travis County district attorney’s office filed an indictment against then Gov. Jim “Pa” Ferguson for vetoing the budget of the University of Texas.

Professor Don Carleton, who heads up the Dolph Briscoe American History Center at the University of Texas at Austin, described the political climate at the time as being a prohibition vs. anti-prohibition, rural vs. urban environment of political bosses, and Ferguson certainly was that.

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