local news

Violence In Schools
3:46 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Certification Begins For First Class Of Texas School Marshal Trainers

State Rep. Jason Villalba, R-Dallas, speaking to school marshal instructors at the training facility.
Ryan Poppe TPR News

The first class of school marshal trainers gathered to begin their own training Monday at the Texas Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center in Maxwell, Texas, which is located northeast of San Marcos.

The group will then be in charge of training school marshals in schools throughout the state -- for schools that choose to participate in the program.

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Animal Welfare
9:54 am
Mon March 24, 2014

ADL In Dire Need Of New Foster Homes For Sudden Increase In Abandoned Puppies And Kittens

Eileen Pace TPR News

An increasing number of abandoned newborn kittens have been reported across the city, and the Animal Defense League is putting out a call for fosters to help take care of them.

ADL spokesman Hugo Vital said the younger kittens have strained resources at the no-kill shelter. 

"Like in the case of three kittens that were just surrendered to us, they will require feeding every two to three hours,"Vital said. "It's almost like having a newborn baby in your home. They're going to require a lot more attention on a regular basis."

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South San ISD
4:06 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

South San ISD Names Fifth Superintendent In Three Years

South San Board President Helen Madla signs the contract for newly hired superintendent Abelardo Saavedra (center)
Joey Palacios TPR News

The South San Independent School District has a new superintendent after a fierce discussion last night where two board members voted against the measure over salary. Abelardo Saavedra is the fifth person to take charge of the district in three years.

In a 4-2 vote, South San’s Board of Trustees hired former Houston ISD Superintendent Abelardo Saavedra. The opposition to the salary came from board members Rose Marie Martinez and Joseph Savage.

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Equal Pay Laws
1:33 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Dewhurst Says He Would Let Equal Pay Bill Go To Senate Vote

Dewhurst campaign video

Incumbent Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst has said he would allow another equal pay law to go before lawmakers for a vote, but a political expert says those comments may hurt Dewhurst during the May runoff election.

Following his speech in Arlington to a group of Republican women, Dewhurst, who as lieutenant governor allowed an equal pay for women bill to make it to the Senate floor for a vote, told WFAA-TV that if he won this year's election he would once again move the bill through the process.

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Community
11:13 am
Fri March 21, 2014

City Planning Future Of Plaza De Armas, While Preserving Its Past

The exterior of Plaza de Armas. The complex sits in the shadows of City Hall downtown.
Ryan Loyd TPR News

Once a military training ground, the Plaza de Armas building near City Hall is entering a new phase of its historic life.

On Thursday, city council members approved an amendment to the design-and-build contract, increasing the project's cost by $1.4 million for a total of $11 million. The council also voted in favor of Executive Chef Chuck Hernandez's restaurant, O'liva, being located within the complex of Plaza de Armas.

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Water Resources
4:47 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

LCRA Board Approves Money For Major Downstream Reservoir Project In Wharton County

LCRA hearing in Nov. 2013 to decide on raising the lake level threshold for the Highland Lakes.
Ryan Poppe TPR News

 The Board of Directors for the Lower Colorado River Authority has approved the next phase of a downstream reservoir that will capture some of the water heading to Matagorda Bay.

This week, the LCRA board approved spending $17 million that will go toward finalizing the design of the reservoir in Wharton County.

The LCRA’s Clara Tuma said the reservoir in the lower basin will provide fresh water to the Gulf Coast bays, as well as Texas rice farmers on the coastal plains.

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Texas Public Schools
4:01 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

TEA Approves Use Of Tablet Applications During 8th Grade STAARS Math Exam

Officials with the Texas Education Agency say 8th graders this year will be allowed to use calculator apps on a tablet during the math portion of their State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness end-of-course exam.

While to some it may not seem like a big deal, Debbie Ratcliffe with the TEA says it is, especially considering that no other standardized tests allow the use of apps during testing.

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Equal Pay
12:31 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Groups React To Gender Pay Difference In Express-News Salary Report On AG Office

Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott is taking criticism for gender pay grades in the Texas attorney general's office.
Courtesy photo

Democratic women’s groups are weighing in on a new report showing women working in Attorney General Greg Abbott's office are paid less than their male counterparts. The numbers come on the heals of a major battle between Abbott and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis over equal pay laws.

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Criminal Justice
12:14 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Texas’ Highest Criminal Court Hears First Case Using New "Junk Science" Law

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals heard oral arguments this week in a case of a man convicted of murdering a toddler. The attorneys for Neal Robbins used a new law that allows for a new trial if the forensic science used to convict them is discredited and out-of-date.

Robbins was convicted of killing a 17 month old in Houston in 1999 and in 2007 the medical examiner changed her opinion. Since then the Texas Legislature passed a new law that allows someone convicted to petition for a new trial if the forensic science methods used to in their case is suddenly discredited. 

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Texas Public Schools
4:36 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Next Week, Lawmakers Will Take Up New HB 5 Curriculum Standards

Ryan Poppe TPR News

In the coming week, lawmakers will begin examining curriculum standards set by the Texas State Board of Education under House Bill 5, a law passed in 2013 that provides more flexibility and pathways for student growth, and there is an effort to add more rigorous courses in math and science.

From its very conception, higher education officials and some within the business community have taken issue with HB 5 because it dropped student requirements for taking courses like Algebra II.

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