local news

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Neal Robbins used a new law that allows for a new trial if the forensic science used to convict them is discredited and out-of-date.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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Courts
4:23 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Texas Highest Criminal Court Will Take Up Political Corruption Case Involving Tom DeLay

Former U.S. House Minority Leader Tom Delay.
U.S. Government File Photo

The highest criminal court in the State of Texas has agreed to take up the political corruption case against former U.S. House Minority Leader Tom Delay. The decision comes after Delay was acquitted by a lower appellate court in September 2013.

The case against Delay, known to many as "The Hammer," has been making its way through the courts for the last 12 years. Delay was convicted in 2010 of money laundering for trying to influence Texas’ elections by funneling corporate money to various candidates.

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Border & Immigration
12:19 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Farmers, Ranchers Calling For Immigration Reform

Farmers and ranchers from across the United States are calling for action on immigration reform. The Texas Farm Bureau is asking Congress to “get ‘er done” to help farmers compete.

Texas Farm Bureau State Director Russell Boening runs a dairy farm just south of San Antonio. But this week he is in Washington, D.C., at the National Press Club talking about immigration reform.

“Some of our labor is going to have to be imported or more of our food is going to be imported. So I hope we can get that message across to all of our leaders," he said.

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City Government
11:11 am
Wed March 19, 2014

Council Committee Hears Arguments On Both Sides Of La Villita Lease Proposals

San Antonio is considering updates to the historic arts village, La Villita.
Ryan Loyd TPR News

As the city's Department for Culture and Creative Development presented its side of the argument in the ongoing discussion about La Villita Tuesday, tenants in the historic arts district sighed and shook their heads.

They are angry about a proposal by San Antonio city staff to change the structure of the village, which would call for evicting most of the businesses currently located on the city-owned grounds of La Villita.

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Local Business
10:44 am
Wed March 19, 2014

Training Opportunity Gets Military Cyber Security Specialists Help Toward Entrepreneurship

San Antonio Chamber of Commerce

Military cyber security specialists are becoming a welcome part of the civilian workforce, and now there's a training opportunity in San Antonio for veterans and military members who may be headed in an entrepreneurial direction.

It wasn’t so long ago that few had heard about cyber security, but it suddenly rocketed into reality for a broad cross section of shoppers after the recent data breach at Target stores.

But military cyber security specialists have done this work for decades, and their high level of expertise is highly marketable once they become veterans.

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2014 Governor's Race
10:09 am
Wed March 19, 2014

Abbott And Davis Launch New Online Efforts To Reach Latino Voters

Screenshot from wendydavistexas.com/es
Wendy Davis campaign

This week Democratic and Republican candidates for governor Wendy Davis and Greg Abbott both  launched separate online efforts to reach Latino voters.

Abbott’s online campaign ad details how multiculturalism works for a modern-day Texas. The ad features Abbott’s mixed-race family.

“You look at my family, you see a family that is so typical of families across the State of Texas. We’re both Anglo and Hispanic, as well as Irish. We’re Catholic, we’re Protestant but we’re all one family.  The idea is that multiculturalism works in the State of Texas.”

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City Government
2:07 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

City Staff Will Propose Options For Possible Plastic Bag Ban

In April, San Antonio's Governance Committee will hear several options from city staff on a possible plastic bag ban.
World Recources Institute Flickr stream

City leaders are in the middle of talks about a possible ban on single-use plastic bags in the Alamo City. While the debate lingers on, city staff members have come up with several options they will present a council committee with in April.

Among the choices are:

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Election Campaigns
1:53 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Villalba Says Republicans Need To Engage Latino Electorate To Keep Texas Red

State Rep. Jason Villalba, R-Dallas, stopped through San Antonio on a statewide speaking tour, hoping to make an impact with Latino voters that will help keep Republicans in the majority.

Villalba's message is that the Republican party faces a major challenge with its outreach and engagement of Latino voters.

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Local Business
10:37 am
Tue March 18, 2014

Leases In La Villita Could Be Pulled To Revitalize Arts Village

Wendell Fuqua is an artist who works at the River Art Gallery one day a month.
Ryan Loyd TPR News

La Villita is a historic arts village in the heart of downtown San Antonio, across from Hemisfair Park. But the city wants to update the look and feel of La Villita with a plan that would totally overhaul the current village.

A recommendation by city staff includes asking tenants in La Villita, some who have been there for three decades or more, to reapply for a space within the village next year.

The conversation is very early, though, and artists like woodworker Wendell Fuqua keeps his schedule as usual.

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