local news

Education
11:02 am
Thu December 26, 2013

Number Of First-Year Teachers In Texas Down While Student Enrollment Swells

The TEA is hoping the number of first-year teachers will increase to meet the demand of the 60,000-70,000 new students each year.
Texas Education Agency

Education experts and state agencies are citing a number of reasons for the lack of first-year educators in the state. In the last four years, the number of new teachers in Texas has seen a sharp decline.

According to a new report, Texas had fewer than 15,000 first-year teachers hired last year, which is down from the 25,000 in 2008. So why the decline? Debbie Ratcliffe with the Texas Education Agency said there are a number of reasons for the drop.

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South San ISD
5:02 pm
Tue December 24, 2013

South San Board Appoints Interim Superintendent; Accuses Predecessor Of Illegal Raises

Interim Superintendent Abelardo Saavedra (right) takes his seat near the board shortly after being selected.
Joey Palacios TPR News

The South San Independent School District has chosen its fifth superintendent in six years. During the selection it was made known that the previous superintendent may have gifted raises without approval.

The South San Board selected former Houston ISD Superintendent Abelardo Saavedra to lead the district while a permanent replacement is selected. Mourette Hodge, the district’s recent interim superintendent, stepped down last week without giving reason after being on the job for six months.

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Holiday Giving
3:27 pm
Mon December 23, 2013

Food Bank Gives Christmas Trees Along With Holiday Meals

Ryan Loyd TPR News

Toni picks up her supply of food for the week, but this time she's picking up something extra -- a Christmas tree. She and many more existing clients of the Baptist Temple got the chance to pick out a tree to go along with their holiday meal.

"Some mac and cheese there, there's some rice, and each one of them is different, but we try to make sure that there's some vegetables, some protein," said George Zayas Bazan, the pastor at Baptist Temple. Zayas Bazan said the San Antonio Food Bank distributes food in bulk twice a month -- 16,000 pounds worth.

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Military
11:58 am
Mon December 23, 2013

For Air Force Trainees Who Don't Make Active Duty, The Journey Back To Civilian Life Begins

Trainees at graduation commemorate their hard work during a graduation ceremony. Those who don't complete their goal go to a transition flight for help adjusting back to civilian life.
Ryan Loyd TPR News

In the military, you either have what it takes, or you don't.

Those who don't often face ridicule, embarrassment and shame when they leave training, but unlike days  past, now there's a little bit more compassion for this group of forgotten trainees transitioning back to civilian life.

Life inside the gates at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland is a microcosm of the world outside, but training is an ongoing ritual. Trainees march in step with one another, and are required to make their commutes in pairs.

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City Government
1:46 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

Preliminary Numbers Show City Is $13M Ahead This Year

City of San Antonio

San Antonio's end-of-year check on its financial status indicates the city is $13.6 million ahead.

The added revenue from property taxes, sales tax, CPS Energy, and licenses, permits and user fees brought in the extra money that city leaders hadn't planned on.

That revenue brings the city's reserve balance to $21.2 million to help balance fiscal year 2015.

The city adopted the 2014 budget in September. At that time, the city faced a budget gap and predicted another one for 2015 to the tune of $30 million.

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Community
1:15 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

The Refugee Story, Part 4: Learning And Growing

Refugee families, along with volunteers from Green Spaces Alliance, build the CIELO Gardens at House of Prayer Lutheran Church.
Catholic Charities

Although a few foreign refugees come from cities where they had sophisticated education opportunities, many lived in remote areas where there were no schools, or in refugee camps where they may have received sporadic education.

Most are immersed in an irrelevant environment when they come here -- obstacles like speaking English, taking the bus, even learning to work in an American kitchen can be challenging.

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Pearl Complex
11:40 am
Fri December 20, 2013

Culinary Institute Bakery Cafe Closing At The Pearl

Alain Dubernard teaches his students in the school's only bake shop. The CIA's Bakery Cafe is closing to make room for more teaching space.
Ryan Loyd TPR News

A cup of joe and a cream puff may be on the menu at any coffee shop in town but you'd better make plans to stop by the Pearl Friday. That's because the Culinary Institute of America's Bakery Cafe is closing.

The decision didn't come easy for Alain Dubernard, the man with the French-sounding name and accent, who is a Mexican native and is the bakery school's chair and only teacher.

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Abortion In Texas
10:05 am
Fri December 20, 2013

Attorneys Expect Quick Decision In Case Involving New Texas Abortion Clinic Restrictions

Protesters on both sides of the abortion issue rally outside the Stand With Texas Women rally in San Antonio this summer. Abortion has been a heated issue this year as the legislature pushed through strict abortion clinic restrictions in the last session.
David Martin Davies TPR News

Less than a week after the start of the New Year, attorneys for abortions rights groups and attorneys with the Texas attorney general’s office will once again face off in the case arguing the merits of Texas’ new abortion law and its constitutionality.  

Esha Bhandari, an attorney with the Center for Reproductive Rights, said late last week they made their arguments against the new abortion restrictions to the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.

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Alternative Energy
9:51 am
Fri December 20, 2013

New 167,00 Panel Solar Farm Now In Operation For San Antonio

167,000 of these solar panels cover the 450 acre plot of land a few miles south of San Antonio.
Joey Palacios TPR News

A new solar farm on the far South Side of San Antonio is now generating electricity for CPS energy.

Just south of loop 410  on Blue Wing Road is a newly built solar farm called Alamo 1. At 453 acres it’s the size 300 foot ball field and can generate enough energy to power 6,600 homes. It’s 167,00 solar panels went online last week, generating 40 megawatts - it’s the first phase of what will be a 400 megawatt project.

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2014 Governor's Race
9:41 am
Fri December 20, 2013

Davis Campaign Pressing Abbott On School Vouchers

Ryan Poppe/David Martin Davies TPR News

The race for the next governor of Texas has already hit on controversial issues like reproductive rights and the future of Medicaid, but public school funding is also making its way into the discussion, and in particular, school vouchers.

Vouchers work like this: A state assigns each school-age child an amount of money that they can spend how they want. They can take it to their local school district, or take it to a private religious school or a charter school.

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