local news

2014 Governor's Race
9:35 am
Mon January 6, 2014

Davis And Abbott Step Up Campaigning Following Finance Chair's Payday Loan Comments

Ryan Poppe/David Martin Davies TPR News

A political expert says the ongoing battle over remarks made by Texas Finance Commission Chairman William White, who is also vice president of Cash America, a payday lending company, is a glimpse at how the rest of the 2014 governor’s race will play out.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis called for White to resign from his position following comments he made about consumers and payday lending companies, saying that White's position at a such a company compromises his ability to act as a fair regulator of the industry.

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Community Health
3:32 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

This Flu Season Shaping Up To Be One Of The Worst

In Bexar County during the last week of December, the University Health System saw a higher one-week volume of lab-confirmed flu than it saw during any week in the previous two flu seasons.
University Health System

An estimated six people are confirmed dead in Hidalgo County due to the flu -- one pediatric and five adult -- as the flu and flu-like illnesses continue to make their way around the country.

Flu deaths are difficult to confirm as the Texas Department of State Health Services does not require adult deaths to be reported, but Hidalgo County Public Affairs Director Karina Cardoza said the county monitored local clinics on their own.

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New Laws In 2014
3:00 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

Concealed Handgun License Applications In Texas No Longer Require Social Security Number

Flickr user David Trawin (trawin) cc

A new law going into 2014 says applicants will no longer be required to provide a social security number when applying for or renewing a concealed handgun license. The new law was authored by state Rep. Lyle Larson, R-San Antonio.

So what does this mean for the general public and those in the CHL business?

"Some people were just concerned about providing all their personal information," said Michael Cargill, who owns Central Texas Gun Works and is a CHL instructor. "You really don’t need a social security number to do a background check on someone."

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San Antonio Schools
9:33 am
Fri January 3, 2014

Saldana Calls On Texas Education Agency To Investigate South San ISD

Texas Education Agency

San Antonio District 4 Councilman Rey Saldaña has sent a letter to the Texas Education Agency asking it to investigate the South San Independent School District in light of numerous complaints from concerned parents and citizens.

The district is already on the TEA’s radar, but Saldaña is calling for a full investigation. In a two-page letter, Saldaña cites mismanagement of federal and state money, governance concerns, and the academic performance of students as the reason for his request. Although the city has cannot govern the district, Saldaña wants the state to intervene.

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Government
3:59 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Texas Architects Now Required To Be Fingerprinted Under New Law

Ryan Poppe TPR News

A new law that took effect Jan. 1 adds architects to the number of professionals in Texas that are required to be fingerprinted when renewing or applying for their license.

That information will be stored with the Department of Public Safety and Federal Bureau of Investigation's criminal background database.

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Government
3:30 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Thanks To New Law, You Will Be Paying More For Mixed Drinks In Texas

Flickr user Joel Olives cc

Starting Jan. 1, 2014, the state will lower how much they charge bars and restaurants with the Texas Mixed Beverage Tax, which decreased from 14 percent down to 7 percent, but those purchasing a mixed drink will face a new surcharge of 8.25 percent, the same tax that is charged for the sale of beer and wine.

Austin businessman Bob Woody, who owns a restaurant, five brewpubs and a bar, said the new law will greatly benefit lounges and restaurants because the bill directly shows the new surcharge, but it may be problematic for high-volume bars.

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Bexar County
3:08 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

More Than $5 Million, The Largest Delinquent Tax Debt In Bexar County, Finally Paid

Bexar County

Bexar County Tax Assessor-Collector Albert Uresti has announced a multi-million dollar delinquent tax collection.

Taxing jurisdictions in Bexar County, including Northside ISD and the City of San Antonio, will be getting their share of more than $5 million after The Dominion Park Apartments on Fredericksburg Road paid its delinquent tax bill.

Uresti said the multi-family housing complex owed that amount in back taxes after its efforts failed to gain an exemption as a community housing development organization (CHDO) over a period of five years, from 2008 to 2012.

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Community
2:52 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Leticia Ozuna Still Working Toward Citywide Broadband Goal

Ozuna began work on a major broadband network to link medical and learning institutions so they could share large data files for education and research purposes.
Ryan Loyd TPR News

A "New York Times" article on the state of broadband internet access in the United States in part focuses on San Antonio and the work of former councilwoman Leticia Ozuna.

Ozuna lost her bid for City Council District 3 in May, but she is not giving up on the work she did to kickstart a mega broadband effort here.

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Beacon Hill
2:31 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Gallery Remains Closed As Neighborhood, Owners Make Their Case In Zoning Debate

Art gallery and design firm French & Michigan is closed until it can be properly zoned.
Ryan Loyd TPR News

The intersection of French Place and Michigan Avenue is more than a location in the inner-city neighborhood of Beacon Hill, it also happens to be the namesake of an art gallery that's been embroiled in controversy over the zoning of the building.

The words "Casa de Tarjetas" (House of Cards) are written in red cursive outside the historic square,  paying homage to the building's former owner, local urban infill expert Jonathan Card.

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Military
11:24 am
Thu January 2, 2014

No BRAC In 2014, But Local Leaders Prepare For Possibility Of Future Closures

Members of the San Antonio Military Transformation Taskforce meet in 2013.
Eileen Pace TPR News

Although San Antonio was treated kindly in the recently-signed budget bill, local officials are starting now to prepare for possible base closures later this decade.

Mark Frye serves on the City of San Antonio Military Transformation Taskforce, a group that advocates for the local military at the national level. He said the budget bill just signed into law after Christmas only protects bases through the next budget year.

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