local news

Same-Sex Benefits
12:35 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

Same-Sex Military Couple Denied Federal Benefits By Texas National Guard

Parade grounds at Camp Mabry, Austin.
Flickr user Eric Frierson (utheadache) cc

This week the U.S. Supreme Court’s repeal of sections of the Defense Of Marriage Act kicked in for same-sex federal employees and military personnel, which allows gay and lesbian couples to register for federal benefits.

So Austin attorney Alicia Butler and her wife, who is an Army nurse that served during the Iraq War, set out to register at the Army National Guard post at Camp Mabry.

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Affordable Care Act
11:44 am
Wed September 4, 2013

Decision To Decline Medicaid Expansion Means Higher Premiums For Texans

While other conservative governors have decided to participate in ACA programs like Medicaid expansion, Gov. Perry ha smaintained his tough stance on the Affordable Care Act from the beginning.
rickperry.org

A new study shows that Texans with private health insurance will pay 9.3 percent more than their current rate because of the decision by lawmakers and Gov. Rick Perry to opt out of Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. 

Carter Price is with the Rand Corporation, the group commissioned by U.S. Health and Human Services to the study the issue. He said the group that would’ve been covered by Medicaid expansion is typically not as healthy as those with access to insurance.

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Non-Discrimination Ordinance
10:27 am
Wed September 4, 2013

Religious Supporters, Opponents Clash On Proposed Non-Discrimination Ordinance

Faith leaders who support the ordinance spoke on the steps of City Hall ahead of the vote Thursday by the city council that could add protections for gender identity, sexual orientation and veteran status to the list of protected classes in San Antonio.
DeAnne Cuellar Community Alliance for a United San Antonio

San Antonio's non-discrimination ordinance is not only attracting supporters and opposition from secular communities, faith leaders are also weighing in on the issue that would add gender identity, sexual orientation and veteran status to the list of protected classes in the city.

The proposal has been on the table for months, allowing ample time for dialogue and debate.

But the conversation will conclude on Thursday when the city council will finally vote on whether to add the three groups of people to the list of protections already in place.

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Environment & Energy
9:04 am
Wed September 4, 2013

ERCOT Says Plenty Of Electricity Available Through Winter

Flickr user jetsandzeppelins cc

Texas is expected to have sufficient levels of stored power to serve peak demands this fall and winter. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas released its Seasonal Assessment of Resource Adequacy on Tuesday.

ERCOT found that its available generation, even under extreme load conditions, will be more than sufficient for the upcoming fall season starting in October, and sufficient for the winter season.

Director of System Planning Warren Lasher said the ongoing drought is a significant concern, but ERCOT does not expect it to impact reserves for the rest of this year.

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Environment
3:13 pm
Tue September 3, 2013

For The First Time In Decades, Comal Springs Is Dry

Comal Springs.
Flickr user kingofthebigmacs cc

The Comal Springs feed the Comal River, and people usually come to see and take pictures of the springs that bubble up at the edge of Landa Park just below Panther Canyon in New Braunfels, but New Braunfels Utilities spokeswoman Gretchen Reuwer said that spring is no longer visible.

"This is one of those visual impacts of the drought," Reuwer said.

The springs have not dried up to this extent for many years, at least since the mid-80s, and before that not since the 1950s.

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Texas Supreme Court
1:56 pm
Tue September 3, 2013

Chief Justice Jefferson Announces Resignation From Texas Supreme Court

Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson (seated in middle) has announced his resignation from the state's high court.
State of Texas

Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson, who lives in San Antonio, plans to step down from his position this Fall. Jefferson is the first African-American to serve as the State of Texas’ top judge. 

Jefferson has held the spot for the last 12 years and said he is leaving his post Oct. 1. He said his decision centered on family and finances:

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83rd Legislature
12:45 pm
Tue September 3, 2013

It's September, And Over 600 New Laws Are Now In Effect

Eileen Pace TPR News

Of the over 1,500 bills signed into law from the regular legislative session, 659 take effect this month and run a wide variety of subject matter.

Here are a few that are noteworthy:

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Arts & Culture
11:21 am
Tue September 3, 2013

Beloved Institute Of Texan Cultures Planning For The Future

Hundreds of thousands of people visit ITC each year.
Expedia

For many San Antonians, there are certain places that immediately bring back the past.

That’s exactly what Angelica Docog, the new director of the Institute of Texan Cultures, is hoping to change.

“I think many people still think of us as a beloved icon, which we are, which we love, which we love being,” she said. “However, I think to some of the challenges we have is -- as you know, ITC was created in 1968 and many people still have that image of us of being stuck, for lack of a better term, in 1968."

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Education
9:09 am
Tue September 3, 2013

New UTHSC Leadership Hopes To Move Aging Studies Into Clinical Trials

Dr. Nicolas Musi.
Barshop Institute

The UT Health Science Center has a new leader for its studies on aging. Dr. Nicolas Musi was recently named as director for the Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies and said he plans to encourage research to move into clinical studies.

Musi said he wants to create a comprehensive program that moves the research from the lab to the bedside. One area he’s eager to study on human subjects is exercise interventions.

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Government
4:35 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

Castro Promotes "Infrastructure Of Opportunity" At Town Halls

Congressman Joaquín Castro speaks to constituents on San Antonio's West Side Aug. 29 2013
Eileen Pace TPR News

Congressman Joaquín Castro has been making the rounds in San Antonio this week while Congress is on recess. The congressman is talking about providing Americans with opportunities for success.

On Thursday he spoke to San Antonio business leaders about building an infrastructure of opportunity -- a term he coined before he ever got to Capitol Hill.

Castro favors a government that aligns itself to enable individuals to be successful. He spoke of his meeting earlier this week with small business owners who got help through the Small Business Development Center at UTSA.

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