local news

City Government
5:43 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

Mayor Taylor Unveils 300-Day Plan For San Antonio

Mayor Ivy Taylor takes questions from the media following Tuesday's luncheon.
Joey Palacios TPR News

San Antonio Mayor Ivy Taylor has unveiled her vision for the city at a North San Antonio Chamber luncheon after being on the job for two weeks.

“In those two weeks I’ve had to address streetcars, charter changes, storm water fees, and continuing negotiations on police and fire contracts,” Taylor told an audience of high-ranking officials. “It seems a lot longer than two weeks.”

The chamber luncheon is the first time she has had the chance to present her vision for San Antonio while she is in office over the next 300 days.

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Border & Immigration
2:54 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

HHS Ending Use Of JBSA-Lackland As Shelter For Migrant Children

Lackland Barracks
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

The Department of Health and Human Services is ending its use of Lackland Air Force Base and several other facilities for housing unaccompanied minors.

HHS, which cares for the minors after they are detained by Border Patrol, announced on Monday Joint Base San Antonio Lackland, Fort Sill Army Base and Port Hueneme Naval Base would no longer be used as temporary shelters for 7,700 Central American migrant children.

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Abortion In Texas
5:11 pm
Mon August 4, 2014

Hundreds Protest Outside Texas Abortion Law Hearing

Outside federal courthouse in Austin at the start of the second House Bill 2 lawsuit.
Ryan E. Poppe TPR News

While attorneys argued the merits of the ambulatory surgical standard of House Bill 2, the new Texas abortion law, protestors on both sides of the issue rallied outside the federal courthouse in Austin.

Anti-abortion rights groups in blue shirts sang church hymns and prayed while abortion-rights groups chanted and carried signs around the perimeter of the building.

Members with the Abortion Rights Freedom Ride carried the pictures of women they say died as a result of being denied access to an abortion.

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Abortion In Texas
12:59 pm
Mon August 4, 2014

Oral Arguments Begin In Second Challenge To Texas Abortion Law HB2

Attorneys for abortion-rights groups and the Texas attorney general’s office are in court today to argue the constitutionality of another component of Texas' controversial abortion law, House Bill 2.  

The first challenge to the law addressed the constitutionality of requiring doctors at clinics performing abortions to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. That lawsuit is still at federal appellate court pending appeal. The second challenge is of the ambulatory surgical center requirements for facilities that perform abortions.

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2015 Texas Legislature
4:56 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

Villarreal To Vacate House Seat, Force Special Election

State Rep. Mike Villarreal holds press conference at his San Antonio office on August 1st, 2014
Joey Palacios Texas Public Radio

State Rep. Mike Villarreal. D-San Antonio, has announced he will resign his Texas House position to run for mayor of San Antonio.

Villarreal, of House District 123, is the only person so far to formally announce intent to run for San Antonio mayor in 2015.

“That election takes place during regular legislative session," Villarreal said. "I cannot be in two places at once, so I have decided not to participate to allow somebody to replace me.”

He said decisions on hot topics, like the state’s education system, need to be in the hands of the right person.

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Transportation
1:12 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

VIA To Defer Streetcar, Work On Other Transportation Projects

A poster at one of the VIA community meetings in November 2012.
Credit Eileen Pace / TPR News

VIA is disappointed in the change of heart by the city and county on streetcar, but the transit authority plans to move forward in other directions while deferring its current plan for the project.

Friday, standing among dozens of VIA employees at a news conference, VIA Chairman Alex Briseño said the transit authority is moving forward; just not with the streetcar project that had been in the works.

The plan forward now, he said, includes expanded PRIMO routes, constructing multi-modal centers, and focus on VIA's long-range plan for 2035 that was approved three years ago.

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Border & Immigration
12:22 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

A New Facility For Immigrants In Texas Is Trying To Be More Residence Than Detention Center

The exterior of the Karnes County Residential Center. Formerly the Civil Detention Center
Joey Palacios Texas Public Radio

In the past U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has faced harsh criticism for conditions at its immigration detention facilities. But they are hoping to change that with a new kind of center in Karnes County, Texas.

Officials are calling it "residential" rather than "detention."

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City Ordinances
3:20 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

No Clear Way Forward For Ride-Share Services In San Antonio

A city council public safety meeting in May to discuss the ride-share issue.
Credit Ryan Loyd / Texas Public Radio

Iowa is now the 20th state to issue a warning to its residents about ride-sharing companies like Lyft and Uber, cautioning of hidden risks such as devastating financial losses due to non-covered claims.

While Texas has not done so, cities like San Antonio are still trying to move forward with integration of the transportation companies. So far it has been slow going.

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Border & Immigration
2:31 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

Border Mayors Say They Need Humanitarian Support, Not Troops

Clothing bags prepared to distribute to immigrants by the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in McAllen.
David Martin Davies TPR News

Mayors from three communities on the Texas border are calling on Congress to pass some type of spending bill to help care for the influx of women and children coming from Central America.

The mayors from McAllen, Edinburg and Brownsville are calling for fewer troops and more compassion.

Mayor Richard Garcia of Edinburg said his city has not seen an increase in crime related to the influx in border crossings.

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Transportation
1:03 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

Petitioners Have Enough Signatures, But Will Streetcar Be On November Ballot?

The recommended route for VIA streetcar.
Credit VIA Metropolitan Transit

Despite the derailment of San Antonio’s streetcar, the petition that called for a vote on the issue may still put a charter change on the November ballot.

TPR obtained the results of the petition drive, which is seeking a charter amendment change so that voters could have a say on the streetcar project. The city's election code says 20,000 signatures are needed.

The clerk's office found that more than 12,000 are valid and another 8,800 are also valid if the circulator affidavit isn't required. The circulator affidavit is to verify that those signing are real people.

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