local news

Veteran Affairs
12:10 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

U.S. House Approves VA Bill, Which Now Awaits Senate Vote

It took weeks of debate between the House and Senate, but the House Wednesday passed the negotiated version of a bill to reform the Veterans Administration.

The final version of the Veterans’ Access to Care through Choice, Accountability and Transparency Act passed on a 420-5 vote in House late Wednesday.

The bill is Congress’ response to a bureaucracy so bogged down that staffers were found to be falsifying records to conceal delays in delivering services to veterans.

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Same-Sex Marriage
4:47 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

Abbott Restores Fight Against Same-Sex Marriage With Federal Appellate Brief

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has revived his fight against same-sex marriage when told a panel of judges at the US 5th Circuit court that marriage should only exist between those who can produce life.  

In his brief submitted to the federal appeals court, Abbott reasons that the law was intended to protect children by promoting traditional marriage between men and women who procreate.

San Antonio attorney Neel Lane, who represents two same-sex couples fighting to have that ban on same-sex marriage removed.

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Higher Education
4:35 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

Three San Antonio Universities Made Forbes List Of Top Schools In America

Forbes is out with its America's Top Colleges list featuring rankings for the top 700 universities in the country. Three San Antonio schools made the list.

San Antonio’s Trinity University, with its smaller enrollment of less than 2,500 students, was ranked 132, and St. Mary’s University was 390. UTSA just made the list at 641 nationwide.

Williams College in Massachusetts leads the Forbes 700 list, followed by Stanford University and Swarthmore College.

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Parks
2:32 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

San Antonians Help Plan Hemisfair's Second, And Largest, Future Park

People attended a meeting at Sunset Station to help shape the future Civic Park at Hemisfair.
Credit Ryan Loyd / TPR News

Residents and workers in San Antonio got to be park planners Tuesday at Sunset Station to help shape the future of Hemisfair Park.

With the help of table facilitators, people answered questions from a form designed to give planners an idea of what should be included in the Civic Park, Hemisfair's second and largest future green space.

Mike McGlone walked his table full of people through the brainstorming and idea session. He asked for his table to participate in the process instead of being shy.

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Border & Immigration
2:08 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

State Health Official Says No Cause For Alarm Regarding Immunization For Migrant Children

A border detention facility in the Rio Grande Valley.
Credit David Martin Davies / TPR News

The head of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission told a select committee of state lawmakers he is not as concerned about the spread of disease related to unaccompanied minors coming into the state from Central America.  

One of the state’s roles in these children’s lives has to do with screening the children who are headed to group homes or foster care.

Texas HHS Executive Director Dr. Kyle Janek said they screen these children because of the possibility of them being integrated in the Texas school system.

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Transportation
1:21 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

San Antonio Residents Reflect On Mass Transit Following Streetcar Project Derailment

A VIA bus drops of passengers at Navarro and Commerce Street.
Joey Palacios TPR News

VIA's multi-million dollar modern streetcar plan will have to take a new track as the city and county have indicated both will withdraw their support from the project. The city of San Antonio stated its intent to remove it’s $32 million pledge, leaving many to cheer or chastise its decision.

The decision to remove funding by the city and county took both supporters and opponents of VIA’s multimillion dollar modern street car plan by surprise. But that doesn’t mean the plan is completely dead.

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Health Care
8:49 am
Wed July 30, 2014

$4 Million Will Help Children's Hospital Of San Antonio Care For Seriously Ill Kids, Infants

Children's Hospital of San Antonio.
Credit CHRISTUS Health

Two community funding organizations have come together to support the Children’s Hospital of San Antonio. The gifts to the CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Health System will help provide care for seriously ill children.

The two gifts are a combined $4 million for the hospital. One, for $3 million from the Valero Energy Foundation, and the other a $1 million gift from the Margie and Bill Klesse Family Foundation.

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Border Security
4:26 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Lawmakers Question Cost Effectiveness Of DPS, Texas National Guard Border Surge

DPS Director Col. Steve McCraw (at far end of table, speaking) addresses the select committee.
Credit Ryan E. Poppe / TPR News

Texas lawmakers are questioning the heads of state agencies about the overall cost analysis related to the influx of border crossings. The legislative committee is charged with determining the short-term and potential long-term financial impact that could cost taxpayers $17 million per month.

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City Government
1:46 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Mayor Ivy Taylor Sees A Future Streetcar In San Antonio - With Public Approval

Mayor Ivy Taylor stands in front of her desk inside her new office at City Hall. In her first major move, she announced the city council will ask staff to draft an ordinance to remove the city's $32 million contribution to the streetcar project.
Credit Ryan Loyd / TPR News

The city may be backing down from its streetcar support, but Mayor Ivy Taylor said she believes there could be room for discussion of a more comprehensive project that has public support.

During a one-on-one conversation with TPR Tuesday, she said politics notwithstanding, the community's voice is really what directed the council's decision on VIA's current proposed streetcar project.

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City Government
11:33 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Streetcar Future Uncertain As City Takes Unexpected Turn

City council members are requesting an ordinance to withdraw the city's $32 million contribution to VIA's streetcar project. Image URL: http://bit.ly/1oBFHos
Credit Flickr user ericnvntr / cc

San Antonio's streetcar project hit a major hurdle Monday when city council asked city staff to draft an ordinance that would withdraw the city's $32 million contribution from the project.

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