local news

Texas Legislature
3:09 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Opposing Views Of Education During 83rd Legislative Session

Though much of the money cut in 2011 has been restored, both sides of the education debate have positives and negatives to take out of this session.
Eileen Pace TPR News

The largest teacher’s union in the state of Texas and a right-wing political think tank are providing their assessment of this past session education bills.

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Texas Legislature
11:17 am
Fri June 7, 2013

Fight Not Over For Bill To Reduce High-Stakes Testing

Ryan Poppe TPR News

A statewide pro-business group based in Austin is urging Gov. Rick Perry to veto House Bill 5, a bill that changes the state’s testing structure for public schools.

Bill Hammond, the executive director for the Texas Business Association, said the House bill that reduces the number of high-stakes exams for school kids will provide the Texas workforce with a poor product.

"60 or 70 percent of the jobs that are being created today require some post-secondary education of some sort, perhaps even a certificate from a community college or an associate’s degree," Hammond said.

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Special Session
10:11 am
Fri June 7, 2013

Uresti Pushes Gov. Perry To Sign Ban On Sugary Drinks At Schools

Sen. Carlos Uresti at the capitol in March 2013.
carlosuresti.com

A lawmaker from the San Antonio area is pushing the Gov. Rick Perry to sign into a law a bill that prohibits public schools from selling sugary drinks.

Sen. Carlos Uresti, D-San Antonio, said he fought to get his own version of the bill approved for the past two sessions, hoping that a ban on sugary drinks at the state’s elementary and middle schools will help the Hispanic population turn the corner in the fight against obesity and diabetes.

What did pass was a companion bill, House Bill 217, which excluded high schools from the ban.

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San Antonio Police
3:48 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

SAPD Officer Arrested, Charged With Criminal Mischief

Officer Sergio Hernandez
SAPD

San Antonio Police Chief William McManus said the officer, Sergio Hernandez, was asked to finish his drink and leave Stacy's Bar on Blanco as it was closing early Thursday morning.

McManus said he was escorted out when he got angry and then kicked the door and knocked out the plexi-glass to the door.

Hernandez is assigned to the south patrol and is a 10-year veteran of the department. McManus said he will be referred to SAPD's Officer Concern Program.

Special Session
2:49 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

Redistricting Committees Hire Attorneys For Outside Help

Ryan Poppe TPR News

The House and Senate redistricting committees have secured a legal team to help solve the challenges that exist with the issue of voting districts.

While the House committee has hit the road to hold public meetings in the Dallas area, the Senate committee held its last state capitol meeting before heading out to their own public meetings.

Sen. Kel Seleger, R-Amarillo, the Senate’s redistricting chairman, said the Senate will be using C. Robert Heath, who he said is one of the most experienced redistricting attorneys  in the United States.

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Lackland Courts-Martial
1:55 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

Recruiter Accused of Sending Thousands of Sexting Messages to High School Students

Tech. Sgt. Jaime Rodriguez.
U.S. Air Force

An Air Force recruiter from the Houston area is being tried at a court-martial in San Antonio today. The recruiter faces charges of sexual misconduct with a dozen women, many of whom were high school students seeking careers in the Air Force.

Tech Sgt. Jaime Rodriguez is charged with sex crimes against 12 Air Force applicants and a recruiter assistant.

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Downtown Development
11:38 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Council To Hear Recommendation In August On Downtown Grocery Store

Uncommon Fare, located in the Cevallos Lofts, is located in the Lone Star neighborhood near downtown.
Uncommon Fare

The City of San Antonio received four responses to its Request For Information from possible grocery store developers in the downtown area.

The city wants to populate downtown with young, urban dwellers with modern careers and lifestyles, who use alternative transportation rather than driving expensive, polluting, gasoline-powered vehicles.

But there is currently a fundamental obstacle to living in downtown--residents have to travel if they want groceries.

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Immigration Reform
10:14 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Citizenship Status Could Be Delayed With Cornyn Amendment

Border security is a vital part of immigration reform for both sides to reach an agreement.
Michel Marizco Fronteras

The Senate’s comprehensive immigration bill is set to hit the floor next week with an anticipated lengthy debate and amendment process. One Texas senator is calling for a complete border security before many of the provisions in the bill can take effect.

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, calls it the Results Amendment. It’s a long list of provisions that must be met before green cards and citizenship can be offered to undocumented immigrants. He said the key is 100 percent situational awareness of the southern border

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Transportation
9:28 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Five Things The New VIA Smartphone App Has going For It

Screen shot of the home screen map.
VIA Metropolitan Transit

The new VIA smartphone app, Go VIA VIA, has a real chance at changing the landscape of transportation in San Antonio by making it easier for long-time riders and new riders to navigate the intricate maze of bus routes and schedules. (see note about new riders at bottom of post*)

Go VIA VIA has been out for Apple and Android devices since Monday, and it already has some fans and critics. The bottom line, though, is that it is far better than the old app--which wasn't interactive in any way, shape or form.

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Lackland Investigation
9:11 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Castro Calls For Accountability Recommendations In Air Force Sexual Misconduct

Eileen Pace TPR

San Antonio Congressman Joaquín Castro has asked for a full report on Air Force commanders’ recommendations regarding sexual misconduct in the Air Force.

On Wednesday the congressman asked fellow Armed Services Committee members to support his amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act.

With 32 boot camp instructors under investigation for the abuse of almost 60 victims, the investigation is the largest in the history of the Air Force.

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