local news

Special Session Part III
3:10 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

Business Leaders Pushing For Transportation Bill Passage

Chris Eudaily TPR News

Pro-business groups are hoping to persuade House lawmakers to approve a transportation bill that has now been up for debate four times.

The transportation bill working its way through the House this special session involves using money from the Rainy Day Fund and has seen a little bit of controversy in the 83rd Legislature, but was still projected to pass during the first special session.

It failed because of the filibuster by Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, which effectively ran the clock out on the session.

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Texas Prisons
1:58 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

Texas Prison Unit Without A/C Now Rationing Water For Inmates

Wikipedia Commons user Piastu cc

A water supply shortage in the town of Kenedy, Texas is depriving the local state prison of water and creating dangerous condition for the inmates and guards.

In Kenedy, Texas, a town 75 miles southeast of San Antonio, two of the town’s five water wells broke down last week,creating a water shortage for the community and is impacting the nearby John B. Connally Unit prison.

Prisoners have been given a limited supply of drinking water and have had to ration their water, go without showers and are prevented from flushing toilets.

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2014 Election
11:58 am
Mon August 5, 2013

Democratic Party Hoping To "Turn Texas Blue" In 2014

Workers at the Stand With Texas Women Rally in San Antonio a few weeks ago registered people to vote as part of the party's push to "turn Texas blue."
David Martin Davies TPR News

Almost 200 Democratic party chairs from counties across Texas made their way to San Antonio over the weekend for training to "turn Texas blue," as the party continues its marketing push to get to voters it feels it can persuade.

State Democratic Executive Committee member Susan Bankston said county chairs learned more about online outreach through social media. She said the party can be more efficient by focusing on the voters that are fed up.

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2014 Election
4:02 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

Attorney General Race Heating Up Between Republican Lawmakers

The race is on to see which GOP candidate will secure the party nomination to fill current Attorney General Greg Abbott's shoes.
State of Texas

This Thursday, Sen. Ken Paxton, R-McKinney, announced his candidacy in the race for the attorney general's office, which came on the heels of news that Rep. Dan Branch, R-Dallas, who is also running, had secured support from six of current Attorney General Greg Abbott’s former top-aides.

This week Branch also released a campaign video that promises his voter base that he would continue to fight against abortion rights and Gay Marriage.

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Government
3:01 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

West, Texas Approved For Major Disaster Relief Funding

Gov. Rick Perry at a press conference addressing the explosion in West, Texas.
Ryan Poppe TPR News

The governor’s office has announced the town of West will receive major disaster funding following an appeal of FEMA’s original decision to deny the town federal relief.

Early this summer, the Federal Emergency Management Agency announced they would not be awarding the town of West major disaster relief following the massive fertilizer plant explosion that took out much of the area’s roads, schools and water system.

That original ruling has been reversed.

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Special Session
2:03 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

House Panel Approves Transportation Funding Bill With Amended Changes

Chris Eudaily TPR News

A transportation panel of seven state representatives heard from the head of the Texas Department of Transportation about the transportation bill that passed the Senate and how it will benefit the State Highway Fund beyond the next two years.

"If we don’t increase our resources now, our production in dollar terms will fall to levels not seen since the early 2000s," said TxDOT Executive Director Phil Wilson. "Meanwhile, more and more people move to Texas [and] congestion worsens."

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City Government
1:36 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

New Ordinance Changes Vehicle-For-Hire Regulations, Including Horse-Drawn Carriages

City of San Antonio

Following a month-long summer break, the San Antonio City Council reconvened Thursday and quickly got down to business, passing a new vehicle-for-hire ordinance that takes effect in two weeks.

More than 40 citizens signed up to speak on a proposal to update the city’s vehicle-for-hire ordinance, which among other regulations would:

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Government
12:05 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

New Committee Formed To Help Reduce Ethical Conflicts In City Contracts

District 1 Councilman Diego Bernal was named chair of a new committee that will examine high profile contracts to help avoid conflicts of interest.
Ryan Loyd TPR News

In a memo to the San Antonio City Council and city staff, Mayor Julián Castro announced the appointments of the council to the various council sub-committees. Each committee hears issues before they reach the full city council.

The memo included the announcement of a new committee called the High Profile Contracts Accountability, which will check over high-profile contracts and monitor vendor performance on those contracts.

The addition of an ethics-based committee is a reinforcement by Castro in light of recent ethics lapses inside City Hall.

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Special Session Part III
11:05 am
Fri August 2, 2013

Missing Lawmakers May Bring Third Special Session To A Halt

Ryan Poppe TPR News

Just after the start of the third special session of the 83rd Texas Legislature, Speaker of the House Rep. Joe Straus of San Antonio excused over 35 members because of pressing business in their individual districts.

A transportation bill that passed the Senate this week will require 100 votes in the House in order to pass, but the missing members will likely keep the bill from getting enough votes to pass.

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Business
9:19 am
Fri August 2, 2013

The Rim Avoids Foreclosure With $1 Million Tax Check

Bexar County

The Rim shopping center on the city’s Northwest side has avoided a sticky situation with its retail tenants by writing a $1 million check to Bexar County, which may be the largest single delinquent property tax payment collected in the county’s history.

The high-fashion shopping center on IH-10 draws thousands of shoppers every day, but even with all that money changing hands, The Rim has been in tax trouble for at least four years.

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