local news

City Government
8:26 am
Thu September 5, 2013

San Antonio City Council Hears From Public On Eve Of Historic Non-Discrimination Revision Vote

Councilman Ray Lopez, along with Ron Nirenberg, listens to people speak in favor and against the proposed non-discrimination ordinance.
Ryan Loyd TPR News

It was one of the last chances residents had to speak directly to each council member about a proposed revision to San Antonio’s non-discrimination ordinance.

More than 700 people – more than last week – signed up. After midnight, Mayor Julián Castro had those who had yet to speak line up so they could approach the podium quickly because the council will be back in the morning to hear from more citizens ahead of its expected vote on the matter.

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Community
7:19 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Competing Noon Time Rallies On Non-Discrimination Ordinance Proposal Conflict

Supporters and opponents have held rallies on the steps of City Hall almost daily ahead of the city council's upcoming vote on the proposed non-discrimination ordinance.
Ryan Loyd TPR News

In the days leading up to the San Antonio City Council vote on the proposed revisions to the non-discrimination ordinance, the steps in front of City Hall have transformed into a stage for supporters and opponents.

On Wednesday, two groups that disagree with each other had an event planned for the same time.

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City Government
6:16 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Councilman Carlton Soules Records B Session Because City Did Not Broadcast Meeting

District 10 Councilman Carlton Soules, along with colleague, District 9 Councilwoman Elisa Chan, to residents on the non-discrimination ordinance in the early morning hours of Sept. 5, 2013.
Ryan Loyd TPR News

He’s not a multi-media professional, nor does he have formal training in audio/visual technology.

But District 10 Councilman Carlton Soules had last week’s B session recorded and posted to his website because it was not broadcast on the city’s public access channel, TVSA.

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Government
12:50 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Non-Discrimination Ordinance Opponents Target Mayor Julian Castro For Recall

Mayor Julian Castro listens to residents speaking in support and against a proposed non-discrimination ordinance in the early morning hours of Sept. 5, 2013.
Ryan Loyd TPR News

Several groups are now targeting Mayor Julian Castro for violating his duties according to the Constitution for supporting the proposed non-discrimination ordinance. The groups include the Bexar County Conservative Coalition, the San Antonio Family Association, and the Justice Foundation.

They are also collecting signatures to oust District 1 Councilman Diego Bernal, who has been spearheading the issue, for the same reasons.

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Business
5:16 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

Construction Firms Report Shortage In Labor Pool

A Texas A&M-San Antonio building under construction.
Eileen Pace TPR News

Construction firms across the country are looking for skilled workers to fill positions but are running into a shortage of craftsmen.

A survey released by the Associated General Contractors of America shows at least 74 percent of construction firms are having difficulty finding skilled workers like carpenters and 53 percent report the same problem for administrative jobs.

The numbers are even more stark for San Antonio: About 83 percent say they can’t find the workers they need.

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Texas Water
4:26 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

Texas Water Development Board Chairman Ready To Face Challenges

Medina Lake on Jan. 31, 2013, a victim of continued drought conditions.
Flickr user jwhippy cc

Texas has a new Water Development Board and this week Gov. Rick Perry swore in three members of the newly-created agency that is tasked with finding new sources of water and funding various future water projects.

During the regular session, the Texas Legislature approved a bill that created Prop 6, which will go on the ballot this fall for voters to decide. The measure takes $2 billion out of the Rainy Day Fund to help set up the funding for the next 50 years of various private and public water projects.

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Abortion In Texas
3:53 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

Online Game Explores What It's Like To Be A Woman Getting An Abortion In Texas

Leah is one of the characters in Choice: Texas. Here she is as illustrated by our team's artist, Grace Jennings.
Choice: Texas

Two women from the Austin area are launching a new online video game where the gamer steps into the shoes of several women in different socioeconomic, geographic and demographic brackets who are all faced with getting an abortion under Texas abortion restrictions.

The game is called Choice: Texas and allows users to pick from a set of women with different life scenarios and then chose which direction they will take based on the state’s abortion restrictions.

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Pre-K 4 SA
2:58 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

Pre-K 4 SA Learning Centers Over 150 Students Shy Of Capacity

A classroom in the Southside Pre-K 4 SA learning center.
Ryan Loyd TPR News

Pre-K 4 SA CEO Kathy Bruck updated the board Tuesday on the struggle to fill the two education centers to capacity. So far only 537 of the 700 slots are filled -- 229 students are enrolled at the Southside center, and 308 are enrolled in the North Side center.

Bruck believes some families will be better served with centers closer to their homes on the East and West Sides, which open next year.

She also said it's partly because it is a brand new program that many families still don't know about.

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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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