Prized lands await public

San Antonio Express-News & Houston Chronicle Superintendent James Rice spends each day maintaining 3,757 acres of Hill Country land northwest of San Antonio in hopes that it will eventually be open to the public. He is the only employee at the Albert and Bessie Kronkosky State Natural Area, so that means an average day includes everything … Continue reading Prized lands await public

Jefferson Davis statue vandalized at UT

San Antonio Express-News & Houston Chronicle  AUSTIN — Hours after University of Texas crews removed red spray paint reading “Black Lives Matter” from a Jefferson Davis monument, the school's president commissioned a task force to make recommendations about whether to remove the controversial statue. The prominently displayed monument of the Confederate president has been under renewed … Continue reading Jefferson Davis statue vandalized at UT

Alamo board to run the shrine of Texas liberty

San Antonio Express-News & Houston Chronicle AUSTIN - A high-profile plan to outsource operations of Texas' most famous landmark has fallen apart after only two bidders applied. Both of the submitted proposals were deemed not viable. Alamo Director Becky Dinnin told the San Antonio Express-News on Friday that the General Land Office was instead charging the … Continue reading Alamo board to run the shrine of Texas liberty

Foster care deaths prompt legislative changes

San Antonio Express-News & Houston Chronicle AUSTIN — An alarming number of deaths of children in foster care last year sparked legislative change this session, but watchdogs argue that those measures didn’t go far enough. There are 17,000 children in foster care in the state. An interim House committee met this year over the cases of … Continue reading Foster care deaths prompt legislative changes

Taylor’s Triumph

San Antonio Express-News (w/ Josh Baugh and Melissa Fletcher Stoeltje) Ivy Taylor secured a spot Saturday in the annals of San Antonio history, becoming the first African-American elected mayor here. Appointed interim mayor last summer, Taylor defeated former state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte in the runoff election. The former lawmaker couldn’t overcome Taylor, despite raising more … Continue reading Taylor’s Triumph

Kids experience the art of legislating up close

San Antonio Express-News AUSTIN — Jacob Hale, 14, thought replacing Confederate Heroes Day with a broader remembrance of the Civil War was just common sense. But when he brought his idea to the Legislature, he found himself branded a “liberal communist” on social media. “At first I was like, ‘That’s kind of strange that people … Continue reading Kids experience the art of legislating up close

Resolutions give small Texas towns a chance to gloat about culture

San Antonio Express-News AUSTIN - An hour and a half drive from the state Capitol will take you to the small town of Llano, with a population of just over 3,000 people who contend they live in the "deer capital of Texas." Many Texans would probably have agreed, until a resolution was filed this session … Continue reading Resolutions give small Texas towns a chance to gloat about culture

San Antonio’s newest lawmaker hits the ground running

San Antonio Express-News AUSTIN — San Antonio’s newest representative took her seat in the House at the end of April — well after the deadline for filing bills and leaving her colleagues little time to grasp the pronunciation of her Spanish surname. “Min-ha-rez,” Rep. Ina Minjarez, D-San Antonio, reminds her colleagues on the floor. “It’s … Continue reading San Antonio’s newest lawmaker hits the ground running

Despite committee OK, pot bills still face hurdles in Legislature

San Antonio Express-News & Houston Chronicle AUSTIN – Any optimism supporters feel from this week's unprecedented committee passage of two bills to legalize or decriminalize marijuana possession in Texas is likely to be shortlived in the face of legislative deadlines and broader opposition in both chambers. A medical marijuana-related bill approved by the Senate on … Continue reading Despite committee OK, pot bills still face hurdles in Legislature

Growing number of women vets prompts need for state program

AUSTIN — A state program to provide a permanent means for women military veterans living in Texas to receive health and parental benefits is advancing in the House and Senate. If the legislation is eventually approved and signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott, the measure would be the first such program geared strictly to … Continue reading Growing number of women vets prompts need for state program