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On Fronteras: El Paso Jailing Poor Traffic Offenders, San Antonio's Spanish Heritage

Bexar County
Image of mission in exhibit exploring Spanish colonoization of Bexar County.

This week on Fronteras:  

·         A federal lawsuit against the border city of El Paso aims to stop the city from jailing poor traffic offenders who can’t pay their fines.

·         Dallas police test the new sponge gun- an alternative to shooting suspects with bullets.

·         Racial slur incident at Texas A&M sparks a teaching symposium

·         In San Diego, homeless children of immigrants may not get the help they need to stay in school.

·         A new exhibit shows how the Spanish colonized Bexar County centuries ago. 

El Paso Sued Over Jailing Poor Traffic Offenders

The border city of El Paso, Texas is under fire for its policy that allows officers to jail people who can't pay their traffic fines.  A federal lawsuit is challenging the policy, saying it violates the right to equal protection under the law… by discriminating against the poor.   Marfa Public Radio’s Lorne Matalon reports the policy in El Paso also is being enforced in other cities.   

Dallas Police Test Sponge Guns To Avoid Deadly Shootings

Dallas police have a new weapon in their arsenal:  the sponge gun. It launches a hardened foam projectile and gives officers an alternative to shooting a gun with bullets. KERA’s Lauren Silverman explains why Dallas wants to use it.

Here's the story

Racial Slurs Used As A Teaching Tool

You may remember a story we reported in February when students of color from a Dallas charter school were pelted with racial insults during a visit to the Texas A&M campus in College Station.  KERA’s Bill Zeeble heard similar stories about other colleges and recommendations for how students can respond during a recent charter school symposium.

Here's the story

Grant Falls Through For Homeless Students

When the school day ends in San Diego, there are children go home to trailers in scrap yards, motels by the railroad tracks, and cars parked on suburban streets.  Some of their parents are immigrants who haven’t been able to find work.  KPBS reporter Megan Wood reports these kids qualify for federal funds but they don’t always get the help they need.

Here's the story

Exhibit Shows How Spanish Settled Bexar County

In the 1700's and 1800's,  the Spanish sought to extend their colonies by building missions in what is now San Antonio and Bexar County.  Texas Public Radio's Jack Morgan reports an exhibit that documents that colonization has just opened in the Alamo City, with fanfare.

Here's the story

Shelley Kofler is Texas Public Radio’s news director. She joined the San Antonio station in December 2014 and leads a growing staff that produces two weekly programs; a daily talk show, news features, reports and online content. Prior to TPR, Shelley served as the managing editor and news director at KERA in Dallas-Fort Worth, and the Austin bureau chief and legislative reporter for North Texas ABC affiliate WFAA-TV.