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Vince Kong / Texas Public Radio

As 2018 comes to a close, we're looking back at the stories that defined the year that was, according to you.

KENS 5

Update 12:25 p.m. Monday Two of the seven victims were treated and released by University Health System, one of seven hospitals receiving those found. University Health System declined to say if the victims were discharged to law enforcement.

Eileen Pace

Bexar County commissioners Tuesday approved a nearly $1.7 billion budget for the next fiscal year.

Officials say higher property values allowed the county to lower the tax rate while increasing services for family justice, neighborhoods, and public safety.

County commissioners took a long look at a law enforcement budget request and in the end, approved the largest program change, according to Sheriff Susan Pamerleau, in anyone’s memory.

Bexar County

  

A family court judge is asking Bexar County to help fund a pilot program that would streamline cases in the family courts.  Judge Peter Sakai hopes to add two court managers and other elements to the program that will help connect the dots with other parts of the legal system.

The child abuse and neglect court in Bexar County accounts for $3.5 million a year in fees for court-appointed attorneys.

"And our system is second only to the total felony courts," Sakai said. 

Planned Parenthood

For years, the Planned Parenthood Association of Hidalgo County have served the women of their region by providing physicals, pap smears, mammograms, screening for cancer, HIV and sexually transmitted infections and treatment for diabetes, but not abortions.    

But CEO Patricio Gonzales says the stigma of being associated with abortions led to their board's decision to change the group's name to Access Esperanza, Inc. and split fully with Planned Parenthood.

A new study that uses stem cells to regenerate teeth is underway at the UT Health Science Center in San Antonio. 

 The study is looking at restoring the life of a damaged tooth and bringing the practice to the forefront as the go-to treatment to replace standard root canals, which cause affected teeth to die. 

 Dr. Anibal Diogenes, assistant professor of endodontics at the UT Health Science Center, said children are at risk for serious problems with their teeth, especially the front teeth.

Veterans Treatment Court, San Antonio

    

The Bexar County Veterans Treatment Court is reaching the end of its grant funding and its judge is calling on the county to fund the court's ongoing operation.

The court processes hundreds of veterans – many of whom have been awarded the Purple Heart or Bronze Star. It has been operating out of County Court 6 for the last four years, working with veterans accused of misdemeanor crimes to get them out of the offending cycle and help them back into productive lives. 

Ryan Loyd / TPR News

The Texas education commissioner has informed federal officials the state intends to seek a $30 million grant that would expand pre-kindergarten opportunities. That would include increasing enrollment for non-English speaking students and possible all-day pre-K.

While the two gubernatorial candidates debate how pre-K should be run, Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams wants to make sure Texas has the financial resources for increasing pre-K opportunities.  

Ryan E. Poppe

Wendy Davis' Republican gubernatorial opponent Greg Abbott has gone from asking for a general inquiry regarding Davis' book sales and promotional activity to launching a formal complaint with the Texas Ethics Commission.

The Abbott campaign filed the formal complaint during the first stop of Davis’ book signing tour in Austin.

In a statement, the Abbott campaign’s Matt Hirsch writes:

"Sen. Davis' book promotion has gone from ethically questionable to outright unlawful,"  

City of San Antonio

Interim Councilwoman Mari Aguirre-Rodriguez is shaking her staff up at city hall, calling for suspensions of top aides in the office and the reassignment of others. Derek Roberts, the chief of staff, and Colin Strother, the senior adviser, have been restricted from city hall and the men say their access to the computer system has been shut off.

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