Sen. Campbell files bill to address quarries, concrete plants in Texas Hill Country

Sen. Campbell files bill to address quarries, concrete plants in Texas Hill Country

AUSTIN – State Senator Donna Campbell filed Senate Bill 208 today to extend requirements for setbacks, or buffer zones, around aggregate facilities. If passed, the bill would double the current 440 yard requirement between concrete plants or quarries and existing residences, schools, and churches to 880 yards, or a half mile. The proposed change is the result of multiple discussions with Kendall and Comal County residents after Vulcan Materials proposed expanding their operations in the Hill Country, including opening a…

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Dennis Bonnen says he has the votes to become the next speaker of the Texas House

State Rep. Dennis Bonnen announced Monday that he has support from 109 members to become the next speaker of the Texas House. That number, if it holds, is more than enough votes for him to win the gavel. The Angleton Republican’s announcement came at a press conference not long after four other speaker candidates — Republicans Tan Parker, Four Price and Phil King, along with Democrat Eric Johnson — dropped out of the race within 48 hours. All four endorsed…

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Dem stuns GOP for top county seat

An underdog Democratic candidate stunned a former 14-year commissioner Tuesday to take the highest elected office in Hays County.  Ruben Becerra, a San Marcos business owner, defeated Will Conley by 2,649 votes, according to unofficial, final results. All results will be canvassed by the Hays County Commissioners Court at a later date.  Becerra, who unsuccessfully ran for the San Marcos CISD board of trustees and Mayor of San Marcos in previous years, won his first elected position. It also marks the first time…

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2018 election results: Austin shoots down Props J and K, approves $925 million in bonds

2018 election results: Austin shoots down Props J and K, approves $925 million in bonds

A huge victory for local land conservation came out of yesterday’s election: $184 million for flood mitigation, $72 million of which will be used for open space protection around Austin.“Proposition D passed with 84% of the vote, the largest approval percentage of all of the items on the ballot. What a terrific community nod for land protection! Clearly conservation is a high priority for the people of Austin.” – Ted Siff, Austin Together PAC Read more about each proposition from…

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Texas Supreme Court denies petition challenging New Braunfels ‘can ban’

Texas Supreme Court denies petition challenging New Braunfels ‘can ban’

The Texas Supreme Court denied a petition for review Friday that challenges New Braunfels’ longtime “can ban.” The ordinance, also referred to as the can ban, prohibits the use of can or any disposable items on the river, keeping the river cleaner and improving the health and safety of the city’s waterways, according to the city. The Stop The Ordinances Please Association filed a petition for review in its lawsuit challenging the New Braunfels Disposable Container and Cooler Size Ordinances.…

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Devils River Landowners Say Wind Farms Threaten Wild Character of Texas’ Last Untamed River

Devils River Landowners Say Wind Farms Threaten Wild Character of Texas’ Last Untamed River

Conflicts between energy producers and conservationists are nothing new in Texas, but a recent fight in Val Verde County centers around wind farms and whether they belong in one of the wildest natural areas left in the state. Members of the Devils River Conservancy, whose group includes landowners with property on the Devils River, have launched a campaign called “Don’t Blow It,” to advocate against wind development along the Devils and Pecos rivers north of the Texas-Mexico border. They fear an explosion of…

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Texas deer industry to bring concerns over chronic wasting disease to Legislature

Texas deer industry to bring concerns over chronic wasting disease to Legislature

For some Texans, there’s big money in deer. Breeding and raising whitetail deer, running deer hunts on ranches, it’s all part of a multibillion-dollar industry. But since 2015, deer breeders and the state have been locked in an old-fashioned standoff. Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission has restricted the movement of this deer population in an effort to contain chronic wasting disease. Meanwhile, the Texas deer industry says this hurts its livelihood, and it plans to push lawmakers to make changes during…

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Wildlife and The Wall

Wildlife and The Wall

“I wish that everybody who wanted to build an actual, physical wall could come and see this place first, because I think if they came and saw it and realized what the wall was going through and what it would do would have a profound impact on their way of thinking.” Filmmaker Ben Masters’ trailer of Wildlife and The Wall describes the trials of the Big Bend region and the impacts Trump’s proposed border wall would have on wildlife. “The…

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Recovering America’s Wildlife Act Offers Exceptional Opportunity to Help Wildlife, Business, and Texans in the Hill Country

Recovering America’s Wildlife Act Offers Exceptional Opportunity to Help Wildlife, Business, and Texans in the Hill Country

With fish and wildlife populations under decline throughout the country, Hill Country Texans are hailing a new opportunity to reverse this trend.  The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, H.R. 4647 in the U.S. House of Representatives, would provide $1.3 billion annually from existing federal revenues for state-led projects to improve and restore fish and wildlife habitats, without any increase in taxes. This federal legislation represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to provide crucial conservation funding, increase regulatory certainty for business and industries, support…

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Will Austin stores restock single-use plastic bags now that the city’s ban is lifted?

Will Austin stores restock single-use plastic bags now that the city’s ban is lifted?

Austin is ending its ban on free single-use plastic bags at stores and restaurants after a state Supreme Court ruling against a similar ban in Laredo. But repealing the ordinance, commonly known as the “bag ban,” doesn’t mean every store will start handing them out again. “In Austin, where people shop their environmental values, I think large retailers are going to continue the policy of not giving away single-use plastic bags for free,” says Rick Cofer, one of the people who spearheaded the bag…

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