San Antonio

Marjorie Kamys Cotera, Texas Tribune

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Call them idealistic, but the Texas delegates in town for this week’s Democratic National Convention are reading a lot into the selection of San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro to give Tuesday night’s keynote address.

Sure, it means a great deal for Castro’s own political aspirations: The Democratic Party's rising star is already one of the nation’s youngest mayors, a Stanford- and Harvard-educated 37-year-old Latino with an equally ambitious identical twin. Castro sat next to first lady Michelle Obama at the 2012 State of the Union address, another sign he was being primed for the national spotlight.

“They recognize Julián Castro is a potential statewide candidate — very likely to be the first one we’ve had in a long time in the very near future,” said Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa.

flickr.com/steveritchie

A San Antonio scientist looking for possible causes of autism is taking an unusual approach. University of Texas Health Science Center epidemiologist Dr. Raymond Palmer is using baby teeth to try to root out some answers.

The project is nicknamed “the tooth fairy studies” because to conduct his research, Dr. Palmer collects old, donated baby teeth from kids with and without autism. He is trying to discover how environmental effects  -- from as early as conception – can determine whether a child develops autistic traits.

flickr.com/petirrojo

The General Land Office is allowing beer, wine and liquor to be served outside of the Alamo – and for some, that decision isn’t going down easy.

A decision from the GLO allows for alcohol to be served during private events at Alamo Hall, on the grounds of the famous San Antonio mission that serves as a symbol of Texas independence.

The Daughters of the Republic of Texas serves as the Alamo’s longtime caretaker. It’s disputing the GLO’s decision. 

Update 10:50 a.m.: The San Antonio Police Department says the boy has been found and is "safe and sound."

Earlier: The San Antonio Police Department has issued an Amber Alert for a 3-year-old boy. Police say Gabriel Rivera was abducted by two people in a gold Ford Explorer.

The vehicle has Texas plates with the license plate number: 5-7-R-8-4-5-4.

The missing toddler was last seen yesterday. He is Hispanic with brown hair and brown eyes. He’s about 3-feet tall and weighs about 35 pounds.

Police believe he is in danger.

Photo by Daniel Reese for KUT News

Should schools be able to keep tabs on a student’s location?

Because Texas schools are funded per student in attendance, budgets hinge on the accuracy of morning roll call. The use of Radio Frequency Identification tags, or RFIDs, can certainly improve accuracy, but some consider them an invasion of privacy.

RFIDs are small beacons that both transmit and receive information. They’re often used to track product inventory. But some school districts have attached RFIDs to students’ photo ID cards, letting administrators know which students are on campus.

Photo by Jon Mallard http://www.flickr.com/photos/mallard10/

Opening arguments began this week in a lawsuit filed by luxury fashion brand Louis Vuitton against San Antonio’s Eisenhauer flea market. The French company says the flea market allowed vendors to sell counterfeit products and is seeking $18 million.

Louis Vuitton’s lawyer said in opening arguments that the company sent representatives to the Eisenhauer Market and found as many as 15 vendors selling fake Louis Vuitton products, the San Antonio Express-News reports.

A lawyer for the market said its on-site manager was not trained to recognized counterfeit items.

Photo by littlemoresunshine http://www.flickr.com/photos/littlemoresunshine/

When the temperatures drop and the skies become overcast, it might be easy to forget that we are still in the worst single-year drought in Texas history. But as the Lower Colorado River Authority points out, the cooler weather should not be mistaken for drought relief.

Lakes Travis and Buchanan, our region’s water supply reservoirs, are 37 percent full. Lake Travis is 41 feet below its monthly average. Lake Buchanan is 23 feet lower than its average, causing a piece of land normally underwater to become visible.

Not only is “Sometimes Island” in plain view, the Statesman reports, but for the first time since the 60’s, you don’t even need a boat to get to it.

Photo by Broken Piggy Bank http://www.flickr.com/photos/jremigio/

San Antonio tourism officials are hoping to attract the international travelers who could flood Austin during Formula One events. Casandra Matej, executive director of the San Antonio Visitors and Convention Bureau, says the ideal international visitor would stay a few evenings in Austin and then head to San Antonio.

“There will be San Antonio opportunities to kind of create synergy for that," she said. "We can provided that extended stay for the people that are going to enjoy the race.”

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