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Newsmonger

Newsmonger: AF recruiter charged with rape, Chan targets Nexolon deal

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Council unanimously approved a package relatively standard for such deals — an economic development grant, tax abatements, and fee waivers totaling almost $4 million. But Northside council members — Districts 8, 9, and 10 — opposed a particular item that provided $12 million in future funding for Brooks, drawn from CPS revenues generated by Nexolon and from a future bond program (scheduled for 2017).

In an email to constituents this week, Chan further explained her opposition. "In my opinion, incentives should only be awarded when we can achieve a better 'net gain' for the City of San Antonio and its citizens," she wrote. "In this case, the package is simply too generous and I see more loss in this deal than gain."

While the Brooks property has been valued at $17 million, Nexolon will pay just $5 million, despite Brooks policy that requires it get fair market value for the property sale. The $12 million provided to Brooks is essentially to offset that low-ball sale, Chan says, contending the money's not an investment for Brooks, as has been touted by City staff, but rather a massive subsidy for Nexolon.

The Brooks City Base board was set to consider the $5 million land sale this week.

PP still out of WHP

Texas last week officially launched its Texas Women's Health Program without Planned Parenthood on the roster of approved providers.

A district judge last week declined to issue a temporary restraining order PP had requested, ruling Texas can legally cut PP out of the new fully state-funded TWHP because the organization's non-abortion providing family planning clinics are "affiliates" of those PP clinics that do provide abortion services (and get no state funding).

The Texas WHP is meant to replace the very successful Medicaid-waiver program that officials let lapse this year when the feds insisted they couldn't legally fund a program that bans qualified Medicaid providers (re: PP). In that program, which drew 90% of its funding from the feds, PP was the single largest provider of services, which included cancer screenings and birth control.

In filing its suit last month PP joined with WHP client Marcela "Marcy" Balquinta, a student and education coordinator in McAllen who argues that if the courts allow the PP ban, she wouldn't have access to women's health care because of the of the shortage of providers in the Rio Grande Valley. Though a judge declined the TRO last week, an injunction hearing in the case is scheduled for Jan. 11.

As it currently stands, nearly 50,000 low-income, uninsured women who had used PP as a healthcare provider under the WHP will have to find another provider. PP and its supporters insist there aren't providers to take in those orphaned by the PP ban.

Mex Mafia member loses appeal

A federal appeals court has denied the appeal of a local Mexican Mafia member sentenced to death for strangling a woman in 1998.

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