Philadelphia To Host The 2016 Democratic National Convention

Philadelphia will host the Democratic National Convention in 2016, DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz announced on Thursday.

“I am thrilled to announce that Philadelphia will host the convention where we will nominate the 45th President of the United States,” Wasserman Schultz said. “In addition to their commitment to a seamless and safe convention, Philadelphia’s deep rooted place in American history provides a perfect setting for this special gathering. I cannot wait to join Democrats across the country to celebrate our shared values, lay out a Democratic vision for the future, and support our nominee.”

New York and Columbus, Ohio, were the two other cities hoping to secure the Democratic convention.

The event is scheduled for the week of July 25, 2016.

Candidates for the Democratic ticket are limited at this point unlike the crowded field of possible GOP candidates. Vice President Joe Biden says he will be making his final decision about running for president by the end of the summer. Suspected frontrunner Hillary Clinton has yet to announce whether or not she will make a second bid for the White House.

Clinton is expected to win the Democratic nomination, if she does in fact enter the race.

The last time Philadelphia hosted a presidential convention was in 2000, when Republicans chose then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush as the GOP nominee.

The Republican Party previously announced it would hold its presidential nominating convention the week before the Democratic convention in Cleveland.

Jon Stewart To Step Down As Host Of The Daily Show

Jon Stewart will step down as the host of “The Daily Show” he announced during a taping of the show on Tuesday.

“For the better part of the last two decades, I have had the incredible honor and privilege of working with Jon Stewart. His comedic brilliance is second to none. Jon has been at the heart of Comedy Central, championing and nurturing the best talent in the industry, in front of and behind the camera. Through his unique voice and vision, ‘The Daily Show’ has become a cultural touchstone for millions of fans and an unparalleled platform for political comedy that will endure for years to come. Jon will remain at the helm of ‘The Daily Show’ until later this year. He is a comic genius, generous with his time and talent, and will always be a part of the Comedy Central family,” Comedy Central president Michele Ganeless said in a statement.

Stewart has anchored “The Daily Show” since 1999.

His retirement comes only two months after Stephen Colbert ended his run on “The Colbert Report” to take over CBS’s “Late Show” following David Letterman retirement later this year.

No replacement has been announced for Stewart.

San Antonio Zoo Celebrates Black Bears 10th Birthday

SAN ANTONIO — Two American black bears celebrated their 10th birthday today at the San Antonio Zoo with children, parents, members of the media and zoo staff.

Molly and Kashka, who were originally born in the wild, have been at the San Antonio Zoo for almost their entire life.

The two 350-pound bears shared two cakes made for them by Jennifer Banda in the Nutrition Center. One of the cakes was made of the bear’s daily omnivore chow, fruits and vegetables while the other was made out of a hollowed out watermelon.

“The cake itself is made up of omnivore chow, which is a chow that they normally eat on a day-to-day basis, crushed up and mixed together with some gelatin, honey, peanut butter, all squished together and shaped into a cake to make it more exciting for us to watch,” said San Antonio Zoo Training and Enrichment specialist Christina Burges.

In addition to the two cakes, the birthday girls were given presents filled with scented hay and vegetables.

The zoo will also hold a birthday party for Bubba the Komodo dragon’s 21st birthday Saturday at 1:30 p.m. Craig Pelke, curator of reptiles, amphibians and aquatics for the zoo, says he hopes the weather will be nice enough for Bubba to celebrate his birthday in the outside exhibit.

Pope Francis To Address Congress In September

WASHINGTON, D.C – Pope Francis will make history when he addresses a joint meeting of Congress in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 24.

The address will mark the first time the head of the world’s Roman Catholics will address Congress.

The trip, which is the first to the U.S. during his two-year papacy, includes a White House meeting with President Barack Obama, a speech to the United Nations in New York and a Catholic rally for families in Philadelphia.

“We’re humbled that the Holy Father has accepted our invitation and certainly look forward to receiving his message on behalf of the American people,” House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said.

“We are eager to welcome His Holiness to the U.S. Capitol and we look forward to hearing his call to live our values, to protect the poor and the needy, and to promote peace,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said in a written statement.

According to a survey conducted by Pew Research Center, 31 percent of Congress is Catholic, including Boehner and Pelosi. Approximately 22 percent of all Americans are Catholic, according to the survey.

Pope Francis, 78, was elected by the College of Cardinals to replace Pope Benedict XVI in March 2103 after Benedict resigned due to his advancing age. Francis is the first ever pope from the Western Hemisphere.

Van De Putte, Taylor To Compete In Runoff Election

SAN ANTONIO — Former State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte and interim Mayor Ivy T. Taylor will compete in a runoff election on June 13 after neither candidate earned more than 50 percent of the vote.

Van de Putte, who entered the mayoral race after losing the lieutenant gubernatorial race to Dan Patrick, earned 25,982 votes, equaling 30.43 percent of the total vote. Taylor earned 24,245 votes, equaling 28.4 percent of the vote.

Taylor was appointed interim mayor by her fellow city council members in June 2014 after then-Mayor Julian Castro announced he would be leaving to Washington, D.C. to become Secretary of Housing and Urban Development in the Obama administration.

Former State Rep. Mike Villarreal missed the runoff election by nearly 2,000 votes. Villarreal earned 22,246 votes, equaling 26.06 percent of the votes. Former Bexar County Commissioner Tommy Adkisson earned 8,344 votes equaling only 9.77 percent of the total vote.

Both Villarreal and Adkisson have conceded the race.

All ten incumbent city council members led their respective races. City Councilman Cris Medina will have to compete in a runoff election with Mari Aguirre-Rodriguez. Medina earned 46.88 percent to Aguirre-Rodriguez’s 27.8 percent. Aguirre-Rodriguez served as interim city councilwoman in District 7.

The runoff election is set for Saturday, June 13. Early voting begins on Monday, June 1 and ends Tuesday, June 9.

Former Gop Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney Will Not Run For President In 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C – 2012 GOP Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney announced Friday that he would not be making a bid for the White House in 2016.

“After putting considerable thought into making another run for president, I’ve decided it is best to give other leaders in the party the opportunity to become our next nominee,” Romney told supporters on a conference call from New York.

Romney, 64, has made two bids for the White House before. In 2008, Romney withdrew his name for the Republican nomination before endorsing Arizona Senator John McCain. In 2012, Romney, with the backing of the majority of the party, earned the Republican nomination.

The announcement not to run comes after many of his former major donors and a veteran staffer in the early voting state of Iowa defected to support former Florida Governor Jeb Bush.

Bush formed a PAC, which is required for raising money and hiring a staff for a campaign, in December of last year.

The 61-year-old former governor reacted to Romney’s announcement on social media.

“Mitt Romney has been a leader in our party for many years. There are few people who have worked harder to elect Republicans across the country than he has.” Bush said via Facebook. ”Though I’m sure today’s decision was not easy, I know that Mitt Romney will never stop advocating for renewing America’s promise through upward mobility, encouraging free enterprise and strengthening our national defense. Mitt is a patriot and I join many in hoping his days of serving our nation and our party are not over. I look forward to working with him to ensure all Americans have a chance to rise up.”

Bush and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie would have served as Romney’s most likely rivals for the support of GOP members and donors.

Romney is not expected to endorse another Republican candidate.

“I am convinced that we could win the nomination, but I fully realize it would have been a difficult test and hard fight,” Romney said.

As for reconsidering another bid for the White House in the future, Romney said it “seems unlikely.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham: “I Don’t Email”

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) talks to reporters as he arrives at a closed door briefing June 4, 2014 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Officials from the Obama Administration were on the Hill to brief Senate members on the release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images.

As former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton faces criticism about her use of a private email address during her time in the administration, U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) admitted he has never sent an email.

“I don’t email,” Graham said on NBC’s “Meet the Press”. “You can have every email I’ve ever sent. I’ve never sent one.”

Graham said he wants to know “did she communicate on behalf of (the) Clinton Foundation as secretary of state?” or if “she (called) the terrorist attack in Benghazi a terrorist attack in real time?”

Clinton’s lone comment of the controversy surrounding her home-based email server came via twitter.

“I want the public to see my email. I asked State to release them. They said they will review them for release as soon as possible,” Clinton told her 2.9 million followers.

Graham, a Republican Senator from South Carolina, is reportedly weighing a bid for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016. Clinton is also reportedly looking into running for the Democratic nomination.

Four File For District 124 Texas House Seat

SAN ANTONIO — Four Democrats are officially in the running for Texas House District 124, the Bexar County seat opened up by José Menéndez’s election to the State Senate last month.

Candidates to replace the San Antonio Democrat include San Antonio City Councilmember Delicia Herrera, firefighter Nathan Alonzo, attorney Ina Minjarez and insurance agent David Rosa.

Rosa, who is listed as a Democrat for the special election, unsuccessfully ran as a Republican against now U.S. Representative Joaquin Castro in 2012.

Menéndez, who has held the District 124 seat since 2000, won a special election to fill the vacated seat of Leticia Van de Putte, who is running for Mayor of San Antonio.

Early voting begins March 23 and ends March 27. Election Day is March 31.

Senator Ted Cruz’s Spokeswoman Likely Headed To Pac

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) speaks during the ‘Exempt America from Obamacare’ rally, on Capitol Hill, September 10, 2013 in Washington, DC. Some conservative lawmakers are making a push to try to defund the health care law as part of the debates over the budget and funding the federal government. Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images.

The spokeswoman for U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) will leave her Washington, D.C. office to join the senator’s political action committee based in Austin.

Catherine Frazier, Cruz’s official Senate press secretary, is set to leave her job at the end of the month and relocate to her hometown of Houston. Frazier is expected to join the senator’s Jobs, Growth and Freedom PAC.

Cruz is considering a run for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016.

Frazier, a graduate of the University of Texas, previously worked as former-Governor Rick Perry’s press secretary and also served as deputy communications director for Texans for Rick Perry, Perry’s PAC.

The Washington Times reported on Monday that Brian Phillips, the communications director to U.S. Mike Lee (R-Utah), has also joined Cruz’s PAC.

Spurs Ceo Named The 2015 Grand Marshal For The Battle Of Flowers Parade

Friday, the Battle of Flowers Association revealed San Antonio Spurs CEO, Peter Holt as the grand marshal of the oldest event and largest parade of Fiesta San Antonio.

Janet Putman, Battle of Flowers Parade Chair, shared the announcement at the AT&T Center, acknowledging the success that Holt has helped bring to the Countdown City.

During Holt’s numerous seasons as Chairman and CEO he has enjoyed extraordinary growth and success. Putman said, “During his 18-year tenure as chairman, CEO and principal owner of the five-time champion, San Antonio Spurs, the team has become one of the most successful franchises in professional sports history.”

Although Holt was not in attendance at the press conference, his spirited companion, the Spurs Coyote, ditched his normal team jersey and showed off his professional side in a suit and tie while wearing a name tag stating, “My name is Peter Holt.” The coyote soon celebrated alongside Silver Dancers as confetti canons were fired. Holt’s children, Peter John Holt and Corinna Holt Richter attended to support their father.

According to a press release, the “This Land Is Your Land” themed parade will include 44 floats garnished with colorful flowers transporting Fiesta royalty. Luckily, there will be 100 “pooper scoopers” following 200 horses. Additionally, the parade will incorporate 28 marching bands, 15 carriages and antique cars and eight precision drill teams to entertain the audience.

The 2015 Battle of Flowers Parade has more than 200 entries, over 9,000 participants and approximately 2,000 JROTC students to create the Vanguard. Putman announced the 400-member Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band will lead the parade.

Visit www.battleofflowers.org to purchase tickets and view seating diagrams. Beginning March 20, tickets will be for sale at the Fiesta Store located at 2611 Broadway.

The parade is scheduled for Friday, April 24 with a vanguard procession at 11:45 a.m. prior to the parade beginning at 12:15 p.m.

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