News Speed reads

Mystery money

San Antonio Police continue to investigate a briefcase of money anonymously left at the Islamic Center, 8638 Fairhaven. Sheikh Yousef of the center discovered the blue case half-open and full of money outside the door around 5 a.m. Wednesday, August 3 while he was opening the building for morning prayers. He immediately called 911, who dispatched a bomb squad to evacuate the area and examine the mysterious package. Nothing unusual was found, besides the fact that someone would inexplicably abandon the reported $1,000 to $1,500. Sarwat Husain, president of the San Antonio chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations, said center officials are concerned about the incident because of its ambiguity. "We have anonymous donors all the time, but there are boxes right outside in which to do that," said Husain. "Even if this was just an innocent donation, the Islamic Center wants to send a message to other people that there are better ways in which to donate anonymously."

By Nicole Chavez

Worker shortage

Last week's good news was that Toyota plans to pump an additional $50 million into its San Antonio manufacturing plant, bringing the annual production capacity to 200,000 Tundras. The bad news is, concerns loom over the number of skilled workers who can meet the challenge. At a June 23 City Council meeting, a Texas Workforce Commission official said that some SA-area residents are being considered for skilled jobs - electrical, mechanical, and hydraulics - but the TWC has expanded the search area to include regions outside Bexar and the 11 surrounding counties in the targeted hiring area.

During a conference call from Japan, County Judge Nelson Wolff tied the workforce issue to the ACCD bond issue, which, if passed this fall, will help pay for improvements and expansions for the Alamo Community College District. `See web extra,` "The key to job training is the junior college system."

Mayor Phil Hardberger agreed. "We can have enough trained workers; we need to put our shoulder to the wheel to make that happen."

By Lisa Sorg