News

Aquarena Overpass to be built by late 2017 to ease railroad traffic

By late 2017, Bobcat commuters can expect to make it to class on time due to the timely construction of the railroad overpass on Aquarena Springs Drive.

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is projected to build the Loop 82 overpass and cut traffic time in favor of San Marcos residents and students.

Kelli Reyna, public information officer at TxDOT said this is a vital project to help with the flow of traffic in the city. The $20.73 million project on the overpass will allow motorists to navigate smoothly through San Marcos.

City council candidate visits College Democrats on campus

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Scott Gregson, Place 5 city council candidate, attended Wednesday’s College Democrats meeting bearing pizza, campaign T-shirts and a message to deliver to potential voters.

“I just want to inform students who are actively involved in the political process,” Gregson said. “It’s great to see young people that are this active this early on in their life. It’s important for them to get out and express their opinions with their votes.”

Gregson said he is in favor of the master plan the city has adopted because it will promote “consistent development” and attract those willing to spend money.

“I’m always amazed to see the innovativeness of young minds that come out of this university,” Gregson said.

University Camp enters stage of rehabilitation after losing $10,000 in revenue

The University Camp’s staff is beginning to rebuild the recreational site after it sustained severe damages during the historic Memorial Day weekend flood.

The campground, located along the banks of the Blanco River in Wimberley, lost approximately $10,000 to $12,000 in revenue after they reimbursed clients who booked space over the summer.

The summer is University Camp’s biggest season, said Anthony Deringer, former coordinator of Outdoor Recreation.

“We had to reimburse people’s user fees for the rest of the summer,” said John Johnson, assistant director of campus recreation.

Among the organizations being reimbursed was the Aquatic Science Camp at Texas State.

Fate of confederate road marker near Sewell Park discussed

During the week following UT’s relocation of a Jefferson Davis statue on campus, Faculty Senate members discussed the future of a Confederate marker located by Sewell Park.

Susan Weil, journalism and mass communication senator, motioned to recommend that the marker be removed or relocated at the Sept. 2 Faculty Senate meeting.

A faculty member brought it to the senate’s attention.

The monument in question is an unofficial road marker commemorating Jefferson Davis. The marker was put in place by the Daughters of the Confederacy.

“I don’t think someone who tries to secede from the country should be honored,” said Rebecca Bell-Metereau, English professor.

TopShelf app gains popularity

The success of the alcohol delivery app TopShelf is off to a slow start after the community had to shift its focus to rebuilding in the aftermath of the Memorial Day Weekend flooding.  

The delivery app launched in San Marcos just one day before the flooding occurred.

“Unfortunately for the city, it just wasn’t a good time,” said Ryan Browne, CEO and founder of the app. “Now that things are better, business is definitely picking up.”

San Martians can use the app to have alcohol delivered to their doorstep by local vendors in partnership with TopShelf.

Browne initially launched TopShelf at the South by Southwest Interactive Festival in Austin in March.  

SAT entrance exam to be redesigned to future scholars

High school students looking to pursue a college degree will now have the option to take the redesigned SAT exam when it makes its debut this spring. 

According to College Board, the revised test will return to a 1600-point scale for scoring and will include some major changes.

“The redesigned SAT is more focused, useful and clear for students, parents and educators than ever before,” said Katherine Levin, media representative of College Board.

College Board officials collected feedback from educators and students about the SAT when they were considering what changes to make, Levin said. College Board made changes to the exam after careful examination of what students need to know about reading, writing and mathematics.

Hooters looking to relocate after denied liquor permit

Hooters officials are looking to relocate after their restaurant was denied a conditional liquor permit at the July 7 city council meeting.

The restaurant’s proposed San Marcos location is at the intersection of IH-35 and Luciano Flores Street, across the road from Luby’s, said Kristy Stark, assistant director of planning and development services, in an email.

Hooters’ request to sell alcohol at the proposed location will be discussed at the Sept. 8 Planning and Zoning (P&Z) meeting.

A group of residents of a neighborhood near the proposed location, led by Robert Jett, San Marcos citizen, filed a petition with city council and succeeded in getting P&Z’s approval of the permit overturned.

Local farmers discuss flood devastation, ongoing drought conditions

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San Marcos farmers have had to a lot to adjust to in the past few months after record-breaking floods followed by the return of Stage 2 drought conditions.

Some local farmers are still trying to bounce back after they lost entire crops to the rising waters of the Blanco River during the Memorial Day weekend flooding. 

Daniel Velasquez, a San Marcos Farmer’s Market vendor of three years, lost nearly his entire crop due to the May floods. 

“(The flood) affected a lot,” Velasquez said. “(I had) 65 plants and the river took them all.”

Velasquez said even the crops that survived had their growth stunted by the weather. 

City Council considers removal of regional airport commission

Councilmembers shared insight and opinions on the future of the San Marcos Regional Airport commission during the Aug. 18 city council meeting. 

Due to increased growth of the airport, city councilmembers are working on terminating the commission, leaving Texas Aviation Partners to run the airport at their discretion.

Since the commission was approved five years ago, the airport has worked with Hays County Commissioners and city councilmembers to push the aviation center into a new direction of growth and financial stability. 

City councilmembers are working with Texas Aviation partners to phase out the commission’s authority on day-to-day airport duties. 

San Marcos Police Department provides safety zone for exchanges

San Marcos is one of many cities across the nation adopting a safe zone program called SafeTrade, allowing citizens to exchange goods at the police station.

Citizens are now able to use the police parking lot or lobby to exchange goods 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The program is targeted toward people who use person-to-person sites like Craigslist.

“(Citizens) should have a place to finalize these transactions that are safe and neutral,” said Chase Stapp, Chief of Police at the San Marcos Police Department (SMPD). 

Leander, Georgetown and Pflugerville are among other locations that have incorporated this program into their community, he said.

The police department began looking at the project about a month ago, Stapp said.

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