"Back to Our Future" celebrates San Marcos business

This year marked the 30-year anniversary of the San Marcos Business Expo and the iconic movie Back to the Future.

San Marcos citizens walked among local business booths in funky costumes ranging from “mad scientist” to a poodle skirt at the Embassy Suites Conference Center Aug. 28.  A remake of the flux capacitor adorned the center of the room. "Streets" were labeled with playful names such as McFly Highway.

The business expo provided a chance for the San Marcos Chamber of Commerce and local citizens to give to nonprofit organizations. The money from entrance tickets will be donated to an unannounced nonprofit.

Hays County officials consider FEMA floodplain map adoption


Hundreds of Hays County residents may soon have to purchase flood insurance and see the construction standards for structures around them change.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) began releasing updated advisory floodplain maps Aug. 21, which are currently under a yearlong review by county officials.

If county officials adopt the advisory maps, the floodplain will greatly expand along the Blanco River and tributary creeks throughout the southern portion of Hays County—the area most devastated by the Memorial Day weekend flooding.

Target pulls gender labels from stores, San Marcos residents react

Target announced Aug. 7 that the company will eliminate gender labels in several departments of its stores nationwide.

Molly Snyder, Target’s senior group manager of public relations, said removing gender labels has been a conversationTarget officials have been hearing for quite some time in their call centers.

“We wanted to make the right adjustments that we felt would be the best for our company and our guests,” Snyder said. “At this point in time, we felt that it was the right step to take.”

Snyder said although customers have had a wide variety of opinions, the overall customer feedback has been favorable.

Snyder said she wants to emphasize that Target respects all of their customers’ opinions.

Place 5 city council candidate hosts campaign kickoff

Place 5 city council candidate Frank T. Arredondo kicked off his campaign Thursday night at Cuauhtemoc Hall.

In his stump speech, Arredondo said the devastation the Memorial Day weekend floods brought upon San Marcos residents was the tipping point in his decision to run for city council. Arredondo was a flood victim himself back in 1970 and 1972.

“I once was a resident of Blanco Gardens,” Arredondo said. “I know the anguish of being in the flood, the anguish of rainclouds forming and falling again multiple days on end.”

San Marcos Animal Shelter struggling with overpopulation, encouraging adoption

The San Marcos Regional Animal Shelter  has carried high populations throughout the year and continues to struggle to find homes for man’s best friend.

Regulations set up by the shelter and city ordinances make it difficult to house large amounts of animals in the shelter.

When animals are brought to the shelter, the city of San Marcos cannot turn down them down, which fuels the overpopulation problem, said Kara Montiel, animal services manager for the shelter.

“We are a shelter that really tries to hold all that we can,” Montiel said. “City ordinance states that we have to keep animals for a specific amount of time before we can euthanize them.”

First-ever deaf section headed to Bobcat Stadium this fall

The Texas State football team will have a new group of fans this fall.

For the first time in university history, there will be a deaf section for fans at Bobcat Stadium..

The section, which seats up to 1,000 people, will be near the 35-yard line. Ticket prices will be reduced from the usual $25 to $10.

Deaf people and those fluent in American Sign Language will be eligible for the reduced ticket prices at the lower level.

To purchase tickets in the section, fans should contact Brian Guendling, communication studies junior, through his social media platforms. Guendling plans on providing a tent for deaf people who wish to participate in tailgate festivities.

Community organizations take action against Float Fest river pollution

Float Fest is quickly approaching and some city officials are concerned about the environmental impact the event may have on the San Marcos River.

The live music festival is set to happen Aug. 28-30, giving those who attend an option to float the river during performances. Festivalgoers can also camp on event grounds over night.

“Float Fest is a wonderful concept, a great way for our community to come together and float down our beautiful river and enjoy good music and company,” said Meredith Miller, senior programming coordinator at the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment.

Miller said she feels Float Fest organizers did a poor job of minimizing environmental issues that accompanied the festival last year.

University Police Department graduates first Citizen's Police Academy class

The University Police Department’s inaugural class of the 13-week Citizen’s Police Academy graduated Aug. 25 with a second group on the horizon for the spring semester.

UPD officials said the academy is intended to educate faculty and students about the different services UPD offers and to inform the community about the “unique policing” that is practiced at the university.

Rolando Belmares, UPD sergeant and Citizen’s Police Academy (CPA) coordinator, said the program has been six years in the making due to funding issues the department has faced.

“It takes a decent amount of money to put on an academy,” Belmares said. “We were able to get a grant this year to fund two academies, and hopefully we will be able to sustain it for many years to come.”

School zone safety program to expand

Hays County has decided to expand the School Zone Speed Safety Camera Program that will work toward limiting speeding for the upcoming school year.

The program began July 15 at Scudder Primary in the Wimberley Independent School District. The program consists of vehicles equipped with radars and cameras to snap photos of the license plates of those speeding. The information is sent directly to the county, where they locate the owner of the vehicle and give them citations.

Initially, Hays County signed an agreement to have the program in two different county precincts, Wimberley and Dripping Springs, said Laureen Chernow, Hays County communications specialist.

During the pilot program, 71 warning tickets were given within a four-day period, Chernow said.

Q&A with Scott Gregson, Place 5 city council candidate

San Marcos City Council elections are quickly approaching. The University Star sat down with Place 5 candidate Scott Gregson to discuss his campaign.

Born: August 9, 1956, Garrison, Texas

Occupation: Downtown business owner

Education: B.A. in Finance and Administration at Texas A&M, M.B.A. in Business from Harvard School of Business

Alexa Tavarez: Where do you call home and why?


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