Sonja Burton

Photo roundup project meant to preserve history of San Marcos

Downtown San Marcos was not always the collection of bars and restaurants that it is now. For many decades, The Square was the city’s center of commerce, and the San Marcos Main Street Program is on a mission to commemorate that history.

Led by program manager Samantha Armbruster and partnered with the Hays County Historical Commission, the Heritage Association of San Marcos and the San Marcos Public Library, local residents were invited to the historical downtown courthouse Wednesday to share photographs and memorabilia. The personal collections were then scanned and archived before being returned to their owners.

“San Marcos is changing so quickly,” Armbruster said. “We wanted to capture its history before it’s too late.”

Anti-discrimination policy amended to include gender identity

Gender identity and expression will now be included in the university’s anti-discrimination policy to provide “comfort” to all students, according to administrators.

The university discrimination policy, which was revised in mid-February, now protects transgender faculty, staff and students against gender expression and identity discrimination. Previously, they were not included in the policy because administrators wanted to ensure practices were in place to protect them, said Robert Gratz, special assistant to President Denise Trauth.

“For many years, Texas State has been committed to making the campus a comfortable and safe environment for all students, faculty and staff,” Gratz said.

‘King of the Hill’ exhibit to leave Wittliff Collections by end of March

Jim Dauterive, “King of the Hill” series writer and executive producer, was faced with the threat of the show’s cancellation in 2007. Worried the show’s physical artifacts would be destroyed following the end of the series, Dauterive contacted the Wittliff Collections at Texas State to see whether officials would be interested in housing 11 seasons-worth of material at the time.

Arcade-style gaming café opens downtown

Video games have always been an important part of Pete Thompson’s life.

Growing up, Thompson spent hours playing gaming consoles like Nintendo and Sega Genesis with his friends.

“We said it would be great if we didn’t have to leave the house for food,” Thompson said.

Thompson made his childhood fantasy into a reality Feb. 12 by opening Hungry Gamer with his wife Megan, an arcade-restaurant hybrid in downtown San Marcos funded partially by an online Kickstarter campaign and the Texas State Small Business Development Center.

Student seeks to inspire through clothing line

When Tre’ion Murray was deciding what to name his clothing design company, he thought about the lives of famed artists and creators, hoping their achievements would help inspire some of his own.

Inspiration finally struck the fashion merchandising junior, and he settled on the name Todd Vinci, which means “clever conqueror.”

“It’s framed after Leonardo da Vinci, because a lot of his art went unfinished, and I related that to a lot of people’s passions and desires,” Murray said.  

Murray said he began working as a fashion designer his sophomore year at Texas State. He originally only made 12 shirts and sold them out of his backpack. Murray’s customers praised his simple, streamlined designs.  

Celestial Sleuthing: Professor pinpoints exact date, time of painting’s inception

Donald Olson walked 10 steps down a beach in the French town of Étretat before pausing to snap a photo of the setting sun.

He walked systematically from one end of the beach to the other, stopping every 10 steps to take another photo. Olson, physics and astronomy professor, was looking to uncover the exact “moment of inspiration” for the Claude Monet painting “Étretat Sunset” through studying a combination of celestial body movements and distinctive landforms depicted in the painting.

Monet began the painting Feb. 5, 1883 at 4:53 p.m., according to Olson’s research findings.

It is no easy task to date a painting back to the exact minute the artist began working on it, but bringing humanities and sciences together in the process is important, Olson said.

Texas State researchers develop process for energy-storing ‘supercapacitors’

Texas State researchers have developed a process to create high-heat tolerant, energy storing “supercapacitors” from a raw material that will help green energy initiatives in the future.

The capacitors store an electrical charge that can be rapidly transferred to electronic devices. “Supercapacitors” function like capacitors but can store a greater charge in a smaller package.

The raw material, calcium-copper-titanate, or CCTO, was recognized as a possible supercapacitor material in 2000 and has since been studied worldwide. According to Raghvendra Pandey, electrical engineering professor, he and William Stapleton, assistant professor of electrical engineering, have been studying CCTO for several years.

Downtown office space purchased to hold Texas School Safety Center

University officials have purchased a downtown San Marcos office building to house the Texas School Safety Center, which will have to vacate its current location to make way for a new residence hall in West Campus.

The safety center, which serves as the central location for the dissemination of safety and security information for K-12 schools and junior college throughout the state, is currently located in Canyon Hall. Bill Nance, vice president for Finance and Support Services, said Canyon Hall will be demolished in June for the construction of the new residence hall, prompting the need for the safety center’s relocation.

Residents, students gather for dedication of MLK-LBJ statue

San Marcos residents and students stood shoulder-to-shoulder Monday morning to take part in a ceremony honoring the combined efforts of Martin Luther King Jr. and Texas State alumnus Lyndon Baines Johnson to achieve equality for all people.

President Johnson’s daughter Luci Baines Johnson spoke to the crowd and told stories about her father during the Crossroads Memorial Dedication Ceremony. The event included the dedication of a sculpture depicting King and President Johnson by Louisiana artist Aaron Hussey and a march to the Dunbar Center for a “Peace Pie Social.”

City seeks funds for shops hurt by projects

City of San Marcos officials are looking into grant and loan options to help ease the strain on local downtown businesses caused by construction.

Officials will not offer tax breaks or incentives to businesses that reported a drop in sales from construction since fall 2012, but grants and loans are possibilities, said city engineer Jennifer Shell. Shell said businesses may receive some grant money, but the funds would ultimately be loans because they can’t be used to reimburse companies. The city and assistant managers are additionally looking into other ways to aid these businesses.

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