Houston York

Commissioners vote against regional water corporation

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The Hays County Commissioners Court voted against a proposal Tuesday to create the Texas Water Development Corporation in partnership with the city of Leander and Hays and Travis Counties.

Commissioners Debbie Ingalsbe, Precinct 1, Mark Jones, Precinct 2, and Will Conley, Precinct 4, voted against the proposition in a 3-2 split. Pix Howell, project manager and consultant for the proposal, said the Texas Water Development Corporation would have allowed for the construction of a public pipeline to service sparsely populated counties east of Hays.

Commissioner Ray Whisenant, Precinct 4, said a regional effort must be made for the provision of water.

Central Texas encouraging alternative fuel vehicle technology

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A regional initiative focused on alternatively fueled vehicle (AFV) technology has brought together business and industry experts in San Marcos.

The inaugural “Fleet Exchange: Dialogue On Natural Gas in Central Texas Fleets” conference was held on Aug. 26. Andrew Johnston, lead of the Central Texas Fuel Independence Project, said the use of compressed natural gas (CNG) in the region as an alternative fuel source is accelerating by more than 200 percent year-over-year. Electric vehicle technology grows yearly by 300 percent.

The amount of electric vehicles locally has increased tenfold from 2011 to 2014, Johnston said.

"It is explosive growth," Johnston said. "This is technology future generations will be driving regardless."

Republican candidate elected to lieutenant governor position

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Dan Patrick defeated Leticia Van De Putte in the race for lieutenant governor despite minimal campaign effort.

Austin musician Cory Spears said Patrick's win will bring changes to Texas and is not a surprise.

"Texas is a red state, and generally Republicans are going to win," Spears said. "The Republican candidate would really have to screw up or the Democrats would have to have a very good candidate for the outcome to be different. A Republican really doesn't have to campaign."

Texas State alumnus Daniel Gonzales said as a Hispanic, he has always supported Van De Putte until last night.

FROM ‘SADDAM’S CITY’ TO SAN MARCOS

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A young Iraqi boy watched the bombing of Baghdad on March 19, 2003 at the start of the Iraq War from the steps of his home in Al-Thawra, Iraq, also known as “Saddam’s City.”

Milad Jawad, the youngest of five boys, was born and raised in Al-Thawra, a public housing district in Baghdad. Jawad said he was 14 when the invasion of Iraq began. He can recall feeling a mixture of excitement and uncertainty as the conflict began. As a child, he dreamed of moving to America to run his own business but did not think he would see the day Iraq would be free of Saddam Hussein’s “oppressive dictatorship.” Little did Jawad know, he would one day be a business owner in San Marcos, Texas.

Council, mayoral candidates debate future of San Marcos

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Candidates for City Council Place 3 and 4 and those running for mayor discussed the future of San Marcos Monday night at a debate hosted by the University Star and KTSW 89.9.

Jane Hughson, City Council Place 4 candidate, spoke without an opponent. Her rival, Councilman Wayne Becak, Place 4, was unable to attend the debate.

Hughson said one of the main reasons she is running for city council is the City of San Marcos’ Comprehensive Master Plan.

“I was on the committee for the plan, and I decided I wanted to be on city council to see the implementation of the plan,” Hughson said. “Budget and transportation plans need to conform, and I want to make sure they do. If there is a change I want to make sure that it is justified.”

Media professionals discuss creativity, future of digital world at Mass Comm Week

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Mass Comm Week kicked off with a unique panel discussion on the creativity and skills needed for the future of the digital world.

Trei Brundrett, chief product officer at Vox Media; Texas State alumna

Annie Werner, managing editor and product specialist at Tumblr; San Marcos native Meg Turney, host at Rooster Teeth; and alumnus Kolten Parker, digital news editor at the San Antonio Express-News, presented a panel called “Getting Creative with your Digital Career.” It began with a discussion moderated by Cindy Royal, associate professor of journalism, on the importance of creativitywhen working in the digital world,

Some veterans, students, faculty react positively to airstrikes against ISIS

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The terrorist organization ISIS, or the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, has gained a significant amount of attention in the global media for its crimes and acts of terrorism.

The United States recently used airstrikes against the group after a video of an American journalist’s beheading by the terrorists went viral online. Islam does not motivate ISIS as much as a radical rejection of western influence, said Jeremy Wells, political science professor.

"The Islamic State is not so much about ideology as it is a revolutionary political, economic and social order," Wells said. "Their motivation is to create a primarily new, different, conservative political and social order that is grounded in Islam, but Islam itself is not the motivation."

San Marcos officials aiming to create jobs as city grows

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Because San Marcos is America’s fastest growing city, officials are looking to expand the job industry to accommodate the rapid growth and influx of people moving from surrounding areas.

Many people think students are contributing to the economic growth as the university hits record numbers of enrollment, but data show students are not the main cause, said Adriana Cruz, president of the Greater San Marcos Partnership.

The average person moving to San Marcos is 31 years old, Cruz said. Most newcomers are from Travis County.

Administrators address graduate enrollment

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Graduate program enrollment at Texas State dropped in 2013, and officials are now focusing on incentives and recruitment in its continuing efforts to become a Tier One university.

At the master’s level, there has been a “slight dip” of three percent in the number of students enrolled, said Provost Eugene Bourgeois. Overall enrollment in the graduate programs was up 3.9 percent, Bourgeois said.

"We had larger graduating classes of master’s students in 2012 and early 2013, and if people are graduating early and the graduating classes are larger than your classes coming in, it can appear that enrollment is going down," Bourgeois said.

A better way of looking at enrollment is the amount of net new students coming in, Bourgeois said.

Students petition against development of Cape’s Camp, Thompson’s Island

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In the November 2012 elections, three quarters of San Marcos residents voted in favor of acquiring 70 acres of riverfront property for parkland, located at IH-35 and River Road, that is known as Cape's Camp and Thompson’s Island.

The Thornton family, who owned the property, were not willing to sell the land to the city, and it would have had to have been acquired through eminent domain, which 51 percent of the voters opposed.

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