Preslie Cox | Photographer

IH-35 overpass to be widened under current standards

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Drivers in Central Texas will soon see bridge installations and renovations along Interstate Highway 35 (IH-35).

The Yarrington Road bridge reconstruction project will cost $12.2 million. The new bridge is expected to be opened May 2016.

The bridge will be broadened to prepare for driver needs in coming years, said Chris Bishop, Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) public information officer.

Jacob’s Well to implement new reservation requirements, prices

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Jacob’s Well Natural Area, widely celebrated as the gem of the Texas Hill Country, serves as an attraction to tourists and residents alike.

When the swimming hole opens May 1 to the public, well-goers will be required to reserve two-hour time blocks on the Hays County website to attend. Sixty people will be allowed to swim during each reservation time, limiting the well to 300 visitors per day. 

The entrance fee for adults will be $9, and any Hays County resident with a photo I.D. will be admitted for $5. 

School bus crash sparks improvements to State Highway 21

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) will make changes to State Highway 21 to improve safety for school buses.

A semi-trailer truck collided with a San Marcos Consolidated Independent School District (SMCISD) school bus March 2 on SH-21.

Iris Campbell, SMCISD public information officer, said district officials are working with Victor Vargas, TxDOT area engineer, to review options to increase safety for students and staff.

Beginner, advanced work showcased in university student art exhibition

The Texas State School of Art and Design opened its annual All Student Juried Exhibition March 30, featuring the works of program members in an exclusive competition.

The exhibition will run until April 16 in Galleries I, II and III of the Joann Cole Mitte Art Building.

Mary Mikel Stump, gallery coordinator, said the display ranges from pieces created in foundation-level courses to thesis works.

Stump said the galleries give students, faculty and staff the opportunity to appreciate artwork created throughout the year. 

"Once a year we get to pat ourselves on our back a little bit, and we get to celebrate the work made in our classes,” Stump said. “Everybody feels good about it."

Student organizations discuss net neutrality

The future of corporate broadband Internet favoritism was halted Feb. 26 after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) narrowly approved net neutrality regulations in a 3-2 vote.

Net neutrality regulations will prevent Internet service providers from allowing or selling content at different levels. This will ensure any legal user is allowed access to the same speed of data transfer, and providers cannot reduce the service of one consumer over another higher-paying client.  

Angela Pates, political science senior and College Democrats president, believes content on the Internet should be available to everyone, not only those who can afford it.

Campus carry awaits further vote

Senate Bill 11, which would allow campus carry of firearms, has passed through the second stage in the State Senate and is awaiting a vote.

SB 11 is on a fast track through the Senate after 19 co-authors provided the 2/3 votes required to pass the bill. The bill has passed through the special committee and is waiting to be placed on the intent calendar. The bill will go through the first of three votes while in the Senate.

Texas State officials have estimated the implementation of campus carry would cost the university $408,516 in security improvements if the bill passes, said Bill Nance, vice president for finance and support services.

Local songwriters circle provides creative outlet

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A local songwriters circle gives San Marcos artists the chance to play, listen and learn in an intimate setting.

Kent Finlay’s Songwriters Circle at Cheatham Street Warehouse offers a night when all participating members are encouraged to closely listen to other artists to gain as much knowledge as possible. The circle is a tradition started by Finlay, founder of Cheatham Street, and has taken place every Wednesday since 1975.

It is the one event that could be known as “the nucleus” of Cheatham Street and has kept Finlay from closing the warehouse.

Vinyl sales on the rise among young consumers

Zach Jennings picked the right time to get into the vinyl business.

Superfly’s owner moved from Gruene to San Marcos in search of a steady clientele, but he never anticipated the continued boom in vinyl business. Sales reached 9.2 million in 2014—the highest since 1991—and experienced a 52 percent increase from 2013, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

“I think in the last couple of years there has not been one specific moment,” Jennings said. “It has just been kind of a steady rise. Kids see their friends’ record collections and realize it is relatively inexpensive to start their own if they buy a lot of used, so I think that kind of drove it up and attracted even more people.”

Eight17 Lofts move-in delays continue amid controversy

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The most recent in a series of construction delays at Eight17 Lofts has prevented prospective residents from moving in before the start of spring classes.

The apartment's projected completion date has changed four times since Feb. 2014 when leasing began. Innovative Student Housing, the property management company, now predicts the apartments will not be finished until spring 2015, citing building code and construction problems.

Peyton White, public relations senior, said he became interested in living at Eight17 at a Texas State-sponsored housing fair. White was hooked when he heard about the future complex’s luxury amenities, complete with an infinity pool, and its close proximity to campus. 

Female student serving as wing commander in male-dominated AFROTC

The Air Force ROTC wing commander at Texas State wears a skirt, heels and sometimes a “power bun” all while maintaining the responsibility, welfare and training of 75 fellow student cadets. 

Cambridge said she first considered joining the military at the age of 14 when she attended an awards ceremony for her grandfather, retired Col. David Cambridge. A veteran at the ceremony asked her male cousin if he would join the Air Force but did not ask Cambridge.

 “I was left wondering why the colonel did not ask me if I was going to join,” Cambridge said. “I was not offended, but I still thought I could do it, that I could be something.”

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