Weldon McKenzie

Exchange program negotiated with Chinese city

Studying at Texas State will now be an option for some Chinese students after administrators and government delegates from the city of Xishuangbanna exacted plans for a student and faculty exchange program Friday.

Ceremony honors 9/11 victims, families

San Marcos officials and community members gathered in front of City Hall Wednesday for a memorial honoring those whose lives were lost in the 9/11 attacks.

The service, titled “Never Forgetting Means Never Forgetting” began at 8:45 a.m., 12 years to the minute after the first hijacked plane struck the World Trade Center in New York.

Several events during the ceremony marked the remembrance of the heroes and victims of the attacks, including a proclamation and moment of silence from Mayor Daniel Guerrero and the subsequent tolling of the historic fire bell.
City Manager Jim Nuse opened the ceremony with a welcome speech and reflected on his personal connection to the tragedy.

Texas State home to award-winning composting program

The odor of rotting food and dead plants can be smelled from a hilltop outside of San Marcos. However, for students at Texas State’s sustainable composting project, the stench is a byproduct of their work.

Bobcat Blend creates compost, a soil product often comprised of food waste and dead plant matter, said Jen Sembera, graduate student researcher and Bobcat Blend employee. The mixture is placed into a long pile called a windrow and, after an extended period of time, the blend decomposes into a fine, uniform soil used for landscaping and agricultural purposes, Sembera said.

Administrators address Round Rock counseling concerns

The university president and provost weighed in on a recurring concern about counseling services at the Round Rock Campus during a Faculty Senate meeting Sept. 4.

President Denise Trauth highlighted recent efforts to further accommodate the increasing enrollment at the Round Rock Campus, including new food services and the addition of a master’s program in nursing that began this semester. The increase in population has spurred the construction of a clinical facility, which Trauth said will double as an outpost to the San Marcos campus’ Student Health Center. However, questions and concerns of faculty senators at the meeting still centered on the lack of a formal counseling center at the Round Rock Campus.

Counseling services discuss Round Rock campus, new appointment system

Counseling Center representatives unveiled a revamped consultation systemaimed at improving student wait times to the Faculty Senate Aug. 28, and are looking to offer formal counseling services at the Round Rock Campus in the future.

The Counseling Center’s new appointment system consists of a concise three-level categorization hierarchy intended to determine the severity of each student’s case, according the center’s website. Level one denotes emergency consultations and is intended for life-threatening situations such as thoughts of suicide or self-inflicted pain. Level two is an urgent consultation reserved for dealing with cases of traumatic nature, and level three, or initial consultations, is for non-immediate cases such as stress or anxiety.

Hays County Jail inmate population on the rise

Hays county commissioners are monitoring inmate population data for the Hays County Law Enforcement Center to make sure it stays at capacity level in the future.

Captain Mark Cumberland of the Hays County Sheriff’s Office said the Hays County Jail has a capacity of 362 inmates, but jail standards require 10 percent, roughly 35 of the beds, to remain open.

According to Hays County Commissioners Court minutes, the peak population was 323 inmates for the week of July 14 through July 20. The jail had a weekly average of 313, which is 87 percent capacity. The following week saw an increase with a weekly peak and average of 328 inmates. However, the census taken on Aug.13 showed the jail had a decreased population of 285 inmates, or 78 percent capacity.

Meals on Wheels hindered by sequester

Monday through Saturday, San Marcos resident Salvador Hernandez limps to his car to make the 10-minute trip to the San Marcos Senior Center to enjoy a hot meal and conversations with friends.

The 90-year-old war veteran has had the same daily routine for years, but may now be in jeopardy of losing the meals he has become accustomed to.

Hernandez is one of about 325 recipients of the services provided by San Marcos’ Meals On Wheels. The local division of the nationwide organization provides meals to those not able to prepare or provide food for themselves, according to the nonprofit’s website.

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