James Carniero

Councilmembers pass first reading of safe cyclist passing ordinance

San Marcos city councilmembers unanimously approved the first of two readings of an ordinance aimed at keeping cyclists safe on roads Tuesday evening.

The Safe Passing Ordinance, if enacted by the city council, will require all vehicles to give at least three feet of clearance when passing “vulnerable road users” on the roadways. These users include pedestrians, joggers, cyclists, skateboarders, equestrians, physically disabled people, construction and maintenance workers, tow truck operators, stranded motorists and farm equipment operators, according to a Jan. 22 University Star article.

Councilmembers pass first reading of safe cyclist passing ordinance

San Marcos city councilmembers unanimously approved the first of two readings of an ordinance aimed at keeping cyclists safe on roads Tuesday evening.

The Safe Passing Ordinance, if enacted by the city council, will require all vehicles to give at least three feet of clearance when passing “vulnerable road users” on the roadways. These users include pedestrians, joggers, cyclists, skateboarders, equestrians, physically disabled people, construction and maintenance workers, tow truck operators, stranded motorists and farm equipment operators, according to a Jan. 22 University Star article.

Development potentially displaces businesses

Three local businesses may soon face relocation or closure due to the construction of a proposed mixed-use development recently approved by commissioners, pending city council discussion.

San Marcos Planning & Zoning commissioners approved a height request Jan. 29 for a nine-story mixed-use complex to be built on the corner of Edward Gary and Hutchinson Streets by Carson Properties. Cedars Mediterranean Restaurant, Eskimo Hut and Triple Crown may be demolished to make way for the development, raising questions about the businesses’ futures.

Man found dead after home burglary

A man was discovered dead Friday in a San Marcos home at the site of an alleged robbery that lead up to a stand off, according to the Hays County Sheriff’s Office.

A homeowner on the 800 block of Crest Circle Drive reported a burglary to police at about 2:30 p.m. Friday, according to a Feb. 1 San Antonio Express-News article. The homeowner said a pair of intruders may have barricaded themselves in the home.

Hays County SWAT and negotiators headed to the scene. When negotiations failed, SWAT officials entered the home late in the evening and found the body of one of the intruders, 20-year-old Kevin Ray Rodriguez, dead from an apparent gunshot wound.
 

City park alcohol ban sees ‘positive’ results

A year has passed since public consumption and display of alcohol was banned in city parks, a move city officials say has resulted in less crime as visitors have sobered up.

Fire Marshal Ken Bell and Rodney Cobb, executive director of community services, gave an update on the alcohol ban in city parks during Tuesday’s city council meeting. Bell and Cobb reported that fewer arrests and hospitalizations resulting from medical issues in city parks have occurred since the ban went into effect Jan. 1, 2013.

Bell said the alcohol ban has helped eliminate a “witching hour” at night when there was typically a spike in criminal incidents and hospitalizations. Bell said this spike often resulted after visitors had spent roughly eight hours drinking in the parks.

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.”

More students took advantage of emergency tuition loans in FY 2013

The percentage of Texas State students using emergency tuition loans is on the rise, according to administrators.

Emergency tuition loans are available to students who lack sufficient funds to pay for a semester of classes, according to the Student Business Services website. These loans cover the first registration payment for classes and cannot be used to pay for room, board or other charges.

About 6 or 7 percent of the student body use emergency tuition loans, said Bill Nance, vice president for Finance and Support Services.

Business owners, residents discuss parking at ‘Coffee Talk’

Local businesses owners, residents and parking coordinators met inside the Hays County Courthouse Wednesday to discuss downtown parking and concerns with upcoming plans.

The groups gathered for the bi-monthly “Coffee Talk,” an informal meeting held by the city to prompt discussions amongst people with interest in downtown San Marcos. The bulk of the meeting was used to discuss the issues of business employees being ticketed for parking downtown, safety at night and details on a proposed parking management structure.

Samantha Armbruster, Main Street Program manager, led the meeting with Kayli Head, Main Street Program coordinator.

More food vendors seek training to comply with campus requirement

Large groups of students are signing up for food safety training courses after a new university policy was enacted in early October, implementing repercussions for any group selling edibles without  certification.

Since Sept. 19, 275 students have received special food handling training on campus. The purpose of the training is to educate students on the proper ways to prepare food before selling or handing it out on campus.

Recommended city charter amendments up for approval

San Marcos voters will face a lengthy ballot when they decide whether to confirm or deny the addition of 25 amendments to the City Charter in the Nov. 5 election.

The City Charter is San Marcos’ governing document and has been updated periodically since 1967, according to the city’s website. At least every four years, San Marcos forms a review commission to write amendments and determine which ones should be placed on the ballot. City Attorney Michael Cosentino, along with the city council, appointed seven San Marcos residents to serve on the charter commission.

Councilwoman Kim Porterfield, Place 1, said some of the amendments were simple “housekeeping” items while others were written to keep politics away from the hiring process for city officials.

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