Drew Castillo

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.

Study shows university contributes to job growth

San Marcos is a part of a metropolitan area that is seeing significant job growth due to the presence of the university, according to a recent report by the Milken Institute.

Milken, a nonprofit economic research company, ranked the San Marcos-Austin-Round Rock area number one in its annual “Best-Performing Cities 2013” report.

Each year, Milken studies metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) around the country and ranks the cities based on job development. The institute looks at components such as growth in jobs, wages and salary and high-tech gross domestic product to determine which areas are the highest performing.

Councilmembers appoint new city manager

After a four and a half month search and unanimous selection by city councilmembers, Jared Miller began work as San Marcos’ new city manager Jan. 6.

Miller formerly served as the assistant city manager of North Richland Hills, a town of 65,000 residents. Miller attended his first city council meeting Jan. 7 and greeted the team of 603 employees working under him.

“I am excited about joining the City of San Marcos and look forward to working with our citizens, the city council and staff to help guide the future of the fastest growing city in the U.S.,” Miller said in a press release from the city.

Miller earned a bachelor of arts in political science from Abilene Christian University and a master’s in public administration from Texas Tech University.

Finalists selected for city manager position

The six-month long search for a new city manager may come to an end next week as the pool of candidates was recently narrowed down to five finalists.

The finalists for the position are Karen Daly, James Earp, Charles Ewings, Tansy Hayward and Jared Miller, according to a press release from the city. All of the finalists currently hold positions as assistant city managers from cities as close as Kyle to as far as Tacoma, Wash. All have master’s degrees in public or social work administration, according to the press release.

Proposed downtown parking plan considered by city councilmembers

Local business owners and city employees are weighing the pros and cons of what a downtown parking plan could mean for San Marcos.

A proposed Parking Management District was discussed at the city council meeting Nov. 5. The plan is intended to encourage diversity of transportation options, help businesses have adequate parking for customers and address the issue of employee parking, said Matthew Lewis, director of Planning and Development Services.

A metering-rate system would be developed for lots in and around the downtown area, Lewis said. Prices of parking would vary in certain areas based on the location of the spots and their proximity to campus.

Students take part in annual soap box derby

Residence hall staff, Greek life members and student organizations have been gearing up the past few weeks for today’s annual Homecoming Soap Box Derby on Bobcat Trail.

The Soapbox Derby, sponsored by the Order of Omega, is a spirit competition in which teams build soap box derby vehicles to race, according to the Order of Omega website. The race begins Friday at 1 p.m. on Bobcat Trail.

Teams compete for trophies and “spark points,” which are awarded at the various Homecoming activities. The team with the highest point average wins the Spark Award, and there will also be a “best overall” trophy. Participants are separated into three categories: small group, mid-size group and large group.

Youth commission gives students opportunity to speak about community issues

Councilmembers established the San Marcos Youth Commission, a group of students who advise policymakers about issues affecting youth in the community, at a City Council meeting Tuesday.

The commission will be made up of 15 voting members who represent different kinds of youth in the city, according to Councilwoman Kim Porterfield, Place 1. One Texas State representative will link the work of public entities such as the city, county and school district with the university.

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