Raquel Kimm

McCoy Foundation donates $1.2 million gift to CTMC

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On July 18, the Miriam and Emmett McCoy Foundation announced it would be donating $1.2 million to the Central Texas Medical Center to help the hospital purchase its second da Vinci Surgical System.

The robotic surgical system is a sophisticated machine designed to increase a surgeon’s abilities and present a state-of-the-art minimally invasive option for major surgery, according to the da Vinci Surgery website. The McCoy Foundation is no stranger to helping the CTMC hospital leave its mark as a leader in the community.

“The McCoys helped the hospital build its very first building in the 1980s,” said Sam Huenergardt, president and CEO of CTMC. “They are sustaining donors, and this year they decided they would help the hospital reach its yearly goals.”

Officials approve installment of pay-to-park areas on campus

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Students and guests of the university now have another option when parking with the installation of a new pay-to-park lot.

Pay-to-park fee machines were installed in the Spring Lake Preserve parking lot as part of the President’s Cabinet initiative at the end of the spring 2014 semester to make “equitable parking” available throughout campus, said Bill Nance, vice president of Finance and Support Services. The fee is $3 per day or $7 per week from 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The payment is not required at any other time of the day or on weekends.

Cartoonist, alumnus dies at 80

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Southwest Texas State Alumni Charles Barsotti passed away from brain cancer Monday at his home in Kansas City, MO.

Barsotti, 80 years old, was a husband, father and cartoonist. Barsotti was born in San Marcos in 1933 and grew up in San Antonio. He eventually attended Southwest Texas State University where he studied social studies and was a cartoonist for The University Star, known then as The College Star, as an undergraduate student and is now a member of the Star's Hall of Fame. Barsotti worked as an army clerk for two years after college. Following those years, Barsotti worked for six years as a director at a Texas residential school for people with developmental disabilities, and began freelance cartooning.

University Federal Credit Union to provide new ATMs

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Wells Fargo ATM

The search for a new financial institution to add automated teller machines throughout the campus has ended.

University Federal Credit Union recently won the bid, against other financial institutions, to place its ATMs throughout the university. The ATMs are set to be working by the upcoming fall, said university Treasurer Valerie Van Vlack.

Officials took UFCU on a tour through campus to show them possible locations for future ATMs, said Bill Nance, vice president of Finance and Support Services.

“UFCU is looking at putting ATMs in places such as the library, the rec, outside the UAC building, the Avery building on the Round Rock campus, Strahan Coliseum and the football stadium,” Van Vlack said.

New residence halls to feature sculpture by Texas artist

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Falls and Sayers Halls will open in fall 2014 featuring an original sculpture created by Texas artist James Surls.

University officials met with Art + Artisans, an art consulting firm, to decide on a sculpture for the courtyard located outside of Falls Hall. The piece, entitled “The Contemplative Courtyard,” will be centered on the space located outside of the north tower, said Rosanne Proite, director of Housing and Residential Life.

A seating area will be placed around the piece where students can read a book or hang out with friends, Proite said.

“It will be a shaded area because of the way the buildings will be placed,” Proite said. “It will be a cooler area to be without the sun directly on you.”

Q&A with Nancy Nusbaum, Interim director of Transportation Services

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Because of the upcoming changes to the bus system and parking services, The University Star sat down with Nancy Nusbaum, the interim director of Transportation Services, to discuss what will be different and why.

RK: What factors go into the decision of whether to change the shuttle system?
NN: We focus on how many students are in classes that day, and when large numbers of students will be leaving campus. So, there has been a draft of routes, and we met with two students of student government who are very active on the shuttle system. We will have the different shuttle plan out sometime around finals.

Archaeologists continue to study shipwrecks off Galveston coast

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Researchers at The Meadows Center for the Water and Environment will continue three remote shipwreck explorations found April 24 in the Gulf of Mexico.

A team began the guided exploration of three shipwrecks April 17 and 18 with an underwater remote-operated vehicle robot. The university’s Chief Underwater Archaeologist Fritz Hanselmann and State Marine Archeologist Amy Borgens commanded the robots from the Texas State campus as they watched it on multiple screens. The operation will continue Thursday and will be open for the public to attend in The Meadows Center Discovery Hall.

Officials determining impact of healthcare act on faculty

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Administrators are in the process of determining which Texas State employees will be covered under the university’s healthcare in response to the Affordable Healthcare Act.

The ACA, which was passed in 2010, requires employers to meet certain criteria when insuring those who work for them. Under the act, Texas State has made changes to its healthcare plan for faculty and staff.

“There are so many pieces to it, only time will tell its full results,” said Michelle Moritz, associate director of Human Resources. “We are a large employer that has always offered good health benefits. So this isn’t that big of a change for us, but it is still a change.”

All changes will go into effect Sept. 1 to be in accordance with the law, Moritz said.

Chartwells to replace Pizza Hut with Papa John’s in The Den

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Chartwells Dining Services at Texas State has announced the Pizza Hut Express in The Den Food Court will be replaced with a Papa John’s in fall 2014.

The addition is another initiative by Chartwells to provide healthier options in dining halls, said Abel Valencia, Chartwells senior marketing manager. Chartwells has officially decided construction for the new Papa John’s will be done over the summer. It will be built in the Pizza Hut Express’ current location and will accept meal trades, dining dollars and Bobcat Bucks.

“It will be the big summer project,” Valencia said. “We need to keep up with our students growing needs, and the trend right now is to be healthy so we will provide those options with this Papa John’s.”

Officials discuss impact of SMCISD school bus camera ticketing system

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San Marcos officials say they are beginning to see positive results from a new automated ticketing system put in place for drivers who pass stopped school buses.

City councilmembers passed an ordinance Jan. 7 that allows external cameras to be installed on all San Marcos Consolidated Independent School District buses, according to a Jan. 14 University Star article. The cameras record drivers who pass stopped buses, and $300 tickets are issued by mail to violators after the system manufacturer and San Marcos police review the videos. As of March 25, 52 citations had been mailed, said Carter Hutson, SMCISD Associate Director of Transportation.

Many of the tickets were issued in problem areas where the district has noticed high numbers of violations, Hutson said.

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