Benefit concert raises $150,000

Community members of all ages gathered at The Marc  June 7 to raise money for Central Texas flood victims.

Omar Dawoud, owner of The Marc and applied sociology senior, said 1,100 people purchased tickets to the Band Together TX benefit concert. The concert featured Blue October, Aaron Behrens, Ray Wylie Hubbard and other local musicians working to raise money to be donated via United Way of Hays County.

 “It all started when I saw how severe the flood was via online news,” Dawoud said. “My immediate thought was to text the mayor and see what I can do, because I knew I could do something.”

After reaching out to Mayor Daniel Guerrero, Dawoud said he was put in contact with the band Blue October, who had offered to help.

Student credits local beer for lifesaving escape from floodwaters

A Texas State student credits his decision to stay up late and enjoy an Austin-brewed beer to saving his life after floods hit Hays County on Memorial Day weekend.

Colin Iliff, environmental studies senior, was house-sitting for his aunt in Wimberley when the weather conditions began to deteriorate.

“There is like a 25-foot difference between where the house sits and where the (Blanco) river is as far as height goes,” Iliff said. “The rain had started flowing down and the river was a little elevated, but it seemed completely fine.”

Iliff said he considered going to bed after the power went out. But Iliff quickly changed his mind after noticing his favorite beer in the fridge.

Local resident grateful for benefit concert

As community members gathered to show their support for flood victims June 7 at The Marc, the outpouring of support overwhelmed one local resident.

Susan Castellow, Wimberley flood victim, said she struggled to hold back tears of gratitude as she thanked event coordinators for putting together Band Together TX, a fundraising concert.

Castellow said she was one of the many who lost everything May 24 when flah floods hit Hays County

“Our house was off of River Road and was fully submerged, so we lost everything,” Castellow said. “Our house, car and belongings were gone overnight, along with so many others’.”

Castellow said she was able to grab two small boxes as she was evacuating the house.

Picks of the Week

For the Songwriter

Cheatham Street Warehouse will host its weekly Songwriter Circle at 9 p.m. today. The event, which has been hosted by Kent Finlay since the venue opened its doors in 1974, offers songwriters the opportunity to perform their work in front of fellow musicians. Performers must arrive early to get their name on a signup sheet.

For the Live Music Fan

The Summer in the Park Concert Series will feature Walt Wilkins and the Mystiqueros June 11 at San Marcos Plaza Park. The concert, which begins at 7:30 p.m., is perfect for any country music fan looking to soak up some much-needed sun. The event is free and open to all ages.

For the Foodie

San Marcos family loses everything in flood

One San Marcos resident and his family watched helplessly May 24 as his childhood home filled with water. Carlos Cortez was awakened around 4 a.m. by the sound of water coming through the window of the master bedroom.

“We have a one-story house and the windowsill sits about a foot and a half to two feet off the ground,” Carlos Cortez said. “The water sounded like a fountain as it came in through the bedroom window at a pretty good rate, which is what woke me up.”

As Carlos Cortez began to wrap his head around what was happening, he realized he needed to quickly wake up his wife and three kids.

Students displaced after apartment complex deemed unlivable

As heavy rainfall tore through San Marcos May 24, floodwaters made their way into many first-floor apartments in student living complexes around the city.

Three Texas State students living at The Lodge at Southwest experienced the damaging waters firsthand when their three-bedroom apartment was determined to be unlivable due to water damage.

Julianna Di Napoli, criminal justice senior, said the apartment was damaged extensively by the flood.

“Everything is pretty ruined,” Di Napoli said. “They ripped out all of the flooring and I imagine most of the appliances and walls are ruined because of how soft they are all the way up to the top.”

Visitors, residents 'go down the rabbit hole' to local gift shop

Visitors walking through Down the Rabbit Hole, a local gift shop, are exposed to a myriad of handmade artistries designed to fit any shopper’s taste.

Ross Hendry and Laurie Brown opened the store last May. Hendry said the shop was originally supposed to specialize in candles. The vision for the store changed after several of the couple’s friends asked if they could sell their handmade items in the shop, Brown said.

“It went from an idea of us just making candles to an idea of our friends that are artists selling things as well,” Brown said.

Brown said the pair originally worked together for a candle company in Wimberley. The transition to co-running a gift shop with her significant other was a smooth one because of the chemistry they share, Brown said.

Doctoral student receives funding for concrete research

One Texas State student took matters into his own hands after realizing he would need additional funding to support his research.

Ash Kotwal, materials science, engineering and commercialization doctoral student, was recently awarded one of 10 international Baker Student Fellowships from the American Concrete Institute.

Kotwal said he went through a vigorous process, filling out at least 100 applications before submitting his proposal.

Kotwal said this was the first time he had submitted a proposal without the help of Texas State professors.

Educator honored for changing lives of children


One professor’s life and career was honored April 29 by Communities in Schools (CIS), an organization aiming to connect schools with the resources to motivate students.

Kathleen Fite, Department of Curriculum and Instruction and College of Education professor, was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award for South-Central Texas.  Fite was recognized for creating the Bobcat Buddy Partnership, a program designed to provide learning assistance to elementary students in the area.

Fite said she started the program 25 years ago after a principal in New Braunfels asked for volunteers to help certain students fine-tune their ability to read.

Professor recognized for commitment to laboratory science

One Texas State professor’s passion for medical laboratory science is reaping big rewards.

Rodney Rohde, chair for the Clinical Laboratory Science (CLS) program and professor in the College of Health Professions, was recently given the 2015 urEssential award by Cardinal Health. The award is designed to highlight the contributions Rohde has made to the medical laboratory profession.

Rhode said the award included $20,000 in scholarship money for students involved in the CLS program at the university.

“It was a total surprise and very humbling and exciting,” Rohde said. “It means students in our major will be able to receive scholarships in the future.”


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