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Runaway bull wanders away, takes tour of campus

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A runaway bull wandered onto campus around 11 a.m. Wednesday before being captured by local police, animal control and cowboys.

The black bull appeared to weigh “several thousand pounds” and posed a potential threat to the public, said Jayme Blaschke, director of University News Service. No injuries to the bull or bystanders were reported.

“The bull seems to be in good spirits,” Blaschke said. “The bull did not seem to be particularly aggressive.”

University Police immediately responded after learning of the bull’s presence by securing parts of western campus and issuing an emergency alert via email to students, faculty and staff, Blaschke said.

The bull had left campus by 11:17 a.m., according to an emergency email alert.

ALERRT forms new relationship with ESPADA

The Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT) center is pairing up with ESPADA to expand the active shooter training program to the civilian sector.

ESPADA is an organization that works to bring active shooter training to the public, said Jim Jorrie, CEO of ESPADA.

“When we started doing research on active shooter events, we found that most of these events were over before the police arrived because the civilians at the attack site took effective action to defend themselves and others around them,” said Pete Blair, executive director of ALERRT.

Police searching for man that exposed himself at local restaurant

San Marcos police are searching for a white male after he exposed himself to a child July 4 at the Whataburger on IH-35 south.

A witness reported the man to store management after she noticed he was filming the child and had exposed himself in the restaurant. The man was described as approximately 5-foot-10 and 170 pounds with gray hair and blue eyes.

Police said he was last seen leaving the restaurant wearing an orange Longhorn hat, gray T-shirt and black jogging shorts. Witnesses reported the suspect leaving the area in a 1990s Dodge Caravan minivan, according to police.

Investigators are encouraging people to call 512-753-2132 with information regarding the incident.

Amazon headed to San Marcos, expected to create 350 new jobs

City council unanimously approved a deal with Amazon Tuesday that will create 350-1,000 jobs.

The project was in the works for a couple of years, said Councilman Jude Prather, Place 2. 

Amazon, the largest Internet-based retailer in the country, is asking the city to build a new fulfillment center off of McCarty Lane. The center is planned to be 855,000 square feet and an estimated investment of $60 million.

The retailer is expected to bring in 350 new jobs, not including those provided through labor and construction on the new building. Under the proposed agreement, construction for the new building is expected to begin in December of this year.

-Jon Wilcox contributed to this story.

City Council denies future Hooters permit to sell liquor

The San Marcos City Council voted 7-1 July 7 to reverse the Planning and Zoning Commission’s decision to grant Hooters a conditional permit to sell mixed beverages at their future location in San Marcos.

The Planning and Zoning Commission voted May 6 to grant Hooters a conditional permit to sell mixed beverages. In the July 7 city council meeting, San Marcos resident, Robert Jett, petitioned to reverse the Planning and Zoning Commission’s decision. Jett lives in the Sunset Valley neighborhood, located behind where the Hooters property will be located.

Uber, other ride-hailing programs officially arrive in town

Uber and other ride-hailing companies can officially conduct business in San Marcos after city council passed a new ordinance in early July.

Council members voted on the ordinance July 7 allowing for ride-hailing programs to operate in the Hays County area after a public hearing. City officials have been developing an ordinance to allow for ride-hailing programs to come to San Marcos since the beginning of this year, said Chase Stapp, San Marcos Police Chief Chase Stapp.

Stapp said officials worked on comparing ordinances and legal language from other cities with Uber and similar ride-hailing programs to tailor a contract just for San Marcos.

School safety program launched to limit speeding

Hays County officials launched a new safety program July 15 to limit speeding in school zones.

Schools in the Wimberley area will be piloting a new safety program using radar technology to photograph license plates of vehicles caught speeding in school zones during drop-off and pick-up hours. The new program is intended to better enforce school zone speed limits and reduce complaints.

“It’s pretty common that we are issuing citations in those school zones,” said Commissioner Ray Whisenant, Precinct 4.

The program is scheduled to kick off during the summer school sessions in Wimberley, Ayres said. During this time, only warnings will be issued, said Constable Darrel Ayres, Precinct 3.

Wimberley flood survivors ask presidential candidate to reconsider stance on climate change

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In the wake of the 2016 primaries, a group of Hays County flood survivors are asking Senator Ted Cruz to reconsider his stance on global climate change.

The group, mostly comprised of Wimberley residents, presented a petition with more than 15,000 signatures to Cruz, asking him to acknowledge rising temperatures may have contributed to an unprecedented level of flood damage.

The historic Memorial Day Weekend floods this year shocked the community, destroying over 300 homes and killing at least nine people in Wimberley.

Sexual assault reported at Bobcat Village Apartments

A June 28 sexual assault at Bobcat Village Apartment was reported to the University Police Department yesterday.
The incident was reported Monday at approximately 8:09 p.m., according to a university timely warning. The  suspect has been described by the victim as a white male, approximately 5’10’’, 160 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes.

University body farm sees increase in insect activity with high moisture

Research and studies at the Forensic Anthropology Research Facility (FARF) on Freeman Ranch were unaffected by the historic floods that swept through Hays County.

The entrance road to the 26-acre body farm was the only area flooded. Researchers did see an increase in insects that feast on the decomposing bodies at FARF.

“I think the most traumatic effect that the rain had on the facility was with the insects that feed on the body,” said Lauren Meckel, graduate research assistant for the anthropology department.

Meckel said the insects have been able to consume more tissue of the decaying body because temperatures aren’t as high. This allows them to be on the surface of the body for a longer period of time.

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