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Italian journalist makes visit to Texas State

Italian journalist Lucio Luca joined Texas State March 26 for a special lecture on his latest book.

Luca focused on Sicilian immigrants who found their way to success in the United States. Luca was joined by his editor, Maria Elena Vittorietti, and the only two native Sicilians living in Texas, Fabio and Tiziana Triolo.

Luca chose to give his lecture in Italian to better explain the details of his work. Professor Moira DiMauro-Jackson translated.

Luca is the author of “On the Other Side of the Moon: Sicilians in the US who have succeeded.” The book features the stories of 22 Sicilians living in the United States.

Luca said there are hundreds of thousands of success stories, and those in the bok are just the 22 people he was lucky enough to know.

“Pizza lady” breaks personal record at neighborhood H-E-B

The self-proclaimed “pizza lady” of San Marcos broke a personal record March 4 for selling the most pizzas in a day.

Sherlon Jackson, H-E-B employee, promoted the record-breaking event with the help of her fellow staff and through social media. At the end of the day on March 4, Jackson had sold 366 pizzas, breaking her goal of 300.

Pizza was introduced to the East Hopkins H-E-B deli in 2013, Jackson said.

“No one was buying them or paying attention to the pizzas at first,” she said.

Local hangar to undergo renovations

The Central Texas Wing (CenTex) of the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) received grant money to refurbish its hangar built in 1942.

CenTex is part of the worldwide Commemorative Air Force. The group in San Marcos is one of 79 units with five wings overseas.

CenTex received three grants totaling $70,000 to help restore and upgrade the original 1942 hangar, said Tim Black, CenTex wing leader. The Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) granted $25,000, $15,000 came from the City of San Marcos and $55,000 was from the Ed Rachal Foundation.

Tribal representatives win right to bury ancient human remains

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Representatives from the Indigenous Cultures Institute have regained rights to a set of 1,000-year-old human remains disturbed by construction at Spring Lake.

Mario Garza, board of elders chair for the Indigenous Cultures Institute, and Todd Ahlman, director of the Center for Archaeological Studies at Texas State, pleaded their case March 3 at a Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) meeting in Amherst, Massachusetts.

Eight17 construction stalled by financial problems

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Construction progress at Eight17 Lofts has ceased amidst rumors of bankruptcy and building code violations.

Eight17 officials have delayed move-in dates at least four times since construction began in February of last year. The most recent prediction for construction completion, late spring, now seems unrealistic to some.

Hale-Mills Construction, the contracting company hired by Eight17’s property management, Innovative Student Housing, currently has an up-to-date building permit, said Abigail Gillfillan, permit center manager.

Central Texas areas seek to comply with ozone regulations

Hays County is at risk of being designated a “nonattainment” area by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) if a proposal to reduce the current ground-level ozone standard passes.

The EPA proposed a change to current National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) in 2014 for the ground-level ozone standard. The change would lower the level required for a space to be considered an attainment area from 75 parts per billion (ppb) to between 65-70 ppb.

S.T.A.R. Park hopes to reach out to academic departments

Faculty Senate held its annual meeting with the Council of Academic Deans and discussed the expansion and mission of the Science Technology and Advanced Research (S.T.A.R.) Park.

Stephen Frayser, director of S.T.A.R. Park, addressed the joint meeting to discuss how each department can have a role in the institution.

“President (Denise) Trauth and I have had conversations about the need for the updated look, which is what (Frayser) wants, to the mission of S.T.A.R. Park,” said Provost Eugene Bourgeois.

Student Government in “transitional period”

Student Government has served Texas State since the days of Lyndon Baines Johnson, the university’s most famous alumnus and former student body president.

In 2003, Student Body President Robert Dorr wrote legislation to change the name of the university from Southwest Texas State University to Texas State University, said Councilman Jude Prather, Place 2. Prather was a member of the organization, which was known then as Associated Student Government (ASG).

ASG officials introduced the name change to Senator Jeff Wentworth after the Board of Regents did not support the idea.

Texas State SAE chapter responds to controversy

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Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity members have experienced national scrutiny and widespread criticism after a scandal shook the Oklahoma chapter in early March.

SAE officials disbanded the University of Oklahoma (OU) charter after a video showing members chanting a racist song went viral. OU officials expelled two students identified in the video days later. The Texas State SAE chapter garnered national attention on March 12 when an inactive member posted racially insensitive tweets.

Train horns may be silenced in San Marcos

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San Marcos officials have worked to limit the sound of train horns since 2011, but minimizing noise for residents may put drivers in danger.

City officials spent roughly $800,000 from 2011 to 2015 turning 19 railroad crossings into quiet zones, said Rey Garcia, senior engineer for capital improvements.

Garcia said the quiet zones increase safety and reduce noise for residents.

Jeffrey DeGraff, director of corporate and media relations for Union Pacific Railroad, said banning train horns makes drivers more vulnerable to train collisions.

According to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), horns must be heard for 15-20 seconds before a train enters any intersection. Trains are only permitted to sound horns in emergencies when entering a quiet zone.

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