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Students, professors react to Perry indictment

In Texas politics this month, one subject and one mug shot dominated the local and national headlines: the criminal indictment of Governor Rick Perry.

The Texas governor was indicted by a Travis County grand jury on Aug. 15 and charged with two felony counts: abuse of official capacity and coercion of a public servant. According to the indictment, each of these charges are related to his efforts last year to remove District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg from office after her arrest for drunk driving by vetoing funding for the Public Integrity Unit under the Travis County district attorney’s office.

Biological monitoring of river will increase due to drought

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Kayaking environmental consultants with laptops will soon become a common sight along Comal Springs.

The biological monitoring of the waters will be increased dramatically due to the low water level of the river caused by the drought. Monitoring with laptops, nets, sediment dredges and GPS units will be conducted once every two weeks instead of the previous schedule of checking only twice a year, said Nathan Pence, Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) program director.

A company contracted by HCP will do the monitoring and collecting of samples in the river, Pence said.

Man sentenced to life for assault with box cutter

A man was sentenced to life in prison by a Hays County jury after being convicted of an assault in which he beat and cut his girlfriend with a belt, a box cutter and rocks.

The jury deliberated in consideration of the assault for 20 minutes and convicted 30-year-old Zane Barton to life in prison Aug. 20, according to a press release from the Hays County district attorney’s office. Barton was arrested May 16 for aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury with a deadly weapon and family violence by the San Marcos Police Department.

The assault occurred near the Wal-Mart in San Marcos where Barton and his girlfriend made camp.

Broken main spills 25,000 gallons of wastewater

An estimated 25,000 gallons of untreated wastewater spilled into the San Marcos River and a nearby storm drain Wednesday morning after contractors broke a wastewater main.

Contractors broke one of two 20-inch wastewater force mains from the main lift station to the San Marcos Wastewater Treatment Plant while working on the Woodlands project (formerly known as Cape’s Camp) on River Road between the IH-35 Access Road and Cape Road, according to a city press release. The main broke at 7:45 a.m., causing a wastewater discharge that reached the San Marcos River. City crews arrived within 10 minutes of the break.

An estimated 15,000 gallons of untreated wastewater spilled into the river.

Falls, Sayers halls open to students

Named after two members of the first faculty at the university, Falls and Sayers Residence Halls opened this August to connect the growing population of incoming freshman and introduce new features to on-campus living.

Elizabeth Falls and Jessie Sayers were both early faculty members at the university who had previous residence halls named after them. The original Falls Hall was demolished to construct the new Performing Arts Center in 2012, and the original Sayers Hall was also torn down, said Rosanne Proite, director of Housing and Residential Life.

Sayers wrote the lyrics to the Texas State Alma Mater, according to the Department of Housing and Residential Life and the Dedication Ceremony booklet.

San Marcos hosts Water Ski National Championships

San Marcos played host to the 2014 GOODE Water Ski National Championships this summer, bringing over 600 competitors from across the nation.

The 72nd annual GOODE Water Ski National Championships took place at the San Marcos River Ranch Aug. 11-16. The ranch was chosen to hold the event after winning the bid to host, according to the U.S. Water Ski website. Skiers competed against each other in the categories of slalom, tricks, jumps and overall performance.

Competitors ranging in ages from five to 86 from all over the nation attended to watch or compete.

Scientist present on Cape’s Dam removal

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San Marcos’ Parks and Recreation Board meeting Tuesday night included presentations for and against the removal of Cape’s Dam.

Cape’s Dam has been problem since a 2011 study on the fish community, said Kristy Kollaus of Texas State’s Meadows Center for Water and the Environment. She said the dam is old and in bad condition in her presentation in support of its removal.

In the 2011 study, the fish community in the lower reach of the San Marcos River was found to be “underperforming” due to the sediment barrier caused by the dam, and this is still happening today, Kollous said. The upstream is shallow and the downstream is less vegetated above the dam. 

University awarded $15 million grant from NASA

The university was awarded a record $15 million grant from NASA to train teachers in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) disciplines using NASA content, with a special emphasis on engaging minority students.

NASA’s Minority University Research and Education project awarded the grant to the university, according to a NASA press release. The grant will fund the Texas State STEM Rising Stars, a collaborative effort between the colleges of Education and Science and Engineering that aims to improve STEM undergraduate student retention and graduation rates. The group works to increase representation of underserved populations.

Float Fest expected to attract 10,000 attendees over Labor Day

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Float Fest, a live music festival where attendees can float the river, will be hosted Aug. 31 and is expected to bring in 10,000 concert-goers.

Texas State Tubes, Don’s Fish Camp and Cool River Ranch are partnered with the festival to provide tubes for the festival’s floaters. Joe Flanagan, part-owner of Cool River Ranch, said the companies are expecting 10,000 people to attend.

“The three tubing companies only have so many tubes,” Flanagan said. “Not only are we limited by the tubes but also by the limit of how many people we can haul to the river on the buses.”

Construction Update: Projects continue in attempt to accommodate growing population

This semester will bring no relief in the continued construction taking place both on and off campus as students, faculty and staff begin another school year.

Texas State and the City of San Marcos are implementing construction projects to keep up with the growing student population as well as outdated infrastructure, said Michael Petty, director of facilities planning, design and construction. Although construction projects may make things difficult for students and residents, they will make the campus a better place, he said.

Bobcat Trail

The renovation of Bobcat Trail began with updating old underground utilities and also creating a “wonderful green space for students,” Petty said.

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