TopShelf app gains popularity

The success of the alcohol delivery app TopShelf is off to a slow start after the community had to shift its focus to rebuilding in the aftermath of the Memorial Day Weekend flooding.  

The delivery app launched in San Marcos just one day before the flooding occurred.

“Unfortunately for the city, it just wasn’t a good time,” said Ryan Browne, CEO and founder of the app. “Now that things are better, business is definitely picking up.”

San Martians can use the app to have alcohol delivered to their doorstep by local vendors in partnership with TopShelf.

Browne initially launched TopShelf at the South by Southwest Interactive Festival in Austin in March.  

SAT entrance exam to be redesigned to future scholars

High school students looking to pursue a college degree will now have the option to take the redesigned SAT exam when it makes its debut this spring. 

According to College Board, the revised test will return to a 1600-point scale for scoring and will include some major changes.

“The redesigned SAT is more focused, useful and clear for students, parents and educators than ever before,” said Katherine Levin, media representative of College Board.

College Board officials collected feedback from educators and students about the SAT when they were considering what changes to make, Levin said. College Board made changes to the exam after careful examination of what students need to know about reading, writing and mathematics.

Hooters looking to relocate after denied liquor permit

Hooters officials are looking to relocate after their restaurant was denied a conditional liquor permit at the July 7 city council meeting.

The restaurant’s proposed San Marcos location is at the intersection of IH-35 and Luciano Flores Street, across the road from Luby’s, said Kristy Stark, assistant director of planning and development services, in an email.

Hooters’ request to sell alcohol at the proposed location will be discussed at the Sept. 8 Planning and Zoning (P&Z) meeting.

A group of residents of a neighborhood near the proposed location, led by Robert Jett, San Marcos citizen, filed a petition with city council and succeeded in getting P&Z’s approval of the permit overturned.

Local farmers discuss flood devastation, ongoing drought conditions


San Marcos farmers have had to a lot to adjust to in the past few months after record-breaking floods followed by the return of Stage 2 drought conditions.

Some local farmers are still trying to bounce back after they lost entire crops to the rising waters of the Blanco River during the Memorial Day weekend flooding. 

Daniel Velasquez, a San Marcos Farmer’s Market vendor of three years, lost nearly his entire crop due to the May floods. 

“(The flood) affected a lot,” Velasquez said. “(I had) 65 plants and the river took them all.”

Velasquez said even the crops that survived had their growth stunted by the weather. 

City Council considers removal of regional airport commission

Councilmembers shared insight and opinions on the future of the San Marcos Regional Airport commission during the Aug. 18 city council meeting. 

Due to increased growth of the airport, city councilmembers are working on terminating the commission, leaving Texas Aviation Partners to run the airport at their discretion.

Since the commission was approved five years ago, the airport has worked with Hays County Commissioners and city councilmembers to push the aviation center into a new direction of growth and financial stability. 

City councilmembers are working with Texas Aviation partners to phase out the commission’s authority on day-to-day airport duties. 

San Marcos Police Department provides safety zone for exchanges

San Marcos is one of many cities across the nation adopting a safe zone program called SafeTrade, allowing citizens to exchange goods at the police station.

Citizens are now able to use the police parking lot or lobby to exchange goods 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The program is targeted toward people who use person-to-person sites like Craigslist.

“(Citizens) should have a place to finalize these transactions that are safe and neutral,” said Chase Stapp, Chief of Police at the San Marcos Police Department (SMPD). 

Leander, Georgetown and Pflugerville are among other locations that have incorporated this program into their community, he said.

The police department began looking at the project about a month ago, Stapp said.

"Back to Our Future" celebrates San Marcos business

This year marked the 30-year anniversary of the San Marcos Business Expo and the iconic movie Back to the Future.

San Marcos citizens walked among local business booths in funky costumes ranging from “mad scientist” to a poodle skirt at the Embassy Suites Conference Center Aug. 28.  A remake of the flux capacitor adorned the center of the room. "Streets" were labeled with playful names such as McFly Highway.

The business expo provided a chance for the San Marcos Chamber of Commerce and local citizens to give to nonprofit organizations. The money from entrance tickets will be donated to an unannounced nonprofit.

Hays County officials consider FEMA floodplain map adoption


Hundreds of Hays County residents may soon have to purchase flood insurance and see the construction standards for structures around them change.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) began releasing updated advisory floodplain maps Aug. 21, which are currently under a yearlong review by county officials.

If county officials adopt the advisory maps, the floodplain will greatly expand along the Blanco River and tributary creeks throughout the southern portion of Hays County—the area most devastated by the Memorial Day weekend flooding.

Target pulls gender labels from stores, San Marcos residents react

Target announced Aug. 7 that the company will eliminate gender labels in several departments of its stores nationwide.

Molly Snyder, Target’s senior group manager of public relations, said removing gender labels has been a conversationTarget officials have been hearing for quite some time in their call centers.

“We wanted to make the right adjustments that we felt would be the best for our company and our guests,” Snyder said. “At this point in time, we felt that it was the right step to take.”

Snyder said although customers have had a wide variety of opinions, the overall customer feedback has been favorable.

Snyder said she wants to emphasize that Target respects all of their customers’ opinions.

Place 5 city council candidate hosts campaign kickoff

Place 5 city council candidate Frank T. Arredondo kicked off his campaign Thursday night at Cuauhtemoc Hall.

In his stump speech, Arredondo said the devastation the Memorial Day weekend floods brought upon San Marcos residents was the tipping point in his decision to run for city council. Arredondo was a flood victim himself back in 1970 and 1972.

“I once was a resident of Blanco Gardens,” Arredondo said. “I know the anguish of being in the flood, the anguish of rainclouds forming and falling again multiple days on end.”


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