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Texas Tribune CEO encourages entrepreneurial spirit in students

The School of Journalism and Mass Communication hosted Evan Smith, The Texas Tribune’s CEO, editor-in-chief and co-founder, Feb. 25 as part of the Digital Media Entrepreneurship Speaker Series.

Smith arrived 40 minutes late due to rush-hour traffic in Austin, but students greeted him with applause. Smith spoke on the entrepreneurial spirit of the Tribune and the new age of journalism.

“The buzzkill of buzzkills in entrepreneurship is caution,” Smith said.

The early days of the Tribune were not a “sexy time” for the new non-profit media outlet, Smith said. Smith helped establish the Tribune in 2009 with Ross Ramsey and John Thornton.  The idea for the digital-first, nonpartisan media outlet began from the bottom up.

Texas State ranked 12th among top western universities

Texas State was ranked 12th among public universities in the western region of the United States by U.S. News & World Report.

The university is the only Texas institution in the top 15. The universities on the list were ranked based on factors unrelated to academia such as tuition costs, student-to-faculty ratios and freshman retention rates.

Michael Heintze, associate vice president for enrollment management, said he has “mixed feelings” about how university ranking systems work.

“Ranking systems can mislead families and students (in) some respects on what a university truly has to offer,” Heintze said.

San Marcos lacks resources for homeless men

Homeless men in San Marcos have a hard road to recovery in comparison with impoverished women and families.

Non-profits such as the Hays-Caldwell Women’s Center offer a variety of services for abused women and their children. However, San Marcos does not have a full-time homeless shelter for the impoverished population.

From 2010 to 2012, 15.7 percent of the population was below the poverty level, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Linda Moraga, shelter manager for the Southside Community Center, said the lack of resources available for homeless men is the largest problem with poverty in San Marcos.

Many Lenovo laptops carry dangerous pre-installed software

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The Division of Information Technology reported of an inherent security vulnerability in multiple Lenovo notebook models Tuesday evening.

The pre-installed, third party software “Superfish” makes users vulnerable to malicious attacks, allowing hackers to hijack Web browsers and steal confidential information. Lenovo originally installed “Superfish” onto consumer laptops to improve user’s internet shopping experiences, according to a Lenovo press release.

After receiving complaints, the company stopped preloading the “Superfish” software in January and has since worked to alert customers of the threat, according to a Lenovo press release.

Interstate Highway 35/ Highway 123 intersection exceptionally dangerous

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Data from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) show the intersection of Interstate Highway 35 (IH-35) and Highway 123 to be the most dangerous in San Marcos.

From January 2014 to February, the intersection was the site of 82 total crashes, including two fatal accidents and eight with incapacitating injuries, according to TxDOT data.

Two datasets, one from January 2010 to February and the other from January 2014 to February, verified the intersection has the highest number of deadly and incapacitating collisions in San Marcos.

UPD officer ‘one-man team’ in pioneering drunk driving simulator

A university police officer is working to show the effects of drinking by building a drunken driving simulator.

Otto Glenewinkel, University Police Department (UPD) crime prevention specialist and executive director of Driving While Intoxicated Pod (DWI) Corporation, narrowly escaped a fatal car crash as a high school student.

Glenewinkel planned to meet up with some friends and drive from Gruene to San Antonio. Glenewinkel and a peer were late to the meeting, and the five others went on to San Antonio without them.

A drunk driver collided with the vehicle that night, leaving two dead, two paralyzed and one brain-dead.

University marketing team finalists in international competition

The Texas State American Marketing Association (AMA) has been selected as one of eight finalists to compete in the Collegiate Case Competition, an international contest in which students work on a real-life marketing campaign.

The conference will take place beginning March 19 in New Orleans. Eight teams, including Texas State, will present a marketing campaign created for a client chosen by competition officials. This year’s client is Glacéau, the company that makes Vitaminwater and Vitaminwater Zero.

The team will spend five days over spring break in New Orleans for the competition. Funding for the team comes from a grant. The team fundraises for the rest.

Bobcat Blend and city offer composting certification course

Backyard composting piles are increasing in popularity due to educational efforts by the City of San Marcos and nonprofits.

A two-week master training course provides composting certification. The program is sponsored by the city, Bobcat Blend at Texas State and the State of Texas Alliance for Recycling (S.T.A.R.).

“We want to create a program that reflects the values of the city,” said Neil Kaufman, president of Bobcat Blend. “We don’t want to ignore the fact that we’re in a beautiful, ecologically rich city.”

City and Bobcat Blend officials have similar goals but answer to different audiences, Kaufman said. Texas State students are Bobcat Blend’s audience, while the city primarily serves residents.

Commissioners court approves study on desalination plant

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The Hays County Commissioners Court voted Feb. 3 to approve a study on the feasibility of a desalination plant to draw water from the Edwards Aquifer.

Desalination is the process of extracting salt and minerals from non-potable water to make it drinkable, said Brian Smith, chief hydrologist and science team leader for the Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District (BSEACD). The plant would draw from the saltwater side of the Edwards Aquifer.

Police looking for possibly endangered missing person

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The San Marcos Police Department is looking for a missing man who is believed to be endangered.

Jonathan Russell was last seen Thursday morning riding a gold or rust colored bicycle northbound on the west access road in the 1600 block of IH-35 near his place of work, the La Quinta Inn.

Russell’s co-workers said they have not seen or heard from him since he last reported to work on Thursday, according to a city press release.

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