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Interim dean named for College of Fine Arts and Communication

An interim dean of the College of Fine Arts and Communication has been named as the national search is set to begin for a new, permanent dean.

John Fleming, chair and professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance, has been chosen to serve as interim dean. Provost Eugene Bourgeois said he selected Fleming after consulting with President Denise Trauth on the list of eligible candidates. Bourgeois also met with the college council composed of the associate deans, chairs and directors as well as outgoing dean, Timothy Mottet, he said.

Company donates $1 million reactor to College of Science and Engineering

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State-of-the-art research equipment valued at over $1 million was donated to the College of Science and Engineering June 30 to further student and faculty research.

The equipment is a reactor donated by Nitronex, LLC, a supplier of special power transistors for wireless communications applications, said Michael Blanda, assistant vice president of Research and Federal Relations. The reactor will be housed in the Roy F. Mitte Building, home to the Department of Physics, the Ingram School of Engineering and the Department of Engineering Technology. Blanda said the reactor will lead to the production of advanced electronic components such as wireless transmitters/receivers and LEDs, or light-emitting diodes.

San Marcos police locate missing teen

UPDATED: Fifteen-year-old Cassidy Castro was found “safe and sound” this afternoon after not being heard from for over 24 hours, according to city officials.

A friend said Castro had been snapchatting her friends after midnight Monday morning, asking them to pick her up from her house. After posting that message, Castro posted again later that someone was on their way to pick her up. The same friend said that Castro had left her phone at home when she left, and that when the friend tried to contact Castro on her cellphone, it was Castro’s parents that replied.

Later Monday afternoon, her parents posted messages from her Twitter account urging anyone who knew of her whereabouts to come forward.

San Marcos man charged with arson at apartment complex

A San Marcos man was arrested and charged with arson after San Marcos Fire Marshals said he “recklessly” started a fire and explosion while attempting to manufacture drugs.

Hunter Grant Eckert, 20, started the fire and explosion at the Sienna Point Apartments in the 2900 block of Hunter Road that occurred July 11 around 11:45 p.m., according to the affidavit for his arrest.

Eckert was injured, and there was damage to his apartment due to the explosion and fire, according to the affidavit.

In an interview with a deputy fire marshal the next day, Eckert said during his attempt to manufacture a “controlled substance” the explosion and fire occurred, according to the affidavit. The type of drug was not identified.

San Marcos man arrested after drug lab explosion

A San Marcos man was arrested Wednesday after causing an explosion while trying to make drugs, according to the Austin American-Statesman.

Hunter Grant Eckhart, 20, was charged with arson after Hays County Fire Marshals said he caused an explosion and fire while trying to produce the drugs, according to the Statesman. The explosion happened around 11:45 p.m. July 11 at an apartment in the 2900 block of Hunter Road.

Eckhart was injured and his apartment was damaged, but no one else was hurt and no other apartments were damaged, according to the Statesman. The type of drug Eckhart was trying to make has not been specified.

Eckhart was booked into the Hays County Jail and released on a $25,000 bail.

Demolition of Comanche Hill and Campus Colony Apartments underway

Demolition of the Comanche Hill and Campus Colony off-campus housing apartment complexes began Monday.

The Comanche Hill apartments on Woods Street and the Campus Colony apartments on Comanche Street are undergoing demolition this summer. One of the buildings in the Comanche Hill complex has already been completely demolished into “a big pile of rubble, and they’re going to start hauling off all the debris,” said Juan Guerra, associate vice president of Facilities.

“And the rest of them, both at Comanche Hill and Colony, are scheduled to come down over the next couple of weeks,” Guerra said.

Around 9 a.m. on Monday the apartment buildings began to come down, Guerra said.

“It doesn’t take much to take these buildings down,” he said.

San Marcos Whataburger closed for renovation to make way for new design

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The Whataburger restaurant at the intersection of Guadalupe Street and River Road will be closed from July 6 until late August.

Renovations began in March to make way for a newer, larger Whataburger restaurant.  

Whataburger’s new design will feature two drive-thru lanes, a larger parking lot and an expanded, modern dining room with features such as LED lighting and photos of Whataburger’s history lining the walls, said Jenny Gregorcyk, director of client services.  Tearing the building down will increase square footage and make it larger than a typical Whataburger location. Kitchen equipment will be new as well as the design of the restaurant to increase efficiency.

Apartment pool party results in police intervention, $1,400 fine

Almost 2,000 people attended the pool party heard ‘round the world last Saturday at The Retreat.

Promoted by the Texas State Trendsetter hashtag #TXSTSummerBash, hundreds of people were at the party, which ended in a $1,400 fine for the complex.

The “Second Annual Summer Bash” was planned by the apartment complex, which hired Endless Entertainment to run an ad campaign using the Texas State Trendsetter hashtag, said exercise and sports science junior Shawn “Big Neechi” Onyechi, representative for Endless Entertainment.

The party totaled well over twice the pool’s capacity of 750, said Police Chief Chase Stapp.

Promotions began four days before the event but were halted after two days due to an estimated 15,000-to-20,000-person turnout, Onyechi said.

County commissioners sign resolution opposing weakening of state water rights

The Hays County Commissioners Court approved a resolution that opposes newly proposed rules expanding the authority of the Clean Water Act (CWA).

The new rules state that previously unregulated waters like ditches, farm ponds, dry waterways and isolated wetlands will fall under the power of the CWA, according to a Hays County Commissioners Court press release.

The resolution states,  “Hays County strongly opposes the proposed new rule to define ‘waters of the United States’ in that it increases the need for burdensome and costly permitting requirements, infringes on private property rights and circumvents the legislative process.”

Officials approve installment of pay-to-park areas on campus

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Students and guests of the university now have another option when parking with the installation of a new pay-to-park lot.

Pay-to-park fee machines were installed in the Spring Lake Preserve parking lot as part of the President’s Cabinet initiative at the end of the spring 2014 semester to make “equitable parking” available throughout campus, said Bill Nance, vice president of Finance and Support Services. The fee is $3 per day or $7 per week from 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The payment is not required at any other time of the day or on weekends.

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