City

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.

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.

City flooding interrupts first day of classes

The first day of school often brings an overflow of students to The Quad, but this year a real flood near campus posed a challenge for those trying to get to class on time.

Around 5 p.m. Monday, a malfunction in the control system of a city water storage tank caused the tank to overflow, flooding Sessom Drive and the nearby university tennis complex.

Tom Taggart, executive director of Public Services, said the issue was with the valve system in the nearby water tank.

“Normally, when the tank reaches the full level, those valves would shut and prevent any more water from going into the tank, and in this case the valve opened and the tank overflowed,” Taggart said. “The valve was in the open position when it should have been in the closed position.”

City, campus offer variety of study spots

As the school year kicks into gear, it is essential for Bobcats to remember studying is an important factor in solidifying academic success. A part of growing up and becoming the responsible young adults people expect us to be is learning what works best on an individual basis. Studying can be difficult if the environment is not right, but luckily there are many options on and off campus for all types of students.

Communications director retires after 29 years with city

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Melissa Millecam, the San Marcos director of communications, retired Aug. 15 after a 29-year career with the city.

Millecam has lived in San Marcos for 44 years. In the ‘70s, she was a newspaper reporter for the city. In 1985, the city manager asked if she could assist him with media relations. Millecam began writing press releases and worked as somewhat of a contractor for the city. Three years later in 1988, she became a permanent employee.

The job has evolved from writing press releases on typewriters and a second-generation Mac computer and mailing them out to using e-mail in the digital age, Millecam said.

Two killed in San Marcos car crash

A fiery car crash in San Marcos claimed two lives late last night following a police pursuit.

According to a city press release, a San Marcos police officer attempted to pull over a pickup truck that was suspected of “impaired driving” June 23 just before 3 a.m. The driver of the truck refused to stop and fled through Rio Vista neighborhood, a residential area of San Marcos.

Upon reaching a roundabout intersection on the corner of Cheatham and Rio Vista streets, the driver collided with the limestone landscaping in the roundabout’s center. The impact caused the truck to catch fire immediately.

University, city officials should allow e-cig use in public

My name is JD, and I used to smoke 30 cigarettes a day.

Gum gave me heartburn. Patches hurt my skin. I could not quit. Now, my breath smells better, my mornings are free of coughing-fits, my wallet is fatter and I have not needed my asthma inhaler in months. The problem? My city and my university believe that my way of quitting is no better than my original habit.

City councilmembers approve partial closure of Sessom Drive to hasten construction

The San Marcos City Council approved the closure of a portion of Sessom Drive from North LBJ to Loquat Street at its June 3 meeting to speed up intersection improvements.

Traffic will be detoured onto Academy and Holland Streets around the construction for two and a half months, said Shaun Condor, project manager. Partial closure of North LBJ will move the end date of the project from spring 2015 to August. The university is on board with the closure, which is expected to “expedite” the construction, Condor said.

A constant question asked was if the city should take advantage of the reduced summer traffic to speed up the construction time, Condor said.

University officials approve increased summer budget

University officials will increase the summer budget for faculty salaries by $2.9 million to amend a long-standing budgetary shortfall.

President’s Cabinet officials have approved an increase in summer funding. The increase will correct an imbalance caused by previously unfunded raises for faculty members and competitive starting salaries for new faculty, Provost Eugene Bourgeois said in an email.

“As we awarded merit raises and raises for faculty promotions, in addition to paying higher salaries for new faculty, it resulted in the fixed summer budget not ‘keeping up’ with the real increase in the cost of faculty staffing for summer,” Bourgeois said.

Police investigating 'suspicious' death of San Marcos woman

4:47 p.m. update:

San Marcos police have identified the 23-year-old woman who died earlier today as Misty Amber Davis.

Police are investigating a “suspicious” incident that Davis dead and sent the man who lived with her to the hospital early Friday morning.

Police received a call from the 25-year-old man around 1:01 a.m. Friday morning saying he had been shot in his home on the 1300 block of Barbara Drive, according to a release from the city. Police and EMS arrived on the scene and found the 23-year-old woman unconscious. She was later pronounced dead at the residence.

The man was transported to Brackenridge Hospital and was treated before being discharged the same day, the release said.

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