City

ALERRT partners with Wal-Mart to offer active shooter safety training

A Texas State program has partnered with Wal-Mart to offer associates information on what to do if an active shooting breaks out in the workplace.

Last week, officials at the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center at the university announced their partnership with Wal-Mart to develop educational tools to inform employees how to react in an active shooter situation.

The announcement comes in the wake of a recently-released FBI report that demonstrates the need “for civilians to be engaged in discussions and training on decisions they’d have to make in an active shooter situation,” said Special Agent Katherine Schweit, head of the FBI’s active shooter initiative team, in the report.

Intersection barricaded after gas line leaks

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The North LBJ Street and University Drive intersection was barricaded after construction workers unintentionally broke a gas line while digging up concrete to create a storm drain.

Firefighters arrived on the scene around 3 p.m. Wednesday to remain on stand-by in case the gas leak ignited, said Captain Liz Baldinger, Engine 2.

“We do have fire trucks on stand-by and barricades blocking everything off, but people continue to try to walk past this area instead of going around,” Baldinger said. “Students and residents just need to pay attention and be a little more aware of their surroundings because we’re looking out for their safety.”

Outlets draw more than 6 million visitors per year

The City of San Marcos’ estimated population in 2013 was 54,076, but the San Marcos outlets’ estimated yearly traffic is 6 million.

The number one visitor attractions for San Marcos are the Premium and Tanger outlet malls. They are one of the few outlet mall destination centers and a top-five employer for the city, said Rebecca Ybarra-Ramirez, executive director of the San Marcos Convention and Visitor Bureau.

Ybarra-Ramirez said the number of yearly visitors to Premium and Tanger is in the millions.

“There’s a high number from Austin, which is the largest market, Houston and San Antonio,” Ybarra-Ramirez said. “These are the top three markets.”

San Marcos officials aiming to create jobs as city grows

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Because San Marcos is America’s fastest growing city, officials are looking to expand the job industry to accommodate the rapid growth and influx of people moving from surrounding areas.

Many people think students are contributing to the economic growth as the university hits record numbers of enrollment, but data show students are not the main cause, said Adriana Cruz, president of the Greater San Marcos Partnership.

The average person moving to San Marcos is 31 years old, Cruz said. Most newcomers are from Travis County.

San Marcos' dependence on Edwards Aquifer less than surrounding areas

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In the 1980s, San Marcos was 100 percent dependent on the Edwards Aquifer . Today, that dependency is down to 7 percent.

Edwards Aquifer supplied almost all of the city’s water over 30 years ago. The San Marcos Water Treatment plant, which began operating in January 2000, gave the city another option.

The plant treats surface water, making it drinkable. Contracted by the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority (GBRA), the plant was a $15.5 million project, according to the GBRA website.

The city now gets over 90 percent of its water from Canyon Lake, said City Spokesman Trey Hatt.

The plant supplies 93 percent of the city’s water, said Jon Clack, assistant director of Public Services Water Wastewater.

Professor to evaluate proposed dam removal

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Thom Hardy, professor and Chief Science Officer of The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment, discussed his forthcoming Cape’s Dam river evaluations Tuesday at the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board.

Hardy’s evaluation will present objective facts about the setting in which Cape’s Dam exists and the environment around it. His evaluation will especially outline changes in the river channel and the hydraulic environment. He has conducted similar evaluations in the past, but none have focused on the effects recreation has on the river.

Tubers, kayakers, canoers and people floating the river do not cause much harm to the river’s inhabitants, he said. People inside the river cause more harm than floaters do.

Councilmembers continue discussion of La Cima development

The San Marcos City Council has made progress concerning the La Cima development and plans to vote on a final development agreement next week.

La Cima is a proposed development of approximately 2,050 acres, including 2,400 single-family homes, a 200-acre commercial and retail site and about 400 acres of open space in the city’s extraterritorial jurisdiction west of the city. Councilmembers have been wrestling with the conditions of the development agreement.

“The county is considering issuing the PID bonds,” said Councilman Wayne Becak, Place 4, who serves on the La Cima subcommittee. “That hasn’t been approved yet, but that’s what the county is discussing.”

A PID is a public improvement district, Becak said.

Students petition against development of Cape’s Camp, Thompson’s Island

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In the November 2012 elections, three quarters of San Marcos residents voted in favor of acquiring 70 acres of riverfront property for parkland, located at IH-35 and River Road, that is known as Cape's Camp and Thompson’s Island.

The Thornton family, who owned the property, were not willing to sell the land to the city, and it would have had to have been acquired through eminent domain, which 51 percent of the voters opposed.

San Marcos officials, residents react to Austin device ban

The City of Austin’s decision to ban the use of all electronic devices while driving or biking has some students and faculty weighing the benefits of creating a similar ordinance in San Marcos.

The new law expands on a current ordinance passed in 2009, which banned texting while driving. The new ordinance goes into effect Jan. 1, 2015.

Chase Stapp, San Marcos Chief of Police, has some reservations about the ordinance due to the limitations it could potentially impose on officers in times of emergencies.

“One of my concerns with the ordinance, and I haven’t read it word for word, but at least the way I understand it, I wouldn’t want to create a situation where officers are not lawfully able to use the mobile data computers that are in police cars,” Stapp said.

San Marcos High School stadium not complete in time for season

Rattler Stadium will not be finished in time for what was supposed to be San Marcos High School’s first home game.

The high school will have to use Bobcat Stadium one more time.  The new stadium was meant to be finished by late August, but weather delayed construction, said Mark Soto, head football coach and athletic director.

“Basically what we had was a 14-month project squeezed into 10 months, and then we had 20 bad weather days,” Soto said.

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