City

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.

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.

San Marcos businesses give back to community

The Nike store at the Tanger Outlets in San Marcos ‘just does it’ when it comes to donations and recycling old products.

Nike donates unsold or leftover items to the San Marcos Consolidated Independent School District (SMCISD). The store has different environmental initiatives to further help people in need with clothing, shoes and accessories.

“We donate a lot of clothes that aren’t the best quality or may have some type of flaw within them,” said Katrina Riojas, Nike outlet employee. “Sometimes we’ll get different articles of clothing with a swoosh backwards or different dysfunctional parts that we can’t sell.”

The store will set these clothes aside and donate them to different organizations across the city, Riojas said.

Goats clear brush, prevent forest fires

Goats may be the answer for clearing brush in the city’s green spaces given their ability to eat four pounds of grass a day.

Bert Stratemann, parks operations manager, said a lack of funding is keeping him from furthering the project to use goats to clear brush on city land.

“We currently don’t have the funding to continue the project,” Stratemann said. “But we are looking at different environmental groups in the city that could provide grants. We are still in the beginning stages.”

Stratemann has directly worked with a group of goats to observe their effectiveness in clearing brush. Twenty goats were supplied by James Dalros, owner of Happy Herd Landscaping, for the test run.

Proposed downtown construction project sparks citizen debate

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The Planning and Zoning Commission approved the rezoning of .64 acres of the Tuttle Lumber property at its Tuesday meeting.

The owner of Tuttle Lumber requested the Planning and Zoning Commission consider changing the zoning designation of the .64 acres from Light Industrial (LI) to Mixed Use (T4). 

A light industrial property is defined by the city of San Marcos as a warehousing, low-level manufacturing, wholesaling and/or service operation that does not require frequent customer visits. A mixed-use urban district is intended to allow for buildings with both residential units and office or retail space.

One dead, four injured in crash

One person has died and four others were injured in the crash that destroyed two semi trucks and one passenger vehicle.

The four people involved in the crash were taken to Central Texas Medical Center in San Marcos with non life-threatening injuries.

Recent rainfall brings little drought relief

Last week’s rain brought much-needed moisture to San Marcos, but it was not enough to deliver long-term drought relief to the city.

The steady rainfall reached almost 3 inches in 48 hours, according to the Lower Colorado River Authority.

Dianne Wassenich, program director for the San Marcos River Foundation, said the aquifer temporarily rose 8 feet after the rains but is currently below storm levels.

The San Marcos River also experienced a minor flow increase.

“We had a very slight rise in the flow of the river, just a few cubic feet per second,” Wassenich said. “We really need heavy rains right north of San Marcos in the Blanco River and Sink Creek watersheds to get more flow in the river since a major part of our recharge zone is right around there.”

Officials encourage citizens to report water theft in wake of contamination threat

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The City of San Marcos Water-Wastewater Utility Department is seeking cooperation from the community to catch citizens stealing water from fire hydrants.

The city regularly sells water from fire hydrants to construction contractors and other customers by applying meters at purchasers’ requests, said San Marcos spokesman Trey Hatt. Residents’ reports of illegal water usage have prompted city officials to encourage citizens to notify authorities of suspicious activity. Such activity includes taking water from hydrants without a meter.

Nick Menchaca, San Marcos resident, witnessed suspicious activity on the morning of Nov. 8 outside of his house adjacent to Rio Vista Park.

Percentage of smokers at Texas State decreases following campus smoking ban

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Recent surveys conducted by the American College Health Association reveal with the implementation of the tobacco-free policy on campus, the number of frequent smokers at Texas State has decreased from 22 percent to 15 percent since 2011.

The campus community has reaped significant benefits since becoming a tobacco-free campus, said Emilio Carranco, director of the Student Health Center. 

“I think people are realizing that smoking and exposing others to secondhand smoke is a real risk to self and others, and it’s translating into changes of behavior,” Carranco said. “We’ve got fewer students that are smoking regularly and more students who are thinking about quitting. That is really good for the health of our campus community.”

Council, mayoral candidates debate future of San Marcos

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Candidates for City Council Place 3 and 4 and those running for mayor discussed the future of San Marcos Monday night at a debate hosted by the University Star and KTSW 89.9.

Jane Hughson, City Council Place 4 candidate, spoke without an opponent. Her rival, Councilman Wayne Becak, Place 4, was unable to attend the debate.

Hughson said one of the main reasons she is running for city council is the City of San Marcos’ Comprehensive Master Plan.

“I was on the committee for the plan, and I decided I wanted to be on city council to see the implementation of the plan,” Hughson said. “Budget and transportation plans need to conform, and I want to make sure they do. If there is a change I want to make sure that it is justified.”

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