City

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.

Nonprofit organization supplies clothing to San Marcos students

Run out of a small portable building behind the San Marcos Consolidated Independent School District Central Office, the Rattler Donation Closet is a non-profit organization that provides clothing and other necessities for students in need throughout San Marcos schools.

In addition to clothing, Rattler Donation accepts school supplies and monetary assistance to help provide physicals or eye exams for students. The ongoing donation drive has been in operation for three years and helps 78 percent of students in the district who are in the lower income bracket, said Georganne Logue, the administrative assistant to the superintendent who developed the project.

City officials, employees shave heads in support of local child with cancer

After former city employee Stacy Malone explained to Fire Chief Les Stephens that her 5-year-old son was having a particularly hard time adjusting to his chemotherapy-induced hair loss, Stephens felt compelled to act.

“I thought it would be funny to shave my head and take a picture of it to send to Waylon,” Stephens said. “I sent a text to four or five other people asking if they wanted to participate as well and from that small group it blossomed into this large event.”

Officials aim to educate residents on Safe Passing ordinance

City officials are hoping to educate residents about the newly implemented Safe Passing ordinance in order to make roads safer for pedestrians and other non-motorists.

Implemented March 19, the Safe Passing ordinance stipulates that automobiles and small trucks must give at least three feet of clearance when passing “vulnerable road users,” while commercial motor vehicles must give six feet. City officials have begun to familiarize the public with the ordinance by giving it the slogan “steer clear.”

The ordinance now includes a fine for vehicles parked in bike lanes, said Mayor Daniel Guerrero. He hopes the ordinance will benefit the city overall by providing additional safety to vulnerable road users.

San Marcos celebrates annual corn dog festival

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The City of San Marcos celebrates one of its oldest and most delicious traditions Saturday—the National Corn Dog Day festival.

The 11th annual festival will take place downtown on the Courthouse Square. The festival will feature corn dogs, tater tots, beverages and games for the whole family. The festival is celebrated in conjunction with the college basketball March Madness tournament, and local businesses will be on site to join in on the fun.

The first National Corn Dog Day took place in Oregon. The festival is traditionally celebrated in conjunction with March Madness as it was first devised in 1992 when a group of friends subsisted on the breaded treat during the basketball tournament’s entirety.

Local airport receives TxDOT grant for facility improvements

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The San Marcos Municipal Airport will soon be revamped with the installation of new runway pavement, lighting and other improvements as a result of a $5.7 million grant approved by state transportation officials.

The city will help finance the project along with funding from a statewide Aviation Facilities Grant Program within the Texas Department of Transportation, officials said. Runways 13 and 31 will be the primary focus of improvements to the airport, said Stephen Alexander, founder and manager of Texas Aviation Partners, the company that runs it.

Bike lanes, sidewalks to be added during Ranch Road 12 expansion

San Marcos will gain more bike lanes and sidewalks once expansions to Ranch Road 12 are complete in the fall.

The expansion is expected to begin in late fall and end in early 2016, said Project Manager Janae Ryan. Plans for the project are 60 percent complete at this time, Ryan said in a public meeting held Feb. 6 at the San Marcos Activity Center.

Construction will span from Craddock Avenue to Holland Street along Ranch Road 12, said Mary Mazzei, project manager for Halff Associates, the design firm working on the project. The plans include leveling the road in certain areas, creating sidewalks and bike lanes on each side of the road and adding new water utilities, Mazzei said.

Councilmembers pass first reading of safe cyclist passing ordinance

San Marcos city councilmembers unanimously approved the first of two readings of an ordinance aimed at keeping cyclists safe on roads Tuesday evening.

The Safe Passing Ordinance, if enacted by the city council, will require all vehicles to give at least three feet of clearance when passing “vulnerable road users” on the roadways. These users include pedestrians, joggers, cyclists, skateboarders, equestrians, physically disabled people, construction and maintenance workers, tow truck operators, stranded motorists and farm equipment operators, according to a Jan. 22 University Star article.

Councilmembers pass first reading of safe cyclist passing ordinance

San Marcos city councilmembers unanimously approved the first of two readings of an ordinance aimed at keeping cyclists safe on roads Tuesday evening.

The Safe Passing Ordinance, if enacted by the city council, will require all vehicles to give at least three feet of clearance when passing “vulnerable road users” on the roadways. These users include pedestrians, joggers, cyclists, skateboarders, equestrians, physically disabled people, construction and maintenance workers, tow truck operators, stranded motorists and farm equipment operators, according to a Jan. 22 University Star article.

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