Carlie Porterfield

Debate team victorious over 15 universities in state tournament

The debate team is enjoying a high after a win at this semester’s Texas Intercollegiate Forensics Association (TIFA) tournament.

The team won the debate portion of the tournament and took first place in the sweepstakes as well, said debate coach Wayne Kraemer. The university beat 15 other schools, including the University of Texas and Texas A&M University.

“Of the last 15 TIFA tournaments, we’ve won 14 of them,” Kraemer said.

Kraemer attributes the team’s success to the coaching staff and the students’ commitment.

Abbott wins governor’s seat, Davis concedes

Greg Abbott defeated his opponent Wendy Davis in the Texas gubernatorial race after securing almost 2 million votes across the state.

The loss was a hard hit for Texas Democrats, who were enjoying campaigning for a high-profile candidate. Abbott won with 60 percent, while Davis received only 38 percent of the vote. Abbott had also consistently ranked higher than Davis in the polls leading up to Election Day.

“Being disappointed is okay, but being discouraged is not,” Davis said to her supporters in Forth Worth. “Our work is not done, and the principles for which we fight will always endure.”

Abbott, currently serving as Texas Attorney General, will be the first new Texas governor in 14 years, after Rick Perry.

Texas women ‘mobilized’ for Wendy Davis

Democrats in Hays County say women played a large role in the state elections this year, officials said.

“We believe Texas is not a red state, it’s a non-voting state,” said Jan Soifer, Travis County Democratic Party chairwoman. “In fact, we have one of the lowest proportions of turnout of eligible voters in any state in the country.

Texas is also “dead last” in the percentage of eligible women voters who vote, she said.  One strategy this election cycle was to reach out to citizens who don’t usually vote and convince them their voice “really matters,” Soifer said

Officials warn against dangers of excessive drinking

Drinking is a staple of college culture, but city and university officials say the issue of alcohol abuse is not one to be taken lightly.

Alcohol consumption is a fueling factor in many of the calls the San Marcos Police Department responds to on weekend nights, said SMPD Chief Chase Stapp.

“After a certain time in the evening, probably about 95 percent or more of our calls involve alcohol,” said policeman Vincent Fischer. “Everyone we’re going to run into after around 11:30 or 12 has consumed alcohol, especially the students.”

Many of the calls are situations that are “blown out of proportion” when one or both parties are extremely intoxicated, Fischer said last Saturday night while on patrol duty.

Wendy Davis talks education, fair pay at block walk

State Sen. Wendy Davis, Democratic gubernatorial candidate, made an appearance Tuesday afternoon in Buda to speak to a group of supporters before they went block walking in hopes to garner their support in the upcoming election.

Davis is a supporter of education, increasing the minimum wage and equal pay for women, she said.

“Above every other issue on the table right now is the story of investment in our children through our investment in public education,” Davis said.

The Republican platform calls for a continued defunding of public education at all levels from pre-K to public universities, she said.

Threat at residence hall causes officials to re-examine safety precautions

Students living in Tower Hall are being more vigilant about their safety in the wake of a “terroristic threat” made by an intruder early Saturday morning.

A man entered Tower Hall around 3 a.m. and made comments about how easy it would be to enter the building and harm residents there. The man was seen near the east entrance of the hall waiting for the door to be opened.

“From what I understand, a resident came in, swiped their card, and while the door was open, he just followed them in,” said Jayme Blaschke, University News Service director.

Students living at Tower Hall were shocked at the news, said resident Julia Barnes, business management freshman.

Journalists share insight of crisis coverage

On the last day of the university’s Mass Communication Week, students were able to watch a panel of both professional and student journalists give insight into crisis coverage.

The panel, titled ‘Crisis Coverage: Fort Hood’ served to educate students on how they worked to cover the April 2014 Fort Hood shooting, and how the resulting news played out.

“Fort Hood was a new experience for me,” said Kelsey Bradshaw, University Star news editor. “It was the first breaking news I’d ever done.”

It’s important to be sensitive and mindful of the event you’re covering, especially if it is one in which people lost their lives, said Jordan Gass-Poore, KTSW web content manager.

Abortion signs attract counter-protest, spark debate

Tensions rose on the quad Thursday afternoon as members of opposing sides of the abortion debate congregated near the Stallions in the university’s free speech zone.

Representatives of Bobcats for Life, a pro-life organization, had planned to hand out cupcakes on the Quad Thursday in honor of National Disability Employment Awareness Month. They call this event they call “Cupcakes for Life,” said Ashlyn Rathburn, Bobcats for Life president.

“We’re celebrating the lives of the unborn,” Rathburn said. “We were trying to make a voice for those babies who are aborted due to disabilities.”

City extends invitation to rewrite neighborhood development code

City officials are seeking input from San Marcos residents to help create a new land development code.

“Code SMTX is an effort to rewrite our land development code,” said Abigail Gillfillan, project and permit manager. “We want to get the community’s input on what makes San Marcos important and special and how we can make sure to preserve those elements.”

The land development code outlines rules and regulations for development in the city, Gillfillan said. It governs the location of land usage, placement of buildings and site design. Ultimately, it dictates the look and “feel” of the city, according to Code SMTX’s website.

City will lease Edwards Aquifer rights, drought restrictions continue

City council passed a resolution in a split vote allowing San Marcos officials to lease 885 acre feet of the city’s Edwards Aquifer water rights to a third party for a 10-week period.

More than a dozen citizens, many of them against the resolution, spoke during the  comment period. Citizens said they were displeased with city council entertaining the notion of leasing water to outside parties while enforcing drought restrictions.

City officials announced Aug. 17 that San Marcos had reached a Stage 4 drought level. Because no specific measures were outlined for such a high stage in the drought ordinance, city officials decided to continue Stage 3 rules and increase enforcement, a measure some locals feel is unnecessary.

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