Dominant

Hays County now issuing same-sex marriage licenses

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JUNE 29 UPDATE: Same-sex couples can now be issued a marriage license from the Hays County Clerk's Office. Gender neutral forms are still not available.

JUNE 26: Same-sex couples can now finally have their "I do's" recognized by law, after love won in a Supreme Court decision yesterday.

The Hays County Clerk’s Office is not yet issuing same-sex marriage licenses despite the landmark June 26 Supreme Court’s decision to overturn state bans on gay marriage.

Public housing tenants struggle to find homes after historic floods

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Many public housing residents are struggling for a foothold as flood damage has prompted the San Marcos Housing Authority (SMHA) to evacuate at least 96 homes for repairs and safety concerns.

SMHA officials have ordered all residents of the 96 units at the CM Allen Homes public housing facility to vacate. Many former residents say they are facing difficulties in finding and paying for new homes despite government assistance.

Aniceto “Cowboy” Samaro, age 85, said he has lived in the CM Allen Homes facility for 33 years. He remembers when the 30-foot tree in his front yard was a tiny sprout. He shares his home with a 15-year-old Chihuahua, Thomas.

Benefit concert raises $150,000

Community members of all ages gathered at The Marc  June 7 to raise money for Central Texas flood victims.

Omar Dawoud, owner of The Marc and applied sociology senior, said 1,100 people purchased tickets to the Band Together TX benefit concert. The concert featured Blue October, Aaron Behrens, Ray Wylie Hubbard and other local musicians working to raise money to be donated via United Way of Hays County.

 “It all started when I saw how severe the flood was via online news,” Dawoud said. “My immediate thought was to text the mayor and see what I can do, because I knew I could do something.”

After reaching out to Mayor Daniel Guerrero, Dawoud said he was put in contact with the band Blue October, who had offered to help.

San Marcos family loses everything in flood

One San Marcos resident and his family watched helplessly May 24 as his childhood home filled with water. Carlos Cortez was awakened around 4 a.m. by the sound of water coming through the window of the master bedroom.

“We have a one-story house and the windowsill sits about a foot and a half to two feet off the ground,” Carlos Cortez said. “The water sounded like a fountain as it came in through the bedroom window at a pretty good rate, which is what woke me up.”

As Carlos Cortez began to wrap his head around what was happening, he realized he needed to quickly wake up his wife and three kids.

Local school works to clean up after flood

As the floodwater began to rise early May 24, one local pastor raced to save his school.

Flooding that hit the San Marcos area last weekend devastated Hill Country Christian (HCC), a church and private school serving kids from Kindergarten to 12th grade. Chris Birkhimer, youth pastor for HCC and Texas State alumnus, said a gut feeling brought him to the church early that Sunday as floodwaters raced towards the school.

Eight remain missing, five fatalities confirmed in Central Texas Floods

8:51 p.m. UPDATE: Search and rescue crews have found a man’s body on the bank of the Blanco River.

Texas Task Force 1 found the adult male body near Fox Road in San Marcos. The floods that surged through Hays County have now claimed five lives. Eight people remain missing.

Officials said they are sending the body to Central Texas Autopsy for identification. Meanwhile, Texas Task Force 1 and other agencies are continuing to search for the remaining missing people.

MAY 28 12:07 p.m. UPDATE:  The four families affected by flooding in Wimberley, Carey, Charba, McComb and Schultz, addressed the public in a joint press conference with Hays County early today.

First Jazz Saxophone Festival teaches, empowers students

The first Texas State University Jazz Saxophone Festival opened May 18, kicking off a four-day celebration of the genre at the Performing Arts Center recital hall.

The event featured instructional sessions and performances by world-renowned saxophonists Ralph Bowen, Luis Hernandez, Adam Schroeder and Dick Oatts.

Schroeder, a baritone saxophonist and Texas State alumnus, said he received his first record deal with Columbia Records while at the university.

Schroeder said he has since played alongside some of music’s greatest talents, including the legendary singer and songwriter Ray Charles.

Schroeder said he has developed a lifelong dedication to sharing his musical talent with other jazz lovers across the world.

Officials discuss regional economic outlook at annual conference

The Greater San Marcos Partnership hosted city officials and esteemed guests to discuss the regional economic outlook of the San Marcos area.

Ray Perryman, economist, president and CEO of the Perryman Group, was the keynote speaker at the 2015 Economic Outlook conference. Perryman offered his professional insight on the future economic climate in Texas and the Interstate Highway 35 (IH-35) corridor.

Perryman said there is no doubt as to why San Marcos was named the fastest-growing city in the U.S. for the third consecutive year. Georgetown ranked as the second fastest-growing city in the U.S., he said.

“It is no accident,” Perryman said. “Those two cities have something in common and it’s that they’re located close to Austin.”

Senate passes bill to promote river safety

The Texas Senate approved a bill May 12 designed to improve safety and enjoyment on the San Marcos River.  

Senate Bill 234 (SB 234), authored by Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, includes provisions to create a special recreation district along the section of the San Marcos River adjacent to the Guadalupe and Caldwell County border. The bill is awaiting a vote in the House.

Tom Goynes, president of Texas Rivers Protection Association, said one of the ultimate goals of SB 234 is to use the newly hired law enforcement to help put a stop to the “serious binge drinking” while tubing.  

“It may cost more money, but at least we’ll have more peace on the river,” Goynes said.  

Alumni carry on river jump tradition, take plunge post-graduation

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Jumping into the San Marcos River after commencement ceremonies is a long-held Texas State tradition.

Alumni celebrated May 15 by jumping into the river at Sewell Park after receiving their diplomas.

Seven commencement ceremonies were held this weekend at Strahan Coliseum with around 4,800 candidates for bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees.

After each ceremony, recent graduates lined up along the banks of the river. Donning black graduation gowns, graduates jumped to signify the end of their time at the university. Many took the leap with friends and family.

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