Jonathan Szedeli

The Texas House and Senate are discussing a new bill that could affect how taxes are appropriated to public education.  Jonathan Szedeli (Zitley) has more in this Bobcat Update.

Texas Senate Bill 3, more commonly referred to as the voucher or school choice bill, is making its way through the House where there has been much debate.  Opponents claim that the bill will further take away public tax dollars from an already underfunded  public school system.  Numerous organizations, such as the Texas State Teachers Association, have denounced the bill.
Many proponents of the bill believe their tax dollars should follow their children. They want to be allowed to choose where the money is spent.  Under the bill's provisions, students would have access to an educational savings  account that could cover 75 percent of the state's operating costs.  This appeals to those who prefer a private, religious or home school education.
Hundreds of students, teachers, parents and politicians converged on the state capital this past weekend to voice their opinions on the matter.
The Senate Committee on Education voted to send the bill to the full Texas Senate after hearing 14 hours of testimony.  Governor Greg Abbott and Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick back the measure and are expected to send it  to the Senate floor for a full vote as early as this week. 
SB (Standup)

Sarah Jenkins

Upward and out is the goal behind Texas State's Upward Bound program, which is designed to catapult high school students to college. Sarah Jenkins tells us more, in this Bobcat Update.

(standup) Upward Bound dates back to President Johnson's 1964 War on Poverty, and director of the program Ray Cordero says many of the students picked are economically disadvantaged or first-generation-to-college students.
SB: Ray Cordero
The federally funded program begins with high school freshmen and lasts ten years, following them through their undergraduate degree, and includes a six-week summer program at Texas State, where the participants live on campus and attend classes. Upward Bound staff and Texas State faculty and students assist the participants with tutoring, SAT prep and college applications. For Bobcat Update I'm Sarah Jenkins.


Jayci Hess

Many seniors are camera ready and posing for their graduation pictures. However, adding glitz to the photos can cause harm. Bobcat Update's Jayci Hess explains.

Many seniors like to use confetti in their snapshots, but the practice can be hazardous to fish and other aquatic animals. Once the glitter is thrown, much of it goes down the drain and into the San Marcos River.
There is a non-toxic, biodegradable alternative that seniors could use instead of plastics.
The group makes the confetti out of rice and color it organically with beet juice and turmeric to show the Texas State maroon and gold. The confetti is occasionally sold on the quad, or you can contact the HEAT organization to buy some.
su- "When celebrating graduation, think about our river before throwing confetti and think about the alternative options. For Bobcat Update, I'm Jayci Hess."

Jasmine Clark

It's known for style -- an annual gala at Texas State where formal attire is expected. Bobcat Update's Jasmine Clark has more.

SACA recently hosted a gala for students to pull out their best attire and party like celebrities. SACA Member Malik Mingo says the purpose of the met gala is to give students a unique, more upscale event to enjoy.
SB: Malik Mingo (what is the gala)
SB: Ama Laura (loves dressing up)
The affair was also a way for Bobcats to de-stress and get back into the swing of school after transitioning from spring break.
SB: Ama Laura, (stress reliever)
The gala featured an oxygen bar, "mock"-tails, and a red carpet.
SB: Malik Mingo(amenities)
SACA's gala also had celebrity impersonators, including a thriller performance from Michael Jackson. For Bobcat Update, I'm Jasmine Clark.


Kathryn Macchia

There's a place in San Marcos where local hip-hop and rap artists are showcased. As Bobcat Update's Kathryn Macchia tells us, the artists have a chance to perform in front of an audience.

Wake the Dead Coffeehouse is usually a quiet place to study while sipping brew and eating pastries, but once a month it becomes a music venue:
The student-run radio station K-T-S-W hosts what it calls Underground Excellence to give emerging artists a platform to be heard.
The next Underground Excellence program will be this Saturday. For Bobcat Update, I'm Kathryn Macchia.


Jacey Yarbrough

Two San Marcos historic districts could be expanding in coming months. Bobcat Update's Jacey Yarbrough has more.

The Historic Preservation Commission wants the Planning and Zoning Commission and the City Council to expand the Hopkins and Lindsey-Rodgers historic districts. The expansions would include residential neighborhoods just south of the downtown square. San Marcos City Planner Allison Brake says it's all part of an effort to preserve the city's unique history.
One particular structure in the expansion zone, originally built in 1886, is the vacant Lamar School located off Blanco and Hutchison Street. With deteriorating walls, no-trespass signs, and empty hallways that haven't had students in years, the building is in dire straits.
Some residents are hoping they can preserve as many historic structures as possible. San Marcos home owner, Clarke Hammond, who serves on the preservation commission, says having these districts allows the city to honor its cultural heritage.
What determines which structures are historical has changed.

Cristian Perez

Texas State students are giving back to the community. Bobcat Update's Cristian Perez tells us about this weekend's big event.
Bobcat Build is a one-day affair involving several thousand people who volunteer their services  to work on projects in the San Marcos area -- all in the hopes of improving the community. Volunteers  work on such things as landscaping, picking up trash and even painting houses. Outreach Co-Chair Marissa Trevino says it's a great way to give back.
(SB Trevino- Exciting)
When Bobcat Build started in 2002, it had approximately 700 volunteers at 50 job sites. Since then, the numbers have skyrocketed. Last year about 45-hundred people volunteered to work at more than 300 job sites. Organizers say they're hoping this year's Bobcat Build will be even bigger.
(SB Trevino)
The volunteers show up at the Strahan Coliseum parking lot around 7:30 in the morning and soon go to work. This year will mark Bobcat Build's 15th  anniversary, which goes to show how dedicated the students are to their adopted home.
(SB West)
The dedication that many of the workers show to get Bobcat Build going each year is something that everyone in the community can all be thankful for. For Bobcat Update, I'm Cristian Perez.

Jason Harris

As the population of San Marcos continues to grow, so does the number of our four-legged, furry friends. The places in the city where Fido can run and play are limited, which makes the San Marcos dog park a popular place for master and pet. But, in this Bobcat Update, Jason Harris tells us the dog park needs some work.

It's spring time -- time to take our pets outside and enjoy the warm, Texas rays. The San Marcos dog park offers a wide-open space for our best  friends to run in the sun and hang out with its friends. The dog park is ideal for city dwellers who rent apartments. It provides a fenced-in area for dogs to stretch their legs and really run.
The park provides two separate areas for dogs of different sizes as well as two covered areas with seating for parents to sit and watch their adopted children play. Water fountains are also available for Scooby to grab a cool drink on a  hot day. Almost always busy, the park has developed into a small community of dog lovers. However a few months back, patrons voiced their concerns over a few problems they thought were plaguing the park. The first was drainage. Water and mud would linger for weeks after a storm passed through the area. The second was the old water fountain, which rarely worked and was covered in grime and dirt from years of use.
The city responded by shutting down the park, removing the old water fountain and installing a drainage ditch. Patrons of the park were appreciative of the changes but feel more work needs to be done.
A canopy providing shade to humans and dogs alike was also removed leaving only one side of the park with a covered area to escape the sun. A new water fountain was installed but it's the only one in working condition, and it's located on  the opposite side of the park from the covered area. Residents know that keeping the park in tip-top shape is a two-way street but also feel the city left a few problems unsolved.
Despite the issues still facing the dog park, residents of San Marcos still flock to it for a chance to let their dogs run wild and socialize with friends. For Bobcat Update, I'm Jason Harris. 

Brittany Hill

Many San Marcos drivers are relieved that back-in parking will soon end downtown. In this Bobcat Update, Brittany Hill tells us why back-in parking is being discontinued.

The main reason is that motorists didn't like backing into parking spaces. It's not common and sometimes awkward. Transportation planners implemented the system as a safety measure for bicyclists downtown. However, the parking method caused several problems on North L-B-J.
Some drivers say they avoided parking on streets where backing-in was required.
 A lot of residents are excited about the change.
Some drivers believe more should be done to alleviate the traffic problems in San Marcos. 
The San Marcos City Council in January voted unanimously to return to more traditional parking. For Bobcat Update, I'm Brittany Hill.

Dylan Anguiano

Texas State has created an app to promote a safer environment on campus. Bobcat Update's Dylan Anguiano has more.
The Bobcat Guardian app is designed to ensure safety, a goal that many students can appreciate.
By merely pushing a button, students can dial University Police in emergency situations, or they can assign guardians to monitor them remotely. Also, a timer can be set to show when users are supposed to arrive at their destinations.
Assigned guardians can be friends or family members. Using the app offers some security and peace of mind.  
SU: If you want to download the app to be safer on campus, you can download the Bobcat Rave Guardian app though the app store or Google play for android. For Bobcat Update, I'm Dylan Anguiano.


Adam Carreno

A few Texas State students are setting an example of how to achieve one's goals. Bobcat Update's Adam Carreno has more.

What started as a dream has quickly become reality for the owners of Bad Habits Hookah Lounge. After opening its doors just over a year ago, Bad Habits has gone from being a start-up business to the top hookah lounge in San Marcos. Co-founder Taylor Henry says that catering to students, as well the San Marcos community, has been a key to making the business successful.
(SB Taylor- localizing)
The business owners say their guests are offered variety at the hookah lounge.
(SB Ryan - Quality hookahs)
(SB Taylor- Open Mic)
(SB Ryan- Oxygen bar)
Henry says although the business may have sidetracked them from their studies at Texas State, both he and Castillo are  committed to finishing their degrees.
(SB Taylor The degree will come)
The owners say they participated in Texas State's three-day start-up program for entrepreneurs. And now that they're up and running their own business, they've been given an opportunity to give back as guest speakers themselves.
(SB Taylor You can be average)
For Bobcat Update, I'm Adam Carreno.


Ke'Anna Bullard

For those with a sweet tooth, cravings always seem to hit at the worst times. San Marcos' newest shop may be able to help late-night snackers. Bobcat Update's Ke'Anna Bullard has the scoop.

San Marcos is known for its vibrant and ever-changing downtown. Shops seem to pop up overnight, adding to what San Marcos has to offer. Insomnia Cookies is the newest among them.
What started out as the brainchild of a college student has grown into a national brand, with more than 113 shops across the U-S and more opening every week.
Insomnia Cookies offers a variety of sweets, and it delivers to the San Marcos area from 10 a-m to 3 a-m.
And here at Insomnia Cookies there's no wrong time for a treat, day or night.
Insomnia Cookies is located at 111 East Hopkins Street, across from the old Hays County Courthouse. For more information about Insomnia Cookies visit insomnia-cookies-dot-com. For Bobcat Update, I'm Ke'Anna Bullard.  


Morgan Burrell

The Meadows Center at Texas State is offering guided tours again. Morgan Burrell (buh-RELL) tells us more in this Bobcat Update.

The Wetlands Boardwalk is a floating walkway along the fertile soil of Spring Lake Park. Those who visit this time of year can expect to see birds, lizards and spawning fish. Tours have  been offered since 2014. However, in 2015, the boardwalk floated down the river after heavy rain and flooding. The newly-built dock has support beams that are 25 feet higher than the original.
[SB] – Howard
[ATTRIBUTION NEEDED -- WHO SAYS IT'S IMPORTANT?] The educational elements of the wetlands are especially important for the children who visit.
[SB] – Nelson
[ATTRIBUTION NEEDED -- WHO SAYS IT'S IMPORTANT?] The wetlands are also important to Texas State students and San Marcos residents.
[SB] – Massey
Stand Up


Bill Manson

The City of San Marcos is adapting to Texas State's growing enrollment. More roads, restaurants and apartment complexes are being built. And there's more noise. Bobcat Update's Bill Manson has the story.
Thomas Schaar, a senior at Texas State studying finance, received a citation recently for violating the city's noise ordinance.  Schaar says he had no idea there was such an ordinance, and after doing some research he believes he shouldn't have been fined.
Some people support the noise ordinances.
San Marcos Public Information Officer Kristy Wyatt:
Schaar apparently has some options to consider. He could pay the fine and take a defensive driving course. He could request a hearing before a judge. He could request a trial by judge or jury. OR he plead no contest. 
For Bobcat Update, I'm Bill Manson.     

Josh Kelley

Texas State is hosting its annual Family Day Event this weekend. Bobcat Update's Josh Kelley tells us more.

Family Day is an all-day event. There will be prizes and other giveaways for participants. Activities begin with a meet-and-greet lunch, followed by a keynote speaker at the L-B-J Student Center. Later in the day the Texas State Recreation Center will host the students. Some of them might even do some rock climbing.
After some fun at the Rec Center, the Texas State Quidditch team will compete in a tournament.
The last activity of the day, called the Sip-N-Shop, will have students and their families strolling through the historic San Marcos Square. For tickets and more information, visit the Texas State Parent and Family Relations website. For Bobcat Update, I'm Josh Kelley.


Callie Burnett

An internet start-up is helping art students showcase their work in a new way. Bobcat Update's Callie Burnett has the story.

For many art students, it can be difficult breaking into the competitive art industry, but a new website could help make the process a little bit easier. 
Art Start Art is an idea founder Erik Culver came up with after he graduated from art school and realized he had created a huge amount of work that was just collecting dust under his bed. 
Students can submit their art on the website. A curator then chooses the cream of the crop and provides the artist with ideas for marketing and pricing. 
The first batch of artwork will be showcased on the website April 10th. For information on how to buy or sell art work, you can visit Art-Start-Art-dot-com. For Bobcat  Update, I'm Callie Burnett.

Tyler Dumas

San Marcos may soon have the sad distinction of being one of the few college towns in America that doesn't have a record store.  Bobcat Update's Tyler Dumas has more on the story.

For a lot of folks these days…music simply isn't packaged this way.  With the rise of streaming services, most music purchases are in the digital format…or it's not purchased at all. But for those who want to hold something in their hands or just like their music at 33 & 1/3 R-P-M's, an independent record store may seem a magical place.
With digital streaming dominating the market, local, independent record stores are finding it harder to keep their doors open.  Superfly's Lonestar Music Emporium in San Marcos is facing that very problem. Superfly's roots are down the road in Gruene, Texas, but it has called San Marcos home since 2012.
The move took place to University Drive in San Marcos occurred after Sundance Records closed shop after more than 30 years in the city.  Superfly's is part of a larger organization called Lonestar Music. Its primary focus is on roots-based  music or what is now termed Americana. But the store carries a wide array of music. Owner Zach Jennings bought the company in 2009.
Though he acknowledges that people aren't buying music like they used to, he finds it odd that a college town with so many ties to music can't seem to support a record store.
He says the store's location on University Drive, and towing practices in the area have influenced Superfly's business.
In a letter posted to Facebook in mid-February, Jennings broke the news of the possible closure…and at the time it seemed like a very real possibility.  He's now more optimistic because he believes changing locations will provide a solution, though nothing is certain.
Superfly's lease is up in April.  And then…well…we'll see if San Marcos still has a record store.  So go check them out while they are still here.  If you buy an album and listen to it from start to finish, it might just change the way you think about music.  For Bobcat Update, I'm Tyler Dumas.


Cordova, Andrea

The Great Annual Texas River Clean Up attracts a gathering each year to help restore the beauty of one the region's great treasures -- the San Marcos River. Bobcat Update's Andrea Cordova has more on this past weekend's event:
Thanks to The Annual San Marcos River Clean Up, tubers will be able to float the river litter free. Over the weekend hundreds of volunteers gathered to pick up trash in and near the river.
For the past 32 years, the community has cleaned the entire 90 miles of the San Marcos River. Volunteers pick up litter as they walk the banks, SCUBA-dive the floor and canoe downstream. It's all about making a difference.
Last year's destructive floods had an impact on the clean up.
For more information on future events, follow the Annual Great Texas River Clean Up on Facebook. For Bobcat Update, I'm Andrea Cordova.

Jayci Hess

The student population at Texas State has been growing rapidly in recent years. To accommodate the higher numbers, new apartment complexes have sprung up throughout San Marcos. One of the new ones -- still under construction -- is located downtown and within walking distance of campus. Jayci Hess tells us more in this Bobcat Update.

The Local is being built off North Edward Gary Street, next to The Yellow Store.
There will be a lot of amenities offered at The Local, including: a giant pool, a media and game room, a sauna, a fitness center and much more!
Prizes are being offered to people who come and take the virtual tour.  A Yeti cooler and an Amazon Echo are among the prizes so far. If you're interested and want more information, you can check out The Local's website.
For Bobcat Update, I'm Jayci Hess. 

Jason Harris

You may notice graffiti at several locations in San Marcos. Some of it may be the act of vandals, but in other instances what you see may be approved art. Bobcat Update's Jason Harris has more.
Graffiti. A word that sometimes invokes a negative image and with good reason. Sporadic cases of graffiti vandalism pop up around San Marcos, and they happen more often than residents would like. Local business owners say it's not a major issue but the expense of getting rid of it falls on them, not city government. To combat the problem, they are using an unlikely weapon: More Graffiti.
Over half-a-dozen graffiti murals now decorate the walls of shops in downtown San Marcos. Ranging from Marvin the Martian to a Goonies  memorial, these spray-paint graphics cover the entire side of some buildings. Most were commissioned  pieces, but a few seemingly sprang up overnight.  
 Other proprietors are using graffiti to promote their businesses. For example, Danny's Barber Shop proudly displays its logo with a full list of services -- all on a giant graffiti mural outside the  shop.
There are other murals in San Marcos.
A local food truck has graffiti that serves as a memorial to a lost loved one AND as a business logo.
While the word graffiti still connotes mischief, artists and businesses in San Marcos are working together to solve the problem, using a color explosion of their own. For Bobcat Update, I'm Jason  Harris.


Kathryn Macchia

Texas State students have the opportunity to discuss their ideas and concerns with President Trauth. Bobcat Update's Kathryn Macchia has more.
Each semester President Trauth hosts Open Door sessions at the L-B-J Student Center for students who want to talk about the future of the university.
At Open Door, students can speak with President Trauth directly, in a private or group setting. The sessions provide a way for students and faculty to work together to improve the university and to promote campus unity.
President Trauth will host one more Open Door session this spring semester -- on April 20th. For Bobcat Update, I'm Kathryn Macchia.


Dalia Moreno

There's a group of Texas State students who dedicate their time to preserving the bee population on campus. Dalia Moreno shares what all the buzz is about in this Bobcat Update.

Texas State's Bobcat Buzz Club wants to raise awareness about the importance of bees.
Members interested in bee-keeping get hands-on experience to learn how to raise bees.
The club is also responsible for maintaining the bee garden. Members get together to remove weeds, set compost and plant new plants for the bees to enjoy.
With the Bobcat Buzz club, saving the bees can be as simple as zipping your suit up and putting your beekeeping hat on. For Bobcat Update, I'm Dalia Moreno.

Dylan Anguiano

Several Texas State musicians are involved in the Battle of the Bands competition. Bobcat Update's Dylan Anguiano has more.

Battle of the Bands is sponsored by the Student Association for Campus Activities. The competition has several rounds before the winning bands are chosen. 
The bands have worked hard to prepare. They make sure their performances go smoothly with hopes of earning recognition for their efforts. 
(Stand Up) The winners of this round will go on to perform at Riverfest on April 21st. Then a first place winner will be awarded the championship title at the festival. For Bobcat Update, I'm Dylan Anguiano.


Jennifer Galvan

The internationally-acclaimed author Sandra Cisneros is the subject of a major new exhibition at the Wittliff Collections. Bobcat Update's Jennifer Galvan has the story.
The exhibit called, A House of Her Own, highlights key artifacts from the Cisneros archives, such as photographs, original drawings, her manuscripts, diaries and journals – where many of her stories and poems can be found.
The exhibit is divided into four parts each telling a story about her life.
Many students know her for her best selling book, The House on Mango Street, and enjoy how she talked about her childhood when she was growing up.
(Stand up) Sandra Cisneros: A House of Her Own Exhibit will be on the 7th floor of the Alkek Library at the Wittliff Collections through July 1st. For Bobcat Update, I'm Jennifer Galvan.


Jasmine Clark

Many Bobcats are counting down the days to their favorite part of the semester -- Spring Break! Bobcat Update's Jasmine Clark has more.

Some students are planning to skip the beach and focus on spending time with family.
SB: Daniel Ridly (family trip)
Others aren't as lucky because they have to accommodate work.
SB: Jacob Pierce 
Some San Marcos hot spots are expecting to see an increase in traffic.
SB: Erica Brown (snow cone truck employee)
Others are planning an eventful week during their vacations.
SB:Randi Obermiller (week full of events)
Bobcats have a lot of plans for spring break this year.  Many will head to the coast while others soak up the sun closer to home. For Bobcat Update, I'm Jasmine Clark.