Weekly News Update

Weekly News Update: Feb. 12, 2023– Feb. 18, 2023

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By Preethi Mangadu 

News & Culture Director 

This week on KTSW News’ weekly update, we are covering the Community Academic Tutoring Program, the “State of the People: The Texas We Deserve” event and Gov. Abbott’s State of the State address, a timely warning issued by UPD and a reported mountain lion sighting.

Texas State Students tutor K-12 students with expanded program

The Community Academic Tutoring Program at Texas State University has expanded to include tutoring at kindergarten to high school levels. 

The cohort-based program is run by the College of Education with San Marcos CISD to support English and literacy learning. 

“While literacy tutors has been a work-study position for several years, this is the first year that we are doing the CATS cohort model,” Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Educator Preparation Dr. Maneka Brooks said. “The idea of a cohort model is to create community and expand the impact. It is using existing funds in a unique way to provide support for the surrounding community. In the future, I hope that we will be able to secure funds to increase the size of the cohort and the students to whom they have access.”

This program has grown four times larger than its start. It now places tutors in Mendez Elementary School, Crockett Elementary School, Goodnight Middle School, and San Marcos High School. 

Community Academic Tutoring Program | Texas State University

According to Brooks, the program gives extra support to teachers, provides a university mentor for students and develops students’ interests in education. Texas State student and CATS tutor Nicholas Franks shared that he understands his students because of his personal experiences. 

“I know the struggles a lot of the students are going through firsthand, I myself struggled in elementary school being a diagnosed Dyslexic,” Franks said. “I had a High School mentor who would come down a few days out of the week and just make me and my education feel special and unique. A lot of kids go under the radar and deserve better.”

The role is different than other roles on campus because it is a community work-study position, meaning students can work off-campus in a community service role. Brooks hopes that they can expand the job to other surrounding districts to support Spanish-English bilingual students and students with additional learning needs. She also believes the program can help with the current teacher shortage. 

“I believe that getting college students who may not think of education as a career working with young people could spark interest in pursuing teaching as a profession,” Brooks said. “Even if they do not become teachers, it is an important experience of giving back to  that it is also an important way to sustain interest in community work across various professions.” 

For more information, visit https://news.txst.edu/student-experience/2023/college-of-education-cats-tutoring-program.html

Mano Amiga holds event in response to Gov. Abbott’s State of the State address

Mano Amiga and a group of social justice organizations hosted “State of the People: The Texas We Deserve,” in direct response to Gov. Greg Abbott giving his State of the State address in San Marcos, Texas. 

Roberto Lopez from the Texas Civil Rights Project speaking at the “State of the People: The Texas We Deserve" event. | Jacob Neeley
Roberto Lopez from the Texas Civil Rights Project speaking at the “State of the People: The Texas We Deserve” event. | Jacob Neeley

The event was a press conference and community potluck to provide a space for community members to share their vision for the future of Texas and what they want from Texas policymakers on Thursday evening at Eddie Durham Park.

“We are here because we want to make it exceptionally clear that we will not be ignored,” Ella Butler from Deeds Not Words said. “We want our lawmakers, Greg Abbott included, that we are watching them and we are holding them accountable. We want them to know that when they implement policies that threaten our livelihoods, our schools, our safety and above all else, our ability to exist freely as it is guaranteed to us in our country’s most sacred founding documents, we will be there to fight them every single step of the way.”

Speakers came from many organizations including Immigrant Legal Resource Center, San Marcos Abortion Activists, LatinoJustice Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, the Party for Socialism and Liberation, Deeds Not Words, Hays County Jail Advocates and Texas Civil Rights Project. They all spoke about issues and needs that they believe Abbott and Texas politicians have not discussed or supported. 

“What we are doing here is building the Texas that we deserve, and building the Texas that Greg Abbott refuses to give us.” Co-Founder of Mano Amiga Karen Muñoz said. 

The speakers covered topics such as immigration, Operation Lone Star, abortion access, education, environment, healthcare, infrastructure, institutionalized racism, incarceration and more. They also discussed how they believe Abbott and politicians at the capital do not fully represent Texan communities.

“What Greg Abbott is sharing is not reflective of what Texans actually need. Texans are in dire need of an upgraded grid system, affordable housing, increase access to Narcan and decriminalizing substance use, and lastly, we do need to increase our access to medical care here in the state of Texas,” Priscilla Lugo of LatinoJustice PRLDEF said. “Instead, Governor Abbott has spent $4.4 billion on Operation Lonestar in the past two years, and the legislation here is set to spend about $4.6 (billion) in the next two years, making it the most expensive immigration program in the country.”

After the press conference, they focused on building the San Marcos community with a potluck, tabling from Deeds Not Words and San Marcos Abortion Activists, letter writing for individuals who are incarcerated in the Hays County Jail, children’s activities and more. 




The event ended just before Abbott gave the State of the State address. Abbott held his speech at Noveon Magnetics Corp. with lawmakers. This is his second legislative session of breaking the tradition and holding his address off-site and away from a joint Legislative session. 

Some of Abbott’s emergency items for this legislative session are cutting property taxes, ending COVID restrictions, providing parents with school choice through state-funded Education Savings Accounts, increasing school safety, strengthening border security efforts, addressing the fentanyl crisis and ending “revolving door bail”. 

The Governor also spoke about building more corporation innovation and economic development, rewarding community colleges, strengthening the power grid, reforming curriculum and more. 

“Texas is the home of justice, where dangerous criminals will stay locked behind bars, and law-abiding Texans will have their liberty protected,” Abbott said. “This session, we will ensure Texas remains the leader of this nation, an unflinching force in this world. Together, we will build a Texas for the next generation—the Texas of tomorrow.”

Texas State UPD warns of aggravated assault

The Texas State University Police Department issued a timely warning alert on Friday afternoon due to an aggravated assault. 

Two university contract employees reported the crime happened when they were driving a gold cart on Woods Street on the San Marcos Campus. 

“A driver in a truck pulled up beside the golf cart and exchanged words, upset the golf cart was moving too slow in front of the truck,” UPD said. “Two passengers in the truck displayed guns, then the truck took off and left campus driving south on Comanche Street.”

The alert stated there were three individuals in the truck. The driver was reported as a heavy-set white female with brown shoulder-length hair and light-colored clothes. The front passenger was described as a Black male in black clothing. The third passenger was unknown.

The truck was reported to be gray with four doors. The model and make is unknown. 

If anyone has information related to this incident, contact UPD at (512) 245-2805. 

Mountain Lion reportedly spotted at Purgatory Creek 

San Marcos police and fire departments received a call of a potential mountain lion sighting at Upper Purgatory Creek Natural Area on Feb. 12. 

The Texas Parks and Wildlife game warden helped local officials search the area for the animal. However, the mountain lion was not located after looking and speaking with parkgoers. 

If a mountain lion were to be found, it would be the first to be confirmed in Hays County. 

This was not the first time there have been reports of mountain lions in the area. In 2021 and 2018, potential mountain lion sightings were reported, but TPWD has not confirmed any sightings in San Marcos. 

TPWD reports that mountain lion sightings have been prominent throughout the Trans-Pecos area, the brushlands of South Texas and parts of the Hill Country.  

San Marcos Parks and Recreation officials reminded people to be cautious in San Marcos’ parks, and provided tips for individuals who might see a mountain lion in a Facebook post

“In addition to hiking with another person, keeping your children close, and being cautious and aware of your surroundings, it is also important to stay on marked trails and leave the park before sunset, as several forms of wildlife are most active during this time,” San Marcos Parks and Recreation officials said.

Some other tips included not approaching the mountain lion, not running, not crouching or leaning down, appearing taller, fighting back if needed and securing your pets.



Written by: Preethi Mangadu

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