San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas
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Nine cars of a Union Pacific freight train derailed this afternoon as it passed through San Marcos, shutting down West McCarty Lane for about three hours.

Six cars full of new automobiles fell over alongside the track at about 3:15 p.m. today as the train traveled from Laredo en route to St. Louis, said Raquel Espinoza, a Union Pacific spokesperson. Three other cars came off the rails but did not overturn.

The stretch of McCarty Lane between Interstate 35 and Hunter Road was reopened shortly after 6 p.m. The cause of the accident is being investigated and crews will work through the night to clear the scene, Espinoza said.

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8 thoughts on “McCarty Lane reopens after derailment

  1. did anyone know about the derailment? i didnt even hear about it, until a week later. no news is not always good news.

  2. When are we going to get serious about news in San Marcos? Communication is an essential element of today’s society – who/what can do the job? Daily Record or SMmercury???

  3. It won’t come from the San Marcos Daily Record. They’re stuck in an early ’90s newspaper mindset regarding the Internet: they either fear it or they simply don’t understand it. So to get any (sorta) timely news from them, it must be thrown from a slow-moving car and onto your lawn five afternoons a week.

    Welcome to 2013!!

    SMDR is owned by Community Newspaper Holdings Inc. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Community_Newspaper_Holdings), an outfit out of Alabammy that owns a zillion small newspapers. All the websites for the papers follow the same poor template that until recently SMDR had — a template probably designed to just accept an auto-dump of a fraction of content from the newspaper onto the site every few days. SMDR’s new page layout is a little better than it was — a little less Web 1.0 — and there does seem to be newer content now. But even so, scrolling through today’s “front page” of SMDR online reveals that that most of the news you see is several days old.

    My guess? The content that’s on the site, for the most part, is the same stuff that appears in the weekly Hill Country Record freebie that teases readers with partial articles and advises them that the complete article is available only to subscribers. I’d be curious to see how many print subscribers are actually nabbed this way. Perhaps it is the secret sauce to newspaper survival.

    For what it’s worth, the Austin American Statesman offers a good model for taking print newspaper content online. Anyone can register for free to access the AAS site. AAS updates its articles constantly throughout the day, allows comments (hello SMDR!) and shares readers’ news preferences with advertisers. Unless you’re the NY Times and can command an annual subscription for online access, then this is the only model that works for a paper with any prayer of remaining relevant in the age of Twitter, HuffPost, CNN, GoogleNews, etc.

    With such a solid journalism school at Texas State and a growing potential reader and advertiser base here in San Marcos, I’ve always wondered why SMDR is such an Internet non-entity. My guess is that SMDR’s parent is just trying to wring as much blood as it can from this ol’ property, until the day it bleeds out and is finally put to rest. So there’s no real incentive to do things differently.

    Whew! I had that one in me for a few years now. End of rant.

  4. Update for Tarl. The SMDR was sold very recently to a small Texas newspaper chain run by one Jim Moser. Ownership is listed as San Marcos Publishing LP in Brenham, Texas. It’s my understanding that the new owner will shortly erect a paywall, if he hasn’t already. By the way, the Alabama State Teachers Retirement System owned the paper up to late December 2012.

  5. It already has a paywall in many articles, pushing online readers to their “Subscriber e-Edition”. Interesting about the recent sale. Since when was investing in Newspapers a viable business strategy?

  6. Thanks for the update. That explains why SMDR’s site no longer resembles any of the others from Community Newspaper Holdings, whose newspaper websites all share the same template.

    So there is a paywall. $90 a year for a digital subscription. I have to believe that the full paper’s contents would be available to subscribers.

    Well, best of luck to them. I want all these media outlets to succeed.

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