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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - January 19, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas NEW IMG HERALDZEITUNG Vol 149 No 44 16 pgs in 2 sections January 19 2000 Serving Comal County since 1852 50 cents Panel wants to leave lights on Committee says River of Lights should continue BY PERI STONEPALMQUIST Staff Writer New Braunfels should continue to sponsor the Holiday River of Lights but fund it with less bed tax revenue the citys Lighted Dis play Park Advisory Committee agreed Tuesday Although the project has not met revenue or admission expectations it has proven to be a valuable and treasured community event during Festage New Braunfels sev enweek holiday celebration com mittee members said The committee appointed by New Braunfels City Council will present its recommendation to council on Mondayf asIt ponders the future of the 52day holiday light display The threeyear contract for the lights expires this year and the Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce Inc already has plans for how money now spent on the display could be used toward a convention center For the past three years the city funded the light display with more than of tax revenue a dedicated tax intend ed to promote tourism The chamber local arts and her itage organizations and the New Braunfels Civic Center also get funding from the citys 7 percent bed tax Without the bed tax subsidy to the project the city would have lost more than hi the past three years Because of the bed tax money however the citys general fund lost no money Instead the city was able to put about into the general fund in the past three years But this would stop if council approved the advisory committees plan We could have a compromise position and put no money in the general committee member Luke Speckman said All money made from gate admissions season pass sales See INSIDE Key Code 76 EVACUATIONS JAN 10 A pipe bomb is discov ered in boys restroom at Blanco High School JAN 14 Smithson Valley Middle School evacuated after written bomb threat is found in a boys restroom JAN 18 San Marcos High School evacuated when an anonymous caller reports two bombs are at the school WEDNESDAY Another bomb threat hits area school FROM STAFF REPORTS SAN MARCOS Another school day in a small Texas town was disrupted Tues day afternoon when an anonymous caller phoned in a bomb threat to the San Marcos Police Department About students and school staff were evacuated from San Marcos High School during lunch Tuesday when police officials reported the anonymous threat about two bombs at the high school 1301 Texas 123 Captain Mark Minnick with the San Mar cos Police Department said no explosive devices were found after police and fire fighters conducted a visual sweep of the campus Minnick said an agent with the Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms division from Austin also was called to the scene as well as bombsniffing dogs from Kelly Air Force Base Early Tuesday evening Minnick said officials with the bombsniffing dogs were still at the campus No arrests had been made by Tuesday evening but Minnick said the police depart ment and the fire office would use every device available to investigate the incident and make an arrest See BOMB A walk in the park K JESSIE Warm weather brought many New Braunfels residents to Landa Park Tuesday afternoon Posted no wading signs kept 10yearold Jade Socha and 1yearold Tawny Gunther from entering the cool water Lockhart man gets 20year sentence BY HEATHER TODD Staff Writer A Comal County jury sentenced 21year old Car los Cantu to 20 years in prison for the murder of Lockhart resident Henry P Silva in 1998 A sixman sixwoman jury convicted Cantu also of Lockhart on charges of seconddegree murder murder of sudden passion and two counts of aggra vated assault with a deadly weapon Monday The jury began deliberations and reached a verdict Monday evening after a week of testimony Jurors determined punishment Tuesday Cantu was sentenced to 20 years in a Texas Depart ment of Criminal Justice facility for the murder charge and a pair of 15year sentences for the two aggravated assault charges The sentences are con current Silva 21 suffered a single gunshot wound to the abdomen from a 45caliber weapon at about 10 at the 300 block of China Street on Feb 20 1998 Cantu did not fire the fatal shot but prosecu tors argued he aided by firing a firearm in the air and at Suvas friends Extension service extends space CISD superintendent gets contract extension by the slimmest of margins BY HEATHER TODD Staff Writer In a sharply divided vote Tuesday night Comal Independent School District trustees decided to extend the contract of superintendent Jerry Major an additional year Tuesdays private meeting lasted about four hours When it was over trustees Dan Krueger John Clay Robert Loop and Nick Nichols vot ed to approve extending Majors contract through June 30 2003 Trustees Dora Gonzales Lester W Jonas and John Bertelsen voted against Major Programs get more elbow room BY ERIN MAGRUDER Staff Writer A bigger and better meeting facility for the Comal County Agricultural Extension Service 132 South Water Lane is sched uled for completion by the end of the month Construction of the plus addition began in November and will add square feet to the more than squarefoot building The new meeting space will pro vide some additional growing room for the community educa tional classes the service provides County Extension Agent Patricia Anderson Rasor said The building was built 10 years ago and we are growing just like everything else in the county Rasor said We provide educa tional programs for adults and youths in the county and we did not have enough room to handle Before Tuesdays vote Majors contract with the school district was set to expire at the end of June 2002 According to state law districts can not award contracts exceeding five years Major was hired by the district in July 1993 His annual salary is He was hired under a threeyear contract CISD public information officer Kari Hutchison said Since then trustees have vot ed to extend Majors contract yeartoyear basis In January 1999 trustees approved extending the contract through June 2002 by a 312 vote NBISD trustees OK traffic plan BY HEATHER TODD Staff Writer New Braunfels Independent School District trustees agreed unanimously Tuesday night to pro ceed with traffic improvements including a traffic signal light in front of New Braunfels High School on Loop 337 Some of the improvements such as a change in traffic patterns in and out of the school could be ini tiated as early as this fall A district traffic committee of school officials parents patrons teachers and administrators recom mended trustees proceed with pro posed improvements developed by the Texas Transportation Institute for traffic control at the high school 255 IN Loop 337 The Texas Department of Trans portation and the Texas Trans portation Institute presented a three phase plan to enhance traffic safe ty at a Dec 14 board meeting TxDOT agreed to conduct a traf fic study on Loop 337 in front of the high school in response to pub lic outcry for a traffic signal light after a fatal accident in front of the school in October Shelby Farnsworth 16 and Fer nando Diaz 15 were killed Oct 9 when their car was struck by a quar ter ton pickup on Loop 337 in front ofNBHS Trustee Don Bedford was absent from meeting In a 60 vote trustees approved the following improvements Driveway No I next to baseball field driveway can be entered from both directions but exit will be for school buses only automat ic arm will be installed to control exit for buses only entrance only from driveway into adjacent parking area posts and railing will be installed to keep traffic from enter ing Loop 337 from parking Driveway No 2 main entrance to school Entrance only drive way from both directions no exits Driveway No 3 next to Gruene Wood Villa Apartments Traffic light installed along with sensors under the pavement to control lights adjacent apartment complex driveway will become right turn turn out only Superintendent Ron Reaves said property owners of Gruene Wood Villa Apartments agreed in writ ing to cooperate with TxDOT and the school district to make neces sary upgrades Reaves said TxDOT officials said five proposed traffic projects including the high school traffic plan would be let to a contractor in July with bids awarded in late August or early September From there Reaves said it would be up to the contractor to decide what order projects would be com pleted NBISD expects to pay for upgrades to all driveways the auto matic arm posts and railing and possibly some pavement upgrades on school property The meeting room which has two to three times the capacity of the old facility will be used for expanding extension programs such as the 12 local 4H Clubs and Master Gardeners she said The room which was paid for by the county was built by enclos ing and expanding a carport at the back of the building Comal County Extension Ser vice is part of the Texas University system and is funded by federal state and county dol lars K JESSIE County Extension Agent Patricia Rasor stands in the middle of the soontobecompleted meeting room
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