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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung: Wednesday, February 23, 2000 - Page 1

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   New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - February 23, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas                                NEW PELS HERALDZEITUNG Vol 149 No 69 18 pgs in 2 sections February 23 2000 WEDNESDAY Serving Comal County since 1852 SO cents McCain takes Michigan Arizona primaries DETROIT AP John McCain thumped George W Bush in a twostate sweep Tuesday night rallying a new McCain majority of independents and Democrats in Michigan and win ning his home state of Arizona to seize momentum for a twoweek blitz of Republican primaries Reaching out to Republican vot ers who backed the Texas gover nor in overwhelming numbers in Michigan the senator told sup porters Dont fear this cam paign my fellow Republicans Join Bush humbled by defeat said This is a marathon and Im going to be in it all the way to the end and some primaries you win and sometimes you McCains is the latest victory in a seesawing Republican nom ination race The Arizonan won New Hampshires leadoff primary in a landslide lost the followup showdown in South Carolina and won Michigan by a narrow mar gin It further damaged Bushs hardfought image as the inevitable GOP nominee and pro pelled both men toward a March 7 showdown in 13 states This means were going to go charging into Super said state Sen John Schwarz McCains chairman in Michigan Even before winning his double header McCain narrowed Bushs financial advantage and closed the gap in national polls since New Hampshire In Michigan Bush and McCain forged mirrorimage coalitions Bush vote was supported by two thirds of Republicans and McCain ventured outside the par ty for a similarsized force of Democrats and independents Open to all comers Michigans primary actually drew more non Republicans than Republicans Bush supporters bitterly dis missed McCains victory John McCain isnt party build ing hes said threeterm Michigan Gov John Engler who accused the senator of renting Democrats for the night Engler had promised to car ry Michigan for Bush and took blame for the defeat McCains response Be a Michigan with 55 percent of the precincts reporting McCain had votes or 50 percent and Bush had or 44 per cent Former ambassador Alan Keyes had 4 percent Arizona with 14 percent of the precincts reporting McCain had votes or 64 percent and Bush had votes or 33 percent Keyes had 3 percent McCains victories earned him all 30 delegates from Arizona and at least 16 of the 58 delegates in Michigan closing his gap with Bush McCain has 60 delegates to date compared to Bushs 60 A candidate needs delegates to win the Republican nomination Cutting foster time Cluster court to move CPS cases through system faster Associate Judge Andrew Hathcock takes the oath of office Tuesday Starting March 1 Hathcock will preside over a clus ter court that only will handle Child Protective Service cases The new system is expected to put foster children in permanent homes in less time BY HEATHER TODD Staff Writer Abused or neglected children placed in fos ter care will find permanent homes more quick ly beginning March 1 A newlyformed cluster court a collaboration by federal state and local government leaders will expedite the process The court established through a federal grant is designed to shorten foster care place ment by consolidating Child Protective Ser vice cases in a specialized court It removes the cases from an overburdened court system that must by law give priority to criminal cases On Tuesday Associate Judge Andrew Hath cock took his oath of office and donned his robe as presiding judge of the cluster court serving Comal Caldwell Guadalupe and Hays counties Beginning March 1 he only will hear cases associated with CPS in the fourcounty area Among those attending the ceremony Tues day at the Comal County Courthouse Annex were officials with the Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services which oversees CPS Comal County Judge Danny Scheel Comal County commissioners Comal County Sheriff Bob Holder local CPS staff and volunteer case workers CPS investigates reports of abuse or neglect children and if necessary removes them from their homes said Carole Hurley director of both the Childrens Justice Act Project and the Court Improvement Project With a judges approval the agency can take custody of a child and place the child in foster K Jessie care if an alternative safe placement cannot be found Hurley said historically CPS cases moved very slowly through the court system In 1995 the average length of time a child stayed in foster care in Texas was 40 Hurley said In 1999 legislators passed a law to shorten that time The concept of cluster courts was born out of that new Hurley said Currently three other cluster courts exist in Texas In February 1999 the Court Improvement Project a statewide agency received federal funding for additional cluster courts and sent a request for proposals to all nine Texas admin See Time Warner to put Spurs on big screen BY PERI STONEPALMQUIST Staff writer WHATS UP Time Warner Cable will telecast the following San Antonio Spurs games at Wursthalle in LandaPark Tuesdays game against Miami Heat March 2 game against the Minnesota Timberwolves March 14 game against the Atlanta Hawks Doors open at 6 Free hot dogs soda and popcorn will be served Alcohol is not allowed Local customers who subscribe to Time Warner Cable wont be able to watch eight upcoming San Antonio Spurs games in the comfort of their own homes all because two companies cant agree Time Warner Cable the only cable compa ny in New Braunfels and Fox Sports Net have gone back and forth with offers and counter offers for broad casting the games Both sides say the offers have been The two companies did have an agreement in place allowing Time Warner to broadcast 20 Spurs games but Fox then picked up 11 more games three of which have not been broadcast to Tune Warner customers because of the deadlock Tune Warners solution is to telecast the eight other games in ques tion free of charge hi local establishments including Wursthalle in New Braunfels see The alternative to the telecast accepting one of Foxs offers would have caused a rate increase for customers Time Warner Cable president Navarra Williams said Williams wouldnt say how much the rate increase would have been A Time Warner Cable ad in todays HeraldZeitung says Fox is asking for twice the amount of its original proposal making it impos sible for Time Warner to carry the additional games without passing on a sizable rate increase to every one of our But Jon Heidtke senior vice president and general manager of Fox Sports Net said that wasnt necessarily Heidtke wouldnt detail the costs of Foxs offers but said some additional money was needed to share in the cost of producing the extra shows Two satellite providers and 10 other cable companies in the San Anto nio area have agreed to the extra charges Heidtke said But they might not have been charged as much Williams said I dont know if thats the he said We dont know what theyre See INSIDE Key Code 76 Bracken VFD says county cuts will hurt service BY ERIN MAGRUDER Staff Writer The Bracken Volunteer Fire Department Board of Directors is fighting Comal Coun ty funding cuts it says will curtail its ability to ensure residents safety During 2000 budget talks last summer county commissioners decided to gradually phase out funding for the four rural fire pre vention districts based on projected increas es in growth and valuations in the taxing dis tricts Comal County Judge Danny Scheel said But Arnold Moos president of the BVFD Board of Directors said the districts tax base is expected to increase almost 10 percent hi not be enough to fund adequate manpower equipment and increasing operational costs for fire protection in the 70 squaremile district Were fighting for what we need now and what we need hi the Moos said We have put a lot into making BVFD a first class station We are trying to save lives and the curve is not keeping up with the ser vices that need to be The county which has supplemented the rural fire and rescue service providers since 1992 decreased its funding by an average of per district for 2000 Commissioners plan to continue the reduction in future each dis tricts tax base until county funding is zero Scheel said The four rural fire pre vention districts are fund ed by a state tax cap of 3 cents per property valuation Because the districts are a taxing entity providing additional funding for the districts is not an appropriate use of county property tax dollars Commissioner SCHEEL Jay Millikin said When taxpayers provide funds to Comal County that money should be used to operate departments within the Mil likin said It should not be used to subsidize other taxing authorities such as school dis tricts rural fire prevention districts emer gency services districts and other agencies which are in no way aligned with the Scheel agreed the fire departments should operate within the revenue stream created by the taxing districts We are one of the very few counties in   

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