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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - April 28, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas NEW HERALD PELS NG Vol 149 No 115 20 pages in 2 sections April 28 2000 FRIDAY Serving Comal County since 50 cents Mold problems cause two classroom closures BY RON MALONEY Staff Writer A mold problem brought to the attention of officials two months ago by a pair of teachers who complained of illness has caused the clo sure of two classrooms at Canyon Intermedi ate School Comal Independent School District Public Information Officer Kari Hutchison said two of the four classrooms located behind the OS cafeteria were closed in March Two teachers who worked in the rooms complained of allergylike reactions ness nausea and headaches and an inves tigation was launched Hutchison said No CIS students were believed affected No children I know of have complained of a consistent illness and connected it with the Hutchison said Wed like people to know that we identified the rooms where we had a serious problem and we moved people out Were working closely with affected CIS Principal Maggie Hanna said late Thurs day She said she couldnt discuss confidential medical matters dealing with district employ ees If anybody feels they were affected we want to hear about it and were dealing with she said Were concerned Were doing everything we can to make sure the school is a healthy Around a dozen or so students used each of the closed rooms and usually for less than two hours each day Hanna said The mold for the most part concentrated in the lower walls and baseboard areas of the two mostaffected rooms and later proved to be a nontoxic variety Hutchison said But she noted that the relative toxicity of the fungus didnt matter Were doing everything we possibly can to aggressively address she said Thursday Were taking it very seriously because the Music to their ears Strolling through the lunchroom crowd at Canyon Middle School Pearly Sowell played a few tunes for students and explained the workings of the accor dion to eighth grader Tim Hirsch far Sowell told students of the lifetime joy that music can bring to their lives JESSIE HeraldZeitung Communication system worn out officials say BY HEATHER TODD Staff Writer In the future New Braunfels Police and New Braunfels Fire and Rescue personnel could use mobile laptop computers to check a persons criminal history or access building floor plans when responding to emergency situations But the citys 25yearold communications system does not have the capability to provide this kind of technology And more importantly the system cur rently does not provide reliable radio service to emergency New Braunfels PoliceChief Ray Douglas said local emergency personnel often have difficulty receiving transmitting infor mation when responding to emergency calls because of heavy radiib interference system has fceen here since I came here 25 years ago and its tired and worn out The equipment is good because we replace each year but its Jhe frequency thats the Douglas said EARLY VOTING Local residents can vote on the million bond package including Proposition to 5 today Monday and Tuesday at the Comal County Courthouse annex room 101 Special voting hours also will take place 9 to 2 Saturday at the courthouse Douglas and New Braunfels Fire and Res cue Chief Jack Collier said a proposed emergency communications system would provide a clutterfree frequency and provide better communication with officers in the field Through die Lower Colorado River Author ity New Braunfels could purchase a stateof theart communications system for with an annual lease of The communications system is Prop 2 on a sevenproposition million bond package that will go before voters May 6 If the proposition passes the new system would increase the current 31 cent per 100 valuation tax rate by 82 cent including the impact on the debt service and maintenance and operations tax rates A resident owning a home with a taxable value of would pay about more in taxes or a year instead of Douglas said the city could replace or repair the existing system but it could cost million to million with another vendor plus the cost of repairs and maintenance We cant afford to stay where were Douglas said We are very conscious of taxpayers mon ey I think this will give us the biggest bang for the he said Douglas said the city purchased one of the early public safety radio frequencies about 25 years ago But the same or similar frequencies have been assigned to many other agencies See health of our employees and students is very important to On March 13 CISD officials had air qual ity tests conducted at the school by Raba Kistner Consultants an engineering firm with offices in San Antonio specializing in environmental consulting geotechnical engi neering and construction testing Early in March because of the concerns expressed by the teachers we began to suspect we had Hutchison said By mid March we knew we did Even before we confirmed it it takes time to get the results back you have to grow See Readers Choice The results are in Find out the best of Comal Water flow critically low Residents could face mandatory watering restrictions BY ERIN MAGRUDER Staff Writer The recent heat wave coupled with a lack of rainfall have rapidly declined the Edwards Aquifer to near critical levels meaning area residents could be facing mandatory watering restric tions as early as Monday officials said The aquifer level has dropped more than five feet since Friday and if the trend continues during the weekend the Edwards will reach the critical lev el of 650 feet above mean sea level early next week As of Wednesday a San Antonio index well indicated the aquifer level was feet above mean sea level Officials say it is only a matter of time before the aquifer reaches the crit ical level at which point both the City of New Braunfels and Edwards Aquifer Authority will institute manda tory water conservation measures In New Braunfels Mayor Stoney Williams will impose Stage I water ing restrictions when the aquifer reach es the critical level or if the flow of Comal Springs falls below 250 cubic feet per second whichever comes first said city manager Mike Shands The springs were measured at 263 cfs Thursday and have been dropping an average of 3 cfs per day he said The Edwards Aquifer has been falling about one foot per day officials said Even though New Braunfels resi dents have relied on treated surface since the construction of a plant in 1991 conservation of the Edwards Aquifer still is a priority Shands said We realize water is a regional issue and the Edwards Aquifer is a very important Shands said And the city is not completely inde pendent of the Edwards because it must supplement the plants supply with aquifer wells during rare times of peak Stage 1 demand during summer months Alleviating strain on the aquifer also is important because it feeds the Comal Springs and Landa Lake which pro vides a habitat for endangered species that rely on adequate water flows Shands said Our local economy also is depen dent upon adequate flows for recre ational Shands said About inch to one inch of a good soaking rainfall this weekend could delay implementation of the restric tions but only by several days offi cials said The best chance for rain would be Sunday when a 40 percent chance of rain is predicted and a slight chance of rain also is predicted for Saturday night and early next week But temperatures also are predicted to soar into the nineties National Weather Service fore casters said The city watering restrictions would be implemented until the aquifer stead ied at an average of 650 feet above mean sea level for 10 days Shands said For county residents who have wells over the Edwards Aquifer the critical See JESSIE Anita Claycomb relaxes at Landa Park Spring flow levels are down again this year Free shots offered Saturday FROM REPORTS Schlitterbahn is offering children and their the arm on its opening day Saturday with its sixth annual Shots Across TexajP ftsc JnynuRteation clinic The clinic vill be conducted from 10 to 1 at SchlitterbaJinfe Rapids Pavilion located next to the parb Blastephof section on Lincoln Street in New BraunfeU to nfdHiflf1 to tbe free child less than old will also receive a free ticket With new immunization guidelines going into effect this year we think the clinic will be more important than said Terri Adams general ager of Schlitterbahn Waterpark Resort This is a great way for parents to make sure their children are upto date on all their Adams said The combination of free shots and free tickets has boon a terrific incentive over the past five A INSIDE OB Grow green thumb at Gartenfest FROM STAFF REPORTS When it comes to growing things those afflict ed with two black thumbs can find hope in Sat urdays secqnd annual New Braunfels Garten fest Gartenfest will take place 9 to 3 at Con servation Plaza 1300 Church Hill Dr Admission to the grounds will be free and includes access to many garden and herb vendors Three lectures by renowned plant experts will be held over the course of the day Admission to the lectures is each all three can be attended for Food and drink will be available This years Hjeme is The Wonderful World of Worldrenowflied Houston floral designer Gay Estes will give a presentation on arranging with herbs from 1 to 2 Mr and Mrs Bill Varney of the Fredericksburg Herb Farm will talk about Herb Gardening in the Millennium from 10 to 11 Rob Morton of Sun Harvest Foods and AM Radio 550 KTSAs Saturday morning talk show Eye on Health will discuss the Top 10 Herbal Supplements from There will be a number of vendors on the grounds with displays of plants herbs baskets landscaping items and other goods of interest to gardeners Purdum said Tickets are available at the Huisacbe Grill Sophiwburg Museum Censerviltea Plaza or the Texas Museum of Handmade Furniture
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