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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung: Friday, February 21, 2003 - Page 1

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   New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - February 21, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas                                NEW BRAUNFELS FRIDAY February 21 2003 JL VftVtJ T MV MVFVSCr pages in 2 sections HERALDZEITUNG Vol 153 No 86 Serving New Braunfels and Gomal County since 1852 50 cents Severe weather on its way DAVID New Braunfels firefighters survey the accident that left a Geo Tracker flipped over off Interstate 35 Thursday morning The wet weather was believed to have been a causing factor BY RON MALONEY Staff Writer Thursdays wet nasty dis position could be a precursor to a more violent weather temperament as a front blows through the South Texas region today National Weather Service Meteorologist Ken Widelski said an upperlevel atmos pheric disturbance moving this way from the California coast should arrive late this morning or during the after noon hours As that upperlevel storm gets close to the area it will create a threat for damaging winds and very large Widelski said As the sys tem swings through Friday night northwesterly winds should dry us out for the Thursday morning a weather front stalled over south central Texas creating thunderstorms and localized heavy rainfall During the afternoon hours the weather slackened but Widelski said late Thursday it would likely pick up overnight with hail high winds and flooding from one to three inches of rainfall Comal County Sheriffs Lt Brent Paullus said deputies were seeing increased num bers of accidents on rain slickened roads but no life threatening injuries Its nasty weather People need to slow down take their Districts cram for new test The take on TAKS Beginning Feb 25 students throughout Texas will take a new test the Texas Assessment of Know ledge and Skills In a threepart series beginning today the Herald Zeitung takes a look at this new educational initiative TODAY Where will the money come from SATURDAY Preparing for the test SUNDAY What parents stu dents think of the test Superintendents Budget crunch hurts instruction BY SEAN BOWUN Staff Writer School districts battling to fund a growing per centage of their annual budgets will find it increas ingly difficult to provide the type of instruction needed to help meet the mandates of the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills Test New Braunfels Indepen dent School District Super intendent Ron Reaves said funding education in face of the TAKS is a And his counterpart at the Comal Independent School district Jim Grunert agrees Each year the state is sending us less money because our property values are Reaves said which means local property owners are paying a higher percentage of the education tab This coming year were facing a more crucial year in funding because our prop r i K JESSIE uanyon Intermediate fifthgrade teacher Mary Kay Erben left says librarian Nancy Lindley center is her normal go to person for everyday school questions However with the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills Test coming up Director of Secondary Curriculum Jan Booth right has become an important resource for teachers preparing their students for the new test erty values have gone up biit then also our interest income is down and our frozen exemptions are Reaves said School districts invest their money in safe treasuries and other invest ments that are collateralized Just like anyone who has an interestbear ing checking or savings account NBISD earns money on its invest ments But a down market hasnt helped interest income And there are more residents of New Braunfels who are reaching the age of 65 who then apply for a tax exemption called frozen exemptions because the tax rate they pay can not be increased unless the property is improved Plus Reaves said next year it appears that the state will provide only 30 percent of the districts need ed funding The rest must come from local taxpayers grants and federal monies So it will be a challenge for NBISD to maintain the staffing and pro grams it is providing this school year The impacts could reach all the way to the classroom Reaves said So when you say impact of TAKS certainly a school district that is struggling with its budget that cer tainly has implications all the way Alphabet SOUP TAKS is the fourth phase of the Texas Student Assessment Program which began in 1980 From 1980 to 1984 students were tested with the TABS Texas Assessment of Basic Skills and from 1985 to 1989 with the TEAMS Texas Educational Assessment of Minimum From 1990 to 2002 students were tested with the TAAS Texas Assessment of Academic which shifted the focus of assessment from minimum skills to academic skills The TAKS test now becomes the Texas assessment and continues the focus on acade mic skills but at a much higher level than the TAAS test time and allow more time to get where theyre going due to traffic and Paullus said In the city New Braunfels Fire Department Battalion Chief Steve Mabe said fire were responding to numerous rain related traffic accidents We havent had anything too Mabe said County Engineer Tom Hornseth said county road See Advising firm has price tag BY DYLAN JIMENEZ Staff Writer The New Braunfels Infra structure Improvement Cor poration Board 4B wants City Council to spend to figure out how to attract Toyota suppliers to the area The 4B directors voted Tuesday night to accept a modified proposal from TIP Strategies Inc pending a look at the firms references If council approves the rec ommendation TIP Strategies will compare the scope of Tby otas proposed San Antonio operations to other sites and then compare the develop ment needs of Toyota suppli ers to the development atmosphere of New Braun fels TIP would then work with the city to plan an initiative to attract suppliers 4B board members Monroe Miller Ray Schoch Gale OHara Pospisil Jay Patrick Matthew Harrison secretary and Kirk Kistner voted 60 in support of the recommen dation Board Vice President Bill Morton was absent Tues day After the board discussed the proposal Schoch moved to accept it Pospisil seconded the motion The board dropped from the offer a provision for ongoing support so council would have a specific figure when considering the pro posals cost TIP Strategies has done economic development for See GBRA reviews pipeline project study BY MIKE EDDLEMAN For the HeraldZeitung SEGUIN Board mem bers of the GuadalupeBlan co River Authority have reviewed the final report on a Canyon Lake Eco nomic Study Board members and a handful of concerned citizens listened intently Wednesday as Dave Keen of BBC Research and Consulting revealed the findings of the study The study compares the economic impact of the amended permit allowing GBRA to divert more water from the lake for human con sumption by making the hydropower rights of plants downstream subordinate to water used for humans or to maintain environmental flow requirements The study was paid for by GBRA and directed by the Lake Advisory Committee appointed in 2001 at the request of the Comal County Commissioners Court to study the impacts of the per mit amendment Comal county commission ers will hear a presentation on the report at 9 today in a special session of com missioners court to be con ducted in the commissioners courtroom at 199 Main Plaza Under the former permit GBRA could divert only feet annually from the lake Under the amendment granted by the former Texas Natural Resource Conservation Com mission now the Texas Com mission on Environmental GBRA can divert as much as acre feet annually but will no longer release water solely to oper ate hydroelectric plants Despite the increase in water GBRA can now divert from Canyon Lake Keen said the economic impact on the lake would likely be positive rather than negative The study did not please everyone though as GBRA Chairman John Schneider Jr and Bob Wickman repre senting Friends of Canyon Lake both took issue with certain aspects The study claims that with INSIDE 5A Abby Classifieds Comics 8A Crossword 5A Forum 6A 4A Movies 5A Obituaries 3A Sports 12B Today 2A Key Code 76 Farm range forum focuses on land environment issues BY DYLAN JIMENEZ Staff Writer The fourth annual South Texas Farm and Range Forum will be conducted Feb 28 through March 1 at the Seguin Outdoor Learning Center and The Guadalupe County Fairgrounds The forum will host sever al speakers from educational governmental and commer cial perspectives discussing a variety of agricultural top ics One of the highlights will be Saturdays lunch speaker Larry Butler state conserva tionist for the Depart ment of Agriculture who will talk about agriculture the new farm bill and the urban edge Saturday afternoon Judy Fort rural and agribusiness development specialist for the USDA will speak on agri cultural diversification for economic subsistence Event organizer Susan Hughes said economic incen tives for farm and ranch own ers are important to keep botanical habitats thriving By combining hunting tourism agriculture and assistance from government and private programs land owning families can diversify optimize management prac tices and improve the See   

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