Tuesday, June 3, 2003

New Braunfels Herald Zeitung

Location: New Braunfels, Texas

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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - June 3, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas NEW BRAUNFELS TUESDAY June 3 2003 12 pages in 2 sections Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852 50 cents 1U Photos by K JESSIE Smrthson Valley High seniors Amber Bantz left Kerie Anthony share a hug shortly after being pronounced graduates Sunday afternoon The two were among the many students sporting personalized caps 432 SVHS students graduate BY SEAN BOWLIN Staff Writer SAN MARCOS Right up to the very last minute members of Smithson VallerHigh Schools Class of 2003 were arriving for graduation services Sunday As family members settled quietly into chairs at Southwest Texas State Universitys Stra han Coliseum things were a much more hectic backstage They ve taken your names one teacher said as she told three boys to hurry up and get in line Josh Benoit was ready to get going Tm glad Im out of high school Tm ready to go to college I he said Benoit plans to attend the Uni versity of Texas at San Antonio It was the only college he applied to But in his final minutes as an SVHSsenior he would miss high school Its kind of like a play period right before you get into the real Benoit said as he looked around at his 432 fellow seniors They were serious rushed hap py and proud all at once as they straightened their caps and gowns Abbie Ellington was ready for her big moment Im ready to get out of here Im ready to go to Ellington said smiling It was a See Above Newly graduated seniors Dwyatt Jackson Kerie Anthony and Brad Ewers from left share a happy moment following the custom ary tossing of their caps Left Krystal Rose Tomlin flashes the crowd her sentiments as she crosses the stage to get her diploma State budget cuts could most harm the needy STAFF WIRE REPORTS AUSTIN State lawmak ers must begin the laborious task of combing through leg islation passed Sunday night to make sure all the money budget writers counted on will come through The million budget set to begin Sept 1 must be certified by Comptroller Car ole Keeton Strayhorn before Gov Rick Perry can sign it Strayhorn has hinted she may not be OK with parts of it including using the billion emergency Rainy Day Fund Tired lawmakers narrowly beat the clock Sunday passing a final version of the 200405 state budget just three hours before the midnight deadline The vote in the House was 10541 in favor of the only bill that legislators are legal ly required to approve The Senate passed the bill 247 The budget bill is CSHBl The twoyear spending plan depends on billion in state general revenue a 10 percent decline from the current budget Federal funds and other funds make up the rest of the budget Sen Jeff Wentworth R San Antonio said Monday the twoyear spending plan cuts hundreds of thousands of Texans off healthcare and See State Budget The states billion twoyear spending plan depends on billion in reyenue a 10 percent decline from the rent budget The rest of the budget is federal and other funds Highlights include billion boost to public education some edu cationrelated spending was cut such as million for textbooks and millions for teachers health insurance In ail billion in state and federal money will be allo cated to Texas schools Higher education funding of billion does not fully fund the Texas Grant schol arship program that offers free tuition to Texas gradu ates from working families Some students would not get grants in 2004 and wont get them in 2005 according to the Higher Education Coordinating Board The budget allows public univer sities to set their own tuition instead of lawmakers to make up for budget cuts Fortythree percent of the budget dillbri is spent on public and higher See Weathercasters foresee long hot dry summer BY SEAN BOWLIN Staff Writer A quickmoving storm swept through Comal Coun ty late Monday afternoon dumping muchneeded rain on fields and yards And while more rain could fall this week weather fore casters said the small amounts of precipitation will do little to alleviate growing concerns about a long dry summer Nezette Rydell a hydrolo gist for the National Weather Service office at the New Braunfels airport said last month was the driest ever May on record for San Anto nio and the thirddriest May for Austin Putting us between those two we were very said Rydell And April was very dry for those two Mondays storm was a wel come relief for some areas of the county Rain fell hard for several minutes and winds and lightning caused some aggravation for emergency service crews Police reported signs along the construction on 135 blown down by the winds there was one report of a tree being struck by lightning and power lines being knocked down And in the 1700 block of Broadmoor a power trans former caught fire Rydell said Comal County could see small showers later in the week There is a chance of rain Thursday evening and Friday The weekend forecast calls for a 40 percent chance of rain But after that Rydell said weather patterns indicate another dry spell of perhaps 10 days or more The only way we get rain See Tax hike clears first reading BY DYLAN JIMENEZ Staff Writer The final public hearing on the budget and tax hike proved uneventful Monday night New Braunfels City Coun cil members unanimously approved the first reading of ordinances that increased property taxes and set the fiscal year 2004 budget The sixcent tax increase and the proposed budget must go through two more readings before becoming law The next reading will be June 9 and the final read ing is set for June 11 INSIDE 5A Abby Classifieds Comics 8A Forum 6A Movies 5A Sports 12B Today 2A Stocks 5A Teens congregate to lend the elderly helping hands BY DYLAN JIMENEZ Staff Writer More than 20 kids were being sprayed lightly with a power washer to beat the heat Monday afternoon The group is one of 11 crews working on the exteriors of seven local homes Starting Monday New Braunfels Church of Christ is hosting more than 120 stu dents from around South Texas for the regionally orches trated assistance program The projects should wrap up by Wednesday and crews will be treated with a trip to Fiesta Crews are painting and doing yard work for the elder ly widows and others who are unable to take care of the exterior of their home Heather Bushnell New Braunfels Church of Christ member was working with a crew scraping the paint off the exterior of a house on Common Street Wood trim around the roof of the home will have to be replaced and repainted along with the rest of the house exterior Other crews are mowing lawns trimming trees and hauling trash See HELPING OAVID Kristina Vamer left and Emily Bushnell scrape the paint off the back of Vi Neills home on Merriweather Street Monday The two girts are part of a work camp sponsored locally by the New Braunfels Church of Christ