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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - July 12, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas NEW BRAUNFELS SATURDAY July 14 pages in 2 sections 206 Serving New Brauhfels and Comal Oounty since 1852 50 cents NBISD school buses have defective roofs A Carpenter school bus is pictured behind Bus Driver Trainer Kertha In cer tain models of Carpenter the roof can collapse down to seat level in the event of a File photo City urges TxDOT to move forward on Gruene Bridge BY DYLAN JIMENEZ Staff Writer The lowwater crossing at Gruene bridge is a public safety issue that needs to be addressed as quickly as pos Mayor Adam Cork The decision to replace the bridge is more than two years but New Braunfels City Council will discuss a resolu tion Monday to encourage thtf of Transportation to proceed with the Since the decision was made the city has had a flood and an Cork I think its important that we send the message very clearly to TxDOT that we do have a public safety issue with the bridge and that the current council is At a In other New Braunfels City Council Will v not discOsa Items pertaining to a tease agreement for the citys athlete fields due to the expected absence of the assistant city terns withdraw from the agenda conduct a pubtte hearing f the 2003 annexa tetion department and wing critical can County budget holds the line on gives employees raise BY RON MAUONEY Staff Writer County employees would get a and increased proper ty values would keep the tax rate stable under Comal Coun tys proposed 2004 As the countys current tax rate would not the total budget would rise from million in 2003 to The countys general fund part supported by property and sales taxes would be up from The tax rate would stay the same for two projected spending increase will be absorbed by increased property Estimated appraised val ue of all Comal County prop erty is expected to increase about 9 from billion to county department heads for the most reduced expenses or held them at last years County Auditor David Renken said large budget increases will inclJudig a 4per cent costoMiving pay no merit rais es for all county employ That will cost A 14percent increase in health insurance premiums If Coma CkxjnVs budget would not Increaae the current tax rate of cents per of assessed Proposed 2004 million Genera Fund budget Road and bridge fund bud get Debt service million Indigent health care The remaining million is convrtsed of special employ ee benefits million ccsWliving pay Art fiyWAM IJJIIPPfe lUtan will raise that line item to A second county courtat law will cost The cost of indigent health care is expected to increase to In several county See COUNTY BY SEAN BOWUN Staff Writer Fifteen New Braunfels Independent School District buses could be unsafe for an NBISD official The buses are the same type of bus that rolled over this year in Because of improper roof the roof of the bus collapsed to the level of the No one was killed in the acci We have done an inspection and have found similar said Gary New Braunfels Independent School Districts director of transporta tion and The School Bus Information Council issued a safety advisory in April to all states to immediately check school bus es to determine if structural weld fail ures existed in the roof If to lease a hanger at the municipal airport 100percent behind moving as quickly as possible to get a safer bridge done respectful of the history of that bridge and respectful of the beauty See defects were the advisory said the buses should be taken out of service The information we have is not quite like Were being told we should take them out of service if its practical to Schlather He said getting new buses would be a Carpenter the manu facturer of the unsafe is out of Time is also a If we ordered buses it would take six to 18 months to get them Schlather Schlather said the school district has nt decided how it will solve the Its really a little bit Schlather So weve inspected the buses and found the There is an indi cation that the problem exists on all 15 that we know of Schlather said he saw a document Thursday that said the National High way Traffic Safety Administration wouldnt recommend a fix for the prob When the information was released last Schlather said he was led to believe NHTSA would recommend a Schlather said he will meet next week with NBISD Superintendent Ron Reaves and the districts business We have to find somebody to weld and maybe get an engineer and a cer tified And because of the lia bility these people maybe hard to To put this in we have been made aware of the safety problem because of the accident in See Ducks for big bucks JESSIE A group of quackers gathers to say cheese Friday evening as the Comal County Senior Center kicks off its Lucky Duck Derby with a Quackers and Cheese Lucky Duck Derby raises funds for Comal County Senior BY DYLAN JIMENEZ Staff Writer Not everyone has the guts to wear a bright yellow fuzzy duck Many of those gutsy folks are getting together for a good Sponsors of the annual Lucky Duck Derby were honored by the Comal County Senior Center More than 150 volunteers and staff celebrated at a Quackers and Cheese The centers biggest fundraising campaign includes a silent Duck Derby adoptions and the sale of duck hats among other AdoptADuck Volunteers will sell little rubber ducks for the big race until 5 today and July 19 at Granzins and at WalMart in New The Duck Derby is a rubber duck July volunteers will dump as many as of rubber ducks into the river at Landa The person who adopted the winning duck wins second place wins and third place wins Ducks are available for adoption at the senior center on Landa Street and at a number of New Braunfels busi Penny president of the senior center board of wore a bright yellow fuzzy duck hat She said you dont have to be special to sport a duck hat an original design by a senior center The purpose of these hats is to show support for the duck she Thats all thats Gerry center executive direc said duck adoptions are going but time is running out for ducks to sell We could always sell We have plenty Webb INSIDE Church Band director hopes to revive program BY SEAN BOWUN Staff Writer Smithspn Valley High Schools third band director in three years says he hopes stu dents have fun as he rebuilds the schools band I want to try to get the program on solid Jeff Ldghtsey Ughtsey graduated from the University of Texas with a degree in musk and earned his masters of music at Baylor where he worked with the marching He said hes already got about 170 kids interested in the His goals are to lure back kids who quit the to win sweepstakes at contests and to represent the school and the community I think weve got great kids at the high and the band kids are all great I want to get the kids back because the inter est has Ldghtsey Lightsey said already a bunch of stu dents have dropped He thinks its going to be a great The Austin native and Austin High School who served in Bosnia as a member of the Texas Army National Guards 49th Armored Division taught three years at Alpine High School and Middle School in was a really good and they were really Ughtsey He taught for a year in Comfort and returned to Alpine as the band director for two His came to Spring Branch Middle School in 1999 to coach See BAND
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