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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung: Wednesday, December 31, 2003 - Page 1

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   New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 31, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas                                If VWEDN H P7 JL JLCtf and Comal County since 1862 LIFE MOTIVATION People tell how they found the inspiration to lose weight and keep it off Pages 1 SB BARGAIN BOX firing your own box to The Cottage in Gruene and fill it with savings Take 35 percent off all stock Page 611 CL 14 pages 2 sections c K 50i www FRONTand CENTER 10 STORIES OF 2003 1WAR IN IRAQ forces began bombing Baghdad in March The troop and force buildup that led to the shock campaign went on for months Like many cities across the United States New Braunfels sent some ofits sons and daughters and husbands and wives to that war The actu al combat was short just a few weeks Now the United States will work to give Iraq back to its 2 POWER SHIFT New Braunfels City Council incumbents Robert Kendrick and Debbie Flume were defeated in reelection bids this past May The incum bents who styled themselves as pro neighborhood were ousted by candidates Gale OHara Pospisil and Valerie Hull wide ly considered pro The election could represent a shift in city politics in favor of a more business and growthfriendly future 3 TURF TUSSLE IComal ISO replaced r its football fields over the summer with plastic grass in million proj ects in which funding and approval became a political foot ball Before it was trustees punted Superintendent Jim Grunert buying out the remainder of his contract 4REDISTRICTING NIGHTMARE Legislators battled through the regular session and two spe cial sessions to ham mer out new congres sional districts in Texas that would shift power tp Republicans The final plan worked out in October again splits New Braunfels between two legisla tors rRepublican Lamar Smith and Dempcrat Giro Rodriguez County offi cials Tuesday had to redraw Iocs I districts in New Braunfels to changes which are under review in federal court TQYOTA TWOSTEP Toyotaagreed to build its next Tundra truck plant on Af the south side of San Antonio Before the ink was dry onthe documents local chamber of commerce city and county officials were working to court parts suppliers So far two small ones have been attracted to an industri al park in Schertz A third one passed up New Braunfels recently for Williamson County 6 BUDGET TROUBLES The state the pounty and the city all experi enced budgetary problems this past year Millions in state spending was cut or shifted to other entities including cities and coun ties In New Braunfels offi cials wrestling with budget ary shortfalls raised taxes and fired more than 20 city employees to make ends meet Comal County held the line on taxes and jobs but is warily eyeing 2005 and beyond New independent School District hired a cp suitant in anticipation of budget woes next year 7 TOURISM REBOUNDS New Braunfels and Comal County rebounded from a disas trous summer of 2002 in which a Fourth of July flood wiped out Guadalupe River and Canyon Lake related tourisrn Chamber of Commerce and lodging offi cials reported in September that visits and hotel stays matched the record sum mer of 2001 The Water Oriented Recreation District began exploring creation of a public relations program that could coordinate adver tising campaigns and media coverage in future seasons 8 TOUGH ACT New Braunfels High School Principal Mike Fitsko retired at the end of the 200203 school year In Rickey Williams the New Braunfels Independent School District could not have found a man with a style more dif ferent than Fitskos As soon as the school year there were issues among staff stu dents and parents about the new princi pals people skills the dress code and the way William ran the school 9 MISSING BOY Suzanne DeWalt remained on the run throughout 2003 with her 6 yearold son Jeremy whom she refused to turn over tp her exhusband in late 2002 in spite of a court order DeWalts mother Margaret Keams turned herself in and has been jailed since September for allegedly interfering with child custody and hindering the apprehension of her daughter Her bail is Her husband Ed Kearns will spend New Years Day in Comal County Jail on similar charges His bail is 1 SCOOTER WOES III President and Chief Executive JL Officer Doug Harrison announced late in October that The Scooter Store Comal Countys largest pri vate employer was under investigation by the FBI for unspecified allegations While the FBI confirmed the investigation has been under way for two years no charges had been filed and as recently as Tuesday investigators would not say what they are looking for DEAF ABBY 46 CLASSIFIEDS 84i COMICS 3D CROSSWORD 3B FORUM 4A OBITUARIES 3A SPORTS B6A TV GRIDS 4B Mostly Mostly cloudy High Low 68 55 Details 1B Maps add new voting precincts NB split between Smith Rodriguez By Ron Maloney Staff Writer Commissioners Tuesday approved four new voting precincts and changes to seven others that will accommodate new congressional districts approved by the state legislature The new federal lines divide New Braunfels between Republican 21st Rep Lamar Smith and Democrat 28th Rep Giro Rodriguez They were created during a compromise that ended an acrimo nious monthslong redistricting fight in Austin that twice saw Democrat law makers leave the state to try to block the process A panel of federal judges is reviewing the plan Whichev er side loses Republicans who say they want dis tricts that reflect state voting patterns and Democrats who say they disen franchise minority expected to appeal But Comal County is up against its own deadlines for getting the new dis tricts on its books and for applying for Department of Justice preclear ance in accordance with the Voting Rights Act County Clerk Joy Streater Elections Coordinator Linnell Hinojosa and county staff have worked for weeks to create new districts in New Braunfels based on the state maps The law requires that no county election dis trict can contain territory from more than one congressional district Tuesdays court pre sumes the federal judges will approve the districts worked out in Austin means the county adds four voting precincts and will add one more polling place County officials will issue voter reg istration cards that reflect the new dis tricts beginning Jan 11 See PRECINCTS Page 3A Lamar Smith Cjro Rodriguez By Ron Malonev Staff Writer cpmaj County might yet get to buM g new flood eonJrol dam Iml Officials reeenfly me t with representatives of Rep Smith Sen John cornyn and the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Jesmed thf projecj The dam would be the first in a series of envisioned QJJ the Pry Hiv er gation money been told it must do one more thing and completes it another seems to come up Thursday Schjel County Engineer Tom Hojnseth reported that tee eould movement on to project TWs is the ageold dim project on ttu Pry GomJBLHivnwft said alluding to locaj frustrauoa Where we m now is we They say well be able to proceed in Wornseth said Scheel said FEMA had placed a twoyear window on completion of the project once funding is announced In the interim Seheel said county offices would attempt tp negotiate pwehise of the prop erty It sounds like weve made frusttatea local omcials have waktclied as fe4eralorBcials seem through Lamar Smith and John Comyns offices interne of pressure on tederal Hornseth said ThebottornlimHornsethsaidtis that hes been told are the firial 4 Commissioner Ian Kennady I with said But 1 heajdttbelwe j flank when youre sitting across the table few js when you cm mte progress I dont want to get were on the r M   

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