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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - June 4, 2011, New Braunfels, Texas ► SPECIAL SESSION Senate approves funding proposal Bill essentially same one that failed before The Associated Press AUSTIN — Pushed by Republicans, a bill to slash $4 billion from Texas public schools was approved by the state Senate on Friday night in the first major vote of the special legislative session. the 19-12 vote went as expected in the Republican-controlled Senate. The measure is necessary to balance the state budget but Democrats have resisted the cuts while lawmakers sit on nearly $10 billion in the state’s reserve fund. A similar measure is expected to get a vote early next week in the House, where Republicans also hold a commanding majority. The bill had died on the final night of the regular session under a filibuster by Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, but the large Republican majorities leave Democrats almost no way to stop the measure now. Gov. Rick Perry has called on lawmakers to also consider cuts to health care spending, redraw maps for congressional seats and retool the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association, the insurer of last resort for many property owners in 14 coastal counties prone to hurricanes. The schools bill is essentially the same one that died in the regular session. It changes distribution formulas for public schools to let the state give schools less money than current law. It spreads the $4 billion cut over two years — 6 percent across-the-board cuts in 2012 and $2 billion in targeted funding levels in 2013. Teachers, parents and school administrators have fought the cuts. Several testified in committee hearings a dav earlier, warning they could lead to thousands of teacher and staff layoffs, larger class size and hikes in local property taxes to make up the difference. Unions and teacher groups have scheduled rallies to protest the cuts today and Monday. ■ LOCAL SPORTS, 1B Players named to all-star games ■ LOCAL NEWS, 2A Rotarians help build a library in Vietnam ■ SPECIAL SECTION COMING SUNDAY SATURDAY JUNE 4, 2011 Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852. ««an»*, Zeitung 500 Possible Comal TB case probed By Will Wright The Herald-Zeitung Comal County and state health officials are awaiting test results from what might be the county’s first reported case of tuberculosis since early 2010. Gwen Mills, Comal County Public Health Director, said Friday the case reported in May is deemed to be a suspect’’ case—meaning it is only in the investigative stages. “We do not have a definite diagnosis of microbacterium tuberculosis at this time,” she said. “Doctors are test- ing and that takes a little while. We proceed from the beginning as if it is a definite case, and we do everything we can to not only protect that person but all the people who have had very close contact around that person." Mills would not release any specific information regarding the case. She said it might have been reported by a doctor’s office or testing laboratory sometime around the end of May. According to Comal County's public health website, the last case of tuberculosis was reported in January 2010. See TB, Page 6A LOCAL CAR DEALERS: SALES ON THE RISE INSIDE ■ For a list of donation drop-off locations, see 6A Salpc „«nriptp r. • •. . Photos by LAURA McKENZIE/Herald-Zeitung ^ thoth Rodger Canton points out some of the interior features on a 2012 Ford Focus SE Hatchback in the showroomThursday at Bluebonnet Motors Ford Lincoln dealership. Hatchback COMEBACK MADE IN USA Big 3 benefit from uncertainty in Japan By Will Wright The Herald-Zeitung Though preliminary Figures indicated a COMING slight drop in May, car sales JUNE 11 ■ New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung will debut Comal County Business Journal, a monthly publication that will spotlight local enterprises. in the United States are booming—and local dealerships are benefiting. The aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan saw a spike in sales for the top three domestic automakers — General Motors, Ford and Chrysler, as well as Korean automakers Hyundai and See CARS, Page 6A This 2012 Ford Focus SE Hatchback at Bluebonnet Motors Ford Lincoln dealership boasts an overall average of 37 miles per gallon on the highway and 27 mpg in the city. ► TORNADO RELIEF NB church gathering items for Joplin, Mo. By Will Wright The Herald-Zeitung Nearly two weeks after Joplin, Mo., was leveled by a tornado, New Braunfels residents and businesses continue to pour in aid to that community. Community Christian Church in New Braunfels is handling donations to fill up an 18-wheeler full of supplies bound for Joplin, the town of 50,000 that saw 134 killed and thousands injured when a F-5 tornado struck on May 22. “ lhey’re going great — beyond our expectations, but that’s New Braunfels for you,” said Hans HodelJ, who is help-ing spearhead the effort. "We’ve still got a lot of places that are taking collections. We’re going to collect through Thursday and send off the truck Friday morning.” Con-Way Truckload, based in loplin, dropped off the 55-foot trailer in front of Community Christian Church’s parking lot at 1750 McQueeney Road. As of Thursday, it was halfway full with 173 boxes of merchandise. “Clothing is the one thing we’ve been asked to curtail on, except for infant and toddler clothing,” Hodell said. “We really prefer new stuff in that regard.” Other items on Joplin’s need list include yard tools such as rakes and shovels; toiletries; disposable paper goods like cups and plates; any kind of cooking utensils, pots or pans. “Look at what’s inside your home, and imagine it being all gone,’’ Hodell said. “That’s what people are needing.” LOCAL RIVER FLOWS cfs - cubic feet per second • Guadalupe at Sattler SB cfs • Guadalupe at New Braunfels 71 cfs • Comal at New Braunfels 200 cfs RIVER FLOW RATE GUIDE • RECREATIONAL —100-499 cfs • CHALLENGING — 500-799 cfs STRENUOUS —800-1,199 cfs • DANGEROUS —1,200+cfs Optimal tubing on the Guadalupe is between 200 cfs and 600 cfs. Tubing is safest* below 1,000 cfs. Rafting is ^ the mode of choice for levels above 1,000 cfs See JOPLIN, Page 6A ‘Dr. Death’ Jack Kevorkian dies of natural causes The Associated Press DETROIT—Jack Kevorkian built his suicide machine with parts gathered from flea markets and stashed it in a rusty Volkswagen van. But it was Kevorkian's audacious attitude that set him apart in the debate over doctor-assisted suicide. The retired pathologist who said he oversaw the deaths of 130 gravely ill people burned state orders against him, showed up at court in costume and dared authorities to stop him or make his actions legal. He didn’t give up until he was sent to prison. The 83-year-old Kevorkian died Friday at a Michigan hos- Kevorkian pital without seeking the kind of “planned death” that he once offered to others. He insisted suicide with the help of a medical professional was a civil right. His gaunt, hollow-cheeked appearance gave him a ghoulish look and helped earn him the nickname “Dr. Death.” But Kevorkian likened himself to Martin Luther King and Gandhi and called physicians who didn’t support him “hyp-ocritic oafs.” “Somebody has to do something for suffering humanity,” he once said. “I put myself in my patients’ place. This is something I would want." Kevorkian jabbed his finger in the air as he publicly mocked politicians and religious leaders. See KEVORKIAN, Page 6A Vol. 168, No. 176 18 pages, 2 sections Inside CLASSIFIEDS COMICS CROSSWORD FORUM OBITUARIES PLANNER SPORTS TV GRID CLICK A few cloud« High Low 95 68 Weather, 6B » ‘"56825 "00001 11 t 50 cents
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