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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - April 10, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas New Braunfels THURSDAY April IO, 2003 14 pages in 2 sections mmmamm    jppp——|_    14    pages    in    2    sectKHerald-Zeitung Hi Vol. 152, No. 126 Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852 B— 50 cents District says it won’t cut teachers By Sean Bowlin Staff Writer The contracts of all 780 teachers in the Comal Independent School District will be renewed for the 2003-04 school year. Eighty percent of the district’s $69.4 million budget is earmarked for salaries and benefits. School principals anxiously waited for almost four hours Tuesday night as the districts board of trustees met in executive session at Frazier Elementary School to determine if a financial emergency should be declared. Instead, trustees recommended that other budget-reducing alternatives be enacted in attempts to overcome an anticipated $4 million to $6 million funding shortfall from the state. After the meeting, board President Dan K. Krueger said trustees felt they could balance the budget by moving some staff members, by savings from natural attrition and early retirement options, by possibly combining some campuses and by reorganizing central office staff. “Our number one goal is to keep the excellence we have in the kids coming through our system,” Krueger said. The school district has room to raise? the current tax rate, if needed, Krueger said, and the reduct ion or elimination of the 20 percent homestead exemption is an option as well. Krueger thinks the board made the right choice. “It is gcxwl news. For us to put our staff through this, to even think of this, can’t be good for morale,” he said. School board Secretary Dora Gonzales said, “I think that when push came to shove and we* had to Im* creative, we did a good job. The general feeling of the hoard was we didn't want to do that (declare financial exigency] if we didn t have to." Gonzales said she doubts the homestead exemption, which she called “the elephant in the middle of tile living room,” would be reduced or eliminated this year. “I’m sure next year this time we'll be bringing it back to the table. At some point we’re going to have to seriously talk about it,” she said See TEACHERS/3A Police: Unlocked vehicles an open door for burglars At a glance By Ron Maloney Staff Writer Some residents don’t think a thing about leaving their vehicles unlocked when they park them at night. Hut police say a vehicle left unlin ked is an open dom for burglars. TYiesdiiy morning live vein cie burglaries were reported to city police. Four of them occurred in close proximity to one another All five had one other thing iii common the owners had left then vehicles unlocked Patrol Sgl Bean Gabbard said 160 vehicle burglaries have been reported in New Report suspicious activity to New Braunfels police at 608 2170, or the Comal County Sheriff's Office at 6203400 or 885 4883 A crime In progress is always an emergency Call 911, Braunfels since the beginning of the year. And in 2002, I Milne investigated more than 500 vehicle burglaries. Its a serious problem, he said, one the public can help solvi* in two waysSee BURGLARS/3A Inside Forum continues proposition debate Abby 5A Classifieds 4-68 Comics Crossword Forum HA Movies ............... Obituaries 3A Sports I 48 Today TV Grids .............. :i8 www, herald* zettung com Key Lotto /b 6825 00001Cork, Flume argue street Funding, chamber control By Dylan Jimeni/ Staff Writer Though New Braunfels District 2 Councilman bu ry Alexander has vocally opposed May 3 ballot Propo sitions 2 and 3, his con stituents seemed divided on the issue Wednesday night when Alexander moderated an informational forum at the South Hank Activities (’enter. Mayor Adam Cork spoke against Propositions 2 and ii, and District 3 Council woman Debbie Flume, wild spearheaded the petition that brought tile pro|H)> ,, 11, ,11, 11, I* ■ i spoke iii favor of ALEXANDER the propositions. Propositions 2 and 3 would divert sales tax dollars earmarked for economic development to street repair, As the hour-and-H-hall meeting begun, Alexander announced his "game rules” to the 30 people in attendance He gave each side 20 minutes and only took questions from District 2 constituents, “’Cause that’s what this meeting is for,” Alexander said, “It s for the people of District 2 ” He remained a neutral moderator on the propose tions and only addressed questions regarding other concerns of his constituents. Flume said the propositions would earmark money specifically for street repair, while there would still be plenty of 4H money for economic development projects. However, she said those projects would only Is* possible if the Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce Inc. allowed them because "a majority of council members See DE BATE/3 A OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM DAY 22 Jubilation amid combat The streets of Iraq erupted with celebration at the fall of Saddam's regime in Baghdad but the war is far from ewer iran Crowds cheered US troop® m Begirded, as a statue of Saddam was toppled In a main square Sporadic resistance continued including a skirmish near Baghdad University At toast six civilian!, were killed by Iraqi tire Kunmsn Ophuk optima u a ' worn fin Mo oil*' *lrtm Su1aymarnyah# Khaneqin w v u‘, * / 7 X H kjIvImI "♦“YI| - ^pitiful yi %    »    Ailxiydiyah In Mosul, Kurdish forces took an air defense installation with aid from U S air strikes Kirkuk remaned surrounded as celebration filled the streets of Irbil and Sulaymanlysh U S forces engage holdouts in Tlkrtt, Saddam's hometown British troops greeted with cheers Airstrip Ground battle In coalition control or surrounded by allied force* I* j ’y Karbala Numaniyah*^'^ m (* Oiwarnyah Amarah Natal SamawafS* Qurnah Nasinyah *    *    UaifJl Rurriella • y Safwan Urnm Off* Kuwait C IOO nit kuwait As US forces secure Baghdad, citizens celebrate new freedom IOO ton SOURCES CIA United Nation*,. Awk.lated Pleat By RAVI NESSMAN AND DAVID ESPO Associated Press Writers BAGHDAD, Iraq Their hour of freedom at hand, jubilant Iraqis celebrated the collapse of Saddam Hussein's murderous reg I mu on Wednesday, beheading a toppled statue of their longtime ruler in downtown Baghdad and embracing American troops as liberators. “I’m 49, hut I never lived a single day. Only now will I start living,” said Yussuf Alx*d Kazan, a mosque preacher. A young Iraqi spat on a portrait of Saddam. Men hugged Americans in full combat gear, and women held up babies so soldiers riding on tanks could kiss them. Iraqis released decades of |K*nt-up f ury as U.S. forces solidified their grip on the capital Marlin* tanks nilled to the eastern hank of the 'Hgns River, tin* Army was on the western side of the waterway that curls through the ancient city. Looting broke out in the capital as Iraqis, shedding their fear of the regime, entered government facilities and made off with furniture, computers, air conditioners and even military jeeps. “We an* not seeing any organized resistance," said Navy Clipt. Frank Thorp at the U.S. Central Command. “The Iraqi military is unable to fight as an organized fighting force," There was continued combat in cities to the north, though, where government troops were under attack from U.S. and British warplanes. The sc enes of liberation in Baghdad and celebrations in scattered other cities unfolded as the Pentagon announced that 101 American troops had died in the first ibm* weeks of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Eleven ot hers are missing and seven listed as captured. The British said 30 of their troops wore dead. There are no reliable estimates for Iraqi casualties, although an Army spokesman said 7,300 prisoners had been taken. The medical system was overrun with See FREEDOMS WAR PARTY Iraqis destroy a statue of President Saddam Hussein Wednesday in Baghdad atter it was pulled down by a U.S. armored vehicle. U.S. troops moved into the heart of the Iraqi capital, meeting little resistance. KARIM SAHIB/ AFP Photo H Legislators: Tighter security a reminder of war, Page 7A I Chart details number of coalition losses in Iraq war, Page 7A ■ Follow late developments on the Herald-Zeitung Web Site,    /art,mg Man ;