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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - April 13, 1999, New Braunfels, Texas 2 0 332 MO09 1 0/22/99    68 SO - UL" ST M I. CRO PU BL. I SH I NG 2627 E YANDELL DR M M „   A      EL    POSO, TX 79903- HERALD-ZEITUr mm    *,    .    ,s,. Vol. 148, No. 104 18 pages in 2 sections April 14, 1999    Serving    Comal    County    since    1852    50    cents CISD seniors divided on bond issue ROBIN CORNETT /Her akj-Zortung Richard McCarthy, left, looks over the available income tax forms Tuesday at Dittfinger Memorial Library, 373 Magazine Ave., as Susan Schfameus, center, and Duane Marcum search for special tax forms. Thursday is the deadline to file tax returns without a late penalty. Accountants, post office preparing for deadline Bv Chrm Crews Staff Writer Just as sure as death and taxes, tomorrow is April 15th. In case the significance of that date escapes you, tomorrow is the last day to mail your income tax return to the Internal Revenue Service without penalty for filing a late return. Yes, it Is the annual festival of hair pulling and teeth-gnashing performed by taxpayers, tax pre-parers and accountants. Whether you waited to send in your return because you owe money or if it is an act of natural procrastination, the day of reckoning is nigh. But some local tax preparers said benefits were hidden in the tomes of federal tax law. Up All Night The U.S. Poet Office, 686 S. Seguin Ave., WHI cancel all mail addressed to the Internal Revenue Service with an April 15 postmark provided it is placed in the local mail drop inside the lobby before midnight. 'The returns this year seem to be a little bigger and the capital gains are larger because of the stock market,” said Fred Matthews, a certified public accountant and head of Matthews and Associates , 145 Landa St. Matthews said people seemed to be coming in about the same pace as last year. Many of this year’s returns involved new complexities he attributed to new tax laws such as education tax credits. AARP has offered free help with tax returns at various locations in Comal County since February. The program was available to lower income and elderly taxpayers. Kathleen Jaroszewski, AARP local tax-aide coordinator, said her 22 volunteer tax helpers would assist more than 1,000 county residents this year. Volunteers at the Comal County Senior Citizen Center were “very busy” with customers on Tuesday afternoon, she said. Jaroszewski said most people waited until the last minute to file. "It really hasn’t been that busy until this week,” See DEADLINES Taxpayers begin filing frenzy Businesses benefit by giving computers to school districts By Heather Tooo Staff Writer Area businesses are getting a break this tax season by helping address technological needs of local classrooms. Federal legislation allow s businesses to earn tax credit by donating computer hardware to schools. Certified Public Accountant Harold Holtman Jr. said businesses can deduct only the fair market value of the computer hardware that is donated, not the original purchase price. “The best thing for people to do is to take their old computer equipment to a local computer store and get it appraised to determine its current value,” Holtman said. Jennifer Faulkner, director of technology for New Braunfels Independent School District, said businesses were encouraged to donate computer equipment if they were planning upgrades in the near future. Don Clark, public information officer for Comal Independent School District, said Smithson Valley High School had been the recipient of several donated computers. New Braunfels High School recently opened its new library with an upgraded data network system which will allow Internet access in every classroom, office and library in the high school. Faulkner said although the networking project was progressing, some classrooms still had needs.    H "There are many classrooms that will have the wiring in th! wall but either outdated or no hardware in the classroom. In othJ er words, there are not enough computers in the building to meed the growing needs of our curriculum and students,” she said. | About 50 computers have been donated to fcfBlSD in th^j past two school years, Faulkner said.    *    'I Several of the computers are being used in administrative offices throughout district campuses and in high school class-, rooms. "There’s been a recent rush over the past four months'ty businesses wanting to donate before the tax deadline,” she sai&< NBISD has established minimum standards for computer equipment donated by local businesses. For IBM compatibles:    :£•; Pentium IOO or better processor, 500 MB hard drive, 8 MB* RAM, upgradable to at least 32 MB, 14-ineh SVGA monitor of better For Apple computers:    , **4 PowerMac or better, 500 MB hard drive or better, 8 MB of! RAM or better, 14-inch VGA or SVGA monitor or better For printers: Ink jet or laser (Minters onlyMany students planning to vote in May I election Bv Heather Tooo Staff Writer A small number of Comal Independent School District patrons registered to vote in the May I bond election see the reality of the dis-trict’s campus needs every day. Seniors at Canyon and Smithson Valley high schools said better school facilities were a necessity and they planned to vote in the upcoming election. Early voting begins today for a $141 million bond package that has both students’ futures and tax dollars at stake. Students were divided about which prepositions they supported, but all agreed improving conditions at the high school level were a priority. SVHS senior Kelly Walker said, “We walk through these halls body to body, and you can. barely move your feet when you walk. There’s a definite need for new schools.” SVHS senior Gabe Sanford said, "I think I would vote for Proposition I because it is really crowded in the schools now. It’s better to expand and build bigger buildings than see them put up more portables.” Many Canyon High School students recognized crowded conditions were far worse for SVHS students, but said the bond issue was needed to deal with overall student growth. T think we should vote for the bond because we need these schools and we need more classrooms everywhere,” CHS senior Shannon Schmidt said. Both propositions are designed to address overcrowding at the high schools, but Proposition I would expand SVHS to 2,000 students and CHS to 1,750, while Proposition 2 would build a new high school in 2002. More than 1,700 students currently crowd the hallways at SVHS, which was built for 1,200 students.See BOND/3A HUBIN CUHNETT/Heraw-Zeftmg Canyon High School senior Shannon Schmidt, center, shares her opinion on the bond election. Many seniors plan to vote on May 1. Commissioners’ court talking air quality By Chrm Crews Staff Writer Residents interested in air quality and the impact of possible federal sanctions if San Antonio fails to meet minimum air quality standards might want to attend Thursday’s commissioners’ court meeting. The meeting will begin at 8:15 a.m. in die commissioners’ courtroom on the third floor of the Comal County Courthouse Annex, 150 N. Seguin Ave. Shelley Whitworth of the Alamo Area Council of Governments will make a presentation to the court on what Bexar County and surrounding counties must do to attain clean air standards mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA includes Comal County in the San Antonio Metropolitan Statistical Area. Whitworth presented an air quality program this past week to Central Texas officials, including New Braunfels Mayor Jan Ken-nady and Comal County Judge Danny Scheel. Comal County faces a delay or loss of up to $12 million in federal highway funds if the MSA is declared a non-attainment area. Construction on Interstate 35 in New Braunfels could be stopped by the summer of 2000 if the new EPA standards were not met.Inside Abby..................................5A Classifieds....................4-8B Comics............................7A Crossword.....................5A Forum.............................6A Local...............................4    A Movies............................5A Obituaries..........................3A Sports..........................8-10A Today...............................2A Television.............................7A www.herild-zeltung.cofn Key Code 76 Clinton likely to order reserve troops to active duty in Balkans WASHINGTON (AP) — Bringing the Kosovo conflict closer to home, U.S. military reservists are likely to be ordered to active duty as part of a major new buildup of American air power in the Balkans, officials said Tuesday. Several hundred Air National Guard members who already are participating as volunteers probably will not be enough to support the 30ri additional planes expected to be sent to Europe in the days ahead. “There will likely be a reserve call-up,” Pentagon spokesman Kenneth Bacon said. “The details aren’t ready to be announced at this stage,” including how many would be called, how soon, and for what tasks. Defense Secretary William Cohen and other U.S. officials in recent days hinted at the likelihood of a partial mobilization of the National Guard and Reserve, and that was before Army Gen. Wesley Clark, the top NATO commander, submitted hisSee TROOPS/** ;