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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - April 19, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas Vol. 149 No. 108    20    pages    in 2 sections April 19, 2000    QNRSOAY    Serving    Comal    County since 1852    50    centsEarly voting starts today in school district, NB and Bulverde elections From Staff Reports Early voting starts today for a local school district trustee race, two city council races in New Braunfels and Bulverde and a $32.72 million bond election in New Braunfels. Comal County residents will elect two new representatives to the New Braunfels City Council, a mayor and five aldermen to the Bulverde City Council and a representative to the Comal Independent School Dis trict board of trustees. New Braunfels City Council Residents in New Braunfels will elect two new representatives for districts 3 and 4, currently represented by Randy Vanstory and Jan Kotylo, respectively. While both are eligible to run, neither plan to. In the District 4 race, candidates are Mary Cameron Wall; director of managed care at Alamo City Medical Group; retired architect Robert Kendrick; and life insurance agent Dave Pryor. Debbie Flume, a self-employed businesswoman, Don Talley, a special agent with the Immigration and Naturalization Service, and Gale O’Hara Pospisil, a residential real estate appraiser, have filed in the District 3 race. Residents can participate in early voting 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Comal County Courthouse annex Room 101 through May 2. Special votingCandidate forum/4A Sample ba!lot/7A hours will be offered 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on April 29. New Braunfels residents also can cast their ballots on seven proposi tions as part of $32.72 million bond election and Special Election I and 2. City officials said New Braunfels residents living in Guadalupe County on the south side of County Line Road who were annexed into the city limits in 1998 are eligible to vote. Bulverde City Council Eight Bulverde residents have filed for five aldermen positions in the May 6 election. Incumbent War ren Alston, Rick Gravens and Bill Krawietz filed for re-election. New candidates are Richard Parker, William Cole Jr., Stan Blaylock, Beverlee Lemes, Michael Sorbera and Phyllis Peterson. Bulverde Mayor Bob Barton is running unopposed for reelection. Candidate Donald Weidow withdrew after filing closed. Bulverde residents can vote early at Bulverde City Hall, 30070See VOTING/5A NBISD seeks A FELSHerald-Ze rn A IUInside Abby................................7A Classifieds.......................7-1    OB Comics...............................2B Crossword..........................7A Forum.................................6A Local/Metro........................4A Movies..................................7A Obituaries  ...................3A Sports............................8-10A Today.................................2A Television................................7A Key Code 76 Seeking the spirit Local Christians prepare for Easter $1 million budget cut Forensic evidence could help identify sexual predator By Erin MAGRUDER Staff Writer Almost two years ago in the dead of night, a 19-year-old Seguin woman was pulled over on Texas 46 near the Guadalupe/Comal county line by a man she thought was a police officer. He was not. The man approached the woman’s car, shined a flashlight in her face and then forced her into the back seat of his car. He handcuffed her, drove her to an isolated location and sexually assaulted her. To this day, the man’s identity remains a mystery. But New Braunfels Police Department detective John A. Rios is hoping new forensic evidence finally will lead investigators to the sexual predator—a man he also believes tried to kidnap another 19-year-old Seguin woman on Texas 46 just three months later. “We recently received new DNA evidence from the Department of Public Safety crime laboratory in Austin that could link the suspect with the sexual assault,” Rios said. “The new evidence that has surfaced has allowed us to continue the investigation .... and in my opinion, there is no doubt the same person did both of these crimes.” The sexual assault occurred about 3 a.m. June 26, 1998, when the woman, headed home on Texas 46 in New Braunfels city limits, noticed red and blue flashing lights behind her vehicle, Rios said. The woman described the man’s car as a late model dark blue or black 4-door. Because the man was shining a flashlight in her face and it was dark outside, she did not get a good look at him, Rios said. She described the man as Hispanic, between 28 and 30 years old, about 5 feet 11 inches tall with dark, short hair. “After he sexually assaulted the woman, he drove her back to her car and dropped her off — and then just drove away,” Rios said. Rios said a similar incident occurred in Guadalupe County about 12:40 a.m. Sept. IO, 1998, on Texas 46 when a 19-year-old woman was on her way home from her boyfriend’s house in New Braunfels. The woman noticed a vehicle behind her that she thought was a police car and slowed down because she thought she might have been exceeding the speed limit, Rios said. The woman said she noticed red, blue and white lights coming from the dashboard area of the vehicle behind her. “The man approached the woman and told her to get out of her car,” Rios said. “Then he grabbed her and tried to force her into his car but she fought back —See FORENSIC/5A By Erin MAGRUDER Staff Writer Even though most kids might think so, the true purpose of the Easter holiday is not to get dressed up in uncomfortable clothes, scramble for brightly-colored eggs and gorge on basketfuls of gooey chocolate marshmallow candy. For Christians, Easter is the holiest day of the year— a joyous time to celebrate Christ’s resurrection from the dead and his forgiveness of sin. New Braunfels residents from a cross section of denominations will gather in fellowship this week by sharing and witnessing long-held traditions of their faith and Jesus’ message, which is the apex of the Christian belief. Msgr. Eugene O’Callaghan of Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church said Christians should remember the true meaning of the Easter holiday is not just that Jesus suffered and died for us, but that he conquered death and sin — the true meaning of faith. “By rising from the dead and through his death and resurrection, he gives all of mankind hope,” ©’Callaghan said. “Like Paul said, ‘If Jesus has not risen from the dead then indeed our faith is in vain.’” The holy season actually began March 8 (Ash Wednesday) for many Christians and continued through the Lenten season and currently Holy Week — which climaxes Sunday beginning with the rising of the sun and celebration of the resurrection. The universal message of Jesus can be celebrated one and all by local residents Friday afternoon at the annual community service. Hosted this year by New Braunfels Presbyterian Church, 373 Howard Street, the noon prayer and praise service gives different denominations the opportunity to worship together, associate pastor Fran Shelton said. “The service is designed to be K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herald-Zeltung Ginni Smith (above left), Robin Miller and approximately 60 other cast members will be in the final performance of “Eye of the Needle” today at 7 p.m. at First Baptist Church, 733 Cross St, including, below, left to right, Phil Baker, Ted Cook, Bob Landrum and Buz Farrell. over by the end of the lunch hour, so everyone is able to attend,” Shelton said. This week’s pageantry will include commemorative and colorful services and events like the Live Passion play at Holy Family Church and the drama, “Witnesses Before the Cross” at First Protestant Church. Live Passion, which chronicles the passion of Jesus Christ from condemnation to crucifixion, will be performed at 8 p.m. on the Holy Family grounds outside the church, 245 S. Hidalgo Ave. The play will be open to the pub*» lie, and organizers are preparing for a good-sized crowd, co-orga-nizer Jane Granado said. See EASTER/5A By Ron Maloney Staff Writer The administration of the New Braunfels Independent School District will face some tough choices this spring as officials look to cut $ I million — nearly three percent — out of a budget it is now projecting at more than $37 million. The move is one the district hopes will address a revenue shortfall of $492,000, leave a little leeway for fixed costs and allow money for pay raises for district employees who are being hit hard by increases in health insurance costs. And the district intends to do it without raising its school property tax rate, said district business manager, David Rastelli-ni at Tuesday night’s meeting of the NBISD Board of Trustees. “We’re trying to find $ I million in savings,” Rastellini told the board. “What that means to us is we’re going to have to cvt the budget.” Rastellini said the $508,000 above the revenue shortfall would give the district room for pay raises and to address costs that could rise throughout the year, such as utility or other fixed expenditures. But the pay raise was foremost on his mind Tuesday night. “In light of the fact that employees are faced with a significant increase in health care costs, I think it becomes important that the board find a way to help employees deal with that increase,” Rastellini said. The budgetary issues will be difficult ones, said NBISD Superintendent, Ron Reaves, but he echoed Rastellini’s commitment to employees. “We have to look at making up the shortfall and try to keep our employees up with the inflation factor,” Reaves agreed. About 80 percent of the district budget goes to district salaries, Reaves noted, while another 12 percent is spent on utility costs. BIGGADIKE “That doesn’t leave much to play with,” the superintendent noted. “You have to go to each of your departments and start asking them what they can live without.” Board President Bill Biggadike doesn’t like the prospect a bit but accepts it. “It’s the most difficult part of my job on the board of trustees,” he said. “We put a lot of time into trying to make this budget work. We really struggle with this.” The board will hear a presentation on pro-posed budget expenditures May 8, Rastelli- REAVES ni said. “I don’t think that the administration will be ready for any final decisions, but you’re going to see what we’re considering and where our concerns are as we look for that million dollars,” Rastellini said. In other agenda items, the school board voted to approve a new health insurance package for district employees that will see premium costs rise by $25 per employee per month as the NBISD moves toward partially insuring itself. ;