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View Sample Pages : New Braunfels Herald Zeitung, April 26, 2000

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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - April 26, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas File photo Traffic pokes along Interstate 35. State earmarks $56m for 1-35 improvements By Erin MAGRUDER Staff Writer SAN ANTONIO —Texas Department of Transportation announced Tuesday evening that local commuters will benefit from more than $56 million in Interstate 35 improvements in the next four years. TxDOT engineers made public a laundry list of Comal County road projects that will be included for 2000 and in its 2001-2004 Rural Transportation Improvement Program at a 7 p.m. meeting at the TxDOT district off ice, 4615 W. Loop 410. The transportation improvement projects are designed to focus on 11 rural counties in the TxDOT district, including Comal, Guadalupe, Kendall and Kerr counties. The 1-35 improvements, which include widening the freeway up to eight lanes in several areas, have been lobbied for by frustrated residents and city and county officials for the past several years. “As usual, 1-35 is the biggest deal in Comal County,” said county engineer Tom Homseth, who attended the meeting. Also included in the projects was the installation of a traffic light in front of New Braunfels High School on Loop 337 and improvements to Texas 46 and Business 46. Projects slated were the result of a nearly year-long selection process which included input from residents in the TxDOT district. Projects not slated for the next four years included major improvements to the intersection of U.S. 281 and Texas 46. Homseth said these improvements should be a priority in future years because of rapid development in the area. What’s Up 2001-2004 TxDOT Rural Transportation Improvement Projects for Comal County include: 2000—Total estimated project cost is $22,618,742 ■ Interstate 35—upgrade to an eight lane freeway from just north of F.M. 725 to just south of Texas 46. Estimated cost: $12,888,000 ■ Interstate 35—upgrade to an eight lane freeway from just north of Walnut Avenue to just north of F.M. 725. Estimated cost: $8,633,000 ■ Loop 337—install traffic light at New Braunfels High School driveway. Estimated cost: $103,000 ■ S. Texas 46—install traffic light at Oak Run Parkway. Estimated cost: $126,000 ■ Business 46—resurfacing of road from San Antonio St. to Hampe St. Estimated cost: $181,000 ■ Business 46—resurfacing of road from Walnut Avenue to San Antonio St. Estimated cost: $184,000 2001—Total estimated project cost is $6,545,460 ■ F.M. 1863—rehabilitate and widen narrow pavement and shoulder from W. Texas 46 to about 4 KM north of Mission Valley Road. Estimated cost: $!,972,000 ■ Business 46—replace railroad overpass and widen to four lanes undivided from Kessler St. in New Braunfels to Hampe St. at Union Pacific Railroad. Estimated cost: $2,924,300 ■ Gruene Rd—replace bridge and approaches at the Guadalupe River. Estimated cost: $$875,000 See PROJECTS/5A Air Quality Health Alert Day ■ Reduce emissions by carpeting today Bomb hoax disrupts classes A New Braunfels_________J I    '    ■    :    .................................................. By Erin MAGRUDER Staff WriterVol. 149 No. 113    22    pages    in    2    sections    April    26,    2000    \T7^ta\    a    Serving    uom<u    v,v    —,    52    50    cents Wednesday SMITHSON VALLEY — A small, mysteriously decorated box found early Tuesday morning at Smithson Valley High School did not contain a bomb —as a note found Monday afternoon in a school restroom had promised. However, the hoax still managed to disrupt the campus by delaying the arrival of about 1,800 students and faculty. No arrests had been made as of press time Tuesday, but the latest bomb threat to plague Comal Independent School District left school officials fuming and the majority of students frustrated. “We’re troubled by this and, quite frankly, sick of students disrupting our classes and classes across the district,” CISD superintendent Jerry Major said. “We have leads on students who might have done this, and we are going to try very hard to find them.” A written bomb threat was found about 1:30 p.m. Monday in a boy’s restroom by a school employee, CISD public information officer Kari Hutchison said. “The bomb threat was specific to something that would happen Tuesday,” Hutchison said. “Classes were not interrupted Monday, but school officials and maintenance searched the building.” School officials sent a letter home with students Monday afternoon that informed parents about the threat and the safety precautions SVHS would take. School officials searched the campus Monday evening, but no explosive devices were found, Hutchison said. Comal County Sheriff’s Office detectives and bomb sniffing dogs began searching the SVHS campus early Tuesday for explosive devices. One of the dogs alerted about 6:45 a.m. to a box, about six inches squared, in a grate near the school’s main entrance that allows air to flow under the building, Major said. “You would have really had to be looking hard for (the box) to see it,” Major said. Detectives alerted a U.S. military bomb squad from Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, and access to the campus was blocked off before faculty and students arrived, Hutchison said. Students were transported to nearby Smithson Valley Middle School where they waited with school employees for the high school to be secured. The bomb squad arrived at the high school about 9 a.m. and opened the box, which reportedly was empty. “The box had an eyeball painted on one end See HOAX/5A RON MALONEY/Herald-Zeitung Smithson Valley High School students file out of the Smithson Valley Middle School stadium shortly after 9 a.m. Tuesday after another bomb threat at the high school. ‘Real old really quick’ By Ron Maloney Staff Writer SMITHSON VALLEY — Brent Lowak, Brian Nowotny and several of their friends missed more than an hour of school Tuesday. They were among several hundred students standing in the sun behind a chain link fence at the Smithson Valley Middle School shortly after 9 a.m. Tuesday. They were there because of another bomb threat at Smithson Valley High School. Officials were checking out a suspicious box that turned out to be empty. The students were unhappy, frustrated and in no mood to be polite. “This really sucks!” they exclaimed in a chorus while waiting for buses to take students back to the high school. They were among those whose personal vehicles were See STUDENTS/5A Rodriguez: Bush tax cut ‘doesn’t work’ By Ron Maloney Staff Writer U.S. Congressman Ciro Rodriguez warned Tuesday night that Texas Governor George W. Bush will decimate healthcare, education and social programs — at the same time returning the United States to deficit spending with an impossible tax cut — if he’s elected president in November. “If you run the numbers on the Bush tax cut, it just doesn’t work,” Rodriguez told about 50 members of the Comal County Democrats. “One of the realities is if the governor has a proposal for a $1.2 trillion tax cut on the table there will be RODRIGUEZ nothing he can offer for healthcare or Social Security.” Rodriguez (D-San Antonio), who will be seeking his second full term in Congress this fall, was invited to the political club’s April meeting to speak to issues of health care and national policy. Texas State Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Laredo) will address the May meeting of the CCD on the federal Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). At Tuesday’s meeting, Rodriguez called for increased federal spending on Medicare, Medicaid, education and Veterans’ programs, among others. , “We have to keep our promises to our veterans ... if we want to continue to lead the world we have to educate our people ... we need to restore billions in funding to Medicare...” were among themes touched on as Rodriguez blamed Republican majorities in both legislative houses for blocking Democratic initiatives in those and other areas. The former social worker said that if Democrats can retain control of the White House the federal deficit See RODRIGUEZ/5A Our roadsEarly Voting Early voting for the Bulverde Northwest incorporation in Bulverde takes place Thursday at the Bulverde Community Center, 1747 E. Ammann Rd. from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. In New Braunfels, early voting is taking place in the Comal County Courthouse Annex, Room 101, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays through May 2. Special hours will be offered Saturday, April 29 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Bulverde NW voters to decide incorporation By Ron Maloney Staff Writer mayor Mal McClinchie said. First was to try to check San Antonio’s northward expansion into Comal County. The second goal, McClinchie said, was to try to establish some sort of reasonable plan for the Texas 46 corridor.The third was to consolidate with the rest of Bulverde. “We have the same goals we had before,” McClinchie said. The election comes against a backdrop in which any day a decision could come in a Kendall County court that either upholds or nullifies the so-called Boerne Wall. A group of properties in the disputed Boerne Extra-Territorial Jurisdiction along Ammann Road are blocking San Antonio’s northern expansion. The two communities have been locked in a years-long court fight over the ETJ issue. The Bulverde Northwest incorporation, McClinchie said, becomes even more important if that court decision — reportedly imminent — goes against Boerne. “It’s of more than casual interest. I don’t think the Boerne Wall will collapse. But I guess if I’ve learned anything, I’ve learned not too count too many chickens before they hatch,” he said. Bulverde Northwest and its ETJ could provide a sort of fallback position if the Boerne Wall falls, McClinchie said. All that See BULVERDE/5A Inside Abby......................... .......7 A Classifieds.................... ...8-12B Comics....................... ........2B Crossword.................. ........2B Forum......................... ........6A Local/Metro................ .......4A Movies.......................... ........7 A Obituaries................... ........3A Sports........................ ...8-10A Today......................... ........2A Television......................... .........2B OI c | coni Key Code 76 ;