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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung Newspaper Archives

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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - April 26, 2011, New Braunfels, Texas TAKS REMINDER TAKS testing starts today and continues through the week. See Page 2 for the testing schedule. »■MIDDLE EAST UNREST U.S. mulls sanctions for Syria Despite regime crackdown and civilian deaths, White House treads warily in crucial country By Matthew Lee Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — Despite a ruthless crackdown on pro-reform demonstrators, there is no international appetite for a warlike approach to Syria—a crucial Mideast playmak-er with ties to Iran and a say in any eventual Arab peace with Israel. In contrast A FLOOD OF FUNDING NATO STRIKE INCREASES PRESSURE ON GAOHAFI TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) — The latest NATO airstrike on Maarmvidr Gadhafi’s compound that reduced parts of it to a smoldering ruin steps up pressure on the increasingly embattled Libyan leader as he struggles to hold onto the western half of the country. A Libyan government spokesman denounced Monday's bombing as a failed assassination attempt, saying the 69-year-old leader was healthy, "in high spirits" and carrying on business as usual. with the quick international decision to launch an air campaign in nearby Libya, the United States is responding cautiously to mounting civilian deaths in Syria, preparing steps such as slapping new travel limits and financial penalties on Syrian leaders. As violence escalated anew on Monday, the White House stepped up its condemnation of President Bashar Assad's regime, but stopped well short of demanding the ouster of a leader some U.S. Democrats had considered a potential reformer and peace broker. U.S. officials said Washington has begun drawing up targeted sanctions against Assad, his family and inner circle to boost pressure on them to halt the repression. Meanwhile, the U.S. also was conferring with European countries and with the United Nations about options for Syria, where more than 350 people have been killed in weeks of protests and government attempts to quell them. Vol. 158, No. 142 10 pages, 1 section Inside 8 7 7 4 3 Sunny 5    High    Low «    96    64 9    Details    5 CLASSIFIEDS COMICS CROSSWORD FORUM OBITUARIES PLANNER SPORTS TV GRID 8    56825    00001    1 50 cents Council approves S18.2M debt issue to finance nine projects By Greg Bowen The Herald-Zeitung New Braunfels City Council voted Monday to approve the issuance of $ 18.2 million in certificates of obligation to finance nine capital improvement projects. The projects that will be funded are: The North Tributary Flood Control Project, $7.2 million: the Walnut Avenue widening project, a $5.4 million partial payment; the Landa Plaza property acquisition, $2 million; the Gruene Crossing drainage project, $1.2 million; repairs of lune 9 flood damage to Landa Dam, $847,000; replacement or repair of bridges in Landa Park that were washed out or damaged by the June 9 flood, $700,000; flood-warning sirens, $280,000; replacement of lighting at Fredericksburg Field, $150,000; and a $70,000 cash match for the lengthening of a runway at the city airport to accommodate larger aircraft. Funds have already been dispensed for some of the projects or portions of projects via reimbursement resolutions, which will be repaid using proceeds from the certificates of obligation. An additional 3.62 cents on the tax rate is estimated to be needed to service the annual $1.4 million in debt service requirements for the COs. But Mayor Bruce Boyer made the point that the 3.62-cents figure is valid only if all the current tax-calculation assumptions — See FUNDS, Page 10 CITY COUNCIL APPOINTS ISHAM AS INTERIM CITY ATTORNEY After meeting in a closed session Monday, council accepted the resignation of City Attorney Alan Wayland and named Paul Isham of Austin as interim city attorney. Isham had been serv-, ing as assistant city attorney. Wayland will get a severance payment of six months' salary. The city will also pay his health insurance premiums for six months. Isham will be paid $80 per hour, plus some expenses. Wayland resigned last week by mutual agreement following his annual review. "There wasn't any specific reason for the decision," said Boyer. "Council and Alan pretty much decided it was a good time for us to make a change and for him to make a change, so that’s what we did." LAURA McKENZIE/Herald-Zeitung TOP: The Landa Park bridge leading to the gazebo has been closed to vehicular traffic since the June 9, 2010 flood. ABOVE: Council on Monday approved $2 million in Certificates of Obligation to pay for the acquisition of Landa Plaza. Experts: Drought could drag on in Texas By Angela K. Brown Associated Press FORT WORTH — The extreme drought that has gripped parts of nine states—most of them in the South — is expected to drag on for several months or intensify, posing a risk for more wildfires, agriculture problems and water restrictions, national weather experts said Monday. Portions of Texas and a small part of eastern Louisiana are the only parts of the nation that rank in the National Weather Service's worst drought condition category, said Victor Murphy, the climate service program manager for the National Weather Service's southern region, based in FortWforth. The "exceptional" drought level happens once every 50 to 100 years, he said. Much of the rest of Texas and Louisiana are in extreme drought con- STORMS STRIKE NORTH TEXAS, SPIN OFF FUNNELS DALLAS (AP) — A persistent severe thunderstorm crept across North Texas, spawning at least a half-dozen tornadoes seen by storm spotters and scattered reports of damage. The twisters and funnel clouds Monday afternoon were weak and struck open country south of the Dallas-Fort Worth area for the most part, but there were some reports of damage. ditions — the worst in 20 to 50 years — as are parts of Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Florida and tiny portions of Colorado and Kansas. Other areas of those states are experiencing severe and moderate drought conditions, along with parts of Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina. May is "pretty much our last chance to mitigate this thing," because that month typically brings the most rainfall in many of the bone-dry states, including Texas and Oklahoma, which need about 4 inches of rain in the next month, Murphy said. The widespread drought was spawned last year by La Nina, a condition that changes wind and air pressure patterns. It brought warmer-than-normal temperatures and less rainfall to the southern and central U.S., drying out grass and shrubs that have become fuel for wildfires that have ignited and raged out of control in several states. Overnight storms in North Texas only brought short-term relief to a small parched area of the state but did help firefighters get a 127,000-acre fire 70 percent contained, Murphy said. The only significant rainfall on the horizon is for Arkansas, but too much rain there could bring flooding. STAGE 1 WATER 1 »3 **    41    » Hf W% •Ihmga system penrottidoBly two days per week before 10 a.m. and after 8 p.«.    ? •If your address ends in 0,2,4,6 or 8, irrigation days ere Monday end Thursday.    my •If your address ends in 1,3,5,7 or 9, irrigation days are Tuesday and Friday. • Hand watering and drip irrigation allowed any time. • Vehicles may be washed at home on assigned days and times using a handheld hose with automatic shut-off nozzle or 5-gallon bucket Wash at a commercial facility any time. Vehicle-wash fundraisers allowed, but only at commercial car washes. • Outdoor water features are prohibited SENiOR CARE SERVICES Affordable Health Services for Seniors living at home. ■ SPORTS, 6 Texas State vaulters do personal bests WEEKEND CRIME, 2 MOST WANTED, 9Man beaten after trying $200 Reward: Comal to stop Mill Street robbery County's 10 Most Wanted TUESDAY, APRIL 26, 2011Zeitung Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852.    500 ;