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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - April 28, 1999, New Braunfels, Texas fmt NEW<^yibKFELS 20332    11009    .1    0/22/99 SO - LIE ST ll IC RO PU BL. I SH I NG 2627 E VONDELL DR EL POSO, TX 79003 6 8 L l- I r1 JU , IAI J J Ll J Zeitung ‘W* Vol, 148, No. 114    20    pages    in    2    sections    April    28,    1999 Wednesday Serving Comal County since 1852 50 cents Early voting draws crowd on last day Election officials say turnout fairly normal for city, school board races and bond issue HOH CORNETT* liHdZeHung Two Comal County voters walt in line for early voting Tuesday at the Corned County Courthouse Annex, part of the 270 residents who participated in the final day of early voting. City and Comal ISO elections are on Saturday. Bv Heather Tooo Staff Writer Registered voters flocked to the Comal County Courthouse Annex Ibesday to cast their votes on the last day of early voting for New Braunfels City Council and Comal Independent School District races. Residents now have to wait until Saturday to vote for New Braunfels mayoral and city council races. CISD patrons will head to the polls for trustee elections in single member Districts 3 and 4 and a $141 million, two-proposition bond package. IWo hundred and seventy local residents visited the Courthouse Annex on Tuesday to vote for city elections in Districts 5 and 6 and to choose New Braunfels' next mayor. About 21,878 New Braunfels residents are registered to vote in the mayor’s race and two city council seats, and 1,497 voters had turned out for early voting since March 14, said Virginia Ortiz, early voting clerk. “That Is almost exactly the number of early voters we had in the last city election,” Ortiz said. Early voting clerks said the voting booths remaining busy up until the voting site’s 5 p.m. closing. More than 1,600 CISD patrons headed to early voting polls since March 14 to cast their votes for two seats on the board of trustees and the district* bond package. Ortiz said 853 voters turned out at the County Courthouse early voting site, and 820 patrons cast their ballots at the district’s three temporary early voting locations. Eleven ballots also were mailed in the school elections. Ortiz said turn-out during early voting was “fairly normal” for school board elections. Crosstown trafficTxDOT officials eyeing options for Interstate 35 By Rem Stone Staff Writer SAN ANTONIO — Texas transportation officials are close to having an Interstate 35 master plan in their hands, but specific projects and fonding have yet to be decided. Three possible strategies being considered for the master plan were presented Tuesday in a meeting sponsored by the Texas Department of Transportation. Officials from the Federal Highway Administration and the Departments of Transportation in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa and Minnesota came up with the strategies to relieve traffic congestion after conducting an 1-35 Corridor Study. That study was started in November of 1997. Joe Guyton, an engineering consultant for the state, outlined the three strategies for the approximately 20 people who attended Tuesday* meeting: • Congestive relief strategy: widen 1-35 within existing right-of-way, construct elevated lanes where needed, rely on relief routes; • Trade focus strategy: same as above with the possibility of moving 80 percent of trucks to special roads south of Dallas and Fort Worth; • Combination strategy: same as congestive relief strategy with the possibility of moving 50 percent of truck cargo to rail. No one in the audience expressed either support or opposition toward any specific strategy. Instead, several wanted to know when things were going to happen and how the projects would be funded. "This is setting the big picture,” Guyton said, adding that local departments would determine more specific projects. He said a steering committee would meet this summer and review the findings of this spring* public RO—I CORNETTA WfcJ-ZsSunQ Care and hucks move slowly along southbound Interstate 35 Tuesday afternoon. Construction on 1-35 reduced the highway to one tans just before Walnut Aveune, causing traffic to stall and stow to a crawl throughout the day. meetings, tikinp place in Texas and other states.    •*    * The steering committee will then recommend one strategy to state agencies. “The question we're trying to answer is,'Is this a good use of public money?” Guyton said. Funding possibilities are being looked into, he said. TxDOT currently is developing proposals seeking fonds through two new federal programs aimed at addressing trade corridor issues. Another possibility being considered to relieve traffic on 1-35 and provide commuters with an alternative mode of transportation is a rail running from Austin to San Antonio. According to a transportation study, some sections of 1-35 would require up to 18 lanes to meet projected demand if additional lanes were the only strategy considered. The study was done by a committee composed of senior transportation officials from the six states through which 1-35 runs. Because of this, other alternatives are being researched, including a 110-mile commuter rail. Public meetings dealing with the commuter rail will be tonight at the San Marcos Activity Center, 501 Hopkins in San Marcos and on Thursday rn San Antonio at the main auditorium of the Downtown Public Library, 600 Soledad.Traffic Tales Public meetings to discuss commuter rail are scheduled for tonight and Thursday. ■ 6 p.m. tonight, San Marcos Activity Center, 501 Hopkins ■ 6 pm Thursday. Downtown Public Library, 600 Soledad, San Antonio Each meeting is scheduled to start at 6 pm An open house is scheduled for 5:30 to 6 p.m each night. Schools beef up security, interaction By Peri Stone and Heather Tooo Staff Writers As the nation continues reeling in the Columbine High School aftermath, local schools are stepping up efforts to prevent such a tragedy. “We’d be fools not to worry about it,” said Don Clark, Comal Independent School District public information officer. “It can happen anywhere.” CISD teachers and administrators are reassuring students the schools are safe, Clark said, but also telling them to report anything suspicious. Similar messages are being spread at schools across the county in light of the April 20 incident when two Colorado teens terrorized Columbine High School in the suburbs of Denver, killing 13 before taking their own lives. COMAL ISO Heightened concern about school safety after a foiled terrorist attack at a junior high school in Wimberley and the Littleton, Colo., shootings this past week has prompted CISD officials to beef up security at school campuses. CMS principal Nancy Cobb said she was requesting a police officer at the campus for the remainder of the year. Cobb said the request was in response to an incident this past week when two CMS students were taken into custody after shooting at two teachers’ houses and shooting out a window at New Braunfels High School. “We’re showing kids and parents that we’re doing all we can to keep our schools safeLatest Developments ■Canyon Middte School principal Nancy Cobb is seeing police presence for foe rest of the school year. ■ New Braunfels ISO is developing a 8chooi Safety Task Force. The groups is expected to meet with parents and patrons at 6 p.m. Tuesday at OakRun School Cafeteria. and make our students feel secure,” she said Clark said the district intended to keep off-duty officers at the two campuses for the rest of the year. Ray Douglas, chief of the New Braunfels Police Department, said his budget was “stretched too thin” to offer on-duty officers to patrol the campuses. “We don’t have the resources, but I think they Ye looking into hiring off-duty officers as a moonlight job,” he said NEW BRAUNFELS ISO New Braunfels Independent School District is developing a School Safety Task Force comprised of administrators, teachers, students, parents, counselors, and representatives of area law enforcement agencies and the business community. John Turman, assistant superintendent for pupil and administrative services for NB1SD, said administratorsSee SECURITY/3A Agencies mull recreational pool FROM STAFF REPORTS All of the players will be at the table Thursday night to discuss a summer program for controlled release from Canyon Dam to accommodate water recreation on the Guadalupe River. Representatives of the UL S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Guadalupe-Bianco River Authority will meet with the Comal County Water Oriented Recreation District board to discuss both short- and long term possibilities of establishing a recreational pool st Canyon Lake. The meeting will take place at 7 pm at Canyon Lake Action Center, 1941 Farm-to-Market Road 2673 in Saltier. “lf everybody lays their cards on the table, we might be able to get something done,” WORD board member Charles Stephens said. State Rep. Edmund Kuempel (R-Seguin), County Commissioner Jack Dawson, OBRA General Manager Bill West and Paul Rodman of the Corps wen scheduled to address the meeting.Inside Abby..................................SA Classifieds....................6-1    OB Comics............................7A Crossword.....................5A Forum.............................6A Local/Metro..........................4A Movies............................5A Obituaries..........................3A Sports..........................6-10A Today...............................2A Television.............................7A Mr con TS Plant opponents not giving up By Heather Tooo Staff Writer Bulverde residents have lost a battle, but not the war, against a local cement manufacturer’s plans to build a concrete batch plant off US. 281 and Texas 46, near several area schools. Administrative law judge Kerry Sullivan released his ruling Monday recommending qtproval of Ingram Readymix Company* application for a “standard exemption” after a formal hear ing in January. The Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission will consider Sullivan’s recommendation and make a final decision, which is expected to be released June 30. If granted the exemption, Ingram would be permitted to operate its facility under less stringent regulatory standards. The TNRCC grants standard exemptions to manufacturers whose emissions are below the maximum limit. Gary Johnson, vice president of Ingram Readymix, said, “I think we proved our case, and the judge* decision substantiated that.” In his executive summary, Sullivan said the plant* emissions would comply with ground level concentration requirements, and Ingram had demonstrated “a reasonable expectation” that ade- See PLANT/BA ;