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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung Newspaper Archives

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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - April 28, 2005, New Braunfels, Texas UlNVJ SPORTS ON THE LINKS NB girls finish second while Nick Williams wins regional title and Canyon's Carole Norris is second. Page 7A FORUM TOP CHOICE The Herald-Zeitung chooses a candidate in the District 6 city council race. Page 6A Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852. Vol. 154, No. 138 14 pages, 2 sections CLICK 500 WWW. 00001' NM ■ Parti Cloudy High 89 Details fry Low 63 1B DEAR ABBY 3B CLASSIFIEDS 48 COMICS 2B CROSSWORD 2B FORUM 6A OBITUARIES 3A SPORTS 7A TV GRIDS 3BLegal battle looming over bullying report By Leigh Jones Staff Writer The Herald-Zeitung is going toe-to-toe with New Braunfels Independent School District over its refusal to release a report on middle school bullying problems. Charles Daughtry, attorney for Southern Newspapers Inc., has given the district IO days to request an opinion from the Texas Attorney General before filing suit to obtain the information. Friday, the district released a letter explaining their attorney had advised them not to release the requested document because it contained student information protected under the Family Educational Right and Privacy Act. At the very least, Daughtry said, administrators should have checked with the AG before categorically saying no. “The law does not say that any time a student’s name shows up you can hide the information. Those issues are decided on a case by case basis. They are not the ones who get to make that call,” he said. District administrators received Daughtry’s letter Tuesday and for warded it to their attorney Wednesday. Public Information Officer Stephanie Ferguson said she did not want parents to think the district was unwilling to provide information. See LAWSUIT Page 3A A SPORTING CHANCE Not so fast: County budget woes not as bad as reported By Bon Maloney Staff Writer County auditor David Renken took time off this past week to be treated for a chiropractic issue. I iis real pain in the back, though, didn’t come until he returned to work Monday and county officials were fielding calls and e-mails about a purported $800,000 deficit in the Comal County budget — one that didn’t exist, even though it was reported in the news media. It was one of those long stories — one with a short ending. As part of the county’s budgeting process after the end of each year, the county transfers funds between line items to reconcile expenses AT A GLANCE ■ What: Comal County commissioner meeting ■ When: 8:15 a m. today ■ Where: County Courtroom, 199 Main Plaza and expenditures and zero-balances the budget for its outside auditors—a certified public accounting firm that double checks the county’s checkbook to ensure everything is as it should be. As part of that process, money is moved from fund to fund in a series of budgetary amendments. Items that come in over budget are sup-plemented by those that come in under budget. See BUDGET Page 3A Photos by DAVID INGRAM/Herald-Zeitung Land Design Partners employees Jason Cheng, left, and Brent Luck discuss the company's plans for the H E B soccer fields with New Braunfels Parks and Recreation Director Stacey Laird Wednesday afternoon. Below, Luck points out the playground area planned for the H-E-B soccer fields. City looking at all options for youth sports venues Proposition would give voters added authority By Scott Mahon Staff Writer Momentum seems to be building for a new youth sports venue in New Braunfels. To stay on top of the issue, city staff is looking at how other cities have addressed the need for more venues. Some argue that a new sports venue could bring in more out-of-town dollars hut others say local youth have limited facilities and opportunities to participate in youth sports and should be considered first. After several debates on whether the city should explore building a new sports venue with hotel occupancy taxes, council asked staff Monday to look at various possibilities. It was also suggested that the city search for a private partner that could operate the facility, specifically because By Leigh Jones Staff Writer The New Braunfels Independent School District won a major victory in its fight with the San Antonio Coca-Cola Bottling Company Monday when it collected $25,000 in delinquent contract fees. The check, brought to the state law won t allow cities to fund a “venue project" with HOT funds if the project were part of a city’s parks and recreation system. At least one organization, New Braunfels Youth Sports, board meeting by Coca-Cola representative Kevin Wagner, should have been in district hands last October, a small detail that did not escape the board members. “If we continue this relationship, I want to make sure this does not happen again,” said Trustee Bill Biggadike. has already said it would be interested in partnering with the city. Parks and Recreation Director Stacey Laird said local youth who want to participate in sports have limited oppor- In what might have been an attempt to drive their point home, Biggadike, trustees Rob Johnson, Randy Rust, Ed Clark and Superintendent Ron Reaves all were drinking Diet Dr Peppers. The overdue payment was part of an exclusive contract NBISD had with Coca-Cola to tunities outside of school sports, select team sports and pay-for-play youth sports. “This year, IOO seventh-grade girls tried out for volleyball at New Braunfels Middle School and there was only room for 50,” she said. “So 50 young girls were told they couldn’t be on the team. T hat wasn’t the school’s fault, that’s just the way it was. But still, that’s 50 girls who didn’t have an opportunity to play volleyball and didn t have an alternative. That’s unfortunate because not cill kids are gifted in sports. But all kids should at least have the opportunity to participate in some kind of sport if they want to.” One alternative to school sports is select youth sports or privately sponsored recreation sports, like the New Braunfels Rapids, a soccer team that uses Weston field and is See SPORTS Page 4A sell its products on the district’s campuses. Shortly after the Texas Education Agency tightened restrictions on student calorie intake last summer, including calories from carbonated beverages, Coca-Cola raised See COKE Page 3A By Scott Mahon Staff Writer If Proposition 15 is approved, voters in New Braunfels will give themselves a power they haven’t had before — the right to repeal or amend a city ordinance by petition. The city charter currently provides that no ordinance or resolution which may have been passed by the city council as a result of popular vote shall he repealed or amended except in response to a referendum vote or by submission by council to popular vote. In other words, currently there tire only two avenues to repeal or amend an ordinance passed by popular vote. Council has the authority to send an ordinance passed by popular vote back to the voters to be repealed or amended within 90 days after the ordinance was approved by council or voters may by referendum force council to reconsider the ordinance or CHARTER AMENDMENTS ■ Sunday — Prop. 13 — changing number of signatures required for petitions to 5 percent of registered voters. ■ Tuesday — Prop. 4 — changes residency requirements to allow someone to run for council after living in their district six months. ■ Wednesday — Prop. 5 — changes term limits to allow council members to serve three terms. ■ Today — Prop. 15 — Changes charter to allow voters to repeal ordinances two years after they are passed by voters. ■ Friday — Prop. 7 — Allows council members to be paid for all meetings attended each month. See VOTERS Page 3A Coca-Cola tries to make amends with school district Playoff opener The Canyon softball team takes on Boerne as the Class 4A playoffs get under ;