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View Sample Pages : New Braunfels Herald Zeitung, April 29, 2004

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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - April 29, 2004, New Braunfels, Texas SPORTS LEADERSHIP Two Canyon High School seniors hope to lead softball team to playoff wins. Pages SA SWImsrsi“kl^r,,K ?s« THURSDAY, APRIL 29, 2004    ^P AI d-Zeitung SAVE 10% I WestPoint Stevens factory I outlet “blowout sale" offers an I extra 10 percent off. Page SA Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852. Vol. 153. No. 146 12 pages, 2 sections WWW. 500 56825 00001 fc* 20% chance of showers High Low 80 64 Details .... IB DEAR ABBY 3B CLASSIFIEDS 448 COMICS 2B CROSSWORD 2B FORUM    4A OBITUARIES 3A SPORTS 5-6A TV GRIDS 3B ICity approves money for drug task force By Ron Maloney Staff Writer It could become a little harder for gang members and drug dealers to do business in New Braunfels next year. Monday night, city council unanimously gave preliminary approval to spending $200,000 to hire and equip two new police officer positions in 2005. Each year afterward, the positions would cost $126,000. Chief of Police Russell John son and Sheriff Bob Holder are discussing using the two positions to beef up the Comal County Metropolitan Narcotics Task Force, which both agencies operate. Currently, NBPD has one detective assigned to the task force and the sheriff’s office has three detectives and a secretary assigned. Johnson said the larger task force would target gangs and burglaries in addition to drug dealers. “There are things I’ve wanted to do in this city that dealt with other issues, but all relate back to drugs,” Johnson said. “It seems like if you’re involved in narcotics, you’re involved in other crime as well.” Johnson said he and Holder talked of forming a unit that would deal with drugs, gangs and burglaries together. Holder said what developed would depend upon the city See CITY, Page 3A By Scott Mahon Staff Writer Front and Center Fire chief: NBFD will honor current agreement EMS services to still be provided in Guadalupe County DAVID INGRAM/Herald-Zeitung Todd and Robin Cox play with toy cars with their son, J.R. Gore, in his bedroom. J.R. was born 10 weeks premature and weighed just 3 pounds and 2 ounces. One of every eight babies bom is premature. DID YOU KNOW? WALK AMERICA 5K WALK/RUN Information regarding the event: ■ Date: Saturday ■ Location: Landa Park, picnic site No. 11 B Time: Registration begins at 8 a rn The walk/run begins at 9 a.m. ■ You Should Know. The walk will include a picnic lunch and award ceremony. B Information: Call Laurie Bauman. (830) 885-8272. ABOUT THE RACE ■ 200 participants in last year's March of Dimes annual 5K walk or run raised $24,000 to help premature babies. ■ This year. 500 participants are expected to run and walk in New Braunfels and raise another $27,000. ■ The money goes to the March of Dimes, the goal of which is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects and infant death. ■ Anyone can participate as a team or individual. March of Dimes research helps premature babies By Dylan Jimtnaz Staff Writer J.R. Gore was bom IO weeks premature to Robin and Todd Cox of New Braunfels. Seven years later, the Cox family rejoices in J.R.’s physical and mental health and ability, thanks in part to the March of Dimes. “He was supposed to be very ill,” Robin Cox said. “We're just lucky. He turned out perfect.” In October 1996, I R. Gore was born weighing 3 pounds and 2 ounces. One of the most important reasons for research on premature birth is so physicians can determine how to prevent it, Robin said. One of every eight babies is born premature, according to the March of Dimes, but doctors don’t understand why half of these premature births happen. Robin was healthy — exercising regularly, staying away from caffeine and alcohol and boosting her folic acid intake. Even though Robin did every thing she was told to do to have a healthy baby, J.R. still was premature. More than likely, doctors say, her next child would be premature even earlier than J.R. “There is absolutely no reason for why I had a premature birth,’’ Robin said. J.R. was bom quickly, just 15 minutes after Robin arrived at the hospital. J.R. was bom face down and full of bruises with the umbilical cord wrapped around his See FAMILY, Page 3A New Braunfels Fire Chief John Berber said NBFD would continue providing EMS services to Guadalupe County residents living just across the county line, at least until that contract expires Sept. 30. Guadalupe County has had a joint agreement with Seguin and Schertz to provide EMS services in the county’s unincorporated areas since 2001. New Braunfels and I lays County also provide EMS services in Guadalupe County as part of the joint agreement. “Under our current agreement with Schertz, we cover an area in Guadalupe County that includes all of Zipp Road, out FM 758 past the airport, Southbank and Lake Dunlap,” Herber said. “We do not, however, respond to emergency cadis in Geronimo, although we provide mutual aid to the Geronimo Volunteer Fire Department.    John    Herber “Residents in South Bank, Lake Dunlap and other areas we cover in Guadalupe County will see no change in EMS services until we negotiate a new agreement with Schertz,” I Ier-ber said. Guadalupe County Commissioners voted Tuesday to negotiate a new three-year contract with Schertz. Herber said he expected Schertz to work with NBFD, Seguin and I lays County to keep the current service intact after Sept. 30. Dudley Wait, Schertz EMS director, said Tuesday’s decision by Guadalupe County commissioners would require negotiations. “They voted to give Schertz the new contract,” he said. “But now we ll have to sit down with the commissioners and negotiate certain details in the contract. And at some point, we ll also get together with Seguin, New Braunfels and Hays County and see if we can continue the coalition we've had the past three years.” Casted discusses school finance reform with education officials By Leigh Jones Staff Writer AUSTIN — State Rep. Carter Casteel, R-New Braunfels, took time away from special session wrangling lliesday to meet with education officials from District 73 to discuss school finance reform. Casteel said she hoped any new plan would be easier to understand than the Robin Hood equation. “We need a plan that more than six people in the state can understand,” she said. “Right now, school finance is a nightmare.” Comal Independent School District Superintendent Nancy Fuller and New Braunfels ISD Superintendent Ron Reaves, as well as superintendents from Boerne, Comfort, Harper and Utopia, made the trip here to share their thoughts on various finance reform proposals. Under the Robin Hood system, next year, Q SD will have to pay back roughly $3 million. Fuller said with 628 new students anticipated next year, her district’s budget is still in the red. “I’m concerned that we’re already behind and will stay that way under all these plans," she said. “That's without any staff raises.” Not only is Fuller having trouble including raises in next year’s budget but she also is reducing administrative positions to avoid cutting services to children. “When you have more kids than money, you have to make cuts,” she said. “Our administrator- to-instructor ratio Is lower than tile state average." “I am very concerned about losing loc a1 control of property tax,” Reaves said. “If the state t^kes all the money, it takes away control from the board of trustees to raise more money” Reaves encouraged Casteel to look for three elements when making a choice on school funding — equity, adequacy and capacity. “We need to have an equitable financial system for all schools, adequacy of money we can rely on for sufficient funds and the capacity to generate new funds when we need them,” he said. Although the recent school finance reform See CASTEEL, Page 3A ;