New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - August 3, 1999, New Braunfels, Texas
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Vol. 148, No, 183 12 pages in I section August 3, 1999
Serving Comal County since 1852
50 centsSchool officials show support for student-led prayer
February court ruling makes invocations at high school football games unconstitutional
By Heather Todd
One local school board president supports student-led prayers at high school football games this fall, even if it costs him his seat on the board.
Comal Independent School District board
president Dan Krueger voiced frustration on Monday regarding a court ruling against student-led prayers before high school football games.
“As long as I can remember playing football and watching my brothers play football, prayers has been a part of that. I carmot see or envision as to why it needs to be
taken out of football games — it’s not causing any harm to anybody,” he said.
In 1993, parents in the Santa Fe school district near Galveston sued the district for allowing students to read overtly Christian prayers at graduation. In May 1995, a district court ruled “student-select
ed, student-given, non-sectarian” invocations and benedictions were permissible at graduations.
In February, the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans upheld limited prayer at school graduations but ruled student-led prayers at games were unconstitutional.
The U.S. Supreme Court could overturn the decision, but in the meantime, school district attorneys are advising school officials to bring policies into compliance.
At a typical football game at New Braunfels, Smithson Valley or Canyon high schools, a student representative — usually an elected member of the student council — composes and leads a prayer before kickoff.
School district officials said they would have to reconsider the long-standing tradition of public prayer before football games, or face the threat of lawsuits.See PRAYER/3
NBISD trustees could approve bond election
By Heather Todd
New Braunfels Independent School District voters could face the $75 million question — whether to fund districtwide expansion projects in an Oct. 2 bond election.
NBISD trustees will discuss the possibility of a fall bond issue
--when they meet
Leaders at 6:30 p.m.taking sides Thursday at
on NBHS The Educationexpansion Center, 430
— Page 3 West Mill St.
- Carter Casteel, chair of the district’s facility task force, is scheduled to outline the committee’s recommendations for construction and renovation projects at district facilities.
About 60 district patrons, including parents, teachers and community leaders, developed the $75 million plan during the past seven months to address the slow but steady student growth.
Twenty percent, or $15 million, of the $75 million bond will be used to fund upgrades and expansions at New Braunfels High School, including adding a two-story classroom wing, a competition gym and a cafeteria.
NBISD, with a current population of about 5,900, is projected to have about 7,500 students by the 2008-09 school year.
Trustees could call for the bond issue with a majority vote Thursday, but Superintendent Ron Reaves said he wanted a unanimous vote on any bond issue.
Reaves said the resolution ordering a bond referendum, if approved by the board, also would set a date for the bond election. The facility task force recommended Oct. 2 for the election.
Reaves said the public would be allowed to speak to the board about the bond package during Thursday's meeting.
“The task force will presentBond Projects
New Braunfels ISD’s facility task force recommended a $75 million bond for expansions and renovations, including:
New Braunfels High
• Two-story classroom wing
• Competition gym
• Enlarged band area New Braunfels Middle
• Covered outdoor area
• New library
• Enlarged cafeteria
• Add one computer lab and two classrooms
• Additional classrooms
• Baseball diamond, track
• Enlarged gym
• Enlarged band hall Memorial Intermediate
• Complete six unfinished classrooms
• Add irrigation system
• Correct drainage problem
• Enclose exterior walkways/corridors
Carl Schurz Elementary
• New library
• Additional classrooms Lone Star Elementary
• Correct drainage problems
• Add second enclosed corridor
• Add new classrooms Memorial Elementary
• Replace bridge between Memorial Primary and Memorial Elementary
• New 18-classroom addition
• New library
• Expand cafeteria
• Repair roof
• Improve drainage
their recommendations then it will come to the board for discussion; and at that time if anyone wishes to speak, they can do so,” he said.
The $74.7 million plan is based on an $84 million package devel-See NBISD/3
Members of the San Antonio Police Department’s auto theft unit strip a pick up truck Monday, part of the demonstrations conducted at the National Night Out Against Crime kick-off at the New Braunfels Law Enforcement Center, 1488 S. Seguin Ave.
Douglas named officer of the year
By Christina Minor
The Burney Boeck Memorial Police Officer of the Year Award has special meaning for its 1999 recipient.
New Braunfels Police Chief Ray Douglas, who served as an officer under Boeck for about 17 years, received the award Monday night as more than 300 residents gathered to kickoff National Night Out Against Crime.
“The main reason he was chosen was because everyone praised Ray for what he does,” said Lin Rose, Safe City Commission member. “He supports them in what they do.”
Douglas said he was both surprised and appreciative. He credited his fellow officers for the police department’s work.
“This is not what it’s supposed to be about," he said. “It’s suppose to go to those who get out and make the city a safe place to live.”
Douglas said having worked with Boeck made the award significant.
“I am beholden to him,” Douglas said. “(The award) means a lot to me. It’s a strong feeling for me because of the aw ard.”
Comal County Sheriff Bob Holder said it was fitting for Douglas to receive the award.
“It’s great for him,” Holder said. “He and Burney were close friends.”
Douglas said serious crimes were decreasing in New Braunfels, but neighborhood watch groups were the key to making the city safer.
“We need constant work on neighborhood watches,” he said. “The public is our ‘eyes and ears.’ We have 30 square miles of city to cover, so it’s hard to have our off icers everywhere at once.”
Demonstrations at the kick-off event helped to teach the public about being those "eyes and ears.”
San Antonio Police detective Ray Dustin showed what auto thieves can do. In about seven minutes, Dustin and his colleaguesSee AWARD/3
WAI Ll Herald-Zeitung
New Braunfels Fire Department demonstrates rescue procedures on Monday.
Award, demonstrations begin National Night Oui
Jail expansion delays could cost contractor $1,000 a day
By Chris Crews Staff Writer
Probable delays in completion of the $4 million Comal County jail expansion might result in financial penalties against the contractor.
According to the contract, Stoddard Construction of San Antonio can be fined $ 1,000 per day for every day tile project lasts beyond its target date of Sept. 2.
Harvey Juarez, project manager for Stoddard, said the office expansion and dormitory beds for 144 prisoners would be complete in about two weeks. A minimum security area
for work-release inmates would be ready in six to eight weeks, well past the deadline.
County Engineer Tom Homseth said he was reviewing the contract and financial sanctions were a possibility.
“We are coming up to the end of the contract, and that is a consideration,” Homseth said.
Juarez said other issues — such as extensions for rain days — were involved and it was too early to discuss possible penalties.
Homseth said he had not received requests for extensions because of bad weather but they were provided for in the contract. Because the completion date likely would be
moved from Sept. 2 because of the rain days, he could not estimate how much the fines might total.
Homseth said the county already had withheld $100,000 from the contractor’s payments because of problems w ith the exterior walls. The contract calls for the exterior walls to match the existing building.
“The exterior quality and finish is unacceptable, and we’ve made that clear to the contractor. Some of these defects are quite serious,” Homseth said.
Homseth said the county would use the $100,000 to hire someone else to fix the exterior walls if they still were not acceptable.
Though not stipulated in the contract, jail officials had been told the 144-bed dormitory facility would be ready for use by' May of this year. The dormitory facility could produce revenue for the county by housing prisoners for other government agencies.
Chief Deputy Richard Bennie said the Immigration and Naturalization Service would pay the county $44 per prisoner to hold its detainees.
County auditor David Renken said after the new jail was staffed and the debt serv ice was paid, the it should produce about $500,000 annually for the county’s coffers.
Construction began in March 1998.Inside
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