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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - August 5, 2005, New Braunfels, Texas IF9 SUA"""'" SPORTS GETTING READY The New Braunfels volleyball team hits the court to get ready for opening day. Page 6 NHNHj UGUST 5,2005 i<ALD-ZEITUNG FORUM SPEAK OUT Readers praise good Samaritans who helped save lives and question the direction the city is going. Page 4A Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852. Vol. 154, No. 222 14 pages, 1 section WWW: 500 '56825 00001 IU    HI ti * MSI DEAR ABBY 10 CLASSIFIEDS 12 COMICS 9 CROSSWORD 9 FORUM 4 OBITUARIES 3 SPORTS 6 TV GRIDS IO Scheel proposes 2-cent property tax hike By Ron Maloney Staff Writer County Judge Danny Scheel sought a 14 percent property tax increase Thursday to fund county operations for 2006. In his $27 million general fund budget — $37.5 million including road and bridge and spending in other special or dedicated funds — represents a spending increase of $ 1.2 million over 2005 and includes a 5 percent cost-of-living raise for employees and elected officials. The 2-cent tax increase is well above tile rate that would allow a petition for a rollback election, which is 8 percent. In 2005, only employees got raises and those were 2 percent COLAS. If adopted after a Sept. 8 public hearing, the increase would be the second of Scheel ’s seven- WHAT'S NEXT ■ Comal County commissioners will conduct two public hearings on the proposed 2006 budget and tax rate increase. The first will be 8:15 a.m. Aug. 25 with second at 7 p.m. Sept. 8. year administration. The first, in 2003, was a one-cent increase that enabled the county to pay the local costs of recovery from the 2002 flood. Scheel and other county officials have warned for two years — especially this past year — that a tax increase was likely in 2006. What Scheel struggled to do without success was remain below the rollback rate. “We may face a rollback this year,” Scheel told commissioners. “I don't see any other place we can cut.” Less than two weeks ago, Scheel went back to his department heads and asked them to cut IO percent from their projected budgets. Scheel said that even as he asked, he knew it wouldn’t be possible for some to cut, but all did an excellent job of making the cuts they could. The big increase, $967,000 for the pay raises, he said, were See TAX, Page 5 A WARM WELCOME Comal ISD introduces Walker to community By Melissa Johnson Staff Writer Comal Inde-pcndent Sch(x>l District teachers and parents got a chance to shake hands with superintendent finalist Marc Walker Thursday night at the first community meeting at Mountain Valley School cafeteria. STILL TIME j lf you want to I get to know I Marc Walker I yourself, make I plans to attend i one of the two I remaining j introduction j meetings. i ■ 7 p.m. j Monday at j Smithson Valley j High School. I ■ 7 p.m. I Wednesday at I Canyon i Intermediate j School. After a brief introduction from hoard President Dan Krueger, a crowd of 35 welcomed the Pflugerville deputy superintendent on stage with a standing ovation. In a 20 minute speech, Walker shared information about his teaching philosophy, wide-ranging experience in education and mon* personal details such as hobbies and interests. “Its very humbling to think that out of 69 candidates, they picked me,” Walker said. “This is an opportunity I ve dreamed about, and you can be certain I won t let anyone down.’ Walker said he subscribes to a fundamentalist educational philosophy in which establishing a common belief system in student success is key. Walker said the foundation of his philosophy is based on the idea that schools should provide skills for every stu- Photo by MANDY REARY Herald-Zeitung Dr. Marc Walker, the finalist for superintendent of Comal Independent School District, waits to be introduced by school board President Dan Krueger during a community meeting to allow residents to meet WalkerThursday evening at Mountain Valley School in Sattler. Below, Walker talks to Will and Helen Krieg. Will Krieg is a former Canyon High School principal, while his wife was a counselor at Canyon Intermediate. dent to succeed — whether college bound or not — and that all students should he taught requisite skills for further learning. I Ie also stressed the importance of paying attention to instruction early in the educational process, saying a first-grader unable to read at grade level will only have a 12 percent chance at reading at grade level later on. Self-described as a situational leader, Walker said he placed a heavy emphasis on good communication. “The No. I thing I do — though it may be hard sometimes — is try to listen first and talk second,” Walker said. See WELCOME, Page 5 It’s never too early to start school-day routine By Betty Taylor Correspondent The days are still long and hot and no one is thinking about homework. hut now is the time, experts say, to pave the way to a good school year by setting up a good, organized routine and an organized house. “It’s good to have a routine that includes a relaxed morning,’’ said Usa Schmidt, lead counselor at New Braunfels Independent School District. “That might mean setting the alarms ear-lier than you need to so things aren’t so mshed in the morning. I even like tile idea of having time in the morning to snuggle some and read a story.” Schmidt said that now was a good time to start that routine if kids were used to sleeping late. “lf kids are used to sleep ing in until 9 a.m., it’s awfully hard to get to school by 8:30 a.m.,” she said. She said another big part of the routine was letting kids play a part in tile morning ritual. “Encourage independence. Let them help with breakfast and put their clothes on,” she said. “And let them pack their backpacks and lunches, lf they pack their lunches, they will be more inclined to eat them.” Have a destination station, said Jenna Stollewerk, owner of Bee Gutter-Free in Seguin. “Have a place near the door where your keys are ready to go,” she said. “I lave a basket near the door for backpacks, umbrellas, coats and jackets.” The more the kids are See SCHOOL, Page 2 BACK TO SCHOOL ■ For a complete list of school supplies as well as tips for getting ready for school, see the Back to School tab inside today. County Judge Danny Scheel Neal sentenced to 30 years for killing mother By Ron Maloney Staff Writer The final c hapter in a family tragedy played out Thursday in Judge lack Robison’s 207th Judicial District Court. Daniel Patrick Neah 36. was sentenced to 30 years in prison for murder for shooting his mother, Barbara Casey, 61, twice with a .45-caliber handgun, and then setting the fire that destroyed her Canyon Lake home on Dec. 26,2000. The sentence was the result of a plea agreement worked out between Comal County District Attorney Dib Waldrip and defense attorney Joseph Garcia III and co-counsel David Wyrick under which hath sides agreed to a 30-year sentencing cap. Neal’s prosecution was complicated by his mental state at the time of the killing — a psychologist previously testified he was in a full-blown schizophrenic episode when he shot his mother but still understood it was wrong—and two extended hospitalizations at the Vernon State I hospital following his arrest at the Canadian border in See NEAL, Page 3 Thank you Area residents visit Army hospital to thank war veterans. Time running out to register for Startzville vote By David Rupkalvis News Editor In just more than a month, voters in Startzville will decide whether to become a city. But just who will be able to decide whether a city should be formed will be decided within the next week. In order to vote in the incorporation election, residents AT A GLANCE ■To vote in the Startzville incorporation election, people must be registered to vote by Thursday. ■ To get a registration form, visit the county tax assessor/collector's offices in New Braunfels, Sattler or Bulverde, or call (830) 620-5521. must he registered to vote by Thursday. On Sept. IO. registered voters within the incorporation boundaries will decide the contentious issue. The election will be held at the Oblate Firestation. To register, a person must be a U.S. citizen See VOTERS Page 5The Uptown Piano Bar is the Romantic place for Birthday Parties and Anniversaries Downstairs in the Prince Solms Inn 295 E. San Antonio 830620-7600 ;