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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - August 6, 1999, New Braunfels, Texas A N EW (fiiaJtBNIFELS I n / I ? / 3 3 n    Y\{\ 09    11' t. rj. t cy\T HG 2033*    ..TronPljBL-i •» so'-uest^elu 2627 E El POSO TX 79203Herald-Zeitung mm -J Vol. 148, No. 186 24 pages in 2 sections August 6, 1999 F RI DAY Serving Comal County since 1852 -------———-j 50 centsNBISD trustees approve $75 million bond packageProject goes before patrons in Oct. 2 vote By Heather Todd Staff Writer New Braunfels Independent School District voters will decide Oct. 2 whether to fund a $75 million bond project that could raise their taxes by $270 over a four-year period. NBISD trustees unanimously approved calling a bond election this fall for construction and renovation projects at district facilities in a 6-0 vote Thursday. Trustee Jim Callahan was absent, but signed a waiver in support of the proposal prior to the meeting. Those attending the meeting, many who were district staff and facility task force members, stood and applauded after the vote was taken. Several committee members urged the board to accept the proposals and call an election for this fall. Roland Del^aRosa, a committee member and father of four, said, “Every line was looked at, not just once but twice. There was a lot of controversy, but we all knew what we were there for. I hope you see the decision wasn’t an easy one. It’s important that we enhance the possibilities we afford to our children for the future.’’ No one spoke against the bond proposal. The $75 million bond package was recommended by the district’s facility task force committee, comprised of 37 parents, teachers, and community leaders, as a plan to address steady student growth and upgrade many aging campus facilities. The committee’s plan was scaled back from a $85 million proposal from Total Program Management, a school management and planning company based in Grapevine. TPM presented a facility, land, and demographic study in December 1998. Duane Westerman with Southwest Securities said if the district sold the bonds at $25 million installments over a three-year period the debt service rate would increase 13 cents to 28 cents in 2001. The district’s current debt service rate, set by trustees in July, is 16 cents. The district’s total tax rate for the 1999-2000 budget year is $1.64, with a $1.48 maintenance and operations rate, and the 16-cent debt service rate. In 2002, the debt service rate would increase 15 cents to 44 cents. In 2003, the debt service rate would drop slightly if the district held off from selling bonds that year, Westerman said. In 2004, the debt service rate would increase to more than 55 cents. Westerman said based on estimated taxable growth, the district’s debt service rate would slowly decline in the following years. NBISD superintendent Ron Reaves said,See BON D/5 A CHS chaplain among those favoring prayer before games By Heather Todd Staff Writer At least one local high school student says she is ready to lead fans and parents in the traditional pre-game invocation when football season kicks off. Rim Clay, Canyon High School chaplain. said she has not given up hope on the long-standing practice of student-led prayers at football games, despite a February court ruling that they are unconstitutional. Under the ruling made by the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans earlier this year, school districts could be held liable for allowing student-led prayers to occur under the control of school officials, such as during the school day or during school-related event. Advocates of student-led prayer are hoping the U.S. Supreme Court w ill overturn the decision. But school district attorneys are advising school officials to bring policies into compliance. Many football fans, including Clay, find nothing offensive about student-led prayers. “I think (the ruling) was ridiculous. During the prayers, we ask for guidance for the players and the spectators. It’s not harming anybody,” she said. Clay, along with other student-elected representatives at New Braunfels and Smithson Valley high schools, composes and leads invocations supporting good sportsmanship and the safety of Editorial Board offers its opinion — Page 6A athletes and spectators. Clay said the prayers she composed were non-denominational but did have a Christian message promoting the safety and unity of the football teams. “I don’t want anything bad to happen (to the district), but if you’re going to fight for anything. it should be for prayer.” Clay said. Many school off icials, including Comal Independent School District board president Dan Krueger, trustee John Clay and football players and coaches, also said they would fight to keep student-led prayers. John Clay said he would like to bring the issue up for board discussion. “The board can authorize the administration however it wants, but we certainly don’t take lightly what the administration recommends. I just would like to get it out on the table and see if we can do anything,” he said. Clay said anything the board authorized would be w ithin the legal limits of the court ruling. We don’t want to do any thing to jeopardize the district in any way or jeopardize the taxpayers we’re representing,” he said. Several school administrators suggested a moment of silence as substitute, but many said that wasn’t enough “I’d rather have the prayer. Its really important to a lot of people and I think we just need it.” said Joyce George, mother of a Canyon football player. See PRAYER/12AShooting suspect surrenders in S.A. From staff reports A man wanted by police for a July 25 shooting in New Braunfels is in custody. San Antonio Police arrested 27-year-old Richard Edward Martinez about 2 p.m. Wednesday at a residence in the 500 block of Pennystone in San Antonio. Officers went to the house and Martinez retreated inside. Atter about 15 minutes of negotiation, Martinez surrendered to police. Martinez was booked into the Bexar County jail Se© SUSPECT/12AInside Abby................... ................7A Classifieds.......... ..........7-12B Comics............... ...............8A Crossword.......... ...............7A Forum................. ................6A Local/Metro........ ..............4A Movies................ ........7A, 6B Religion.............. ..........9-10A Sports................. ............1-3B Today................. ...............2A Television............ ...............8A Key code 76 WAI Ll/Herald-Zeitung Comal County Judge Danny Scheel speaks at Thursday’s Water Fair. Water fair speakers say growth will require more conservation By Peri Stone-Palmquist Staff Writer Local water use has taken a turn for the better, but now’s not the time to grow complacent. That was the message of Doug Miller, vice chairman of the Edwards Aquifer Authority, who spoke to more than 20 people Thursday night at the Water Fair in the Comal County Senior Citizen Center. The Comal County Agncultural Extension Service sponsored the five-hour event to increase aw areness of the importance of water conservation. Several groups, including EAA and Texas Parks and Wildlife, set up educational booths packed with informational brochures offering water conservation tips Several speakers also addressed conservation. “The message I have for you tonight is the world of water in this region is changing,” Miller said. "And I believe itschang-See CONSERVATION/12A Century celebration New Braunfels man toasts ‘the first IOO years’ By Chris Crews Staff Writer At his 100th birthday party Thursday, Kurt Wiedenfeld thought he had that aging thing under control. “Everybody tells me the first IOO years are the hardest. It’s all glory years from here on in,” Wiedenfeld said. He doesn’t show any signs of slowing down, _ either. Dozens of relatives and friends gathered at Eden Heights assisted living facility in New Braunfels Thursday afternoon to help Wiedenfeld celebrate his first IOO years. Wiedenfeld gets around amazingly well for a man who was around when the Wright Brothers flew their air machine at Kitty Hawk. He doesn’t drive any more, but he gardens, does his own grocery shopping and is a regular at the nightly domino and card games. Resident Roland Lorenz, 63, said Wiedenfeld was one of the best contract bridge players in the apartment complex. “Some of the bidding is getting away from him, but when he figures out the cards, he makes a hand every time,” Lorenz said. Wiedenfeld was bom in Comfort on Aug. 5, 1899, and moved to New Braunfels to stay in 1924. But his Comal County roots run deep. He said his relatives were among the first settlers here, moving to the banks of the Guadalupe River in 1845. His great-grandfather, Wilhelm Wiedenfeld, was the first treasurer of Comal County. Wiedenfeld has seen and done a lot in the past IOO years, but he missed out on military service — narrowly. “I was examined and ready to go, but they WAI Ll/Herald-Zeitung Kurt Wiedenfeld, 100, greets a friend attending his birthday party on Thursday at Eden Heights Apartments, 627 Lakeview. Wiedenfeld can trace his family’s roots back to the founding of New Braunfels in 1845. He has two deceased sons, 10 grandchildren, 24 great-grandchildren and five great-great-grandchildren. "Even’body tells me the first IOO years are the hardest. It s all glory/ years from here on in." — Kurt Wiedenfeld stopped fighting before we left,” Wiedenfeld said. Of course, the year was 1918 and it was World War I. Melody Walls, administrator at Eden Heights, said the facility provided transportation to the grocery store and doctor’s appointments for those who cannot drive, but residents lived independently, maintained their own apartments and cooked for themselves if they desired. She said Wiedenfeld was a positive influence in the community. “He’s a super nice man and never says anything bad about anyone. His mind is as sharp as a tack,” Walls said. Wiedenfeld has a large family to support him, and many of his relatives attended Thursday’s party. He had two deceased sons, two daughters-in-law, IO grandchildren, 24 great-grandchildren and five great-great-grandchildren. His only advice for young whippersnappers of 70 or 80 was to “stay active.” But while many people run around wondering what will happen when we hit the new millennium in five months, Wiedenfeld said he was not concerned about predictions of great chaos. He offered a bit of understated philosophy on the subject. “It will pass, just like all of the others have,” Wiedenfeld said. ;