New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - August 7, 2004, New Braunfels, Texas
SATURDAY, AUGUST 7, 2004
SPORTS WARM-UP ACT
Volleyball teams conduct nonscoring scrimmages to gauge where improvements are needed. Page 7A
Readers sound off on John Kerry's Vietnam protests, Schlitterbahn land swap, Home Depot's job news. Page SA
Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852.
Vol. 153, No. 230 16 pages, 2 sections
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20% rain I chance
Details .... 1B
NBISD saves $1.4M on new insurance
CISD insurance premiums are $263.50 for employees and $302.50 for spouses.__
NBISD insurance premiums are $368.53 for employees and $468 for spouses.
By Leigh Jones
New Braunfels Independent School District employees will not pay higher premiums under their new health insurance plan, but it will save the district $1.4 million.
Acting on the advice of administrators and local insurance consultant Frank Witting, trustees approved a new health insurance provider for next year,
avoiding the deficit in its partially self-funded plan.
Although premiums will not change, benefits will decrease slightly.
“We made these changes to the plan to get our claims under control,” Witting said. “If we manage our money well, it will continue to be a benefit to our employees.”
Under the old plan, for example, emergency room visits only
cost employees $50, making it easy to go to the hospital instead of waiting to see a regular physician. Under the new plan, emergency room visits are encouraged for true emergencies with a $150 co-pay.
Prescription and office visit co-pays also will increase, but the individual out-of-pocket expense will remain the same.
In addition to low cost benefits, Witting said high-priced
claims were increased by the amount the district paid for services.
“Claims make up 80 percent of the money we pay for insurance,” he said. “The old insurance provider was not getting any discounts from (doctors).”
In a partially self-funded plan, the district collects premiums and pays claims from the stockpiled funds. A stop loss or reinsurance policy sets
the maximum amount paid on any claim at $100,000.
During a good year, claims do not exceed collections and the district maintains a premium fund balance. For two out of the last three years of the district's self-funded plan, claims have exceeded collections, creating a deficit.
Self-funded plans generally work out well for large
See I NSU RANCK Page 3AUPDATES
Tracking the newsDEPUTY SHOOTING
LAST WE KNEW: John Edward Morris, 41, was recovering at University Hospital from gunshot wounds he suffered while attempting to shoot a sheriff's deputy July 6 in Starkville.
LATEST: Morris remained in stable condition Friday.
NEXT: When he recovers, Morris faces attempted capital murder charges.
McKenna wants comment corrected
By Scott Mahon
Concerned that a public comment made during a recent council meeting was incorrect, McKenna Hospital’s Board of Trustees has asked that New Braunfels City Council set the record straight.
John Dierksen, whose law firm represents McKenna Hospital, wrote in a letter dated July 30 that “misinformation was dis
seminated concerning the site of the hospital... this has caused great concern to the administration and board of trustees.”
Dierksen’s letter referenced a remark made during a council discussion about the Comal County Fairgrounds property and restrictions pertaining to die deed of the fairgrounds property and restrictions on the deed of the hospital property.
Council discussed donating the Comal County Fairgrounds
property to the Comal County Fair Association with certain restrictions, in the event the property is not designated a city park after the Nov. 2 election.
The hospital property was donated by the city to the New Braunfels Hospital in 1951 with the restriction that if a hospital was not built on the site, the land would revert back to the city.
Dierksen pointed out that the
See COMMKNT. Page 3A
CTTC set to launch adult GED, ESL program
By Scott Mahon
The Central Texas Technology Center, which will offer high school diploma (GED) and English as a second language (ESL) classes this fall, will have a formal ceremony Tuesday to kick off the new program.
Rusty Brockman, Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce director of economic development, said the GED and ESL curriculum will help train students for new careers.
“The ESL classes will teach job-specific language that will help students get jobs in specific industries like home construction or the medical field,” Brockman said.
Christia Moore, director of adult edu-cation for Comal, Guadalupe and Kendall counties, will be one of the guest speakers Tuesday.
“There are a lot of young adults who had a bad experience in high school,” she said. “So just for them to attempt to get their GED tells you that they had to overcome a lot of barriers."
Terrence Kelly, Alamo Community College District chancellor, will give the opening remarks at the ceremony, which begins at 2 p.m.
John Dierksen, Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce board chairman, will introduce local officials, including Mayor Adam Cork, Comal County Judge Danny Scheel and Alamo Workforce Development officials.
Brockman said the program, “Hands of Service Prepare a Dedicated Texas Workforce,” would be a “model" program.
“Its a collaborative effort between school districts, ACCD, the Texas Workforce Commission and the Texas Education Agency," he said.
Registration and orientation will be Aug. 23 at the CTTC, located on EM 758 near the New Braunfels Municipal Airport.
GED and ESL classes will be offered during two eight-week sessions.
For information, call 372-5771.
I CO I SU
Local resident relates the experience of hiking •section of the ApiM-UdtiinTkiil this summer.
GR chief Myers goes out with style
By Ron Maloney
GARDEN RIDGE — A black Lincoln stretch limousine, escorted by a motorcade of three Garden Ridge police cars, pulled into the Jay Feibelman Community Center Friday night.
As its occupants were escorted from the vehicle, they were cheered by more than 250 applauding onlookers as one was driven into the community center on a golf cart painted like a Garden Ridge police car.
They looked like they were greeting an entertainer or a country music star, but instead they were saying farewell to Walt Myers, recently retired police chief and father of the Garden Ridge Police Department.
Escorted by his wife, Comal County Sheriff's Deputy Dana Myers, the chief choked back tears as the mayor, city council members and officers of the police department embraced him, one by one.
As Myers entered the main hall for the surprise party, “Hail to the Chief” played over the public address system while the building’s namesake, Mayor Jay Feibelman, prepared brief remarks.
When Feibelman was elected mayor in 1997, the city had 130 applications to consider — 65 for city administrator and 65 for chief of police. For both jobs, Feibelman said, one applicant stood out above all the others.
The city hired Mike Castro — now Longview’s administrator — and Walt Myers.
“There was no mistake about Walt,” Feibelman said. “He was the guy.”
Myers, then with 40 years of experience as a cop, had worked as a policeman, sheriff’s deputy and constable in Pennsylvania before moving south in the early 1970s to become a Georgetown police officer. In a short time, he became the city's first chief investigator.
See MYIRS. Page 3A
(Above) With tears in his eyes, former Garden Ridge Chief of Police Walt Myers exits the limo that carried him to his retirement celebration Friday night at the Jay Feibelman Community Center as well-wishers applaud. (Far left) Myers laughs at a joke by one of the speakers. (Left) Myers is whisked away to the party in a police golf cart by Garden Ridge Public Works Manager Scott Wood as Myers' wife. Dana, looks on.