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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - August 11, 1999, New Braunfels, Texas ANEW RftaiJINFELS 20332 MO09 10/22/99 S0 •• UEST MICR0PU BI. I '3HINh 2627 E VONDELL DR EL PPSO, TX 79903- 7 3Herald-Zeitung I.—, I-..-- —---—,____ '   ■; '---- l&M&L   _:---...... .    u......—_____ Vol. 148, No. 189    18    pages    in    2    sections    August    ll,    1999 Wednesday Serving Comal County since 1852 50 centsDrainage committee debates proposal to fund improvements By Peri Stone-Palmquist Staff Writer Developers could be required to fund drainage improvements and pay an additional fee under a proposed ordinance reviewed Tuesday by the city’s Drainage Advisory Committee. Currently, developers are not required to fund improvements or pay any kind of a drainage impact fee. But if the committee and New Braunfels City Council adopt the ordinance as written, developers would be responsible for funding any drainage system improvements onsite and off-site adjacent to the development the city deems necessary. Developers also would have to pay a one-time fee per lot — $200 for residential lots and parcels of land and $ 1,000 for all other lots and parcels of land, including commercial, industrial and retail uses. This “Watershed System Development Fee” would go into a “Watershed Management Fund” that could be used to fund construction and maintenance of drainage facilities. One committee member wondered whether the ordinance put undue burden on the developers. “If I buy it, build a retention pond and have to pay a fee per lot, I can’t afford to develop it,” Lisa Repka said. Committee president Hal Herbelin said, “That’s the cost of doing business.” Committee vice-president Rick Myrick agreed. “This ordinance will not hinder development,” he said. “It might inhibit irresponsible development, but it will promote responsible development.” Myrick said a flat fee per lot would be unfair. “It needs to be tied to impact,” he said. Myrick and Herbelin agreed it would beSee DRAINAGES New Life Children’s Treatment Center at Canyon Lake soon will be lighting a new way for more abused and neglected girls with the building of three residence cottages. The center, licensed by the Department of Protective and Regulatory Services, currently provides care and treatment for 41 emotionally disturbed girls who have been designated among the more extreme cases. “Most of the girls that come to us are in the custody of the state because of abuse or neglect,” executive director Janice Matosky said. “Some are runaways, suicidal or dealing with substance abuse and self abusive behaviors.” The first cottage is expected to be completed on Oct. 15. Other facilities included in the $2 million, five-year master plan are two more cottages, additional classrooms and a chapel. “The cottages will be divided by a gate into two 10 -bed units,” Matosky said. “In the living room, we w ill have an entertainment center with tables and chairs for the girls to sit and relax.” How To Help • Donate sweat suits or other clothing, building materials or other items • Sponsor a girl for the center’s Girl Scout troop for $50 • To make a donation or sponsorship, call executive director Janice Matosky at (830) 964-4390. Children’s center expands Home for abused girls adding three cottages By Christina Minor Staff Writer Teens at New Life find time for work, school, play By Christina Minor Staff Writer Amid the highly structured daily routines of therapy, school and chores, the teen-age girls at New Life Children’s Treatment Center get to participate in typical teenage girl activities. Even with the structure, the girls said they loved life at the center. “We have fun here,” one young girl said. The girls are allowed to be involved in leisure activities, from campouts to fashion shows. The facility also has a Girl Scout troop, with each girl eligible to join. “The girls are sponsored by local residents,” executive director Janice Matosky said. “Right now' we are seeking sponsors for the girls. Even if we don’t have a sponsor, the girl is still allowed in the troop. We don’t let not having a sponsor affect that.” Troop 352 attends camp-outs on the property and earns badges. Matosky takes the girls’ banners home and sews on their badges. Summer program coordinator Sue Eakle said the campouts were popular with the girls. “They planned their menus and prepared everything,” she said. “They each had different responsibilities, from setting up the tents to cooking the meals.” One of the Girl Scout members said, “This is my first campout here. I think it’s a lot of fun.” The girls had the opportunity to cook their ow n meals over a campfire, bathe in the river (with swimsuits) and swim in the pool at night. “We roasted marshmallows over the fire,” a 15-year-old resident said. “I’m also planning the end of summer, back to school party.” They also started a Big Sister program. “We have a residential government where representatives are appointed. They present ideas to me and the clinical director. They (the girls) decided to start a Big Sister program,” Matosky said. See TEENS/5A \ CHRISTINA MINOR/Herald-Zeitung Janice Matosky, executive director for New Life Children’s Treatment Center, stands in one of three residence halls being built. The hall will provide the girls with more space and help staff to monitor each room. CHRISTINA MINOR/Herald-Zeitung Construction workers build the roof for the first of the three residence halls being added to the New Life Children’s Treatment Center at Canyon Lake. The building is scheduled to be completed by Oct. 15. The new building, which was designed to look like a home, has cedar paneling on the front and a rock surface on the back. The front porch will allow the girls to relax outside. Each unit will have one telephone and two computers for games. “The lighting is going to be better in the new facility,” Matosky said. “It’s going to be a sharp contrast to what (the girls) are used to.” The units also were designed to allow better monitoring by staff'. The monitoring station will be between the two units allowing both sides to be watched at once. Staff member Rhomla Bateman said, “It w ill be a nicer environment for the kids and staff. It will be easier to monitor each unit.” Before construction began several months ago, Matosky sent memos to all staff'members and residents to find out what they wanted. “All input was considered during the planning process. The girls were included in the decision,” Matosky said. “We want to make them feel safe and comfortable.” Each residence hall w ill have an insignia of a See CENTER/5A awn.* AMANDA BECK/Herald-Zeitung School districts are sending the message — like this one on a bus at New Braunfels High School — to recruit new bus drivers. A booming job market has left both Comal and New Braunfels school districts with bus driver shortages. Desperately seeking drivers With new school year looming,, area districts looking for help By Heather Todd Staff Writer Banners posted on buses and in front of schools across Comal County spell it out loud and clear: “Bus Drivers Needed ” With the first day of classes looming. Comal County school districts are racing to fill many school bus driver positions. Comal Independent School District campuses will open Monday. Transportation director Ken Franklin said the district was short three drivers. “Right now, we have quite a few who are in the process of getting training, and once they take the written tests, we'll be on our way,” he said. Franklin said the district added 18 new drivers this year to handle existing or new routes. The district transports more than 6.000 students across a roughly 600-square-mile area. Franklin said the district needed at least 110 drivers to handle about 105 bus routes, five of w hich were added this past year. The shortage of bus drivers is more than just a local problem. Banners and advertisements for bus drivers are popping up across the state. Gar>' Schlater, transportation and safety director for New Braunfels Independent Sc hex) I District, said low pay and irregular hours offen made a bus driver position unattractive. “The driver pay is one issue, (along w ith) the fact that it is a See DRIVERS/5A Job Requirements School bus drivers must meet the following qualifications. • A Class B commercial drivers' license with a passenger endorsement • Pass a medical exam • Pass a drivers' license test • Pass a criminal history check • Pass a drug test and participate in random drug and alcohol testing • Complete 20 hours of the Texas Education Agency certification program • Complete an eight-hour recertification program every three years • CISD and NBISD also require an additional 40 hours of inhouse training Second teen-age shooter enters plea, offers apologyMiddle school student will spend one year at Maryland boot camp By Heather Todd Staff Writer Two Canyon Middle School teachers saw a sign of remorse from a 14-year-old boy involved in an April 20 shooting incident. A New Braunfels teen-ager apologized to the teachers after pleading true to allegations that he fired shots from a .22 caliber rifle at their homes. As part of a plea agreement, the CMS student accused of deadly conduct w ill spend 18 months at a therapeutic boot camp in Maryland and will not be allowed to attend school in New Braunfels or Comal independent school districts. District Court Judge Brenda Freeman accepted the plea agreement between Comal County prosecutors and the juvenile’s attorney, Wade Arledge of New Braunfels, on Aug. 5. The teen-ager also will not be allowed to return to the state during his 18-month sentence and will serve probation until age 18. He also will have to pay $ 1,900 in restitution. Melissa Smith, Comal County assistant district attorney, said the teen-ager apologized to the teachers after the hearing. “He did go over and say he w as sorry and asked them to forgive him, which I think is a lot better than the other teen-ager at the last hearing,” she said. In a hearing July 23, another 14-year-old C’MS student pleaded true to his involvement in the incident. He will spend one year at the Woodside Trails Therapeutic Camp between Bastrop and Smithville. After the July 23 hearing, the two C MS teachers said they were disappointed the student and his family had not apologized. “I think it (the plea agreement) is more than fair,” one teacher, who did not want to he identified said July 23. “But an apology on his behalf would have helped. We hav e yet to see any sign of remorse.” Smith said the juvenile who pled out Aug. 5 confessed to pulling the trigger. Smith said the teen-agers attorney suggested sending him to the New Dominion School in Old Tow n, Md. “Atter we researched it, we decided it was the best place for him,” she said. Smith said the juvenile would receive more individualized counseling at die out-of-See SHOOTER/5 A Inside Abby......................... ......7A Classifieds................... 4-8B Comics........................ ......2B Crossword................. ......7 A Forum.......................... ......6A Local/Metro................. ......4 A Movies................... ......7A Obituaries................ ......3A J Sports......................... 8-9A Today......................... .....2A Television................ 2B Key Code 76 I___ ;