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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - August 11, 2004, New Braunfels, Texas f«V WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 11, 2004 rald-Zeitung A GOOD START Fruit smoothies, granola easy ways to give kids the nutrition, energy they need to start school off right. Page IB SPORTS MIXED BAG New Braunfels golfers take a swing at junior title; Canyon Cougarettes open volleyball season. Page SJI Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852. Vol. 153, No. 233 12 pages, 2 sections CLICK www: herald-zeitung .com 500 ■56825 00001 -aa*,. .J af30% rain chance i High 96 Details Low 70 . . . 2B EAR ABBY 4B LASSIFIEDS 5-6B OMICS 3B ROSSWORD 3B ORUM 4A OBITUARIES 3A PORTS SBA V GRIDS 46 New CTTC program targets adults DAVID INGRAM/Herald-Zeitung CTTC Director Mike Morphew, center, talks with Texas Workforce Commission chairwoman Diane Rath, left, and Sen. Jeff Wentworth Tuesday afternoon while giving them a tour of the center located on FM 758. By Scott Mahon Staff Writer A collage of educators and elected officials attended the Central Texas Technology Center's kickoff Tuesday for its new high school diploma and English as a second language classes. Officials said the new program will help train adults for specific jobs while earning a high school diploma. “Almost 1.5 million Texans who are 25 years and older have less than a ninth grade education,” said Christia Moore, director of adult education for Comal, Guadalupe and Kendall counties. “Also, 1.3 million immigrants with limited English skills arrived in Texas in the 1990s. The implementation of these classes at the center will help address those issues.” Moore said GED and ESL classes would be industry-based. “The program will be a unique education model because the classes will blend industry-based terminology into the curriculum,” she said. “Class instruction will blend with manufacturing, construction and health services terminology. While students learn English, they will also be learning a health services job skill, and GED students will get hands on experience while preparing for the GED exam.” The program is a partnership between New Braunfels, Seguin, the Alamo Community College District, school districts, the Texas Workforce Commission and the Texas Education Agency. Daine Rath, Texas Workforce See CTTC, Page 3A AT A GLANCE ■ GED and ESL classes will be offered from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday I Evening classes will be offered from 6 to 10 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday I Registration will be Aug. 23. I CTTC is located on FM 758 near the airport I For information, call 372-5771. Parent upset cards, NRU defends need for study dice used in lessons By Leigh Jones Staff Writer CANYON LAKE — When Sheila Wilson started going down her son’s sixth-grade Mountain Valley School supply list, she saw the normal items: map pencils, glue stick, ruler, erasers. She was not betting on finding one pack of playing cards and one pair of dice. “I’m not real fond of cards,” she said. “To me, it’s like training them to be gamblers. I don’t think we should be teaching our kids something like that.” She does not allow her 11-year-old son to have cards at home, and she questioned why he would need them in class. The gaming items appear on the third, fifth and sixth grade supply lists with no explanation of their intended use. They are the only "recreational” items children are requested to bring to school. Laura Wilson, Comal Independent School District math instructional specialist, said the cards and dice were used to help children learn number manipulation, probability and statistics. “Historically, children like games better than traditional worksheet drills," she said. “They remember the skills better when they are having fun.” Cards games are used to reinforce number comparisons and arithmetic skills. A modified version of “War,” for example, teaches students to add numbers quickly: TWO players simultaneously flip over one card each and the player who adds the two numbers correctly wins See LESSONS, Page 3A Garden Ridge cuts taxes, hikes city payBY THE NMNRS ■ A public hearing on Garden Ridge's 2005 proposed budget will be held at 7 p.m. Sept. 1 at Garden Ridge City Hall. ■ The proposed 2005 property tax rate is 23.2 cents per $100 valuation, down from 23.5 cents per $ IOO valuation in 2003. By Brandi Grissom Staff Writer GARDEN RIDGE — Residents here can look forward to a I-percent reduction in their city property taxes, and city employees should see a 5-percent increase in their pocketbooks during the fiscal year beginning Oct. I. City council unanimously approved Wednesday a $4.9 million proposed budget for fiscal year 2005. The budget reflects a $1.1 million increase over 2004, driven by residential growth and the need for services to accommodate the 12-percent population increase, city officials said. See BUDGET, Page 3A HEALTH ALERT TODAYChief deputy receives ‘lawman of the year’ award 'flu TWm    ah    FhyIww- m«ntal Quality and tike Alamo Ara Council of Government* bit declared today an Air Qualify HmMi Alert Day. R Reduce unnecessary vehicle driving. R Carpool if possible or combine all errands into one trip. R Avoid use of "drive through* lanes or services. R Dont refuel during daylight. R Avoid use of gas-powered yard equipment R Avoid exterior painting. Health Alert Collution levels are rotted online et: By Ron Maloney Staff Writer If detective Ed Murphy were alive today, he would work for Richard Bennie. Tuesday morning, Bennie, Comal County Sheriff Bob Holder’s chief deputy, received the New Braunfels Breakfast Lions Club’s Ed Murphy Award. The Murphy Award, named for the sheriff’s detective killed in the line of duty, is the Lions’ annual “lawman of the year” award. It is open to any peace officer working in Comal County and has come to be regarded over its 22-year history as Comal County’s top recognition for a public safety officer. Murphy died Sept. 21,1981, in Startzville. Sheriff’s deputies were chasing burglary suspects, and Murphy, then one of the two investigators with the sheriff’s Criminal Investigations Division, was trying to find them from the air. The helicopter’s rotors caught a power line, and Murphy died in the crash that followed. The pilot survived. See DENURE, Page 3A By Brandi Grissom Staff Writer A neon-colored sign on Texas 46, sponsored by the Preserve Lake Dunlap Association, demands New Braunfels Utilities stop polluting the Guadalupe River. NBU doesn’t deny discharge from its wastewater treatment plants contributes phosphorus, a nutrient needed for algae growth, to Lake Dunlap. But officials there would hardly call the plants polluters. NBU’s North and South. Kuehler wastewater treatment plants serve about 14,500 customers in New Braunfels. They discharge about 5 million gallons of treated water daily into a Guadalupe River tributary just upstream from Lake Dunlap. Upgrading the facilities to reduce phosphorus would cost NBU about $6 million. Its customers would foot the bill at a rate of about $7 per month during the life of the plants, NBU officials say. A water quality study required by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality in the pending draft renewal permit for NBU’s South Kuehler plant would provide justification NBU officials say they owe customers for such a rate hike. Critics argue enough studies have been done, and the one required byTCEQ is nothing more than a stalling strategy to prevent NBU from spending the money to upgrade. TCEQ officials say the study could have far-reaching benefits that justify the time, effort and expense of another study. NBU: PHOSPHORUS TREATMENT A MATTER OF TIME NBU officials don’t oppose phosphorus treatment, per se. They’ve acknowledged the DAVID INGRAM/Herald-Zeitung The Preserve Lake Dunlap Association posts a sign off Texas 46 drawing attention to its campaign to clean up phosphorus in the lake. LAKE DUNLAP WATER WOES First in a five-part series examining the fight between the Preserve Lake Dunlap Association and New Braunfels Utilities g TODAY: The defense — Plant upgrade costs too much and might not work g THURSDAY: The next steps — Litigation means solution isn t near g FRIDAY: Clean up comparison -San Marcos, Kerrville clean up phosphorus plants’ contribution of phosphorus to Lake Dunlap. They know the lake has excess algae growth at times. Their concern is whether the $6 million upgrade and resultant hike in ratepayers’ bills would significantly reduce algae levels in Lake Dunlap. “It certainly doesn’t provide any extra capacity and may or may not fix the problem on the river,” said Gretchen Reuwer, NBU spokeswoman. The study required by TCEQ would determine whether upgrading the plants would reduce algae growth, Reuwer said. Since 2002, NBU has come under fire from downstream lake groups like PLDA, Lake Dunlap residents and even nearby city and county governments. When the South Kuehler plant’s water quality permit came up for renewal in 2002, critics of the plant requested a public meeting with TCEQ. They voiced concern about water quality degradation they believe phosphorus in the plant’s discharge causes. They want TCEQ to adjust NBU’s permit to require immediate action to reduce phosphorus in discharge from the plants. One way many have suggested that could be accomplished is a method NBU already uses at its Gruene Wastewater Treatment Plant. Discharge from the plant is used for irrigation at Sundance Golf Course. A 1998 water quality study See WATER, Page 3A Richard BennieTUNNELL INSURANCE''___    HOME    &    AUTO    J ;