New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - August 13, 1999, New Braunfels, Texas
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Vol. 148, No. 191
24 pages in 2 sections
August 13, 1999
Serving Comal County since 1852
Lawmen to patrol CHS, CMS in 1999-2000
Comal County Sheriff’s Deputy Sandy Morales patrols Smithson Valley High School during the school year. For an update on security at SVHS, see Sunday’s Herald-Zeitung.
By Heather Todd Staff Writer
Canyon High and Canyon Middle school stu dents could feel the long arm of the county law on campus this school year.
Comal Independent School District officials are working with Comal County Sheriff Bob Holder to get a commissioned officer to work both campuses during the 1999-2000 year, which begins Monday.
Sheriff’s deputies currently patrol all three secondary campuses in the Hill Country — Smithson Valley High School, Smithson Valley Middle School, and Spring Branch Middle School.
Off-duty police officers were placed at both Canyon high and middle schools this past semes
ter in response to parent concerns after the Columbine High School shootings on April 20.
Nancy Cobb, CISD administrative assistant to the superintendent, said the addition of a security officer was a precautionary measure.
“We believe all of our campuses are safe, but we just want to take additional steps to make sure our kids and staff feel secure,” she said.
Canyon High School principal Bob Wiegand said he welcomed an officer at the campus.
“I think it’s a win-win situation. I think for anyplace place that has a lot people coming and going it can be beneficial. These officers work well because they have the right personality to get in and get to know the kids,” he said.
See LAWMEN/12AWhat’s Up
B Comal County Sheriffs Department will provide a commissioned officer to work at Canyon High and Canyon Middle schools this upcoming school year.
■ CISD is budgeting $100,000 for next year to pay for additional security personnel.
■ The new officer probably will report for duty later this month.
■ During the summer, the officer will patrol the Guadalupe River.
CISD wants to revamp bus plan
By Christina Minor
More than 40 Comal Independent School District bus drivers attended Thursday’s school board meeting with concerns about a new transportation policy adopted by trustees on Aug. 12.
After hearing those concerns, the board voted 4-3 to change the transportation policy to a plan, so trustees and the transportation department can work out problems during the fall semester.
Trustees Lester Jonas, John Bertelsen and Nick Nickols voted against the change while John Clay, Dan Krueger, Dora Gonzales and Robert Loop voted for the change.
Clay said, “We need the rest of the semester to get things ironed out. It’s easier to amend if it’s a plan.”
Amid concerns about routes, route times and the lack of lead drivers, the bus drivers thanked the board for their pay increase to $10 an hour.
Bus driver Suzanne Crandall described several issues drivers had with the transportation policy.
“What do I do if a child is lost (gets on the wrong bus), which always happens the first three weeks of school,” she said. “Do I just stop and say, ‘Sorry, my time is up,’ and make them get off wherever? If I’m still on the bus when my time runs out, am I still covered by the (school’s) insurance if an accident takes place? If not, I shouldn’t be in that CISD vehicle.”
CISD Superintendent Jerry Major said he saw no flexibil
ity in the policy, which bothered him.
“I will move forward with the policy unless d i reefed otherwise because that is what I’m supposed to do,” he said. “Unless it’s illegal, unethical or unsafe. I'll move forward with the policy on Monday (the first day of school).”
Trustee Jonas, who developed the plan, said time was built in for a pre-check, fuel and clean-up.
“The mileage is still the same, no matter w here the bus is parked,” he said.
Marion Ramey, who was a lead driver before changing to the special education route, said she preferred to be on her old route and a lead driver.
“I enjoy my job,” she said. “My job is to pick up children and take them safely to school.”
Ramey thanked the board for the pay increase but said she was concerned about the route and hour reduction.
“I’m on the bus for six hours but only get paid for four hours,” she said. “Sometimes there is a problem with a child and I have to spend extra time on the bus. I’m not going to get paid for that. By dropping the routes, you will have to pay new drivers to complete the route, which means more money spent.”See BUS PLAN/5A
Bulverde NW to elect first council on Saturday
By Chris Crews Staff Writer
The two candidates for mayor of Bulverde Northwest are as different as the visions they have for the city’s future.
The mayor’s race is the only contested election in Saturday’s special election to choose the city’s first officials since incorporation on May I. Carolyn Benham, Charles E. Lebrecht, Harry B. Trappe, Nancy Corley Wehrung and James Walter Winegar are running for the
Mayoral candidate’s legal, financial problems
— See Page 5A
five aldermen positions.
Malcolm U. “Kip” McClinchie III is the only candidate for town marshal.
Voting will take place from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. Saturday at Bill Brown Elementary School, 20410 Texas 46. Voters can vote for write-in candidates on the ballots.
Mal McClinchie, one of the
organizers of the Bulverde Northwest incorporation election in May, said he wanted the 1.9-square-mile city along Texas 46 to incorporate with Bulverde.
Bulverde Northwest lies along Texas 46 between Smithson Valley Road and Bulverde Road and is one of several communities in that area that have incorporated in recent years to avoid San Antonio annexation. Bulverde East, North, South and West are consolidated into what is now the city of Bul
Organizers of the Bulverde Northwest incorporation, including McClinchie, said they wanted to consolidate with the city of Bulverde.
Mayoral candidate Paul Maurer, a 46-year-old rancher, said he opposed consolidation with Bulverde and questioned McClinchie^ motives in opposing a concrete batch plant in Bulverde Northwest.
Maurer said McClinchie’s mem-See COUNCIL/5AAt the Polls
■ Voting will take place from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. Saturday at Bill Brown Elementary School, 20410 Texas 46.
■ The mayoral race is the only contested race with Mal McClinchie and Paul Maurer running to be the city’s first mayor.Inside
Key code 76
Three lanes of Interstate 35 south of Solms are free of road construction. Commuters who must travel through the city of New Braunfels are having to deal with detours and delays, but drivers are breathing easier south of town.What’s Next
■ Interstate 35 from Solms Road to half-mile north of Walnut - work has begun; will be completed in three years
■ Interstate 35 one-half mile north of Walnut Avenue to one-half mile south of Texas 46 — up for bid in February 2000
front of you.”
Now, the drive is consistently IO to 15 minutes shorter for Guinn, who exits on Rueckle Road.
“It’s definitely improved my time,” he said.
But for those who travel past the Rueckle Road exit, driving time won’t be affected at all.
Commuter Jaime Becker, who
makes three trips each week to downtown San Antonio, said, “(The time) really hasn’t gotten better for me, because now we have construction in town.”
Dean Word started work on the interstate from Solms Road to a half-mile north of Walnut Avenue in January 1999, a project that will take more than three years to complete.
And the Texas Department of Transportation will seek bids for a project one-half mile north of Walnut Avenue to one-half mile south of Texas 46 in February 2000.
The last project, from one-half mile south of Texas 46 to Farm-to-Market Road 306, will begin in late 2001.
Total cost for the 1-35 city limits expansion is about $93 million.
The two projects just completed south of town total $25.2 million,
funded mostly through federal monies.
Hunter is on schedule with its project, but Dean Word is not, which means the company could be subject to fines.
“They are given so many working days, but weather conditions can move it back,” said Greg Malatek, TxDOT resident engineer. “When everything is said and done, we’ll decide how much (Dean Word) owes.”
Phone calls to Dean Word were not returned.
Daryl Curtis, project manager for Hunter, said his company planned to be finished this month.
And for that, Becker is glad, even though she will have to face interstate construction in the city.
“It’s much less stressful to drive to work now,” she said. “I feel safer. It’s nice.”
Three lanes to SA
For commuters, happiness is road construction in their rear view mirrors
By Peri Stone-Palmquist Staff Writer
A local man who has spent more than half his commuting life battling construction on Interstate 35 south of New Braunfels can breathe a sigh of relief.
Long waits amidst impatient motorists, out-of-the-way alternate routes and just plain old stress are things of the past for Buck Guinn, who has been commuting to San Antonio for five years.
As far as motorists are concerned, construction on Interstate 35 from Solms Road to Farm-to-Market Road 3009 is done.
Contractors still have some work to complete, but motorists now can revel in the wide open spaces of three lanes without the threat of lane closures.
“It’s very nice,” Guinn said. “It’s been a long time in the coming.”
Dean Word Company of New Braunfels started work on the stretch of interstate from the Farm-to-Market Road 2252/Farm-to-Market Road 482 overpass to Solms Road in February 1996. Hunter Industries of Hunter started the stretch from FM 3009 to the FM 2252/FM 482 overpass in August 1996.
The contractors widened the interstate from two to three lanes and lengthened ramps for more merge time — features commuters and other drivers now enjoy.
While construction was under way, Guinn would find an alternate route home from San Antonio.
“Coming home was bad,” he said. “I’d take (U.S.) 281 to (Farm-to-Market Road) 1863 to (Texas)
46 and spend IO to 15 minutes extra drive time to avoid sitting in traffic.”
And he’s been stuck before — at least 10 times.
“It’s miserable,” he said. “You have no idea what’s going on in