New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - August 13, 2009, New Braunfels, Texas
THURSDAY, AUGUST 13,2009Zeitung
SPORTS Suddvii dMth
Landa Park Junior Amateur Championship decided in playoff. Pm^m 6A
NEWS On tlM rabouiidf
Federal Reserve offérs positive economic outlook. Pu^ë 9A
^^íyinQ J^®^^^ Comal County since 1852.
Vol. 156, No. 237 16 pages, 2 sections
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DEAR ABBY 31 CLASSIREDS4«I COMICS 2t CROSSWORD 21 FORUM 4A OBITUARIES SA SPORTS 6-7A TV GRIDS 38Despite drought, aquifer levels steady
By Scott Stieksr
Edward's Aquifer levels have remained stable during this historic drought, and officials say it's thanks to you.
The M7 aquifer well measured at 642.3 fieet Wednesday. At this time last year, it was at 666.7 and averages out at about 660 in August.
The sunken water line brought Stage II watering restrictions into effect in June, forcing New Braunfels residents to only use sprinklers to
water their lawns once weekly
While the well is only 2.3 feet above the trigger level to call for Stage III restrictions, it's been holding steady, Edwards Aquifer Authority spokesman Roland Ruiz said.
"We're still in Stage II as far as the critical plan period goes," Ruiz said. "Eariier in the summer, we had seen the aquifer drop at a steady level. Since the critical period cutbacks, it seems to have stabilized a little bit. We'll see a decline during the week and then it will bounce back up on the week
ends. A lot of this is thanks to the conservation plans."
People In New Braunfels have used 50 million fewer gallons of water this summer than in 2008, New Braunfels Utilities spokeswoman Gretchen Reuwer said.
"People in the area are really doing their part," Reuwer sjEiid. "They're having to make real sacrifices and be real smart about using water. It shows conservation is smart and efficient."
If the aquifer levels stay level, Ruiz said Stage III restric
tions could be avoided.
"We've seen a little bit of rain, but none of that drought-busting stuff we need," he said. "If we can hold out until fall, the National Weather Service is predicting we could have a wet season thanks to El Niño."
NWS forecaster Amanda Fanning said they believe a fall EI Niño system could bring with it a good amount of rain.
"We won't know how much until the time comes, but we will hopefully see some more rain," Fanning said.
Bioloaists Jeremy Webster (left) and Ed Oborny collect samples from the San Marcos springs to document affects of low spring flows on species in the ecosystem.Jury Fathernot Dogdavsofsummer
guilty of abuse
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A Comal County jury on Wednesday found Murray A. Erickson not guilty of physically abusing his son more than two
Ericksoaof Odessa» was facing charges of causing injury to a chUd, a third-degree felony, stemming from an altercation between he and his then 12-year-old son on March 3,2007.
The case was tried in Comal County because it occurred at his weekend home near Canyon Lake.
The prosecution had contended that Erickson had used excessive force, beating his son both because of his sexual orientation and in an attempt to teach him self-defense.
Texas law allows parents and guardians to administer "reasonable discipline" to their children.
District Judge Jack Robison asked the jury to decide whether Erickson went beyond reasonable parameters of discipline, and ultimately they felt he did not.
Juror Harold Stetson, 54, of New Braunfels, discussed
the jury's decision after the verdict.
"We decided that though Erickson didn't take the right course of action, he truly believed what he did was the only way to teach his son how to defend himself," he said.
The boy and his father were the only wimesses to the incident, leaving the prosecution to base its case on the testimony of the boy and photographs taken by authorities the next day, March 4, showing bruises and conmsions on his face, torso, back and arms.
However, Dr. Carmelito Arkangel of San Antonio, who is not the boy's regular physician, testified Wednesday that several of the marks were older, and therefore outside the 18 to 24 hour window that the boy had last been with Erickson.
"These skin marks, contusions, and bruises are of various ages and not all within the 18-24 hour window," he said. "Some of them may have occurred earlier."
Both the defense and prosecution brought up the incessant, unrelenting bullying that occurred at Midland Christian School, where Erickson's son attended school. They cited incidents of strangling while at school, teasing, kicking around the
See miAL, Page 9A
John Garrett Killgore, 12, left, and his grandfather, John Killgore, take a break under a pavilion while walking their dogs, Blake and Dexter, on Wednesday at Landa Park.Residents coping with triple-digit temperatures
By Scott StidcAr
John Killgore sat under a pavilion at Landa Park in his long-brimmed straw hat, sipping on a laige plastic jug of water as Wednesday's summer sun cast patchy shadows on his face.
As the sun beat down on Killgore and his 12-year-old grandson, John Garrett
Killgore, they found relief in the shade.
Wednesday was the 56th day for Comal County to experience a triple-digit day this year. National Weather Service forecaster Amanda Farming said.
This year's summer heat beat the previous record of 35 days over 100 degrees, she said.
See HEAT, Page 9A
I Con(Juct outdoor work or exer-cm in the early morning or
I Wear light-colored, loose fitting clothing.
I Dp not leave children, senipr citizens or pets unattended in a vehicle.
Enrollment up with classes set to start
Enrollment is modesdy up in Comal
County, regional^ and statewide, according to emerging figures from local public school districts and the Texas Education
Wendy FU)mefO, left fills out papenA^ork while registering her children, Qarlssa, 13, and Patrick, 12, for school on VMnesday at Church Hill Middle School.
The numbers are not ready for the coming school year, as many new sm-dents are not registered and returning student numbers are not verifiable, but according to the TEA, the difference in student body statewide between the 2007-08 school year and the 2008-09 year was almost 100,000 students.
Around 4.6 million students attended
Texas public schools in the 2007 to 2008 schoo year. That increased to 4,749,571 students in the 2008 to 2009 year. Of those students, and increase of over 10,000 new students occurred in region 13, wliich encompasses school districts in Comal, Guadalupe, parts of Bexar, Gonzales and Hays counties, as well as areas around Comfort and Austin. The region increased from 345,154 smdents in 2007-08 to 355,700 in 2008-09, and school district officials said that number should significantiy increase this year.
"We've been growing every year about five percent," said Ashley Holt, communications coordinator for Comal Independent School District. Last school year
CISD had just over 16,000 students, and this year their rough estimate is 16,700.
Stephanie Ferguson, public information officer for New Braunfels ISD, said it would be premature to release an estimate for this year's enrollment. But with the new student enrollment they've already had, she said they do expect their rolls to increase.
Private schools appear to be holding steady According to Pam Brandt, administrative assistant for St. Peter and Paul in New Braunfels, they should have another 275 to 280 students this year, about the same number as last year.
"We've had some wonderful new families and we're doing fine," she said.
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