New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - August 15, 2009, New Braunfels, Texas
SATURDAY, AUGUST 15,2009Zeitung
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Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852.Vol. 156, No. 239 20 pages, 2 sections
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COMAL COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY WILL NOT SEEK RE ELECTIONBarr's tenure to end in Dec 2010
LAURA NleKraillE/ Herald-Zeitung
District Attorney Geoff Ban-outside the Comal County Courthouse Annex.
The county's top prosecutor will be stepping down next year, as Comal County District Attorney Geoff Barr announced Friday that he wiU not be seeking re-election when his term expires in December of 2010.
The 35-year-old Barr said he will move on to work outside of public service after his
one-term tenure as the county's district attorney
"I'm eager to start a career in the private sector," Barr said. "I've enjoyed my time here and am proud what we've been able to build in this office. But my decision to become district attorney was based wholly on public service, and for me, I had never intended to be a career elected prosecutor."
By the end of his term in
2010, Barr will have served eight years in county government. He began as an assistant district attorney under Dib Waldrip in 2003 before eventually succeeding him as district attorney in 2007.
The prosecutor's decision not to sedc a second term surprisetl many in the county.
"It comes as somewhat of a shock to me." said Comal County ludge Danny Scheel. "I think Geoff has been an
outstanding district attorney. I le's done a wonderful job for us and he will be missed."
Barr said he had discussed his options with his family and decided that since he would eventually be practicing law in the private sector, it would be better to make the leap sooner rather than later 'It boils down to starting a career in your 40s versus your 30s," he said. As the countv has continuedCONSUMER SPENDING DOWN
Kenneth Delong Jr.
Jennifer Coffey, owner of Gabby B's Boutique, hangs clothes while working at her downtown store on Friday.Local economy doing better than rest of state
By Scott Sticksr
Charles Romeo, who was visiting from Houston this week, said New Braunfels has a different vibe than other Texas cities.
"It really feels like it's booming out here," Romeo said, as he thumbed through a book at the Dancing Pony Boutique. "We come here at least once a year and it seems like tfiere's new tilings growing all tiie time up here. I mean, people are cutting back all over the state, but people still seem to shop locally here."
Across the state, sales tax revenues have dropped 11.6 percent from a year ago, an indication that people are spending less, according to figiwes i^eased Friday by Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts Susan Combs. The state coUected $1.65 billion in sales tax from June, down from $1.8 billion collected by the same time last year.
Braunfiels seems to be doing better
than the state as a whole. OveraU, sales tax collections in New Braunfels are only down .54 percent This time last year, the city had collected $1.770 million die end of July. This year, that number is down to $1.760 million.
"Swine flu really took a big hit on us," said Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce President Michael Meek. "Coupled with the recession and a low water flow in the Guadalupe, we took a hit. The fact that we are holding our own still... shows we've had some drop, but we still came out nearly equal with last year."
Nfeek said he expected an upswing in next month's numbers.
"Wb Just had tiie Courtyard Marriott open up, Schlitterbahn seems to be doing really well and the Comal River is almost ahvays fiill," he said. "The later school starting will also help boost the tax numbers."
ffe said £miilies taking last-weekend vacations to New Braunfels before school starts would be a big boost.
Retailers stock shelves for Tax Free Weekend
By Scott tticli»r
This year's Tea. Fkee Weekend runs from Friday, Ai^. 21, to Sunday, Aug. 23.
Sbopp^ mis^t avoid paying Bi See a lift the 8.25 percent sales tax on of tax-free setected merchandise, includ-itemtontA ingdothing footwear and back^ p^ks under $100.
"Iliis ia tlie first schcxd siqqpUes wiU also be tax ftee,tliaiika to Houie^ 1801, passed by tl^ Slatlteas Ugldatu» tfiis pi^ MS^xi.
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to grow. Barr said he was proud of his office's ability to handle increasingly serious crimes iuid remain detiicated to prosecuting them.
"We're trying very difficult cases," he said. "It seems like the nature of cases as we've grown in this community has gotten more violent and we've been prosecuting them with success. And that's only possible because we have dedicat-See BARR, Page 2A
Police: Scam artist might be targeting local area
A scam artist wanted for a parole violation in Austin may be operating in New Braunfels.
Kenneth Eugene Delong Jr., 65, has been in the Seguin and San Marcos areas illegally soliciting money from businesses on behalf of orphan and foster children.
Austin police contacted the New Braunfels Police Department, warning them Delong could be in the city Police are not actively looking for him because no Incidents have been reported, but Lt. Mike Penshom cautioned residents to contact authorities immediately if they encounter Delong.
See SCAM Page 2A
Where do our schools rank nationally?
By Eric J.Weilbachcr
At Thursday's Area Teacher of the Year luncheon, Texas Education Agency Commissioner of Education Robert Scott asserted Texas tries to maintain higher than national standards.
In some areas, Texas schools appear to be backing his aspirations for them.
But with the multitude of varying statistics from government and academic institutions, and differing evaluations among the states, there is no definitive overall ranking system.
"There are lots of entities
See RANKINGS Page 2A
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