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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - August 17, 1999, New Braunfels, Texas >AV 2033' H0Q9 10/ 2 2/33 7 7 New FELS yEcT niCROPUBLlSHIHG f6;f ! VADELL DR •y ^ 7 3303 Et. PROO X T    rfHerald-Zeitung Vol. 148, No. 188    14    pages    in    I    section    August    17,    1999 ......’'"'vs*    '"-TFyiw*...... v"v;.....T"'rn Tuesday Serving Comal Truck stop offers drivers limousine service By Chris Crews Staff Writer Driving 18-wheelers down the Interstate 35 and is an honest and exhausting if not glamorous way to make a living. Drivers cut in front of you and curse at you. Long waits at drop-off or loading points keep you away from your family. The long miles and the Texas heat wear you down. So when a local truck stop began offering limousine service last month, truckers stood up and took notice. “We want them to think someone is doing something for them instead of something to them,” said David Nixon, complex manager for Rip Griffin’s Travel Center on 1-35 North in New Braunfels. The Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham, complete with steer horns on the hood, cruises through the truckers parking lot and carries drivers to the restaurant and convenience store a quarter mile away. James Mc Vickers, a trucker from Florida, said he didn’t expect a limousine the first time he pulled into the Rip Griffin lot. “A van would have done the job but the limo adds a lot of class,” Mc Vickers said. Aug. 16-23 is Trucker Appreciation Month, but Nixon said he wanted all truckers to know they were appreciated at all times. In June, Nixon began looking for an automobile suitable for his needs. During a July trip to Dallas he found the 1988 White Cadillac with a plush blue velour interior that seated eight. The car had been used to carry mourners at funerals. He said the car was ultra-clean. “The only thing that’s been spilt in it was tears,” Nixon said. Nixon had only one choice for the driver of the company limousine. Ohioan Ralph Enon had worked on Nixon’s housekeeping staff and Nixon said he was one of those people who never met a stranger. Erion, better known to truckers as “Buckeye” on Citizen’s Band channel 19, greets the tuckers with complementary coffee when he picksSee TRUCK STOP/5 WAI Ll/Herald-ZeitungDavid Nixon and Ralph “Buckeye” Erion show off the Cadillac limousine they use to transport truckers at Rip Griffin’s Travel Center. County since 1852 50 cents CISD reports few difficulties on its first day By Heather Todd Staff Writer The first day of the new school year dawned Monday with many smiles, a few tears and some traffic jams for area drivers. Across Comal County, about 11,000 students in Comal Independent School District walked into classrooms at 15 campuses to begin a new school year. Brad Williams, principal of Smithson Valley High School, said the campus had a few “no shows” Monday morning. “We probably have a better idea about our enrollment after Labor Day. A lot of kids will show up after Labor Day,” he said. Williams said about 1,935 students attended classes at SVHS WIEGAND    —a campus original- ly designed for 1,200 — on Monday. “We’re wall-to-wall, that’s how it usually is,” Williams said. In spite of the crowded hallways, Williams said SVHS students had a relatively smooth first day back. Bob Wiegand, principal of Canyon High School, said his campus was about I OO students short of estimated enrollment Monday morning. “We estimated from the number of schedules we printed that we have about 1,204, but what we have right now is about 1,100,” he said. Other campus administrators reported a small number of students missing the first day, but they said enrollment would increase during the next few days. Total enrollment counts district-wide See FIRST DAY/5 WILLIAMS WAI Ll/Herald-Zeitung Above, first-grader Kimberley Barboza colors a birthday card during Monday’s first day of school at Goodwin Primary, 1297 Church Hill Drive. Left, Goodwin Primary student Sean Owens recites the Pledge of Allegiance along with his classmates on Monday. 1999 Accountability Ratings Comal ISD Acceptable: Canyon High School, Smithson Valley High School, Smithson Valley Middle School, Spring Branch Middle School, Goodwin Primary, Frazier Elementary, Mountain Valley Elementary, Bill Brown Elementary, Arlon Seay Intermediate, Comal Leadership Institute Recognized: Canyon Middle School, Bulverde Elementary, Comal Elementary, Rahe Primary, Canyon Intermediate, Mountain Valley Intermediate New Braunfels ISO Acceptable: New Braunfels High School, New Braunfels Middle School, OakRun School, Lone Star Primary, Carl Schurz Elementary, Seele Elementary, Memorial Primary, Memorial Elementary, Memorial Intermediate Not Rated: Lamar Primary* Low Performing: NBISD Learning Center *pre-kindergarten, kindergarten not rated under AEIS system By Heather Todd Staff Writer New Braunfels and Comal school districts were deemed academically acceptable in the annual ratings of the Academic Excellence Indicator System, released Monday by the Texas Education Agency. The inclusion of more special and bilingual education students in test reporting might have contributed to a lower accountability rating for some area campuses, school officials said. Texas public schools and districts are rated exemplary, recognized, acceptable or ^'-performing based on student performance on the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills in reading, math, and writing, dropout rates and attendance rates. Both districts and many area campuses kept acceptable ratings, or received the higher recognized rating — despite the inclusion of more student test scores and stricter standards. This year, an acceptable rating required 45 percent of the student body and each student group — w bite. black. Hispanic and economically disadvantaged — to pass the TAAS test. That’s up from 40 percent this past year. The acceptable rating also required a 6 percent or lower dropout rate and a 94 percent or higher attendance rate. This year, school accountability ratings also included special education students' test scores and third-and fourth-grade Spanish TAAS scores not exempted by the district. NBISD In New Braunfels Independent School District, all IO of the district’s regular education schools received acceptable ratings, except Lamar Primary, w hich was not rated. The school is a pre-kindergarten through kindergarten campus, and those grades are not rated under the AEIS system. The NBISD Learning Center, the district’s alternative school, received a low-performing rating, the lowest grade given to public schools. School campuses given the low-performing rating either have less than 45 percent student passing rate on the 1999 I AAS, higher than 6 percent school year dropout rate in 1997-98, or lower than a 94 percent school year attendance rate in 1997-98. Rosalyn Bratcher, assistant superintendent for instructional services, said the district See GRADE/5 Miller: Tank moratorium too severe From staff reports Comal County’s representative on the Edward’s Aquifer Authority board said a proposed six-month moratorium on underground storage tanks over the aquifer’s recharge zone probably was too severe. The Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission denied EAAis request for the moratorium on Friday. EAA representative Doug Miller said he was disappointed. “The rules are not stringent enough for new or existing tanks,” he said. Miller said EAA’s recommendation might have been too severe. “We need to put a moratorium on any new applications,” he said. “But it’s not fair to come along after the tact.” New Braunfels currently does not allow underground storage tanks in the aquifer recharge zone. A recent effort to prohibit vaulted storage tanks failed twice before city council. EAA spokeswoman Sandra Wundt said the moratorium was inspired by a July 11 gasoline release from an underground storage tank had affect ed at least five Trinity Aquifer wells. The gas release, which took place on U.S. 281 in northern Bexar County, is not expected to affect people locally, who rely on the Edwards Aquifer for their water supply. The moratorium would have provided time for EAA and TNRCC to assure consistency in regulatory programs, Wundt said Robert Huston, TNRCC chairman, responded in a faxed letter Friday, saying current restrictions were ade-quate enough protection of the aquifer.Inside Abby......................................7 Classifieds.....................11-14 Comics................................10 Crossword............................7 Forum...................................6 Local/Metro...........................4 Movies..................................7 Obituaries.............................3 Sports................................8-9 Today...................................2 Television...........................10 Key code 76WORD board seeking public input on polystyrene ordinance By Christina Minor Staff Writer Tubers might have to follow new rules about polystyrene coolers after the Water Oriented Recreation District meets Wednesday. A public hearing will take place at 6:45 p.m. Wednesday at the ("anyon Lake Action Center for residents to voice their opinions about the revised foam/polystyrene ordinance. This past spnng, WORD approved exemptions to the original ordinance, allowing styrofoam containers w ith coated, locked lids that supported 30 pounds of items when turned upside down. One such container, the Water Wader, was removed from the nv-See WORD/5 School districts make the grade NBISD, CISD both rated as acceptable ;