New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - August 19, 2009, New Braunfels, Texas
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Documents available at library and online. P»9o2A
Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852.
Vol. 156, No. 242 18 pages, 2 sections
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HURRICANE SEASON: M PBKWARBOLESSON LEARNED
One year since Ike, New Braunfels better prepared for disaster
Hurricane Ike evacuees relax on their cots inside the Tree of Ufe Church on Sept. 12,2006.
Food: Baptist Men’s Shetten 1,500 cots and Organization: State-run Kitchen to provide meals blankets are on hand buses will have GPS
It’s been 11 months and six days since Hurricane Ike made landfall on the Texas coast, laying waste to almost everything in its path and leaving thousands with tattered homes and lives.
During the destruction, almost 700 evacuees sought refuge in shelters in New Braunfels.
It was the first time the dty hosted such a large-scale exodus, and local officials have acknowledged more than a few problems «ose in caring for those stranded
A year later, as the first major hurricane of the season has formed in the Atlantic Ocean, local leaders and emergency personnel say they will be better pre-
Emergency Management Coordinator Carol Edgett talks Tuesday about being better prepared for emergencies while standing beside a container of cots.
pared if it happens again.
"Last year was the first time we had ever tried anything like this. We made a lot of mistakes and there were a lot
of surprises,” said Comal County judge Danny ScheeL “We’re ready if anything like
See STORM, Page 10A
Council seestax hike as last resort for increasing revenue
New Braunfels taxes have not rúen since 2004
According to OS/Census BHiWHXttirtmafifn. the Donde» tion In Comal County grew from33,000peopfein2<W0to more than 46,000 In 2098. With more people moving to
thff awn, city ffpimtMt both Monday and Tuesday during budget discussions that the need for eqianded dty services, and in turn, taxpayer doQars to pay for them, might be inevitable.
“It’s always important to first look at how you can
District 5 Councilwoman Krufgpr “But I •N1 think that weneed to be real-istlc about the growth of mg
community and the demand for public services.”
Tbxes have not risen in New Braunfels since 2004. Meanwhile, massive investment by the city has been made in puhticimpKwaments over the pasthalf-decade.
The proposed dty budget for 2009-10 includes no inotease in the tax rate*. But le^hi psBwkMs yees» that see
citfbadcs rather than buoyed by massive growth and
increased sales and property tax revenue. And after issuing $95 million in debt to fund improvements to the local infrastructure since 2003, dty offidals are left looking for some way to continue to upgrade the city’s streets, drainage, parks and facilities without the luxury of a deep revenue stream.
"Needs such as street improvements, drainage
See mXCS, Page 10A
Man sentenced in vehicular manslaughter
By Scott Stickcr
A Laredo man was given probation after pleading guilty to intoxicated manslaughter with a vehicle Tuesday.
Ryan Wayne Johnson was 25 when he reportedly driving under the influence and flipped his Chevrolet Camaro off Farm-to-Market 1863 in Bulveide and killed his friend, 25-year-old Christopher Mon-tez, on Aug. 10,2008.
Over a year later, Johnson stood before 207th District Court judge Jack Robison Tliesday and entered a plea of “guilty”.
Johnson was given 10 years probation with a mandatory 120 days in county jail.
The Montez family told Assistant District Attorney Sammy McCrary they wanted Johnson to stay out of jail, McCrary said.
“Both families said they were already going through a lot,” McCrary said. “This is something they said... (Johnson) would have to live with his entire life.”
Johnson was originally booked into Comal County Jail the night of the accident on charges of intoxicated manslaughter with a vehicle. He was released the next day on a $40,000 bond.
The night of the accident, the two friends were barhopping in San Antonio, Bulverde Police Lt. Gary Haecker told the Herald-Zeitung at the time. As Johnson sped down FM 1863 about 5 a.m., he dipped a guardrail, flipping the car onto the road’s shoulder and into a wooded area.
Montez was ejected from the car. According to Haecker, Montez had a blood alcohol level of .24.
“The family originally asked me not to prosecute him,” McCrary said. “I tried to walk the middle line in this case. You can’t drink and drive and walk away from it... You have to do what you can to not let this happen again.”
Ryan Wayne Johnson
Bottles of Elmer's Glue sit Tuesday with other school supplies on a shelf at Office Max.
Back to $chool: The rising cost of supplies
By Eric J. MMIbaditr
As the reality of going back to school impedes on a child’s summer, back to school shopping impedes on parents’ pocketbooks—and more so every year.
The cost of classroom supplies run as high as $70 per student if parents opt to buy everything at once. Increasingly over the years, many schools and school districts have asked parents to, not just buy for their child, but to provide particular items for the whole classroom.
On top of that, add the cost of new dothes and parents have just paid out several hundred dollars.
“We’ve really scaled back the past couple years,” said Stephanie Ferguson, public information officer for New Braunfels Independent Schod District She says they
are now only asking for a minimum and made the lists for all schools standardized to keep costs under control. She just spent $35 for her child’s supplies, and feels that’s the norm.
Grade Rodriguez, whose sons attend Oak Run Middle School and Lone Star Elementary, was shopping for them at Office Max yesterday. “We’re looking to spend about $40 each,” she said, referring only to supplies.
Schools divide the share of classroom supplies up in various ways, such as at New Braunfels ISD and Comal ISD elementary schools, where boys are to provide 1 box of gallon-size Ziploc bags, and girls quart size. Three boxes of tissues, 1 bottle of hand sanitizer and a container of antibacterial
See SUPPLIES, Page 10A
yearofr r4gkt wkh a Student ¿avings Account!