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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - August 22, 2001, New Braunfels, Texas Page 4A — Herald-Zeitung — Wednesday, August 22, 2001Local/State Contact Managing Editor Margaret Edmonson at 625*9144 ext. 220. Dispatch — CISD taking comment on budget Thursday ►Vehicle bursaries New Braunfels police are investigating a series of vehicle burglaries at an apartment complex. A police spokesman said the burglaries, all involving stereo equipment, occurred at apartments in the 300 block of Castlewood Drive between Sunday and Monday. The first, reported to have occurred between 11:30 p.m. Sunday and 8:30 a.m. Monday, involved a compact disc player worth $200 and other damage to the vehicle worth $185. The second, in roughly the same time frame, involved the stereo in another vehicle worth $250. The last was reported to have occurred between 2 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Monday and involved a cassette player and other electronic equipment worth $230. ►Grass fires SCHERTZ — Firefighters facing their second summer of suspicious grass fires along remote areas of roadway dealt with two more on Schwab Road Tuesday afternoon. A Schertz Fire Department spokesman said the first fire took place in the 200 block of Schwab at I p.m., and involved a strip alongside the roadway that was about 18 feet long. Shortly afterwards, at Schwab Road and Farm-to-Market Road 482, firefighters went to another fire, that one about 30 feet long. Schertz officials reported they did not know the cause of the fires, but they were in the same area where Schertz and Bracken firefighters have been plagued in recent weeks and this past summer with several fires of suspicious origin. Anyone who sees anything unusual or has information is asked to contact local law enforcement officials or the Comal County Fire Marshal at 620-3400. ►Aiger dead VICTORIA (AP) — A vet-eran fisherman was killed Monday evening while he loaded his boat on a trailer. Ross Dooley and his brother were returning from a fishing trip when Dooley fell into the water at the Coleto Creek Reservoir and Park boat ramp. “He could have swam in there to get his boat or he could have fell in,” Game Warden Jesse Garcia told The Victoria Advocate in Tuesday’s editions. Meetings SOUTHEAST TRINITY GROUNDWATER CONSERVATION DISTRICT — public meeting on Trinity Aquifer protection rules, 5:45 p.m., today, Bulverde City Hall, 30070 U.S. 281 N., Suite 236. COMAL COUNTY COMMISSIONERS’ COURT — regular meeting, 8:15 a.m. Thursday, Commissioners’ Courtroom, third floor, Comal County Courthouse Annex, 150 N. Seguin Ave. COMAL INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT — budget hearing, 6 p.m.; board of trustees meeting, 7 p.m., Thursday, Canyon High School. NEW BRAUNFELS ZONING BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT — regular meeting, 6:30 p.m., Thursday, Municipal Building Council' Chambers. COMAL COUNTY COMMISSIONERS’ COURT — special meeting, 10 a.m.* Friday, Commissioners’ Courtroom, third floor, Comal County Courthouse Annex, 150 N. Seguin Ave, From staff reports Comal Independent School District’s 2001-2002 proposed budget will take center stage on Thursday when trustees discuss and adopt the budget. The meeting begins at 6 p.m. in the Canyon High School cafetorium. The proposed tax rate for 2001-2002 also will be discussed in relation to the budget. The tax rate will be adopted in September. “We will not be proposing a tax rate increase,” said Abel Campos, assistant superintendent of finance. “It will be staying the same.” The current tax rate is $1.85 per $100 valuation in the Comal ISD. Property owners get a 20 percent exemption from the school district and an automatic $15,000 homestead exemption from the state. The average home valuation in the school district is $104,677 with a taxable value at $68,742. If the current tax rate is retained, the average tax bill would be $1,271.73. At an Aug. 9 budget workshop, the administration proposed a $65.2 million budget to the school board, a net increase of more than $5.2 million over the current budget. Increases in the proposed 2001-2002 budget include more than $3 million in employee raises and health insurance increases. Every teacher in the district received a minimum $2,000 pay raise this year. Beginning teachers now will get $31,000, up from $27,500 in 2000-01. To balance the budget, reductions were made in central office personnel, the elimination of summer school and other cost-cutting measures. “We are not receiving any additional revenue from the state,” super intendent Jim Grunertsaid. ‘In fact, only about 15 percent cf our budget will be funded by the state; that’s the lowest percentage ever in the district’s history.” Because of the state funding formula, and because Comal ISD is considered a property wealthy district by the state, almost 85 percent of the district’s budget is supported by the Comal ISD taxpayers. Copies of the proposed budget are available for review at the school district’s central office, 1421 N. Business 35 and at the district’s Web site, One day down... MARTIN MALACARA/Herald-Zeitung Lamar Primary Principal Leigh Ann Dees helps kindergarten student Miles Noble into his mother’s vehicle after a long first day of school. Man found in car died from overdose By Ron Maloney Staff Writer The man whose body was found inside a car at a local shopping center in June died of a cocaine overdose. New Braunfels Police Lt. Mike Rust said the Bexar County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled Jesus (Jesse) Medina Espinoza’s death as accidental. Rust said the finding ended New Braunfels Police Department’s investigation into Espinoza’s death. “That’s what the ruling was, and the case is closed,” Rust said. Police were called to the H-E-B shopping center on Walnut Avenue about 7:30 p.m. on June 13 when employees of a store there found Espinoza’s body slumped in the back seat of a car. At the time, the death was ruled “suspicious* while detectives investigated the case. Espinoza, 50, had a criminal history dating back to a 1970 arrest in New Braunfels and a conviction for assaulting a peace officer. That record included the murder of Juan “Johnny” Salinas III of New Braunfels, whose body was found in a car left in Cypress Bend Park on June 21, 1986. Espinoza was convicted in that case and sentenced to 20 years in prison. He was released on parole seven years later. Drug trial postponed after state’s witness accused of tampering From staff reports District court officials postponed the drug trial of two brothers until after Jan. I, 2002, because a potential witness for the state was accused of witness tampering. Jury selection in the trial of Tony and Terry Ulloa began and ended quickly Monday when 22nd District Judge Charles Ramsay granted a continuance. A grand jury indicted the Ulloa brothers this past November after an investigation by the Comal County Metropolitan Narcotics Task Force into four alleged drug transactions that occurred this past year. Investigators arrested Tony Ulloa, 52, and his brother Terry, 42, on July 13, 2000, on charges of: • Engaging in an organized criminal activity; • Delivery of between four ounces and five pounds of marijuana; • Possession of marijuana; • Possession with intent to distribute between four and 200 grams of cocaine, and • Possession with intent to distribute between four and 200 grams of methamphetamine. The first three charges are second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in state prison and by a fine of up to $10,000. The last two charges include allegations that a handgun was involved and that the transactions took place within 1,000 feet of a school, making those charges first-degree felonies. They are punishable by five to 99 years in prison and by a fine of up to $10,000. In the indictment, Robert Ortiz was identified as taking part in the alleged drug transactions and was scheduled to be a witness in the Ulloa trial. Ortiz, 57, allegedly committed witness tampering on Thursday by offering to change his testimony to help Terry Ulloa, law enforcement officials said. Comal County District Attorney Dib Waldrip said Ortiz was arrested the next day after a joint investigation between the Department of Public Safety, the Comal County Sheriff’s Office and New Braunfels Police Department. Witness tampering is a state jail felony punishable by six months to two years in a state jail and by a fine of up to $10,000. Bond for Ortiz was set at $2,500 bond. The Ulloa brothers have been free on $30,000 bond each since August 2000. Do you have ASTHMA? Qualified patients will be paid for their participation in a Research Studyf ; Central Texas Health Research jT 830-609-0900    1    1 Notice of Public Hearing on Tax Increase The COMAL COUNTY & COMAL COUNTY FARM TO MARKET/FLOOD CONTROL will hold a public hearing on a proposal to increase total tax revenues from properties on the tax roll in the preceding year by 8.96 percent. Your individual taxes may increase at a greater or lesser rate, or even decrease, depending on the change in the taxable value of your property in relation to the change in taxable value of all other property and the tax rate that is adopted. The public hearing will be held on August 30, 2001 at 9:00 AM and 5:15 PM at COMAL COUNTY COMMISSIONERS COURT ROOM 150N. SEGUIN AVE. NEW BRAUNFELS, TX 78130. FOR the proposal:    Danny    Scheel Jack Dawson Cristina Zamora “Moe” Schwab Jay Millikan AGAINST the proposal: PRESENT and not voting: ABSENT: The following table compares taxes on an average home in this taxing unit last year to taxes proposed on the average home this year. Again, your individual taxes may be higher or lower, depending on the taxable value of your property. • Last Year This Year Average residence homestead value $100,064 $108,110 General exemptions available $20,013 $21,622 (amount available on the average homestead, not including senior * citizen’s or disabled person’s exemptions) Last Year This Year Average taxable value $80,051 $86,488 Tax rate (per $100) 0.324181 0.323747 Tax $259.51 $280.00 Under this proposal, taxes on the average homestead would increase by $20.49 or 7.90 percent compared with last year’s taxes. Comparing tax rates without adjusting for changes in property value, the tax rate would decrease by $0.000434 per $100 of taxable value or 0.13 percent compared to last yeat’s tax rate. These tax rate figures are not adjusted for changes in the taxable value of property. . Enhanced Indigent Health Care Expenditures COMAL COUNTY spent $698,113 from July I, 2000 to June 30,20001 on enhanced indigent health care at the increased minimum eligibility standard, less the amount of state assistance. For the current tax year, the amount of increase above last year’s enhanced indigent health care expenditures is $215,927. 111HC8K ;