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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - August 24, 2001, New Braunfels, Texas New Braunfels FRIDAY August 24, 2001 28 pages in 2 sections MpwHMp    28    pages    in    2    sectn Herald-Zeitung Hi - ■ ' ' - ’ .....I:... A. S. * i......aet ..ii : v * - - ' 3 Vol. 150, No. 245 Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852 50 cents Gas line cut at CMS Gas leak at school New Braunfels Construction workers cut 3-inch gas line Thursday. Canyon Middle School’s 735 students were evacuated for 53 minutes. K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herald-Zeitung Three ambulances were dispatched to Canyon Middle School Thursday afternoon during a precautionary evacuation of the school after construction workers cut a gas line. Construction workers tap into line; Middle School forced to evacuate By Ron Maloney and Martin Malacara Staff Writers Construction workers cut a three-inch gas line near Canyon Middle School Thursday afternoon, leading to the evacuation of the school. Firefighters and school personnel treated several students for heat-related illnesses during the hour students waited outside the building. Two students were taken to McKenna Memorial Hospital for examination and were later released. The others were released to their parents. Comal Independent School District spokeswoman Kari Hutchison the accident occurred at 1:40 p.m. when Hatzen-buehler General Contractors Inc. of San Antonio accidentally cut a three-inch Reliant Energy Corp. natural gas line behind the school. The company was digging a trench for new underground electrical lines in connection with a school expansion program that just began at the school, Hutchison said. Shortly after the accident, the smell of natural gas was pulled into the school’s air conditioning system and the building was evacuated. StaiBf and students waited on the front lawn in the nearly 100-degree temperatures. School staff provided water, but it was very hot outside, assistant super intendent Nancy Cobb said. NBFD paramedics and district medical staff treated several students for heat-related problems. Among those were two students who reportedly fainted. A few students reported feeling ill, Cobb said. New Braunfels Fire Department Paramedic Greg Patty, incident fire department commander, reported half a dozen students were examined, and two were See CMS/5A limeline ■ 1:40 p.m.: A 3-inch gas line is cut behind Canyon Middle School ■ 1:47 p.m.: Officials evacuate the school and call firefighters. ■ 1:48 p.m.: Afire engine and an ambulance respond. ■ 2:40 p.m.: Two additional ambulances respond amid reports of heat-related faintings. “All Clear” sounded, students allowed to return to cafeteria and gym K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herald-Zeitung Scorched grasses smolder as the second of two men from this private airplane is taken from a Bulverde ambulance to an awaiting helicopter. Rancher pulls brothers from burning plane Parents arrived to pick up their children from Canyon Middle School while officials dealt with heat-related problems of several students Thursday afternoon. K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herald- Zeitung < By Ron Maloney Staff Writer SPRING BRANCH — A Comal County rancher rescued two McAllen brothers Thursday afternoon after their private plane crashed and then exploded just north of Bulverde. The man, who has ranched in the area for 20 years and declined to release his name, pulled the two men away from their burning airplane just moments before it exploded. Department of Public Safety Trooper Bernice Gutierrez said Jan and Gary Klinck of McAllen suffered burns, lacerations and other possible injuries in the 4:40 p.m. crash on the Flying R Ranch just north of the runway at Kestrel Air Park. Both men were taken by helicopter to Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston, which has a world-renowned burn treatment center. Officials at BAMC would release no information about the men’s conditions. Gutierrez said Jan Klinck, 57, was taking off from Kestrel in 100-degree weather with a full load of fuel. His passenger, Gary Klinck, 49, is his younger brother, she said. What happened after takeoff was not quite clear. “What we heard from the pilot was that the last thing Plane crash Plane crashes at J Kestrel Air Park near Bulverde Thursday I US 281 / Bulverde I TX 46 I________ he could remember was that the plane stalled,” Gutierrez said. The rancher was nearby when the accident occurred. “I heard it take off and it sounded like it was sputtering a little bit,” the man said. “Then I heard some popping or cracking sounds. I guess that’s when it hit the trees.” He said he dialed 911, jumped in his pickup and sped next door to the property owned by Ginna Bolton. “We were inside,” Bolton said. “But we didn’t see anything. We weren’t looking out the windows. We heard a funny kind of thump, just kind of a ‘whump.’ Then there was an explosion.” By the time Bolton saw the See CRASH/5 A Comal ISD trustees approve $65.2 million budget for 2001-2002Tax Rate Comal Independent School District trustees approved a $65.2 million budget for 2001/02 on Thursday. The budget is based upon the current tax rate of $1.85 per $100 valuation. Trustees will set the tax rate sometime in September. By Martin Malacara Staff Writer Trustees for the Comal Independent School District approved the 2001-2002 budget Thursday. Trustees voted 5-1 in favor of the new $65.2 million budget, which was $5.2 million more than the 2000-2001 budget. Trustees John Bertelsen, Charles Burt, John Clay, Dan Krueger and Dora Gonzales voted for the budget, while trustee Nick Nichols voted against. Trustee Deraid LaRue was absent for the vote. “I believe had (Superintendent Jim) Grunert had more time, we could have had a little more understanding or a better structured budget,” Nichols said. Nichols said Grunert could further adjust the budget. At an Aug. 9 budget workshop meeting, Grunert said about 86 percent of the new budget paid for personnel expenditures, with the other 14 percent paying for non-personnel costs, such as equipment purchase and repair. In May, the district gave teachers a minimum $2,000 pay raise, along with raises for other employees. The pay raises cost the district $2.8 minion, Campos said. To fund the pay increase, budget cuts of more than $800,000 were made, including administrative staff reductions in the central office. The pay increase leaves salaries less than most San Antonio area school districts but about $1,000 more than New Braunfels Independent School District. NBISD has a teacher base salary of See BUDGET/5A No more taxing times for HowellNBISD employee retires after 33 years By Martin Malacara Staff Writer When most people visit the New Braunfels Independent School District Tax Office, Inez Howell is usually there to greet them. For nearly 34 years, Howell, tax office secretary, has helped the New Braunfels community with various tax questions and problems. But Friday will be the last time people can look to Howell for help with their school taxes. Howell, 51, officially retires from the district’s tax office. Howell won’t miss having to wake up a 6 a.m. every weekday to get into work by 8 a.m., but she will miss her co-workers and even the taxpayers. “I’ll miss everybody,” she said. Howell started her career with the tax office in June 1967 as a junior at New Braunfels High School. As a vocational education student, Howell spent time in the tax office learning her future vocation. When she graduated in 1968, the district hired her as a full-time employee.See HOWELL/5A RHB rn "I "4 T ‘ . 1 rn \ v « I NBISD Photo New Braunfels ISD Business Department secretary Connie Waltisperger Bartow and tax office secretary Inez Howell were honored at a retirement reception at The Education Center Wednesday afternoon. Inside Abby.......................... ......7 A Classifieds................... .7-14B Comics........................ ...JOA Crossword................. ......7 A Forum.......................... ......6A Local/Metro................. ......4A Movies.......................... ......7A Obituaries.................... ......3A Sports................j........ ...1-4B Today........................... ......2A Key Code 76 ;