New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - August 25, 2005, New Braunfels, Texas
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THI incOAY, AUGUST 25,2005iald-Zeitung
Ashley Patterson brings national long drive championship back to New Braunfels. Page 5A
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Readers have their say about the NB library, county pay raises,TAKS and the children's museum. Page 4A
Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852.
Vol. 154, No. 237 14 pages, 2 sections
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DEAR ABBY 3B CLASSIFIEDS 48 COMICS 2B CROSSWORD 2B FORUM 4A OBITUARIES 3A SPORTS 5A TV GRIDS 3BSpring Branch home destroyed by blaze
By David Rupkalvis
SPRING BRANCH—A home under construction on Campfire Road in Rebecca Creek was destroyed when a fire broke out just after noon Wednesday.
Comal County Fire Inspector Wayne Ellington said the fire was so destructive it would be difficult to determine the exact cause. No one was home when the fire started.
After concluding his initial inspection, Ellington said the blaze did not appear suspicious.
“It was a total burnout," Ellington said. “Everything inside was destroyed. The cause is undetermined right now."
Ellington said tile owner had been building the home and was nearing completion. The outside of the house was completed and the inside was almost done.
Within the last week, the owner had moved furniture from a trailer he had been living in into the house and two days ago had electric service installed.
Ellington said that Wednes
day morning, the owner left for a doctor’s visit.
When he returned, his home was destroyed.
A neighbor noticed the fire just after noon and called 911. The Spring Branch Volunteer Fire Department responded to the scene and asked for assistance from the Bulverde Fire Department.
Because the fire was burning so hot, firefighters worked primarily to keep the blaze from spreading.
Nearly five hours after being called out, Spring Branch firefighters were still on the scene,
mopping up hot spots.
After looking through the rubble, Ellington was able to determine that the fire started on the northeast corner of the home near where the electrical service has been hooked up.
While Ellington was not able to find a specific cause during his initial investigation, he did lead an effort to help the homeowner.
“He didn t have insurance so I connected him with the Red Cross,” Ellington said. “Hopefully, they can help him get some things he needs."
Comal County Fire Inspector Wayne Ellington, standing, begins his investigation into a fire that destroyed a home in Spring Branch.
Federal grant could help NBISD combat
By David Rupkalvis
The New Braunfels Independent School District received a much-needed boost from the federal government Tuesday in the form of a $1.7 million grant.
The Safe Schools/Healthy Student grant will allow the district to promote healthy childhood development while helping prevent violence, alcohol and drug abuse.
“We’ve been celebrating,” said Rosalyn Bratcher, assistant superintendent for instruction. “This funding affects every student in our district. It will not only help us create an environment in which students feel safe and can really work to reach their full potential, but it will strengthen our community partnerships."
Congressmen Henry Cuellar and Lamar Smith joined Sen. John Comyn in announcing the award.
“A good education system helps strengthen our society by teaching and instructing young people, giving them the ability to learn and grow as citizens and individuals," Comyn said. “This funding will support the education of young people in the New Braunfels Independent School District by helping establish a school environment that is safe, disciplined and substance free.”
See GRANT, Page 3A
By Leigh Jones
New Braunfels City Manager Chuck Pinto was momentarily speechless when it came time to bid his staffers goodbye Wednesday.
After listening to a recitation of the top IO reasons he wanted to go to League City, Pinto was laughing too hard to say a word.
Although Pinto previously said he wanted to go to the Houston-area municipality because it would be a challenge, his New Braunfels co-workers seemed to think it had more to do with where the League City Rotary club meets — Hooters.
They also were convinced Pinto was attracted to the area’s weather phenomenons. Hurricanes are more fun than floods, after all, and the higher humidity will make the city manager’s hair look thicker.
Pinto took the after-hours, goodbye party ribbing gracefully.
“It has been a pleasure as you can see,” he said in response to their calls for a speech. “Thank ya’ll. I appreciate it."
To help decorate his new office in League City, former Mayor Stoney Williams presented Pinto with a “gift” set of plastic Wurst-fest cups and a beer pitcher.
Williams also presented Pinto with a framed picture of himself.
“I expect this to be on your desk,” Williams said.
“I think I have a bathroom down there I can put it in,” Pinto suggested.
Along with his less formal
Photos by MANDY REARY Herald-Zeitung
New Braunfels City Manager Chuck Pinto, left, laughs while attendees of his going away party Wednesday evening applaud Stoney Williams' "TopTen Reasons Chuck Wants to Move to League City." Below, Jocelyn Murphy writes a note to Pinto while Ann Smith waits her turn.
momentos, the city manager did collect a few more traditional going away presents.
Sheriff Bob Holder, who was not able to attend the party, gave Pinto a plaque from all of the Comal County deputies and sent a personal note to go with it.
“When you came on board, I knew our city was in for some positive changes,” he wrote. “I was not disappointed. You have left New Braunfels a better place to live.”
Police Chief Russ Johnson, one of die department heads hired by Pinto, told his boss he would miss him.
“You’ve done an outstanding See PINTO, Page 3A
SVHS hopes segregation will improve learning process
By Leigh Jones
Smithson Valley High School freshman Sarah Steve-son was prepared for many of the new experiences she would encounter on the first day of school.
She anticipated die bigger campus, more rigorous academics and new social situations that go hand-in-hand with starting high school.
The last thing she expected was to get a break from boys.
Steveson, 14, is one of 690 SVHS freshmen getting their first taste of classroom gender segregation. The boys and girls are separated for core classes only — math, English, science and social studies — excluding advanced placement courses.
School officials tested the program with roughly half of last year’s ninth-graders and were so pleased with the results they decided to include the entire grade this year.
During her first day of class
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es Tuesday, Steveson discovered learning with members of the same sex was not such a bad idea.
“It s easier to focus on what the teacher’s saying when its just girls in class. When there are boys in the room, we tend
to show off.” site said with a smile.
School counselor Dana C ole agreed, saving the results of last year’s pilot program proved the boys and girls had a better learning environment when they were apart.
“CXir instances of horseplay were way down,” she said. “No one was trying to impress a member of the opposite sex.”
Compared to statistic's from the 2003-04 school year,
See SEPARATE, Page 3ASusan Sonier or Jerry Sonier830.832.8815 210.885.6188Email: [email protected]
Find out who wins as Canyon and Smithson Valley open the season.
LAUGHING OUT OF TOWN
Pinto says goodbye to New Braunfels
Smithson Valley High School Algebra teacher Julie Henry teaches a class of freshmen girls Wednesday.
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