New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - August 30, 2001, New Braunfels, Texas
THURSDAY August 30, 200
14 pages in 2 section
pages in 2 sectnHerald-Zeitung
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Vol. ISO, No. 250 Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852
County lifts burn ban in wake of recent rainfall
Learn before you burn
■ Anyone wishing to bum brush or debris should notify county dispatch at 620-3408.
RAINFALL SINCE SUNDAY
■ Spring Branch — 4.5 inches
■ Bracken — 3.75 inches
■ Fischer — 3 inches
■ Canyon Dam — 1.96 inches
■ New Braunfels (Municipal
Airport): — 0.82 inches
STATE BURN RULES STILL IN EFFECT
■ No unattended bums.
■ Burns must start no earlier than one hour after dawn and can continue no later than one hour before sunset.
■ All approved burns must be completed the day they are begun.
By Ron Maloney Staff Writer
Comal County lifted its burn ban early Wednesday to allow residents in unincorporated areas an opportunity to burn brush piles or other debris — while the ground beneath is still wet.
County Judge Danny Scheel said he took the action to help residents who had been piling brush throughout the hot, dry summer.
“We lifted it this morning to give the people an oppor
tunity to take advantage of the moisture and eliminate any brush piles they have,” Scheel said. “We recognize that there’s a need to clear brush.
Monday, the county declined to lift the ban because of concerns that a little bit of rain could create a false sense of security.
The Texas Forest Service asked county officials to hold off on lifting the ban.
But many residents called officials this week, seeking
permission to burn.
“Now, we’ve had close to four inches of rain in much of the county,” Scheel said. “As long as we keep this wet weather and overcast, we’ll be fine. But the first time we have a couple of hundred-degree days, we’ll have to reinstate the ban. We’ll be watching the weather very closely.
At the National Weather Service in New Braunfels, forecaster David Schumacher said there would be a sig
nificant although decreasing chance of rain through the weekend.
Tbday and Friday, he said, the area is facing a 40 percent chance of rain.
For Saturday through Labor Day, he said he expected a 30 percent chance, with increasing periods of sunshine.
‘It’ll be returning to a little more typical weather for late August and early September,” Schumacher said.
See BURN/7 AGrowing pains
Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic School feeling crunched for room
By Martin Malacara Staff Writer
New Braunfels is not the only one looking for a little more elbowroom.
Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic School Principal Sister Geraldine Bienek said she considered the school’s expansion efforts the main challenge this new year.
Students returned to the Catholic school about two weeks ahead of their public school counterparts.
“Not all the classes are bursting at the seams yet. ”
— Sister Geraldine Bienek school principal
Bienek said the school needed two more classrooms to accommodate growing fourth and fifth grade classes.
The school’s science lab has to double as a homeroom for this year.
“Not all classes are bursting at the seams yet,” Bienek said.
The school has about 290 students, just nine less than this past year.
Bienek said the sixth through eighth grade classes did not have much of a space problem.
She said the smaller-sized middle school classes could be attributed to students choosing to attend a public or private school with an athletics program.
“Some of the kids that want to play high school sports think they have to play in middle school,” she said.
The Catholic school offers students volleyball,Commissioners ready to set 2002 budget, tax rate
(Above) Kindergarten student Jesse Benavides concentrates on gluing part of his art project Tuesday in Linda Gabbard’s Art class at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic School. (Below) Kindergarten students do push-ups Tuesday in Donna Braune’s Physical Education class during an exercise routine called “chicken fat.”
Bienek said the property could be used for classroom expansion, a playground, a parking lot or a track.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity for us. Bluebonnet’s been a really good neighbor,” she said.
Because no definite plans have been made in regard to the property, Bienek’s other concern bes with maintaining the school’s fledgling band program.
The band program started this past Christmas. Under a partnership with Texas Lutheran College, music majors teach the band students. The college music students work under the guidance of Keith Dye, head of TLLTs music department.
This year, Bienek said, the program now has an intermediate band.
A new beginning band group will start about Christmas.
By Ron Maloney Staff Writer
Residents will have the opportunity twice today in public hearings to talk to county commissioners about the proposed budget, tax rate and salaries for next year.
And commissioners will have the same opportunities to make last minute budget adjustments, should they choose.
Comal County will conduct its last two meetings on the proposed 2002 budget and tax rate today at 9 a.m. and 5:15 p.m. They are expected to vote to adopt the new $21 million general fund budget at the conclusion of the afternoon meeting.
The budget, which will total $29 million with special fund items such as the county road department, willWhat’s Up:-
■ WHAT: Public hearings on county budget, tax rate and salaries for 2002
■ WHEN: 9 a.m. and 5:15 p.m.
■ WHERE: Commissioners’ Courtroom, third floor, Comal County Courthouse Annex, 150 N. Seguin Ave.
include increased spending this year mandated by the state for 18 new jailers and health care for the indigent.
It is up $10 million from what the county spent in the 2001 fiscal year.
This year’s big increases:
• Health care for the
Smith tours work site at Smithson Valiev HS
basketball and track.
It shares athletic facilities with New Braunfels Middle School.
“We’re limited with what we can do,” she said.
But to accommodate the elementary school classes, the school and the parish are considering leasing portable buildings to help it expand beyond the gymnasium, she said.
In the interim, both the school and parish are work
ing on development of the property Bluebonnet Motors currently occupies on Seguin Avenue.
The car dealership eventually will move to its Interstate 35 location in 2002, Bienek said.
When it does, the property will belong to the parish.
“We’re looking at ways to use that property for everyone’s benefit. There’s lots and lots of brainstorming going on,” she said.
By Martin Malacara
SMITHSON VALLEY — Wednesday’s thundershowers did little to dampen U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith’s visit to Smithson Valley High School.
Smith toured the high school’s new classroom wing, which overlooks the rest of the campus and the surrounding Hill Country.
Smith also visited with Comal Independent School District Superintendent Jim Grunert, board president John Clay and trustees John Bertelsen, Dora Gonzales and Nick Nichols.
The congressman joked that he was late for the tour because he made a wrong turn when entering the school.
“I thought I would wind up inside a 12th grade class,” he said.
Smith and district officials got to take a walk through
K. JESSIE SLATEN/HerakJ-Zeitung
Congressman Lamar Smith tours Smithson Valley High School’s construction site Wednesday morning.
the 660-foot hallway in the new building.
The first floor will house classrooms, a new band hall and a new cafeteria. Science
See SMITH/7 A
Workers finishing efforts to remove mold from schools
By Martin Malacara
If students at Arlon Seay, Canyon and Mountain Valley Intermediate schools get the sniffles, they can’t blame the mold.
That’s because the Comal Independent School District spent the summer removing mold from the three intermediate schools.
CISD maintenance consultant Roy Linnartz said the district, along with construction workers, environmental engineers and the Texas Department of Health, teamed up to eliminate and prevent the mold from returning.
The only thing left for construction workers to finish See MOLD/7A
Key Code 76
Plane crash victim renews vows in hospital
From Staff Reports
SAN ANTONIO — On the 35th anniversary of his wedding, Jan Klinck regained consciousness long enough to renew his wedding vows to his wife, SaUy.
Klinck, 57, was the pilot of the private plane that crashed one week ago in Spring Branch. He and his brother Gary, 49, were seriously burned in the fire that resulted from the accident.
Both men were flown to Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston shortly after the crash.
They are being treated in an intensive care section of the hospital’s burn unit.
B A M C public affairs spokeswoman Norma Guerra said Wednesday morning that both men remain in critical condition
See CRASH/7 A