New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - August 31, 1999, New Braunfels, Texas
20332 HODO J 0/22/99 SO-WEGT NICRORUBLI 2627 E YANDELL DR
I PPI SO, TX 7990 3
Vol, 148, No, 203 12 pages in I section August 31, 1999Tuesday Serving Comal County since 1852
Kmart makes plans to get bigger
By Peri Stone-Palmquist
Customers at New Braunfels’ Kmart might have trouble finding merchandise for the next few weeks, but by Oct. 25, everything will be settled, including six new counters with groceries.
The store, 1050 Interstate 35 East, is undergoing a 10-week makeover to become a “Big Kmart.”
“Every department will be remodeled,” store manager Stanley Byrd said. “It’ll be lighter and brighter.”
And the store will start selling groceries, making at least one customer happy.
“I like to be able to do more in one place,”
shopper Laurel Evans of New Braunfels said. “It’s a hassle to drive around.”
. Evans said she looked forward to buying groceries there.
Byrd said several customers asked for groceries at the store, especially because another grocery store was not nearby.
Because of space constraints, the New Braunfels store was not able to incorporate a full-size grocery store, like the ones found in “Super Km arts.”
Super Kmarts have been around for about five years, but Big Kmarts are a 2-year-old concept.
Unlike Super Kmarts, Big Kmarts do not have fresh produce sections, bakeries, hair salons or banks. Big Kmarts also do not sell
meat, other than sandwich meat.
The grocery space in Super Kmarts is typically 150,000 square feet — versus 80,000 square feet in Big Kmarts.
Most of the ideas for the renovation came from Anderson Consulting, which polled customers and asked them what they did and did not like about Kmart.
“They found that our target customer was a woman age 35 to 45 with two and one-half kids,” Byrd said “So we expanded our makeup section and pushed domestics to die front of the store.”
Boys and girls apparel has been moved to the front of the store as well, pushing the jew-See KMART/5
Bus battle baffles familyGrandmother asking for consistency, reliability from CISD officials
By Heather Todd Staff Writer
Bulverde resident Dawn Allison sits on her front porch every afternoon to watch for her 6-year-old grandson, not knowing which bus will bring him home or what time he will be dropped off.
Dawn said her grandson, Rahe Primary first-grader Christian Lavin, had not been dropped off at a consistent time — and even sometimes as late as 5 p.m. — since school started Aug. 16.
Many Comal Independent School District parents living in the Hill Country are frustrated with unpredictable pick-up and drop-off times and long bus routes.
Ken Franklin, director of transportation for CISD, said bus routes in the Hill Country were always unpredictable because of the district’s continued growth. But he said the transportation department also was facing a shortage of trained drivers in the Hill Country and was in the process of trying to implement a new transportation plan.
“We are doing the best we can with what we have, but we never know how many we’re going to have from day to day. One day we ll have 50 kids on a bus, another we’ll have 65, then the next day we’ll have 50” Franklin said.
On the second day of school, Christian was put on the wrong bus and dropped off a quarter of a mile from his house in the Oaks North subdivision off Borgfeld Road, Dawn said.
Bella Lavin, Christian’s mother, said, “He walked down the street by himself, and that’s very dangerous.”
On the fourth day of school, the first-grader was transferred to another bus and didn’t arrive home until close to 5 p.m.
Bella said, “I was totally terrified. No one called me to tell me his bus had changed and I didn’t know where he was. I tried to call the transportation department and find out where he was, but they told he had been dropped off. And I said,
‘No, he’s not at home because I’m here and he’s not,’” she said.
Dawn and her husband Don, who care for Christian and his 3-year-old brother Tyler while their mother completes basic training in Fort Jackson, S.C., said they were tired of worrying where their grandchild was and wanted some answers.
Christian Lavin, a first-grader at Rahe Primary School, points to the comer where he was dropped off on Aug. 17 after he was put on the wrong school bus. Lavin had to walk a quarter mile to his home. His grandmother, Dawn Allison, would like to see more consistency and reliability in bus pickup and drop off times for Comal ISD students.
“I don’t expect for them to drive the buses like a taxi cab and bring him directly home from school, but I want some kind of routine,” Dawn said. “I want to know what bus he’s on, when he’s going to get home and where he is.”
Franklin said the first couple of weeks of school did not have a consistent schedule because students were coming back to school at different times. Kindergartners did not start school until Aug. 18.
Franklin said other bus drivers had to drive double routes, or take on other routes, to compensate for the lack of drivers.
“We have the people, but we don’t have anybody to train them right now,” he said.
Many bus drivers said the confusion stemmed from the loss of the department’s lead drivers.
Bus driver Suzanne Crandall is one of many drivers who have voiced criticism of the new transportation plan to the board of trustees.
She said the plan, developed by trustee Lester W. Jonas, eliminated the lead driver positions, which served as middlemen between drivers and supervisors and helped coordinate routes.
Crandall said on the first day of school bus drivers faced a fight on a bus, a lost driver and a lost child because of poor communication between each other and supervisors.
Franklin said Clark Shuler, the Hill Country supervisor, now has to coordinate and watch over 80 routes in the district.
Trustee Jonas, who developed the plan, said it made the system more efficient by transferring the lead drivers to trainer positions.
Dawn said she was aware of the growth in the district and the driver shortage, but the children and their parents should not have to suffer.
Bella said, “I pay a lot of taxes and they (drivers) just got a raise. I just want to know what time my child will get home.”
With about 11,000 students in CISD and about 60 percent, or 6,500 students, riding the buses, Franklin said contacting every parent was difficult.
“We have about IOO routes, and maybe 50 of them have a problem getting home late, how areSee BUS/5
Mein accused of molesting girls enters pleaSentencing scheduled for IO a.m. on Friday
By Heather Todd Staff Writer
A 34-year-old New Braunfels man accused of molesting two young girls pleaded no contest Monday to a charge of indecency with a child by exposure.
George Vasquez Borrego, facing trial for aggravated sexual assault and other sex crimes, entered his plea in front of visiting District Judge Chuck Miller the same day jury selection began for his trial.
Borrego was accused of sexually assaulting two young girls, ages 9 and IO, in 1997. He had been charged with aggravated sexual assault of a child, indecency with a child by contact and indecency with a child by exposure.
Comal County District Attorney Dib Waldrip said Borrego pleaded no contest to the indecency by exposure charge with a cap of eight years in prison.
Aggravated sexual assault is a first-degree felony. If Borrego had been convicted of the charge, he could have faced five to 99 years in prison and a fine not to exceed $10,000.
Indecency with a child by contact is a sec
ond-degree felony punishable with a two-to 20-year jail sentence and a fine not to exceed $10,000.
Indecency with a child by exposure is a third-degree felony punishable with a jail sentence of two to IO years in prison and a fine not to exceed $10,000.
Borrego will be sentenced by Miller at IO a.m. Friday at the Comal County Courthouse.
Comal County Assistant district attorney Ed Jendrzey said Borrego was charged with incidences involving two children in 1997.
Borrego was represented by San Antonio attorney Tony Jimenez III.Bulverde council mulls plan
By Erin Magruder
BULVERDE — Got water?
Bulverde area residents will have an opportunity to discuss a water shortage and other pressing issues
tonight at an open
WHO: Bulverde City Council WHEN: 6 p.m. today WHERE: Bulverde Market Center, Suite 236, U.S. 281 at Farm-to-Market Road 1863
Key code 76
city council and general public workshop meeting.
The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. at the Bulverde Market Center, Suite 236, US. 281 at Farm-to-Market Road 1863.
The workshop, the of its kind in Bulverde, is being conducted to discuss a five-year plan for the grow ing city w ith a population of about 3,600 people, Mayor Bob Barton said.
“The purpose of this meeting is to find out w hat the citizens want,” Barton said. “The Bulverde area has been growing at a rate of about 7 percent per year. The increase rn our city’s population has caused major problems, such as the limited availability of water in this area.”
Water for the Bulverde area is supplied by the Trinity Aquifer.
“We are just about at the limit for water in some areas,” Barton said. “For instance, residents of Bulverde Hills have had a limited availability' of water for several years. In July, they actually ran out of water, and the Bexar Metropolitan Water District had to haul in water for about three days.”
In addition to the dw indling water resources, road upkeep is another important item on the agenda.
“Our roads are in fairly good shape, but many of them need to be resurfaced in the future,” Bartoq said. “At oui last city council meeting, we established a road commission, and now we can make a plan.” Other items of note to be discussed include providing adequate funds to properly staff city hall, defining the government of the community' and the possible establishment of city police and fire departments and a municipal court system.
Although many community issues will be addressed. Barton said he would not w orry if there w as not enough time to discuss all of them.
Council is planning several more open meetings to discuss the future of the city, he said.Soldiers suspected in border drug ring
EL PASO (AP) — It was a drug mig that spanned from Mexico to Alabama — and authorities say Fort Bliss soldiers are suspected in its operation.
The 12 people already arrested for dmg trafficking might be just the tip of the iceberg, said Robert Castillo, special agent in charge for the Drug Enforcement Administration.
The dozen suspects arrested last week have opened a window into a net of money, drugs and corruption that could involve female soldiers who apparently acted as drug couriers or contacts.
4$ ' * *
1 * ^
Kmart assistant manager Ram Kraus (left) and store manager Stan Byrd display some cosmetic items that will be available after the discount store completes its remodeling project at 1050 Interstate 35 East.