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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung Newspaper Archives

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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 17, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas President-elect George W. Bush named retired Gen. Colin Powell as secretary of state Saturday, bringing “an American hero, an American example and a great American story” back into public life. /IC ► River City action The Canyon Cougars and the New Braunfels Unicorns took on some tough competition in the River City Classic boys’ basketball tournament at New Braunfels High School./! B ► Give, give, give ’Tis the season for giving, and local organizations are making it easy for residents to help their less fortunate neighbors. Find out how you can help this holiday season./! C Windy weekend By The Associated Press Strong winds blew over parts of Texas on Saturday, but skies otherwise were expected to remain mostly sunny throughout the weekend. South Texas is forecast to be mostly sunny on Sunday, although some parts may be partly cloudy. High temperatures should be mostly in the 50s and 60s. Index Abby.............................................2C Business................................5-6B Classified................................1-1    OD Starnmtisch..................................3C Forum...........................................6A Local/Metro...................................4A Obituaries.................................3A Sports....................................1-4B Today............................................2A Television...........................TV    Week Key cod* 77 Home of hopes CHRIS PACE/Herald-Zeitung Bottom photo: A year ago, Christmas looked bleak for newly widowed Jennifer McGinley and her three children. Above: Comal County Habitat of Humanity has made this holiday season much more hopeful with work under way on a new house. McGinley is joined at the site by her family and mother Sharon Bittner. Young widow getting hand up from Habitat for Humanity By Betty Taylor i Editor A Just more than a year ago, Jennifer McGinley lost her husband, Shaun, in a traffic accident, leaving her a 22-year-old widow with three small children. “It’s hard,” she said. “People ask, ‘How are you doing?’ and you say, ‘Fine,’ but you’re really not.” Comal County Habitat for Humanity is laying the foundation for a better life for Jennifer McGinley and her children. Jennifer and her children — Austin, 6; Lillie, 5; and Star, 2 1/2 — have faced a mountain of financial and health problems since her husband’s death. Both Jennifer and Star are recuperating from hospital stays. Lillie also has faced some medical problems, and all three children are try ing to cope with living without their dad. Somehow, the family has managed to survive on a teacher’s aide salary, living in an $800 a month apartment. That is why, McGinley said, a house will help ease what easily could be the weight of the world on her shoulders right now. Earlier this year, McGinley was accepted as a candidate for a Habitat for Humanity house. Since then, she has since been working alongside Habitat for Humanity volunteers every Saturday as they cleared the donated lot near Canyon Lake. While McGinley still will buy the house, the reduction in monthly payments compared to her apartment rent is something she anticipates. “It will be much better for me,” McGinley said. See HOM E/3 A REAVES NBISD chief objects to city’s new drainage fee By Jo Lee Ferguson AND JENNIFER RODRIGUEZ Staff Writers New Braunfels’ new drainage ordinance has left New Braunfels Independent School District officials with a bag full of questions. Ron Reaves, NBISD superintendent, said he did not believe the school district, a tax-assessing entity, should have to pay a drainage utility fee. “We’re going to have to assess our taxpayers to help pay for this fee,” Reaves said. “We feel like as a taxing entity, we should be exempt.” The city council recently approved an ordinance that declares the city drainage system a utility, much like water and electricity. The ordinance includes a drainage utility fee to be paid on all improved lots. Revenues from the utility fee will be used to pay for engineering, operation, maintenance and administration of the city’s drainage system. Council has scheduled a Jan. 8 public hearing to consider a resolution setting the drainage utility fees. Reaves said the district could pay more than $ 12,000 a year in drainage fees. After several conversations with the city engineer, Reaves could not understand what parts of his district would be used to measure the fee. The proposed resolution charges different fees for residential and commercial structures. As written, the proposed resolution would classify the school district under the commercial category- The proposed fee for commercial buildings would be SIO to $200 a month, depending on the “square footage of improved structures” as determined by the local appraisal distncts. The drainage ordinance exempts municipal, county and state governments. “We’re still working with the city to see if we can better understand how this fee is going to be presented to the council,” Reaves said. Councilman Larry Alexander said schools had structures that affect drainage. “The businesses and the homeowners are having to pay. I think the churches, the school districts and non-profits still have buildings and they still have drainage, and they should possibly take some of the See DRAINAGESVol. 150, No. 32    30    pages    in    4    sections    December    17,    2000    ^CFV*ng    ^oma*    County    s*nce    *852    $1.00 Inside ► Powell picked Meadow Creek going forward without cutting prices “I’m disappointed that they re going to keep the price of their homes in the same range. I think that s very unfair to the neighbors” — Councilman Larry Alexander Brookshire Homes says houses will meet city requirements By Jo Lee Ferguson Staff Writer Brookshire Homes announced Friday that Meadow Creek subdivision homes will meet New Braunfels’ requirements but starting prices will remain in the $70,000-range. Brookshire Homes and the city of New Braunfels have been involved in a legal battle over the future of the subdivision. “We’re excited to announce that Meadow Creek is going to go forward,” Brookshire Home spokesman T.J. Connolly said. “We’re going to begin an aggressive relaunch immediately.” Councilman Larry Alexander, who represents that neighborhood, was not happy w ith the news. “I’m disappointed that they’re going to keep the price of their homes in the same range,” he said. “I think that’s very unfair to the neighbors. I’m disappointed that they're going to leave their signs up there.” But the city can do little about that, he said. Connolly said 45 of the original 60 lets remain in phase I of Meadow Creek. Plans also are under w ay for phase II, which will consist of about 40 lots, and a possible third phase. The remaining lots in phase I still w ill be priced in the $70,000 to $120,000 price See MEADOW CREEK/5A NB school district enlists arborist to save campus trees By Jennifer Rodriguez Staff Writer On the front lawn of Lamar Primary, a live oak tree — a species known for its sturdiness — has shaded students for decades. It has survived floods, lightning and drought, but district officials like trustee Bill Biggadike want to make sure it survives an even deadlier threat — construction. “When you do constriction work around a tree, it’s not about putting orange tape around the tree,” Biggadike said. “A lot goes in to saving a tree. “At Lamar, they’ve got some really gorgeous oak trees ... and we wanted to make sure what we were doing was going to protect that one big tree.” So New Braunfels Independent School District called in a professional arborist to figure out how to protect the trees that fill their properties during construction. See TREES/5A Cheer Fund Volunteer Bob Peterson, right, delivers food to the Munos, Martinez and Ortega family Saturday on Mueller Ranch Road for the annual Herald-Zeitung Cheer Fund. See the editorial on Page 6A. CHRIS PACE/Herald- | Zeitung ;