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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - February 22, 2011, New Braunfels, Texas ■ BOYS BASKETBALL, 6Canyon, New Braunfels head to bi-district playoffs ■ NATIONAL POLITICS, 2CNN's Gergen speaks at Seguin'sTLU tonight ■ CRIME, 8$200 Reward: Comal County's 10 Most Wanted TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2011 Texas jfp Newspaper of the Year Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852 Hispanic growth outpaces others in Comal By Greg Bowen The Herald-Zeitung The number of housing units in New Braunfels jumped 57 percent from 2000 to 2010, while the 54 percent Hispanic growth rate in Comal County outpaced the ► NBISD BOARD NBISD prepares to redistrict following Census By Will Wright The Herald-Zeitung The New Braunfels Independent School District’s school board was set to entertain two significant issues during its monthly regular meet-ing Monday night at the NBISD Education Center Board Room. The first was a presentation by Superintendent Randy Moczygemba about the district’s expected $7.6 million budget shortfall for each of the next two years. The second was the second part of a three-part series briefing trustees on the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) exam. However, as of press time Monday, the board hadn’t heard either item. Wrapped up in a long executive session following a report outlining necessary redistricting mandated by the 2010 decennial census, the board seemed headed for a very long evening. Yet to be heard were architects planning renovations at seven elementary schools and construction projects at OakRun and New Braunfels middle schools and the construction of the new middle school and transportation facility, both to be located in the Legend Pond area off Klein Road. Also, assistant superintendent Victoria Pursch was to give an update on the STAAR exam’s impact on grades 3-8, which will take the test for the first time beginning next year. A report on those issues and more will be featured in Wednesday’s Herald-Zeitung. On Monday the NBISD board heard from Judy Brown, of the Walsh Anderson law firm based in Austin, who briefed trustees about the impact of 2010 census results on single-member redistricting. State and federal law dictate realignment according to census results, adjusted to account for race and adequate proportioning. Brown said the district's four districts, which averaged 6,548 residents per district after the last count in 2001, has likely expanded to 7,800 now. See NBISD, Page 10 white growth rate. Those are just two of the statistics derived from 2010 Census data, released Friday, which shed light on such things as the racial mix of New Braunfels and Comal County, the percentage of older to younger citizens, and the ratio of occupied to vacant housing units. Here are the stats: WHITES, HISPANICS Residents who identified themselves as white made up the largest percentage of the population again in 2010, totaling 86.8 percent of the citizenry in New Braunfels and 89.4 percent in Comal County, according to the Census figures. Hispanics or latinos, of any race, made up 35 percent of the population in New Braunfels and 24.8 percent in Comal County in the 2010 Census. The ratios of whites and Hispanics remained about the same as found in the 2000 Census, when whites made up 84.2 percent of the popu- See CENSUS, Page 10 Clearing the Way a _    ,    .    LAURA    McKENZIE/Herald-Zeitunq A crew works to remove an uprooted tree in the parking lot at Schlitterbahn Waterparks on Friday. Schlitterbahn razes fourth of‘protected’ trees to make room for more rides, accommodations By J. Louise Larson The Herald-Zeitung A fourth of the trees at Schitter-bahn Waterparks in New Braunfels are coming down to make way for new rides and better accommodations. More trees will be planted in the park to replace an estimated half of the total loss of 2,520 inches of tree circumference, according to an application summary for the tree removal permit on file with the City of New Braunfels. The loss of the trees, which initially includes about a fourth of the “protected trees” at the park, will include a plan to replace half of the lost trees with trees planted where they will complement the facility. Schlitterbahn has 12 months to replace the trees. The plans will enhance — not detract from — the beauty of the park, and won’t complicate potential flooding issues in the area, said Jeffrey Siebert, director of corporate communications and sales for Schlitterbahn Waterparks. “In about two weeks, we’re going to announce a full plan with computer animation and renderings and changes for the 2011 season,” he said. “We’re very excited to announce all the fun we have in store for the coming year — this is a small step in that direction... We know our guests are absolutely going to love it,” Siebert said. “It’s really neat to see this part of the property, how beautiful it’s going to turn out. We’ve removed the older lodging accommodations, and we’re putting in something much prettier to look at,” he said. A new area called “the Grand Lawn” will be park-like, and a major warehouse will be remodeled for greatly improved appearance, he said. “I think it will look much nicer to our guests... During the construction phase, it’s not so pretty,” he said. A Herald-Zeitung reader e-mailed to voice her concern about tree removal and digging up riverbank along the Comal River between Garden Street and San Antonio Street. “That is proportionally a HUGE strip of land along the Comal River. Drainage and flooding is such a hot topic in our City right now. Does anyone not realize that removing that many ‘OLD’ trees on the riverbank See TREES, Page 10 500 ► PEC LEADER PEC taps Sloan as new CEO The Board of Directors of Pedernales Electric Cooperative selected industry veteran R.B. Sloan Jr. to lead the nation’s largest electric distribution cooperative. Sloan, formerly a utilities director for two municipalities and the CEO of a 120,000-member cooperative, will assume his new role on March 6. “The Board sought an agent of change, an experienced utility CEO with proven leadership and managerial skills See PEC, Page 10 Sloan ■ MISSING Joshua Davis Jr., 18 months, disappeared from his New Braunfels home Call (830) 620-TIPS if you have a tip. A reward of up to $5,000 is being offered. Rumors fly about Josh Police to continue search for boy today By J. Louise Larson The Herald-Zeitung Fueled by social media and the public’s desire to know of the fate of baby Joshua Davis, rumors are flying that the missing toddler has been found. In fact, the New Braunfels Police Department was quiet Monday as the hive of investigative activity involving federal and state law enforcement agencies gave way to a break for President’s Day, said Sgt. Fred Pfeil, adding that the investigation will be back in force today, Tuesday. “ They will be back in tomorrow,” he said in a Monday See JOSHUA, Page 10 Vol. 158, No. 88 10 pages, 1 section Inside CLASSIFIEDS    8 COMICS    7 CROSSWORD    7 FORUM    4 OBITUARIES 3 Cloudy PLANNER    5    Hi9h    Low SPORTS    6    71    56 TV GRID    9    Details    5 March 3 hearing set in records tampering case a ""56825 00001 50 cents By J. Louise Larson The Herald-Zeitung A non-evidentiary pre-trial hearing has been set for March 3 for former NBISD administrator Elisa Racanelli, who was indicted in January on allegations of tampering with government records in the case of two New Braunfels Independent School District seniors. Racanelli waived arraignment earlier this month. A plea deal settlement involving probation is expected in the case. The records involved in the case allegedly belonged to two female seniors at New Braunfels High School who needed to go up in class ranking to make the top 10 percent in order to get into the University of Texas. According to two sources, the alleged tampering involved a paper document forwarded to a university, not the district’s computerized accountability system. “I think the registrar’s signature was forged on both of them,” said Comal County Chief Felony Prosecutor Sammy McCrary. Prior to her centra) office assign ment, Racanelli was an assistar principal. She came to NBISD 13 years ag from Judson ISD. She and her hut band raised their children in Nei Braunfels. She resigned following the Octc her investigation into the allege tions. An indictment is not a finding c guilt in a court of law. Racanelli’s attorney, Wad Arledge, said in January his client i distressed about an incident genet ally acknowledged to be a potentk career-ender. ;