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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - February 23, 2011, New Braunfels, Texas NEW BRAUNFELS, CANYON BOYS BATTLE TO STAY ALIVE IN BASKETBALL PLAYOFFS, 7 WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2011 Texasjflp Newspaper of the Year Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852. Board gets sobering budget news NBISD superintendent tells trustees to prepare for 15 percent cut across the system Moczygemba By Will Wright The Herald-Zeitung New Braunfels Independent School District trustees met until almost midnight Monday, hearing suggested ways to deal with the upcoming budget shortfall. ■ RELATED: NBISD board hears report on new STAAR test. Page 2 In his State of the District address, Superintendent Randy Moczygemba gave board members an eye-opening explanation about what caused the district’s $7.6 million deficits for the next two school years, and proposed areas for cuts. Largely blaming the state Legislature for the mess, Moczygemba said NBISD is preparing for 15 percent cuts across the board, including in central administration. “It’s frustrating. Everyone in the room was a little frustrated at some of the things we’re facing,” board president Rigo Montero said. “First and foremost, we’re concerned about personnel. That See BUDGET, Page 3 ► EDWARDS AQUIFER NB wants to hold federal permit City official wants to have say in what happens here By Greg Bowen The Herald-Zeitung New Braunfels must be one of the holders of the federal permit to be sought through the Edwards Aquifer Recovery Implementation Program (EARIP), a city official argued Tuesday. "We’ve got to keep the decision-making authority over what takes place in New Braunfels,” said Nathan Pence, the city’s river activities and watershed program manager. The Edwards Aquifer Authority, San Antonio Water System (SAWS) and the City of San Marcos are other entities that are likely permit applicants and holders. The question of whether there should be a single holder or multiple holders of the federal permit came up during a New Braunfels meeting of EARIP’s Implementing Agreement Drafting Work Group. The group is working to author the supporting documents for the sought-after federal Incidental Take Permit. The ITP would allow a small number of endangered creatures to be killed or harmed incidental to the conduct of lawful recreation and aquifer-pumping activities. As the work group was listing unresolved policy issues to be taken before the larger EARIP Steering Committee, See PERMIT, Page 5 CIVIL SERVICE PETITION TURNED IN LAURA McKENZIE/Herald-Zeitung City Secretary Patrick Aten looks over the petition to put civil service for New Braunfels Police Department on the ballot while seated inside his office on Tuesday. 535 signatures support bid for election By J. Louise Larson The Herald-Zeitung The signatures are in, and supporters say there’s enough of them to get a civil service system for New Braunfels Police Department on the ballot in the May 14 municipal election. Sgt. Chris Peltier is die secretary of New Braunfels Police Officers Association. He said the 535 signatures garnered in the NBPOA petition drive will get the issue before the voters. “We had to obtain 10 percent from the last municipal election’s total votes," Peltier said. The total voter turnout for the May 2010 municipal election was 437 people, according to the minutes of the May 19, 2010 New Braunfels City Council meeting to canvass the election. “The Texas Municipal Police Association obtained those numbers from the City Secretary’s office... they did an open records request,” Peltier said, citing Chapter 143 of the Texas Government code that deals specifically with the police and firefighter civil service. “Because the police department hasn’t done a civil service referendum before, we’re only required to collect 10 percent. If it had been done (before), we would be required to collect 20 percent, but that doesn’t even apply here,” Peltier said. “By my count — and I was being very picky about what was there and what wasn’t there — I counted 535 signatures.” Should the city fail to find enough valid signatures, the association can try to collect more signatures, he said. Additional signatures, if required, must be turned in five business days before March 14. “That’s wh it the (New Braunfels) fire department had to do (in its See PETITION, Page 5 500 ► CHILD SEXUAL ASSAULT Knowles pleads guilty, gets 45 years Man was charged with sexual assault of his granddaughter By J. Louise Larson The Herald-Zeitung Editor's note: The following report, which deals with the aggravated assault of an 8-year-old girl, might offend some readers. Kenneth Ronald Knowles was sentenced Tuesday to three 45-year sentences for continuous sexual abuse of a child. The 58-year-old New Braunfels man pleaded guilty to the charges. He will be 102 before he is eligible for parole in the cases, which included aggravated sexual assault of his granddaughter. Knowles and his wife Nancy, 37, planned to adopt the girl and her sister at the time the incidents occurred, between Feb. 1, 2009 and Sept. 11, 2009. Nancy Knowles has been indicted on a charge of tampering with a witness after her alleged efforts to get the youngster — 8 at the time of the assaults — not to testify. In addition to the penitentiary time, Kenneth Knowles also pleaded guilty and received a two-year state jail sentence for tampering with a witness. All his sentences will run concurrently, said Comal County Chief Felony Prosecutor Sammy McCrary. Charges of aggravated sexual assault of a child involve penetration. “She had been in foster care, and a court in Kentucky terminated parental rights. She had been placed for adoption (with her grandparents), and she was down here to be adopted when he started doing this,” McCrary said. See KNOWLES, Page 5 K. Knowles N. Knowles City council proceeding with project funding By Greg Bowen The Herald-Zeitung A fast-track plan to fund a laundry list of capital improvement projects while interests rates remain low was put before New Braunfels City Council during a Tuesday workshop. Acting sooner rather than later to issue certificates of obligation to finance the projects could save a half-percent on the interest rate and cut an estimated $1.2 million over the life of the debt, said Debi Korin-chock, the city’s chief financial officer. The $18.2 million to be appropriated for the projects would raise the tax rate by 3.62 cents, City Manager Mike Morrison said. Councilor Mark Goodner said he thought one project — a $1.2 million drainage improvement project See COUNCIL, Page 5 Vol. 158, No. 89 12 pages, 1 section Inside CLASSIFIEDS COMICS CROSSWORD FORUM OBITUARIES PLANNER SPORTS TV GRID CLICK h 10 10 4 3 9 7 12 r Cloudy High Low 72 63 Details    9 8'"*56825 00001 i 50 cents MISSING CHILD AL JOSHUA DAVIS JR. Joshua Davis Jr., 18 months, disappeared from his New Braunfels home on Savannah Hill Circle on Feb. 4. He is the son of Josh Davis and Sabrina Benitez. New Braunfels Police, Texas Rangers and FBI agents are actively seeking information on Joshua's whereabouts. Call (830) 620-TIPS if you have a tip. A reward of up to $5,000 is being offered for information. First Commercial Bank, N.A. As Independent as Texas Lobby Hours: i Monday - Thursday 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. i Friday 9 a.m. - 6 p.m WE ARE YOUR FULL SERVICE COMMUNITY BANK! ft Drive Thru Hours: m Monday - Friday 7:30 a m - 6 p m ™ Saturday 8:30 a.m. - 12 30 p.m., — .«A. ........... New Braunfels: Seguin: 1525 S. Seguin Ave. *(830)221-3900 1336 E. Court St Member FDIC 1656 State Hwy. 46 W. • (830) 625-2661 (830) 379-8390 ;