New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - January 7, 2011, New Braunfels, Texas
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“We do have a good strong system. We just had something that circumvented it. That’s why we did the audit in the fall to ensure that our current system had integrity, and we think that it did,” Ferguson said.
“We sent a letter to all parents of seniors back in November, letting them know that we had high school and district-level administrators who spent several days during the fall semester, checking every transcript for students in the class of 2011 and at that time, there were no discrepancies in the checked documents,” Ferguson said.
“A school district has a high level of expectation of transparency in the work that we do every day. We have an even higher level of expection of our employees to always follow polices, procedures, laws and regulations. It’s important to maintain that trust and we certainly don’t want to fail in that,” she said.
Ferguson said the district acted promptly in bringing the preliminary findings of its own investigation to the New Braunfels Police Department.
“We took that to the New Braunfels Police Department in October 2010... We cooperated with the New Braunfels Police Department’s case of suspected tampering of student records of a district employee,” she said.
Ferguson confirmed that the basics of the grand jury indictments findings meshed with the NBISD investigation.
Prior to her central office assignment, Racanelli was an assistant principal. She came to NBISD 13 years ago from Judson ISD. She and her husband, a local businessmen, have raised their children in New Braunfels.
She resigned following the October investigation into the allegations.
For Sammy McCrary, at an office that daily investigates the most atrocious crimes in Comal County, a case that documents the professional fall of a respected school administrator is not a high point.
"It’s a real unfortunate case,” he said. “You’ve got a lady who has a clean record, who did something incredibly stupid
and I can’t for the life of me say why,” he said.
“I don’t know if she just thought she’d help those two girls out... you had to know you’d get caught," McCrary said.
An indictment is not a finding of guilt in a court of law.
Racanelli's attorney, Wade Arledge, said his client is distressed about what could be a career-ender. She acted alone in the incident, he said.
“Nobody knew what she was doing but her," he said.
He said her mental health was a factor.
“Depression has terrible consequences at times, and this is one of those times,” he said. “She’s been a great administrator for NBISD, and had a really good career. It’s sad to see it end this way ... She has a lot of friends around her,” he said.
Second scandal this week
It’s been a difficult week at NBISD.
On Tuesday, OakRun Middle School teacher and coach Clinton David Beck, 26, was arrested on allegations of sex-ting a 13-year-old female student.
Rigo Montera is president of the NBISD school board. He acknowledged the doubledip of stress the district has been placed under.
“As unfortunate as these situations have been, it has been a tough week for the district. By no means do these incidents define the school district. It doesn’t define it or take away the credibility the district has established.
“We’ve got the finest teachers and the finest staff in the state of Texas," he said.
“Overall, we’re one of the best districts in the state. I’m confident the community sees that. They’ve seen what the district can accomplish. We’re going to overcome it, and we’re going to overcome it together,” he said.
Montera applauded the way the administration handled the two crises.
“1 think our administration handled them appropriately and they acted promptly. I don’t think anything else could have been done,” he said. “(The situations were) not tolerable, and our administration made it clear we’re not going to tolerate when our children’s safety or our credibility (are in jeopardy).”
2 REPUBLICANS VOTED BEFORE THEY TOOK OATH
WASHINGTON (AP) — It only took two days for majority Republicans in the House to suffer their first embarrassment.
Two of their members, including the House Republican campaign chairman, voted a half-dozen times in Wednesday's opening session before they were sworn in.
Reps. Pete Sessions, the campaign chief, and Mike Fitzpatrick were at a reception in the Capitol Visitor Cen
ter when other members took the oath.
The two men saw House Speaker John Boehner swearing in members on television and raised their hands before the screen believing they were taking the oath, said Jo Maney, spokeswoman for House Rules Committee chairman David Dreier of California.
They were officially sworn in Thursday, but Republicans needed to craft a way to fix the problem.
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most gracious gentlemen I’ve ever known.”
Boyer recalled an act of kindness Borchers did years ago for the Boyer family: "My parents bought a lot from him in the summer of 1992. When they died that summer, Bill was gracious enough to buy that lot back at cost. He didn’t have to do that, but it was the right thing to do — and that’s the kind of guy he was.”
When Boyer began practicing law, Borchers took him under his wing.
"He was a mentor and a role model for some of us young attorneys — and continued to be until the day he died,” Boyer said.
As a developer, the mayor said, Bill Borchers “did what
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compliance with the design," Krause said.
Ihe $16.3 million dam project would be built on Dry Comal Creek between Krueger Canyon Road and FM 482 west of New Braunfels to reduce flooding in New Braunfels and in other areas of the Dry Comal Creek watershed.
he said he was going to do. He was led by good business principles and was somebody you could trust and believe in. It was always a joy to be able to talk and work with him. He was just a wonderful gentleman.”
Rusty Brockman, director of economic development for New Braunfels, said when the Lavaca County native Borchers came to New Braunfels in the late 1950s as a young attorney, he was most likely looked upon as an “auslander.”
"But it didn’t take long for him to become known as a respected businessperson as well as just a generally kind, fine man," Brockman said. "I always appreciated in Bill his ability to be able to care about New Braunfels deeply within his soul. I think many people in the community admired that in him.”
Comal County has been awarded a federal grant of more than $10 million to help pay for the project.
Work on the dam project began in August 2009, but stalled the following October when unstable soil conditions were found at the dam site and officials began to question whether the dam as then designed would work. The county and the architects of the original dam design, the Florida-based CH2M Hill, are
"Bill was a good friend,” said Brockman. “I’ll miss him and the community of New Braunfels, Texas, will miss him also. He always had a smile on his face, even when he was not feeling well. He was they type of person who didn’t let much get him down.”
"Everybody respected him,” said Ray Schoch of the Breakfast I.ions Club, where Borchers had been a member for a quarter-century. “I le was solid and unpretentious."
As a developer, Schoch said, Borchers always “looked out for New Braunfels. He was not out to see how much he could make, but respected the community and did everything he could to improve it. He was a good attorney and had quite a following.”
Attorney Zipp said Borchers was a man "you could truly
now locked in a legal battle.
Last summer, the county met with Freese and Nichols, who proposed a “deep wall” beneath the dam to help ensure its stability.
Freese and Nichols is now proposing a design that will feature not only a deep wall, but the excavation of the unstable soil, which will be replaced with a concrete block.
Commissioners on Thursday also:
“If he told you something, you could bank on it," said Zipp. “If you needed something done, you could count on him. I can only say good things about Bill. I’m sorry to hear he passed.”
Zipp said his father and Borchers served on the old bank’s board of directors together. “Bill was a conservative individual, like most bankers are. My dad was the same way. They felt your word had to be your bond, that in banking it had to be that way."
Bill also "enjoyed his ranch around Victoria and Yoakum," Zipp said.
"We had an affinity because we both went to Texas A&M," said Zipp.
“I’ll be pulling for the Aggies in the Cotton Bowl on Friday — and I know Bill will be, too.”
• Approved the $795,000 budget of the Water Oriented Recreation District of Comal County for 2011.
• Named Judge Krause to represent Comal County on the Policy Committee of the Board of Directors of the Conference of Urban Counties.
•Heard a request from Stan Cobb of Garden Ridge to support a law mandating daytime running lights or headlights on vehicles to be illuminated at all times.
State House Speaker Straus faces ethics complaint
AUSTIN (AP) — A conservative watchdog group has filed ethics complaints against Texas House Speaker Joe Straus over his campaign finance reports.
The complaints allege that Straus, a San Antonio Republican seeking another term as speaker, illegally took money from corporations and failed to report details of some expenditures. An attorney for Straus said the complainants may have confused a corporate political action committee for a corporation.
T think these folks are politically motivated and made a bunch of unfounded assertions that simply don’t amount to any violations of the applicable rules," said Straus attorney J.D. Pauer-stein.
"Speaker Straus has directed all of us who work with him on these campaign
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issues to comply with the letter and spirit of the law, and that's what we try to do. As far as we're concerned, we've done everything appropriately."
The complaints filed with the Texas Ethics Commission were brought by community activists in Walker and Montgomery counties, calling themselves the Texas Ethics Advisory Board.
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ture Council's report. When I do, I will work with the Transportation Commission to determine the changes we need to implement to become a better agency. That remains my goal," Saenz said later, in a statement.
Another recommendation includes hiring a chief information officer to oversee technology for TxDOT, which has a two-year budg-
et topping $16 billion.
TxDOT is overseen by the five-member Texas Transportation Commission. Commissioners are appointed by Gov. Rick Perry.
I he review council also included Jay Kimbrough, a former Perry chief of staff, and David Laney, a former Transportation Commission chairman.
The council also recommends that the $192,500 salary cap on the executive director’s position be lifted, in order to attract additional qualified candidates
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