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View Sample Pages : New Braunfels Herald Zeitung, January 09, 2007

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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - January 9, 2007, New Braunfels, Texas IT If TUESDAY, JANUARY 9,2007 Herald Zeitung Ap Newspaper of the Year sports Tuna to go? Cowboys coach Bill Parcells uncertain if he will return next season. Page 5 forum Back to Austin Lawmakers head back to the Capitol with an extra $14.3 billion, funds that should go to education. Page 4 Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852 Vol. 147 No. 45 12 pages, 1 section C K 5cc www? j Sunny High Low 65 34 Details .....6 DEAR ABBY 8 CLASSIFIEDS 9-12 COMICS CROSSWORD FORUM OBITUARIES SPORTS TV GRIDS ...............� .... . � -.......v......... .......-................. rw��wjk��w^ 247 volunteers ready for disaster response By Suzanne Ashe StaffWriter A group of local volunteers plans to be ready to react if New Braunfels sees another exodus of hurricane evacuees as the city experienced after hurricanes Katrina and Rita. At Monday night's New Braunfels City Council meeting, David Welsch, chairman of the Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, VOAD, deliv- ered some good news. "I'm amazed at the process, at what this committee did," Welsch said. He told the city council that VOAD has completed its organizational and operational plan, which will guide the city through a disaster response. The organization now has 24 active members and volunteers who will act as liaisons, center managers, training coordination administrators and Web site facilitators during and after a disaster. "We have 247 (members in our) Tier 1 disaster volunteer reserve, who can open shelters and are the first-line people in the first 72 hours of an event," Welsch said. He said VOAD has 55 Tier 2, damage assessment recovery volunteers and five Tier 3 Red Cross instructors. Welsch explained tier 2 damage assessment volunteers can help in shelters during and after an event. "We have to have people knowledgeable to see what kind of damage we have," he said. After Welsh's presentation, Mayor Bruce Boyer congratulated him and the VOAD organization. "1 want to thank you all personally for all of your hard work," Boyer said. For more information on VOAD, go Comal County VOAD's Web site at BUILDING DESIGN STANDARDS UP FOR DISCUSSION TONIGHT The New Braunfels City Council and City Planning Commission will hold a joint special meeting this evening at 6:30 in City Council Chambers, 424 Castell Ave. The council will consider building design standards for the city. Finding money for colleg e New Braunfels High School Counselor Socorro Torres talks with senior Michael Carta about financial aid options available to him for college. David Ingram /Herald-Zeitung State official tests middle school air Make going to school easier by finding funds first Facts about funding H Financial aid can Cay for tuition, ooks, rent, food and transportation.. B Aid is available to part-time students. � Students with wealthy parents can apply for low-i nterest I pans. __ H Most scholarships are awarded by individual colleges. 'B Private colleges generally award more scholarships than public schools^ By D. Ashley Verrill StaffWriter Of the many important things high school seniors learn during their final year, filling out one particular application ranks at the top of the list. Now that most college application deadlines have passed, area seniors are learning that it's time to figure out how to pay for a degree that can cost more than many pay for their first vehicle. Thankfully, the government offers many financial aid options for students entering into college life. But the trick is sorting through the mass of scholarships, grants and loans in enough time for the acceptance le tter. "I first I was kind of scared," said 17-year-old Canyon High School senior Carole Norris. "But the FAFSA really wasn't that hard. It was kind of like applying for a driver's license." Jan. 1 marked the first filing date for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, and Canyon High Career Services Coordinator Sherry Miller said the sooner this application is sent off the better. It takes between two and four weeks for online applications to be processed, and four to eight weeks for mailed submissions but students do not have to wait until they are accepted to a university to apply. "Each college is allotted a certain amount of money to offer for grants and scholarsliips and they are given out on a first come first serve basis," Miller said. "In the end, you might qualify See FUNDS Page 9 By D. Ashley Verrill StaffWriter A state health official performed several air quality tests at New Braunfels Middle School Monday following a county official's visit last week. Texas Department of Health Services indoor air quality official Bill Lloyd and Comal County Health inspectors are investigating Marci Shuey's complaint mat the school facility contributed to her eight-grade daughter's asthma and allergies problems. NBISD Director of Facilities Daryl Stoker said Friday that a local health official performed air quality tests on the first visit to the school last Wednesday. However, Joe Lara, Comal County Health supervisor overseeing code compliance, said Monday the health department did not ask for any air quality tests that day. The tests were done Monday by the state official, Lara said. Stoker did not return three phone calls Monday. NBISD public information officer Stephanie Ferguson said she did not know what air quality tests were performed Monday, but she said Lloyd was joined by a local health official and an environmental representative from the Texas Association of School Boards for a three hour visit. TASB is a volunteer-run, nonprofit statewide organi- "We just wanted to give another set of eyes and make sure everything was done correctly." - Stephanie Ferguson, IMBISDspokeswoman explaining why a Texas Association of School Boards official accompanied state and local health officials performing air quality tests at the middle school. zation invited by the school district to oversee the tests. "We just wanted to give another set of eyes and make sure everything was done correctly," Ferguson said. Officials from the state health department and the association of school boards' office would not comment on the visit. Lara did not know how many tests were conducted, but said relative humidity testing was performed. Relative humidity levels are important, he said, because they determine if the conditions are present that would induce the growth of mold. Humidity levels would have to be above 50 percent for conditions to suggest possible mold growth. However, Lara said he did not know if inspectors tested specifically for mold. Shuey said her daughter had noticed leaks in the school ceiling several times before Shuey visited to see the leaks for herself Thursday. See SCHOOL Page 9 Tax aide volunteers start training to help locals pay dues to Uncle Sam By Mauri Elbel StaffWriter Harry and Cynthia Myers no longer fear tax season. "I do not dread tax season," said Harry Myers, a 74-year old New Braunfels resident. "I look forward to it as a matter of fact." For the past five years, Myers has received free assistance from the American Association of Retired Persons' (AARP) locally-operated tax aide program. AARP Tax-Aide, the largest free, volunteer-run tax preparation and assistance service in the United States, serves low-and middle-income taxpayers catering especially to those 60 and older. Before receiving help from the AARP's Get help with taxes � What: AARP's Tax Aide � When: Feb; 1- April 14,' Tues,Thurs, 1 to 5 p.m. B Where: First Protestant Church Outreach Center,; -303 S. Castell Ave. takes a load off of our minds knowing we do not have to sit for hours worrying about what was left off or not put in. It just relieves a lot of stress, I think." In 2006, AARP Tax-Aide assisted more than 2 million tax payers nationwide, with 1.2 million filing federal tax returns and 866,000 filing their taxes online. Locally, the program helped 1,200 New Braunfels and Canyon Lake residents file tiieir 2005 tax returns in 2006, the majority of which were filed on-line. "This program provides a valuable service to taxpayers," said Teresa Ogg, local co-coordinator for the program's New Braunfels site. "Everybody has to pay their taxes, and this service allows � Find but more: Cal Teresa . Ogg at 620-0873, Frank Parks at 608:1271, or visit . ,,org/taxaide. the'm to pay their taxes with ease through ^ 1 ;' * help from people who are certified." Tax-Aide program, the Myers prepared and filed their Volunteers at the local tax aide program provide a variety own taxes. "It takes the pressure off of us," Myers said. "This just See TAX Pa9e 9 David Ingram/Herald-Zeitung AARPTax-Aide volunteers learn the ropes on 2006 tax returns at a training class Monday morning. About 1,200 area residents got help from AARP volunteers to fill out their tax returns last spring. FIND IT IN OUR CLASSIFIEDS Advanced I Brc ORE IN IT FOR YO www.Herald-Zeitung.Com 0856825000011 ;