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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - January 13, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas NEW FBI HERALDZEITUNG Vol 149 No 35 14 pages in 2 sections January 13 2000 THURSDAY Serving Comal County since 1852 50 cents Bulverde asked to help preserve land for 281 growth 281 traffic has almost doubled in eight years BY RON MALONEY HeraldZeitung Correspondent BULVERDE Residents here were given a glimpse of the future at Tuesday nights city council meeting lots of peo ple lots of cars and lots of traffic on Highway 281 And it could if not carefully planned include lots of land acquired at lots of expense Transportation planner Julie Brown told Krawietz the state will need an additional 100 to 150 feet of land on both sides of 281 The state owns 220 feet now but could need to 400 feet to 500 feet at exit or cross road locations We know from history what freeway corridors look she said and this is typically what it The 100 to 150 feet would total some 92 acres in Bulverde and 328 acres alto gether in Comal County at an acquisition cost of million in Bulverde and million in the county This price includes factors such as liti gation relocation of existing businesses and diminished property values The money that needs to be spent will come from state and federal coffers most ly but a 10 percent local match also will be needed The total amount that is spent locally could be greatly reduced through proac tive planning and foresight now state offi cials said In the next quarter century Highway 281 in Bexar County south of Cibolo Creek could evolve into an eight lane controlled access freeway replete with exit ramps and frontage roads Clay Smith Director of Transportation Planning for the San Anto nio office of the Texas Department of Transportation told council He asked that the Department of Trans portation be included in the planning process for commercial and residential development along Highway 281 as it already is in Bexar and much of Comal County Smith said his department would like to see plats or maps of proposed develop ments at the earliest stage of the permitting process and be included in early discus sions with developers to try to protect right of way and setback requirements that could See Health alert Amanda The state could lose federal funding for the final phase of improvements on Interstate 35 in New Braunfels if the Environmental Protection Agency deems this area noncompliant or in violation of federal air standards Local officials want residents to prevent air pollution for health reasons however not because of any economic consequences AGOG changes focus to health BY ERIN MAGRUDER Staff Writer The Alamo Area Council of Gov ernments is hoping that the word health will turn a few more local heads than the word ozone has in the past several years Ozone Action Days will now be referred to as Air Quality Health Alert Days and the name change is part of AACOGs campaign to increase public involvement and edu cation on crucial air quality issues We wanted to do something to get more of a reaction from the pub POLLUTION PREVENTION Share a ride to work or school Try to avoid morning rush hour traffic Walk or ride a bicycle Take your lunch to work or school Combine errands into one trip Avoid drivethrough lanes Dont top off your gas tank when refueling Keep your vehicle properly tuned to keep exhaust levels low said Liza Cardenas natural specialist for AACOG We are not doing this because of the economic conse quences of our air quality problems We are doing this for the health of our And people better listen said Comal County Commissioner Jay Millikin who also serves on the AACOG Air Improvement Resources Executive Committee that is made up of area county judges commissioners and mayors During 1999 the San Antonio Metropolitan Statistical Area which includes Comal County exceeded Environmental Protection Agency standards for ozone levels 13 times Millikin said Ozone the most widespread air pollution problem is an intensely irritating gas that damages human lungs and impairs their function the American Lung Association reported A powerful oxidant ozone is capa ble of destroying organic matter including human lung and airway tis sue it essentially burns through cell walls and it is capable of doing this See Trustees to consider school sites CISD will discuss plan that some say violates original bond package BY HEATHER TODD Staff Writer After months of rumors and some threats of legal action a highly charged debate about the location of a new elementary school in southwestern Comal County and the future of a million bond pack age could come to a head Thursday night Comal Independent School District trustees are scheduled to discuss possible locations for new school sites and consider buying land for a new elementary school in the 281 and Cibolo Creek area Thursday night The trustee meeting will begin 6 Thursday at Bill Brown Elementary School 20410 W High way 46 Thursday nights discussion could finally shed some public light on a proposed alternative bond plan some CISD residents said would violate the original million bond package approved by voters and under mine the districts credibility CISD voters approved a two phase bond plan in May 1999 that included building three new elementary schools and one new high school in the Canyon Lake area During the bond campaign the district outlined three general areas for the new elementary schools and designated the area north of Canyon Lake for the new high school But some residents said voters approved the pack age with the expectation that the new lo Creek school would be built in Timberwood Park a subdivision on the west side of 281 in Bexar County The district is looking at school sites on the west and east side of 281 after rejecting a site on Borgfeld Road on the west side of 281 in December Trustees must now decide whether to follow the recommendation of the districts bond oversight committee to stick with the original bond plan or consider an alternative plan proposed by trustee John Bertelsen See CLAY INSIDE Archives Key code 76 Trial continues Friends of slain man say they were unarmed FROM STAFF REPORTS Several friends and relatives of a 21year old Lockhart man shot and killed in February 1998 testified Wednesday at the Comal County Courthouse they were unarmed dur ing a verbal confrontation that led to the fatal shooting A sixman sixwoman jury con tinued hearing testimony Wednes day in the murder trial of 21year old Lockhart resident Carlos Can tu Cantu is charged with firstdegree murder and two counts of aggra vated assault in connection with the shooting of Henry P Silva during a con frontation between two alleged gangs Feb 20 1998 in north Lockhart If convicted of the murder charge Cantu could face up to 99 years or life in prison CANTU Aggravated assault is a second degree felony If convicted Cantu could face two to 20 years in prison Silva suffered a single gunshot wound to the abdomen from a 45 caliber weapon about Feb 20 1998 in the 300 block of China Street in Lockhart The trial was moved to Comal County after State District Judge Charles Ramsay approved the defenses request for a change of venue in November 1998 Ramsay is presiding over Cantus trial Jury selection was completed Monday Two officers with the Caldwell County Sheriffs Department testi fied Tuesday they lived close to the scene of the shooting and heard five gunshots around Feb 20 Friends and relatives of Silva involved hi the verbal confrontation testified Wednesday they were not armed at the time of the shooting and were provoked into the con frontation by the defendant and members of his group Defense attorney Erick Bovik argued Cantu only fired two shots in the air during the confrontation in selfdefense against a militarytype assault on his house The shooting took place in front of Cantus house he said The prosecution told jurors Cantu did not fire the killing shoot but aided in Silvas murder by firing a 38 caliber weapon in the air and at the victims friends as diversion ary fire Two Lockhart men are currently behind bars for their role in Silvas death including one allegedly armed with a 45 caliber weapon ;