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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - January 14, 2011, New Braunfels, Texas ■ ENTERTAINMENT, 2Legendary songwriter playing at Gruene Hall ■ CONCERT CALENDAR, 12What are you doing this weekend? ■ SPORTS, 6Action heats up for local teams on Day 1 of Comal Cup Vol. 158, No. 55 12 pages, 1 section Inside CLASSIFIEDS COMICS CROSSWORD FORUM OBITUARIES PLANNER SPORTS TV GRID 10 8 8 4 3 Cloudy 9    High    Low «    51    47 11    Details    9ujujumuuijuju V\; < .* f i <.11 n p, S / Rp( .options Partios in tho Uptown Court yard Come find out wh your friends voted the Uptown #1 Bar/Nightclub Downstairs in the Prince Solms Inn 295 E. San Antonio 830708-5411 FRIDAY, JANUARY 14, 2011    Texas    ^!fp    Newspaper    of    the    Year Texas/|p Newspaper of the Year ZeitungServing New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852.    5O0 ►KRUEGER DAM With grant at stake, officials hurry to start work on dam If project isn’t completed by July 2012, county could lose $12.2 million in federal money By Greg Bowen The Herald-Zeitung Design work on the long-stalled Krueger Canyon dam project will begin immediately as Comal County races to beat a July 2012 construction deadline or risk forfeiting $12.2 million in federal funds allocated for the $16.3 million project. Dirt could be flying again at the construction site in 30 to 45 days, said County Engineer Tom Hornseth. “I really hope we can make the time limit.” said County Commissioner Greg Parker. “It’s going to be very, very close. Even it if rains, I want (workers) still out there.” County commissioners got the project restarted on Thursday when they voted to hire the Fort Worth-based Freese and Nichols engineering firm to redesign the flood-control project to be built west of New Braunfels. “By approving this contract today, we have a good level of confidence that we can meet the deadline that we’re up against, and that is providing a functional structure by July 31, 2012,” said Hornseth. The federal grant awarded to Comal County to help pay for the project carries with it the 2012 deadline, Hornseth said, because the grant dates back to the record flood* of 1998, when the county first applied for federal funds to build the dam. Federal officials have said local taxpayers will have to foot the bill if the project isn’t functional by the deadline. “That’s why the deadline is so serious,” said Hornseth. “We have the understanding that if the dam isn’t functional by then, the Federal Emergency Management Agency could say, ‘Refund us our money.’” There’s also a chance that FEMA could simply stop distributing grant funding for the project on the deadline date, he said. “But our plan is to have it completed,” Hornseth said. On-the-ground work on the dam project, located on Dry Comal Creek between Krueger Canyon Road and FM 482, began in August 2009, but stalled the following October when unstable soil conditions were found at the dam site. See DAM, Page 5 Boy punished for taking gun to school ^The Herald-Zeitung" Fourth-grader brings Airsoft gun to Freiheit A fourth-grader at Freiheit Elementary School was disciplined after bringing an Airsoft gun to school. The incident occurred in December, said Julie Jerome, communications coordinator for Comal Independent School District. “It’s real black and white in our student code of conduct. If there’s a violation in school, we take appropriate disciplinary measures, according to our code of conduct,” she said, declining to discuss the specific disciplinary measures taken in the incident. While often referred to as “replica firearms,” and considered non- lethal, Airsoft guns shoot BBs using either spring action or gas. The biggest danger with an Airsoft weapon is its authenticity, said Deryl Olddag of Olddag Guns in New Braunfels. “Airsoft guns are built nowadays to specifications so that they look exactly like the real gun, and they’re hard to differentiate except by a peace officer,” he said. "When he’s on duty, an Airsoft gun to him would look like a lethal weapon. It’s such a duplication of a real weapon that if a child’s just playing, he puts his own life in danger because it may look like a deadly weapon,” Olddag said. "There’s zero tolerance for that See GUN, Page 5 1 50 cents Thousands turn up for Steele celebration ► CANYON LAKE Group petitioning to fix FM 306 traffic High volume, trains snarl conditions for drivers, coalition says By Greg Bowen The Herald-Zeitung A petition bearing 1,150 signatures and calling for the quick improvement of the increasingly congested FM 306, the main roadway connecting New Braunfels and I-35 with the Canyon Lake area, was presented to county commissioners Thursday. An estimated 30-plus members of the FM 306 Improvements Coalition appeared at the Comal County commissioners’ meeting, a number of them standing to make statements about the need for improving 306 from New Braunfels to Sattler. The group is seeking the widening of the two-lane road and the addition of railroad See FM 306, Page 5 Photos by LAURA McKENZIE/Herald-Zeitung Members of the Steele High School football team gather around a framed copy of the proclamation that was read by Cibolo Mayor Jennifer Hartman duringThursday’s event celebrating the Knights’ Class 5A Division II state championship win. ‘These Boys Made Us Proud’ Schools closed for MLK Jr. Day; early closing for CISD today Students in the Comal Independent School District were dismissed early on Thursday and will be again today, Friday, as part of the district's final exam schedule. Buses will pick up students at middle school and high school campuses at 12:45 p.m. on both days. Elementary school buses will run on a regular schedule. The second quarter of the 2010-11 school year ends today, Friday, with report cards distributed Friday, Jan. 21. Students in the Comal ISO and New Braunfels ISD will have the day off Monday in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday. That day will serve as a staff development day for both districts. By Will Wright The Herald-Zeitung GIBOLO — For a small town, Cibolo sure can throw a party. A few thousand fans — young, old and in between — braved the bone-chilling, 30-degree temperatures Thursday night, lining the downtown streets in homage to their state championship football team. It’d been nearly a month since the Steele Knights defeated Denton Guyer 24-21 to capture the Class 5A Division II championship at Arlington's Cowboys Stadium, yet the team, school, administrators and fans came out like the event happened yesterday. The Knights’ many accomplishments over the 2010 season were highlighted at the end of the parade, during a ceremony held at Cibolo’s Multi-Events Center. Black-and-silver clad fans, the band, cheerleaders and drill teams, SCUCISD administrators and other dignitaries piled onto the field adjacent to the center to welcome their conquering heroes in much the same way they had done weeks earlier in Arlington. “When we came out of that tunnel and we saw all of the black on our side — it gave us an energy that I just can't explain,” Knights head coach Mike Jinks said of the local turnout that matched that from Guyer in an audience of 37,744 that day. “We want to U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar holds a game ball signed by the Knights football team after being presented with the memento at Thursday night's celebration in Cibolo. thank all of Cibolo, Schertz and for that matter, the city of San Antonio. It really made a difference for us.” Among the speaking luminaries at Thursday’s celebration were Texas State Rep. John Kuempel, Cibolo Mayor Jennifer Hartman, who awarded the team See STEELE, Page 5 ;