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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - January 17, 1996, New Braunfels, Texas WEDNESDAY New Braunfels Rangers keep first place with victory over Cougars. See Page 8. 50 CENTS NU -a r The Lands Park Gazebo WW___EJ Hcrstid 20 pages in two sections ■ Wednesday, January 17,1996 Serving Comal County and surrounding areas for more man 144 years ■ Home of SHERI WILLIAMS mg Vol. 144, No. 46 Inside Editorial........................................4A Sports................... 8A Comics.......................................11A Market Place..........................1B-7B Stammtisch Birthday wishes from the Herald-Zeitung! The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung extends birthday wishes to: Sheri Williams, Werner Riesling Jr., Antonia Medina, Sonia Medina, and Jesus Luna Sr. (80 years). Happy anniversary wishes to: Stan and Francie Rakowitz (25 years), Rudy and Gloria Castro (26 years), and Paul and Ellen Barsch (15 years). Pollen Count Cedar — 21,600 Mold—1,400 Pollen measured in parts per cubic meter of air. Information provided by Dr. Frank Hampel. Water Information Comal River — 290 Cubic Feet Per Second, same as yesterday. Edwards Aquifer Panther Canyon Well — 625.13 feet above sea level, same. Lake Dunlap property owners to meet The Lake Dunlap Property Owners Association general membership meeting will be at 6:30 p.m., Friday, Jan. 19 at the River Bend Clubhouse. For information, call Paul at 609-5769 or Frankie at 625-3042. Sons of Hermann to meet Spring Branch Lodge #127 Sons of Hermann will meet Sunday. Jan. 21 at the Guadalupe Valley Telephone Cooperative meeting room for the regular meeting. Gathering at 2 p.m. Meeting begins at 2:30 p.m. Members ae urged to attend as plans for 1996 will be formulated. Lodge will furnish refreshments, members may bring desserts. Chamber Banquet tickets on sale Tickets for the 77th annual New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce Meeting and Banquet on Friday, Jan. 26, at the Civic Center, will remain on sale until Friday, Jan. 19. The banquet, whose theme is “A Sesquicentennial Finale,” will include a drawing for the Sesquicentennial quilt. The evening will also include the sealing of the time capsule and the presentation of the Besserung Award. For more information, call 625-2385. Canyon Music Boosters to meet The annual spring gardening short course, presented by the Texas Agricultural Extension Service, will be held at the Comal County Extension Service office Thursday. Jan. 4 at 6 p.m. The program is open to the public. Thinking about starting a business? lf you want to start a business or even are just thinking about it, then a start-up orientation might just be what you need. The session will provide you with basic start up information, including Small Business Development Center checklist for going into business, start-up financing and SBA loan application procedures, and an overview of the business plan outline. To register, call the New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce at 625-2385. Birdberry wins contract extension on 4-3 vote By DENISE DZIUK Staff Writer After almost an hour and a half of public comments and in front of a standing room only crowd, the board of trustees for the New Braunfels Independent School District narrowly approved a one-year extension to the superintendent’s contract in a four to three vote. Opponents of the extension said it was “bad business practice” to extend a contract that still has two years on it. Several audience members said evaluations should be done every year, but that the actual renewal should not take place until the last year of the contract. They also argued that the practice opened the school up to financial risks if the board chooses to terminate a superintendent before the contract is up. They said the district could be required to buy out the remaining years on the contract and lose some funding in such an instance. “This is not a (Superintendent) ‘The day I try to work someplace where they don’t want me, I don’t want to be there.’ — Superintendent Charles Bradberry Charles Bradberry issue. This is a contract and fiscal responsibility issue,” said Carlos Campos. “It’s not a personal issue. It’s a business issue. It’s a contract issue,” said Phil Miner. “ Steve Weaver told the board that the extended contract was a poor practice for several reasons. He said it does not create a performance-based contract, waiting the three years is more fair, and the extension exposes the district to financial risk. He said the renewal should be based on cumulative evaluations at the end of three years and sound business practice should be used. “It is for these reasons that we ask the board to vote against extending the superintendent’s contract,” Weaver said. Board member Bette Spain said the district would only have a financial liability and responsibility to pay severance pay if the contract is terminated without just cause for the termination. She said a district can terminate a contract with cause and not pay severance pay or lose funding. Those audience members in favor of extending the contract said the vast majority of districts in the state follow a similar practice. They said not extending the contract would send out a message that Bradberry was not doing a good job. They said experienced superintendents would also not want to come to New Braunfels if they cannot get a longer contract here. “What caliber of person would accept a two-year contract when they ‘This is not a Charles Bradberry issue. This is a contract and fiscal responsibility issue.’ — Dr. Carlos Campos can get a three-year contract somewhere else? Certainly not someone of Mr. Bradberry’s expertise,” said Memorial Elementary teacher Dianna Flores. “A vote not to renew Mr. Bradberry’s contract is a vote to fire him,” said Dr. Don Bedford. “I assure you Mr. Bradberry will not have trouble finding a place to go. He’s not staying here because of the money I assure you.” Bradberry addressed the crowd saying a good superintendent does not want his contract paid off. He said this hurts his reputation and makes find ing another job difficult. However, he said, he will not stay if the district does not want him, and “this district will never be stuck with Charles Bradberry.” “The day I try to work someplace where they don’t want me, I don’t want to be there. I don’t want to be in that district any longer,” said Bradberry. Bradberry also added that he is getting tired of going over this issue every time his contract extension comes before the board. He said it is stressful, and does not want to be put through it. He said he asked one person to attend the meeting, and all others came on their own. The board then took the decisive four to three vote to extend the contract another year. John Seidel, Jaime Padilla, and Sylvia Sanchez voted against the extension. Board President Leo Chafin said he did not want the issue of the extension to divide the community. He said he hopes people can remain objective and continue to support the County applies for grant to help teen shelter By DENISE DZIUK Staff Writer The Comal County Commissioners Court approved a grant application that could help defray some of the operating costs for Teen Connection. Kyle Barrington, Executive Director of Teen Connection, said the shelter is applying for a grant from the Emergency Shelters Grant Program. The money is provided to help shelters pay for upgrades, renovations, repairs, and other various operating costs. “We’re an emergency shelter that provides services for teens. The grant is designed to provide assistance to shelters like ours in providing services,” he said. Barrington said the shelter applied for the same grant last year. It received $45,000 of the $ 100,000 request. Barrington said the grant application will request the same amount as it did last year. However, he said, there is not way to tell how much, if any, the shelter will receive. “It changes from year to year, but any amount helps,” he said. “It’s that much less that we have to come up with to pay for things.” Comal County Judge Carter Casteel said the court approved the grant application because the shelter provides a great service. Barrington said the grant will be used to help operate Teen Connection’s Emergency Shelter for runaway, homeless, and abused children. The shelter provides counseling services for Comal and surrounding counties, and runs a thrift shop and Educational Assessment Center. Barrington said the money from the first grant was used to defray the costs including those from food, an education liaison, counselors, phones, and a fax machine. Any money received from the this grant will be used for the same purposes, he said. Dance lessons Herald-Zeitung photo by MICHAEL DARNALL Andrea Martinez and Renee Davis receive directions from instructor Sara Gibson at a practice at Toby's School of Dance yesterday. Appraisal district swears in new officers By DENISE DZIUK Staff Writer Two new members and three reelected members to the board of directors for the Comal Appraisal District took the oath of office at the board’s meeting on Monday. Jim Rice was nominated by the city of New Braunfels, and replaced Glyn Goff. Richard Solis was nominated by the Comal Independent School District, and replaced Harvey Pape. The other three members, Wayne Brotze, Gloria Gentian, and J.C. Reagan, were re-elected to the board, and took the oath of office for another term. The board also elected its officers at the meeting. The board re-elected Brotze as the chairman. Gentian was elected vice chair and Rice was elected secretary. In other business, the board chose to stay with Norwest Bank as the Bank Depository for March I, 19% to February 28, 1997. A discussion was also held on the purchase Digital Orthophotography. Brotze said Digital Orthophotography is photographs of the entire county that can be overlaid on computer maps to help determine what sort of improvements have been made on property. “We can’t get access to some areas,” Brotze said. “It gives us a chance to see if anything has been added or built there. We decided to pursue that.” The board also received the Chief Appraiser’s report, which included the fact that someone took money out of the "petty cash drawer.” Project KISS knows those pennies can add up By DAVID DEKUNDER Staff Writer Children at Mountain Valley Elementary School will get a chance to help make the Canyon Lake Community Youth Recreation Center a reality when they start their Pennies For KISS campaign this week. “This is exciting because the children are raising money for their center,” Project KISS Chairwoman Tnsh Wyatt said. The campaign began Tuesday and runs through Feb. 9. Each classroom will have a big Ozarka jug in which they will deposit pennies. The top three classes will be awarded prizes. Wyatt said she hopes Project KISS can raise $3,000 from the pennies campaign. Anyone interested in matching the funds the children raise for the project can call Brenda Adair at Victoria Bank and Trust in Sattler at (210) 964-2265. Discovery of car parts at fire scene sparks investigation By DAVID DEKUNDER Staff Writer What began as a routine brush fire near Canyon Lake on Friday night turned into a discovery of a possible chop shop operation, a Comal County Sheriff’s Department investigator said Tuesday. A Canyon Lake man and a few other suspects are being investigated by authorities for their alleged role in the possible chop shop ring, Comal County Sheriff’s Investigator Lt. Sumner Bowen said. "The investigation is still continuing,” Bowen said. The Canyon Lake Volunteer Fire Department was called out for a brush fire at a home on Sir Arthur Way at 6:55 p.m. According to the police report, Deputy Ken Hamilton went to help the firemen. When both the firemen and Hamilton arrived at the scene, the fire was determined not to be a threat to spread. At the time of the fire, the homeowner was not at home and could not be contacted The brush fire was in violation of two codes: burning it after 5 p.m. and leaving it unattended, reports state. "Deputy Hamilton noticed pieces of car parts in the fire,” Bowen said. "He decided to come back later and contact the homeowner and talk to him about it.” In the meantime, Bowen said, Hamilton contacted Archie Harbin with the Texas Department of Public Safety Auto Theft Division in San Antonio. At around IO p.m., Hamilton and Harbin went back to the residence and contacted the homeowner. Hamilton asked him about the car parts burned in the fire. "When he (Hamilton) asked him about the car parts, the person gave confusing answers to his ques tions,” Bowen said. Bowen said Hamilton got permission from the homeowner to search the garage. An engine, a transmission, wiring harnesses and quarter panels were found in the garage, Bowen said. Again, Hamilton asked the homeowner about the parts. “His answers were inconsistent from his first ones,” Bowen said. "The homeowner was then read his Miranda rights.” The serial numbers on the car parts were checked out and the car parts were connected to a car that had been stolen from San Antonio on Dec. 18, Bowen said. The homeowner denied any knowledge that the car was stolen and said he was doing a job for a friend, Bowen said.. The car parts were seized at the scene, but the homeowner was not arrested Local sales show drop from last year By DENISE DZIUK Staff Wdter The state comptroller’s office has issued the January sales tax rebates, and the numbers are deceiving. Despite an increase in the payment, sales were actually down in New Braunfels in November, compared to a year ago. New Braunfels received a rebate payment of $397,467 for the sales tax collected in November. This was a 37.86 percent increase from last year, when the payment was $288,299. We constantly need to be out there promoting our community.’ — Michael Meek Michael Meek, president of the Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce, said the increase is due to the increase of the local portion of the sales tax from one to one and a half cents. He said if that increase is accounted for, New Braunfels actually saw an eight percent decrease. He said this is reflective of what the entire country experienced this holiday season. "Consumers were playing their cards close to their vests and weren’t spending as much this year,” said Meek. Meek said officials always want to see an increase, and the extra revenue from the increase in the sales tax is being used "to plant some seeds in the future and see that thing go up again.” He said previous years have been extremely good, and this may be an indication that the economy is beginning to level off, and pro-active steps need to be taken. "What it tells me is nothing stays the same,” said Meek. "We constantly need to be out there promoting our community.” Garden Ridge is also dealing with a decline in the size of its rebate payment. The payment dropped 42.62 percent, from $3,678 in January 1994 to $2,110 in January 1995. Garden Ridge Mayor Jay P. Millikin said the drop again this month is still reflective of the two businesses moving out of town. He said it will be several months before the numbers no longer reflect those businesses. Millikin said he is also working with the comptrollers’ office to make sure there has not been any bookkeeping error, and the city is getting the rebate it deserves. Guadalupe County saw a total increase of 16.33 percent in this period, while Hays County Iud a decrease of 16.79 percent. The state showed a 1.7 percent increase in collectionsCommission calls for single-rate tax system. See Opinion, Page * ;