New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - January 20, 1999, New Braunfels, Texas
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Vol. 148, No. 44 20 pages in 2 sections January 20, 1999
Serving Comal County since 1852
Dog euthanized after attack on 8-year-old boyOwner says animal was provoked
By Chris Crews Staff Writer
The dog suspected in Friday’s attack of an 8-year-old boy was euthanized Tuesday to determine if it had rabies.
Joe Lara, the city health authority, said he
had spoken to the dog’s owner and obtained written permission from her to have the dog put down. Lara said the dog was euthanized Tuesday afternoon.
The head was sent to Austin for evaluation to determine whether the animal had rabies. Lara said the information, to be used in treating die victim, would be available today.
According to police reports, the incident
occurred when the victim and his 8-year-old friend were playing table tennis in the friend’s yard. The dog, a Chow, attacked when the victim reached down for a ball that rolled away from the table.
The victim was treated and released from McKenna Memorial Hospital for treatment of bite marks and lacerations to his neck, arm, leg and chest.
Officials said the boy still was feeling
some discomfort but was out of danger.
The dog’s owner and her family said they believed the dog was provoked.
The owner, who asked not to be identified, expressed regret the incident happened but said die animal had been teased and provoked before the attack. Four children, including the victim, had been bouncing on a trampoline and throwing balls at the dog immediately before the attack, she said.
She said the dog always had been gentle and had no history of attacking people.
“As the dog was biting, he was being hit and that caused him to bite more,” she said.
She said the dog had been a family pet and would be missed.
The owners were cited for two violations of the city’s animal control ordinance, said Sgt John McEachem of the New Braunfels Police Department.
NBISD foundation to tap well of private funds
By Heather Tooo Staff Writer
New Braunfels Independent School District trustees are looking for ways to enhance funding for instruction in a time of decreasing state dollars.
The board unanimously approved a resolution Tuesday to create an education foundation to improve and augment opportunities for students and teachers.
On Oct. 20, the board of trustees adopted three board goals for the 1998-99 school year, one of which was to establish a foundation program as an
independent, non-profit entity to privately fund public education.
Board president Bette Spain said many school districts throughout the state set up foundations to cultivate interest and funding for specific educational programs not within the district's budgetaiy guidelines or supported by state funding.
Public schools in Kerrville have benefited from a private education foundation since 1990.
Ben Lucas, president of the Kerrville Public School Foundation, said the foundation provided more than $8,500 in teaching materials not funded by the school district’s regular budget during the
1997-98 school year.
“It’s an excellent vehicle for the community to enhance excellence in education,” Lucas said. “The success of a privately funded foundation, though, really vanes depending on the response from the community and how much they con-tnbute to funding.”
A committee now will be established to pick a board of directors for the New Braunfels public school foundation.
Spain said the foundation was designed to financially support public education programs through an endowment fund.
Planners focus on needs of fire department
By Bill O’Connell Staff Writer
Members of a master plan subcommittee aired their concerns Monday about the city’s ability to provide emergency fire and rescue services during future population growth.
Police department services also were called into question in light of population figures that showed New Braunfels could expand to more than 100,000 residents by 2020.
Some sub-committee members said they believed the city’s fire, rescue and police services could not keep up with those growth estimates without a capital investment program established to pay for the services.
“This is something that’s definitely going to have to be addressed,” said Dennis Heitkamp, a member of the community facilities, capital finance and implementation sub-committee.
The committee is one of several participating in the creation of the New Braunfels comprehensive plan.
The comprehensive plan, also referred to as the “master plan,” is a document intended for use as a guide for officials with respect to making decisions about growth and development in New Braunfels for the next 20 years.
City fire battalion chief John Herber criticized a recently completed draft of the comprehensive plan. Herber wrote in a Jan. 5 letter to city plan-
Cancer patient living life to fullestBenefit planned for Saturday
By Heather Tooo Staff Writer
BULVERDE — Life sometimes has thrown Kim Merritt some punches, but she’s never backed down from a fight.
“I’ve always been a fighter and I’ve always had to fend for myself,” said Kim, a Bulverde resident ajyt'
A benefit barbecue dinner will begin at 7 p.m. Saturday at Big Daddy’s Bar and Grill, on Texas 46 west of U.S. 281. Live music will start at 8 p.m.
mother'of three. “I am not going to give up.”
Kim has faced her share of obsta
cles as a single mother of three children - ranging in age from the fifth to the eleventh grade - while owning and operating her own cleaning business in Bulverde.
Her greatest challenge, however, came in 1990 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Kim recently began the second round of her battle against the disease. It went into remission five years ago after a mastectomy.
See LIFE/5 A
Fire, rescue and pofice staff
*Fire department staff consists of 65 firefight ers and training officers and two additional personnel not qualified to fight fires or conduct emergency lifesaving techniques.
**Of the 87 full-time staff personnel, 57 are commissioned police officers.
Information provided by New Braunfels chief financial officer Chef Lewis
ning director Harry Bennett that New Braunfels’ emergency services departments required “assurances that these services will be brought up to adequate staffing levels,” as more people become residents of the city.
Herber is a member of the community facilities, capital finance and implementation sub-committee and also is one of three battalion chiefs assigned to the New Braunfels Fire Department.
In the Jan. 5 letter to Bennett, Herber said “assuming” and “taking for granted” that city emergency services would be staffed and equipped to handle future needs “w ill not guarantee that the issues will be considered or find their way in front of the decision makers.”
A draft of the comprehensive plan did not mention emergency services, Herber wrote, and he compared that to building a house, “on a foundation of quicksand.” He suggested that “these fundamental concerns ... find a
Film class puts students right into action of
By Chris Crews Staff Writer
SMITHSON VALLEY — Roy Hargrove has his own little piece of Hollywood at Smithson Valley High School.
Movie posters and stills line the walls along Hargrove’s library of more than 2,000 videocassettes. A poster of the periodic table of elements and a diagram of the digestive system remind visitors this is a classroom and not a cramped video store.
Twenty-eight junior and senior students fill the chairs in the room twice a week to evaluate scenes from films or hear guest speakers talk about working in the film industry. The class, Analyzing Visual Media, is so popular that a second section of the class likely will be added next year, Hargrove said.
Hargrove, who is certified to teach history and English, said he was fortunate to be able to teach a subject he enjoyed so much.
He said he came by his love for the movies honestly.
“My dad worked as a projectionist for 40 years and owned a theater in Texas City for five years,” Hargrove said. “I grew up in them.”
But just like the real Hollywood, Hargrove said he emphasized that film work truly was work .
Speaking before a roomful of Smithson Valley High school students, actress Katsy Joiner emphasizes the number of actors who are applying for jobs in Texas and Hollywood.
San Antonio-based actress Katsy Joiner brought home that point during Tuesday’s class. She told students that film work could be lucrative for those fortunate enough to get steady work, but keeping up with the industry, identifying potential work, following up auditions and not offending casting directors was a full-time job.
She said the students were fortunate to have a class to help them learn about the film industry.
“When I was in school, it never occurred to me that there were agents and possible acting work in San Antonio,” Joiner said. “I thought you had to go to L.A. for that.”
The class also takes trips to places such as editing studios for students interested in the technical side.
“I want to be a movie director,” SVHS junior Kelly Sweetin said. “I took the class to learn more about the how and why movies are made.” For their final exam, the students
are divided into groups that script, produce, act, edit and make promotional material for their own movies.
Hargrove said he saw the class as a writing class that made students better writers and gave them a deeper appreciation of film.
“If you take something that people like, such as movies, and use it as a tool to help someone do something they don’t like, such as writing, you can have success in obtaining your goal,” Hargrove said.
Kim Merritt, center, is surrounded by her children, from left, Ashlyn, Kenny and Britteny, in their Bulverde home.