New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - January 20, 2011, New Braunfels, Texas
FREEZING TEMPERATURES, 9
t's going to be a cold one tonight — low 28
■ MANTURNS 100, 2Red Brawley turns 100 years and counting
■ SPORTS, 6New turf keeps Canyon Lake soccer off the field
THURSDAY, JANUARY 20, 2011
Texas $$Newspaper of the Year
Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852.
500Board begins process to fire suspended ORMS coach
By Will Wright
During its Monday night meeting, New Braunfels Independent School District’s board of trustees voted unanimously to propose terminating the contract of Clinton Beck, the coach accused of “sexting” a student at OakRun Middle School,
Health teacher was arrested Jan. 4 on charges of‘sexting’ with student
A school board member, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, confirmed Wednesday that Monday’s discussion
in executive session was about Clinton Beck with all voting in the public meeting to “propose termination of the term contract of a teacher.”
“The school board action Monday night was the first stage of the multi-step
process," said NBISD spokesperson Stephanie Ferguson. “Under the T exas Education Code, a school board has the authority to propose the termination of a professional employee’s contract. Afterward, the employee is
notified of the proposed contract action and according to code, the employee has 15 days to either consider filing a request to appeal the proposed termination with the Commissioner of Education or to not file a request for a
hearing. After this process is complete, the law allows for the school board to officially take its action.”
Beck, 26, was arrested Jan. 4 on charges of sending sexually explicit text messages to a 13-year-old female student. An arrest warrant alleged Beck and the student exchanged
See BECK, Page 5
I ► SECURITY
Council gets metal detector
City Council taking extra measures in wake of recent national shootings
By J. Louise Larson
Keeping city government safe has a new urgency after recent shootings targeting government officials, and New Braunfels is doing something about it.
Come Monday, everyone visiting the New Braunfels City Council meeting will need to step through a doorway-style metal detector. If it detects metal much larger than a zipper or a wedding ring, a handheld wand metal detector can be used in an effort to identify what set it off — and rule out weapons.
"We’re looking at some things to enhance security there, and one of the things is to add the metal detector,” said Lt. Michael Penshorn of the New Braunfels Police Department.
The NBPD is doing a security audit, Penshorn said.
“We were requested by city hall. We’re doing a security
See COUNCIL, Page 5
Accident puts car in peril on rails
By J. Louise Larson
A single-car accident put a driver in harm’s way — and train’s way — around 11:47 Tuesday morning. The New Braunfels Fire Department responded to a call in the 1300 block of Wald Road.
The vehicle struck the guard rail and ended up on the railroad tracks. The driver was able to exit the car himself and was transported by EMS to Christus Santa Rosa — New Braunfels.
The vehicle was quickly removed from the tracks before it could delay trains or pose further danger, an NBFD spokesman said.
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► TEXAS BUDGET
Dems, some GOP unhappy with cuts
State lawmakers tighten belt in all areas of spending
By April Castro
AUSTIN—Texas’ proposed $73.2 billion state spending plan that makes large cuts to education is just a starting point, but the final version will be no less painful if lawmakers keep rejecting tax increases and tapping the Rainy Day Fund, the lead House budget writer said Wednesday.
Lawmakers got their first glimpse of what the next state budget might look like late Tuesday, as the state faces a revenue shortfall of at least $15 billion for the next two years. Adhering to promises of no tax increases and no money from the Rainy Day Fund, the revenue was mainly made up with about $14 billion in cuts to state programs. The Texas Constitution requires a balanced budget.
Proposed cuts so far include almost $5 billion to public education and the closure of four community colleges. The base budget does not pay for an estimated 160,000 new students who are expected to enroll in public schools over the next two years.
See BUDGET, Page 5
Pick up Saturday's Herald-Zeitung to learn about how state budget cuts could affect local schools.
Discovery Channel connects with local activist
By Greg Bowen
Dottie Laster, a human trafficking consultant and radio show host from New Braunfels, is featuring stars of Discovery Channel’s new “Kidnap & Rescue” series on her Internet radio show.
Laster’s radio show, Trafficked, can be heard on here-womentalk.com every Thursday from noon to 1 p.m.
Her guests from Kidnap & Rescue are the series’ three hosts: Brad Barker, founder of
To listen to Trafficked live, visit here-womentalk.com from noon to 1 p.m. Thursdays, find Trafficked on the site's list of shows and click "listen." You can also listen on the phone by calling 646-652-2071.
F1ALO Corp., who rescues kidnapped executives; Dan O’Shea, founder of Daniel Risk Mitigation, who rescues hostages taken in war zones; and Ty Ritter, founder of Project Child Save, who rescues
See RADIO, Page 12
LAURA McKENZIE/Herald Zeitt
Dottie Laster sits near her laptop computer inside her home. Using her computer, Lasti is able to host an online radio show from 1 1 p.m. C.S.T every Thursday.
O’Conner sworn in as Garden Ridge PD chief
Garden Ridge Police Chief Donna O'Conner stands Monday inside her office.
Don’t ever say you can’t. We sell ourselves short too many times, you know. I think women face more challenges, but some of them are (self-inflicted).”
DONNA O Conner Chief of Garden Ridge Police Department
By J. Louise Larson
It’s a new year and a new chief at the Garden Ridge Police Department. And with her comes a new leaf. Sworn in on Jan. 1, Donna O’Conner is the first female poiice chief in the city of Garden Ridge, and the only one at this time in Comal County.
O’Conner was one of three daughters born to a Presbyterian minister and his wife, and it was instilled early on that there was no such thing as “can’t."
“I laugh and say I became a cop because my dad said I couldn’t, but really we were raised to believe we could do anything,” she said.
She worked for Child Protective Services before going into law enforcement.
“I wanted to be on the side where you could see some justice for the kids, and some consequences for the perpetrators,” O’Conner recalled.
She graduated from Baytown Police Academy in 1980. At that time, just 5 percent of the class — two out of 40 graduates — were women.
See CHIEF, Page 5
Vol. 158, No. 60 12 pages, 1 section
OBITUARIES 3 Cloudy PLANNER 9 High Low
SPORTS 6 59 28