New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - January 22, 2011, New Braunfels, Texas
■ UPGRADING WALNUT 2Bridge Street block closed for three days
■ FAITH. 6Verses support idea that Pau encouraged Sabbath-keeping
■ SPORTS. 10Poor 1 st half hinders Lady Unicorns in loss toT'Birds
Texas Vfp Newspaper of the Year
Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852.
500Couple loses pets, everything in Canyon Lake fire
By J. Louise Larson
After flames destroyed their home and almost all their belongings Thursday, a Canyon Lake couple is mourning the loss of their beloved pets.
“We lost everything ... it’s hard,” said Darlene "Doobie” Stiles-Poss.
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The pair were at work at Doggone Grooming, just three miles away, when they got the call.
“Our landlord notified us that our house was on fire,’’ Stiles-Poss recalled. "By the
time we got there, it was completely involved in flames, and all of our pets were gone.”
Gigi and Bitsy, the couple’s teacup miniature poodles, perished in the blaze, as did their Chihuahua, Tinker, who was due to deliver puppies in two weeks.
Their Yorkie-Poo, Satu, was also lost, along with her two 3-week-old puppies, and the
couple’s two cats.
“They were our baby daughters,” Stiles-Poss said. “They died holding each other.”
Mike Poss is a decorated U.S. Special Forces Green Beret veteran retired after 23 years, and all of his medals and career memorabilia were destroyed in the flames.
A musician with the region
ally-based Lost In Texas Band, Poss also lost his equipment.
“We had nothing, other than the clothes we went to work in,” Darlene said.
They didn’t have renters insurance. Health issues for Darlene, who suffers from coronary artery disease, diabetes, hypertension and a bone disease that has already claimed one hip, have been
prohibitive; her medications and medical equipment were also lost in the charred rubble of what was their home.
The couple is grateful for small mercies. They escaped harm, and they remain proud of the two grown sons they have between them.
The outpouring of kindness
See FIRE, Page 5
Vol. 158, 14 pages,
No. 62 1 section
► DRUG BUST
student arrested for pot possession
By J. Louise Larson
A New Braunfels High School student was arrested on campus on charges of marijuana possession Thursday.
“He was in possession of a pack of cigarettes and a ballpoint pen that had been altered for use as a marijuana smoking pipe,” said said Lt. Michael Penshorn of the New Braunfels Police Department. “He was also in possession of a small bag of marijuana.”
The makeshift bong, crafted to resemble a tool for school, was unusual, Penshorn said.
“You see marijuana pipes but you rarely see one of that type,” he said.
The 15-year-old was detained around 10:21 Thursday morning, processed and released to his parents’ custody.
It wasn’t the New Braunfels Independent School District’s first drug bust of the new year. Three New Braunfels Middle School students, 13, were arrested on charges related to pharmaceuticals earlier this month.
One boy was taken into custody for delivering or offering to deliver dangerous drugs, one into custody for possession of a dangerous drug, and
See DRUGS, Page 3
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Interest low in Bible course
NBISD dropped elective for lack of enrollment
Comal, NB ISDs prepare for millions in budget cuts
Measures indude pay freezes, unfilled positions
By Will Wright
While many Texans are just now hearing about the state’s multi-billion dollar budget deficit, it’s not really news to school districts, which might be sailing through rough waters die next few years.
Already, Gov. Rick Perry and state legislators are ruling out tax hikes as a way to help balance a shortfall estimated to be between $15 and $27 bil
lion, and the general consensus is to cut away at state-supported programs — and the state’s schools are finding themselves on the chopping block.
During a 2006 special session, the legislature threw school districts a life raft by imposing several new state taxes — among them the business margins tax — after it capped property taxes. However, the taxes weren’t enough to plug the hole, and as a
See BUDGETS, Page 5
NBISD Superintendent Randy Moczy-gemba is preparing for a 5 to 20 percent cut in district budgets.
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By Will Wright
Back in 2007, Texas lawmakers answered the prayers of those wishing to bring a form of religion into schools when it passed House Bill 1287, requiring the states public high schools to offer electives regarding the Bible’s influence on history and literature.
However, those hoping the classes might actually teach Bible scripture came away disappointed. The state directive meant only to offer a nonsectarian course on the subject — one that meshes with the constitutional guidelines separating church and state.
The Comal and New Braunfels ISDs began offering the courses in 2008, and their popularity has yet to mirror the fervency of some of the religious proponents when they lobbied for the classes before school boards a few years ago. Comal ISD currendy has 28 total students enrolled in Bible literacy classes at Smithson Valley and Canyon high schools. New Braunfels ISD isn’t offering a course at its high school because not enough students have shown interest.
"I had some e-mails from parents asking about the class, and some believed it was going to be Sunday school,” said Matt Kruebbe, who teaches Canyon’s Bible literacy course. “People who expect it to be wind up disappointed, aggravated even, that it’s not.
“They probably haven’t seen the way religion classes are taught at a public university and how it’s handled in an academic setting.”
The HB 1287’s goal was to “teach
Aaron Ferry, 17, gets help from teacher Bonnie Crisp while working on an assignment duringThe Bible as Literature class Thursday at Smithson Valley High School.
students knowledge of biblical content, characters, poetry, and narratives that are prerequisites to understanding contemporary society and culture, including literature, art, music, mores, oratory and public policy.”
Unless the state legislature decides differently, those classes will be available — or unless school districts can’t fill enough seats to justify the expense.
“It’s been a while since we had the class. You have to have at least 15 students to have a class, and we didn’t have enough for the class to
be taught,” NBISD spokesperson Stephanie Ferguson said.
The NBISD in 2006 first approved a class to be taught during the 2007-08 school year. It was last taught at New Braunfels High School during the 2009-10 school year. Called “Special Topics in Social Studies: Influences of the Old Testament Bible and Other Religions on American Socialization,” 22 students enrolled in the first semester; 25 took the companion course on the New Testament the following semester.
‘After that we didn’t make the
district enrollment requirement in order to be taught during the 2010-11 year,” Ferguson said.
Comal ISD has two teaching high school classes on “The Bible As Literature.” At Smithson Valley, Bonnie Crisp has 15 students enrolled this semester. There are no textbooks — except for the one that matters.
“We use all different versions of the Bible that the students want to use,” said Crisp, who complements her instruction with various
See BIBLE, Page 3