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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - January 25, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas Page 4 January COUNTY LOCAL STATE FROM THE DISPATCH A 47yearold Canyon Lake man was arrested Sunday by Comal County Sheriffs officers for driving while intoxicated He was booked into Comal County Jail on bond A 33yearold New Braunfels man was arrest ed Sunday by New Braunfels Police Department officers for public intoxication He was booked into Comal County Jail on bond Evading arrest A 46yearold Canyon Lake woman was arrested Sunday by Comal County Sheriffs officers for evad ing arrest or detention dri ving while intoxicated and driving with a suspended license She was booked into Comal County Jail on bonds totaling cart use Two 17yearold females and an 18yearold man from San Antonio were arrested early Sunday morning by Comal County Sheriffs officers for unau thorized use of a motor vehicle after they were spotted in the Cranes Mill Road area driving golf carts owned by the Canyon Lake Golf Club Sgt Rick Cardenas said They were booked into Comal County Jail about 5 each on bond Unauthorized use of a motor vehicle is a state jail felony punishable by no more than two years and no less than 180 days in jail and a fine not to exceed UPCOMING MEETINGS NEW BRAUNFELS UTILITIES AND MISSION VALLEY FABRICS public meeting to describe and discuss local implica tions of the two organiza tions federally mandated Risk Management Plans at 3 Wednesday in the NBU Board Room at 263 Main Plaza COMAL INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT board of trustees meeting 6 Thursday at Bill Brown Elementary School 2041OW Highway 46 BUILDING STANDARDS COMMISSION Feb 7 citys munici pal building 424 S Castell Ave NEW BRAUNFELS CITY COUNCIL Feb 14 municipal building 424 S Castell Ave Council shaves million from bond projects BY PEW STONEPALMQUtST Staff Writer New Braunfels City Council shaved off nearly million Saturday from its proposed bond package by cutting sev eral street and drainage projects But cost estimates for the Walnut Avenue expansion actually increased by million to cover land acquisition costs so the total proposed bond pack age only decreased by millio Instead of million the project now totals million and still could double the tax rate But that could change again council still hasnt approved any final cost estimates for an indoor pool gymnasium or fields Council has until Feb 14 to finalize the bond package in time for a May election and was scheduled to discuss the issue at Mondays council meeting Action taken on the bond package was not available at press time At Saturdays meeting council cut from the bond package Drainage improvements along Comal Avenue from West San Antonio Street to the railroad tracks mil Improving drainage areas in the Green Meadows Walnut Estates Park Ridge Palace Heights Rolling Valley and Meadow Creek subdivisions Street improvements for streets not yet picked Reconstruction of Waterway from Gruene Road to Common Street Drainage improvements in Bergfeld Avenue Remaining on the bond package are Drainage improvements along Churchill Drive from Loop 337 to Rusk Street Extension of County Line Road from Pahmeyer Road to FarmtoMarket Road 1044 Street improvements in District I Drainage improvement along Gruene Road from Post Road to Hanz Drive Drainage improvements along Landd Street from Walnut Avenue to Spring Hills Drive Drainage improvements along Wright Avenue from Business 35 t6 Church Hill Drive Stock show season K JESSIE Smithson Valley High School FFA and 4H swine exhibitors fine tune their showmanship skills during a practice show Saturday at the Comal County Fairgrounds Canyon High School FFA and 4H students will get their chance in the practice ring Saturday Education commissioner focusing on high schools AUSTIN AP Texas public schools have made great strides in the past few years but the state now must focus on retaining qualified teachers and improving high schools Education Commissioner Jim Nelson said Monday These are good times for the most Nelson told the Texas Education Agency Administrators Midwinter Conference on Education But we do have much more to In his speech Status of Texas Schools Challenges Nelson said Texas educa tion system is being praised by many as a national leader for its high academic standards and accountability system The commissioner said the state has made progress by raising the standards winning a federal court battle over its high school exit exam and developing one of the toughest accountability systems in the country More Texas students are taking college entrance exams minorities and low income students are scoring better on standardized tests and more high school students are taking college level courses he said Thats an important indicator of the fact that youre doing a good Nelson told the group of educators But educators need to focus on finding and keeping qualified teachers especially in math and science he said As the student population grows by a year teacher vacancies also continue to grow There were teacher vacancies this past school year according to the State Board for Educator Certification Too many teachers are teaching subjects in which they are not certified and too many new teachers are leaving the field because of a lack of support Nelson said More than 18 percent of Texas teachers are teaching at least one class for which they do not have the appropriate certifi cate and teacher retention rates in some dis tricts are as low as 50 percent he said There are some really alarming Nelson said Thats a huge waste of human Texas University and the University of Texas need to continue cooperating with the TEA to better prepare students for teaching and local districts should work to develop mentoring programs to help keep young teach ers in the job Nelson said Tracking high school dropouts was also dis cussed We need to work together to find solutions so that we have the best dropout collection data in the country so that we can then quit worry ing about the collection of the information and spend more time worrying about saving teach Nelson said AG New law doesnt limit public comment AUSTIN AP The latest version of Texas open govern ment law does not prevent citizens from offering public comment 6fi matters not specifically posted oh a meeting notice the state attor ney general said Monday Some local governments had questioned whether the law which took effect Sept 1 1999 restrict ed public comment to only items listed on a meeting notice v As a result some cities stopped setting aside time during meetings to hear general comments frdrn citizens Although the law does not give citizens a right to speak at meet ings an agenda item listing of public public forum or some other generis term is enough to invite testimony on a range of topics Attorney General John Comyn said Public comment sessions pro vide an opportunity for citizensitb speak their minds on an unlimited variety of subjects They furnish an outlet for real and imagined Cornyn wrote They have been an integral part of pub lic meetings since well before ffle adoption of the Open Meetings Act in Legislators tinkered with fhe law this past year to prevent pub lic bodies and their staffs from holding secret briefings Sen Jeff Wentworth RSafr Antonio said the bill was meant to keep government officials from illegally discussing and reach ing agreements on issues behind closed doors The measure targets such groups as county commissioner courts city couty cils school boards and state agency boards Wentworth was in Iowa on Monday and did not immediately return telephone calls to hjs office Cornyn also said that listing item merely as employee brief ing or staff briefing on i agenda is insufficient The subject matter also should be posted he said Some Comal residential homestead exemptions may have to be refiled FROM STAFF REPORTS To continue receiving home stead exemptions some county residents will be required to refile their applications with the Comal Appraisal District office 178 E Mill Street Suite 101 The appraisal district recently sent standard notification letters to residents whose exemptions had been removed and who must reapply to be eligible for the cur rent year Chief Appraiser Lynn E Rodgerssaid Residents must reapply for the homestead exemption any time there has been a change to the on the residential property for reasons such as a change in ownership acreage or status as a primary residence he said The county offers a general Residential Homestead Exemption of 20 percent to resi dents who have been living in their home since Jan 1 and con sider it their primary residence Residents 65 and older who meet the criteria also are eligible for an additional exemp tion Residents with existing over65 homestead exemptions will be able to continue their school tax freeze but must reapply if they received the notice from the appraisal district Garden Ridge zoning laws brought up to date GARDEN RIDGE City offi cials spent nearly three hours on Saturday updating Ordinance 13 the citys planning and zoning reg ulation Months in the works the draft presented for consideration Saturday revised the ordinance into chapter form for the first time What were doing is making the ordinance clearer and easier to Garden Ridge cify administrator Mike Castro explained Changes included redefining some zoning districts and adding new ones such 4s municipal and church zones ft LUXURY MATTRESS SETS Have ministorage unit full of brand new furniture and mattress sets Still sealed In plastic from the factory Name brand sets including frame Worth Twin Full Queen King 85 Luxury Pillow Top Super Thick Seta Full Queen King New California King InnerSpring Mattress for that Stupid Water Bed White Canppy Bed for a pretty girt Loverly French ProventlalWhite Barm set for a young lady eplece Oak Bdrm Set Super Thick Poster Bdrm 7piecesi worth Fancy All Wood Bunk 9186 Black Iron Canopy Bed Nlghtstand Vanity Cull Hector 21 054381 OO or Toll Free 16003864402 CEDAR ALLERGIES We need volunteers for research study involvii tional an investigational medication Qualified participants receive up to Centra Texas Health Research I Frank C Hampel Jr New Braunfels San Marcos Antonlb 6299036 3964101 830 6090900 ;