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  • Location: New Braunfels, Texas
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View Sample Pages : New Braunfels Herald Zeitung, July 06, 2001

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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - July 6, 2001, New Braunfels, Texas Customers take their Jeeps for a ‘spin’ on a special obstacle course. Please see the story/12A. K. JESSIE SLATEN/ Herald-Zeitung _ T »,    FRIDAYNEW Braunfels    july 6,2001 ___    ZZ pages in 2 sectionsHerald-Zeitung L —..  -.■■■■    .     ::.......^.........:......... ................  .    .    ■.    '    .      ,.............Vol. 150, No. 203    Serving    New    Braunfels    and    Comal    County    since    1852    50    cents‘Stepchild’ no more New owners plan to give Marketplace more local presence By Amy Clarkson Staff Writer Budget crunch may cause rise in tax rate By Ron Maloney Staff Writer County Judge Danny Scheel will spend his weekend with a sharp pencil and a “very preliminary” compilation of the proposed county budget for next fiscal year. The deadline for county departments to get budget requests to County Auditor David Renken is today, and staff is now preparing copies for Scheel and county commissioners. Scheel will conduct budget hearings July 16-19, and the county will finalize budget plans the next week. Next year’s proposed tax rate will be discussed in commissioners’ court Aug. 9, and a public hearing on the new tax rate will be conducted Aug. 30 along with a hearing to adopt the 2002 budget. A week ago, Comal County found out it is taking a half-million dollar hit annually by 18 new positions the state mandated for the county jail. That comes on top of a year in which Scheel — not exactly known for being a free spender — has asked every department in the county to do whatever it must to hold down spending. He also asked department heads — except for the positions in the sheriff’s office SCHEEL — to ask for no new employees in this budget. The 2001 tax rate is 32.4 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. The county’s general fund budget for 2001 was $19 million. Renken said the two biggest challenges facing Comal County are rising insurance costs and the cost of indigent health care, which picks up the tab on health care costs for penniless local residents. ‘Three years ago when we got the tobacco settlement money, we earmarked it to fund indigent health activities for as long as it lasted,” Renken said. That money runs out this year. Another big-ticket budget item is also related to health care, Renken said. “Health insurance rates aren’t getting any cheaper, See BUDGET/5A The new owner of New Braunfels Marketplace has big plans for the shopping center, local real estate broker Julio LyBrand said. Wiggins Company bought the retail outlet center, 651 North Business Interstate 35, from Charter Oaks. LyBrand helped put together the deal that might change the future of the Marketplace. “Basically, we’ll have a local presence now,” he said. “Its going to be a major part of the community instead of the ‘stepchild’ the way it has always been.” Charter Oaks owned the center for nearly 11 years. Its tenure ended June 29, when the sale to Wiggins was final. Pat Wiggins, owner of the Dallas-based company that bought the property, said the Marketplace had potential to become a major shopping destination. ‘The property has all the critical elements to become the city’s premier mixed-use center: visibility, access, critical mass, proximity to the high growth, dynamic New Braunfels community and exposure to thousands of visitors,” he said in a press release announcing the sale. While Wiggins’ company still works out the details for plans for the shopping center, LyBrand said plans are in the works update and tear down some of the buildings, as well as bring in new tenants. LyBrand said people would notice the new management and new See MARKET/5A K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herald-Zeitung Liz, Ryan, Evan and Spencer Morrison (from left) look for some Tun” shoes at Famous Footwear Thursday afternoon. Bush picks Mueller to lead FBI By SANDRA SOBIERAJ Associated Press Writer WASHINGTON (AP) — President Bush named veteran prosecutor Robert Mueller to take over the FBI and begin repairing the nation’s premier law enforcement agency after embarrassments ranging from bungled Oklahoma City bombing documents to the discovery of an FBI spy. Mueller has previously won top-level appointments from Bush’s father and from President Clinton, but both Republicans and Democrats suggested there will be pointed questioning at confirma tion hearings. If confirmed by the Senate, Mueller, a 56-year-old Republican and decorated Vietnam veteran, will fill a 10-year term as the sixth full-time director of the FBI. L. Patrick Gray and William Ruck-elshaus served as acting directors during the Watergate era. Louis Freeh retired last month, two years before his term would have expired. Attorney General John Ashcroft, who had championed Mueller as a trusted team player, interrupted his vacation in Missouri to attend Thursday’s Rose Garden ceremony where Bush charged Mueller with assuring the nation that the FBI is “independent of politics and uncompromising in its mission.” “The FBI has a great tradition that Mr. Mueller must now affirm and some important challenges he must confront,” the president said. The most immediate challenge will be winning over senators fed up with what they see as the FBI’s we-know-best attitude and with its headline-making mishaps: the botched investigation of former nuclear scientist Wen Ho Lee; the mishandling of evidence in the Oklahoma City bombing trial that forced the postponement of Timothy McVeigh’s execution, and the discovery in February that veteran FBI agent Robert Hanssen had been spying for the Russians for more than 15 years. As low-key as his reputation, Mueller spent just 48 seconds at the microphone Thursday. He pledged to “enforce our nation’s laws fairly and with respect to the rights of all Americans.” Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said Mueller inherits an FBI “beleaguered by a series of high-profile mistakesSee FBI/5A Associated Press photoPresident Bush chose veteran prosecuter Robert Mueller, right, to be the new FBI director. The Senate must still confirm his appointment. CHRIS PACE/Herald-ZeitungPatrick Proattus holds a site plan for an addition to Canyon High School while Bill Swint talks to CISD patrons in the background Thursday at Bracken Methodist Church. Resident wants second look at plans for new Canyon Lake high school By Martin Malacara Staff Writer One Comal Independent School District patron believes the board of trustees should examine an alternative to placing a new high school near Canyon Lake. Garden Ridge resident Bill Swint said a plan to place the district’s new high school off U.S. 281 near the Guadalupe River should get serious consideration. “I would like to have the district get with its demographer and give it a good, honest look. And then we’ll have a good idea to see if it measures up to the district’s criteria.” Swint gave a presentation Thursday at Bracken Methodist Church to bring district patrons up to date on the 1999 bond issue. CISD residents in 1999 voted for two bond propositions totaling $141 million dollars. Bond money would be spent on building a new high school near the lake and adding three elementary schools forSee SCHOOL/5A Inside Abby.......................... .....7 A Classifieds..................... .5-1 OB Comics......................... ....10A Crossword.................. ......7A Forum.......................... ......6A Local/Metro.................. ......4A Movies.......................... ......7A Obituaries.................... ......3A Sports......................... ...1-3B Today......................... „.,..2A Key Code 76 ;