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  • Location: New Braunfels, Texas
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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - June 10, 2011, New Braunfels, Texas FORMER CANYON STAR LANCE BERKMAN BACK IN HOUSTON sports ,7 New Braunfels FRIDAY JUNE 10,2011Herald ^Zeitung \    SERVING    NEW    BRAUNFELS    SINCE    1852Cibolo girl, 17, dies in crash By Datondo Moultrie The Herald-Zeitung A 17-year-old Cibolo girl died Thursday when the driver of the sport utility vehicle she was in fell asleep at the wheel, swerved off the road in Comal County and smashed into a tree, police said. Savanna Marie Kindt appeared to be the only one of four teens in the SUV not wearing a seatbelt, said Trooper Rick Alvarez of the Texas Department of Public Safety, New Braunfels. He said neither drugs nor alcohol appeared to factor in the crash. Alvarez said the teens had been enjoying recreational activities on a lake since about 6 a.m. Thursday. Family members of the deceased girl arrived on scene and hugged her dear friends, who were in the car when she died, Alvarez said. He said an off-duty Bracken first responder, Bradley Huggins of New Braunfels, tried to revive Kindt to no avail. Comal County Justice of the Peace Susan Dvorak pronounced her dead at 5:06 p.m. at the scene, Alvarez said. He said the crash happened about 4:50 p.m., as Coay Roy Cearley, 19, of Cibolo, drove a small, white Mazda SUV about 55 mph east on Farm-to-Market 2252. Cearley told investigators he fell asleep at the wheel and lost control just east of Schneider Road. The SUV went off the right side of the road onto a steep embankment before Cearley overcorrected left and hit the tree, Alvarez. Fie said the top right portion of the SUV was smashed in and the vehicle came to a stop on the left side of the road. Kindt suffered severe trauma to her body, Alvarez said. The other three teens, Cearley, and front-seat passenger Melissa Kay Hopkins, 18, and rear-left-seat passenger Daniel Gerald Rogers, 18, both of Schertz, suffered minor injuries. The speed limit in the area of the crash is 55 mph. Police blocked off the area until 7 p.m. For breaking news, sports scores, weather, traffic and mid-day updates, follow us on Twitter ONewBraunfslsHZ Learn what's in tomorrow's paper, offer news tips, receive alerts. Become a New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung Facebook fan.Downstairs prince 295 E.830- 7 CM Receive the Herald-Zeitung e-newsletter in your e-mail box eact morning: Click 'Herald-Zeitung Mailing list' Dozens of crews will brave the often-treacherous 260-mile Texas Water Safari starting this Saturday. Photo submitted By Betty Taylor For the Herald-Zeitung Rhett Stuman has played college football, boxed both as an amateur and professional, and participated in karate kickboxing. He has operated his own roofing business since 1984. Still, he will tell you the hardest thing he has even done was to participate in the 260-mile, non-stop paddling Texas Water Safari. The boat race, beginning in San Marcos and ending in Seadrift, has been billed as the toughest canoe race in the world. Men and women come from all over the world come to participate in the race that SURVIVAL OF THE WETTEST Low water conditions make Texas Water Safari a beast began in 1963 and follows the San Marcos and Guadalupe rivers down to the Texas Gulf. Beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday, about 100 boats will be lined up at Aquarena Springs to begin the journey. This is Stuman's fifth time to compete. It is the second year of competition for the Rio Bravo team, which consists of Stuman, his son, Rhett "Hambone" Stuman, and Kevin Lenz. "I will tell you why it is the toughest thing I've ever done/' Stuman said. "It's a marathon. It takes everything out of you physically and mentally. It's about endurance. Your body aches. Everything aches that you didn't even know could ache. The heat is over 100 each day. "Then, the bugs begin to come out at night. They get everywhere — in your hair, your nose, your eyeballs, your ears." The monsters come out, too, Stuman said. See SAFARI, Page 9 ‘There’ll be lots of alligators By Greg Bowen The Herald-Zeitung Curt Slaten is expecting one tough race. He's run the grueling Water Safari twice with a partner in a two-man canoe. But this time, Curt's going it alone. "I'm very nervous," he said. The 46-year-old programmer from Austin will have his sister, Jessie, of New Braunfels, on his support team. Jessie and other team members, following along in vehicles, will meet Curt at checkpoints and resupply him with water and ice. mm What is he expecting? "Unfortunately, the river has been doing nothing but going down. It may e a record-low water level this year." Low water means a slower pace. "Everybody's talking about adding more food because we're oing to be out there so much onger." Early on, there will be a "very twisty, turny, dangerous course with about a dozen portages Slaten where you have to get out and pick up your canoe and throw it over a dam or whatnot." But he expects to find real trouble near the race's end. "There'll be lots of alligators coming out of the estuaries this year. That has been freaking a lot of people out." Curt thinks it'll take him about 70 hours to finish. That's 10 hours more than his slowest previous time. "I've never been able to sleep on the course, but it's looking like I'm going to have to try to sleep sometime. It could be an issue." Don't expect to see the rocket's red glare over drought-stricken Comal County this Fourth of july. With a looming threat of wildfires, county commissioners on Thursday banned the sale and use of the types of aerial fireworks considered most likely to spark fires: rockets on sticks and missiles with fins. Fire Marshal Wayne Ellington asked for the ban "to make our community safer." He said the drought index reached 714 on Wednesday. That's near the 800 maximum for the index, a measure of dryness and fire danger. County Judge Sherman Krause, in his pre-meeting prayer, asked for rain to relieve the dry conditions. But National Weather Service meteorologist Clay Anderson at New Braunfels Municipal Airport said the drought weather pattern is expected to continue through the end of the month. "It's not going to get better any time soon," Anderson said. The county is running a "huge" rainfall deficit, he said. Only 4.8 inches of precipitation has been recorded this year, when the average is 15.5 inches. That's a deficit of 10.7 inches. Before commissioners unanimously approved the ban, Krause asked Ellington what the county's fireworks vendors think of the idea. "The vendors agree with it and would do it voluntarily," Ellington said. "They understand that these restricted fireworks are the greatest cause of fires." The vendors can still sell other types of fireworks. AREA RIVER FLOWS cfs = cubic feet per second • Guadalupe at Sattler    56 cfs • Guadalupe at NB    55 cfs • Comal at NB    187    cfs RIVER FLOW RATE GUIDE • RECREATIONAL -100-499 cfs • CHALLENGING -500-799 cfs STRENUOUS — 800-1,199 cfs • DANGEROUS -1,200+ cfs Optimal tubing on the Guadalupe is between 200 cfs and 600 cfs. Tubing is safest below 1,000 cfs. Rafting is the mode of choice for levels above 1,000 cfs. ► WILDFIRE THREAT Fireworks banned in Comal Commissioners prohibit sale, use of fireworks most likely to spark fires By Greg Bowen The Herald-Zeitung TEXAS WATER SAFARI STARTS SATURDAY ; ► THE LEGISLATURE House takes up school funding AUSTIN (AP) The Texas House debated slashing $4 billion from Texas public schools on Thursday and establishing a new school finance formula that will change how school funds are distributed. Districts across the state have already started laying off thousands of teachers, which will result in larger class sizes. Many programs will not be funded by this bill, and pre-kindergarten would be cut from funding for full-day classes. If approved, the bill will go to a conference committee where senators and representatives will negotiate a final version of the Bill. Under the current law, the state is required to pay schools more than what Republicans want to spend. The proposed change to the law spreads the $4 billion in cuts over two years, with a 6 percent cut in 2012 and a $2 billion reduction in 2013 that would reduce funding for some schools more than others based on a complicated formula. "Living within our means is what allows Texas to create more jobs than all the other states in the nation combined," Rep. Rob Eissler, R-The Woodlands, said in defending the cuts. "It's not how much you spend, it's how you spend it." WEATHER, 13 REBECCA INGRAM SEELE ELEMENTARY Mostly sunny and HOT High: 99 Low: 72 Classifieds 13 Comics 12 Crossword 12 Forum 4 Obituaries 3 Planner U Sports _____I Vol. 158 I No. 181 1 section. 16 pages 8 *,56825 000011 i 50 cents ;