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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - June 14, 2007, New Braunfels, Texas THURSDAY, JUNE 14,2007 Zeitung SPORTS ALL THE WAY The San Antonio Spurs could clinch a fourth NBA title tonight in Cleveland. Page 5A Guadalupe flow back to normal Tubers who have been waiting for the best time to float on the Guadalupe River can dust off their gear and come out this weekend. Mike Dussere, Water Oriented Recreation District manager, said the Guadalupe River flow will be optimal for tubing or any other water recreation. “We’ve had some disappointing weekends and we hope to kick off he summer this weekend,” he said. Judy Scott, a U.S. Corps of Engineers park ranger, said the release from Canyon Lake reservoir will be between 400 and 800 cubic feet per second this weekend. "It looks like it will definitely be tuber and family friendly this weekend,” she said. The elevation at Canyon Lake on Tuesday was 909,83 feet above sea level, 0.83 feet above normal. — Suzanne Ashe Part 5 of the story. Page 6A Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852. Vol. 154, No. 184 16 pages, 2 sections 500 www^; 56825 00001 ISWMiM Mostly sunny High Low 93 70 Details .... 1B DEAR ABBY 3B CLASSIFIEDS 4B COMICS 2B CROSSWORD 2B FORUM 4A OBITUARIES 3A SPORTS 5A TV GRIDS 3B Comal ISD proposes $115M budget By David Saleh Rauf The Herald-Zeitung With a state-imposed Aug. 31 deadline looming, the Comal Independent School District is considering a proposed $115 million budget for the 2007-08 fiscal year. The biggest challenges for Comal ISD budget writers: 12 percent increase for extra staff, raises keeping teacher pay scales competitive and facilitating rapidly growing enrollment without exerting too much burden on taxpayers. The result: a proposed budget that reflects a nearly 12-percent increase from last years $102 million budget. The bulk of the $12.3 million in new expenses can be direcdy attributed to payroll, which comprises ll percent of the budget ($89 million). According to the proposed budget, Comal ISD expects to spend about $8.9 million more than it did in the previ ous year to pay teachers and staff, an 18.4 percent spike from 2006-07. Of that $8.9 million, the budget allocates approximately $4.2 million for pay raises and increased health care benefits for Comal ISD employees. The district is set See CISD Page 3A STOP attorneys’ filing asks Attorney General to intervene in lawsuit City’s lawyer not available this week for mediation By Suzanne Ashe The Herald-Zeitung At all indications, the Guadalupe River will be at optimal tubing flow this weekend. Guadalupe River outfitters upstream of New Braunfels said they are geared up and ready to go. However, some outfitters in New Braunfels remain embroiled in a court battle against the city to eliminate or loosen city ordinances. Attorneys for Stop the Ordinances Please are seeking an injunction against the city alleging a violation of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code, according to court papers. Scott Tschirhart, attorney for STOP, said Wednesday that he sent a letter brief to Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott office asking that the AG’s office intervene in the lawsuit against the city of New Braunfels. “They are mulling it over whether or not they will intervene,” he said. Members of the STOP lawsuit that include: Rockin “R” River Rides, Texas Tubes, Corner Tubes, Inc., Gruene Home Run Batting Cage & Tubing, Stone Randall Williams, and Lindsay Michelle Crim. The lawsuit Next Hearing i What: STOP v. City of New Braunfels lawsuit ■ When: 9 a.m., June 21 ■ Where: Comal County Courthouse also seeks damages to outfitter business from the ordinances and River Management Fee they are required to pay by the city. This past week, visiting Judge Ron Carr, who is presiding over the case in place of District Judge Charles Ramsay who recused himself, gave the attorney general until June 18 to respond to the lawsuit. The next hearing is 9 a.m. on Thursday, June 21. Tschirhart's filing includes a 2000 petition of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission by the city to initiate a See STOP, Page 9AHouse bill strengthens national background check system for gunsStates mandated to match mentally ill, gun buyers lists By Jim Abrams Associated Press Writer WASHINGTON — The House voted Wednesday to fix flaws in the national gun back-ground check system that allowed the Virginia Tech shooter to buy guns despite his mental health problems. The legislation, passed by voice vote, was endorsed by the National Rifle Association, boosting its chances of becoming the first major gun control law in more than a decade. “As the Virginia Tech shooting reminded us, there is an urgent national need to improve the background check system” to keep guns out of the hands of those barred from buying them, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said. The measure would require states to automate their lists of convicted criminals and the mentally ill who are prohibited under a 1968 law from buying firearms, and report those lists to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS. Seung-Hui Cho, who in April killed 32 students and faculty at Virginia Tech before taking his own life, had been ordered to undergo outpatient mental health treatment and should have been barred from buying the two guns he used in the rampage. But the state of Virginia never forwarded this information to the national background check system. The House action came as a panel ordered by President Bush to investigate the Virginia Tech shootings issued its findings, including a recommendation that legal and financial barriers to NICS submissions be addressed. Bush, in a statement, said the report made clear that better information sharing between federal and state authorities “is essential in helping to keep guns out of the wrong hands and to punish those who break the law.” He said he was “closely follow-ing legislative efforts to strengthen the instant background check system." The panel also urged federal agencies to expand programs to prevent school violence and said the Health and Human Services Department should focus on college students in its mental health pub lic education campaign. Asked why the commission did not make a deeper review of gun laws, White House press secretary Tony Snow said, “That really wasn’t within the purview of what they decided that they’re going to look at.” Virginia Tech President Charles Steger said the report disclosed “the deep complexities of the issues facing college campuses today,” and said he believes it will help advance federal and state officials’ scrutiny of issues related to society’s safety vs. personal freedoms. The House bill next moves to the Senate, where gun con trol advocate Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said he was talking to NRA ally Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, and there was a “very strong” chance of passage. “When the NRA and I agree on legislation, you know that it’s going to get through, become law and do some good,” he said. The legislation requires state and federal agencies to transmit all relevant disqualifying records to the NICS database. It also provides $250 million a year over the next three years to help states meet those goals and it imposes penalties — See GUNS, Page 7ARemember! EZPAY Have your subscription paid directly from your credit card, checking or savings account Call 830-625-9144 HERALD-ZEITUNG Or Come By 707 Landa St. WANTED: Emergency Service District to claim Comal’s no-man’s land By Mark Koopmans The Herald-Zeitung COMAL COUNTY — The term “no man’s land” is familiar to many as the one used by soldiers to describe the ground between two opposing trenches. And although retired U.S. Marine fighter pilot Bob Reed no longer flies missions over Vietnam or elsewhere, he is concerned that Comal County’s version of no mans land includes the 12 acres of land he has farmed since retiring to the southern end of the county in 1980. “For 25 years, I assumed that my wife, Gail, and I had always paid our county taxes and that we were covered in the event we needed assistance from the local fire or rescue emergency services,” Reed said Tuesday. “Unfortunately, for about the last IO years or so, we’ve been in this no mans land, and while the county was making sure we were covered, things changed on Jan. I of this year.” The Reeds were one of about 75 property owners in the unincorporated portion of the county between New Braunfels and Garden Ridge who received a letter from the county explaining that although they were benefiting from fire and EMS protection, they were not being assessed the appropriate levy for these services. After several public meetings, Reed discovered their home would officially be left without fire protection or emer gency medical services. “I don’t want to cry over spilled milk,” said Reed, who counts four buffalo named Samson, Delilah, Cleopatra and I lercules among his many farm animals. Instead, he talked with county commissioners Greg Parker and Jay Minikin, who explained that someone would have to volunteer to get enough signatures on a petition asking that no mans land be voluntarily annexed by the bordering Emergency Service District No. 6. If the annexation request is approved by the five-man board of commissioners on ESD No. 6., the Bracken volunteer fire department and Schertz EMS would be See ESD, Page 3A Krueger Canyon Road resident Bob Reed is trying to raise enough signatures to promote annexation of his neighborhood so that they will be able to receive EMS services. DAVID INGRAM Herald- Zeitung Farmer pushes to have his, neighbors land added to ESD No. 6 ;