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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - June 21, 2007, New Braunfels, Texas THURSDAY, JUNE 21,2007 Lynn Rodgers Zeitung SPORTS Little league Baseball and softball schedules revised affter rain postpones some games. Page 5A Part 6 of the story. Page GA Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852. Vol. 154, No. 190 14 pages, 2 sections 500 www: '56825 00001 Comal passes $1.76M budget IO percent hike due in large part to re-appraisals By Mark Koopmans The Herald-Zeitung The Comal Appraisal District board of directors has approved and adopted its budget for 2008 following a public hearing Monday. The total budget, which takes effect automatically, is $1,759,420. That is an increase of more than $176,000, or about IO percent, from this year’s adopted budget, officials said. Much of the increase is due to 2008 being a reappraisal year. Every three years, property owners are sent a mandatory notice of appraisal, Chief Appraiser Lynn Rodgers said. “County Judge Danny Scheel and New Braunfels Mayor Bruce Boyer were among those who spoke in relationship to their own particular needs,” Rodgers said. “However, we had no one who spoke up against any of the line items on the budget.” The appraisal district is sup-ported by payments split between the 15 governing bodies of the county, school districts, cities and towns served by the appraisal district. For information, call 830-625-8597, or visit Mark Koopmans can be reached at mkoopmans @ Havoc on the highways PHOTOS BY DAVID INGRAM/Herald Zei ung A Jeep Liberty lies on its roof on southbound Interstate 35 just north of Schwab Road after rains and unsafe speed caused several accidents Wednesday morning. Rain, wreck stall 1-35 By Mark Koopmans The Herald-Zeitung The storm system that blew through Comal County left misery in its wake — but also the discovery that a frontage road makes for an impromptu highway — as thousands of drivers unexpectedly found themselves in a 4-mile-long parking lot along Interstate 35 Wednesday morning. The IO a.m. traffic jam started close to mile marker 180 after an unidentified woman driving a silver Jeep Liberty traveling southbound on 1-35 lost control in heavy rain that developed overnight in the Dallas area, said meteorologist Larry Eblen with the National Weather Service in New Braunfels. First responders arriving at the scene found the woman, who was not transported to the hospital, sitting in the truck of a friend who had been several cars back See Storms, Page 8A A Chevrolet Suburban splashes through high water at the intersection of North Walnut Avenue and West San Antonio Street Wednesday morning. Corps opens Canyon Lake flood gates The Canyon Lake release rate was slowed Wednesday, but with heavy rain, officials haven’t decided if it will be dropped further. On Monday, the elevation of Canyon Lake Dam was 910.53 feet above sea level, so the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers opened the flood gates to release water at up to 2,800 cubic feet per second into the Guadalupe River. The plan was to lower the lake to 910 feet, and have the release rate back at a tuber-friendly 600 cfs by the weekend, officials said. “But, we’re in a holding pattern right now,” Canyon Lake manager Tim Horn said Wednesday afternoon. “We’re at 909.85 feet, with a release at about 1,600 (cfs) in response to the lake’s level. It’s too eariy to say what will happen next. A decision will probably be taken Thursday morning." Bush pulls out veto pen again on stem cell bill By Deb Riechmann Associated Press Writer WASHINGTON — Vetoing a stem cell bill for the second time, President Bush on Wednesday sought to placate those who disagree with him by signing an executive order urging scientists toward what he termed “ethically responsible” research in the field. Bush announced no new federal dollars for stem cell research, which supporters say holds the promise of disease cures, and his order would not allow researchers to do anything they couldn’t do under existing restrictions. Announcing his veto to a room ful of supporters, Bush said, “If this legislation became law, it would compel American taxpayers for the first time in our history to support the deliberate destruc-tion of human embryos. I made it clear to Congress and to the American people that I will not allow our nation to cross this moral line.” He vetoed similar embryonic stem cell legislation last July. “We also intend to continue bringing this up until we have a pro-stem cell President and a pro-stem cell Congress.”— Diana DeGette Democrat representative from Colorado and chief sponsor of vetoed legislation. scientists to work with the government to add other kinds of stem cell research to the list of projects eligible for federal funding—so long as it does not create, harm or destroy human embryos. Democrats dismissed Bush’s veto as a moral affront, and his executive order as a meaningless gesture meant to trick people into thinking he had advanced stem cell His executive order encourages research. They said they would hold votes to try to override the veto — or at least give the issue more air time. “We also intend to continue bringing this up until we have a pro-stem cell president and a prostem cell Congress,” said one of the House’s chief sponsors, Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo. Senate Democrats were expected to begin the process by trying to attach embryonic stem cell legislation this week to a must-pass appropriations bill for the Labor and Health and Human Services departments. By the 2008 elections, they predicted, Bush’s veto of See Veto, Page 7A \> I 40% chance of storms High Low I 88 71 1 i Details .... 1B DEAR ABBY 3B CLASSIFIEDS 4B COMICS 2B CROSSWORD 2B FORUM 4A OBITUARIES 3A SPORTS 5A TV GRIDS 3B Expert outlines omnibus water bill State and city officials briefed on Senate Bill By David Saleh Rauf The Herald-Zeitung The Chairman of the Guadalupe Basin Coalition presented an overview of Senate Bill 3 — an omnibus water bill recently signed into law—to Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce members Wednesday morning at the New Braunfels Utilities board room. The joint meeting between the chamber’s Legislative Affairs and Natural Resources commit- “While there are many things in this bill we don’t like, there are some things that could prove good for us.”— Michael Meek President of Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce tees focused on clarifying the complexities of a bill — full of political compromise — that could have far-reaching implications for the 1.7 million people in South Central Texas who depend on the Edwards Aquifer. The overview was provided by Tom Taggart, who also serves as director of water and waste- - water for the city of San Marcos. Taggart presented about 30 people — including state and city officials — with specifics about a bill with statewide water implications and how it will affect the New Braunfels area and stakeholders dependent on the Aquifer. The presentation highlighted a set of amendments within the bill that specifically target the Edwards Aquifer. Among the most discussed items was the lifting of pumping caps, Chamber President Michael Meek said. Under Senate Bill 3, which was signed by Gov. Rick Perry on Friday and becomes effective Sept. I, the Edwards Aquifer See Water Bill, Page 3A STOP, city meet this morning in District Court From staff report Officials from both sides of the river ordinance lawsuit are set to meet during a public hearing scheduled for 9 a.m. today at the 207th District Court, 150 N. Seguin Ave. in New Braunfels. Attorneys for both sides met Tuesday, however, Stop the Ordinances Please attorney Scott Tschirhart said no agreement had been readied. City attorney Alan Wayland and outside legal counsel Mick McK-amie declined to comment. The lawsuit — aimed at throwing out the city’s new river ordinances regulating cooler size and other rules on the Guadalupe and Comal rivers — was originally filed with the Comal County District Court in April. FIND IT IN OUR MORE IN IT FOR YOO www.Herald-Zeitung.Com ;