New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - June 21, 2011, New Braunfels, Texas
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JUNE 21,2011Herald ^Zeitung
herald-zeitung.comSERVING NEW BRAUNFELS SINCE 1852
20 wildfires bum across IX
1,800 homes, businesses threatened by Houston-area, southeast Texas blazes
STONEHAM (AP) — About 1,800 homes and businesses in drought-plagued southeast Texas are being evacuated as a growing wildfire fueled by wind and triple-digit temperatures continues to rake
■ RELATED: Winds challenge fire-fighting efforts in Ariz., N.M. Page 7
across a rural community northwest of Houston, officials said Monday.
A Grimes County judge ordered residents to leave late Monday afternoon as the ongoing fire crossed containment lines, Texas Forest Service spokesman Justice Jones told The Associated Press, adding that it
was not immediately known how many residents were affected. He said two people have been injured and 26 homes in the county have been destroyed since the 5,000-acre lire began Sunday.
Displaced residents are being sent to Navasota High School, west of the blaze. Jones said "right now any spark can be a deadly spark."
See FIRES, Page 7
TB case confirmed in county
By Will Wright
Comal County health officials have confirmed the county's first reported case of tuberculosis in nearly a year and a half.
Gwen Mills, Comal County Public Health Director, said Monday that laboratory testing of the suspect case, first reported in May, came back positive.
"We do have confirmation that we do have a case of micro bacterium tuberculosis," she said, indicating the county's monthly report for May has upgraded the case from "suspect" to an "actual" occurrence.
Mills said her department identified five people who came into close contact with the individual, whose identity, age and gender have not been disclosed. County health officials also identified six others who came into "very casual" contact with the infected person.
Tests on four of the five "close contact" individuals came up negative. Mills said officials "are still in the process" of trying to reach the fifth person. Tests on each of the six casual contact individuals also came back negative.
Mills would not release any further information about the tests, which were conducted by other medical entities during the past few weeks. She said the person in the confirmed case has received treatment, but could not say when it began or where the person was being treated.
"Treatment of the suspected case started immediately," Mills said. "All of the rest is irrelevant.
"We do have a case, we have investigated all but one of the close contacts, and we're on it."
According to Comal County's public health website, the last previous confirmed case of tuberculosis was reported in January 2010. There were no cases reported in 2009; one in 2008 and four in 2007.
Tuberculosis is a disease of the lung that can be spread through close contact. Mills said some of the symptoms can include a persistent cough, a fever, weight loss or night sweats.
Information on all Comal County illnesses and diseases is available at the county website at http://comalcounty.net.
NBISD ADOPTS 2011-12 SCHOOL BUDGET
c. D LAURA McKENZIE | Herald-Zeitung
bteve Brown, New Braunfels Independent School District's business manager, delivers a presentation about the budget and proposed tax rate during a public meeting Monday evening at the district's Education Center
Trustees finalize controversial plan to empty house
By Will Wright
After months of packed, emotional meetings, when it finally came time to adopt a budget Monday night there was no audience.
New Braunfels Independent School District's board of trustees unanimously adopted a $48,442,296 budget for the 2011-12 school year during its monthly meeting on Monday.
There wasn't a single speaker who favored or opposed the budget, which was presented during a special public hearing prior to the board's regular session at the NBISD Education Center's Board Room.
The new budget includes built-in measures to account for a $7,811,876 shortfall NBISD officials say resulted from a $4 billion statewide cut in public education funding.
NBISD Business Manager Steve Brown said he expects the $1.33910 tax rate per $100 assessed property valuation will remain the
a We’re adopting a blind budget; hopefully, we can come back and adjust some things in July.”
Randy Moczygemba | NBISD superintendent
same as it has since 2009-10.
Trustees will vote on the tax rate in August. However, district officials project state revenue per student to drop from $2,644 to $1,704 for 2011-12.
Trustees also approved applying up to $3.5 million of fund balance to help alleviate the expected shortfall, which could range from $8.2 million to as little as $2 million depending on which school funding measure comes out of the state legislature's special session.
However, district officials remain hopeful some of their $4 million in proposed budget cuts won't have to be enacted. Projections from the favored funding mechanism - Senate Bill 1 - will ease the pain of drastic cuts during the first year of the 2011-13 biennium. Still, the
NBISD, under a June 30 deadline to pass a budget for the next fiscal year, had to act before legislators did.
"We are hoping (our shortfall projection) won't turn out to be as high as we'd projected," NBISD Superintendent Randy Moczygemba said. "We're adopting a blind budget; hopefully, we can come back and adjust some things in July.
"We're just waiting to find out whether the data coming out of the legislature will give us some more room in this budget."
Moczygemba said the district is especially interested in knowing whether its $1.2 million share of Federal Educational Jobs (Edujobs) funding will go to the district, or
See NBISD, Page 7
4 candidates apply for CISD board seat
By Will Wright
Comal Independent School District's quest to fill a vacant seat on its board of trustees received a flurry of late responses. Three more candidates turned in applications in time to meet Monday's 5 p.m. deadline.
Blaine Best, Stephen
Smith and G. David Speare joined Marcie Helmke as hopefuls to fill the District 1 position, which was vacated by Carolyn Miller in April.
Speare, 37, who listed his occupation as a senior business systems analyst, filed his paperwork with the CISD superintendent's office Monday afternoon.
Best, 45, a regional manager with The Scooter Store, filed on June 16.
Smith, 54, a certified public accountant, filed on Friday, and Helmke, 54, a teacher in the Judson ISD, filed on June 15.
The Comal ISD board will interview each of the applicants prior to the start of its monthly trustees
meeting, which will be held June 28 at the CISD Support Services Building, located at 1404 IH-35 in New Braunfels.
Trustees plan to appoint an individual to serve out the remainder of Miller's term, which expires in May 2012. The new trustee will officially join the board in July.
Toddler found in river dies
Boy, 2, pulled from Guadalupe Friday
By Dalondo Moultrie
The 2-year-old toddler found Friday night unresponsive floating in the Guadaluf>e River died Saturday night at a San Antonio hospital, a Comal County Sheriff's Office spokesman said.
A woman who said she is the hoy's aunt said he was brain dead and his parents authorized hospital personnel to cease life-support systems.
The aunt —Tiffany Pollok of Corpus Christi — identified the boy as Michael Watts.
She said her brother is the bov's father and that the father, Corban Watts, is incarcerated on an unrelated issue, which she refused to identify.
Watts tearfully told his sister that he gave permission via telephone to end his son's life, Pollok said.
"He was only allowed to make one phone call. That was yesterday (Sunday) to let us know that little Mikey was brain dead and in a hospital," Pollok said.
"He said he was going to have to he on the phone to give permission to pull the plug."
According to CCSO Lt. Mark Reynolds, the boy — whose name Reynolds withheld — was found about 8:45 p.m. Friday in the river at Camp Huaco.
He said the boy was taken to Christus Santa Rosa Hospital-New Braunfels and later flown to Christus Santa Rosa Hospital-San Antonio, where he was pronounced dead about 10:30 p.m. Saturday.
Investigators are awaiting a medical examiner's report before deciding whether charges will be filed, Reynolds said.
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