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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - June 29, 2007, New Braunfels, Texas FRIDAY, JUNE 29,2007 Zeitung Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852. 3,000 HITS Houston's Craig Biggio adds another big number to his Hall of Fame resume. Page 6A HIGH COURT WEIGHS IN Supreme Court weakens historic precedent on integration. Page 5A Vol. 154, No. 197 16 pages, 2 sections 500 WWW: _ I '56825 00001 50% chance of more rain High Low 85 7C Details .... 1B DEAR ABBY 3B CLASSIFIEDS 4B COMICS 2B CROSSWORD 2B FORUM 4A OBITUARIES 3A SPORTS 6A TV GRIDS 3B HUIH UI i i Will ITears follow guilty verdictMiller likely will learn his sentence today By David Saleh Rauf The Herald-Zeitung During the first two days of his manslaughter trial, Roy Mack Miller Jr., sat mostly expressionless in Comal County Courtroom I. When Cynthia Padilla, the older sister of a 12-year-old boy whom Miller stands accused of NBISD OKs $47Mbudget INSIDE I Board hires principal for middle school. 3A By David Saleh Rauf The Herald-Zeitung After a brief public hearing, New Braunfels school trustees on Thursday voted to approve a $47 million budget for the 2007-08 fiscal year. New Braunfels Independent School District budget writers were tasked with developing a budget that maximizes the state dollars provided and still fulfills the needs of the growing district — without exerting too much burden on the tax payers. The result: a nearly IO percent increase from the current $42 million budget that includes about $4.5 million in new expenses, including nearly $2.5 million for teachers’ raises. At the board’s june 12 meeting, trustees mulled over different pay raise figures for See BUDGET, Page 3A killing with his pickup, testified in graphic detail Tuesday that she heard the “smack" when Miller's truck hit her brother, he barely looked up. But on Thursday, just hours after a Comal County jury found him guilty of second degree manslaughter with a deadly weapon for causing Ryan Padilla’s death in December 2005, Miller wept as his family members took the stand to plead with jurors considering a sentence. “It was just an accident,” said a teary-eyed Miller, who crossed the rail during a recess and privately apologized to Padilla's family and friends. “I'm so sorry. This has ruined my life also.” Jurors did not reach a decision on Miller’s sentence Thursday. He is facing 5 to 99 years in prison for recklessly killing Padilla in December of 2005. Late Thursday afternoon, Comal County prosecutors asked jurors to consider a sentence of no less than 12 years. A decision is expected from jurors today. Miller, 69, was convicted on a federal felony charge in 1996 and served 37 months in prison. His prior felony conviction renders him ineligible for probation in Texas once he is sentenced. The deadly weapon charge jurors tacked on to the manslaughter charge will require Miller to serve half the sentence jurors hold him to before he is eligible for parole. For the past three days, Comal County prosecutors painted a picture, based on evidence and testimony, of the day Miller s pickup hit Padilla: a sunny Fri- See GUILTY Page 2A Local woman killed in wreck From staff reports SAN ANTONIO — An one-car wreck early Thursday morning left two people dead, including a 19-year-old Canyon Lake resident. According die San Antonio Police Department’s preliminary accident report, Logan Planty, 19, of Canyon I,ake and Christopher Gallegos, 18, of San Antonio were killed at around 4 a.m. Thursday. The driver, Marc Taormina, has been charged with two counts of intoxicated manslaughter. The complete story is on 8A. Logan PlantyEnough already! Will more rain throw wrench in weekend plans?McKenna’s board meets; final decision still pending on sale By Mark Koopmans The Herald-Zeitung McKenna Memorial Hospital’s board of directors met Thursday to discuss the ongoing process of selecting a hospital groups bidding to purchase the local health care system. However, officials declined to comment on the specifics of the meeting, except to say no new information was available. “The meeting was just one of many that has taken place, and will continue to take place,” Jennifer Malatek, chief development officer, said Thursday. Last month, officials at McKenna announced that Christus Health, LifePoint Hospitals and The Methodist Health Care System of San Antonio had been selected for “extended due diligence with the purpose of selecting one finalist to enter into a formal letter of intent to purchase McKenna Memorial Hospital.” Although the three corpo- CHRISTUS Health System ■ more than 40 hospitals and facilities in United States and Mexico. ■ ranked among the top 10 Catholic health systems in the United States by size. ■ Not for profit.____ rations are headquartered outside Comal County, as part of its certification requirements, any new owner would have to install a local board of directors chosen from this ■ Focused on non-urban healthcare, with 51 hospitals in 19 states. ■ established in May of 1999 as a spin-off of Hospital Corporation for America. ■ For profit ________ community. The three hospital groups were selected for the second phase of buyer selection over six other groups that expressed interest in buying McKenna, Methodist Healthcare ■ Operates four hospitals and numerous other healthcare facilities located in San Antonio. ■ Largest health care provider to rural communities in South Texas. ■ Not for profit. ______ Malatek said. Terms for any potential deal, including a price remain a secret. According to Malatek, the sale would include die hospital, the McKenna Neighbor hood I leal th Centers on West San Antonio Street and Lakeview Boulevard, the outpatient imaging center and medical office building at the Union Street campus and the McKenna Sports, Fitness and Rehabilitation Center on Lan-da Street. The McKenna Home Health division also would be sold with the hospital. Sale questioned The board of directors has conducted several meetings See MCKENNA, Page 8AThe Uptown Piano Bar Voted #1    Bar/NiClub! Downstairs in the Prince Solms Inn 295 E. San Antonio 830-708-5411 • > r m'.s' rn By Laura Blewitt The Herald-Zeitung Central Texas’ flooding and rain made Wednesday evening’s top news stories. The weather has derailed tuber’s plans in New Braunfels, although gutsier visitors found the rapid waters as a perfect opportunity for an adventure-filled day. With 0.78 inches of rain recorded at New Braunfels Airport overnight Wednesday and Thursday morning, New Braunfels received much less rain than other parts of the Hill Country. Today’s skies should be cloudy with a 50 percent chance of heavy rainfall, said Mark Lenz, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in New Braunfels. Saturday and Sunday will be mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance for rain and thunderstorms, he said. River options The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is expected to reduce the release of Canyon Lake waters to 600 cubic feet per second today, said Mike Dussere, manager of the Water Oriented Recreation District of Comal County. If this goes ahead as planned, the river flow could drop to a rate where outfitters would WEATHER PERMITTING ■ The tubing conditions are still up in the air. The limit for tubing is 1,200 CFS according to the Water Oriented Recreation District of Comal County. As of 6:30 p.m.,Thursday, most of the Guadalupe was at or above that number while the Comal River Springs was at 330 cfs. ■ New Braunfels and Canyon Lake Little League fields are hosting four baseball tournaments this weekend. Play will be determined by 4 p.m. daily. For rainout information, call the NBLL at 620-1343. ■ The New Braunfels Aquatic Swim Club is hosting the two-day Schlitterbahn Open swimming meet, which begins at 8:30 a.m. Saturday at Landa Park Pool. Organizers said the meet will go on in light precipitation, but heavy rain or lightning will postpone the event. KARLA HELD/Herald-Zeitung The Gruene bridge flowed over at approximately noon on Thursday due to flooding in the area. The bridge didn't reopen for nearly eight hours. be able put tubers on the Guadalupe River. “We’ve been talking to the National Weather Service and they don’t forecast any signif icant rain events,” so the release should go according to plan, said Park Ranger Brett Delk of the Corps of Engineers. The lake’s release was I,IOO cfs Thursday, and although the release rate was higher than the lake’s inflow, Delk said most of the week’s rain fell outside of Canyon Lake’s watershed. “Right now, there is flooding pretty much all over the state,” Delk said, “but the Guadalupe is doing really well.” Augmented by runoff from local rainfall, the Guadalupe See ENOUGH!, Page 3A * ;