New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - March 5, 2011, New Braunfels, Texas
BREAKING NEWS: Two 18-wheelers collided late Friday night on Interstate 35 northbound near Exit 183; one reportedly exploded. The accident and fire forced authorities to close both lanes of I-35, along with the frontage roads.COVERAGE ON WWW.HERALD-ZEITUNG.COM
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Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852.
500City cracks down on short-term rentals
By J. Louise Larson
Task force. Crackdown. Illegal rentals.
While the terms sound scary, they’re just efforts to enforce the new mandate New Braunfels City Coun
cil has given its departments. The mandate came with the first reading Feb. 14 of an ordinance further amending short-term rental regulations, tightening up October’s revision banning further special use permits for short-term rentals in residential subdivisions.
What may not be widely known is there are dozens of short-term rentals operating in city limits that were grandfathered under prior spe-cial-use permits granted to them before October’s measures, and those can continue to operate.
The February amendment
includes a maximum fine of $2,000 per violation and clarifying that the property owner, the owner’s agent and the occupant will all be held separately responsible for violating the ordinance.
Mayor Bruce Boyer said the city will continue to look at the issue
“and try to put teeth in it."
No more special use permits
Shannon Mattingly is New Braunfels' director of planning and commercial development.
See CRACKDOWN, Page 8A
Nt* SHMKHIC TX
► JOSHUA DAVIS JR.
Jr., 18 months, disappeared from his New Braunfels home. Call (830) 620-TIPS if you have a tip.
A reward of up to $5,000 is being offered.
Event will indude balloon release
By J. Louise Larson
It’s been a month since toddler Joshua Davis Jr. disappeared, and friends and family want to make sure that he remains at the forefront of the community’s thoughts and prayers.
Supporters •f Y°u GO have planned
When: 1 p.m. a search and
followecHjy’' f!ier distribu-
balloon release. operation
Search party today at the
forms at 2 p.m. family home
Where; Prayer at 2619 Savan-
at 2619 nah Hill Cir-
Savannah Hill cje> beginning
Cir0|0, f00 with prayer at
party at Klein . a
Road } P ">; and a
release followed by search at 2 p.m. at nearby Klein Road Elementary School.
“We will be handing out fliers and keeping out eye out for any information or clues to get him home... there is no reason we can’t all come together as a community and help the Davis family find Joshua,” Shay Hernandez posted on the “Search for Baby Joshua” Facebook page.
“We want this to be our biggest search yet. If you keep talking about helping, this is your chance to support this family,” Hernandez said.
Angie Flack, a family friend acting as a spokeswoman for Joshua’s parents, said the balloon release will have special symbolism.
“Members of the community are asked to bring a balloon to release as an act of faith that baby Joshua will be returned home soon,” Flack said.
► BUDGET WOES
Letter: CISD may face RIF job cuts
By Will Wright
In his second letter to employees over the past month, Comal Independent School District Superintendent Marc Walker outlines what might happen if the district’s already-dreary financial scenario becomes even worse.
Comal ISD is planning to lose at least $16.8 million because of the state’s budget shortfall,
Walker said in his statement, released Friday
afternoon and ... „
. . ., Walker
posted on the
Herald-Zeitung website. Should the district incur a worst-case possible loss of $31 million, however, Walker said it would almost certainly call for the district to declare a financial exigency.
It’s called a reduction in force (RIF), a move that would empower the district to reduce its numbers of term-contracted employees without cause. Walker indicates 400 teachers would be eliminated, and force class sizes to expand to 40 or 50 students.
Walker said the district is coping with the shortfall by allocating some of its $57 million fund balance and making cuts in maintenance and operations. A $31 million cut would reduce the district’s budget to $100 million next year alone.
“The difference between $16.8 million and $31 million rests in Austin with the Texas Legislature,” Walker said. “The House budget bill includes no
See COMAL ISD, Page 8A
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See JOSHUA, Page 8A
HIGH-WATER WARNING SIRENS GOING UP
Gary Poss describes how a river flood siren works while standing beside a newly installed production model Friday at Bezdek Rentals on River Road.
SONG OF THE SIRENS
County, New Braunfels install warning systems along waterways
By Will Wright
The Guadalupe River could become a lot noisier this summer.
Not as a result of rowdy river-goers, but because of warning sirens along the venue that will warn residents and campers to the dangers of rising waters.
WORD (the Water Oriented Recreation District) of Comal County has begun installing 50 sirens at low-lying areas of River Road along the Guadalupe. The project should be completed before the start of river recreation season.
Interest in the project skyrocketed after the June 2010
See COUNTY, Page 8A
By Will Wright
The City of New Braunfels will begin installation of its high-water warning sirens before the end of this month.
New Braunfels Fire Chief John Robinson said the $280,000 project will install eight sirens along city waterways. The sirens will be mounted atop 40-foot cast concrete poles, all installed along the Dry Comal, Comal and Guadalupe watersheds.
City emergency management officials will be able to control them manually or by radio, with each loud enough to be heard over a mile away.
“The siren heads will be here next week,” Emergency
See CITY, Page 8A
Vol. 158, No. 98 16 pages, 2 sections
Inside . El I
OBITUARIES 3A A few »tOITOS
SPORTS 1B 66 36
TV GRID 11A Detail* 3B
Rove to present Texan of Year to Benson
8 ""56825 00001
From staff reports
Asleep at the Wheel founder, recording artist, producer and playwright Ray Benson has been named 2011 Texan of the Year by the Texas Legislative Conference.
Benson will be presented with the award at 7 p.m. March 24 at a special reception in his honor at New Braunfels Civic/Convention Center. He will join an array of prominent past honorees that includes Barbara Jordan, Laura Bush, Anne Armstrong and Gov. Rick Perry.
The award will be presented by former George W. Bush staffer Karl Rove.
According to TIC chairwoman Sara Tays, Benson was selected for his advocacy of health for aging musicians as well as his volunteer work with multiple foundations.
“Ray is a founding member of the Rhytlim and Blues Foundation, which raises money to help aging R&B artists and is also a founding board member of the SIMS Foundation, which provides low-cost mental health services
for Austin musicians and their families. He is a trustee for the Texas Chapter of NARAS, a board member of the St. David's Community Health Foundation, and board member and founding member of the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians (HAAM).” Benson is an honorary junior member of the U.S. Secret Service, was named the 2004 Texas State Musician by the Texas House of Representatives, and most recently, was announced as a recipient of the Texas Medal of the Arts.