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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - March 7, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas New UNF rT 'n kHERALD-Zni TUNG Vol. 149 No. 78 14 pages in 2 sections March 7, 2000 Tuesday Serving Comal County since 1852 50 cents FBI investigates bank heist Woman who robbed Bank of America suspected in Marion holdup AMANDA BECK/Herald-Zeitung Bank of America customers were greeted with this sign Monday afternoon on Landa Street. By Erin MAGRUDER Staff Writer A woman robbed the Bank of America, 501 Landa St., Monday afternoon and fled on foot with an undisclosed amount of cash stuffed in her double-zippered purse. No one was injured in the robbery that went unnoticed — for the most part — by bank employees and three or four other customers in the building about 2:45 p.m., Federal Bureau of Investigations special agent Darren W. Holmes said. “One female entered the building and approached the teller and verbally demanded money,” Holmes said. “The teller complied with the command and gave her money from the teller drawer .... I don’t think (the robber) created enough commotion for people to notice.” Although the robber never displayed a weapon, she made some type of hand motion near her waistband that implied she was armed, Holmes said. The robber is described as Hispanic, about 30 years old, 5 foot 7 to 5 foot 9 inches tall, weighing about 200 pounds with a heavy build and possibly had freckles on her face, Holmes said. The robber was wearing dark sunglasses, a dark-colored baseball cap with wavy brown hair tucked under theSee BANK/5A tW K 0<c •'"YtflCO. I <v;U(.'d ut. AVO v). Coact Segw'o.TxVOTING GUIDELWV voters’ guide inside today’s edition! NBISD gets first look at next year’s budget By Heather Todd Staff Writer New Braunfels Independent School District trustees w ill take a preliminary look at the 2000-2001 budget when they meet 6:30 p.m. today at the Education Center, 430 W. Mill St. David Rastellini, business manager for NBISD, said trustees would get a general overview of expected enrollment projections, preliminary state and local revenue figures and future expenditures in preparation for adopting a 2000-2001 budget this summer. Trustees are not scheduled to take action on the budget. “We’ll probably discuss some things such as health insurance costs, and we’ll talk about staffing issues so the board will know what we’re looking at for next year,” Rastellini said. Rastellini said the district had not yet gotten concrete figures on state and local revenue. But, trustees might discuss possible additional funding sources next year, including rental fees and meal prices. Rastellini said trustees were scheduled to adopt a 2000-2001 budget in May and set the tax rate sometime in late May or June. Last year, trustees adopted a $38.5 million budget July 12 and approved July 20 a $1.64 tax rate for the 1999-2000 school year. This year’s tax rate was one cent lower than the 1998-99 tax rate. This year, NBISD patrons will face a 12.8-cent increase on the debt service rate to help fund a $75 million bond project. NBISD patrons also will face a debt service tax increase of 15.5 cents in 2001 and a 12.7-cent increase in 2003. The tax rate would drop by 1.6 cents every year thereafter until the bonds are paid back in 2023. Churches slate Ash Wednesday services From staff reports Local residents will join Christians worldwide Wednesday in services to start off the holy season that remembers and celebrates Christ’s death and resurrection. Many Christians — typically Catholics but increasingly Protestants — start this holy season with Ash Wednesday services and treat it as a solemn day. The Lenten season, meant to be a time of preparation for Easter Sunday on April 23, is devoted to special disciplines of prayer, repentance, fasting or voluntary abstention from certain pleasures. These churches are having Ash Wednesday services: • Holy Family Church, 245 Hidalgo, w ill distribute ashes after its 8 a.m., noon and 7 p.m. mass services. • Cross Lutheran, 169 S. Hickory, will have services at IO a.m. and 7 p.m. • St. John’s Episcopal Church, 312 S. Guenther, will have a noon and 7 p.m. service. • Bracken United Methodist Church, 20377 Farm-to-Market Road 2252, will have a 7 p.m. service. • Unitarian Universalists and the Faith United Church will share a soup and sandw iches supper at 6:30 p.m. and a service at 7:30 p.m. at 907 N. Loop 337. • Faith United Church, 970 Loop 337, w ill have a noon service. • First Protestant, 172 W. Coll St., will show a movie, “A Vow to Cherish” at 7:30 p.m. • Sts. Peter and Paul Church, 386 N. Castell Ave., will have 7 a.m., 9 a.m., 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. services.Inside Abby....................  7A Classifieds.......................2-4B Comics...............................8A Crossword..........................7A Forum......................  6A Local/Metro........................4A Movies..................................7A Obituaries...........................3A Sports............................1B Today.................................2A Television............................8A Key Code 76 Cops seek info on Jak's robbery From staff reports New Braunfels Police detectives are searching for a person who robbed Jak’s Food and Beverage Mart, 1193 N. Loop 337, and assaulted a store employee early Saturday morning. The robber, who was wearing a ski mask, entered the store about 5 a.m. and assaulted the 41-year-old male employee with some type of small wooden stick, club or board, NBPD Lt. Mike Rust said. The robber was described as 6 feet tall and wearing a khaki shirt and dark-colored pants, Rust said. The employee was die only person in the store when the store opened for business, Rust said. The robber fled the store with an undetermined amount of cash from the register. Rust said. The employee was treated for his injuries by emergency services personnel, he said. Anyone who might have been in the area between 5 a.m. and 6 a.m. and might have seen something suspicious is asked to contact Rust or Detective Sean Gabbard at 608-2185 or Crime Stoppers at 620-TIPS or (800) 640-8422. Social Security changes welcomedLife lessons From staff reports A House bill repealing the earnings limit for Social Security recipients is long overdue. Congressman Lamar Smith said. Local residents say they think its fair and should encourage seniors to enter the tight labor market. I IR 5, the Senior Citizens Freedom to Work Act, passed unanimously this past week in the House. The bill has been sent to the Senate but hasn’t been scheduled for a hearing yet. “I am pleased to report that the House of Representatives has moved to correct this decades-old unfairness in Social Security,” SMITH    Smith    said.    “Under    law    created during the Great Depression, a working retiree loses $1 in Social Security benefits for every $3 earned above $ 17,000 that they make annually.” A retiree earning $18,500 could lose $500 in Social Security benefits, he said. “That’s the equivalent of more than one full month’s Social Security check for many people,” he said. Under current law, seniors who claim benefits before they reach 69 are subject to a reduction in benefits if they continue to work. The bill would repeal this limit entirely and provide retroactive benefits from Jan. I. Congressman Ciro D. Rodriguez said the start-up costs for the bill were high but during the course of IO years should have no impact on the budget. New Braunfels resident Lynn Thompson, 45, said most seniors, like her 78-year-old father, were on fixed incomes and every little bit helped. Social Security and a part-time job did not supply enough income separately. He needed both, she said. “We’re not talking tons of money here,” she said. And the government should encourage seniors to stay in the workforce, she said. “I know its been good for my father,” she said. “Working has kept him going.” Mercel Rivard, 56, a w inter Texan from Canada, said he believed the bill was a good idea as well, specifically because of the tight labor market. K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herald-Zeitung New Braunfels High School coach Joey Trevino teaches students Joel Camacho (center) and Robert Rico (right) different knots and techniques for fishing. NB middle school students don’t mind staying after school By Heather Todd Staff Writer A new after-school program at New Braunfels Middle School could produce a future surgeon or golf pro, but for now, it’s giving some students in New Braunfels a safe environment to learn new- skills. K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herald-Zeitung Working carefully, Megan Villalobos peels back the tissue of a cow’s eyeball. With the help of Deanna Krawczyk of Treefrog Ed, students learned the various parts and functions of the eye. On Wednesday afternoon, a handful of girls at NBMS spent the afternoon dissecting a cow’s eye, while a group of boys headed over to Landa Park to go fishing. Its not the usual activities of most 13 and 14-year olds, but the purpose of the program is to offer students an alternative to the norm and a chance to avoid the negative influences that have lured many of their peers. The Unicorn After-School program was launched at NBMS in September 1999 after a pilot program at Canyon Middle School during the 1999 spring semester. Tile program, offered free to students, was developed by Communities in Schools of Comal County to provide middle school students a safe place to learn new' skills, participate in physical activities and interact w itll positive role models. Jonathan Garcia, 12, said he had See SCHOOLS A ;