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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - March 17, 2011, New Braunfels, Texas ■ MARCH MADNESS, 5Look out, Buckeyes! Here comes UTSA ■ CANYON LAKE, 2Grassroots effort postpones rate hike ■ ERIN GO BRAGHEnjoy your SP St. Patrick's Day ’ THURSDAY, MARCH 17, 2011 Texas    JhpNewspaper of the Year Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852. 50«County has $6.6M in unfunded mandates Top costs include $2.4M tab for indigent health care, $1.6M to house mentally ill in the county lock-up iñüJ Holder By Will Wright The Herald-Zeitung Comal County’s share of unfunded or underfunded state mandates comes to almost $6.7 million. That’s the figure Sheriff Bob Holder submitted to the governor's office as a member of the Task Force on Unfunded Mandates. During a teleconference last week, each of the nine people chosen to the task force voiced their concerns about the costs their entities have incurred with little or no reimbursement from the state. “We had a big conference call last Wednesday night that lasted about three hours,” Holder said. “It’s hard to get all of these folks together from around the state. I’m not sure if we will be physical ly meeting or not.” The task force was charged with identifying costs the state passes on to local governments, cities, counties and school districts, and recommendations on relieving those burdens. Other members include Houston Mayor Annise Parker, El Paso Mayor John Cook, former San Marcos mayor Susan Narvaiz, Houston city councilman Mike Sullivan, Collin County Judge Keith Self, Cameron County Judge Carlos Cascos, See MANDATES, Page 10 ► NO TERMS RELEASED McKenna Village deal struck By J. Louise Larson The Herald-Zeitung McKenna Village is under contract. Terms and conditions have not been disclosed on the expected sale of the senior-living services facility on Common Street that was built by the former owners of McKenna Memorial Hospital. Previous reports have valued the almost-new facility at $25 million. There was no comment at press time on the details. Earlier reports cited'McKenna officials as saying a senior-living community didn't fit with the purpose and direction of the charitable foundation that has emerged as the old hospital’s legacy to the community. The foundation provides grants for social and health services. See CONTRACT, Page 10 ► JOSHUA DAVIS JR. Reward jumps to $20K for info By J. Louise Larson The Herald-Zeitung The reward for information a leading investigators to missing toddler Joshua J. Davis just quadrupled, and his father is hoping money talks. Crimestoppers’ reward had been $5,000, but it was doubled Tliesday and then matched by the FBI. The reward is now See JOSHUA, Page 10 SO, HOW’S YOUR BRACKET LOOKING? LAURA McKENZIE/Herald-Zeitung Patrons gather in front of a big screen to watch the UTSA Roadrunners take on the Alabama State Hornets Wednesday at Scores Sports Bar in New Braunfels. HOOPLA MANIA! About $2.4 billion will change hands in office pools By Will Wright The Herald-Zeitung Get your brackets ready, March Madness is here! That annual rite of spring — the NCAA men’s basketball tournament — begins its two-week run in earnest today, as the first 32 college teams hit the hardwood to compete in a spectacle telecast over four networks. Even in New Braunfels, scads of people will be scribbling their teams into slots at the last minute, hoping their brackets can win the most points in office pools. The winners of those pools receive money — and across the nation it’s estimated about $2.4 billion will change hands during the next two weeks. It’s not illegal in Texas to compete in an office pool. “The way the statute reads is that if the house receives any portion of the proceeds, that’s what makes it illegal,” said Lt. Mark Reynolds of Comal County Sheriff’s Office. “If the winners split all of the proceeds, that is 100 percent of the proceeds from an office pool or from buying squares, then it’s technically not illegal gambling.” While that might not be a well-known See NCAA, Page 10 PRESIDENTIAL FINAL FOUR Here's a look at President Barack Obama's finalists: Hwr BARACK OBAMA'S WINNER: SOURCE USA Today ► BUDGET WOES SCUCISD may cut police on campuses By Will Wright The Herald-Zeitung SCHERTZ — Eliminating the school district’s police department will be the top agenda item for Schertz-Cibo-lo-Universal City ISD’s board meeting on March 22. Board president Gary Inmon said Wednesday that the district is taking an incremental approach to slicing its budget, which will take a huge hit because of the projected $27 billion state budget shortfall. He said cutting the district’s police force would save about $300,000. “A worst-case scenario has us looking at a $15 million deficit over last year’s budget,” Inmon said. “We’re trying to create ways to bridge that.” Inmon said the district is looking at spreading its cuts into five increments of $3 million each to avoid the last measure, a mass layoff of teachers — which he said is not in the cards. “Some of our priorities (in cuts) are set, and they involve things that will not directly affect the classroom,” he said. "One of those things is the police force, which a lot of districts our size don’t have.” Superintendent Greg Gibson has recommended eliminating the decade-old police force. Inmon said the move won’t leave the district unprotected, as city and county authorities would likely be contracted to perform that duty. “If we don’t do it, it will fall See CUTS, Page 10 Kids make ties with soldiers MEGAN HOLT/Herald-Zeitung Zackry Lenard, 11, Alex Squires, 9, and Erika Squires, 11, make "survival bracelets" to support soldiers. 1 Visit us at www firstprotestant.'com By Megan Holt The Herald-Zeitung Three cousins are reaching out and touching the hearts of soldiers all over the world with their newly formed “survival bracelet” business. Alex Squires, 9, Erika Squires, 11, and Zackry linard, 11, formed Zack, Erika and Alex’s Creation (ZEAjs) last Thanksgiving after learning how to make survival bracelets from a cousin who served overseas in the Army. The bracelets are made out of parachute chord, capable of withstanding 550 pounds, and woven into intricate, color ful patterns. They are often worn around the wrist of soldiers on the front lines. “A lot of soldiers have them out in the wilderness,” Zack said. “They can undo the burned ends and have the parachute chord for a tourniquet or use it to tie their beds up off the ground.” After helping their cousin make several survival bracelets, the children decided to turn it into a service project. Researching the materials and patterns online, the children launched their business by making dozens of bracelets to sell at downtown New Braunfels’ Farm to See BRACELETS, Page 10 Vol. 158, No. 108 10 pages, 1 section Inside CLASSIFIEDS 8 COMICS •; 7 CROSSWORD 7 FORUM 4 OBITUARIES 3 PLANNER 8 SPORTS 5 TV GRID 9 CLICK Warm, clouds High Low 85 63 Details    8 58825 00001 50 cents PROTESTANT j Church of New Braunfels 172 W. Coll Street - New Braunfels, TX 78130 y WÊÊÊÊÊÊ mmmÊaÊtmmmmmmÊmiÊmm ;