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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - March 18, 2004, New Braunfels, Texas 18, 2004 JIerald-Zeitung SPORTS LIVING A DREAM Smithson Valley High School graduate J.D. Reininger wins national collegiate title with the Texas Longhorns. Page 5A FORUM TAKE ACTION With school districts crunching numbers to make budgets work, it s time the state tackles funding problems. Page 4A Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852 Vol. 153, No. 110 12 pages, 2 sections CL 50$ WWW. 00001' yp "Dense fog this morning High Low 82 60 Details .... 1B DEAR ABBY 3B CLASSIFIEDS 5-6B COMICS 2B CROSSWORD 2B FORUM    4A OBITUARIES 3A SPORTS 5-6A TV GRIDS 3BZamora denies campaign wrongdoing By Ron Maloney Staff Writer Precinct 3 Comal County Commissioner Cristina Zamora said Wednesday her re- election campaign broke no laws in the March 9 Democrat primary. Her Republican opponent in the November general election, Greg Parker, alleged Tuesday that Zamora’s cam paign workers acted improperly with up to 140 mail-in ballots — the margin of Ramon Chapa Jr.’s loss to Zamora — and said the votes could have an impact on the Ciro Rodriguez-Henry Cuellar primary for the Democrat nomination to the 28th U.S. House seat, which was decided by 126 votes. “I found what I believe to be voter intimidation by the Zamora campaign, voter assistance misconduct by the Zamora campaign, to include marking ballots other than the way the voter directs, not pro viding the necessary information as required under the Texas Election Code and providing unlawful voter assistance as prohibited under See CAMPAIGN. Page 3A Conrad gets 9 years for wreck that killed boy, 7 By Ron Maloney Staff Writer Matthew Cobble couldn’t be in 274th Judicial District Court Wednesday, but his face was everywhere, and he left an impression in the stories his family told about him. A boy from a Christian Fort Worth family, Cobble, 7, might have approved if he had lived to know his parents forgave Joseph Conrad for causing the drunken driving accident that killed him July 14, 2003. Cobble’s parents, Dreg and Amy Cobble, and his sister, Gretchen, 3, were all injured in the accident that occurred when Conrad’s truck crossed the center line and slammed into their minivan on U.S. 281 in Spring Branch, spinning it into a tree. Before a courtroom packed with members of the Cobble and Conrad families, friends and representatives of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, 274th Judicial District Judge Cary Steel sentenced Conrad, 49, to nine years in state prison on manslaughter and aggravated assault charges — finding that his truck was a deadly weapon, which means he will have to serve at least half of the sentence. During the four-hour hearing, Steel heard testimony to the impact on the victim’s family’s lives and Conrad’s 26 years as a nurse, military career and 17-year battle with alcoholism — and the impact on his own family. "I’m sure you can imagine these kinds of things are not easy when you sit up here,’’ Steel said. "In this county, when See DRUNK DRIVING. Page 3A DAVID INGRAM Herald-Zeitung River Project Manager Nathan Pence talks with city employee Harry Perez Wednesday as he paints a new fence at the entrance to the Prince Solms Park Tube Chute. The city is trying to work out several kinks before the onset of the spring and summer tourism season. MEANDERING ISSUES City takes aim at river behavior, parking, fees and enforcement By Scott Mahon Staff Writer I ubers are already taking advantage of the warm spring weather, but the New Braunfels Qty Council still has some controversies to resolve before the onslaught of tourists arrive. Riverside neighborhrxxJs want to keep permit-only parking, and one councilman is pressing for a resolution to ban beer bongs on the river and proposing the city issue wristbands to outfitters. Also, the parks department wants more park rangers, and the River Activities Committee is recommending increasing parking fees at Prince Solms Park. The New Braunfels Police Department, which already is short patrol officers, will have to begin scheduling off-duty officers for weekend work. The city has attempted to restrict alcohol use on die river before, District 6 City Councilman Ken Valentine said, but opponents say the restriction would be illegal. Valentine said he asked City Manager Chuck Pinto to draft a resolution to ban beer bongs. “Beer bongs provide an accelerated route to inebriation and public drunkenness,’’ Valentine said. “Beer bongs are a negative image for the city’s efforts to attract families.’’ Valentine said council in fact passed an ordi nance in 1999 to ban alcohol use on the rivers. “The ordinance can’t be enforced though because it didn’t meet the Texas Alcohol and Beverage Commission’s rules, and the rivers are state property,” he said. Valentine said he would introduce a resolution to ban beer bongs at council’s March 29 meeting. Nathan Pence, river project manager, told council Monday the River Activ ities (Committee recommended the city use a wristband system to collect the city’s river management fee. Outfitters would purchase wristbands for $1.50 each from the city at the beginning of the season, and in turn distribute them to river patrons. Pence said the committee also recommended increasing the parking fee at Prince Solms Park from $5 to $7. In the meantime, council will vote Monday whether to keep permit-only parking in one riverside neighborhood. The Transportation and Traffic Advisory Board voted last week to keep permit-only parking along East Lincoln, Washington Avenue and See RIVER Page 3A Weiswurm challenges CISDs Swint From Staff Reports Klaus Weiswurm, a longtime Comal Independent School District resident and parent, filed for the District 7 trustee seat in the May election. Weiswurm’s top goals will be "to work closely with the other board members to reach a common goal and direction for the school district in resolving the current problems and challenges that face us,” he wrote in a CISD candidate questionnaire. “I also wish to represent this part of the district in a manner that would present their majority opinions.” Weiswurm is president and CEO of Instruments Technology Machinery in Schertz. He and his wife have run the company almost 28 years. The Weiswurms have lived in Comal County for more than 12 years. Their four children attended CISD schools. Weiswurm said in the questionnaire he was qualified for the position because of his experience on the job and in various boards, including the Comal Education Foundation. "As a businessman and an engineer, I feel I have the necessary skills and experience to make decisions and give direction based on a careful analysis of the information," he said. District 7 covers the Garden Ridge and Solms areas. Weiswurm will face incumbent Bill Swint, who was elected last year to finish the three-year term of former board member John Clay. Trustees mull dropping block schedule at NBHS to save funds Klaus Weiswurm Ted! 2004 ■ Early voting begins April 28 and ends May 11 The election is May 15 ■■HI By Dylan Jim6nez Staff Writer New Braunfels I Ugh School students could find themselves attending 50-minute class periods next year. Right now, NBHS students attend eight 90-minute classes during a two-day period. Trustees are considering condensing the current “block schedule” arrangement to one day. The move could help the district offset a projected $1.2 million deficit next year. Superintendent Ron Reaves recommended Monday two revised high school schedules that would save the district money. One schedule would maintain the block schedule but require teachers to teach seven of eight classes during a two-day period instead ot the current six classes. The district would save $350,700 and cut eight teacher jobs. Another schedule would condense the two-day schedule to seven 50-minute class periods in one day. The district would save $275,100 and cut six teacher jobs. Reaves said Tuesday that with some See SCHEDULE Page 3A Mini Mission mentor Canyon Lake Presbyterian Church members partner with local school. FRONTandCENTER ;