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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - March 19, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas New Braunfels WEDNESDAY March 19, 2003 14 pages in 2 sections 'TBT'    jH    —.....JB&    14    pages    in    2    sec'Herald-Zeitung Vol. 152, No. 108 Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852 50 centsTroops gear up; Saddam mocks Bush ultimatum By David Espo AP Special Correspondent In an edgy prelude to war, Saddam Hussein mocked an American ultimatum Tuesday to surrender power, and the Bush administration claimed public support from 30 nations for its international coalition supporting Iraq’s disarmament. The streets of Baghdad captured the moment — panic buying by residents bracing for a fearsome U.S.-led attack, side by side with a government-prompted, mass demonstration in support of Saddam. “This war, in short, is tan-tamount to genocide,” charged Mohammed AlDouri, Iraq’s ambassador to the County considers adopting standards for lot frontages By Ron Maloney Staff Writer Comal County Commissioners Thursday will consider an order that would spell out lot frontages in unincorporated areas. Commissioners’ Ceurt meets at 8:15 a.m. in the Commissioners’ Court Building, 199 Main Plaza. County Engineer Tom Hornseth said the measure would set out minimum lot frontages and access standards for subdivided lots. It would be designed, he said, to clear up questions about what kind of road access is acceptable to the county. The question was raised a few months ago in a subdivision in the New Braunfels Extra -Territorial Jurisdiction off Hueco Springs Loop in which city planners approved access to six lots that did not meet county guidelines. “We want to avoid situations where we have inadequate access to subdivided lots,” Hornseth said. Under an interlocal agreement between city and county, New Braunfels administers subdivisions in its ETJ while the county sets drainage and water standards. The proposed order would augment the county’s subdivision rules. United Nations, in one of a string of insults the Iraqi high command hurled at Bush. It was a daylong act of defiance in the face of an invasion force of more than 250,000 troops ringing Iraq, a nation of more than 23 million that Saddam has ruled brutally for nearly a quarter century.Inside Abby.............................. SA Classifieds....................... 4-6R Comics.......................... 3B Crossword.................... SA Forum........................... 6A Movies.......................... 5A Obituaries..................... 3A Sports........................... 7-flA Today............................ 2A Key Code 76 8    56825    00001 One day after President Bush set his deadline of 8 p.m. EST on Wednesday, troops in the Kuwaiti desert loaded their ammunition and combat gear into fighting vehicles, ready to invade on short notice. “I think Td probably have a better chance of being elected pope than we have of Mr. Saddam Hussein leaving the country,” Capt. Thomas A. Parker said aboard the USS Kitty Hawk — an aircraft carrier preparing to take on a supply of 1,000-pound, satellite-guided bombs from a nearby munitions ship. “So this is probably going to follow to its logical conclusion.” As the hours dwindled toward Bush’s deadline, the White House worked to keep Saddam guessing. Presidential spokesman Ari Fleischer would not rule out a U.S. attack before Bush’s 48-hour clock ran out. “Saddam Hussein has to figure out what this means,” he said. One official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said See SADDAM/4A NBISD OKs new contractor for unfinished work By Sean Bowlin Staff Writer The New Braunfels Independent School District Board of Trustees announced Tuesday it had approved a contract with Best Construction Services that will enable work on the Memorial schools to resume, board President D. Lee Edwards said. In October 2002, trustees approved a takeover agreement with its bonding company, Commercial Indemnity Insurance Company, to finish renovation work on the Memorial Schools begun by Associated Able Inc. Board members terminated the district’s construction contract with Associated Able in September 2002 after the bonding company declared the company in default of its contract. But the decision to employ Best, which happened at a special school board meeting last Monday, was overshadowed by a discussion during Tuesday’s regular meeting — which, because of construction at the NBISD Education Center, was conducted at New Braunfels High School — of the district’s transitional first grade program. The transitional first grade program aids younger or “developmentally younger” students — usually those with summer birthdays falling before the traditional start of first grade — in making the leap from kindergarten to first grade. After hearing parental concerns about a not wanting to dissolve the program, attendees were told it had not been dissolved, but largely modified. Assistant Superintendent for Instructional Services Rosalyn Bratcher said acad-TAKS results Preliminary results for the third-grade Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) test are in from both the Comal Independent School District and the New Braunfels Independent School District, officials said Tuesday. For NBISD, out of 428 third-graders tested, 31 failed, and some of those were absent, school district officials said. For CISD, out of 678 third-graders tested, 29 failed. Third-graders who either failed or did not take the test will have the opportunity to retake the TAKS In April and again in July. emic expectations between kindergarten and first grade are much more closely aligned than in previous years because of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills, or TEKS. This has caused de facto modification of the program, with what the principals said was the same delivery of services to the students who needed extra time between moving on to the first grade. Trustees heard reports from elementary school principals Merry White, Carl Schurz Elementary; Dan Bolen, Memorial Primary; and Leigh Ann Dees, Lamar Primary; who had studied the program in depth. For example, at Memorial Primary, there are still two traditional transitional first grade classes, but Bolen teamed teachers from kinder-garten and first grade in those two classes to teach and intermingle the TEKS with the transitional curriculum. See CONTRACTOR/4A Meeting to ‘clear the air’ on plan On the ’Net By Ron Maloney Staff Writer The Alamo Area Council of Governments’ first public meeting in Comal County will outline its clean air plan. On the table will be more than 70 possible strategies for meeting federal air quality standards in the San Antonio Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Bexar, Comal, Guadalupe and Wilson counties. The meeting will be conducted at 6:30 p.m. at Landa Haus, 360 Aquatic Circle, Landa Park. The strategies came out of AACOG’s Air Improvement Resources (AIR) committee, on which New Braunfels Mayor Adam Cork and ■ To view the Early Action Compact and Clean Air Plan, log on to the Web site, ■ To learn more about air quality and ozone pollution, visit Comal County Precinct 2 Commissioner Jay Millikin serve. They include ideas such as increasing use of electric lawnmowers, offering clean air incentives to construction companies and operators of large vehicle fleets, and Cal-ifomia-style vehicle emissions testing. The vehicle emissions test ing proposal, which would involve added expense for inspection station operators as well as vehicle owners, has been the most controversial of the proposals. Opponents argue that it wouldn’t apply to heavy trucks and millions of vehicles that travel the Interstate 35 corridor from outside this area and that it places an onerous burden on the poorest segments of the population within this area. Cork said tonight’s meeting would update the public on progress toward a clean air plan and hear the public's ideas. “This meeting is to encourage citizens to come out and See AIR/4A K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herald-Zettung Canyon middle schoolers Michael Sisk (left) and James Stuart listen to another student try to sing a toothpaste jingle for San Antonio College’s Ruby Gaitan Tuesday afternoon at the Civic Center. More than just a job K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herald-Zeitung New Braunfels High School student Michael, Martinez strains to pull off one more chin-up at the civic center Tuesday afternoon as classmates look on. Students from Comal County and neighboring school districts came to view different job opportunities at the seventh annual Career and Community Expo.Career Expo shows students local options By Sean Bowlin Staff Writer Comal County students were exposed Tuesday to career opportunities in everything from the Army to social services to funeral homes at the seventh annual Career and Community Expo. Representatives from 60 potential employers participated in the expo, which took place at the civic center. “We look at what the needs are for students that are in high school and when they leave and either go into higher education or employment,” Margie Rodriguez of NBISD said. The annual event was coordinated by the career technology and special education departments at the New Braunfels, Comal, Schertz-Cibolo and Seguin independent school districts. By 2:30 p.m., the event had wound down and most students were gone. But educators said that even some adults had dropped by, looking for jobs. “We have a lot of adults who attend the career fair just to seek employment opportunities in the area,” See OPTIONS/4A ;