New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - March 28, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas
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Vol. 149 No. 92 14 pages in 2 sections
March 28, 2000
Serving Comal County since 1852
Locals watch pre-game prayer case
Supreme Court will hear arguments on Wednesday
By Heather Todd
Local parents, students and school officials on both sides of the pregame prayer issue will watch closely Wednesday as a five-year old lawsuit finally makes its way to the US. Supreme Court.
The nation’s highest court will
From Staff Reports
A 76-year-old Kendall County woman reported missing Sunday afternoon was found conscious near her residence in the 300 block of Sattler Road Monday afternoon after an extensive search by police and volunteers.
Members of the search party found Dessie Eisenhauer about 3 p.m. in a rocky area about 400 yards from her home and ranch near the Spring Branch area, Kendall County Sheriff Henry Hodge said.
Eisenhauer was dehydrated but in stable condition and was airlifted to University Hospital tor observation, officials said. Authorities did not suspect foul play, Hodge said.
Eisenhauer was reported missing by her grandson Sunday afternoon after he arrived at her residence and discovered her home unlocked and her purse on the front porch.
About 45 people, including officers from Kendall County Sheriff, the Heidi Search Center, Bulverde/ Spring Branch and C anyon Lake emergency services and Comal County REACT team searched Sunday and Monday.
Key Code 76
hear oral statements Wednesday in the Doe vs. Santa Fe Independent School District case.
At issue is whether public school districts can allow students to initiate and lead prayers over the public-address systems before football games. A decision is expected by late June.
In April 1995, the American Civil Liberties Union, on behalf of two Santa Fe families, filed a lawsuit in a Galveston federal district court that alleged Santa Fe I SD violated
the constitutional ban on government-established religion by condoning prayer and other religious activities.
In December 1996, a district court ruled “student-selected, student-given, non-sectarian’’ invocations and benedictions were permissible at graduations.
In February 1999, the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, which has jurisdiction over Texas, ruled student-led public prayers at football games were
The majority decision ruled that student-led prayers “solemnizing” ceremonies before Texas public high school football games were unconstitutional and that football games were “hardly the sober type of annual event that can be appropriately solemnized with prayer.”
Santa Fe ISD petitioned the high court in July after the appellate court ruling.
Texas Attorney General John See PRAYER/5A
Storm whips area
K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herald-Zeitung
At least one National Weather Service official says this tree was twisted and broken off by a tornado that touched down near Seguin Sunday night.
Officials: This is the time of year for such weather
By Erin MAGRUDER
The name of the beastly storm that swept through Comal County Sunday evening — spitting out lightning, hail, ominous funnel clouds and estimated 60-mile-per-hour wind gusts — sounds more like a battery than a severe weather event.
But residents who are not familiar with the temi “supercell” storm probably will see several more of the brief but brutal events before the season tapers off in June, local meteorologists say.
“Supercells are the most powerful, most efficient severe-weather producers,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Larry Eblen. “We see more supercells in March and April and the maximum number in May.” The awesome, dark clouds of the storm came rolling in about 6:50 p.m. to the Canyon Lake area where they dumped golf-ball sized hail and sporadic rainfall.
The storm continued through New Braunfels and to Seguin, which got the full brunt of the severe weather, Eblen said.
“The supercell started around Llano, then it split and the stronger portion moved southeast toward us and continued to produce severe wind and hail damage in places from Johnson City in Blanco County to Seguin,”
A tornado warning was issued in parts of the county, and two spiraling funnel clouds were reported near Sattler— one above Frank’s supermarket but never touched down, officials said.
“The storm did appear to be tornadic,” Eblen said. “There could have been a tornado (at the Canyon Lake area) but we haven’t had a chance to go up there yet.”
Small sporadic amounts of rain were reported across the county, including .29 inches in New Braunfels area, officials said.
Only about six residents reported storm-related power outages Sunday evening to New Braunfels Utilities
Council OKs $30,000 for technical training study
By Peri Stone-Palmquist
New Braunfels City Council agreed Monday to spend $30,000 in sales tax revenue to fund a study on the community’s higher education needs — but not the need for a four-year school here.
“We don’t need a four-year school here,” said Mayor Stoney Williams, who works at Guada-Coma Mechanical, Inc. and serves on the Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce steering committee that requested the study.
Several four-year schools are close by, but technical schools that could train employees needed by New Braunfels companies aren’t, he said.
New Braunfels resident Paul Martinka argued the city was lowering its standards by not looking at four-year schools as well as technical schools.
The $30,000 study will help fund a $60,000 market analysis study for post secondary education. The chamber made the request for the study and said it would fund the additional $30,000 for the study.
The study was recommended by the council-appointed Economic Development Corporation, which recommends how the city should spend 1/8 of the city’s 1.5 percent sales tax.
CLARUS Corporation, a consulting firm based in Nebraska, will conduct the study.
Williams said the study would focus on vocational and technical training.
Rita Kaufmann, EDC board member and chair of the chamber’s higher education advisory committee, said the study would assess the needs of the business community and local high school graduates and determine what kind of services should be provided.
District 6 councilwoman Juliet Watson, who voted against the study, said she’d rather give that money to San Antonio College.
Residents working full-time jobs can earn college credit through the local San Antonio College satellite program at the New Braunfels Independent School District Learning Center, but New Braunfels does not have a two-year or four-year college campus.
But SAC does not offer any technical classes, Jim Scheele, chamber director of economic development, said. “We’re hoping to diversify,” he said.
Local companies are experiencing a lack of skilled workers, and technical schooling here could help that, he said.
Santa Fe school district near Galveston is taking its fight to allow student-initiated, pregame prayers all the way to the Supreme Court. See Page 3B for a look at the history of the case and what it means to Santa Fe residents — and other Texans.
■ WHAT: Blood drive for 18-month old Xavier Espinoza.
■ WHEN: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday
■ WHERE: Parking lot on Butcher Street between Carl Schurz Elementary and New Braunfels Middle School.
■ CALL: 625-7361.
Xavier Espinoza, 18 months, plays with a toy. The young child is facing surgery next week to repair a hole in his heart. Former co-workers of his mother have organized a blood drive Friday to help the family.
K. JESSIE SLATEN/
NBMS rallies behind
Blood drive slated Friday at school
By Heather Todd Staff Writer
In the living room of their New Braunfels home, Tony and Lolan-da Espinoza watch 18-month-old Xavier laugh and play, showing every sign of a happy, healthy baby.
In fact, Xavier seems so content his parents say they sometimes forget he has a potentially lifethreatening heart condition.
“There will be days when ITI forget and we’ll talk about going out at night to get some ice cream,
and we’ll want to take Xavier with us. Then, we remember we can’t,” Lolanda said.
Because of Xavier’s heart condition, Tony and Lolanda have to be careful taking him outdoors.
“We have to check the weather. He can get sick really easy, especially at night if the weather is chilly,” Lolanda said.
Xavier has an open hole in his AB canal, or in the middle of the four heart chambers. The hole never closed from birth.