New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - March 31, 2011, New Braunfels, Texas
■ SPORTS, 6SV girls, NB boys prepare for next round of playoffs
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■ WORLD, 12U.S.: Libyan fighters may fall without help
THURSDAY, MARCH 31, 2011Z/EITUNG
Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852.
This rendering shows what the nurse station will look like once renovations at the Birthing Center at Christus Santa Rosa Hospital New Braunfels are complete.
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Christus Santa Rosa — NB kicks off birthing center renovations
By J. Louis« Larson
Families and new babies will be the beneficiaries of a $500,000 renovation kicked off Wednesday at Christus Santa Rosa Hospital — New Braunfels.
That’s good news for a facility that has had almost 900 births so far in 2011, said Jim Wesson, vice president and administrator of the New Braunfels hospital.
“We’re excited,” Wesson said. “We know how important that service is to our com
munity and to those we’re privileged to take care of in this community... That’s impacting a lot of people in our community.”
Planned upgrades include the conversion of private rooms to a total of 16 (currently there are 11).
The facility will remain open during the full renovation, which will include common areas such as the nurses’ station and hallways. Improvements will be made to
See CENTER, Page 8
Vol. 158, No. 120 12 pages, 1 section
Church of New Braunfels172 W. Coll Street - New Braunfels, TX 78130
Sunday Services 8 and 10:30 a.m.
«►■ve*Woman seeks answers in N.Y. killings
Dave Roberson records an interview between CNN producer Jen Christensen and Dottie Laster, a local expert on human trafficking.
J. LOUISE LARSON
CNN interviews New Braunfels sociologist who studies human trafficking
By J. Louise Larson
For New Braunfels human trafficking expert Dottie Laster, Tuesday's discovery of a fifth set of human remains on a Long Island, N.Y., beach is more than a confirmation of a dumping ground for a serial killer.
The bodies of four young women who had been engaged in prostitution were discovered near the Long Island beach in December. Interviewed Wednesday for a CNN documentary chi the murders, Laster told producer Jen Christensen she wants answers.
“Now the question is, who
did it?... and how five women wound up dead on a beach that are being prostituted—not that they were prostitutes (ended up dead),” Laster said.
“Money went through those women. They earned somebody a lot of money," she said. “These are reasonable questions that must be answered...
I think it’s heart-breaking.”
A sociologist who studies all aspects of human trafficking, Laster has her own Internet radio show, “Trafficked,” on www.herewomentalk.corn. Laster has consulted in efforts to find patterns in the serial
See LASTER, Page 8
Comal farmers eligible for emergency aid following drought disaster declaration
LEFT: David Kraft kneels beside his crop of hard red winter wheat on Wednesday. Kraft said the lack of rain has affected the wheat's growth this year.► BUCK GOLD
High oil prices good for Texas budget
By April CastroThe Associated Press
AUSTIN — Higher oil prices may make consumers miserable, but unrest in the Middle East could mean a tax revenue windfall for Texas’ tight budget.
The money is coming from Texas oil producers who have increased their rig counts to take advantage of prices that spiked in mid-February, when Fighting hi Libya squeezed off shipments that had supplied 2 percent of the world’s oil.
A percentage of the price from every barrel of oil produced in the state—now fetching about $104 each — goes into the state’s Economic Stabilization Fund, commonly known as the Rainy Day Fund.
It’s way too early to know how big the fund will get or whether the Legislature will overcome political opposition to using it The Texas House will take up a proposal Thursday to tap the Rainy Day Fund to pay off $3.2 billion in state debt due in August.
But most experts agree: the fund will get bigger. A lot bigger. Based on an estimate of oil at $70 per barrel, the state comptroller forecast a $9.4 billion balance in the fund at the end of the next budget period. Prices have been well above that since last summer.
Stuart Greenfield, an economist and former revenue estimator who worked for three Texas comptrollers, has studied the numbers and predicts the fund could reach $11.6 billion if left untouched and prices stay high.
By Greg Bowen
Extended drought has resulted in Comal County being included in a federally declared disaster area for agriculture.
Farmer Jackie Kraft, who along with son David grows crops on about 570 acres near the Freiheit community, said his winter wheat crop, planted in November, isn’t going to “make” because of the lack of rain.
“Or if it does make, it’ll make very little," said Kraft, who was hoping for a nice harvest in May and June.
“It was almost two months that it laid in the ground before it finally came up. But that was too late.”
The stunted wheat crop isn’t his only worry.
“If it doesn’t rain pretty
David Kraft holds a stalk of wheat taken from one of his family's fields on Wednesday.
soon, we’re going to have more problems,” he said. “If it rains, we should be able to make a little bit out of the corn and the grain sorghum.”
The disaster declaration means farmers like Kraft are eligible for low-interest emergency loans from the
See GREEN, Page 8