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View Sample Pages : New Braunfels Herald Zeitung, May 06, 2004

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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - May 6, 2004, New Braunfels, Texas THURSDS ▼ 2004 SPORTS TOP IO Series continues with a look back at the Unicorn girls soccer team. Canyon's James Green and SVHS star Seneca Guenther. Fag* SA cis Zeitung FORUM EDITORIAL Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852. Vol. 153, No. 152 12 pages, 2 sections CL New Braunfels officials should consider ways to protect the Plaza when fixing the shattered water fountain. Page 4A WWW. Front and Center Grant to make school walk safer State funding will help link West End streets with Lone Star school By Scott Mahon Staff Writer To provide safe pedestrian routes for school children, city officials hope to receive $243,000 in state funds to build new sidewalks near Lone Star Elementary school. District I Councilwoman Sonia Mufioz-Gill, whose district includes Lone Star Elementary school, said 1,200 feet of existing sidewalks near the school would be repaired, and 1,100 feet of new sidewalks would be constructed with grant funds. City Engineer Mike Short said the city had to match 20 percent of the cost — about $48,000. Mufioz-Gill said streets targeted for the project included South Krueger, San Antonio Street and Lone Star Avenue. “There is a lot of pedestrian traffic in those neighborhoods, and we want to provide a safe route to the school,” she said. “We’ve already completed the grant application, and we hope to receive funding later this year.” Dr. Carlos Campos, executive director of the Institute-for Public Health and Education (TIPHE), said he asked Mufioz-Gill earlier this year if she would support the project. Campos said TIPHE operated West Side Community Center, which provides afterschool programs for at-risk children and is located two blocks from Lone Star Elementary. “We needed easier access to the center for school children and parents,” he said. “And since there isn’t any public transportation in the community, we wanted to make it easier for people to walk.” Curtis Wubbenea, Lone Star Elementary principal, DAVID INGRAM/Hei ild Zeitung Lone Star Elementary Principal Curtis Wubbena and New Braunfels District 1 Councilwoman Sonia Mufioz-Gill walk down one of the sidewalks along West San Antonio Street that will be renovated if the city receives $243,000 in grants. said safety was the primary concern. “We have kids who walk to school, and in a lot of places there aren’t any sidewalks,” he said. “It’s a real concern for us because young children aren’t always aware of the danger of walking down the side of a street.” Mufioz-Gill said the new sidewalks will include wheel chair-accessible ramps. “Additional sidewalks are planned on Mill Street, Bridge Street, a section of Kay Street, North Grape, North Peach and North Plum,” she said. TxDOT to include FM 306 in rural work list By Ron Maloney Staff Writer SAN ANTONIO — Five projects on FM 306 and north of Canyon Lake worth nearly $9 million could be constructed in the next three years. The projects have long been on Comal County's wish list for inclusion in the Texas Department of Transportation’s Rural Transportation Plan and address road condition and traffic issues from New Braunfels to U.S. 281. COMING SUNDAYGone to the dogs Canine* to wed in benefit event lor the Community Service Center. They were announced Tuesday night in a public hearing at TxDOT’s 12-county San Antonio district office as part of more than $60 million in work recommended to be completed in the next three years. Included are three widening projects on PM 306 that will improve shoulders Danny Scheei from Interstate 35 in New Braunfels all the way to U.S. 281 in western Comal County. Also included in the Rural Transportation Plan were reconstruction projects on FM 2424 and FM 484, the roads that connect I M 306 to Ranch Road 32, the county’s northernmost state roadway. TxDOT engineer judy Friesenhahn said the projects are recommended by 1x1 X XI' stall and would be presented to county See ROADWORK, Page 3A 500 ■56825 000011 Mostly cloudy High Low 84 65 Details .... 1B DEAR ABBY 3B CLASSIFIEDS 4~6B COMICS 2B CROSSWORD 2B FORUM 4A OBITUARIES 3A SPORTS 5-6A TV GRIDS 3B Casted cast vote against House plan From Staff and Wire Reports AUTSTIN — State Rep. Carter Casteel, R-New Braunfels, flouted Republican party leaders a third time by voting against final approval to send weakened school finance legislation to the Senate Wednesday. “It had some stuff in there that really bothered me, and it didn’t really help my area,” she said. “Hopefully the Senate will do some good with it.” The House gave final approval to the legislation, which relies on a sales tax increase rather than gambling and pay-Carter Casteel roll taxes to fund schools, Wednesday. The focus now shifts to the Senate. Once the Senate approves a bill, the final version will be hammered out by a conference committee of House and Senate members. Casteel could think of two reasons, she said, for the majority’s push to suppress debate and move the bill on to the Senate. “We are on a 30-day call, and we are halfway through. It is an expense to the public, and it is important to get something over to the Senate because whatever we send over there, they are going to work with,” she said. “I also think, to Speaker (Tom) Craddick’s credit, he was trying to keep some members from getting cut up on a lot See HOUSE, Page 3A BY THE NUMBERS ■ Number of K-12 public school districts: 1,037. ■ Number of K-12 public school students: 4.3 million ■ Overall budget for Texas schools, not counting bond construction money: $30 billion. ■ Overall state and local portion of budget for Texas schools: $28 billion ■ Percentage of the $28 billion coming from local property taxes: 62 percent ■ Total given from property wealthy to property poor districts: $1 billion ■ Percentage of school districts receiving money from share-the-weatth system 87 percent ■ Percentage of school districts sharing their property taxes with other districts: 13 percent. Source Texas Education Agency CISD uses new method to divvy district’s dollars By Leigh Jones Staff Writer As Comal Independent School District trustees pursue a balanced budget for next year, they are taking a new approach. Rather than have the administration set budget amounts for each campus and program, Superintendent Nancy Fuller and the Board of Trustees are relying on principals and department heads to request the revenue they need. “It s different when a principal tells the story for each campus than when the central office dictates a set amount,” Fuller said. “Now we have a more centralized focus on educating our children.” See CISD, Page 3A BUDGET SCHEDULE ■ May 12 Review budgets with committee ■ June 7: Second board workshop ■ June 17 Provide board with budget book ■ June 21 Third board workshop ■ July 17 Post notice of public hearing ■ July 27 Present certified tax roll and recommendations for adjustments ■ Aug 17 Hold public hearing and adopt budget, set tax rate The water’s fine: ‘Running of the Tubes’ kicks off river season By Leigh Jones Staff Writer lYaffic on the Comal River will be worse than Interstate 35 Friday evening as New Braunfels community and business leaders grab their tubes and jump in to start the summer season with the “Running of the lubes.” “The purpose of the event is to kick off the season in a fun, family environment," said Convention and Visitor’s Bureau Director Judy Young. In the tubing capital of Texas, tubes get dressed up for this inaugural affair. “Celebrity” tubes are decorated with local and business-related themes. “Last year, the funniest thing I saw was the Natural Bridge Caverns cave man with a tube decorated to look like a rock,” Young said. lubes are judged in three categories — most creative, most unusual and most tubes used. T his year’s entries are being closely guarded, Young said. Schlitterbahn spokes woman Sherrie Brammell declined to comment on its entries, preferring to save the surprise for Friday. “We do intend to have one of our floating gators out again ibis year,” she said. Young also said a flotilla was in the works. “We have one business, which shall remain nameless, that has promised to have an entry of 15 tubes or more,” she said. New Braunfels Mayor Adam Cork and County judge Danny Scheei will discuss river improvements. AT A GLANCE ■ What: 2nd Annual Running of the Tubes ■ When 6 p m Friday ■ Where Hinman Island in Prince Solms Park ;