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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - May 7, 2011, New Braunfels, Texas NBISD incentive deadline passes Superintendent says district awfully close’ to hitting goal of 25 teachers to keep program Moczygemba By Will Wright The Herald-Zeitung The 3:30 p.m. deadline for term-contracted employees to take a $5,000 early-retirement incentive offered by New Braunfels Independent School District came and went on Friday, leaving school officials to calculate whether the offer would still be viable. Superintendent Randy Moczygemba said the district was “awfully close" to getting 25 teachers needed to sustain the offer, which was extended in light of the district’s projected $8.4 million budget shortfall for next year. The NBISD board approved the deal April 7, with the provision that any number short of the 25 would cancel it. As of last week, 12 had accepted the proposal, leaving the district nine short of its goal. Moczygemba did not say how many more early retirement notifications he received since then. He did, however, say that if a review of various spreadsheets See INCENTIVE, Page 9A ■ PHOTO ESSAY, SACounty welcomes Rally on the River ■ SPORTS, IBBaseball, softball playoffs heating up ■ LOCAL NEWS, 2AWooden guardrails on Walnut not permanent Vol. 158, No. 152 18 pages, 2 sections Inside CLASSIFIEDS    11A COMICS    38 CROSSWORD    3B FORUM    4A OBITUARIES    3A    A f«W clouds PLANNER    8A    High    Low SPORTS    IB    91    71 TV GRID    12A    Details    8A ■56825 00001 50 cento Mothers Day Champagne JAZZ Brunch 12 pm 2 pm $12.95 per person Motors Day Dinner 4 pm-iSpni $16.95 per person • RESERVATIONS ONLY 240 S. Seguili Ave. * (830) 625-7791 * SATURDAY, MAY 7, 2011ZeitungServing New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852.    500 AUSTIN—A bipartisan task force recommended Friday that state and federal government impose fewer mandates on cities, counties and schools. The group, which includes Comal County Sheriff Bob Holder, reported its suggestions for streamlined government to Gov. Rick Perry. Among the recommendations: allow school districts to determine the best student-to-teacher ratio, Holder NBHS INDEPENDENT STUDY MENTORSHIP I » SMTHSON VAUEY ROAD Man dies in SUV accident From staff reports A Spring Branch man died in a sport utility vehicle crash Thursday night in Comal County near Bulverde, a representative from the department of public safety said. Matthew E. Nelson, 25, was pronounced dead at the scene, said the representative, who refused to give his name because he was not the trooper assigned to the case. According to the DPS representative, Nelson was driving a sport utility vehicle south on Smithson Valley Road when he lost control about 10:35 p.m. and drove off the roadway. The SUV crashed into two trees in the area of 31700 Smithson Valley Road and flipped onto its side. Nelson, who was not wearing a seat belt, was partially thrown from the SUV and trapped under it. He was pronounced dead at the scene. ► NEW BRAUNFELS POLICE Fired cop identified By Dalondo Moultrie The Herald-Zeitung New Braunfels officials on Friday released the name of the disgraced former police officer fired last month after being accused of drunken driving and speeding in Selma. Adam Whitt was released because of “policy violations," said Julie O’Connell, New Braunfels human resources director. New Braunfels Police Department Chief Thomas Wibert had said he could not release the fired officer’s name, and that city officials had warned him against releasing the name. “I don’t know what changed but now the city attorney says to go ahead and release it,” Wibert said. Whitt, who was on the force nearly three years, was visibly See WHITT, Page 9A BEST OF THE BEST New Braunfels students earn AP credit for year-long projects involving community mentors By Will Wright The Herald-Zeitung Since school began last August, eight students in Sue McLane’s Independent Study Mentorship have transformed their ideas into reality—and received a head-start on their life-long careers. McLane's group of students at New Braunfels High School represents what she calls “the best of the best." Each student has earned Advanced Placement credit for the year-long projects, which were presented last week. “They worked with mentors who helped them independently research and develop each project,” McLane said. “The thing that’s so exciting is that each project is different, and each focus and adventure is different.” The students’ presentations included slide shows, photos and other images, with two of them showing off their works in evening sessions during TAKS testing week. They went before school administrators and See PROJECTS, Page 9A LAURA McKENZIE/Herald-Zeitung Vincent Kalkofen, center, helps Estrella "Star" Hernandez as she works on her presentation for the Independent Student Mentorship Program on April 29 at New Braunfels High School. Also pictured is Nicole Rodriguez, left. ► BIN LADEN'S DEATH Al-Qaida promises to avenge Osama Pro-bin Laden crowd Task force recommends fewer mandates shouts ‘USA, you will payT The Associated Press rather than face the state mandate of 22 to one; let local governments determine when to replace firefighting equipment instead of requiring them to do so at regular intervals; give local governments the revenue from red light cameras instead of providing some of the money to the state. The task force also is calling on the state to shorten the amount of time state prisoners spend in county jails and lengthen the amount of time local governments have to report known incidences of sexually transmitted diseases. “State and local governments should be allowed to operate free of red tape and costly mandates passed down from Austin and Washington, D.C.,” the task force said in letter to Perry. “We share your philosophy that decisions should always reflect a fundamental truth: We work for the people, not the other way around.” Perry said in a news release that he looked forward to reviewing the recommendations. “Texas must remain vigilant in the effort to streamline government operations and ensure the most prudent use of taxpayer dollars,” the governor said. CAIRO—Al-Qaida vowed to keep fighting the United States and avenge the death of Osama bin Laden, which it acknowledged for the first time Friday in an Internet statement RELATED ■ President Barack Obama embraced the U.S. commandos he sent after Osama bin Laden, telling them “job well done." 7A ■ Pakistan's military paints a far different picture than the United States of Osama bin Laden's final days. 7A apparently designed to convince followers that it will remain vigorous and intact even after its founder’s demise. Al-Qaida’s plots are usu-ally large-scale and involve planning over months or even years. But Western intelligence officials say they are seeing increased chatter about cheap, small-scale attacks—perhaps by individuals or small extremist groups inspired to take revenge for the killing. “USA, you will pay!” chanted more than 100 participants in a pro-bin Laden protest outside the U.S. Embassy in London on Friday. A Western intelligence official said no concrete threat has emerged so far that authorities considered credible. “There have been mentions of shootings, bombings and random violence, though it is not surprising, given bin Laden’s death,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. Authorities in the U.S. and Europe chose not to elevate threat levels. Interpol has asked law enforcement agencies in 188 countries to be on alert for retaliatory attacks. Communi-ties have been warned to report anything suspicious. Embassies and some American businesses have added new security measures. Despite the Internet chatter, reaction in the Islamic world to bin Laden’s death has been relatively muted compared with the rage that he long inspired, raising questions about his relevance in the Middle East. The Associated Press ;