New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - May 11, 1999, New Braunfels, Texas
T~> f-x t O "> n 3 32 HI (3 0 9 10/22/99 ^
FELS SO--WF ST 111 CRO PU BL I SHI HG
2627 E. YANDELL DRHerald-ZeiiujngVol. 148, No. 123 12 pages in I section May ll, 1999 AV Serving Comal County since 1852 50 cents
Talcott bid farewells
By Peri Stone
Former mayor Jan Kennady told the new New Braunfels City Council to have a “good time” Monday as she hugged each member and bid her farewells.
Kennady, who had reached the end of her term limit, served the city as mayor for three years and coun-cilmember for three years.
She is being replaced by Stoney Williams, the mechanical contractor
who was elected May I over retired architect Robert Kendrick.
“I’ve been trying to convince her to stay and get a little chair and sit back here,” Williams said, motioning behind his new seat at the dais.
Williams continued Kennady’s tra
dition Monday night of reminding audience members to be quiet during the meeting, but he said he welcomed any advice from city attorney Floyd Akers and others regarding proper parliamentary procedure.
Williams needed to be reminded several times to call roll on votes.
Incumbent Juliet Watson also fell victim to foibles as she stumbled over her words while repeating her oath of office.
Key Coda 76
Comal ISD expected to hire new Canyon principal
By Heather Tooo
Local parents and students could welcome Canyon High School’s new head of the class Wednesday if Comal Independent School District trustees approve a recommendation for the principal position.
The administration is scheduled to recommend a new principal for the secondary school campus when
trustees meet 5:30 p.m. at Canyon Intermediate School, 1275 West Business 35.
The board postponed a decision on the CHS principal position Thursday after it unanimously approved Sandra Hancock, an assistant principal at Smithson Valley High School, as the new principal for Spring Branch Middle School. Trustee John Clay said the
board wanted to visit with one of the principal candidates.
Superintendent Jerry Major will make the final recommendation to the board based on a finalist list compiled by a district committee.
The interview committees consisted of several parents, teachers, and central office administration staff, said Carol Wemli, director of human resources for CISD.
Candidates who interviewed for the CHS spot included Charles Adams, assistant principal at CHS; Carolyn Pittman, assistant principal at CHS; Nancy Cobb, principal at Canyon Middle School; and Rusty Brockman, purchasing and maintenance coordinator for CISD.
C andidates from outside the district were Cristobal Luna, Columbus High School in Columbus,
Texas; Victor Salazar, Gonzales High School in Gonzales; Bob Wiegand, Medina Valley High School in Castroville; Michael Benedict, John Dulles High School in Sugarland; and Michael Ryan, Flower Bluff High School in Corpus Christi.
Current principal Will Klieg, will end his 14-year career as the head of CHS at the end of the semester.
Juveniles ordered back to detention
Wimberley case remains under gag order by judge
By Heather Todd
SAN MARCOS - Four Wimberley eighth-grade students were sent back to a Hays County juvenile detention center for at least another IO working days.
They are facing conspiracy charges for allegedly planning to kill fellow students and teachers.
County Court-at-Law Judge Howard Warner II ordered the Danforth Junior High School students to remain in custody after a detention hearing on Monday at the Hays County Justice Center in San Marcos.
The hearing was the second detention hearing for die four juveniles after Warner ordered them detained at the correction facility April 26.
The juveniles are expected to return for another hearing in no more than IO working days to determine if they should be released to their parents or remain in the detention center.
Five eighth-graders were taken into custody by law enforcement officials at Danforth Junior High School on April 23 in connection with the discovery of an alleged plot to assault the school in a manner similar to the shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado three weeks ago.
The fifth student was later released.
Fellow students tipped off law enforcement officials by reporting they had heard discussion of plans for attacking the junior high school.
The detention hearing was closed to the media and others not directly related to the case, despite efforts by three Texas newspapers to make court records of the hearing public and to open future court proceedings.
Warner denied motions filed by the San Antonio Express-News, the Dallas Morning News and the Austin American-Statesman seeking to gain access to affidavits law enforcement officers filed in support of search warrants in the investigation.
Warner also denied motions to opal court proceedings and to provide access to transcripts of closed hearings.
More than IOO parents and residents of Wimberley signed a petition asking Warner to continue the gag order as a challenge to “unwanted media attention” generated by the foiled terrorist threat.
A packed crowd watches as new mayor Stoney Williams prepares to read a proclamation thanking outgoing mayor Jan Kennady for her sendee.
City tax rate hike draws criticism
By Peri Stone
Several New Braunfels residents spoke out Monday against a proposed tax rate increase, arguing that their property values were skyrocketing.
- The pro-
Other posed $.31312
action: Find PCT*100''alu-
ation tax rate
hardened at couW Mullin
nappeneaat about $15
Mondays more in taxes
a year for a
Page 3 with an
- $80,000 home.
The current tax rate is $.29887 per $100 valuation.
“I think it’s a bit steep,” Carl Thomas said of the proposed tax rate increase.
Thomas said the property valuation on his 30-year-old home had increased 12 percent this year.
Another resident Tom Johnson, said his property valuation increased 18 percent.
The average household (with a value of about $80,000) already pays $183.47 a year in property taxes. The increase would bring that total to $199.13, which is about $ 15 more a year.
But that is only if property valuations stayed the same. If a property’s value increased, the homeowner will pay more in taxes.
City Manager Mike Shands said New Braunfels had one of the lowest property taxes in the state. “We’ve been relying too heavily on sales taxes,” Shands said.
Council took no action on the proposed tax rate Monday but scheduled a vote for May 24 Council also will vote then on the $18,394 million budget for 2000
At a public hearing on the budget April 26, the public offered no comment on the budget.
Lightning starts fire
Local family grateful no one hurt after Monday storm
The home of Ryan and Jericia French, standing in their living room, was hit by lightning early Monday morning. When the clap of thunder woke them, they learned their house was on fire.
By Chris Crews
The roar of thunder crackled through the pre-dawn air Monday and rattled windows in many homes and apartments east of Interstate 35 in New Braunfels.
Just like many of their neighbors, Ryan and Jericia French were awakened by the reverberations from the thunder’s peal.
But it took a little while for them to realize the bolt of lightening that preceded the clap of thunder had struck their home in the 800 block of Castle Hill and their house was on fire.
They got out of bed to check on 3-month-old son Donavan sleeping in another bedroom, only to find him sound asleep.
“We got up to check the baby and heard a popping sound,” Jericia French said. “We
Texas storms: Thunderstorms pound parts of state — Page 4
thought it was hailing.”
Seeking an update on possible severe weather in the area, they were disappointed the electricity was out and the television set would not work. Rebuffed and drowsy, they were about to return to bed to squeeze in a few more hours of sleep before reporting to work.
Then Jericia French made an observation that might have saved the lives of the entire family.
“We were going back to bed and Jericia noticed the eaves were glowing orange,” Ryan French said Monday afternoon.
So at 3:50 a.m., the Frenches gathered
up Donavan, pulled their car into the street and called New Braunfels Fire and Rescue. They waited in the street and prepared to watch their home burn.
But a rapid response by New Braunfels fire units prevented the home from being destroyed
From the street, the house does not appear damaged, but a rear view reveals three large bum holes in the roof. The inside of the house is cluttered w ith charred wood fragments and piles of sheet rock saturated w ith water.
Damage estimates on the three-bedroom home near Walnut Avenue and the Guadalupe County line ranged from $50,000 to $80,000.
Ryan and Jencia are from Lincoln, Neb., and have lived in New Braunfels for about