New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - May 13, 2004, New Braunfels, Texas
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Zeitung2 indicted in killing-for-cash scheme
Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852.
EAA Southwest Regional Fly-in an example of tourism event that s not strictly summer river-related. Page 4
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30% chance for rain
Smithson Valley softball team falls short to Austin-Bowie, 4-2, in regional quarterfinals match. Page 5
Vol. 153, No. 158 10 pages, 1 section
C LIC K 500
herald-zeitung.com I 8 "56825 00001
By Ron Maloney
The wife and a friend of a former New Braunfels police officer were indicted Wednesday in an alleged killing-for-cash plot.
New Braunfels Police Lt. Mike Rust said the Comal County grand jury indicted Samantha Childs, 23, and Jonathon Gene Benavides, 29, on charges of criminal conspiracy to commit capital murder. If proved,
the offense is a first-degree felony punishable by five to 99 years in state prison.
Childs is the wife of former New Braunfels police officer Jeffrey Childs, 31. The couple, who had dated for two years, had been married for one month when the arrests took place early in March.
No information revealed in court hearings or documents has connected the officer to the alleged scheme.
He was placed on administrative leave and then left the police department shortly after his wife’s arrest. Officials have not said whether he quit or was fired.
A police dispatcher originally placed on leave with Childs returned to duty March 7, the day the officer’s wife was arrested.
The alleged plot was exposed in February when someone police haven’t identified told a patrol supervisor that Benavides and
Samantha Childs were soliciting help having a Houston area woman “whacked.”
The woman was reportedly a former romantic interest of Benavides, and the reason for the alleged plot, police say, was a child support issue.
An undercover officer posing as a hit man allegedly met Benavides in New Braunfels and made arrangements — recorded by police — to carry out the out the killing.
Learn something new: CTTC opens City’s pool
Vocational and technology training ^ ^1 7 P&SS
center starts summer classes June I ■HElsMfllHtk. doesn’t cover
By Ron Maloney
New Braunfels will review — and likely change — swimming pool regulations passed in 2003 because they could be construed to discriminate against single-parent families.
The ordinance, 2003-51, sets out fees for use of parks facilities. Section 86-94 (2) d lists the price of a family season swim pass and a definition:
“A family season swim pass is defined as husband, wife and no more than two children under the age of 18 residing at the same residence. Each additional child resident family member would be charged an additional $20.”
New Braunfels resident and single father of three Brian Green found out this past week when he went to the rec office to get a pool pass for his family.
“I was told that a city ordinance defines a ‘family’ as a husband, wife and two children, and I could not get the pass because my ‘family’ is not what this ordinance outlines,” Green said. “It wasn’t the $20 extra I spent that was the issue. It s the principle of the thing. It just didn t sit right with me.”
Parks Director Stacey Laird — herself a single parent — said Green got the family pool pass but still paid $20 for a third child even though there was no second adult in his household.
“Our whole job is to provide activities for families,” laird said, adding that the city doesn’t value two-parent families over others.
The ordinance, adopted before Laird took her job in February, is one of a number that pertain to operation of the parks department that will come under review in the coming year, she said.
“This is one of them because the way it reads is so specific.” laird said. “I’m not sure it isn t doing more harm than good. In light of this concern, we ll move this one to the top of the list.” laird also said she would contact Green
See POOL PASS Page 2A
DID YOU KNOW?
NBISD tax rate dips as values increase
The total tax rate is a combination of the maintenance and operation rate and the interest and sinking rate, which is set based on the required debt service payment
The interest and sinking fund tax is also called the debt service fund tax. It is a tax levied by sc hoot districts to pay for bonded indebtedness. usually for construction of facilities and other capital needs
I The current NBISD interest and sink
ing rate is $0 3655 The proposed rate is $0 37
■ The maintenance and operations tax is a local school district property tax rate that raises revenue to be used for any legal purpose to operate and maintain the district s schools.
■ The current NBISD maintenance and operations rate is $1 4895 The proposed rate is $1473.
■ The state maintenance and operations cap is $1.50.
By Leigh Jones
New Braunfels Independent School District homeowners get the first look at next year’s proposed tax rate today.
Hie current rate is $1,855 per $100 of assessed value. The proposed rate is $1,843.
A homeowner with a $100,000 home would pay $ 1,855, $ 12 less than last year if property values stayed the same.
Trustees will adopt a budget May 24, but before they do, they must announce the proposed tax rate required to support that budget.
Because current appraisal val
ues are only estimates, the tax rate may change if values decrease significantly through the. correction and appeal process.
The tax rate ultimately adopted in August cannot exceed the proposed rate announced today unless the district makes another announcement and holds another public hearing.
“We are very early with our budget adoption, and we are looking at appraisal values before statements are mailed,” said Sandy Hill, NBISD executive director of business and support services. "Initial estimates are generally high."
Comal County property tax
appraisal notices are expected to be mailed by next week.
If appraisal values decrease more than expected, I fill said the district might need to raise the proposed tax rate.
“lf values stay where they are, we would not need to set the rate as high as the proposed rate. If property values go down, we could set a higher rate,” she said.
I ligher appraisal values mean a lower tax rate can raise the required revenue, lower appraisal values require a higher tax rate to raise the same revenue.
Superintendent Ron Reaves said trustees were committed to
See TAX RATE. Page 2A
(Above) A large crowd gathered Wednesday morning for the grand opening of the Central Texas Technology Center.
(Left) Kristy Jonas, left, tours the automobile repair classroom along with San Antonio College officials Robert Zeigler. Helen Torres and Mike Fitsko.
By Leigh Jones
Visitors competed with teachers Wednesday morning to see who was more impressed with the new Central Texas Technology Center.
Sitting in the corner of a brand new, industry-grade training lab, welding instructor James Crunk said he could hardly wait for the fall semester to begin.
“This is a first-class facility,” Crunk said. “I’m anxious to get started," he said “Welders are in high demand in fabrication industries, and now we will have a service area for high school graduates that want to work as welders.”
Crunk was on hand to answer questions at the ceremonial grand opening and tour of the CTTC.
Community leaders from New Braunfels and Seguin roamed its halls alter listening to statements from New Braunfels Mayor Adam Cork, Seguin Mayor Pro-Tern Betty Ann Mathis and Alamo Community College District Chancellor J. Terence Kelly.
The CTTC opens for summer classes June I. More than IOO students are currently registered. Maximum student capacity is 300 for 44 sui miter classes.
Students will be able to take college-level courses applied toward two-year associate’s degrees and cer
tificates of completion in technical-oriented career fields or for transfer to another institution.
Across the room from Crunk, Jules Duval explained the curriculum for automotive industry classes to a group of onlookers.
“It all starts with an introduction to
Photos by DAVID INGRAM/Herald-Zeitung
Rennie Guenther plays with a computer design program in one of the labs at the Central Texas Technology Center Wednesday morning as Sandi Schendel. left, and Merry Brinkkoeter look on.
automotive technology,” he said. “We end up teaching some math, reading and computer systems (as part of this program). This facility can handle all of those classes."
Visitors seemed equally pleased with what they saw.
“It’s fantastic,” said New Braunfels Chamber of Ck) nim cree member Marian Benson. “I may even come take welding.”
Chamber member Kristy Jonas said it was exciting to see die potential for local students.
“(The CTIC) will provide a future for students that might not go to a four-year institution,” she said. “It
See CTTC. Page 2A
Tour of Faith
First Baptist Church of Canyon Lake helps out its community.