New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - May 19, 2005, New Braunfels, Texas
THURSDAY, MAY 19,2005
SPORTS GAME 6
The San Antonio Spurs look to wrap up their NBA playoff series with Seattle tonight. Page 8A
W' a " I
INSIDE STAR WARS
Fans thrilled as final part of epic series opens in theaters around the world.
Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852.
Vol. 154, No. 156 14 pages, 2 sections
Details .... 1B
DEAR ABBY 3B CLASSIFIEDS 4B COMICS 2B CROSSWORD 2B FORUM 6A OBITUARIES 3A SPORTS 8A TV GRIDS 3B
MMIRiver cleanup, annexation bills fall short
County reorganizes health department
By Ron Maloney
Comal County’s public health department has been reorganized to create a new supervisory position and bring Karon Preiss’ title in line with those who run similar departments around Texas.
And the reorganization has been accomplished at no cost to the county — something commissioners appreciate during what will again be a lean budgetary year.
Preiss, formerly called the “county nurse,” is now to be “director of public health services.”
County Medical Authority
Dr. Dorothy Overman said the change more accurately reflects Preiss’ duties and responsibilities — and her position among her peers in the public health field.
Directly beneath Preiss, two part-time nursing positions have been merged into a single full-time slot for a registered nurse. The RN will supervise the vocational nurses who work in Preiss’ office.
The move will ensure that a RN is at the facility at all times — including those when Preiss is away at a conference or for some other
See HEALTH Page 4A
The Smithson Valley baseball team looks to take another step toward a possible state championship.
I * ** I
TxDOT to reveal plans for widening FM 725
By Ron Maloney
MCQUEENEY—The Texas Department of Transportation will conduct a public meeting to discuss a proposed $20 million project to widen FM 725 between New Braunfels and McQueeney.
Also on the table will be the possibility of moving that part of the road that winds through the historic village nestled along the Guadalupe River, just north of FM 78.
TxDOT staff will be on hand to answer questions and discuss the proposal with community members.
AT A GLANCE
■What:TxDOT public meeting to discuss widening of FM 725
■ When: 6:30 p.m. Tuesday
■ Where: McQueeney Elementary School cafetaria
The meeting, which is open to the public, will begin with an open house Tuesday in the McQueeney Elementary School cafeteria. The meeting proper will begin at 6:30 p.m.
The project would be broken into phases as funding is available.
See ROAD Page 3A
CARRYING THE TORCH
Shepherd ready to open Special Olympics
By Leigh Jones
Devin Shepherd has been practicing for weeks for the most important journey he has ever made.
After taking yet another warm-up lap around the Unicorn Stadium track Wednesday, the quiet but focused New Braunfels High School junior declared himself ready for his momentous adventure.
Devin, a member of the New Braunfels independent School District Special Olympics team, has been selected to carry the torch during the statewide event’s opening ceremony Friday.
As a young man of few words, Devin’s excitement was subdued somewhat, but his gentle smile revealed his true feelings.
i Us mother, high school secretary Aleisa Shepherd, shared her enthusiasm more openly.
“We’re so excited for him. T his is quite an honor,” she said.
The whole Shepherd family will be on hand Friday, Saturday and Sunday to watch Devin run the 100-meter dash and perform in the shot put competition.
Although Devin enjoys athletic pursuits, Aleisa declared the Special Olympics camaraderie the most important part of his participation.
“It’s rewarding to see how everyone reacts and responds to the participants. Its really a great effort to help these kids do something special,” she said.
Devin has been a Special Olympian for five years, competing in bocce ball and bowling when not practicing his
Photos by DAVID INGRAM/Herald-Zeitung
New Braunfels High School student Devin Shepherd is excited to have been chosen to carry the torch during opening ceremonies at the Special Olympics State Games in San Marcos Friday night. Below, Shepherd practices for the 100-meter race.
track and field events.
For his entire athletic career, Devin has been assisted by his unified partner, Bobby Fscobedo.
Aleisa credited the “regular” NBHS student with helping her son come out of his shell. Both boys will graduate next year.
“Devin’s such a blessing to ail of us,” she said. “He’s a joy to be around. I Ie has such a way with people. I can’t imagine life without him.”
While Devin was contem
plating his role in the opening ceremony, his teammates were warming up for one of their last practices before the weekend.
Counselor Nancy Edelen and her fellow sponsors marshaled the students into stretching drills before they joined Devin in his warm-up lap.
A total of 17 students were preparing for shot put, running and standing long jump,
See OLYMPICS Page 4A
By Ron Maloney
Locally, officials are seeing mixed results in their legislative wish list as the 79th Texas Legislature heads into its final IO days this week.
While it appears Comal County
could be headed toward getting its first new district court in 20 years, the county does not appear likely to see any additional authority to regulate growth.
New Braunfels won’t see help cleaning up its rivers, and its farmers
won’t see help in negotiating development agreements in lieu of annexation.
And if legislation is to come that would enable patrons to recall a school district trustee, it won’t come until the next legislative session.
In HB 777, State Rep. Carter Casteel, R-New Braunfels, sought to have the state return 2 percent of its hotel occupancy tax to the city to be used to clean up rivers within the city limits. She introduced a similar bill in
the 78th legislature that would have returned I percent to New Braunfels, but that never got to the I louse calendar.
Casteel said she felt the legislation
See BILLS Page 3AThis Summer; Taste Matters
PETA says shooting buzzards won’t fix problem
ing to solve this by removing the animals is that without removing the force of attraction by attempting to modify the habitat, more are simply going to fly in to fill the vacant niche you leave,” Boyles said. “Not only is it ineffective, but it also sets up and perpetuates a vicious cycle. We understand their concerns, but it’s really better to focus on the cause and not the symptom of the problem.”
Boyles said the problem with shooting the birds — aside
from its cruelty — is that if the Landa Park habitat is unchanged, more birds will simply move in to replace those that are killed.
Forcibly relocating the birds would be ineffective as well — and is also inhumane, she said.
“They tty back, and those that can’t make it might settle in a place where the habitat is not so good and starve," Boyles said.
One thing to try, she said, would be contraception — a program like that employed
elsewhere with other species.
Trees in the park, she said, could be pruned in a way that vultures prefer to congregate elsewhere.
But most important, she said, would be changing the environment by finding ways to limit the food available to the birds — and educating people so they don’t inadvertently or even intentionally provide it.
“They need to address the
See BUZZARDS Page 5A
By Ron Maloney
Four black vultures roost in the top branches of a tree in Landa Park.
A biologist working for an animal advocacy group said it would be more effective for New Braunfels to address its buzzard problem by changing human habits — not killing birds.
Stephanie Boyles, a wildlife biologist with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals in Norfolk, Va., said killing the buzzards in Landa Park would be at best a temporary solution.
“The problem with attempt