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View Sample Pages : New Braunfels Herald Zeitung, May 26, 2007

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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - May 26, 2007, New Braunfels, Texas COMAL ISD GRADUATIONS TODAY SATURDAY, MAY 26,2007 Zeitung • Canyon High School - 9 a.m. • Smithson Valley High School - 2 p.m. Both ceremonies take place at the Strahan Coliseum at Texas State University, San Marcos. SPORTS SPURS San Antonio heads to Utah with a 2-0 over the Jazz. Page 10A ENTERTAINMENT ROSIE QUITS Latest war of words sees Rosie O'Donnell give her last opinion on The View'. Page 12A Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852. Vol. 154, No. 168 20 pages, 2 sections CLICK 50$ www^ I 56825 oooor DEAR ABBY    3B CLASSIFIEDS 4B COMICS    2B CROSSWORD 2B ORUM    4A OBITUARIES 3A PORTS    10A TV GRIDS    4B lifpisi Rain not stopping river fun By David Saleh Rauf The Herald-Zeitung Matthew Stanford has been making the four-hour drive from Houston to New Braunfels for the past ten years to celebrate Memorial Day weekend the only way he knows how — by camping on the Guadalupe River. And absolutely nothing, he said, could stand in his way — not even the possibility of torrential downpours. Memorial Day Weekend Forecast SATURDAY ■Tubers make annual excursion to rivers despite forecast for heavy rain “There’s no question about it. We’d be out here if there was a hurricane,” Stanford, 24, said. “It beats working.” Stanford, who was busy building an impromptu shelter Friday afternoon in his “mini-woodstock” campground to shield him and his group called “the BeerBar-ians” from rainfall, is one of about 10,000 campers expected to set up shop on campgrounds along River Road during Memorial day weekend. During the three day weekend, anywhere from 20,000 to 70,000 campers will refer to the 17-mile stretch along the Guadalupe River as home. “Wed be out here hell or high water but theres always the wimps that aren’t ready to tough it out,” Stanford said. Slower than Usual River outfitters responsible for renting everything from tubes, to kayaks to campground are hoping the general public doesn’t wimp out because of the weather. A large bulk of their summer revenue is generated during See RIVER, Page 9A 80% chance of heavy rain SUNDAY 0*6 JO 50% chance of heavy rain MONDAY O 50% chance of storms DAVID INGRAM/Herald-Zeitung Houston area residents Jennifer Long and Tyler Hunt string up a tarp to protect them from approaching rain while camping out with friends along the Guadalupe River Friday afternoon. Heavy rainfall, possible flooding forecast By Mark Koopmans The Herald-Zeitung Since Jan. I, the 33-county area that makes up Central Texas has seen between 17-23 inches of rainfall, said National Weather Service officials in New Braunfels Friday. Meteorologist Larry Eblen said that for most of the area, this level of rainfall is more like annual levels — not six months. “All that rainfall since January, we’re definitely not in a drought situation right now," Eblen said late Friday afternoon. Looking back at a span of five years, he said the area was not in a drought situation. However, looking at the last three years, the area was “a little dryer than we would have liked.” ■ Meteorologists say drought description doesn’t apply this spring “In 2005-06, we were a bit dryer, but we have had excessive precipitation over the last six months, so we are way above drought conditions for 2007.” At least five storm-related deaths in Killeen have been reported by law enforcement officials following the Thursday overnight storms that blew through Comal County and drenched most of Central Texas. Despite the inclement weather, however, thousands of people are expected in the area for concerts and other Memorial Day Weekend events. Eblen said his office strongly advised residents and visitors to be aware of their surroundings during the rest of the three-day weekend. “The (rain) events are expected to continue sweeping from west to east, so essentially all of our area is under this heavy rain threat,” he said. “There is an expectation we will receive multiple inches of rain every day through Tuesday.” The region as a whole may see between 15-18 inches of rain for the five-day period that started Thursday evening, he said. While May rainfall is normally recorded at about a tenth of an inch per day, Comal County saw about two inches of See RAINFALL, Page 9A State lawmakers to consider $153B budget By April Castro Associated Press Writer AUSTIN — House and Sente negotiators agreed Friday n a $153 billion two-year tate budget that includes nough money for a modest jacher pay raise and millions 3 beef up state border secu-ity efforts. The budget, which is the nly legislation lawmakers re legally required to pass efore the session ends Mon-ay, can now be presented to ie two full chambers for final pproval. Much of the 2008-09 budget is being used to reverse actions lawmakers took in 2003, when they were faced with a $10 billion shortfall. For example, the state’s low cost health insurance plan for children, which was drastically restricted in 2003, would be funded to allow for as much as 100,000 additional children to be covered. “I think it’s a great budget for Texas,” said Sen. Steve Ogden, who led the Senate’s budget-writing efforts. “It’s balanced, it funds a number of holes that we were trying to fill after the 2003 session, it provides significant additional funding in areas that needed it and we’re still able to set aside two and a half billion dollars.” The Legislature agreed earlier this week to leave an estimated $2.5 billion unspent to help continue a one-third reduction in school property tax relief in 2010 and 2011. That leftover money is part of a $14 billion surplus lawmakers started the session with in January. An additional $4 billion will be saved in the state’s so-called Rainy Day Fund. Critics, including several House Democrats, argued that the unspent money should not be committed to property tax relief when so many other state needs exist. “While the budget will spend almost 95 percent of (state money) on education, health care, and corrections, too much has been set aside for tax cuts that mostly benefit upper-income families,” said Scott McCown, director of the Austin-based Center RIVER The release rate to the amount of water being released from the Canyon Lake Reservoir into the Lower Guadalupe River. According to river outfitters, optimal tubing on the Guadalupe is between 200 cubic feet per second and 600 cfs.Tubing can take place up to 1,000 cfs and is up to outfitter's discretion. Rafting is the mode of choice for levels of 1,000 cfs or more. LEVELS * Recreational — 100 to 500 cfs I Challenging — 500 to 800 cfs * Strenuous — 800 to 1,200 cfs__ * Extreme caution urged, experienced boaters only. No tubing allowed - 1,200 to 3,000 cfs. More than 3,000 cfs: dangerous. Guided rafts only, no tubing. Father-husband-hero ■Widow prepares for first Memorial Day since soldier died in Baghdad bombing By Mark Koopmans The Herald-Zeitung As Memorial Day approaches once again, Jennifer Funkhouser of New Braunfels plans to join the community participating in local ceremonies to remember the sacrifice of the nation’s fallen heroes. What makes the situation more personal for her, however, is the fact she also will be commemorating the first anniversary of her husband, Army Cpt. James “Alex” Funkhouser Jr.’s death. The 35-year-old father of two girls died on Memorial Day, 2006 while deployed with the Army in Baghdad, Iraq. The couple first met in 1997 when they attended college in San Marcos. She was a 19-year-old who lived 15 miles away from the home she had grown up in. He was a 26-year-old Army Staff Sergeant, who had already served in places like Korea and Germany and was involved in an Army-sponsored enlisted-to-officer program. An unlikely pair “On the surface we were so different, but once we got to know each other, we were a perfect fit for one another,’’ Jennifer said. “After about 18 months, Alex proposed and, although we had our official See SOLDIER, Page 3A Courtesy photo Alex Funkhouser Jr. holds his daughter Allison, while 3-vear-old Kaitlyn looks on during Allison's 1- See BUDGET, Page 8A year birthday celebration. Friday: Jennifer and J | Alex meet. Today: Marriage, family, deployment. ; Sunday: Alex is I killed; Jennifer faces I life without him. I Tuesday: The first I Memorial Day; CBS' I Kimberly Dozier I meets Jennifer. I The Sonier Group ERA - D. Lee Edwards Realty “Unmatched Attention For Your Real Estate Needs” www.newbrauntospfopeftas.cori PROUDLY SERVING NEW BRAUNFELS & SURROUNDING COMMUNITIES Susan Sonier or Jerry Sonier 830.832.8815    210.885.6188 Email: JerrySonier^newbrauntelsproperties.cofTi THINGS TO REMEMBER ON THE RIVERS New river rules, including coolers apply only on Comal River and Guadalupe River downstream of Gruene railroad bridge. See 9A. Canyon Flow at Sattler - 429 CFS Clear Springs ! Flash flood warning in effect through tonight! ■ ;