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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - October 13, 2009, New Braunfels, Texas m TUESDAY, OCTOBER 13.2009Zeitung SPORTS Thriltor In Miami Dolphins score late to sneak by New York. Pag« 6 NEWS Warning shots Insurance companies lobby against high cost of Obanna health care plan. Pm^m S Braunfels and Comal County since 1852. Vol. 156, No. 289 16 pages, 1 section CLICK i Help on the way for 15 flood-prone streets By Chris Cobb The Herald-Zeitung Help could be on the way for residents of New Braunfels who found themselves bailing water after the recent rains. The New Braunfels City Council agreed to award contracts Monday for engineering and design services for small-scale street and drainage projects that would ease flooding in certain pockets of the city. Fifteen flood-prone streets and one subdivision are on a list to receive the preliminary construction engineering studies. City Engineer Jim Klein said they are just a small sample of the many areas of New Braunfels badly in ne^ of drainage upgrades. "The truth is we have ail kinds of flooding problems," he said. The one subdivision on the list was Gruene Crossing, featured in the Herald-Zeitung this past week after it provided a prime example of how quickly rainfall can become a serious issue in certain parts of New Braunfels. "It's just a nightmare for us," Gruene Crossing resident Rachel McDonald told council. McDonald measured up to 21 inches of water blocking the lone entrance to the 226-home subdivision off Farm-to-Maiket 306 after heavy rains drenched the area on Oct. 5. Many residents were unable to leave their homes. She and other residents were pleased Monday that work might soon begin to help their subdivision stay above water. "The problem has been going on for quite some time, so this is a great first step," McDonald said. "I'm thrilled to death," said Gruene Crossing resident, Phil Jackson. The council awarded contracts to HMT Engineering and Surveying, Pawelek & Moy Inc., River City Engineering and The Schultz Group. The cost of each project will vary, and funding for them will come out of $200,000 included in the public works department budget. Water Lane Orion Road Gardenia Drive / Metquite Ave. E. Nacogdochee Street Fautt St, Kuehler Avenue Nacogdochee Street Hill Street SouthbankVMaterford Grace Crete Street / Academy Avenue Common Street at Loop 337 Zink street and N. Caeteii Aver. Lee Street Honeyeuokle Lane Oleander Drive Stonewall StreetHISTORY HOLIDAY LAURA McKENZK/Herald-Zeitung Sage Anderson and Jeremiah Luna, both 5, try on tneir unnstopr ing class Monday at Cari Schurz Elementary. ^p,Wyatt Stone, 5, listens while his class- on their Christopher Columbus hats dur- day at ^ " ^ ■ ~ ^ mates discuss what the responsibilities of sailors were on Christopher Columbus' ship during class Monday at Cari Schurz Elementary. Columbus Day still mainstay of area classrooms By Eric J.Weilbachm- The Herald-Zeitung Jenny Wassom wanted her kindei^arten-ers at Carl Schurz Elementary to imagine how long it might take someone to s^ m Europe to what is now the United States. She wanted them to imagine how hard it might be not to know when you were going to land or where. She had her students make paper hats and sit on the floor in the shape of a boat as part of her Columbus Day lesson. The students talked about what they would need to bring on such a long journey As the students imagined Columbus, they tried to piece together a picture using the things they knew about the world. One student asked about whales. "Whales have to have what in their water?" Wassom asked her students. "Salt," they answered in cacophony, and Wassom responded by asking if they could drink the salt water. By the end of the lesson, not only did they know something about Christopher Columbus, the students had discussed rationing food and water, navigation (finding the North Star and how it is used) and counting (the number of sailors on the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria). The class learned a Columbus Day song, LAURA McKENZIEAHerald-Zeitung Lashyia Ketcherside, 5, works Monday on her Columbus hat while celebrating Columbus Day at Cari Schurz Elementary. set to the tune of "Puff the Magic Dragon." "Christopher Columbus, sailed across the sea, and found a very special land that belongs to you and me." Wassom said she tries to incorporate all the subjects into what is technically a social studies holiday. Wendy McMuUen, principal at Carl Schurz, said the lower grade levels focus more on the experience of traveling such a long distance and what that may have meant to the explorers than on the politics of Columbus Day that preoccupy older students' discussions of the topic. "I think it is a wonderful story," she said. "In the dual language classes, we are learning a little about tifie Spanish heritage and what that means." McMuUen said schools are given a general guideline on what to cover about Columbus Day as outlined in the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) directives. See COLUMBUS, Page 12California DMV offices shut in Columbus Day protest SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Nine California Department of Motor Vehicle offices were forced to close for at least part of Columbus Day, and services at 17 others were reduced after hundreds of workers sldpped work to protest the loss of the paid holiday. In February, the Legislature eliminated two of state employees' 14 annual paid hol idays to save the state $26 million. Employees also lost Lincoln's Birthday when it was combined into a single Presidents Di^. Leaders of the largest state employees union, Service Employees International Union Local 1000, had urged its members to skip work as part of an ongoing contract dispute with the Schwarzenegger administration. Administration officials said the no-shows would face discipline that could include suspension or lost pay "At a time when 12 percent of Califomians are out of work, and the state is slashing billions fi-om education and public safety, it is outrageous that SEIU would encourage an illegal job action," said Schwarzenegger spokesman Aaron McLear. DEAR ABBV 11 ClASaRB3S14>1t COMICS 10 CROSSWORD 10 FORUM 4 OBITUARIES 1 SPORTS 6-8 TV GRIDS 11 Internal superintendent search yields one applicant By Eric J.Weilbacher The Herald-Zeitung Only one person applied during the New Braunfels Independent Sch(X)l Districts' intemal search for a new superintendent. The NBISn Board of Irustees met Monday evening to discTJss casting the net wider to fill the position being vacated by current superintendent Mike Smith. Smith has offered to stay through the school year, no later than June 31, 2010. Greg Schlather, president of the board, said that while they are searching for more applicants it should in no way reflect on the one letter of interest they have received, but rather would serve the public better to review more applicants. Schlather said the board might try a few different avenues for finding more applicants, from conducting searches personally to using private search firms. Before the board went into executive session Monday night, the meeting was open for public comment. One person out of fewer than a dozen members of the public in attendance chose to speak. Jay Patrick of New Braunfels addressed his concern that the board take its time and go outside of the internal search, "to see what's available." "Wait to decide until after the May (school board) elections," he said. "It's better for the district and better for the board."Man sentenced to 65 years for 2008 robberies Staff reports Charles Anthony Jr. was sentenced to 65 years in prison Monday after pleading guilty to a string of New Braunfels robberies in 2008. The 44-year-old was arrested in October 2008 in connection with the robberies of both the Payless Shoe Source at 604 S. Walnut Aver, and a Fastway Food Mart at 1412 E Common St. Anthony was believed to have threatened employees at both locations and fled the scenes with an undisclosed amount of cash. He was arrested following a joint effort by police in San Antonio and New Braunfels. He pled guilty to felony robbery, and his sentence was enhanced to 65 years because of ten previous criminal convictions. "Hopefully that will be long enough to keep him off the streets," said Comal County Assistant District Attorney Sammy McCrary. "I hope that this sentence will teach people not to come here and commit these kinds of crimes." 'Die quickly congressman hosts health care event lAVARES, Fla. (AP) — A Florida congressman tried to make sure a health care town hall meeting he hosted Monday night didn't mm into a debate about his recent remarks that Republicans want sick people to "die quickly" He mostly succeeded. When the House floor speech that's given him national attention came up almost immediately U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson dismissed the subject, See HEALTH CARE, Page 13 Charies Anthony Jr. ;