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  • Location: New Braunfels, Texas
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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - October 17, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas FRIDAY, OCTOBER 17, 2003 Serving New Braunfels anu ^ ll,ll>H ZTwn. SPORTS SERVE'S UP Tennis-racket-wielding Unicorns P.J. Hendrie and Brad Davis step up to the net with eyes on a district championship. Page 6A FORUM WHICH HALF? Ann Coulter offers that Rush Limbaugh could still beat liberals with half his brain tied behind his back. Page 4A 3B CLASSIFIbUo »-8B COMICS 2B CROSSWORD 2B FORUM 4A APPLAUSE ABB SPORTS 6-7A TV GRIDS 38 Vol. 152, No. 289 16 pages, 2 sections CLICK 500 8 ”56825 00001 Partly cloudy High Low 81 55 Details .... 18 NBISD candidates take different views of state testing By Dylan Jiminez Staff Writer Standardized testing was a point of contention Thursday night at a forum for candidates vying for three New Braunfels Independent School District school board positions this November. In the District I race, Paul Fisher and Krista I laas take differing views on the importance of state-mandated tests. Haas, a 1997 graduate of New Braunfels High School, is pursuing her master's degree in education. She has a great deal of confi dence in state testing, Haas said. Standardized testing is an effective way to keep schools and teachers accountable and is an effecting tool to measure their success, she said. Fisher, a businessman with four children, including one in college, said the state mandates the tests so schools have to follow suit, he said. Teachers in the classroom should focus on learning and not looking good to the state, Fisher said. Students don’t learn how to study if they are focused on learning to take tests, Fisher said, adding stu dents who lack study skills often have problems in college. Deborah Kempert, incumbent in the district’s at-large place, said she is confident in the way the state is raising the bar on standardized testing. Teachers are teaching a body of knowledge and not just a test, she said. Toughening testing standards are an opportunity for districts and allow schools to produce wellrounded, prepared graduates, Kempert said. Her opponents disagreed. Randy Rust, local businessman who has one child at NBHS, said he felt the state is putting too much emphasis on testing. Students are learning to pass a test and not learning what they need to know, Rust said. Bd Clark, a local businessman, advocates teacher freedom to teach children to think, he said. Teachers have the ability to teach students what they need to know without strict parameters of testing standards, he said. He said students who can pass a test might not learn all they need to know in a specific subject area. Election [2003 MiW Voters’Guide The Heraid-Zeituiig will publish the League of Women Voters* guide for the upcoming New Braunfels Independent School District school board election. mn MILLER & MILLER Insurance Agency Check us out on the web at: 625-3000 186 S. Casten Ave. - Downtown New Braunfels % ' mf County warns of budget cutbacks By Ron Maloney Staff Writer Rural emergency services districts and several United Way agencies the county has supported in the past will be put on notice they should look for other funding sources in 2005. Commissioners on Thursday directed county auditor David Renken to warn the agencies they could see funding cuts in the 2005 budget — and Commissioner    ultimately the ejimi- Jsy Minikin    nation of county fund- mg altogether. Affected agencies are “contract services” such as the Bulverde Senior Center, Community Resource and Recreation Center of Canyon Lake, Comal County Senior Citizens Foundation, Communities in Schools, the Heritage Museum of the Texas Hill Country, the Retired Senior Volunteer Program, the Salvation Army and the Sophienburg Museum. Over the past few years, Comal County has worked to reduce the money it See RU DB BT, Page 3A UPDATES y Tracking the news TOUCHSCREEN VOTING LAST WE KNEW: Comal County chose a touchscreen voting system for elections. JATEST: The first machines have arrived. NEXT: The new machines will be used in the March primary. COURTHOUSE REPAIRS LAST WE KNEW: Comal County was trying to decide the scope of repair and restoration in the historic courthouse. LATEST: A water-damaged ceiling fell in this week in the election coordinator s office. NEXT: An architect will complete a needs-assessment and cost-benefit analysis of renovating and restoring the courthouse. ‘Grandmother’s house’ on higher ground By Ron Maloney Staff Writer Rhonda Maxey lives in the house of a lifetime — one built in 1910 on New Braunfels’ West Mill Street. It’s the house she should live in:. she calls it “a grandmother’s house.” It has antique tin ceilings and antique furniture. Open the front door and a round table in the foyer filled with family photos greets you. “I want it to say when you come in, ‘Welcome and meet my family,’” Maxey said. “I know everything happens for a reason. Sometimes it’s best starting over again.” On Oct. 7, New Braunfels demolished Maxey’s old house on Riverside Drive — just IO days short of the five-year anniversary of when it was nearly destroyed in its first Guadalupe River flood. Maxey gave up on the beautiful, modem ranch-style home after she was flooded out again in July 2002 and has started over again — although the demolition of her former home brought back some of the pain of having to rebuild only to have to clean out and move out. “I went over there that evening. I really didn’t think it would affect me, but it tore me up,” Maxey said Thursday. “It’s just a big old stack of rubble.” In 1998, Maxey’s riverbank home was flooded with water 11 feet deep. In 2002, the water was more than four feet deep, but the damage was still severe. Except for a few things her family helped her extract during evacuation, everything was destroyed or ruined. She promised the day the city let her back into her home that she wouldn’t be there for a third flood. Maxey took one of two Federal Emergency Management Agency-sponsored flood “buyouts" on her street. Even on the “fast track” — billed to take about IO days — Maxey didn’t get her new home until about a year ago, several months after the 2002 flood. Her buyout didn’t happen until May, so she made six months’ worth of payments on two homes. “It was tough,” she said. “That ‘fast track’ wasn’t too fast.” Maxey, a Hope Hospice nurse, has immersed herself in decorating her new, old home with period pieces she’s found at auctions. Soon, she’ll pull up carpeting and restore hardwood floors. “It’s been fun. I like the decorating stuff — one room at a time. I just don’t want to do it again,” Max ey said. When she looked for a new home, she looked for an old house that had never flooded. When she saw the home on Mill Street, she knew it was the one. “I’m very grateful. I’m grateful we came out OK," Maxey said. “I don’t want to even think about what would have happened if they hadn’t bought me out.” County Engineer Tom Homseth See FLOOD, Page 3A Front and Center Rhonda Maxey lost her home in the 1998 flood. Again in 2002. Her old house has been demolished, and she has started over again, hoping the Photos by REBECCA 8. ROGERS/Herald-Zeitung Rhonda Maxey, left, enjoys a sunset chat with her best friend, Mona Hill, riverside home was ruined in the 1998 and 2002 floods and was demoF Thursday evening at Maxey s house on West Mill Street. Maxey s modern ished Oct. 7. Below, Maxey reads on her porch swing as she often does. ;