New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - September 21, 1999, New Braunfels, Texas
T* TS*03' ■
T T r~wHerald-Zeitung
" ^ " • W ^ ■........T^.-.^V-!T?i-’----__------___-,---
* ii —is — :..... ' ■ ' - ■ ' ..... - . , :■■■■ , ..■ : - -.. ■ J
Vol. 148, No. 218 14 pages in 2 sections September 21, 1999 Servin* Comal County since 1852 50 cents
Comal County Fair Queen Sarah Meckel gets a congratulatory hug from best friend Valerie White after being crowned the 1999 fair queen at Canyon Middle School on Sunday night.
Let festivities begin; fair queen crowned
From staff reports
Man still missing after more than week
By Erin MAGRUDER
A large scale search Sunday for a critically ill 55-year-old man missing for more than a week turned up nothing.
Roger Dale McCown disappeared Sept. IO from the Schumann ranch northwest of New Braunfels off Elm Creek Road. McCown, MCCOWN who had been living in a trailer at the ranch, reportedly was taking several different medications to treat serious health problems at the time of his disappearance, said Detective Tommy Ward of the Comal County Sheriff s Department.
Residents reported McCown did not look well on the day of his disappearance.
McCown last was seen walking on the ranch property, Ward said.
Law enforcement officers and volunteers began their search at 7 a.m. Sunday and scoured more than 200 acres of the Schumann ranch area. Ward said.
Included in the search were 15 sheriff’s department officers, several members of McCown’s family and 25 volunteers from the Heidi Search Center.
The Heidi Search Center is a non-profit organization that helps organize ground searches for missing persons nationwide.
In addition to the ground search, six dog teams and a remote control plane w ith a video camera provided by the Heidi Search Center were unable to find any traces of McCown on the ranch property.
Initially, law enforcement off icials thought McCown might have walked up to Elm Creek Road and caught a ride.
However, considering McCown’s health problems, he probably was not able to walk the distance to the road, Ward said.
The weekend after McCown s disappearance, the sheriff’s department and Texas Department of Public Safety searched the ranch area. A law enforcement team with bloodhounds and a DPS helicopter search turned up nothing.
McCown is entered in a nationwide missing persons databank.
His family urges anyone with information regarding his disappearance to contact the Comal County Sheriffs Department at 620-3400.
Last-minute filers make a race for NBISD seat
Plaintiffs: TAAS exit test unfair to minorities
By Kelley Shannon
Associated Press Writer
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Minority rights advocates went to federal court Monday asking that the state be banned from requiring students to pass a standardized test before receiving a high school diploma.
Telling the judge the lawsuit is for “the disappeared and the forgotten,” plaintiffs’ attorney Al Kauffman said the exit-level Texas Assessment of Academic Skills discriminates against black and Hispanic students.
The impact of the I Oth-grade test on those ethnic groups contributes to higher dropout rates and increased retention of Hispanics and blacks in ninth grade, Kauffman said.
“This is, indeed, the ultimate high-stakes test,” said Kauffman, regional counsel for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund.
MALDEF represents the plaintiffs group, which includes the Hispanic education oiga-nizations GI Forum and Image de Tejas and seven Hispanic and black students who completed their school work but failed the TAAS exit test and were denied diplomas.
The Texas Education Agency and high-level state education officials are the defendants. U.S. District Judge Ed Prado will decide the case. The trial is expected to last about a month.
MALDEF brought the lawsuit to trial under federal regulations barring discrimination by states receiving federal education money. The plaintiffs also cited their right to due process.
In opening statements, attorneys for the state disputed the discrimination claims and defended the exit-level TAAS as a valid exam that is screened carefully for any bias.
“There is no other way for the state of Texas to ensure that students learn the material that the state of Texas considers important than by an objective test,” said assistant attorney general Deborah Verbil.
The exit test was implemented in 19<H) and is at the core of the state’s school accountability system.
Students first take the exit-level reading, writing and math exam as sophomores in high school. If a student fails any portion of the test, he or she can take it again up to eight times and unlimited additional times outside of school sessions, officials say.
Fire up those carnival lights and strike up the band — Comal County Fair Association crowned its 1999 queen, Sarah Meckel, Sunday night at Canyon Middle School, so that means it’s time for the fair!
Meckel, daughter of David and Peggy Meckel, is a student of Canyon High School. Smithson Valley’s Grace Preiss, daughter of Elroy and Diana Preiss, was named princess, and Tara Edwards, daughter of Troy and Kaye Edwards and student at New Braunfels High School, was named duchess.
With that royal matter taken care
By Heather Todd
of, exhibitors will begin show ing up Wednesday and Thursday w ith everything from baked goods to steers to show in the 106th Comal
County Fair. For information on admission, parking, carnival and live music entertainment, turn to Page 4 A.
New Braunfels Independent School District patrons in district 5 will get to elect a new representative in the Nov. 2 trustee election after all.
Two New Braunfels residents filed for a place on the ballot for the district 5 trustee election Monday - the last day to file for the Nov. 2 election.
The filing deadline was 5 p.m.
Seats in district 5 and district 3 are up for grabs in the trustee election.
Sue Hahn and Jim Gabbard will vie for trustee Steve Weaver’s seat on the board. Weaver said he would not run for re-election after serving one three-year term.
District 3 representative Carlos Campos also said he would not run for re-election, which leaves New Braunfels resident Lee Edwards unopposed for the district 3 seat. Edwards filed for a place on the ballot Aug. 19.
Because no one else filed for the district 3 seat, the board could declare Edwards an unopposed candidate and approve an order declaring him elected.
If declared to office. Edwards would not take his seat on the board until after the Nov. 2 election.
Early voting for the election begins Oct. 18.
Edw ards is the father of a Seele Elementary student and a New Braunfels High School graduate and owns D. Lee Edwards Realty.
Edwards said he supported the district’s $75 million bond election, which GABBARD will be decided Oct. 2.
As a future board member, Edw ards also said he wanted to help improve student performance and offer more opportunities for students after graduation, such as vocational and technical training.
Hahn, who owns CruiseOne in New Braunfels, is the mother of three NBHS graduates and has two children currently in NBISD schools.
From left are members of the 106th Comal County Fair Court; duchess Tara Edwards, princess Grace Preiss and queen Sarah Meckel.
Trout group opposing GBRA withdrawal request
WAI Ll/Herald-ZeitungThe fishing pier below the Canyon hydroelectric plant is one of the hottest trout fishing spots in the Guadalupe River.
By Erin Magruder
A sport fishing conservation group is contesting the Guadalupe-Bianco River Authority’s request to divert more water from Canyon Lake.
Guadalupe River Trout Unlimited filed a protest Sept. 15 to contest GBRA’s amendment application to the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission.
GBRA wants to increase its authorized water diversion from Canyon Reservoir an average of40,000 acre-feet per year to sell as municipal water supply.
“ Under 200 cubic feet per second, we will lose a lot of the trout. If the flow is only IOO cfs, the twut more than five miles from the dam cannot survive.”— David Schroeder chairman, Guadalupe River Trout Unlimited flow committee
Trout Unlimited officials said they were concerned the diversion increase would result in an unstable water How
from Canyon Dam to the trout fishery during the critical period of May through October— the time when Trout Unlimited relies on the flow of the river to keep the trout alive, said David Schroeder, chairman of the organization’s flow committee.
C urrently, GBRA diverts an average of 50,000 acre-feet per year front the C anyon Reservoir.
The proposed additional 40,000 acre-feet average diversion per year will leased for a five-year period.
This means GBRA will have water
Key code 76