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  • Location: New Braunfels, Texas
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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - September 22, 2005, New Braunfels, Texas frdo'f&i- ae*Us«*s THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 22,2005 Pf iald-Zeitung HWIffWWMWilHP* »lljl M'W IfflWiii!!1TjlKlffriP'^ SPORTS GAME TIME New Braunfels, Canyon foot ball games moved up to Thursday due to Hurricane Rita's threat. Page 6A INSIDE AMAZING New invention lands local couple in finals of national reality television show. Page 3A Serving New    Braunfels and Comal    County since 1852. "TW*- IS4' No" 261.........................FIMira    3B 14 pages, 2 sections i U    ;    CLASSIFIEDS 4B CLICK    500    C*    I    COMICS 2B CROSSWORD 2B FORUM 4A OBITUARIES 3A I SPORTS    BA ■56825 00001" 1 I rw»iio id I TV GRIDS    3B WWW? I Sunny High Low 101 74 Details .... 1BComal County gets ready for Hurricane Rita By Ron Maloney StaffWriter As Hurricane Rita hurtled across the Gulf of Mexico Wednesday toward a Friday night or Saturday Texas landfall that appears more and more imminent, local emergency planning officials prepared to receive evacuees. They also worked to be ready if bands of tropical rains and high winds that could streak inland threaten the New Braunfels area. New Braunfels Mayor Bruce Boyer said plans were well under way up and down the Interstate 35 corridor Wednesday to make way for up to I million evacuees who could come inland depend-ing upon where the storm strikes. County Judge Danny Scheel said Emergency Management CHANGES IN STORE * Due to Hurricane Rita, the Canyon and New Braunfels football games scheduled Friday were moved to Thursday. Smithson Valley is still planning to play Friday. For a complete report, see Sports on Page 6A. Coordinator Carol Edgett is conducting four conference calls each day with officials at the Texas Department of Emergency Management who were monitoring Rita’s path. “I talked to Bexar County and told them if there’s anything we can assist with to let us know,” Scheel said. “We’re standing by, prepared to open shelters if called upon to do so for evacuees.’’ At the same time, Scheel said, the county was monitoring the potential for local problems, and was working with outfitters, encouraging them to be ready if there was a local emergency. Max Wommack, who directs security for this weekend’s Comal County Fair, said the fair board was carefully monitoring the weather situation. As ofWednesday, the National Weather Service’s forecast for Saturday in New Braunfels called See RITA, Page 5A County Judge Danny Scheel^ He** ln’Ura'wWWWitt‘n8'nSUranCeCOm MMMMMNNMMNMVHMNNNNNniWMMMNRMMIMMii FALLING IN LOVE Congressman says Texas is prepared for hurricane Photos by DAVID INGRAM Herald-Zeitung Sharon Dieted, 7, is all smiles as she pets a pygmy goat and piglet at the Baby Barnyard at the Comal County Fair Wednesday afternoon. Below, Courtnea Silkman, 8, gives Charlie the pygmy goat a hug while visiting the Baby Barnyard. Children flock to Baby Barnyard as county fair opens By Leigh Jones StaffWriter Courtnea Silkman’s parents had better be ready when Christmas rolls around — their tender-hearted second-grader already knows what she wants in her stocking. “I wish I had a baby goat at home,” she said, cuddling a brown and white, 9-day old pygmy goat in her lap. Silkman was one of 35 students from the Educational Network for Academics, Arts and Character Training, the home-schooling cooperative at free of Life Church, who visited the Baby Barnyard during the first day of the Comal County Fair. FAIR WEEK Highlights of Comal County Fair which will continue through Sunday. * Fair Parade, 10 a.m. Friday * PRCA Rodeo, begins at 8 p.m. today * Antique Farm Show, Friday through Sunday * Kiddie Tractor Pull, noon Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday * Pet Parade, 9:30 a.m., Friday m Kid Rodeo Clown Contest, 7:30 p.m. Friday * Best Western Dress Contest, 2 p.m. Sunday Charlie the goat was patient for his tender age, suffering the children’s hugs and kisses without complaint. The baby cow was a different story. She ran between the children and their teachers with a frantic look in her eyes, seemingly baffled by the their desire to treat her like a big dog. “By the end of the weekend, she’ll be used to it,” said Mike Kropp, the Baby Barnyard supervisor. Kropp kept a careful eye on both the children and the animals, stooping down to rescue Charlie and his buddy, Fiona, when they began to bleat too loudly. The goats were the most popular animal in the pens, a source of satisfaction for their owner. See BARNYARD, Page 5A Local school districts receive superior financial ratings By Jessica Sanders StaffWriter The Texas Education Agency plans to make it more difficult for school districts to achieve superior financial ratings next year. Both Comal ISD and New Braunfels ISD have received superior ratings every year since the School FIRST — Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas — was instituted in 2003. The School FIRST system analyzes 22 factors of a district’s financial resources. Factors include debt related expenditures, ratio of students to teachers, investments and total operating expenditures for instruction. To receive the highest rating, districts must reach approval on 20 of the 22 Financial indicators. Debra Smith, CISD business manager, said state legislation passed in August requires that 65 percent of a school’s operating budget be used directly in the classroom, compared to a current rule that requires more than 54 percent. These rules will likely carry over to FIRST requirements. “We don’t plan any major changes, but next year it may be more difficult,” Smith said. Smith, business manager for CISD, said the district spent 58 percent on instruction, despite sending about $3 million to the state as part of the Robin Hood program. CISD will hold a public hearing on the results at their next board See FINANCE, Page 3A The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the Alamo Area Council of Governments has declared today an Air Quality Health Alert Day. ■ Reduce unnecessary vehicle driving. ■ Carpool if possible or combine all errands into one trip. ■ Avoid use of "drive through" lanes or services. ■ Don’t refuel during daylight. ■ Avoid use of gas-powered yard equipment. CLICK ON TNK WU: fAOn Pollution levels are posted online at: The Canyon football team looks to remain perfect when Del Valle visits. By Ron Maloney StaffWriter U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith has seen firsthand what hurricanes and floods can do. He said Wednesday he believed Texans from the coast to New Braunfels who are bracing for a hit from Hurricane Rita would be well prepared. During the July 2002 flood, Smith, R-San Antonio, came to New Braunfels. It was a personal trip and not an official one, and it culminated with him wading into the flooded Guadalupe River — with a rope tied around his waist so he wasn’t washed away — to try to help his sister, whose home was flooded and ruined. “I hope I don’t have to do it again this weekend," Smith said. If Rita strikes the right place on the coast, say the Corpus Christi area, Smith and Comal County Emergency Management Coordinator Carol Edgett say the biggest concern in New Braunfels would be torrential rains, high winds and flooding. “You have to be readv.” Smith said. “It’s Congressman Lamar Smith Texas prepares for Rita, Page 5A. Plan now to be safe when storm hits, Page 4A See PREPARED, Page 5A ;