Newspaper Archive of
Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
February 3, 2010     Hays Free Press
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February 3, 2010

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Page 2A NEWS Hays Free Press * February 3, 2010 The Hays Free Press (ISSN 1087-9323) published weekly by Barton Publications, Inc., 109 W. Center Street, Kyle, TX 78640. Periodicals postage paid at Buda, TX 78610 and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Barton Publica- tions, Inc., RO. Box 339, Buda, TX 78610. NEWSTIPS If you think it's news, we prob- ably do too! Newsroom phone: 512-268-7862 E-mail: news@haysfree- Mail: RO. Box 2530, Kyle, TX 78640 CORRECTIONS Any erroneous reflection upon the character, standing or reputation of any person, firm or corporation which may ap- pear in the pages of the Hays Free Press will be corrected upon being brought to the at- tention of the publisher. DEADLINES The deadline for display advertising and any contrib- uted news copy in the Hays Free Press is 5 p.m. Friday the week prior to publication. The deadline for Letters to the Editor and classified word advertising in the Hays Free Press is noon Monday the week of publication, though we encourage readers and advertisers to observe the Friday deadline. LETTERS GUIDELINES We welcome locally written letters to the editor on timely topics of community interest. We ask that you keep them to about 350 words in length and that you not indulge in personal attacks on private individuals. Letters may be edited for brevity and clarity. All letters should be signed by the author and include a daytime phone number where the author can be contacted for verification. Letter writers are limited to one letter per month. Letters can be emailed to HISTORY Founded April 10, 1903 by Thomas Fletcher Harwell as The Kyle News, with offices on the corner of Burleson and Miller Streets in the town's oldest remaining building. It merged into The Hays County Citizen in 1956. The paper consolidated with The Free Press in October, 1978. During its more than 100-year history the newspaper has maintained offices at more than a dozen locations in Kyle and Buda. No mo' Ho Town Residents fight back against vandalism BY SEAN KIMMONS Vandals, believed to be local teenagers, have caused thou- sands of dollars in damage to the Hometown Kyle subdivi- sion in the past two years and irked local residents by chang- ing the name on the neighbor- hood's entrance sign into a rude phrase. "This has really got everyone riled up," said Gary Anderson, president of the subdivisions homeowners association. Regularly, vandals pry offlet- ters to entrance signs, chang- ing Hometown to Ho town, as well as tipping over trash cans. On Jan. 16, the vandals struck again, Anderson said. "They tagged fences, side- walks, mailboxes and stop signs," he said. "It was quite ugly." It cost about $2,500 to clean up the graffiti, mostly profan- ity, in the neighborhood of more than 600 homes, he said. In response, Anderson said that the subdivision will be set- ting up a neighborhood watch program. He has just signed on two co-chairmen for the program, one of whom is af- filiated with the Austin Police Department. The subdivision also has 19 police officers who call it home, he said. On top of that, the subdi- vision plans to install a 10- camera surveillance system, keeping a close eye on com- mon areas and entrance gates. The system, costing $60,000 to $75,000, will allow residents to go to a website and tap in on live feeds from the cameras, he said. "We're going to aggressively prosecute all violators," he said. PHOTO BY SEAN KIMMONS Vandals have changed the entrance signs to the Hometown Kyle subdivi- sion to a derogatory phrase. School Schedules Lopez Cont00r, ued from pg. ",A Resigns Hays High School has historically permitted the two free periods, said Hays CISD spokesperson Ju- lie Jerome. "In the climate of increased rigor, and trying to better prepare our students for college, we dis- cussed last week the removal of that," Jerome said. In a flurry of email campaigns, Hays parents reacted strongly to news last week that Hays coun- selors were telling juniors they had to sign up for a full course load of seven classes, rather than five, during registration for their upcoming senior year. While say- ing that the changes weren't man- datory, school administrators de- fended the decision. "If we're not encouraging our seniors to take a more challeng- ing full load to get them ready for college, then we're not doing our job," said Hays High School Prin- cipal David Pierce. But with full class loads, jobs, college applications and extra- curricular activities, parents say their kids are overscheduled al- ready and could use some breath- ing room before they get burned out. "It is hard enough that they go to school all day, then come home and work on duel credit courses and essays most of the evening," said Hays parent Laura Morrisey, whose son is now a junior. "Throw "It is hard enough that they go to school all day, then come home and work on duel credit courses and essays most of the evening. Throw work into that, and you have one very tired kid." -Laura Morrisey, Parent of a Hays student work into that, and you have one very tired kid." Hays High School junior Sarah Wilson said she carefully planned out her high school schedule over the last few years with an eye on taking just five classes in her se- nior year, including taking high school classes in eighth grade. After a stressful junior year, the upcoming lighter class schedule is welcome. "We all kind of look forward to it," Wilson said. "I was hop- ing maybe senior year would be a little more relaxed. The grades ahead of us got this kind of op- portunity. It just seemed fair that we would get it." The school district doesn't want students to look at their senior year as a cruise year, Pierce said. "Really, we don't want them to just do the minimum," Pierce CRIME BRIEFS "lhieves ransack Kyle storage umts STAFF REPORTS len, Kyle Police spokesperson Capt. Pedro Hernandez said. Roughly $3,400 of miscel- laneous power tools and tool boxes were reportedly taken, he said. No arrests or leads have been made in this incident, which is currently under in- vestigation. A manager at the storage business declined to comment on the burglaries. Thieves raided 55 storage units at Kyle's Private Mini Storage along the 21400 block of IH-35 on Jan. 21, Kyle Police say. Locks to the storage units were cut as the thieves searched for valuables. Police have spoken to most of the renters and say that only one has reported anything sto- said. "We want to give them the best. This is a good school and we want our kids to take advan- tage of everything we have to offer." After meeting the core require- ments, students can use the left- over periods to take a variety of subjects such as art or music elec- tives, shop classes, mechanics, pre-engineering courses, agricul- tural science, computer electives, work-study courses or duel credit college classes, in which the stu- dents can earn credits through Austin Community College free of charge, Pierce noted. "I would love to,see the thought process .be, 'I have five classes I have to take but there' two others I want to take,'" Pierce'said. "We've got a lot of really cool,lasses." Pierce said the( proposed changes weren't mandated, but / rather, strongly encouraged. "Our plan was to strongly en- courage our seniors to take the seven classes," Pierce said. "We were really pushing them to do this." But many parents say their kids were told they had to add two classes to their schedule. Sandi Kornfuehrer, whose daughter is a junior at Hays, said she was told by school staffthat the seven-class minimum was a "done deal." Kornfuehrer said over the last four years she and her daughter have carefully planned her hon- ors class schedule. "She'd just be taking extra courses to possibly lower her GPA and change her class ranking," Komfuehrer said. "If they're go- ing to do this, they need to imple- ment it with the freshman coming in, so everyone is very clear about the expectations." Friday night, Kornfuehrer sent out hundreds of emails urging parents to rally and voice their opinion, and on Monday, the parents were told their students still could keep the shortened schedule. "I'm actually proud of the dis- trict for listening," Kornfuehrer said.'Tm hoping that they'll get some feedback from the parents before they make a major deci- sion like this again that impacts student's lives." Cont. from pg. 1A Lopez said she wasn't trying to keep her resignation a secret. "I didn't think I needed to make a public announce- ment," she said. City officials said it's not typically their responsibility to announce resig- nations of those vy- ing for public office. "It certainly wasn't kept a secret," Kyle spokesperson Jerry Hendrix said. "In the past, the coun- cilmembers take it upon themselves to do that. As a mat- ter of practice we haven't done that." Resigned or not, if Lopez loses the mayoral race, she will continue to serve at council meetings until her term ends in May. She'll also have the option of seeking reelection to her current seat. It's Burn Awareness Week, and PEC wants to remind you to be proactive .about preventing electrical fires. Most electrical fires are the result of faulty outlets or old or damage d wiring. Be aware of danger signs, and routinely check outlets, wiring and cords, Leam more about electrical safety by visiting our web site. Pedernotes Etectric 1-888-554-47"52 1-800-580-: )rg /, Subject to credit approval. 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