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July 6, 2011     Hays Free Press
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July 6, 2011
 

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Hays Free Press • July 6, 2011 NEWS Page 3A + Bus crash in San Marcos injures 18 BY SEAN KIMMONS sean@haysfreepress.com A charter bus from a Dallas company with numerous safety violations crashed early Friday in San Marcos, injuring 18 passen- gers, police say.. At 4:15 a~m, the bus was traveling northbound on Interstate 35 when it lost control and tipped over near mile marker 199 at Posey Road in south San Marcos, blocking all three lanes of Uaffic. "The bus ran offthe road to the tight, overcorrected and rolled over onto its side," San Marcos Police Chief Howard Williams said. "It was literally stretched out across the expressway." The bus, owned by Dallas-based Mares Bus Lines inc., had 21 passen- gers and was traveling from Laredo to Dallas. The bus had just made a stop in New Braunfels before the crash, police say. Injured passengers were transported with non-life threatening injuries to hospitals in Austin, San Marcos and San Antonio. Three of the injured had to be airlifted, Wdliams said. The worst injury sus- tained was by a four-year- old girl who suffered a se- vere broken leg. A hospital official later confirmed that the girl's leg had to be am- putated at Dell Children's Hospital in Austin. "It was obviously a nasty injury for her," Wdliams said. Williams added that three passengers were able to walk away uninjured from the crash site. Around 9 a.m., the northbound lanes of the interstate reopened. The exact cause of the crash is still under investigation. Mares Bus Lines could not be reached for com- ment. According to the Fed- eral Motor Carrier Safety Administration, thebus company had a slew of violations issued to its fleet of nine vehicles and 13 driv- ers during a two-year safety record ending on May 20. VIOLATIONS INCLUDE • 81 maintenance violations. The seven most serious violations that put vehicles out of service involved fires, brake hos- ing, defective lamps and improper wiring pmtec- rlon. The company recently scored a 55.7 percent in mad performance, which is below the acceptable threshold of 65 percent. • Five violations for unsafe driving that involved improper lane change and speeding • 12 violations for fa- tigued driving • one crash with three injuries on Jan. 11 • two drivers without a commercial driver's license San Marcos police are the lead investigators in Friday's crash. A number of other emergency agencies also responded to the scene, located close to the Hays- Comal county line, includ- ing the San Marcos and New Braunfeis fire depart- ments, San Marcos/Hays County Emergency Medical Service, the Department of Public ety, and the Hays and Comal county sheriff's offices. Mayor gives insight into city's financial focus BY WES FERGUSON wes@haysfreepress.com Buda City Council is delving into the annual budget process. City staff has made a preliminary request of about $4.1 million for op- erations and maintenance in the next fiscal year. That's a five percent increase from last year's $3.9 million general flmd. "One of our goals is to maintain existing city services and find better ways to provide city services," City Manager Kenneth Williams said Tues- dag one week after the council held its second budget workshop for the 2011-12 fiscal year. The requests are in line with the city's comprehensive plan, he said, and they address priorities outlined New Mayor Sarah Mangham has a unique perspective on the budget process as the city's former finance director. She offers her thoughts following l~st weelfs workshop: What areas of the 2011-12 budget are you on in partioalarT We're looking to ensure that we have a balanced budget that is conservative but not too conservative. We're also loolcing to be sure that if we take on any new debt, that we are not talcing property taxes from the general fund- operations and maintenance - to pay forit. Will the da/s property tax ram - 25.76 cents per $100 valuation - re- MANGHAM main the same? Without having the certified num- bers from the Hays County Appraisal by resi- District, it will be hard to predict whether we'll Old Fad oned Soda feeatala Treats 203 RJ.tko~ St. • Buda Plmm_~,/312-2111 Fomataln 312-2172 Fountain Hours: Mon-Sat, 8 a.m.-8 p.m.; PMrm~7 Hour=: Mon-Fri. 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sat, 9 a.m,-2 p,m. Closed Sunday F~t frien41y service. an dd-fa, biontd fla~r dents in citizen surveys, be loolcing at a new tax rate. There are a lot of '~,lotofitisbasedaroundqualityoflife,"Wfl- rame.Pr°jectsthatwearetryingt°fund" [ ~- , i liams continued. "One of those main things is You have said that city employeea deserve a / transportation issues, relieving congestion, and we're looking at building some things into the It's time to live life well in our well-appointed budget to alleviate that." ~e staffhas had limited raises over the past few one & two bedroom apartment homes. Nestled Projects up for discussion include a transpor- years. This year they did receive a 3 percent raise in ,L_ in the heart of historic downtown Buda our tation plan for the city, he said, as wen as pos- the middle of the fiscal yean. I think that staff should ~ ~i .......... plush landscape and deluxe amenities will sible roadwork to ease traffic on Main Street. getat least 2 percent more in October. Bring this ad to ~, offer you the comforts you deserve. receive a free ~ Open 7 days a week. Call to schedule your tour to~yl application fee with CREEKSIOE VILLAS SENIOR VILLAGE • your reservation! *See office for further details. BY WES FERGUSON wes@haysfreepress.com The boundaries of Hays CISD's trustee districts are be- ing redrawn this summer in a process that could result in a few more minority faces on the school board. About 61 percent of the dis- trict's students are Hispanic, wfiereas five of the seven trust- ees are Anglo. "I thinkifs important to have a school board that represents the population of the communi ," said Vice President Willie Teno- rio, who is the lone Hispanic member of the board. "I'm hop- ing that perhaps the redistrict- ~g process will address some of ose concerns." "We have a minority commu- nity that definitely has its own challenges," he continued, "and responsible for every student in Hays CISD, regardless of where theylive. I think we can provide a better aedrawingthedistrictbwaad- perspective on those needs." aries is a months-long process For example, Tenorio said, that has just begun. Each school minority families in Hays CISD board member has appointed a have traditionally had lower in- citizen to a special mdistticdng comes than white families, and committee, and Hays CISD has their children might not have hired a law firm to create drafts benefitted from as many en- of the new boundarieB. richment opportunities. Some The committee will review Hispanic students also must those drafts to decide whether overcome the language barrier they represent the Hays CISD between Spanish and English. population. The committee will "I think we have a good un- thenmakearecommendationto derstanding for that and an em- the school board, and the board pathy for that, so we want to ad- will vote on the new boundaries dress that through the policies . in the fall, Tenorio said. we make,"Tenorio said. Before taking effect, the new He noted also that while boundaries must be cleared by board members represent spe- the Department of Justice, he cific trustee districts, they are added. , , , " L Crossing Party Unes Continued from pg. 1A detectives have been assigned to supervise inmate work de- tails and that Cutler has steadi- ly increased the department's personnel budget during his eight-month tenure. "We need detectives solving crimes, not supervising trash details on the side of the road. We need conservative lead- ership that rett/rns money to the county budget instead of blowing money on unneces- sary.., things," Ratliff said. Ratliff experienced a bruis- ing campaign in which he found himself denying allega- tions that he had assaulted his "We need detectives solving crimes, not supervising trash details on the side of the road. We need conservative leadership that returns money to the county budget instead of blowing money on unnecessary.., things." -Tommy Ratflff, candidate for Hays County 8hedtff that Gary Curler has the sup- other than what he thinks it port of the Republican Party takes to get elected." and the Republicans in Hays County," Wymore said. Asked ff an endorsement former wife more than 20 years ago; he was never charged and .by a party chair in a contested his supervisor later said the primary is unusual, Wymore investigation ended when she conceded that it was but said, changed her story. Still, Ratliff "It's unusuai for a guy to run as fared better than all but two a Democrat one election cycle Hays CountyDemocrats in last and as a Republican the next." November's general election, Ion Leonard, the immedi- collecting 43.8 percent of the ate past Hays County Demo- vote to Curler's 55.7 percent, cratic Party chair and a party Republican Party chair Bud activist, was no more under- ~ffW~ore said he thought Rat- standing about Ratiiff's party would find it tongh going switch. Leonard said, "I feel in a Republican primary,bad for so many Democrats an over Hays County who contributed their time, their energy and their resources to the Ratliff campaign -- believ- ing that he shared their values. His statement that Republican principles represent his beliefs as sheriff lead me to wonder whether he has any principles "I think we've got a ca- pable and qualified Republi- can sheriff.... Tommy is a guy that's been in Hays County for a number of years. He's going to have some support from different folks, particularly in the Precinct 2 area, but that's to be expected. I'm confident $1mtt ~ ~ l'lkl, m. Hays CISD, take advantage of lower tuition• Fall classes start August 22. Apply today. austincc.edu/apply Go to www.pec.coop and type =HVAC" to download a rebate application. >> POWER OF COMMUNIrY PEDERNALES ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE