WEDNESDAY Storms threaten 1-3 inches More weather, Page 4A OPINION Pokin 1 fun at area drivers See Page 2A SPORTS Detroit leads 14-A All-District See Page 8A arts! © 1994 The Paris News 124th Year, No. 269 Paris, Texas 75460 May 25, 1994 Daily 500, Sunday $1.00 PISD litigation holding for new information By Mary Madewell The Paris News Litigation involving Paris Independent School District and Superintendent Elaine Ballard is on hold this week until it is determined whether newly seated trustees have a right to non-public information. Attorneys have yet to determine whether the newly seated Paris Independent School Board trustees have a right to hear tapes of executives sessions discussing the termination charges prior to School funding in top court AUSTIN (AP) Texas Supreme Court justices today peppered lawyers with questions in a hearing on challenges to the current school funding law. The law, which relies on state aid and local property tax money, is being challenged by property- poor school districts that first sued over education funding almost 10 years*ago,-and, property-rich and mid-wealth school districts. Parents who want to be able to use tax money to pay private school tuition also are challenging the law. Lawyer Al Kauffman, representing poor school districts who say the law is inequitable, faced numerous questions from several judges about whether progress has been made since the court first called for reform in 1989. Judges also asked what poor school districts are seeking, and how he would respond to those who say this is the best possible law in light of political pressures against higher taxes. Kauffman said progress has been made but the Legislature can and should do more. their membership on the board. Board President Barbara Fendley said today new board members Burton Golden and Mary W. Clark need to be brought up to date on prior board discussions involving termination charges against Mrs. Ballard. Mrs. Fendley said, "In fairness to all, I think the new board members need to be fully informed on everything that has transpired so that they will be in a position to judge the situation carefully," she said. "The board is not quite sure about legalities involved in bringing new members up to date on charges brought against the superintendent," Mrs. Fendley said. Local attorney Don McLaughlin has been instructed to check legalities. "I have a call into Attorney General Dan Morales but have not yet been able to speak with him," McLaughlin said this morning. McLaughlin said he will check to see if Burton and Mrs. Clark have the right to listen to previous executive session tapes of discussions involving termination charges. "The general public does not have access to these tapes, but I believe as new board members Golden and Mrs. Clark can listen to them," he said. "I will not make a determination on the matter until I hear from the attorney general," he said. Neal Adams, attorney for Mrs. Ballard, said he and his client have been ready since May 17 to defend charges brought against her by PISD trustees April 8. Trustees at the April 8 meeting, set a termination hearing at 1 p.m. April 26 but that hearing was blocked April 25 by a temporary restraining order by Texas District Judge Jim N. Thompson. A lawsuit, fifed in Texas 62nd Judicial District Court, asks for an unstated amount of damages resulting from alleged improper handling of termination date scheduling. NLISD moves toward new construction By Mary Madewell Photo by Stan Pollard GRAY SKIES - The sun drops quickly from gray skies late Tuesday, leaving the horizon spattered with drops of rose amide the haze and hue of semi-ominous clouds. Today, strong rains and thunderstorms are expected throughout the area. The Paris News North Lamar Independent School District trustees will meet in special session at 8 a.m. Saturday to choose an architect to guide the district during planning, bidding and construction phases of a $11.5 million building program. Tuesday night the board met five hours with architects in a first-round interview process. Board members Saturday will choose from Denny Architects Inc. of Paris; Claycomb Associates, Architects of Dallas; and SHW Architects, Engineers from Irving. Superintendent James Dawson said he hopes Saturday will bring a firm commitment with one of the three firms, but price negotiation will have to take place. Dawson said a tentative time line will include selling $5.75 million in bonds this summer. Architectural plans should be finished by December or January, 1995, with bids let in late February or March, 1995. Dawson anticipates ground-breaking at the 31.8 acre site in late February or early March, 1995. The purchase of land adjacent to the present campus is being finalized, Dawson said. Purchase price is $152,500. Dawson said the building program, which includes a gymnasium at W.L. Higgins Elementary and music room at Aaron Parker Elementary, should be completed in time for the beginning of school in 1996. At Tuesday night's meeting, NLISD trustees were brought up to date by competing firms in presentations detailing each firm' operations and types of services provided by each firm. Power play Area station joins jump to Fox By Brent Dollar The Paris News Dallas Cowboys' fans, take heart. One station has come to the rescue for the 1994 season. KTEN-TV, licensed to Ada, Okla., has announced it has aligned with the Fox network and will broadcast Cowboys' games this year. Johanna Flusche, KTEN's program director, said, "We're very excited. It definitely makes us realize people are going to rely on us for the Cowboys." KTEN, seen on Paris TCA Cable channel 11, is still trying to hammer out the final schedule, but Flusche said the station will carry at least 14 regular season games, including the Sept. 4 opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers, as well as three preseason contests produced by the Dallas Cowboys Football Club. Cowboys fans have been wondering where they could watch their favorite team since Fox outbid CBS for the rights to televise NFC games last January. TCA Cabls general manager Tim Masters said the number of fans expressing their concern has been overwhelming. Masters said, "We've had a large number of inquires. I would say several hundred inquires since Fox got the contract." NBC, which carries AFC games, ABC, ESPN and TNT all renewed their respective television contracts with the National Football League. The move by KTEN not only will provide Dallas Cowboys coverage, but also gives the station the unique distinction of being a tri-affiliate. KTEN is also affiliated with ABC and NBC. "It kind of makes us a monopoly of football right now," Flusche said. ABC and NBC also carry NCAA and NFL football. Flusche said the decision to align with Fox was made shortly after the network was granted the NFL contract, and viewers will begin to see some Fox programming in July. "It was real quick (approval by Fox) once we made the decision," she said. "We wanted to get Fox mostly because we wanted to bring our viewers the Cowboys." Photo by Mary Madewell ASIAN KITES — Cody Potter gets a close-up look at Asian kites during a Lamar County Head Start multi-cultural fair last week on the Paris Independent School District T. G. Givens Elementary campus. Giving him that closer look is Victor Barry, teacher assistant.
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