THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2005 LAREDO MORNING TIMES | 5A SALVATION DONATION SCourtesy photo Salvation Army of Laredo volunteers show off some of the thousands of items that were donated during the group’s Hurricane Katrina Relief Drive at H-E-B stores last weekend. Left to right are: Salvation Army Maj. Raymundo Reyes, Glafiro Benavides, Salvation Army Maj. Nancy Reyes, Laura Torres, Rafael Salinas, Margarito Benavides, Luis Martin Del Campo and Veronica Cantu.The drive raised more than 20 tons in canned goods and nonperishable items for the evacuees taking refuge in San Antonio. Volunteers also collected $7,000 in monetary donations, which also will go toward the hurricane victims. Britney Spears has baby boy ASSOCIATED PRESS NEW YORK — Britney Spears has given birth to a baby boy, Us Weekly reported. The baby was born Wednesday by Caesarean section at the Santa Monica UCLA Medical Center in California, the magazine said. No other details were available. A call to Spears’ publicist by The Associated Press wasn’t immediately returned. It is the first child for the 23year-old pop star and her husband, Kevin Federline. Federline, 27, has two children with ex-girlfriend Shar Jackson. Photo by Joe Cavaretta | AP Britney Spears appears as a presenter during the Billbaord Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nev., in this file photo. Spears gave birth to a baby boy Wednesday. El Pescador to host grito event SPECIAL TO THE TIMES As Mexican nationals gather ’round the Zocalo in Mexico City tonight for the traditional Grito de Dolores given by President Vicente Fox, Laredoans will have the chance to get in on the fun at Mariscos El Pescador. The restaurant at 207 Shiloh is having its 2nd annual Grito de Dolores Celebration from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., culminating with the live broadcast of Fox’s Grito on two jumbo screens. There will be plenty of musical entertainment through the night, beginning with Los Hermanos Requena, an acoustic duet who will take the stage at 7 p.m. Also performing will be Mariachi Los Arrieros, scheduled to take the stage at 8:25 p.m., and Mariachi Popular, set to perform at 10 p.m. Also taking part in the festivities will be the Ballet Folklorico from Texas A&M International University under the direction of Gabriela Mendoza and the Ballet Folklorico of Laredo Community College. Master of ceremonies for the event will be Noe Flores, who will be doing his popular impersonation of Cantinflas. Flores has traveled throughout Mexico and the interior of the United States appearing in such shows as Siempre en Domingo and the Johnny Canales Show. For more information, call the restaurant at (956) 795-8207 or Joe Martinez, marketing director, at (956) 791-6388. Webb County holds firm on tax rate By JULIE DAFFERN LAREDO MORNING TIMES The public will have the chance to comment today on Webb County’s proposed property tax rate, which has not changed from last year. The rate will remain at 43.8 cents per $100 of appraised value. County officials expect almost $3 million in additional revenue next year because of increased appraisal values and new construction. Last year the county raised $39,579,834. County Auditor Leo Flores was quick to point out that the major part of the additional revenues is because of the new construction and not the increased appraisal values, at the county’s first tax hearing held last week. At the first hearing held last week, only one area resident showed up to express his opinion. Anthony Pederson asked the court to “scale down the tax just a little bit” in light of the increased expected revenue. County Judge Louis Bruni recommended that Pederson take a look at the proposed budget and send him a memo highlighting areas that he views as waste. “Most people in Laredo don’t realize what we do with such a small budget,” Bruni said. “We have not had to raise taxes. I think this court is doing the honorable thing.” County Tax Assessor-Collector Patricia Barrera added, “I believe county government is one of the most frugal of all governments.” The hearing will be held at the Webb County Courthouse, 1000 Houston St., at 1 p.m. (Julie Daffern can be reached at 728-2538 or [email protected]) Appraisal district to present 2006 budget SPECIAL TO THE TIMES The Webb County Appraisal District will present a 2006 proposed budget at its meeting today. The meeting will take place at 4:30 p.m. in the district’s boardroom, located at 3302 Clark Blvd. Also scheduled for Monday’s meeting are presentations on the 2005 election of the Board of Di- rectors and tax code changes enacted by the 79th legislative session. The board will also go into executive session to discuss some salaries for staff members. St. Aug taking donations for Katrina victims SPECIAL TO THE TIME St. Augustine Elementary School is accepting donations for victims of Hurricane Katrina through Sept. 23. Among the items that are needed are: new or gently used clothing in good condition; shoes; school supplies; kitchen, bed and bath items; furniture; nonperishable food; and bottled water. Cash donations will also be accepted. The items will be packed in a trailer that will be taken to the Austin area to be delivered directly to the people affected by the disaster. For more information, call Alma Romero at (956) 763-4491 or Adriana Zapata at (956) 7175860.
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