New Braunfels Herald Zeitung, March 21, 1989

New Braunfels Herald Zeitung

March 21, 1989

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Issue date: Tuesday, March 21, 1989

Pages available: 12

Previous edition: Sunday, March 19, 1989

Next edition: Wednesday, March 22, 1989

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Publication name: New Braunfels Herald Zeitung

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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - March 21, 1989, New Braunfels, Texas Study: Few areas safe from railroad accidents WASHINGTON (AP) — Few states are safe from the growing threat of toxic railroad accidents, “catastrophes on wheels,” as rail shipments of hazardous materials continue to rise amid lax federal regula’ion, according to a study by Citizen Action. See Page 5 6 & (S A Baseball games called because of bad weather The final non-district baseball games before the start of District 28-4A play were are cancelled tonight because of the weather condiditions. The final day of the District 26 soccer season is still on for today, with Nf'w Braunfels High able to clinch a playoff berth. See Page 8 _ _    ifi/92/99 MO O'*    .„T,jr micpopubltsht 7701 bpookhollow PL- I us 410 SO-WEST TX , 0 0 6 SUITE 300 APLINGTON*    ^    ^ twist to traditional dinner You know the usual Easter scenario — the children have eaten all of their chocolate bunnies and hunted down all the eggs. Easter grass and egg shells lay scattered across the floor. In the midst of this chaos, new you have to being preparing an Easter meal. See Wednesday’s Kaleidoscope New Braunfels J.U.L <»—mSi Vol. 137, No. 92 707 Landa St., New Braunfels, Texas 78130 (LISPS 377-880) 512-625-9144 Zeitung Tuesday March 21, 1989 25 Cents One Section, 12 PagesPair launch drive to combine tax offices By STEPHANIE DAVIS Staff Writer Two county commissioners will launch a campaign in April to consolidate tax assessing and collecting on the county level for entities in the Comal Appraisal District, announced the commissioners Monday. “It is to simplify and to save money,” said Precinct 2 Commissioner Neil Craigmile. “We would be remiss if we did not get it in front of the voters,” said Precinct 4 Commissioner Clyde Jacobs. “And it will be the voters who will decide. Rather than waiting for the Legislature to mandate something ... we can get it done now.” The Texas State Property Tax Code slates qualified voters can submit a petition — within 30 days of its inception — to the chief appraiser requiring an election to determine whether the appraisal district, the county assessor-collector, or a specified taxing unit of the appraisal district will assess, collect, or assess and collect property taxes on property appraised by the district for all taxing units. Ten percent of eligible voters must sign the petition to make it valid, which means approximately 3,000 voters need to sign local petitions. “I have the utmost confidence that we will not have any problem” getting 3,000 signa tures, Craigmile said. Craigmile and Jacobs are circulating the petitions, lf the petition is validated, the election will be in August. “I think centralized tax collection is a thing of the future,” Jacobs said recently. “There will be a significant savings in money in a number of areas” including no duplication of computer costs, ongoing maintenance, and postage. Gloria Clennan, Comal County assessor and collector of taxes, made a proposal in May 1987, claiming thousands of dollars could be saved by consolidation. She projected approximately $353,800 could be saved in the first year of consolidation. “This is not a partisan issue, this is a nonpartisan issue,” Craigmile said. “We are looking to do a service for all of the taxpayers in Comal County and this does not have party affiliation.” The consolidation proposal has been presented to the Comal County Republican Men’s Club, Garden Ridge Republican Women’s Club, Canyon Lake Republican Women’s Club and the Comal County Republican Women’s Club, Craigmile said, adding he will talk to the Democratic Party soon. Other local entities collecting taxes include Comal Appraisal District, which assesses and collects taxes for Comal Independent School District; Comal County, which assesses and collects taxes for Edwards Underground Water District, York Creek Improvement District, City of Garden Ridge, Comal County Water Oriented Recreation District and arca fire districts; and New Braunfels Independent School District which collects for the City of New Braunfels. Jacobs said recently taxing entities should say, ‘“Let’s get it done.’ I would expect that,” he said. “(Tax collcctor-assessor) is an elected offi-See TAXES, Page 2 Good day Stammtisch Commissioners OK order to control illicit businesses Sexually oriented businesses can’t locate within 2,500 feet of churches, child care facilities, hospitals, schools or other public buildings in Comal County, according to an order passed Monday by commissioners. The order, enacted during a regular meeting of the court, is preceded by a 1980 Comal County resolution calling for a three-mile buffer between sexually oriented businesses and other dwellings. Commissioners noted in a Feb. 27 public hearing the three-mile criteria wouldn’t stand up legally in court. “That’s prohibitive for a legitimate massage parlor or anything like that,” said Precinct 2 Commissioner Neil Craigmile. “It’s the illicit that we’re trying to get at, not the legitimate. They must be permitted, they must apply for a permit... now we know who they are and where they are.” The order, which is effective May I, is patterned after Harris County’s ordinance and proposed locally by Craigmile. The proposal came in light of Bexar County’s crackdown on sex shops located fewer than 30 miles away from New Braunfels. Commissioners proposed during the Feb. 27 public hearing to regulate businesses within 1,500 feet, but residents overwhelmingly wanted at least a 2,500-foot buffer. The sheriff is responsible for inspecting and issuing permits for the businesses. Upon receiving the permit application, the sheriff will investigate the proposed premise to ensure it complies with location requirements set in the order. The business is required to display the permit at all Se* ORDER, Page 2 Appraisal district board votes to use extra funds to pay debt Comal Appraisal District board of directors voted unanimously Monday night to use the 1988 fund balance of $84,0Q0 to pay off debt and other line items.    ■ The $26,937 long-term debt of the district — incurred by the computer system — was paid off with carryover funds. Garden Ridge Mayor Walter Yohey asked the board to return the carryover money back to the entities which fund the appraisal district. Directors failed to vote that way. < “We would have simply had to turn around and put that as an expense into our 1990 budget and then the taxing entities would have to take that money that we just gave back to them and give it back to us so we could spend," said Chief Appraiser Richard Rhodes. “So, it’s a wash.” Garden Ridge would have gotten back approximately $453, Rhodes said. “By taking that $27,000 and paying off the computer system we won’t have any debt service payments in this SM DISTRICT, Pag* 2 Thrifts set record of $12.1 billion loss WASHINGTON (AP) — The battered savings and loan industry lost a {X)st-Depression record $12.1 billion last year arui is facing a continued drain in 1989 from rising interest rates, the government said today. The Federal Home Loan Bank Board said the nation’s 2,949 S&Ls lost $2.3 billion in the fourth quarter, pushing red ink for the year well past the previous record of $7.8 billion set in 1987. The bank board said the heaviest losses continue to be concentrated in just a few institutions, with the 20 most-troubled institutions losing $2 billion in the fourth quarter. For Ute year, the 12 percent of Ute industry that is insolvent lost $14.8 billion, more than swamping Ute $2.7 billion earned by solvent institutions. 'Hie agency also said the number of insolvent institutions at year-end declined for the first Ume in Ute decade from 520 at the end of 1987 to 364 at the end of 1988. That was the result of another post-Depression record of 223 S&L closings and government-assisted mergers. James Barth, chief economist of the bank board, said rising interest rates in 1989 would be “obviously adverse, not good." “Operating income should be lower across the board for all thrifts in the first and second quarters,” Barth said. Much of 1988’s red ink was old in the sens; that institutions finally got around to recognizing bad loans that had long ago gone sour. Analysts are divided over how many more loan losses remain hidden in failed, but still open, institutions, but they are unanimous that it will be tougher titan last year for lite profitable segment of the industry to make a dollar. “We may see less of a problem in the actual numbers for 1989 because .„ some of the writedowns should have run their course,” said economist Marlin Regalia of the National Council of Savings institutions. “But for the profitable two-lhiids of the industry ... it’s not going to be as easy as last yam and last year wasn’t all that easy " The problem is interest rates. Savings and loans make their money by borrowing short-term, SM THRIFTS, Page 2 Armed robber hits convenience store An armed robber walked into Comer Stop convenience store Monday night, held the clerk at gunpoint and stole approximately $200, according to a New Braunfels Police Department spokesman. “Some guy came in wearing a ski mask, trench coat, carrying a revolver and pushed her (clerk) around a little bit," said police spokesman Martin Mayer. No one but the clerk was in the store, located in the 2700 block of U.S. 81 West, at the time of the robbery, Mayer said. “He fired off a round in the store,” Mayer said. “The report indicates it may have gone off by accident, but he shot a hole in one of the coolers.” Police got a call from the clerk at 8:25 p.m. A witness saw the robber running toward town, Mayer said. The assailant is described as approximately 5-fect, 4-in-chcs tall and weighing approximately 150 pounds. Anyone with information about the robbery should call the New Braunfels Police Department at 625-7181 or Crime Stoppers at 620-TIPS. Oh, hail Frigid temperatures ushered in spring last night and brought hail to the area along with rain and high winds. Tomorrow’s forecast looks better, though, with a high Wednesday in the 60s with sunny skies. Thursday should be partly cloudy and somewhat warmer still. Tonight’s low is expected to drop into the low 40s or upper 30s. Inside: CLASSIFIED.............................9-11 COMICS.........................................4 CROSSWORD...............................3 DEAR ABBY...............................12 HOROSCOPE................................3 SPORTS......................................8-9 TV LISTINGS.................................3 WEATHER.....................................2 A representative from the Social Security Administration will be in room 215 of the Comal County Courthouse Annex from 9 a.m. to noon Wednesday. Call the toll-free number, 1-800-234-5772, to make an appointment and find out what information you should take to your appointment. Much Social Security business — including change of address, card information, direct deposit, and claim filing — can be handled by phone 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For more information about Medicare claims, call 1-800-442-2620. For details on Medicare Catastrophic Insurance premiums, deductibles, and coverage, call 1-800-888-1770. For Medicare tax questions, call 1-800-424-1040.... Popular Big Band and Jazz sounds will be the bill for tonight’s Big Band-Blechschaden concert at 7:30 p.m. at Heidelberg Halle. Blechschadcn was formed in 1977 in Luneburg, Germany, and has played internationally. The concert is sponsored by the German-American Society of New Braunfels and proceeds will benefit the society’s scholarship fund. Tickets are $4 for adults and $2 for students and are available at Centex Office Center, Hennc Hardware, and New Braunfels Juwclier and at the door tonight. For more information, call Hclgard Suhr at 625-6330.... Members of the New Braunfels High School Class of 1934 met recently to finalize plans for their 55th class reunion, which will be May 27. Members of the committee are Nolan Zipp, Lucille Sircuer, Howard Schneider, Marcella Seffel, Rudolph Koch, Florence Holden and Ema Schwab.... There are now job possibilities for women in the highway construction industry. The Highway Construction for Women Program will be recruiting women for referral to highway construction jobs in the San Antonio area in April. The positions include form setters, concrete finishers, steel reinforcers, carpenters, truck drivers and general construction laborers. The Highway Construction for . Women Program staff is interested in talking with women who may desire the new challenge of “nontraditional" work. Interested Sm STAMMTISCH, Page 2 County agrees to pay $4,275 prosecution bill Werner Rahe, who lives on 256 S. Krueger, proved this morning that weather forecasters are right some of the time. Predictions warned that some hail would come out of last night’s cold front... and it did. Pea- to mothball-size hail fell at the Rahe home about 7:15 this morning and did some damage to his tomato plants. The forecast Calls for cloudy skies and cold temperatures today with a low tonight in the 40s. Wednesday should be warmer, with no hail, with a high in the 60s. (Photo by Deryl Clark) It cost Comal County more than $4,(XX) to prosecute Comal County Court-At-Law Judge Ron Prichard and his wife following their highly-publicized arrest in September, according to the attorney’s bill. Commissioners court voted Monday to approve the payment of $4,275 to Austin lawyer Andrew Forsythe, who prosecuted the case. The bill delivered to the county Feb. 21 was for 34.2 hours al a rate of $125 an hour. Commissioners expressed concern during last week’s meeting about the bill and amount of hours spent on a misdemeanor charge. The court isn’t required to first approve hiring a special prosecutor. "I certainly question whether it takes 34 hours to prepare a case for prosecution for a misdemeanor offense,” said Precinct 2 Commissioner Neil Craigmile. “I don’t think we have any choice — we have to pay the bill. “In the prosecution of the misdc- s rncanor it seems to mc that if this was a defense that’s one thing, but in this '-case it was the county prosecuting and* it was for the prosecutors to come up with their case," he said. Precinct 3 Commissioner Patricio “Pat” Hernandez said 34 hours was excessive. Ronald and Darlene Prichard were arrested Sept. 9 in Sattler and charged with public intoxication and disorder-^ ly conduct. Mrs. Prichard also was* charged with assaulting a peace offic- See COUNTY, Page 2 Andrew Forsythe ;

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