Tuesday, January 26, 1999

New Braunfels Herald Zeitung

Location: New Braunfels, Texas

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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - January 26, 1999, New Braunfels, Texas NEW PELS 20332 11009 SOWEST MICROPUBl I SUING 2627 E Y9NDELL DR ppso TX HERALDZEITUNG Vol 148 No 48 12 pages in 1 section January 26 1999 TUESDAY Serving Coma County since 1852 50 cents 135 wreck kills man FROM STAFF REPORTS An East Texas man died in a onevehicle accident Sunday on Interstate 35 in New Braunfels Local officials said it was the first traffic fatality of the year in the city Police reported Jerry Lee Hovens 56 of Gladewater was pinned under his 1986 Inter national 3 ton truck that flipped twice and landed in the median in the 3200 block of 135 South The report showed Hovens apparently lost control of the vehicle while traveling southbound on the interstate Precinct No 1 Justice of the Peace Diana Campos pro nounced Hovens dead at the scene Wind pulls men from trailer ROBIN Dora Estrada fourth from left helps New Braunfels emergency response personnel by holding a fluid bag while they treat an acci dent victim Monday afternoon on Interstate 35 Two road construction employees apparently were thrown from a trailer by a wind gust BY CHRIS CREWS Staff Writer A wind gust apparently ripped two men and road signs from a trailer Monday afternoon on Interstate 35 in New Braunfels Law enforce ment officials called it a freak The men were seriously injured and taken to area hos pitals for treatment Both men were thrown from a flatbed trailer travel ing north on 135 about mile north of Ruckle Road at The trailer was pulled by a pickup truck belonging to a local construction company and carried road construction signs Witnesses and officials said they believed a strong gust of wind pulled the signs and the men from the trailer The men landed on the roadway Offi cials said the injuries the men sustained most likely were from the landing and they did not believe the men were struck by oncoming motorists An Airlife helicopter landed on the northbound lanes of I 35 about 4 and trans ported a 32yearold Poteet man to University Hospital in San Antonio The man was reported in critical condition late Monday evening New Braunfels EMS trans ported a 46yearold San cos man to McKenna Memo rial Hospital His condition was unknown at press time The men were employed by Dean Word Company of New Braunfels The Texas Depart ment of Transportation con tracted with Dean Word Com pany for work on the 135 expansion project Company president Dean Word said he was extremely distraught and hoped both men would recover Mr Smith goes to NB Congressman vows to help Comal County in tobacco fund battle BY CHRIS CREWS Staff Writer Congressman Lamar Smith promised Comal County commissioners Monday he would help the county hold on to more than it received from the states settlement with the tobacco companies Smith RSanAntonio said the federal gov ernment might use a provision in the Social Secu rity Act to claim up to 40 percent of the funds the states won from their lawsuits against the tobac co companies This is a money grab by the federal govern ment and we are against Smith told coun ty commissioners County Judge Danny Scheel asked for Smiths assistance in helping the county hold on to the funds it had been allotted by the state He said the the county received this year had been earmarked for indigent health care County Auditor David Renken said the coun ty spent on indigent care in 1997 but collected only in property tax revenue to cover indigent expenses The county transferred from the gen eral operating fund to the indigent health fund in 1998 to make up the difference in health care costs Smith said he would join other house members to cosponsor legislation presented by Mike Bili rakis RFlorida to prohibit the Secretary of Health and Human Services from forcing Med icaidrelated funds recovered as part of the set tlement to be returned to the federal government WHAT HE SAID On obtaining approximately million to build floodwater control dams on tributaries of the Guadalupe River If FEMA cant fund the dams then we will go straight to On encouraging the Army Corps of Engineers to work with county officials to establish a water reserve in Canyon Lake for summer recreation Ill call the Corps myself They are in the business of being responsive to On President Clintons State of the Union address He took credit for balancing the budget Unless Im missing something this is the same president who vetoed the first two balanced budget see Lawmaker Trial likely to end in compromise ROBIN Above Rep Lamar Smith talks with Robert West on Monday Top Cristabell West listens to Smiths luncheon speech BY BILL OCONNELL Staff Writer A Washington lawmaker told New Braunfels Republican Women on Monday he expected the impeachment trial of President Clinton to end in a compromise Representative Lamar Smith the key speaker at NBRWs 35th annual membership luncheon said he doubted the historic proceed ings would result in Clintons removal from office I think it is very likely mere will be some sort of Smith said adding that censure was a possible alternative to impeachment Even as Republicans and Democrats in Wash ington argued Monday over the calling of wit nesses in the first presidential impeachment tri al in 131 years Smith said the final decision should not be hastened in an effort to put the mat ter to rest Some Washington lawmakers have suggested ending the trial to prevent it from tak ing more time The San Antonio Republican said he wanted to see the trial reach a conclusion before senators considered censuring the president SeeTRIAU3 JOHNSON Hearing begins with arguments detailed testimony in Ingram debate BY HEATHER TODD Staff Writer SMTTHSON VALLEY An official hearing on Ingram Readymix Companys plans for a new con crete batch plant opened Monday with detailed testimony on the concrete manufac turers air emissions and planned water usage Opening arguments from both sides of the debate were heard before administrative law judge Kerry Sullivan and a crowd of about 25 residents at the Guadalupe Valley Telephone Cooperative auditorium Area residents requested the formal hear ing conducted by the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission after Ingram sought a standard exemption from the TNRCC A standard exemption would allow Ingram Readymix to construct a new plant in the Spring Branch and Smithson Val ley area near Texas Highway 46 just one mile from three Comal Independent School District schools During his opening arguments Bill Zeis an attorney repre senting Ingram Readymix said information provided by Ingram Readymix would prove air quality control measures of the pro posed plant would exceed technical and legal requirements of a standard A standard exemption is authorized by the TNRCC as a less stringent standard for facilities with lower air emissions The gen eral rule for determining whether a manufacturer can apply for a standard exemption if air emissions must be less than 25 tons per year TNRCC representatives said We will also provide information that will show that the plant will be able to operate its pollution control equipment along with its concrete production within the limits of available Zeis said Stewart Henry an Austinbased environmental attorney rep resenting a local citizens group said evidence would prove not enough water was available at the proposed site for the plants production and pollution control Henry also said Ingrams planned location for the new plant would be a safety hazard to school buses and drivers along Texas 46 The local group Citizens League for Environmental Action Now and CISD board members voiced concern about the impact of the plants location on air quality water usage and traffic along Texas 46 Gary Johnson vice president of Ingram Readymix Company testified as an expert witness on the operations of a concrete manufacturing plant Johnson testified Ingram voluntarily submitted a PIS form See Friedens Church fires pastor 38 days after voting to keep her BYBlUOCONNBU Staff Writer United Church of Christ fired its senior minister Sunday 38 days alter church members voted to retain her in the wake of a misdemeanor theft con viction in Comal County Church members voted 16756 Sunday to terminate Ardie Kendigs employment at the church Kendig 45 had been senior minister at the church since 1990 think the vote shows the congregation was ready for a Friedens Church council member Diane Wallace said Kendig could not be reached for com ment on Monday Some Friedens Church members objected to Sundays vote saying the church council did not notify the congregation of another vote on Kendigs employment Im very unhappy about it I think it was very unjust and church member Dorothy Timmerraann said Wallace said tbe vote on Keudigla employ ment was added to tbe agenda during the meeting which was not a violation of the churchs constitution This was a regularly called congrega tional meeting Any item of concern to the church can be put on the Wallace said Several members of die congregation said they were satisfied Friedens Church offi cially ended its relationship with Kendig who WBII placed on two years probation in December 1998 after a misdemeanor theft conviction in Comal County CourtatLaw Kendig received a fiveyear probation sen tence in Hawaii in 1997 after pleading no contest to a felony theft charge in Honolulu County Kendig was placed on paid leave and will continue to receive her salary for the next three months Wallace said During a special congregational meeting on Dec 16 Friedens Church members vot ed 152105 in favor of releasing Kendig Although most church members in atten dance voted to fire her i the margin was 19 votes shy of the 171 required for a two muds majority mandated by church bylaws INSIDE i ti