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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung: Thursday, January 28, 1999 - Page 1

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   New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - January 28, 1999, New Braunfels, Texas                                NEW HERALD 7 ft ITUNG Vol 148 No 50 14 pages in 1 section January HPlLtT TTJ Comal County since 1852 50 cents Help is in sight ROBIN S Grant Smith ophthalmologist and president of New Braunfels Vision Center checks out glaucoma patient Hank Manross right Glaucoma is an blinding but treatable eye disease that silently damages the optic nerve with virtually no symptoms until it sets in January has been designated as Glaucoma Awareness Month New program revealing signs symptoms of glaucoma BY HEATHER TODD tStaff Writer A debilitating yet painless disease strikes millions of Americans each year but almost half of them do not know it Glaucoma is a blinding but treatable disease that silently damages the optic nerve with virtually no symptoms until it is too late S Grant Smith a local ophthalmologist and president of New Braunfels Vision Center is a participant hi the Glau coma 2001 program a public service effort of the American Academy of Ophthal mology to help Americans open their eyes to the risk factors of glaucoma Smith said the program would help pro vide medical care to local residents who might not have access to an ophthalmolo gist Residents can call Glaucoma 2001s Helpline and they will be asked specific HELPLINE Anyone who thinks they may be at risk for glaucoma can call the Glaucoma 2001 line tollfree at 800 391EYES About million Americans age 40 and older have primary glaucoma questions If they are found to be at risk for glaucoma they will be assigned to a doc tor to be screened for the he said Persons can call the Glaucoma 2001 tollfree number 800 391EYES to check if they are at moderate to high risk for the disease About million Americans age 40 and older have primary openangle glau coma the most prevalent type and to Americans are legally blind as a result of the disease according to statistics from the American Academy of Ophthalmology An additional people become blinded by the disease each year and Americans are visually unpaired as the result of glaucoma The eye disease generally strikes Amer icans older than 50 years of age and caus es vision loss over time by damaging the structure that transmits visual information from the eye to the brain January is Glaucoma Awareness Month Ophthalmologists nationwide are promot ing their most effective weapon against this debilitating and awareness Smith said if a Helpline caller was found to be atrisk for the disease but did not have an insurance plan or an existing physi cian then the fees for a medical eye exam ination and any necessary treatment for See Smith gets call from county on water rights BY CHRIS CREWS Staff Writer Comal County officials enlisted help from Washington this week in their effort to obtain water rights for summer recreation purposes County Judge Danny Scheel asked Con gressman Lamar Smith for his help in secur ing a twofoot recreational pool level at Canyon Lake Scheel said the county and the Water Oriented Recreation District then could control flow in the Guadalupe River during the summer recreation season That two feet of water would give us a steady 300 cubic feet per second in the summer season and the impact if any would be negligible on counties Scheel said Smith said he would personally make a tele phone call to the Army Corps of Engineers to see if he could get the project moving SMITH They are in the business of being respon sive to citizens I dont know why they are not willing to be Smith said The release from Canyon Dam is con trolled by the Corps when the lake level is at 909 feet above mean sea level At lower lev els the release rate is determined by the GuadalupeBlanco River Authority Scheel said GBRA supported the countys efforts but the Corps could not get off dead center in helping establish the pool See Senate extends trial calling for witnesses Lewinsky two others to testify WASHINGTON AP The Republicancontrolled Senate blocked dismissal of the impeachment case against President Clinton on Wednes day and then voted for new testimony from Monica Lewinsky and two other by margins well short of the twothirds that would be needed to oust the president hi a pair of roll calls in the hushed Senate chamber all 55 Republicans voted against dismissal and for the wit nesses opposed by the White House They were joined by a single Democrat Russell Feingold of Wisconsin leaving them far below the 67 needed for con viction The president will not be removed from Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle declared moments later in comments swiftly seconded by the White House For the good of the country and in keeping with the Con stitution it is now time to end mis Even before the votes Daschle and Majority Leader Trent Lott were at work trying to fashion a bipartisan agreement for the balance of the trial including videotaped depositions of Ms Lewinsky presidential friend Ver non Jordan and White House aide Sid ney Blumenthal By late afternoon Lott told reporters the two parties had exchanged offers and he said he was hopeful for ment by Thursday on a timetable for a final vote on the articles of impeach ment by midFebruary He suggested the witness depositions possibly videotaped could take place over the weekend or Monday and left open the question of whether the White House might then decide it wanted wit Monica Lewinsky is one of three witnesses in the impeachment case called to testify by the Senate nesses of its own There was no debate on the Senate floor before Wednesdays two votes but numerous senators issued written statements afterward I believe it is premature to dismiss this case at the present said Richard Shelby an Alabama Republi can who had previously expressed mis givitigs aboUt He believed the prosecution should Be allowed the opportunity to demonstrate whether there is new and significant information that would justify live tes By calling witnesses House prose cutors hope to obtain evidence relating to their charges that Clinton sought to obstruct justice by persuading Ms Lewinsky to sign a false affidavit hi the Paula Jones sexual harassment law by giving his aides false infor mation about his relationship with Ms Lewinsjcy to take to the grand jury Judy Smith a spokeswoman for Ms Lewinsky who was in California said the former intern would comply with the subpoena once issued WORD board restores its 4 percent motel tax BY CHRIS CREWS Staff Writer Water Oriented Recreation District directors voted 51 Wednesday to restore a 4 percent tax on motels and bed and breakfasts in the district The action came after a vote by Comal County Commissioners two weeks ago that vetoed WORDS request to raise taxes to pay for law enforce ment on the Guadalupe River this sum mer County Judge Danny Scheel said the veto was not a repudiation of WORDS attempt to raise taxes on river users to pay for the law enforcement Instead it was a request for WORD to review the section dealing with motel and home rentals WORD raised taxes on all water recreation campgrounds and lodging to raise more than for law enforcement during the summer recre ation season which runs from May through September WORD General Manager Jim Inman noted the commissioners court voted 50 to send the proposal back to WORD for consideration I genuinely hope that they will vote it back in by a 50 Inman said Commissioners will vote on the WORD proposal at a special meeting at Friday at the courthouse INSIDE Key witnesses in Ingram trial dispute companys claims BY HEATHER TODD Staff Writer SMITHSON VALLEY Two key wit nesses in Ingram Readymix appli cation hearing disputed Jngramfc claims about planned water use and air quality control at a proposed plant site off Texas Highway 46 Mike Hunt a local environmental engi neer and John Ashworth a former member of the Texas Water Development board both testified Tuesday as expert witnesses in the fight against the cement manufacturers application for a standard exemption Ingram Readymix is proposing to build a new concrete baich plant west of the Texas 46 and US 281 intersection about one mile from three Comal Independent School Dis trict schools a Christian school and three day cares If toe Texas Natural Resource Cojjseryation Commission grants Ingram Readymix the standard exemption the company would be authorized to construct the new plant under ringent regulatory standards The official hearing is conducted by the TNRCC but presided over by administrative law judge Kerry Sullivan appointed by the Texas State Office of Administrative Hear ings Based on the evidence presented Sulli van will make a recommendation to three TNRCC commissioners who then will decide whether Ingram Readymix gets its exemption Hunt testified as a key witness for Citi zens League for Environmental Action Now a group of CISD and Bulverde residents rep resented by Austin attorney Stewart Henry Hunt said he disagreed with air enusstans data represented in Ingnunls acpuTfltion bawd on his own air dispersion model An air dispersion model is used to esti mate of dust concentration transferred off the plant site A manufac turers calculated emissions rate is factored into an air dispersion model Gary Johnson vice president of Ingram Readymix testified Monday the proposed plant would have a Total Suspended Particu late rate of 227 tons per year which is less than the legal requirement 25 tons per   

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