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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - February 4, 1999, New Braunfels, Texas NEW PELS 0 3 2 6 YllKO TX HERALDZEITUNG Vol 148 No 55 14 pages in 1 section February THURSDAY since 1852 50 cents Investigators hot on trail of Officials six downtown businesses affected by suspicious four offices believed to be damaged BY BILL OCONNELL AND CHRIS CREWS Staff Writers An early morning blaze damaged four downtown businesses and closed two others in what fire officials called sus picious City state and federal fire officials pored over the scene for more than IS hours Wednesday in an attempt to deter mine a cause The alarm came in just before 3 am in the 100 block of North Castell Avenue Three engine units and one EMS unit responded and the fire was under control within 20 minutes said City Fire Marshal Elroy Friesenhahn No injuries were reported All six businesses in the strip shopping center remained closed Wednesday as the area was cordoned off because it was a suspected crime Friesenhahn said He said witnesses had made state ments but specific suspects had not yet been identified Friesenhahn said Bart Mora an agent with the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms said Were here at the request of the New Braunfels Fire fire Young also was at the scene to inspect some electrical hardware as a possible igni tion Friesenhahn said the fire started in the managers office of First Plaza Finance and moved through Security Finance Window Treatments By Ottie and Flow ers By Sharon through a common attic Damage was estimated between and Two other business in the strip For Kids Again and Alternative Copier Com pany were separated from the other busi nesses by a fire wall Friesenhahn said he had not inspected those stores for possi ble damage Friesenhahn said he was leaning toward allowing the business owners to return to their properties today Its frustrating not knowing what to said Anne Swaney who manages Security Finance a loan company at 142 ROBIN New Braunfels Fire Department employees pull down extra extension cords from their tanker truck on Wednesday morning City fire officials said the blaze began at First Plaza Finance 140 N Castell and caused minor fire damage to Security Finances offices which are next door Swaney said she was alerted about the situation by phone early Wednesday morning and arrived at the scene about 4 Ill just wait and she said Others said they were thankful as they watched investigators pore over the fires aftermath I could have lost said Debbie Reiley owner of For Kids Again a childrens clothing and accessories resale shop at 138 N Castell Ave Reiley said she had opened for busi ness in November and intended to repair the smoke damage Reiley said the store would be open again soon ROBIN Above owners of the businesses in the 100 block of North Castell Avenue discuss their options Wednesday morning as state and local fire investigators examine the Finance REACTION Its frustrating not know ing what to Anne Swaney Security Finance Loan manager could have lost every Debbie Reiley For Kids Again owner Im going to aim for next she said The structures cornerstone identified it as the Palace Theater building erected in 1924 The building is on the east side of North Castell Avenue between West Mill and West San Antonio streets William Davis speaks to Memorial Intermediate students Wednesday inside the school library part of a Black Heritage Month presentation Davis shared some of his accomplishments in the field of science and emphasized the Importance of getting an education ROBIN HeraldZeitung Speaker shares his heritage with students Memorial Intermediate studies black history BY HEATHER TODD Staff Writer What do instant mashed potatoes and the Twist have in common A visitor to Memorial Intermediate on Wednesday would know the answer African Amer icans invented them both Fourth and fifthgrade students at Memo rial Intermediate also learned the answer to that many more dur ing the schoolfe Black Heritage Month activ ities More than 350 students participated in activities to increase awareness of African American history and the impact of black culture on our nation Librarian Gloria Kolacek organized the Black Heritage Month activities in con junction with Black History Month in Feb ruary We wanted to help students celebrate black culture and the importance it has played throughout she said We had all the students participating by rotating through 30 minute William C Davis a scientist educator and humanitarian told a room full of cap tivated students about his accomplishments in science and the importance of getting an education At this age you are all curious about how things work It is that curiosity you have right now that might provide the cure for many diseases at this time or create some new form of he said Davis earned his doctorate degree in bio chemistry at the University of Idaho cur rently teaches at St Philips College and works with the University of Texas at San Antonio Health Sciences Center Davis described his early interest in sci ence which was sparked when he was 6 and his memories of the first radios and televisions in his hometown We have all these things now that are a See New Canyon athletic director will be hired Friday BY PKTER BROWN Sports Editor Comal Independent School Dis trict trustees are expected to hire a new athletic director for Canyon High School on Friday A candidate for the Canyon High School football letic director been chosen committee charged with recommending an applicant CHS principal Will CiSD Superintendent Jerry Major will present the recom mendation to trustees at a noon meeting Friday at the district administration building 1421 N Business 35 We hod an excellent selection of candidates from throughout the Krieg said I feel like this person will do us an excellent job at this school The position opened in Janu ary when Carl Gustafson left to take a similar position at San Antonio Churchill his alma mater Krieg said about 50 applica tions were received for the posi tion from which the committee selected 10 applicants to be inter viewed The HeraldZeitung requested a list of the 10 finalists but did not receive it by press time on Thursday Two of those selected for inter views backed out of the process while eight were interviewed ear Her this week Krieg said a rec ommendation had been reached INSIDE City sets up master plan hearing BY BlU OCONNEU Staff Writer City planners have set Feb 16 as the date for a public hearing on New Braunfels1 comprehensive plan an extensive document intended to serve as a guide for development in the next 20 years Written by a national consulting city policies on several toy issues including transportation economic development land use and awing and historic preservation It is a vision of what our commu nity wants to see into the next mil Mayor Jan Kennedy said Two public hearings will be ducted before the plan can be adopted as city policy The Feb 16 meeting will be conducted by the planning and zoning commission Another hearing will be conducted before New Braunfels city council probably on March 22 See
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