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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung: Friday, March 5, 1999 - Page 1

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   New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - March 5, 1999, New Braunfels, Texas                                NEW FELS 20332 72 SO WEST HICROPU 2627 E YflNDELL DR TX 79903 tL TX 79903 HERALDZEITUNG Vol 148 No 75 26 pages in 2 sections March FRIDAY Serving Gomal County since 1852 50 cents Paragon plugs in Cable television system expected to replace TCI as areas service provider BY BILL OCONNELL Staff Writer Paragon Cable is expected to take command of the New Braunfels cable market by midApril city officials said Thursday TCI Cablevision reportedly will abandon the New Braunfels market on April 12 The companys departure was said to be part of an exchange agreement that would give Time Warner Paragons parent company access to TCI markets in Texas in exchange for TCIs acquisition of Time Warnercontrolled markets in Oregon and Mon tana Its never easy giving up something youve operated and been a part of but its a business and that outweighs any sentimental said TCI Cablevision regional man ager Charles Hembree New Braunfels city officials said they expected Paragon to enter the local market and start work on improving cable service as soon as TCI leaves All indications are that they have plans to upgrade the cable service in this assistant to the city manager Don Ferguson said Meetings between city and Paragon officials since December led to an agreement that would give the Time Warner company access to the New Braunfels market Were very excited about offering the many services we have to New Paragon president Navarra Williams said Paragon Cable presently serves about house holds in the San Antonio area Williams said The cable companys longrange plans for New Braunfels include expanding the number of channels available he said The switch from TCI to Paragon would not affect New Braunfels cable viewers in 1999 City officials said talks with Paragon indicated upgrades in local cable service probably would not be seen until late 2000 Pricing changes and the availability of Paragon channels would not occur locally until Paragon crews installed fiber optic lines throughout New Braunfels Williams declined to say when the fiber optic installa tion would be completed I cant speculate on he said TCI Cablevision has been New Braunfels cable provider since the late 1980s The company was recently pur chased by a takeover that was expected to receive official approval from the federal government by the end of March The transfer of local cable service in New Braunfels was contingent upon city officials formally releasing TCI from its current franchise agreement New Braunfels City L HOBIN TCI technician Mark Sandifer makes adjustments to a cable box at the Westshore apartment complex on Thursday TCI reportedly will abandon the New Braunfels market on April 12 as part of an exchange agree ment with Time Warner parent company of Paragon Cable Paragon currentlyserves albout in the San Antonio area including Garden Ridge CABLE COMPARISON TCI Cablevision vs Paragon Cable Basic service TCI 35 Paragon 20 channels Expanded service TCI 39 Paragon 4563 channels Digital cable TCI 87 Paragon varies depends on channels selected Fiber optic cable TCI not available Paragon 78 channels Installation TCI each additional Paragon each additional outlet Council on Monday was scheduled to perform the first of three required readings of an ordinance granting the release The third and final reading reportedly would occur April 12 Williams said Paragon coiMabsofb th6New Braunfels market as soon as the deal between TCI and the city is Paragon officials plan to connect New Braunfels to the San Antonio market via fiber optics Paragon already provides cable service to Schertz and recently acquired the Garden Ridge area Williams said Paragon eventually would offer New Braunfels residents the same channels and prices available to San Antonio cable viewers Paragon officials first have to map the New Braunfels market and estimate the amount of additional fiber optic wiring needed before determining when full service could be available Williams said Until then New Braunfels res idents should not expect to see any significant changes TCI Cablevision officials said talks with their counter parts at Paragon led them to believe New Braunfels area TCI employees would be able to keep their jobs TCI currently operates a New Braunfels office at 160 Highway 81 West The company also has a cable adver tising office in the city Fire is out but another begins BY CHRIS CREWS Staff Writer The Comal County Commission ers Court heard the words they had been waiting for The fire is Sheriff Bob Hold er told the group about on Thursday The fire he referred to was a grass fire that scorched more than acres near Fischer in northern Comal and southern Hays counties The fire began Sunday afternoon and remained alive through winddri ven flareups through Thursday morn ing More than 100 firefighters and other workers from 21 agencies responded to the blaze officials said No injuries were reported and only one structure a barn was destroyed in the fire Capt Jeff Murray of the Canyon Lake said that a crew led by Chief Doug Rogers extinguished the last flare ups Thursday morning Many of the firefighters had been on the scene almost continuously since being called out on Sunday But less than 30 minutes after Rogers and his crew returned to the station from the Fischer site they were called to a new brush fire near the intersection of FarmtoMarket Road 306 and Hoff man Lane at That fire covered about two acres and there were no injuries or structures lost officials said Crews remained at the scene until after 6 on Thursday The New Braunfels Fire Depart Mayoral race gets candidate Williams becomes first to file for seat BY BILL OCONNELL Staff Writer A 33yearold mechanical con tractor announced plans Thursday to run for mayor of New Braunfels Stoney Williams filed for the May 1 city election and as of Thursday afternoon was the only candidate for the mayors race The deadline to file for the election is March 17 The mayoral candidate said he believed population and industrial growth would be among the most critical issues facing the city over the next three years City residents will elect the next mayor to a threeyear term beginning May 1999 and ending May 2002 Youve got to have controlled Williams said The University of Texas graduate and New Braunfels native pointed to the citys appearance in a March 8 Time magazine story about attracj tive vacation spots as prime evU dence that the local population will continue to grow New Braunfels in a Time Braunfels because people see it as a good place to vacation and Williams said Providing services like police pro tection and garbage pickup for the citys growing numbers could be effectively addressed through the pending comprehensive plan sched uled for final approval by city offi cials in April or May Williams said he believed the current comprehen sive plan for managing city resources adopted in 1977 was never fully uti lized Many of the things that were in the plan back then were never imple he said Williams added that he supported the continued recruitment of clean industry like plastics and computer parts manufacturers although he said See New Braunfels Fire Department captain Darren Brinkkoeter checks in with command as he scouts out hot spots Tuesday in Fischer County authorities report ed the fire to be out on Thursday but another grass fire began later in the day ROBIN HeratiZeitung Canyon Lake woman wins million in Lotto Texas BY HEATHER TOOD Staff Writer Edna L Finke of Canyon Lake is million richer after she bought one of two winning tickets in Wednesdays Lotto Texas drawing Circle K No 789 in Startzville and a store in Houston sold winning tickets for the million jackpot Tile Texas Lottery Commission announced it traced the winning tickets to the two stores but only Finke had claimed her prize Finke bought a quickpick ticket that matched all six numbers She said her plans for the money included sharing it with her ter and supporting two charities Other than pay off my debts I want to give something to Feed the Finke said 1 also want to give to the Salvation Army I thing The winning numbers were and 33 Mike Gomez manager of the Circle K store said it was the first time the store sold a winning ticket for the Lotto jackpot A spokesman for the Texas Lot tery Commission said both winners chose the cash value option which entitled them to each By taking the cash value option they agreed to take bow much we have at this time which is said Pat Overton with the Texas Lottery Commission If they would have received million each during a 25year period Overton said identification num a winning ticket back to the store where it was purchased although the identity of the winners was not known until they claimed the prizes The win in the Canyon Uke area Wednesday night marked the ond time in four months a Comal County convenience store had sold a winning ticket On Nov 11 SacNPac No 603 in Spring Branch sold one of two tickets for a million jackpot Luna Partners of Spring Branch claimed a million prize In July 1994 SacNPac in New Braunfels sold a winning to ticket wrth million The Associated Press con tributed information to this rtf INSIDE   

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