Thursday, November 18, 1999

New Braunfels Herald Zeitung

Location: New Braunfels, Texas

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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - November 18, 1999, New Braunfels, Texas NEW FBI I t JTMM3V HERALDZM TUNG BY PERI STONEPALMQUIST Staff Writer McQUEENEY Business owners with complaints of lost revenue and school officials with concerns of safety asked Wednes day that the state let traffic pass through the now barricaded Farm toMarket Road 725 The road a major thoroughfare in McQueeney has been closed since Nov 5 when a garbage truck hit and damaged a Union Pacific Railroad bridge Motorists have been directed on a 10to 20minute longer detour on a narrow stretch of road with lit tle to no shoulder and a sharp curve over railroad tracks a route Texas Department of Trans portation area engineer Frank Holzmann called a quick After Wednesdays town meeting at Blakes where more than 20 angry citizens demanded answers Holzmann said TxDOT would look into alternatives Their answers wont be too soon for many McQueeney residents The detour along Short Cut Road guides potential customers away from a dozen or so busi nesses along FM 725 in McQueeney about 10 miles south east of New Braunfels Whos going to pay us for the loss of business asked Christina Beall owner of Stars and Weezels Restaurant She said her restaurants busi ness was off 20 to 30 percent A lot of these businesses are just starting she said We cant afford Tim Blake who opened Blakes Cafe on FM 725 a little more than a year ago said his business was down 35 percent compared to this past year We havent had to cut the num ber of he said But weve had to cut back hours And the waitresses live on tips Im sure theyve felt the 35 percent too And these are minimum wage peo TxDOT officials have said FM 725 could be closed up to six weeks but Blake said he was not sure whether his staff could last that long Its hard to find good he said And I like my School officials have other con cerns Rene Ramos representing Seguin Independent School Dis trict said buses had a hard time navigating the narrow detour And what if it rains he asked We cant get through Short Cut CISD changing bell bus times Vol 148 No 260 14 pgs in 2 sections November 18 1999 TD A V ServinS Comal County since 1852 FM 725 closure has folks upset 50 cents WAI A Canyon Intermediate School student gets onto her designated school bus after school on Wednesday BY HEATHER TODD Staff Writer Comal Independent School District is changing school start and end times and bus schedules beginning Dec 6 to improve efficiency in its trans portation system Effective Dec 6 all elementary schools except Frazier Elementary will begin at 8 and end at 3 Secondary schools in CISD includ ing middle and high schools will start at and end at Frazier Elementary will start at Effective Dec 6 all ele mentary schools except Fra zier Elementary will begin at 8 and end at 3 Sec ondary will start at and end at and end at because of bus scheduling and traffic Most elementary schools in CISD currently start either at or and end about 3 or Secondary schools currently start at or and dismiss at or School district officials said a new transportation plan developed bj trustee Lester W Jonas allowed the district to implement consistent start and end times at elementary and ondary schools The new transportation system ini dally approved by the board July also allows each geographical area to See THEYRE NOT BLOWING SMOKE Tobacco use is responsible for nearly one in five deaths in the United States About 87 percent of lung cancers result from smoking and smoking accounts for at least 30 percent of all cancer deaths Tobacco use claims the lives of an estimated Americans each year 1987 more women havft J died each year from lung cancer than breast cancer Source American Cancer Society Making a display FESTTAGE WAI NBU employees Reyes Villarreal left and Jack Pane check on the downtown decorations on Wednesday before the holiday lighting kickoff on Friday night Almost a minilight bulbs were used for the holiday decorations in the downtown area Rahe said vV Downtown prepares for holiday cereifiony BY ERIN MAGRUDER Staff Writer New Braunfels will be aglow with holiday cheer Fri day when more than lights will illuminate down town The Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerces fifth annual Downtown Lighting ceremony will include an ear ly visit from Santa and Mrs Claus The festivities begin at with refreshments and a performance of Christmas musical favorites by the com munity band Santa and Mrs Claus will make their grand entrance about 6 when they circle the Main Plaza twice before stopping at the bandstand to meet Mayor Stoney Williams Comal County Judge Danny Scheel and J Lynn Davis chair of Greater New Braun fels Chamber of Commerce board The Hospice of New Braun fels Tree of Life on top of the New Braunfels Utilities build ing will be lit about 6 Residents can buy a Christ mas light to illuminate the tree and honor a loved one throughout the holidays for or a donation to Hospice The switch to begin the lighting ceremony will be flipped about at which point the Comal Coun ty Courthouse the Main Plaza and San Antonio Street will be turned into a winter won derland About 27 volunteers have spent the past six months preparing for the downtown lighting said JudyWoung of the Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce New Braunfels Utilities also donated its time to help put up the lights and the the city parks department was con tracted to do some of the heavy labor The bulk of funding for the light display came from local businesses and pri vate citizens who sponsored the lit trees on San Antonio Street The Downtown Rotary and the New Braunfels Rotary also sponsor the event Residents who want to find a good parking space are encouraged to arrive early More than people are expected to attend the event Young said Downtown Christmas Lighting takes place beginning at Friday and announces the arrival of Santa parade food enter tainment and Santa pictures Call 625 2385 Old Gruene Market Days fea tures shops restau rants entertainment and 100plus craft vendors Saturday and Sunday in Gruene Historic District Call 629 Weihnachtsmarkt opens Friday 10 to 7 Saturday 10 to 6 and Sunday 1 1 to 5 at the New Braunfels Civic Center Admission is a donation to the Sophienburg Museum and is good all three days of the event Children under 10 are admit ted free County has bond issues of its own BY ERIN MAGRUDER Staff Writer Comal County Commissioners say they are con cerned voters might not be willing to open their pocketbooks if the county has to call a bond election to fund flood dam construction If the county waits too long commissioners fear residents will forget about the damage caused by the October 1998 flood New Braunfels City Council tentatively has approved more than million proposed bond projects including money for drainagerelated issues streets recreation and police and fire pro MILLIKIN jects Funding for dams was not included in the pro posed bond package and city officials have talked about putting the bond issue to vote by May 2000 County Commissioner Jay Millikin said both potential bond issues would be separate and dis tinct It needs to be very clear to voters that the city and the county are not trying to play he said A recent study conducted by the Natural Resources Conservation Service on the October 1998 flood showed flood dams on the Dry Comal watershed reduced the peak flow of water that washed into the terrain by 50 percent county engi neer Tom Hornseth said The Bleiders Creek Dam also prevented extensive flooding in the Landa Estates area Without the dam the downstream area would have experienced the same type of flooding as Hornseth said Flood levels would have been six to 10 feet higher had that dam not been After the October flood the county appointed members to a flood control committee to explore future flood control projects To determine the fea sibility of additional flood dams the county hired consulting firm Freese and Nichols to determine cost benefit analysis and site selection for potential flood dams That study should be completed in January 2000 County officials said they would consider a bond issue to pay for all or part of the construction of addi tional dams if the study concludes the dams are cost effective Commissioners also want to create an early flood warning system to alert residents and give No butts about it for Great American Smokeout Students spread word about dangers of smoking BY HEATHER TODD Staff Writer Local high school students will enegjfcv age their peers to kick the habit today as part of an annual campaign to prevent can cer During lunch periods today at Smithson Valley Canyon and New Braunfels high schools student leaders will distribute brochures about the dangers of tobacco use and urge students to sign pledges to show a commitment to stop smoking or never start The Great American SmokeOut is the American Cancer Societys annual nation ally recognized day when are asked to put down their ciga rettes cigars spit tobacco or any tobacco product The American Can cer Society sponsors the event to help millions of smokers kick the habit while also educating youth about the importance of never starting to smoke Statistics show cigarette smoking among adults older than 18 has declined in recent years but the prevalence of cigarette smok ing among high school students increased 32 percent from 1991 to 1997 Beth Matulich a teacher at CHS and advisor for the CHS Health Occupation Students of America said thats why it was important to educate students now Right now we are watching a film about how addictive nicotine is which helps kids learn that if you start now and think you can quit when you get older its going to be very she said Matulich said by passing out information about tobacco use to their peers students helped each other make healthier choices INSIDE Archives Key coda 76