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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung: Tuesday, December 28, 1999 - Page 1

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   New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 28, 1999, New Braunfels, Texas                                NEW I PELS i I HERALDZEITUNG Vol 149 Nov 28 14 pages in 2 sections December 28 1999 TT Opv A V ServinS Comal County since 1852 50 cents TOP STORIES OF 1999 Putting out fires File photo Emergency response personnel including Texas Department of Public Safety highway troopers firemen and emergency medical techni cians take notes during the wildfire that burned acres during the first week of March Comal spent good part of 1999 under bum ban BY CHRISTINA MINOR Staff Writer Comal County spent much of 1999 under an outdoor burning ban and the March wild fire in northern Comal County serves as a reminder why The wildfire destroyed acres of rugged terrain near Fischer while more than 100 firefighters from Blanco Hays Bexar and Comal counties battled the blaze started by someone burning brush The initial fire started Feb 28 but rekindled on March 2 when strong winds ignited the smoldering embers Canyon Lake Fire and EMS Chief Doug Rogers said he could not determine exactly where the fire started Fischer resident Merle Fischer said It started on a Sunday afternoon and burned for about a week I had just come in from the pasture when I saw the smoke At first I was concerned about the pasture because it was still very dry Luckily we didnt have any ani mals out Fischers property didnt burn but land to the northwest sustained major damage One ranch was badly she said Fischer moved to the Fischer area in 1992 and said the area is prone to droughts and fires See BURN Golf fee structure sparks firestorm of controversy BY PERI STONEPALMQUIST Staff Writer When New Braunfels City Council approved a new fee struc ture for Landa Park Municipal Golf Course in May several golfers vowed they would never go back And some havent Others have cut back their play But Ward Watson golf course manager said he actually has seen more rounds of golf played since July 1 the first day the new fee structure took effect Between July 1 and Dec 19 the golf course recorded rounds At that pace the course could far surpass this past years rounds for the fiscal year which ends June 30 Watson said The golf course also has gener ated more revenue this year between July 1 and November 30 compared to during the same time this See GOLF File photo Councilmen Larry Alexander and Lee Rodriguez listen to debate about a proposal to change the fee structure at Landa Park Golf Course The debate raged in May and June Fire chief New station trucks needed BY PERI STONEPALMQUIST Staff Writer Without a new fire station parts of New Braunfels will have to settle for response times of up to nine minutes four minutes more than the citys targeted response time Timeliness is the name of the New Braunfels Fire and Rescue Chief Jack Col lier said For every minute that passes the fire can And one minute can mean the difference between life and death for COLLIER someone not breath ing he said A new fire station is just one of several requests on the proposed bond sched uled to go before voters in May The fire station is one of eight items included on a pub lic safety proposition worth about million By itself the proposition could increase the citys 31cent tax rate by cents This increase would repay the bond debt as well as for staff and mainte nance of the new fire station Council will finalize the million bond list by mid February Mayor Stoney Williams sug gested council trim the list which could if approved more than double the tax rate in the next four years The public safety proposi tion however is not one of the six propositions that should be pared down he said Collier agreed saying These are not wish lists at all BOND SERIES Today Public safety bond projects and staff requests Wednesday Communication sys tem Thursday Sports complex Friday Park improvement bond projects and staff requests These are absolute Although the city hasnt decided where it would build a new fire station Collier said likely areas were Oak Run Hunters Creek and Mission Valley Estates areas Those areas are not in the city limits now but New Braunfels Fire and Rescue still is responsible for serving them through an agreement with the county And according to the citys annexation plan those areas will be part of the city in the next five years Thats one of the fastest growing areas in the Williams said Those areas also now settle for response times of seven eight or nine minutes We cant reach them in the fiveminute response Collier said The city owns a vacant fire station on Kerlick Lane and Wallahalla Street near Loop 337 and Texas 46 Its up to Collier said if they want to staff that See PUBLIC SAFETY PROPOSITION Among items included on the proposed city bond issue are Build fire station Remodeling of fire stations Replace fire engine Buy a Quint truck fire engine with aerial ladder Buy brush truck Buy a heavy rescue truck Infrastructure for water mains at the New Braunfels Airport City percent of TxDOT grant for airport improve ments Scam artists preying on publics fears about Y2K BY CHRISTINA MINOR Staff Writer Watch out New Braunfels you might just get scammed The new year is fast approaching and scam artists are taking every opportunity to play on the publics fears of preparing for a disaster Heather Hippsley a Y2K expert with the Federal Trade Commission said internet and telemarketing scams were prevalent Two companies were telling people to prepare for Y2K by selling them credit card she said People were asked to give out personal information but remember your credit card company already has that In November internet users were asked by a goldmining company Precious Metals to invest in its gold mine After signing up investors would receive a certificate But what people dont know is that there is no gold Hippsley said The FTC also warns the public about a fraudulent investment scheme where scam artists are asking people to withdraw money from their savings accounts or other invest ments The scam artist then takes the money to invest in companies or products that will fix the Y2K problem Once the new year arrives the scams should stop Hippsley said These are opportunists she said They target people and prey on the fear of the unknown Once Jan 1 comes and nothing happens they wont have any reason to continue the Heather Browne spokesperson for the Texas Attorney Generals Office said the olf ice had reports of telemarketing scams aimed toward the elderly Most of the scams deal with giving out your bank account number or credit card Browne said Never give out your account number without some written Staff members from the Attorney Consumer Protection Division will monitor consumer scams as New Years Day approaches Browne said The best advice I can offer is buyer beware If its too good to be true then it probably Officials at the Comal County Sheriffs Office and New Braunfels Police Depart ment said no scams had been reported To report scam information call the FTC at 888 USA4Y2K the Attorney office at 800 6210508 or local law enforcement INSIDE Abby 7A Classifieds Comics 3B Crossword 7A Forum 6A 4A Movies 7A Obituaries 3A Sports Today 2A Television 8A Key code   

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