Wednesday, December 29, 1999

New Braunfels Herald Zeitung

Location: New Braunfels, Texas

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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 29, 1999, New Braunfels, Texas NEW HERALDZEI Vol 149 No 29 18 pgs in 2 sections December 29 1999 WEDNESDAY Serving Comal County since 1852 50 cents Common sense restraint urged for New Years holiday AUSTIN AP most dangerous Year 2000 threat might not be a rash of computer glitches but people who ring in the new century a little too merrily officials say Law enforcement antidrunken driving groups and others are urging Texans to tone down their celebrations and use com mon sense in order to stay safe on New Years Eve and New Years Day The biggest hazard could be the road since the holiday falls on a weekend and people are expected to drink more while partying 1999 away said Carlos Lopez director of traffic operations at the Texas Department of Transportation Although we encourage Texans to pre pare for Y2K we believe it will be human factors that cause the most safety prob lems for Lopez said An estimated 32 people will die on Texas roads from New Years Eve to Jan 2 according to the Department of Public Safety In 1998 a total of 68 people died in car accidents 33 in the 78 hours leading up to and after Christmas and 35 in the 78 hours leading up to and after New Years The transportation department says peo ple should name a designated driver and plan ahead to allow extra travel time to and from holiday destinations Drivers should inspect their vehicles to make sure they are working properly pack an emergency safe ty kit and fill the tank with gas TOP STORIES OF 1999 Hitandrun alters lives Scooter Man dies constable brother now dealing with related legal issues FROM STAFF REPORTS The 78yearold man known to many HEB customers as the Scooter Man died in a hitandrun accident in June throwing a county official and his brother in the midst of an investigation Jesus Jesse Gomez the 38yearold man accused of driving the car that hit Ray Biggadike was released from the Comal County Jail in July on a bond His brother Joe Pet 1 Comal County constable also is considering legal action against investigators who he claims vio lated his civil rights Biggadike was crossing Business 35 on his electric scooter about 10 June 28 when he was hit and killed Jesse Gomez allegedly fled the scene and hid his car a 1987 Acura Days later tihe car was found and Jesse Gomez turned himself in to authorities In October he was indicted on three counts failure to stop and render aid punish able by a prison term no longer than five years manslaughter a seconddegree felony punishable by a twoto 20year prison term and optional fine not exceed and File photo New Braunfels police officers take possession of the automobile they believe struck and killed Ray Scooter Man Biggadike in June tampering with evidence a third degree felony punishable by a twoto 10year term in prison and optional fine not to exceed Comal County Assistant District Attorney Jim Noble said officials were waiting to get Jesse Gomez criminal history from the Depart ment of Public Safety before making a plea offer Once an offer is determined Gomez attorney Robert Arellano of San Antonio will be notified Noble See Ingram Readymix plant A city is born dissolved File photo The Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission hears testimony about Ingram Readymixs plans to build a concrete batch plant in the Bulverde area TNRCC gave its approval to Ingram Readymix much to the chagrin of many Bulverde area residents BY ERIN MAGRUDER Staff Writer The City of Bulverde Northwest no longer exists After months of negotiations a settlement was reached Dec 17 in the longstanding dispute between local cement manufacturer Ingram Readymix Inc and the former town of Bulverde Northwest The agreement was the result of an Oct 6 lawsuit filed by the State of Texas on behalf of the concrete man ufacturer that challenged the May 1 incorporation of the city The judgment dissolved incorpo ration of Bulverde Northwest with out prejudice as to a future incorpo ration and without admission of any wrongdoing in the towns earlier attempt to incorporate according to a joint press statement released Dec 20 The agreement reverted Bulverde Northwest back to its preincorpora tion status and allowed Ingram to continue its plans to build a concrete See BOND SERIES This cannot fail This is not something we can live Police Chief Ray Douglas Communication system cited as need for police fire departments BY PERI STONE PALMQUIST Staff Writer The 25yearold communication system used by New Braunfels police fire and other departments is known to drop calls and briefly leave emergency per sonnel with no way to converse New Braun fels Police Chief Ray Douglas said the city has tried to fix the problem for the past 10 years replacing radios and antennas But its a fre quency prob he said And a prob lem that needs to be fixed soon he said City council has voted to put the item on the pro posed million bond ballot scheduled to go before voters in May Council will finalize the bond list by midFebruary This cannot Douglas said This is not something we can live Currently a new communication system is listed as a separate proposition totaling with a yearly lease If approved the cost would increase the citys current 31cent tax rate by 82 cent About 25 years ago New Braunfels bought one of the early public safety radio frequencies But the same or similar frequencies have been assigned to other agencies The result is heavy interference Douglas said Were losing he said Were dropping Or at times officers can hear calls from other areas such as BryanCollege Station he said We cant afford to lose a word or a sentence but that he said The word for instance can make a big Douglas said he had been searching for a per manent solution for years New Braunfels could buy a stateoftheart communications system for through the Lower Colorado River Authority It would come See Today Communication system Thursday Sports complex Friday Park improvement bond projects and staff requests Banking on Y2K Money safest in bank officials say BY CHRISTINA MINOR Staff Writer Dont panic and use common sense thats the advice of New Braunfels bank officials With 2000 just a few days away local bank presidents say the banks are Y2K com pliant We have an organization set up to focus on Norwest Bank president Bill Cone said Weve tested our systems and are Barry Williams president of First State Bank said I think were overprepared All banks were required to test their systems three times but we pulled an unexpected test Weve been compliant since ear ly this past year I dont anticipate any Texas Banking Com missioner Randall James said all banks and credit unions in Texas tested their internal operating systems and operated on the Y2K compliant system for the past few months Because all money kept in banks is Federal Deposit Insurance Corporationinsured Cone CONE and Williams strongly discouraged people from withdrawing large sums of money James said once the money was taken from the bank it was not insured and could be stolen lost or destroyed WILLIAMS Weve had reports of people who have taken large sums of money from the bank and it has been lost in he said Do not take out a large sum If you want to take an extra for the holiday weekend thats fine But dont wait until the last minute because the ATM machine could run out of cash or experience Pam Thomas vice president and market ing director for Frost Bank said People can take a little extra cash out but I caution anyone from taking large sums of cash out because it could be Although confident that their banks were Y2K ready officials said they were pre pared for any malfunctions If something were to happen to a cus tomers account they should bring in a copy of last months bank statement and well work from Cone said INSIDE Key Code 76