Thursday, January 6, 2000

New Braunfels Herald Zeitung

Location: New Braunfels, Texas

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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - January 6, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas NEW PELS HERALDZEITUNG Vol 149 No 35 14 pages itt 2 sections 2000 yr Comal County since 1852 50 cents Gruene property rezoned for retail BY PERI STONEPALMQUIST Staff Writer A piece of land across from Cot ton Crossing a proposed 101 acre neighborhood development off Gruene Road could end up commercial instead of residential But what kind of commercial development would be built there hasnt been decided At a meeting Tuesday New Braunfels Planning Commission voted to rezone acres of land north of Gruene Homestead Inn from R3 Multifamily District to Cl A Neighborhood Business Dis trict The recommendation will be forwarded to city council which will have the final say A Cl A zoning would allow for a convenience store retail bakery barber or beauty shop florist Laundromat retail shop bed and breakfast establishment or one of several other uses Billie and Ed Miles who own the land and the adjacent bed and breakfast said they were unsure what they would build there One side of the land will be Cotton Billie Miles said The other side is the inn We want to be able to develop this acres The current R3 zoning allows for apartment houses hotels con dominiums public recreation buildings and several other uses But Cotton Crossings master plan already includes a hotel and apartments in the proposed Main Street area Cotton Crossing developer Jerry Ford voiced his approval Tuesday of the zoning change across from his development The Cotton Crossing proposal includes 128 garden and custom homes a convention center a retirement village sixacre park winery restaurant and office park Land has been cleared for the development and Ford told the commission he planned to adver tise for bids for the extension of Hanz Road in the next couple of weeks HEATHER Top photo Trying out a hunting laser simulator Canyon High School student Jon Singley aims an unloaded rifle at a target on a projector screen as TPWD training specialist Joe Wallace supervises Below CHS students take turns using the simulator as part of a hunting safety program sponsored by the TPWD Aiming for safety Parks and Wildlife uses laser simulator to teaeh giiii safety BY HEATHER TODD Staff Writer Retired game warden Joe Wallace asked 15 Canyon High School stu dents to raise their hands if they had never fired a gun Only one hand was raised Wallace a training specialist in hunting education with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department said it wasnt much different in communities across Texas If you ask teenagers most of them will say that they have access to a he said In rural Comal County where hunt ing is a popular sport several students said they learned to shoot as young as 5 or 6 years old Others said they went on their first hunting trip at the age of 8 or 10 But Wallace said just because a student knows how to shoot doesnt mean he or she knows how to shoot a To help students learn proper hunt gun properly ing technique Wallace also brought Thats why Wallace said its impor along a laser simulator courtesy of the tant to teach students responsibility Texas Parks and Wildlife Department sf has used the equipment as a teaching tool for about five years Wallace mis week talked about with CHS students enrolled in the schools agriculture pregfarn jfewas scheduled to talk with agriculture students at Smithson Valley High School Friday morning Kelly Kohlenberg a freshman at CHS said she first learned to shoot when she was 9 See Citizens police academy wants you Next class has room BY ERIN MAGRUDER Staff Writer The New Braunfels Police Department Citizens Police Academy gives residents the opportunity to see firsthand how local law enforcement works Now hi its fourth year Citizens Police Academy is a 12week program conducted twice a year at the New Braunfels Police Department 1488 S Seguin Avenue The next session begins Jan 13 and classes will take place from 7 to 10 Thursdays until March 30 The program is funded bypolice department drug seizure money and is free of charge to qualified indi viduals To be eligible applicants must either work or reside in New Braunfels be 21 or older and not have a crim inal history We dont want the police department to be a secre tive Celli said It gives citizens a good idea of what we do instead of just going out and arresting Classes are taught by about 36 officers who explain police policies and procedures Students in the academy receive four hours of The academy was created to give residents 9 better firearms instruction through the same firearms understanding of how the police department works and qualification course police officers use in their train increase public involvement NBPD training officer Tony Celli said See DiFONZO Deregulation to bring pros cons for local customers BY PERI STONEPALMQUIST Staff Writer If New Braunfels Utilities opens up the electric market to competition customers wont necessari ly see a drastic rate reduction general manager Paula DiFonzo said But she said customers could see some real ben efits from deregulation an option NBU on Tues day said it planned to pursue We feel it is our duty to give our customers the best DiFonzo said Under Senate Bill 7 munici palowned utilities like NBU can decide whether to participate in competition although not until Jan Investorowned electric utili ties are forced into competition by Jan 1 2002 and must cut rates by 5 percent DiFonzo said NBU would wait at least two to three years after that before opening the market locally New Braunfels City Council would have the final say PROS AND CONS An open market would allow customers to choose their own electric company a move that could lower rates and ensure better service proponents say NBUs rates currently are percent lower than the average for investorowned utilities in Texas said Jeff Thompson assistant general manager of business services DiFonzo said local customers could see the ben efits of new and different services and technologies instead of lower rates Maybe thered be different kind of payment options like electronic she said Maybe customers could pick their own payment More sophisticated meters could be an option she said New technology that hasnt yet been developed also could become available she added For instance when the phone industry opened up for competition new technology such as call waiting was offered Despite some positives customers also could experience headaches with electric competition Telemarketers phoning households around din nertime is inevitable DiFonzo said And the various offers could become confusing And there could be scains that take advantage of she said RELATIONSHIP WITH CITY If the city opts to open up the electric market it would retain ownership of NBU DiFonzo said But things might have to change she said We may have to interface she said Currently a rate change takes a minimum of six weeks for council to approve Well need to be able to respond more she said Some information wont be as accessible to the public she said Itd be very difficult to release certain prices of electric she said We wouldnt want to see that on the front page and then have a competitor See McKenna Rehab flexes healing power BY HEATHER TODD Staff Writer The Re McKenna Action Institute at but local resident can attest to its healing powers When I fjrst got here I was in a sad said Schmidt who is recovering surgery Physical therapy assistant Linda Copia helps patient Schmidt with stretching exercises at the new Rehabilitation Institute gym at McKenna Memorial Hospital already is scheduled to go home Friday he said After his surgery in San Antonio Schmidt was transferred to the Rehabilitation Institute for physical and Occupational therapy The foot unit was built on the fourth floor of the hos pitals new tower at 600 North Union Ave as part of a million expansion project Melissa Hjggins director of reha bilitation for McKenna Memorial Hospital said the new unit offered the only stateoftheart inpatient rehabilitation center south of Austin and north of San Antonio Before patients were sent to cen ters in Gpnzales or San Antonio The new rehabilitation center offers postacute rehabilitation for patients recovering from postneu rological insults such as strokes or surgery such as total hip or knee replacements The unit accommodates up to 20 patients and offer 24houraday nursing cajre arid speech occupa tional and physical therapy six days a week See INSIDE Archives Key code 76