Tuesday, January 11, 2000

New Braunfels Herald Zeitung

Location: New Braunfels, Texas

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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - January 11, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas NEW PEL Vol 149 No 38 14 pages in 2 sections January 11 2000 TUESDAY Serving Comal County since 1852 50 cents County reinstates burn ban BY ERIN MAGRUDER Staff Writer Burn today gone tomorrow This past weekends minute relief from the drought was a stolen season For the safety of all residents the ban on outdoor burning was reinstated at noon on Monday by Comal County Com missioners County Judge Danny Scheel said Commissioners reinstated the ban which had been in place since Aug 9 on the recommendation of Comal County Fire Marshal Lin Manford and local fire depart ments We are very sympathetic to the publics need to Scheel said As soon as we get another sig nificant amount of moisture we will take the burn ban off again for as long as it is The burn ban was lifted tem porarily by commissioners Friday afternoon after about two inches of rainfall soaked the New Braunfels area and lowered the fire danger Many residents took advantage of the opportunity to burn brush that had been stored since sum mer and the Comal County Sher iffs dispatch received about 900 calls from residents who reported their controlled burns Manford said But even with the grounds still wet from the rainfall some of the burns got out of control and caused potentially dangerous situations for homeowners he said Canyon Lake volunteer fire departments responded to five burns that were uncontrolled and spreading and at least two others were reported in the Garden Ridge area The fires were extinguished before the residences were dam aged or anyone was injured Man ford said This past weekend was just a little he said Give us two days of sun and wind and the ground and brush dries out and we are right back to where we were Manford said residents should not be fooled into thinking it is safe to burn just because the ground still might be wet in some places Record high temperatures are predicted to hover in the New Braunfels area all drought conditions and the result ing wildfire danger is expected to continue until spring A person is considered in viola tion if burns any com bustible material outside an enclo sure that contains all sparks and flames Violation of the burn ban is a class C misdemeanor punishable by up to a fine Bomb found at Blanco HS AMANDA Police tape blocks access to Blanco High School ered a pipe bomb in a boys restroom Austin Police Monday afternoon after a school employee discov Department specialists removed the device Terroristic incident the second at school in past two weeks BY ERIN MAGRUDER Staff Writer BLANCO Students and faculty at Blanco High School narrowly escaped tragedy Monday morning after a pipe bomb discovered in a school bathroom turned out to be anything but a hoax More than 300 students and staff members were evacuated from the school before the explosive device was taken outside the building and safely detonated by the Austin Police Department Bomb Squad officials said No one was injured and no prop erty was damaged in the explosion said Bill Guthrie Emergency Man agement Coordinator for Blanco County This is a whole new ball game for Guthrie is not the norm for Blanco County We are tak ing this very The pipe bomb was discovered about 10 in one of the boys restrooms by an athletic coacVuwho was unsure exactly what the device was and whether it was real Guthrie said The coach notified the school prin cipal and the entire building was evacuated by Guthrie said The Blanco County Sheriffs Department viewed the device and notified the APD Bomb Squad Three members of the bomb squad and two Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms agents responded to the school and determined the bomb to be an active device Guthrie said The bomb squad videotaped the device and used a robot to remove the explosive from the building The bomb was placed at a safe distance from the school and the squad attempted to disarm it with a laser gun he said They knew the bomb might det onate when they tried to disarm it and it Guthrie said Police did not believe any other explosive devices were located in the school and a K9 unit and law enforcement officials searched the entire building as a precautionary measure Mondays terroristic incident although shocking to many commu nity members did not come without any warning The small Class 2A school was evacuated less than one week ago after a written bomb threat was dis covered Wednesday on a wall of the building Guthrie said See Rezoning approved for Walgreens open market BY PERI STONEPALMQUIST Staff writer New Braunfels City Council approved Monday zoning changes for an openair market and a new Walgreens despite some public opposition to the projects The zoning changes must be approved at two more readings for final approval A San Antonio company called shopSmart not even a year old is proposing to put a squarefoot market at Interstate 35 and Doeppen schmidt Road where more than vendors could sell a variety of items during daylight hours Fridays Saturdays and Sundays The estimated million project would be shopS marts first openair market Everett Collins principal of shopSmart said it could boast sales of up to to million a year The market would be on a 40acre site surrounded with several businesses in metal buildings and some homes Collins said shopSmart wanted the city to annex the more than 20 acres not now in the city lim its At Mondays public hearing more than five neighbors expressed their disapproval of the project citing concerns of increased traffic and drainage problems strain on water pressure security and overall ambiance of the area Yvonne Crouch whose house on Doeppenschmidt would face the proposed market said she was con cerned that the market would sell beer Thats a problem for me because I have chil she said In an interview with the HeraldZeitung Collins said shopSmart would limit the amount of beer sold to an individual Mario Guajardo who also voiced disapproval for the project asked council to apply the golden rule Would you like to live across from a flea mar ket he asked No one spoke in favor of the project but council approved a zoning change for acres of land from R2 single and twofamily district to C1B general business district The motion passed 52 with District 3 councilman Randy Vanstory and District 6 councilwoman Juli et Watson casting the dissenting votes A motion to approve a zoning change for a new Walgreens at Business 35 and Walnut Avenue passed See Committee votes to honor bond package BY HEATHER TODD Staff Writer Members of the Comal Inde pendent School District bond oversight committee Monday night recommended in an over whelming vote that trustees hon or their promise and carry out a million bond package as it was approved by voters But the committee comprised of eight patrons and three board members unanimously agreed they had serious concerns about the original bond plan and rec ommended trustees address them The committee is charged with overseeing the million bond package approved by voters in May 1999 by ensuring bond mon ey is spent properly and projects in progress are completed on time Monday nights discussion was centered on an alternative bond plan presented by trustee John Bertelsen that would change school boundary lines and future locations of new schools He said the plan would offer a solution to what he saw as prob lems with the original bond plan Committee members recom mended trustees stay with the original bond plan but they also agreed they had some unan swered questions about possible transportation problems project ed demographics and the future of a school feeder system under the original plan Superintendent Jerry Major said enrollment figures were down this year compared to a proposed demographic study Committee member Paul Walk er said he was concerned pro posed new schools in the original bond package would open with excess capacity He also said he was worried the proposed locations for new schools would not allow the dis trict to create a school feeder sys tem Along with concerns about the districts bond package commit tee members also raised ques tions about why trustees failed to communicate with the commit tee about problems with future school sites Committee member Charles Burt said trustees had previously See Dawson Kirk square off for rematch in primary BY HEATHER TODD Staff Writer A replay of the 1996 commissioner runoff between Pet 1 commissioner Jack Dawson and opponent Douglas Kirk or what one candidate is calling the rematch of the century promis es to heat up the GOP primary race Kirk a weekly newspaper publisher once again is stepping into the ring to chal lenge Dawson after a narrow fourway pri mary race in 1996 Four years ago Dawson garnered 38 percent of CAMPAIGN the vote and Kirk gained 35 percent in a fourway prima ry race In the runoff Dawson won by a larger margin Dawson said he won the runoff election by 183 votes In primary races if there are more than two candi dates one candidate must win at least 50 percent of the vote to secure the party nomination If not there is a runoff race between the top two candidates Dawson also beat Democratic opponent Charles MUHkin in 1996 for the Pet 1 commissioner DAWSON post Kirk who calls the Pet 1 commissioner race the rematch of the said he decided to run against Dawson again after a close race against the two candidates in 1996 The last election was so close that I decided there was still a good opportunity to give the public a chance to make a choice he said During a Republican Meet the Candidates meeting Jan 3 Kirk told local residents Dawsons KIRK fouryear lease was Four years ago I told Jack Dawson he had a fouryear lease Now Im here to pull the ticket The lease is up Theres another guy here for the he said Dawson said he looked forward to serving the county and working with the existing commis sioners court another four years I do have an opponent but I will do the best I can to get out to the public And the citizens here know what I have done for the county the last three he said While in office Dawson said he helped strengthen the countys animal control program See INSIDE Key Code 76