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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - February 18, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas 13 INEW4iBlHyyFELS 62L T 79qo3 HERALDZEITUNG Vol 149 No 66 20 pgs in 2 sections February 18 2000 FRIDAY Serving Comal County since 1852 50 cents New cable company eyeing NB BY PERI STONEPALMQUIST Staff Writer Paragon Cable is the only cable game in town now but that could change A startup company headquartered in Austin has announced plans to build and operate a billiondollar fiber optic com munications network in New Braunfels Austin San Marcos and San Antonio The city of New Braunfels got a letter of intent from Grande Communications this past week City officials might meet with Grande representatives as early as next week to start discussing a franchise agree ment We look forward to sitting down at the table with assistant to the city man ager Don Ferguson said Grande Communications a broadband communications network plans to deliver analog and digital cable local and long distance telephone and high speed Internet access services over one single fiber broad band network It has such a tremendous bandwidth that were able to offer cable telephone and Internet executive vice presi dent Tipton Ross said The company plans to start construc tion in the next few months and complete the entire Interstate 35 corridor in five to seven years The company expects to bring as many as permanent jobs to the area Because New Braunfels has a nonex clusive franchise agreement with Paragon Cable it is able to allow cable competition Were open and willing to talk to any one whos interested in exploring Ferguson said Paragon Cable a Time Warner Cable company took over New Braunfels cable system hi early June The companys takeover happened grad ually phasing out TCI Cablevision which provided cable service for New Braunfels since the late 1980s The companys departure was said to be part of an exchange agreement that would give Time Warner Paragons parent company access to TCI markets in Texas in exchange for TCIs acquisition of Time Warnercontrolled markets in Oregon and Montana In April New Braunfels City Council voted to release TCI from its current fran chise agreement allowing Paragon to take over Time Warner Cable president Navarra Williams said officials were designing a fiber optic system in New Braunfels now Most residents could hook up to Ihe system by the end of 2000 he said And because customers will be hooked into fiber optic lines they should experi ence more reliable service he said Customers should experience fewer cable outages and better picture he said Customers also will have the option to hook into Paragons new digital service which offers up to 177 channels Making the sift K JESSIE After investing almost a year of his life to his lamb Canyon Middle Schools Wesley Mevrin with judge made it through the first sift of competitors at Thursdays market lamb show only to get cut in the second round of judging at the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo Area FFA and 4H students are scheduled to show throughout the day today Council takes up bed tax petition today ALEXANDER Councilman wants to give voters another choice BY PERI STONEPALMQUIST Staff writer Councilman Larry Alexander wants his bed tax freeze plan on the May 6 ballot right beside the petition initiative but some residents cant figure out why Alexander says hes try ing to give voters a choice Others argue that vot ers already have a choice to vote yes or no to the petition initia tive At a special meeting 4 today council will decide whether the initiative turned in Tuesday with more than signatures and the freeze plan will go on the May 6 ballot initiative includes more than 30 percent of regis tered voters who voted in the last general election council must consider the proposal which would eliminate using the citys portion of bed tax revenue for a convention center If council votes against the petition the ini tiative goes on the ballot anyway If the petition initiative goes on the ballot Alexander said he wanted council to put the freeze plan on the ballot as well The plan approved at Mondays council meeting calls for the city to freeze 20 percent of revenue made from the 7 percent tax for two years and MEETING WHAT New Braunfels City Council special meeting WHEN 4 Friday WHERE New Braunfels Municipal Building 424 S Castle Meeting Room D RESULTS To find out how the council votes today check out the HeralciZeitung website at after 6 for coverage of the special meeting Career expo expanding minds views BY HEATHER TODD Staff Writer A career in the funeral service industry might not have appealed to most high school students before Tuesday morning but an eye catching display and some brochures at the Annual Career and Community Awareness Expo might have changed a few minds The casket and embalming fluids on display caught more than a few passing glances from visitors walk ing by the Funeral Services Careers booth at the New Braun fels Civic Center Tuesday Curiosity finally got the best of them as groups of students gath ered around the booth looking at the cosmetics and gadgets on dis play and talking with funeral ser vice representatives The display was one of more than 100 booths represented by local businesses social service organizations law enforcement agencies and postsecondary schools at the fourth annual Opportunities for the New Mil lennium Career Life Education expo at the civic center 308 S Seguin St Local residents and students from New Braunfels and Comal school districts as well as students from neighboring districts San Marcos Marion and Schertz browsed the booths for information about employment and educational opportunities Bill Morgan special education supervisor for CISD said 105 area agencies provided free information about employment school to work programs financial assistance dis ability assistance training pro grams and postsecondary educa tional opportunities Morgan said organizers expected about people to walk through the civic center between and This past years expo brought in about people then decide how it should be spent The Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce Inc asked council to consider saving that money for two years between and million for a down payment qn a con vention center but Alexander said all proposals would get equal consideration in two years Councils action Monday was not binding and could be changed at any time It gives council the flexibility to designate bed tax money to any project at any time or to refuse to spend its 20 percent until two years is up even if the petition is approved If its established by council already I dont know why Alexander wants to put it on the petition supporter Debbie Flume said It doesnt make any See NBHS student Elise Saegert speaks with Becci Pickelman and Michele Shamrock of WalMart dur ing the Annual Career and Community Awareness Expo Thursday at New Braunfels Civic Center K JESSIE HeraldZeitung Bomb threat cancels SBMS classes today FROM STAFF REPORTS Classes at Spring Branch Middle School have been cancelled today after a written bomb threat was found in a boys restroom Thursday School officials said the note indicat ed a bomb would go off about noon today at the school 21053 Texas 46 West School employees law enforcement officials and bombsniffing dogs searched the school We have to take every precaution nec essary to ensure that our students and staff are Comal Independent School District Superintendent Jerry Major said Students and staff at SBMS will have to make up the day on March March 17 is a student holiday in the Comal school district Now Smithson Valley High Snuwson Valley Middle and SBMS wul have to attend school that day because of recent bomb threats that have plagued the district INSIDE Key Code 76 Dam study delivers promising news BY ERIN MAGRUDER Staff Writer Comal County Commis sioners heard promising news Thursday that five additional flood dams could significantly reduce chances of a flood as devastating as the October 1998 flood Representatives from Freese and Nichols hired to conduct a feasibility study on flood con trol structures told commis sioners that the five potential dam sites could reduce the peak flow at the confluence of the Comal and Guadalupe rivers by 34 percent during a 100 year flood Four of the potential dam sites are on the Guadalupe Riv er at Devils Backbone Bear Creek Jacobs Creek and Elm Creek The other site is on a tributary to Dry Comal Creek west of Dittlinger quarry Commissioners voted for FNI to continue analyzing the impact of the five potential dams The numbers do show sig nificant Commission er Jack Dawson said The potential dam sites were picked as a result of FNI hydraulic and hydrologic com puter models that determined the downstream effects of floods in the county The next big blocks of data to be compiled by FNI will be used to determine the efit ratio of the potential flood dams Commissioners said the most recent results of the ongoing feasibility study were encour See
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