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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - April 9, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas NEW PELS HERALDZEITUNG Vol 149 No 101 46 pages in 4 sections April 9 2000 SUNDAY Serving Comal County since 1852 INSIDE Sports Unicorns varsity baseball team blows lead against Austin Westlake losing B Income tax Who to call for help with those taxing problems and other tips for tax Women on patrol Local women are holding their own in a field once dominated Spurs win San Antonio Spurs 98 LA Lakers 90 INDEX Abby 2C Business 5B Classified MOD Crossword 2C Forum 6A 4A Movies 2C Obituaries 3A Sports 13B Today 2A Television TV Week Voters will head to polls Tuesday for runoff BY HEATHER TODD Staff Writer Comal County election offi cials reported light voter turnout during early voting this week in runoff elections for one local race and four statewide contests Early voting ran 8 to throiigh Friday ait the Comal County Courthouse Annex but residents can still cast their votes on election day Tuesday at loca tions throughout the county from 7 to 7 Runoff election polling As of Friday 13 local Democ rats have gone to the polls to vote in the Senate runoff race between former state Rep Charles Gandy of Austin and retired Air Force lawyer Gene Kelly of Universal City The win ner will face incumbent Kay Bai ley Hutchison in the November general elections In the Republican runoff races 153 local voters cast their ballots in the Comal County Pet 4 con stable race and three races for the Court of Criminal Appeals In county precincts 19 and 24 Comal County voters will decide whether constable candidate J Ronald Star Carey a former military police officer or Ben Scroggin a retired senior Army officer will face Democ ratic opponent Jim Sutton in the Nov 7 general election Scroggin and Carey were the top votegetters in a fiveway pri mary race March 14 Pet 4 constable Ed Mullins did not file for reelection The Pet 4 constable position represents the Canyon Lake area In a fiveway primary election March 14 Scroggin garnered 964 votes or 32 percent and Carey got 897 votes or 30 percent Candidate Jim Higdon came in third with 599 votes or 20 per cent Candidates Lee Hernan dez and Wylie I Queen picked up the remaining votes Comal County constables are county peace officers elected by the precincts in which they reside but their jurisdiction extends throughout the county They are not fulltime law offi cers but are oncall 24 hours a day Constables in Comal Coun ty are paid a yearly salary of County constables are the offi See Two injured in fire RON Rescue workers lift Jeannine Keenan into an ambulance Saturday afternoon Keenan and a firefighter suffered smoke inhalation injuries in a fire that burned about 50 acres in Fischer Saturday Windblown blaze burns 50 acres BY RON MALONEY Staff writer FISCHER A fire fanned by 35 mph wind gusts sent two people to the hospital and blackened about 50 acres of brush Saturday before 50 Comal and Hays county firefighters brought it under control One of the injured was Jeannine Keenan who owns the burned prop erty with her husband Roy Her injuries were described as smoke A Wimberley fire fighter who had not been identi fied by press time suffered injuries characterized by officials as heat exhaustion and smoke Both had been examined at Central Texas Medical Center in San Mar cos and released from the hospital by Saturday night Canyon Lake Fire and Rescue Lt Shane Jones said firefighters were called to the Keenan place at 7502 FarmtoMarket Road 32 shortly after 2 pm for a fire in rocky brushy terrain on the 67acre property Canyon Lake firefighters arrived to find about 10 acres heavily in flames and pretty Jones said Initially firefighters chose to con centrate on protecting the threat ened Keenan family residence and outbuildings and while they did the fire was fanned to about 30 acres around them Jones said Jones scene commander declined to comment on how the fire started noting that officials were looking into the cause Roy Keenan said the fire was started by his tractors exhaust It was a little he said On a regular day that little fire wouldnt have gone anywhere This wasnt a regular day Fire officials said that a burn ban had been lifted so Keenan legally could have burned brush MEETING City seeks public input on budget BY PERI STONEPALMQUIST Staff writer Monday will be the publics first chance to give input on the 2001 budget and tell New Braunfels City Council whether it should spend more or less on police fire streets parks downtown and other departments Council will approve the first reading of the budget Monday and also decide whether it should raise the tax rate The proposed million budget is based on a low er tax rate than the current one per valuation instead of the current But at a workshop in March council discussed the possibility of keeping the tax rate the same or raising it Before we brush it off as a political hot button we should at least discuss District 3 councilman Randy Vanstory said Friday The tax rate would cost the average household with taxable value of about while the current tax rate costs about The maximum allowable tax rate possible without requir ing a rollback election is per valuation a rate that would cost the aver age household about If council votes to make the tax rate higher than rate the city will conduct a public hearing April 24 Both the tax rate and the budget will go before council for final approval May 8 Staff started working on the budget in January Dur ing workshops in March department heads pared down each others budgets At councils March workshop District 2 council man Larry Alexander said he was particularly con cerned with cuts in budgets for the police and fire departments He questioned spending on media equip ment and improvements for the council chambers and on downtown improvements while cutting those budgets To me these are he said If this is keeping one policeman or one fireman off the street I dont sup port Staff actually cut requests for two police officers and seven firefighters The police department requested eight officers and got six and the fire department requested seven fire See WHAT New Braunfels City Council WHEN Monday WHERE New Braunfels Municipal Building 424 S Castelt Ave Funding for second outdoor mural questioned BY HEATHER TODD Staff Writer New Braunfels City Council could decide Monday whether to use bed tax money to fund a second outdoor mural in downtown New Braunfels But some city leaders questioned the legality of using tax money dedicated tax reserved for projects to enhance and promote tourism The citys arts eornroission is recom mendingallcgating about w percent of the expected the mission will get in tax money for 2000 to the Historic Outdoor Art Gallery On March 23 six members of the com mission voted unanimously to recommend giving nine organizations the same per centage of funding as last year and allocate funding previously set aside for the New Braunfels German Folkdancers to the His toric Outdoor Art Gallery Council will consider funding requests Money currently brought in by the citys 7 percent tax is divvied up between the arts and heritage organiza tions Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce 55 per cent and upkeep of the New Braunfels Civic Center Out of the fluids given for arts and her itage groups S3 percent goes to arts orga nizations ami 47 percent is allocated to heritage organizations Mural request This was the first year the Historic Out door Art Gallery requested funding from the arts commission Wayne Rahe president of the Historic Outdoor Art Gallery board said the mon ey would be used to fund part of an artist fee to create a Ferdinand Lindheimer mural tentatively planned for the wall of Comal Flower Shop 337 Main Plaza Rahe said it would cost about to complete the second mural including preparing the exterior wall and supplies SeeMURAlVSA
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