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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - April 20, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas NEW L HERALDZEITUNG Vol 149 No 109 14 pages in 2 sections April 20 2000 THURSDAY Serving Coma County since 1852 50 cents Loopward ho New businesses sprout up along Loop 337 BY RON MALONEY Staff Writer Loop 337 is a major traffic artery that helps people get in and out of New Braunfels and even around it Near the northernmost end of its two Interstate 35 accesses there has been considerable growth in recent years Now three businesses a promi nent bank and a pair of are building on Loop 337 near Com mon Street All cite the traffic acces sibility and visibility of the area as reasons for locating there One the Wells Fargo Bank is moving out of a cramped downtown facility it has sold to another bank See related Another Sonic Drive In is adding a second New Braunfels location The third Lone Star Cafe is moving here to crack a market the 11 restau rant chain has been eyeing for awhile The growth around the Loop illus trates growth issues as they exist in many places as communities often landlocked outward and businesses look to bet ter serve their customers or find new ones in areas that have better ular access are easier to find and have more room Harry Bennett director of plan ning for New Braunfels said he has seen considerable interest in the northeast quadrant of the city where the Loop Street inter section is He noted a pair of hun dredacre subdivisions Cotton Crossing and Gruene Crossing and the numbers of people who live out that way The residential growth Bennett says creates pressure for business and commercial services Those people in that part of the K JESSIE Todd Weaver above works on welding a beam at the future Sonic on Loop 337 Below equipment and workers are moving at a hectic pace as they build new businesses along Loop 337 State Bank grows downtown BY RON MALONEY Staff Writer When Wells Fargo Bank closes its Mill Street branch to move out to the Loop it will provide a downtown growth opportunity for a neighbor who really needs one Bill Cone head of Wells Fargos New Braunfels operations said First State Bank is purchasing Wells Far gos East Mill Street location for its dri vethrough facilities Its a great opportu nity for Cone said They could use the drivein First State Bank located on the Main Plaza now has a two See Couples bunnies transform neighborhood BY K JESSIE SLATEN HeraldZeitung Photographer Hilmar G Buck and Elaine Wenzel have been decorating their front yard for close to IS years It started with one plastic inflatable bunny tied to a white picket fence and has grown to a week long production With 51 inflated rabbits and more man 600 plastic Easter eggs the house at the end of S Academy has become a favorite for children of all ages Elaine Wenzel said the reason for the rabbit population explosion was simple We just enjoy As they fuss over which bunny goes where the yard gradually shapes up into a bright miniwonderland Neigh bors are already stopping by to take pictures Theres an Easter tree mobiles two 6foot rabbits in lawn chairs even bunny footprints Its a lot to take in At one time they hid dollar bills in the plastic eggs but that is one thing theyve stopped Their grandson has long been too old for such things so now the eggs are just another part of the eyecandy Many of the decorations are store bought especially the older longer lasting ones Over the years neigh bors have started donating to the col lection Sometimes before sometimes after Easter friends and family bring over new additions It now takes the couple all week to set up their pastel display but next years plans are already in the works Im planning something Mrs Wenzel said She spent all day Wednesday her birthday and much of Monday and Tuesday working in the yard Her son daughterinlaw and grandson also were enlisted We dont decorate for Christinas or any other Mrs Wenzel said Easter she says is special espe cially for the The family agrees that Himler is probably on his third childhood about now Maybe theyre right Officials working to relieve phone disruptions BY HEATHER TOOD Staff Writer Officials with Southwestern Bell in San Antonio said they are working to relieve network congestion that has caused major disruptions in phone and Internet service in the New Braunfels area recently But improvements might not happen soon enough for some residents and business owners Southwestern Bell customers throughout the New Braunfels area have experienced sporadic disruptions in placing and receiving calls and connecting to the Internet during the past two months Jena Evans a spokeswoman for Southwestern Bell in San Antonio said the majority of the New Braunfels area has experienced some disruption in service because the network has been operating at capacity In a written statement company officials said Network congestion can be attributed to the recent and dramatic increase in Internet traffic and the associated increase in call duration which has placed unprecedented demands on the Evans said The system is at capacity It just happens no matter where you Evans said population growth in the area combined with the number of people using the Internet and cus tomers placing longer phone calls put greater demands on the network Usually the problems have occurred at the time of peak hours between 5 and 7 or in the early evening when everyone gets home from work and jumps on the Internet or makes phone she said Evans said Southwestern Bell began receiving calls about the problems hi early March or late February Evans said it was impossible to determine what specific areas of New Braunfels are affected by the network prob lems but she said the majority of Ideal customers were experiencing disruptions Richele Brooks who lives in the Rhine Terrace subdi vision off North Business 35 said during a twoweek peri od she did not have any phone service in the evenings Id get home from work about 6 and wasnt able to use my phone at all Id keep trying several times every night to try to get through but when I did it would cut me she said I couldnt even check my voice Typically Brooks said she would hear tones and a mes sage stating that all circuits were busy And she said most residents in her neighborhood expe rienced similar problems I called Southwestern Bell about it they came out and said it was fixed but it she said Brooks said the disruptions suddenly stopped about a See Friends family and neighbors have come to expect a pastel Easter display from Hilmar and Elaine Wenzel Each year the bright display has grown just a lit tle bigger on S Academy K JESSIE HeraldZeltung INSIDE Abby 5A Classifieds 46B Comics 3B Crossword 5A Forum 6A 4A Movies 6A Obituaries 3A 12B Television SA toy 7fl 135 accident injures woman backs up traffic BY ERIN MAQRUDER Staff Writer A tire blowout might have caused a 69 yearold Sao Antonio womans vehicle to flip over on Interstate 35 Wednesday after noon near the Schwab Road exit in sending the woman to a San Antonio hospital and backing up south bound traffic into New Braunfels women remained in stable condition at Brooke Army Medical Center where she was trea 4qM hand officials said The accident occurred about when the woman the only occupant of a 1990 Honda Accord 4door was headed southbound in the middle lane of 135 said Schertz Police Department officer Todd Barrett The front left tire of her vehicle probably had a Barrett said She veered into the fast lane and struck the cement bar r The Honda reportedly flipped end over end before skidding and coming to rest Ufitidt down tntbo center tf narrowly escaping collision with an 18 wheeler Barrett said She was very lucky the 18wheeler was able to stop in he said The woman was conscious and talking when she was transported by ambulance by Schertz Area Facility for Emergency Ser vices personnel Barrett said Police initially had requested the woman be akUfted to San Antonio but the two Air life helicopters were not available he said Officials opted to transport the woman by ambulance to BAMC instead of request ing StwfUght from AuttiBwtueb might have taken a longer period of time police said The Honda was extensively damaged in the collision which demolished the front end and partially caved in the roof and rear end of the vehicle SPD officers were able to clear the acci dent scene in about an hour Barrett said Comal County Sheriffs Office and NeW Braunfels Police Department officers responded and routed traffic around the accident site At one point traffic was becked up all the waytotheEngelRoadexitinNewBraunt fels
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