Wednesday, July 12, 2000

New Braunfels Herald Zeitung

Location: New Braunfels, Texas

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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - July 12, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas NEW PELS Water Restrictions New Braunfels Utilities cus tomers with addresses ending in 3 or 4 can water today after 7 Well users with addresses ending In 4 or 5 can water today after 8 Vol 149 No 170 14 pages in 2 sections July 12 2000 Wi bounty since 1852 50 cents Testimony begins in aggravated robbery case FROM STAFF REPORTS Despite a lack of physical evidence that puts him at the scene of the crime Schertz police pointed to 39yearold Johnny Earl Johnson as the getaway driver in a November convenience store robbery Police testified Johnson allegedly drove the vehicle that fled the scene of a robbery at a convenience store on FarmtoMarket Road 1103 and Interstate 35 in Schertz on Nov 28 1999 Testimony began Tuesday in his trial for aggravated robbery of a Schertz convenience store last November Aggravated robbery is a firstdegree felony If convicted Johnson could face up to 99 Allocating NB bed tax not so easy years or life in prison and a fine Schertz Police Department officers appre hended Johnson in the vehicle after midnight on Nov 29 He remains in custody at the Comal County Jail in lieu of a bond Police allege Johnson was one of three men involved in the robbery Two other men fled the car on foot when Johnson was apprehended and were pursued by officers police said Another suspect Terry Herron was arrest ed the day after the robbery and booked into Comal County Jail He also was charged with aggravated robbery Police also issued a warrant for a third man suspected in the robbery but he has not been arrested David Anthony an area resident who works as a security guard testified he drove up to the convenience store about 11 Nov 28 and saw a man wearing a ski mask and holding a pistol coming out of the store He testified he did not see any vehicles at the store when he pulled up He also testified the skin of the mans hand holding the pistol indicated a dark skinned Hispanic man or a lightskinned black man During cross examination from defense See Taco fund New Braunfels and Canyon High School students left to Michael Amaro RJ Cantu Scott Perez Angela Perez Jennifer Flores and Angelica Morales participated in a fundraising event at Taco Cabana Tuesday evening hop ing to raise funds for their Young Leaders Conference Debate K JESSIE HeraldZeitung BY FRED ELEVENS Staff Writer Committee members charged with deter mining how to allocate the citys bed tax came to a meeting Tuesday with plenty of ques tions about how best to spend the money They didnt hear much in the affirmative Can the city use the funds to renovate the old library for Sophienburg Museum display space How about river cleanup Renovat ing restrooms under the bandstand What about new sports venues The answers from Scott Joslove president and CEO of the Texas Hotel and Motel Asso ciation and Jeff Moore of the Attorney Gen erals office were delicate tactful and mostly negative In fact Joslove and Moores briefing made it clear that spending the spoils of tourism may be more difficult than actually raising the money Whats at stake is the unallocated portion about 20 percent of the bed tax revenues frozen by city council before voters in a spe cial spring election blocked the city from spending tax revenue on con struction of a new convention center The bed tax which raises nearly a million dollars each year helps fund arts and cultur al venues throughout the community And about 55 percent of the total goes to the Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Com merce Inc for promoting city tourism Citing a number of AG opinions dating nearly 15 years Joslove told the committee that the 20 percent could only be spent on three narrow categories ones that provide for advertising and promotion of local events to potential patrons in distant places Those events also must be able to show a direct impact on the hotel and motel industry Direct impact seemed to be the theme with Joslove and Moore repeatedly admon ishing committee members to work with chamber tourism experts and local arts venues to turn local events into tourist events there by increasing the scope of spending Joslove said many of the projects mentioned Tuesday could be funded other ways citing economic development and community pro ject sales tax funds The logic behind the states rules on spend ing the bed tax revenue is simple Joslove said Those who bear the burden the hotel and motel industry should see some See BED A different kind of swing K JESSIE Houston Astros outfielder Lance Berkman hits the links at Landa Park Golf Course during a break in the regular major league baseball season to allow for the leagues AllStar game Tuesday night Berkman got in as many holes of golf as family and friends would allow The Canyon High School graduate is working to get on the permanent roster of the Houston Astros See NBU bills going up in August Soaring gas prices fuel second increase in 2 months BY Jo LEE FERGUSON Staff Writer Rising natural gas prices will calculate into high er August bills for New Braunfels Utilities electric customers The Lower Colorado River Authority the not forprofit organization that supplies wholesale elec tricity to NBU told the utility company about the increased fuel recovery charges this past week according to Gretchen Reuwer manager of cus tomer relations and communications for NBU The increase is the second within two months The first increase calculated into an estimated additional for customers that use kilo watthours of electricity per month information from NBU said The new increase means an addi tional for customers using kilowatt hours according to information from NBU LCRA initially raised its fuel recovery charges by threetenths of a cent per kilowatthour in April The increase was the first in nine years According to information from NBU the continued increase in natural gas prices meant LCRA faced a potential million loss in recovering fuel costs by September That prompt ed the second increase of about eighttenths of a cent per kilowatthour NBU reported The New Braunfels Utilities Board of Trustees learned about the increased fuel charges Tuesday as they discussed NBUs proposed 20002001 bud get and fiveyear financial plan Although the increase is unavoidable we are urging the LCRA to reevaluate the charge monitor market conditions and provide our customers relief from this additional expense as soon as it is said NBU General Manager Paula DiFonzo in a printed statement LCRA uses natural gas to generate electricity and has been buying more electricity on the market to meet increasing demands from customer growth NBU reported Natural gas is used as fuel in four of LCRAs seven fossil fuel power plants LCRA General Manager Joe Beal said LCRA paid per unit of natural gas a year ago but pays more than today according to information from See DIFONZO Newsletter proposal shot down BY Jo LEE FERGUSON Staff Writer Councilman Robert Kendrick helped kill his own proposal Monday to provide a citywide newsletter for New Braunfels residents The freshman councilman joined with other council mem bers to unanimously vote down his proposal But Kendricks vote wasnt a sign that he changed his mind about the It didnt go any good voting for he said It was obvious to me by the time that it came around to me that it was defeat But Kendrick intends to try providing a newsletter for his district anyway Im going to give it a shot and see if I can pull it together by myself without the benefit of utilizing any city money or Kendrick said He plans for the newsletter to be one page front and back and hopes to find businesses in his district to distribute it Obviously I cant afford to have it mailed or anything Kendrick said Kendrick said hes already had people volunteer to help design the newsletter Others have asked where theyll be able to get a copy because they dont live in his district The citywide newsletter Kendrick proposed could have cost anywhere from about a year to a year if it were mailed monthly INSIDE Key Code 76 Annexation hearing today FROM STAFF REPORTS New Braunfels City Council will con duct the first of two public hearings at today on the proposed annexa tion of square miles The square miles is spread over 10 areas in the citys extraterritorial juris diction The public hearing is at the New Braunfels Municipal Building 424 S Castell Ave The proposed areas to be annexed include T Bar Valley Road Hunters Creek Northwoods Common Drive Kowald 110 Alves Road Stonegate Southbank Klein Road and FM 1044 and Schmucks Road If the annexation goes as planned the areas could become a part of the city of New Braunfels this fall City staff have said the proposed annexation affects 835 homes and an estimated people Todays meeting is open to the public and those who attend will have an oppor tunity to ask questions and voice their opinions on the proposed annexation A second public hearing on the issue will be July 19 at the recreation facility 222 Southbank Blvd