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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung: Wednesday, August 2, 2000 - Page 1

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   New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - August 2, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas                                Water Restrictions Rraunfels Utilities customers with s ending In or 5 can water tore 9 and after 7 M re wtth addresses ending in 4 water today between mlqnl i and from 8 TV uil water today between midnight m and 8 p m to mldnfgnt i HERALDZEITUNG Vol 149 No 188 16 pages in 2 sections August 2 2000 WEDNESDAY Serving Comal County since 1852 50 cents Doctors reconsider Blue Cross contracts BY RON MALONEY Staff Writer McKenna Memorial Hospital in New Braunfels is not the only health care agency having trouble with Blue Cross and Blue Shield over its reimbursement rates The reimbursement rates Blue Shield paid to physi cians for outpatient care dropped substantially effective June 1 As a result area doctors are fac ing the same kinds of choices that led to what happened at McKenna this past week McKenna Memorial Hospital voted to end its contract as an in network provider of health care services for Blue Shield because the insurer did not pay enough to cover the costs of providing care A physician and a health care administrator both confirmed the reductions in reimbursements and both said their agencies were forced to reconsider contracts with Blue Cross in light of the new lower rates Blue Shield spokesman Mark Lane said he could not comment on the reim bursement situation and any pos sible negotiations with Hill Coun try Medical Associates or any oth er service providers in New Braun fels The operating officer in charge of this area was unavail able he said Sid Harrell administrator for Hill County Medical Associates on Landa Street said they treated about Blue Shield clients under contracts that in some cases go back 15 or 20 years Harrell acknowledged that the rates had been reduced effective June 1 Hill Country Medical Associates found out he said a couple of weeks afterwards but his contracts did not require the insurer notify the practice in advance They went down to what See K JESSIE Out on Texas Avenue the theme for National Night out centered on fishing Frank Capps seen here finally getting a plate said he and Buddy Faulkner fixed about 30 pounds of fish to go with the 30 or more dishes brought in by neighbors From shirts to fishing hats with lures and home baked fish shaped cookies this party was swimming in neighborhood fun NBs Night Out Neighbors meet outside Tuesday BY HEATHER TODD AND Jo LEE FERGUSON Staff Writers For the Landa Neighborhood Crime Watch getting rid of crime is a piece of cake Actually its a cake walk and has been for more than 10 ever since the group par ticipated in New Braunfels first National Night Out and won the first best block party competition more than 10 years ago Ann Bartholomew who found ed the Landa Neighborhood Crime Watch was on the safe city commission when National Night Out first began and the commission encouraged neigh borhoods to get involved Weve been having the cake walk all those Bartholomew said Tuesday as her neighborhood once again joined together to celebrate K JESSIE Mayor Stoney Williams helps out Carol Johnson and Patrick Pope with some burger flipping at the Laurel Lane BBQ National Night Out Against Crime Music played behind Bartholomew as she spoke and her neighbors once again partici pated in a cake walk on the street Children rode bicycles up and down the street and parents pushed baby strollers to the area where their neighbors gathered for refreshments Everyone wore a name tag See NIGHT Developer has to wait for court hearing Judge recuses himself in Brookshire case BY Jo LEE FERGUSON Staff Writer Brookshire Homes efforts to win a restraining order against the city of New Braun fels hit a snag Tuesday The companys request will not be heard until Thursday morning when 22nd District Court Judge Charles Ramsay is in town The request origi nally was to be heard by 274th District Court Judge Gary Steel on Tuesday However Martin Allen court administrator for the 22nd 207th and 274th district courts said Steel recused him self from hearing the case Steel lives in the Southbank subdivision which is one of the areas New Braunfels tar geted for annexation this year and has been involved in the annexation process Allen said He believed it would not be proper for him to rule on anything with the Allen said Attempts to arrange a hear ing before Ramsay Tuesday afternoon while he was in Lockhart also were unsuc cessful because there was not enough time on the docket Were Brookshire Homes President Greg Barrineau said Earlier this year the city issued stop work orders for houses Brookshire Homes is building in the Meadow Creek subdivision off Pahmeyer Road in southwest New Braunfels The city also refused to issue any other building permits to Brookshire Homes on the basis that the homes violated city ordinance because they were not the same average value construction type and size as the established prop erty in the area Brookshire Homes respond ed by suing the city in district court and filing an appeal of the citys action with the citys zoning board of adjustment The board ruled against Brookshire Homes this past week prompting the city again to issue stopwork orders for homes under construction at Meadow Creek Brookshire is seeking a temporary restrain ing order to allow the work to continue while the companys case against the city proceeds in court Brookshire Homes spokesman Connolly said the longer the battle contin ued the more the financial damage will be incurred by Brookshire Homes and those who bought houses in Mead ow Creek Barrineau said he was dis appointed about the delay in the request for a restraining order because it also delays work in Meadow Creek and prevents those who have bought homes in Meadow Creek from moving in INSIDE What would you serve if 300 people showed up at your door for dinner Four local baseball players are World Series bound Open Meetings Act interpretation puts mayor bed tax panel at odds BY Jo LEE FERGUSON Staff Writer One of the citys advisory boards opted out of requirements in the Texas Open Meetings Act recently pointing to an inter pretation of the law some said would inhib it their communications But that interpretation is different depending on who a person talks to Regardless Mayor Stoney Williams wants the hotel occupancy tax committee to put a requirement to adhere to the Texas Open Meetings Act back into its bylaws Every other committee conforms to the Open Meetings he said The city council conforms to it I dont understand why they cant do their job and still con form to the Open Meetings He said he hoped the group changed its decision without city council intervention Councilwoman Juliet Watson said she did not have a problem with the commit tees actions so long as the group was not trying to circumvent the actual intent of the I typically like for committees to take the initiative to do what they need to she said I dont want them to circumvent the Open Meetings Act but Im sure they have some reason for making exceptions to the The citys hotel occupancy tax commit tee adopted its bylaws this past week based on a set of suggested rules developed by a former mayor The council appointed the 15member committee this year to develop a recommendation for using a portion of the citys tax revenue Under the law the committee does not have to follow the rules in the Texas Open Meetings Act because the group is an advi sory committee City Attorney Floyd Akers said However the bylaws as originally pre sented to the committee included a provi sion for the group to abide by the act The committee took out that requirement and replaced it with a provision stating that all of its meetings would be open to the public and the public was encouraged to attend Committee member Paul Fraser a former mayor recommended taking the See SALES INSIDE Key Code 76 CES breaks ground for expansion BY HEATHER TODD Staff Writer The hard hats were a little too big and the shovels were a little too heavy but a handful of Comal Ele mentary students did their best Tuesday to help kickoff the start of a mMon expansion project at the campus Comal Independent School Dis trict trustees and students broke ground at the campus Tuesday to commemorate a twoyear expan sion project that will when com plete add grades fifth and sixth to the prekindergarten through fourth grade campus Superintendent Jerry Major said the expansion project at CES 6720 FarmtoMarket 482 was an example of the districts efforts to get back to neighborhood schools where students were kept at one campus through the sixthgrade When completed in the fall of 2002 the expansion project will boost student capacity at CES to 800 students The campus now houses 465 students through fourth grade The district also is building three new elementary schools for grades prekindergarten through sixth grade for 800 students each as part of a million bond issue approved by voters in May 1999 When the bond projects are com pleted only students at Frazier Ele mentary will continue going to Canyon Intermediate for the fifth and sixth grades Kencon Construction Co is the contractor for the CES project and ONeill Conrad Oppelt Architects Inc is the architectural firm The expansion project will add additional square feet of space with the construction of 14 new classrooms a bigger gym cafeteria library and student ser vices area as well as replacement of the art and choir rooms Tuesdays ceremony was the third groundbreaking attended by admin istrators teachers and parents as the district moves forward on pro jects in the 1999 bond issue After the officials turned a little dirt students from Comal Elementary took a turn at the job The ceremony marked a two year expansion project for the school which hopes to bring fifth and sixth grades back to Comal Elementary in the fall of 2002   

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