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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - August 13, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas Air Quality Health Alert Day Reduce emissions by carpooling and avoiding unnecessary driving today NEW Water Restrictions Utilities customers with addresses T can water today before 9 isers cannot water today For 925 HERA LDZEITTJ NG Vol 149 No 199 INSIDE Frst school day 44 pages in 4 sections August 13 2000 OT Comal County since 1852 Blaze under investigation As a child growing up in Germany New Braunfels resi dent Gertraud McCamant remembers getting a schultute her first day of 1C SVHS volleyball For the Smithson Valley volley ball team Saturday was a last chance opportunity to get ready for the Rangers season opener on B More stress Did you flunk this past weeks stress test Many of you indi cated to me that you did One of my faithful readers even told me that her score was 120 which was actually 20 points more than totally C Isolated showers through Monday BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Portions of South Texas and the Hill Country were expected to see isolated showers and thunderstorms through Monday night mainly in the afternoon and early evening Otherwise the days should be mostly sunny with highs between 100 and 105 degrees The chance of rain was predicted to continue in South Texas and the Hill Country through Thursday The highs should be in the 90s by Thursday INDEX Week Key code 77 BY RON MALONEY Staff Writer Investigators were working Sat urday to determine the cause of a blaze that destroyed the offices and manufacturing facilities of a New Braunfels playground equipment plant New Braunfels Fire Department Chief Jack Collier said damages at the GymNI Playgrounds plant in the 1900 block of IH 35 North could add up to The fig ure includes costs of inventory the building and the manufacturing equipment inside Firefighter Todd Welch suffered a sprain while fighting the fire He will be out of work for about a week while he recovers Collier said A San Antonio hazardous mate rials team was working Saturday to determine whether wood preserv atives and solvents in the plant posed any risk to firefighters or See CHRIS Firefighters worked Saturday to investigate the cause of the Thursday night twoalarm fire Back to sch in CHRIS Courtney Barbknecht checks out a tornado simulator in her sisters science class at Meet the Teacher Day at Bill Brown Elementary Saturday afternoon Students and parents enjoyed refreshments studied school bus routes signed up for sports programs and socialized with one another Four lanes to open on Walnut BY RON MALONEY Staff Writer The longawaited opening of Walnut Avenue to four lanes at Interstate 35 will happen Tuesday the Texas Department of Transportation reports Greg Malatek TxDOT district engi neer for New Braunfels said Friday he would brief New Braunfels City Council at its meeting Monday night on the progress of road construction at Walnut Avenue and FarmtoMarket Road 725 First the most obvious thing is to give them an update on the construction out Malatek said The big announcement today is that as of Tues day Dean Word will be able to reopen Walnut Avenue to four lanes under Inter state That is big news for anybody who has been grappling with trying to get on the other side of the interstate especially since as Malatek says work will be ongoing at FM 725 through the spring of next year Reconstruction at FM 725 started before work was completed at Walnut Avenue which was unfortunate but nec essary Malatek said CHRIS Walnut Avenue might give motorists relief on Tuesday when lanes open It wasnt planned that way it just came out that way Walnut wasnt ready to open up but we had another contrac tor ready on FM 725 All work would have stopped and just extended the construction time out there versus just letting them work Its one of those things to where it would have extended the time the entire area was under he said We had all intentions of having Wal nut opened to four lanes before work began at FM 725 but it just didnt work out It was through no fault of the con tractors there were things beyond their control I can definitely say they know how important it is to the com munity to get Walnut opened before school Dean Word of the construction com pany that bears his name said he did indeed know the importance of getting Walnut Avenue open Were highly sensitive to the needs of the Word said The nature of urban reconstruction is that when you have as many businesses residences and driveways up against the highway its difficult to work long stretches where we can get a lot done It seems like every time a piece of machinery starts to move dirt we seem to uncover another utility gas line or something that isnt on any bodys Those problems slowed progress Word said Id like to thank New Braunfels for its patience and apologize for the inconve he said Officials seeking newborns parents BY RON MALONEY Staff Writer The newborn girl dropped off at McKenna Memorial Hospital Friday night is doing well officials report but attempts are being made to locate the person who left her outside an employee entrance and that individual could face legal action Donna Garrett of the Child Protective Ser vices office in San Antonio said the infant described by hospital officials Friday night as a 5 8 blackhaired Hispanic girl will be spending a few days in McKenna while tests are conducted and she receives the care accorded any newborn baby Garrett said officials at McKenna had assured her Saturday that the baby is in good condition She did not speculate on why the girl had been left at McKenna Whenever this happens its obviously an act of Garrett said We certainly want to try to help but if nothing else we want to know about this little girl We know nothing no medical history no family history I know its really very difficult but we real ly want the parents or anybody who knows anything about the circumstances of this child to come The next legal step for the infant Garrett said would be handled by the CPS office in New Braunfels which will go to a judge to decide conservatorship or custody of the baby A court hearing will be scheduled within 14 days At that time well present what we know to the court in terms of if weve found out any information about parents that kind of Garrett said Im assuming the New Braunfels Police Department is conducting a criminal investigation to find out who the par ents Police did open an investigation Friday night As of Saturday nights deadline for this story no information was available although a police official said the babys parents were not believed to have been located This infant is the third one to be abandoned at McKenna over the past 10 years or so Now under legislation enacted last year known as the Baby Moses law a new mother who leaves an infant less than 30 days old with an emergency medical provider can avoid prose cution for abandonment But the situation is a little bit murky See River City Raceway battling its neighbors BY RON MALONEY Staff Writer MARION The cars and occasionally a motorcycle or a pickup truck were lined up behind the starting gate of River City Raceways mile drag strip Wednesday night The drivers who paid 10 each for a shot at the clock or one another ranged from pimplyfaced high school kids in their imported subcompacts to grizzled pros in their nitrous oxide powered rail dragsters or tuel roadsters All set their brakes and screech their tires RON Jimmy Farmer of New Braunfels burns a little rubber at River City Raceway to build up heat in them so they grab the track better on screaming runs through the timing traps The multilighted Christ mas tree between the two rac ing lanes lights up a string of yel low lights from top to the green one on the bottom and then descends downward When the green one lights the drivers pop their clutches stand on the gas and the cars roar down the strip in times that range from 7 to 12 seconds depending on the class of competition At the end of the run they take their place back in the staging line to do it again and again River City Raceway is a shiny modern drag racing facility that opened alongside Interstate 10 in this small Guadalupe County town Its events which run three nights a week and sometimes on Sunday are conducted under the auspices of one the nations pre mier racing associations the Inter national Hot Rod Association As racing facilities go Todd Zampeses is a showpiece any pro moter would be proud of although he hasnt added features to the facility as quickly as he would like His problem is hes spending big money on lawyers Some of his neighbors a few of them close and some not so close arent so happy the race way is there and theyve been let ting Zampese know it A short distance up Santa Clara Road from his racetrack entrance is a sign advertising a fundraising community yard sale and exhort ing folks who pass by to protect Marions environment Citizens of Marion Working for See
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