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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - September 7, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas NEW S Water Restrictions New Braunfels Utilities customers with address es ending In or 9 can water today before 9 ancrafter 7 Well users with addresses ending In 6 or 7 can water today between 3 and 8 and from 8 to 10 HERALD UNG Vol 149 No 219 16 pages in 2 sections September 7 2000 THURSDAY Serving Gomal County since 1852 50 cents Fair livestock rules Find updated rules for the 2000 Comal County Fair livestock show in todays City targeting junk cars weedy lots BY Jo LEE FERGUSON Staff Writer The New Braunfels Building Standards Commission wants the public to know who has the cure for substandard structures junk cars and weedy lots The commission on Wednesday agreed to spread the word about the remedies the city has for those and other kinds of code viola tions and the work the commission is doing The commission was dormant until about a year ago when City Attorney Floyd Akers revitalized the group The city gives property owners and others a chance to comply with city ordinances about the upkeep of buildings junk vehi cles and weedy lots Akers told the com mission Wednesday that buildings include old tool sheds for instance In the cases of structures those who do not comply can be taken before the commis sion The commission can order a property to be boarded up or demolished and can impose civil fines Akers said Akers approached the commission Wednesday about ways to build future cases and manage and resolve the cases The city has received excellent compli ance when it notifies a property owner about code violations Akers said Were getting a lot of compliance on our junk vehicle and weedy he said Peo ple have seen that yall are serious about what yall are NBISD wrestles insurance dilemma BY JENNIFER RODRIGUEZ Staff Writer A sticky web of health insur ance premiums bus driver drought and living costs entangled the New Braunfels Independent School Dis trict board of trustees on Wednes day night And less than one month into the 20002001 school year the board has a hefty load on its wag on Faced with higher premiums the district switched health insur ance providers last year and opted for Blue Shield But before August ended McKenna Memorial Hospital and Hill Country Medical Group announced they were dropping out of the Blue Cross network of providers In addition to explaining why some employees would be taking home less money than last year the district and its insurance agent Frank Witting will have to explain why employees might have to trav el farther for care or pay more for an outofnetwork provider Theyre telling them you either have to go out of town or pay Dr Don Bedford said Representatives from both hos pitals told the board they had no choice but to terminate their Blue Cross contracts They claim reim bursement rates were based on decadeold rates too low and too slow in coming They also said the insurance provider unfairly adjusted rates this year without giving the health care providers enough notice Tim Brierty of McKenna Memorial Hospital and Randall Jacks of Hill Country Medical Group said they have tried working it out with Blue Cross but have not heard from the company in more than a month I dont envy you You have hard choices to Brierty said Ive got the same kind of employ ees you do and we have a similar situation how to pay for every thing on a tight budget It really bothers me that a com pany out of Chicago is dividing this he said We have to work Jacks said the decision to drop Blue Cross and therefore cut cov erage options for some of his patients was painful But some district employees are tired of hearing about the doctors and insurance companys woes especially in light of how much the premiums and service are pinching them I feel real bad about McKenna and Hill Country but to me all theyre telling me is they dont want to serve said John Tur See Signals get green light Metal poles arrive in time to allow Loop 337 signal installation K JESSIE Traffic in front of New Braunfels High School is brisk at Wednesday afternoon Buses loaded with students or returning empty to the lot must contend with speeding automobiles and trucks passing through on Loop 337 BY Jo LEE FERGUSON Staff Writer Two local traffic signal projects will move ahead despite a statewide shortage of metal poles to hold the signals Greg Malatek area engineer for the Texas Department of Transportation said work would begin next week on a threeway traffic signal at Loop 337 and New Braunfels High School Work on a fourway traffic signal at Texas 46 and Oak Run Parkway will begin in October Malatek had said earlier that a statewide shortage of the metal poles that hold the signals would delay the work until January However he said the contractor Bel found eight metal poles through its supplier Im glad its coming a lot Malatek said The contractor actually has been hired to place a total of five traffic signals although not all of them are local pro jects The other signals however are blinking lights Because of the urgency or the need for those two locations our San Antonio district office and local office have decided to put them at two locations here in New Malatek said The contractor begged and pleaded with its supplier to find poles he said Again we were scrounging all over the state of Texas to find he said We were Malatek warned the public this past week that the shortage could stall the work until January It was just something to where we wanted to give everybody a realistic view of what was going to he said The Loop 337 signal will be installed at the high schools driveway nearest Gruene Wood Villa Apartments TxDOT agreed to install the signal after two students died in a wreck in front of the school this past year The Loop 337 signal should be com pleted by Oct 19 Malatek said Traffic patterns at the high school will change when the signal is complete work should not interrupt traf Malatek said We might have an occasional lane closure but there shouldnt be any thing that affects traf Installation of the traffic signal on Texas 46 should begin in early October and be completed by the middle of November Again it will be something that I think will help some situations out Malatek said Malatek said the installation times depend on weather and other factors Pedestrian crossings also will be See City hall counting petition signatures BY Jo LEE FERGUSON Staff Writer The New Braunfels city secretarys office worked in high gear Wednesday For the second time this year City Secretary Bonnie Sarkozi and her staff are working to verify signatures on a petition asking voters to decide an issue Earlier this year city residents united to put an issue on the May ballot that ultimately prevented the city from spending sales tax money on a con vention center Now Citizens United to Save Our Rivers want the voters to con sider an ordi nance banning alcohol on por tions of the two local rivers Ive never had it twice in one said Sarkozi who has been city secre tary for 20 years Sarkozi and her staff must complete the ver ification process before Friday afternoon when council will con sider possible action on the petition Its a lot of work but well get it Sarkozi said Sarkozi has two staff mem bers Jill Mulhol Ian and Alicia Crespo who were helping her validate the signatures Wednesday The city managers secretary Gail Hard wick also was helping and Sarkozi said the police chief had also offered some of his clerical staff tq See WHATS NEXT New Braunfels City Council special meeting Friday 424 S Castell Voter registration deadline Oct 10 at the reg istrar Comal County tax office Early voting Oct 23 through Nov 3 in the Comal County Courthouse Annex from 8 to Election Day Tuesday Nov 7 Voting will take place in six precincts during the hours 7 to 7 District 1 Lone Star School Dist 2 Memorial Elementary School Dist 3 Seele School Dist 4 Faith United Church of Christ Dist 5 Lamar Primary School Dist 6 First United Methodist Church INSIDE Key Code 76 Cold front anyone BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS A cold front moved through the state Wednesday bringing cooler temperatures and spec ulation that the majority of Texas has seen an end to a long streak of tripledigit heat The mercury soared to degrees Wednesday but was a lot cooler than the degrees posted in New Braunfels on Tuesday High temperatures in East and North Texas were in the lower 90s and upper 80s while West Texas tempera tures were still hitting the cen tury mark Wednesdays high was 105 degrees in Dryden The cold front should cool off temperatures in West Texas for the rest of the week as it pushes through Parts of South Texas are still recording temperatures in the upper 90s and 100s but should also get a reprieve Thursday A disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico will bring welcome relief to parched land as it moves inland Thursday The system is expected to bring thunderstorms and showers to South and East Texas Putting out fires Local firefighters have had their hands full with grass fires this past week Now they are looking for the publics help to find out who start ed two of those blazes See From The Dispatch on Page 4A K JESSIE
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