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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 19, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas NEW PELS HERALDZEITUNG Vol 150 No 32 12 pages in 2 sections December 19 2000 Serving Comal County since 1852 50 cents Fire station gets batty with repairs CHRIS Battalion Chief John Herber describes how thousands of bats took up resi dence in the walls of the sleeping quarters at New Braunfels central fire sta tion BY Jo LEE FERGUSON Staff Writer Some uninvited houseguests have turned life at New Braunfels central fire station upside down and returning it to normal is proving expensive A horrible odor at the station several months ago led firefighters there to dis cover that thousands of bats had taken up residence in the walls of their living quar ters The bats apparently had been living there for a couple of years Removing them and the smell they left behind has cost the city about so far Fire Chief Jack Collier said And the price tag is growing Collier and Battalion Chief John Herber stood in central fire sta tion this past week observing the room where firefighters once slept The carpet had been torn out interior walls and insulation had been removed and ceil ing panels were torn down The walls had been treated to remove the smell left by accumulated bat guano but a pungent odor still lingered The more we do the more we find and the more problems there Collier said Everybody had at one point said If we do this thats going to fix and I said COLLIER Well fix You keep going until youre at the point were at When this years long hot summer final ly gave way to rain and humidity Herber said the firefighters began to notice an odor in their living area But they couldnt pinpoint its source at first Collier said the firefighters thought it might be their bunker the suits the firefighters wear The gear is stored in a room next to the sleeping quarters and the air conditioner there was designed so that it returned air from one room to another That problem has been corrected But then it got really pronounced when the humidity got really high and the mois See Spanning the globe via computer Geographic information systems expert visits SWT BY Jo LEE FERGUSON Staff Writer SAN MARCOS The Internet is provid ing the general public with access to data in geographic information systems that previ ously was available to only a few people Jack Dangermond founder and president of Environmental Systems Research Institute was at Southwest Texas University on Monday to deliver the third annual Lovell lecture The Lovell lecture series is named for Apollo Astronaut James Lovell and his wife Marilyn The universitys geography department to the Lovell Center for Environmental Geography and Hazards Research Geographic information systems record information about objects that people encounter such as streets roads and pipelines for instance on computer Dangermond said That allows people to make maps and then analyze the information The world is Dangermond said We now have more than 6 billion peo ple Its doubled since I was a young child almost tripled Thats causing all types of For instance as population increases the worlds resources decrease he said Geographic information systems can be used to present the changes to society so they can see the implications of what is going Dangermond said Dangermond met with SWT faculty mem bers before the lecture Monday Geographic information systems could be important in deciding where to locate new apartment complexes or school buildings they said They also cited instances when such struc tures were built over closed landfill sites which leak methane gas That could have been prevented using data available through geographic information systems about the location of closed landfill sites Lovell was on hand for the lecture Monday and he toured the geography department with Dangermond and SWT staff members K JESSIE SWTSU professor Bob Larsen left shows off a mapping system in one of the computer labs in the Lovell Center for Environmental Geography and Hazards Research Monday afternoon to Jack Dangermond right and former astronaut James Lovell Dangermond is recognized as one of the worlds outstanding authorities on geo graphical information systems according to SWT documents And his company is the largest provider of GIS software Now Dangermond said Environmental Systems Research Institute customers are using his software to place maps that everyone can use on the Internet For instance one real estate company uses the software to help prospective homebuyers They can look at maps on the companys Web site to find out whether the homes they are interested in are in a floodplain and what the grade point averages are at local schools Mr Bush goes to Washington BY TOM RAUM Associated Press Writer WASHINGTON AP Presi dentelect Bush interviewed Cabi net candidates conferred with Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan and assured leaders of both parties on Monday that we can come togeth er despite his whiskerclose vic tory The Republicans overture drew promises of cooperation from con gressional Democrats on the day the Electoral College was voting to hand him the barest of victo ries an expected onevote electoral majority We will be there coming 50 percent of the way sometimes even a little said House Minor ity Leader Richard Gephardt D Mo Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle cited an oppor tunity to wipe the slate clean to begin But it was not clear how long this heady spirit of bipartisanship sounded on Bushs first visit since the election would last Even as he vowed to heal what ever wounds may Bush exhibited a stubborn commitment to his trillion 10year taxcut proposal that was a central theme of his campaign Democrats have broadly criti cized it as too expensive and ben efiting mostly the wealthy And even some top members of Bushs own party have pronounced it unwieldy But Bush asserted I still believe its the right I campaigned on a clear view of tax relief and thats what Im going to bring to the floor of the House Presidentelect clears electoral college hurdle BY ROBERT TANNER Associated Press Writer With unwavering support Monday from the electors who had pledged to vote for him George W Bush secured the Electoral College majority need ed to become the 43rd president Nevadas four electors put the Texas governor over the top with a total of 271 votes one more than the Constitution requires That closed the door on the remote possibility that a few faithless electors who had pledged to vote for Bush might upset his victory by casting their ballots instead for Vice Presi dent Al Gore All that remains is for Con gress to make the votes official on Jan 6 The electors gathered in their state capitals across the country to cast their votes Though Democrats and polit ical reformers tried to persuade Republicans to defect the only rogue elector was a Democrat from the District of Columbia who had been pledged to Gore but left her ballot blank as a protest against Washingtons lack of representation in Congress and the Bush said Theres going to be a lot of dis cussions a lot of headknocking a lot of gentle he said See Child pornography defendant gets deferred adjudication FROM STAFF REPORTS A former Spring Branch res ident arrested after a state inves tigation into child pornography on the Internet pleaded guilty in Comal County District Court Monday Richard F Snider 42 pleaded guilty to one count of possess ing child pornography in a plea agreement Jack Robison 207th District Court judge gave Snider a sentence of 10 years deferred adjudication Possession of child pornog raphy is a thirddegree felony punishable by two to 10 years in state prison and a fine up to If Snider does not violate the terms of his 10year probation the case will be dismissed Snider was to be released from Comal County Jail Mon day after serving 249 days while awaiting an outcome in his case He had offered to plead guilty in August his attorney Charles Stephens said Action on the plea offer was delayed while Robison heard a See INSIDE Key Code 76 Blood drive supports accident victim BY JENNIFER RODRIGUEZ Staff Writer Eightandahalf months pregnant Crystal Ramey was stretched out across the back seat of a 1986 Ford sedan on Nov 17 when it collided with another car In the past month the 27yearold New Braunfels native has had six chest tubes inserted a tracheotomy and fatty tissue removed and then reattached to her spleen The 90pound woman lost her baby and 92 units of blood and she has spent more than 30 days in the intensive care unit of University Hospital in Sao Antonio BLOOD DRIVE WHO Eden Home WHAT Blood drive WHEN 9 am to 4 Wednesday WHERE 631 Lakeview Drive WHY To help New Braunfels native Crystal Ramey who was injured in a car accident Now Eden Home is hosting a blood drive to benefit Ramey from 9 to 4 Wednesday at 631 Lakeview Drive She knows whats going on she just cant her sister Patricia Ramey said She cries and shes really emotional Its very Crystal Ramey was on her way to her hometown of New Braunfels to visit family when the accident occurred in Geronimo on Highway 123 The baby died on the scene A team from the University Hospital will collect the blood dona tions Every unit of blood collected wipes out equally one of the 92 units Crystal Ramey has needed Wells Fargo Bank will accept donations to help Crystal Ramey The account number is 0662753516 Call 6256291
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