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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - January 15, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas NEW BRAUNFELS WEDNESDAY January 15 2003 V WW T M y VJ 12 pages in 2 sections HERALDZEITUNG Vol 152 No 54 Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852 50 cents Kmart shoppers local store to close BY RON MALONEY Staff Writer The next blue light special at the New Braunfels Big Kmart store will not be found in any particular aisle or department It will be the store itself Kmart officials in Troy announced Tuesday that 326 stores 54 of them in Texas would close as part of the beleaguered chains effort to reorganize under Chapter 11 of the Federal Bank ruptcy Code The move which comes a year after the chain closed nearly 300 stores and cut jobs would leave more than stores open in the United States the Caribbean and Guam None will be in Alaska and only 19 will be in Texas The closures which will begin with clearance sales once they are approved by a bankruptcy judge lat er this month affect employ ees nationwide and are expected to be completed by April Kmart spokesperson Michelle Jasukaitis at the chains headquarters said the move is intended to improve cashflow drop unprofitable stores or stores with prohibitively expensive leases and get the leaner onethird See Fish in new waters RE New Braunfels own freshman legislator Casteel dives right in BY SEAN BOWLIN Staff Writer AUSTIN Maybe it was like the first day at kindergarten Or maybe it was like being a freshman on the first day of school at a bigleague college after being alleverything in high school Whatever it was Tuesday morning at the capitol building ushered in Rep Carter Cas teels first day in office on the opening day of the 78th Texas Legislature Casteel arrived in her basement office in the Capitol building at Well I hadnt been she said as she walked in her threequarters decorated offices Lets see what it looks Casteel walked through the visitors lobby into her office The desk was set up pens coasters and calendars A credenza was in the back of it tothe left with a computer Some family pictures adorned the wall to the left of the computer The wall behind it was bare Lets put a few things Casteel said She put pictures of her parents and grand children on the credenza Im trying to bring a little stuff from New Braunfels gotta figure out where it all Her granddaughters Morrigan and Catherine helped her decorate Casteel looked at plaques pictures cer tificates and campaign mementos aides Sherry Clarkson and Elizabeth Weisman had put up Gosh it looks Casteel said to Clarkson Then Casteel pulled out of a desk drawer a pingpong lottotype ball with a number 14 on it I drew number Casteel said There are 36 of us freshman The smaller the number that determines your order to pick your seat on the floor your parking place and your office And it can determine seniority for Then she tried out her brown leather chair It had a Texas seal on it It was made by state prisoners as was all of her furni ture Thats my first time getting in this seat It feels good Maybe its a little Casteel leaned back See Photos by K JESSIE RIGHT Already turning the state on its heels Carter Casteel RNew Braunfels enlists her husband Tommy to adjust her new office chair Tuesday afternoon before the 78th Texas Legislature opens ABOVE Casteels first official busi ness visitors Shaun Seale seated back and Sabel Gallahan seated with the Texas General Land Office wait for her to finish a phone call while Casteels grand daughters entertain themselves TOP Casteel shares a moment of history with granddaughter Morrigan Land as she points out various objects of Texas history in the House TOP LEFT In a draw for seniority and rank among the 36 freshmen representatives Casteel drew 14 BY THE NUMBERS BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS The numbers behind the 78th Legislature billion Current budget 181 number of members of the Texas House and Senate 150 Members of the Texas House of Representatives 140 in the regular legislative session 130 since the last time Republicans con trolled of the Texas House 35 Freshmen House members 31 Senate members 8 Republicans in the House in 1969 when Speaker Tom Craddick was first elected Bills filed in the 2001 legisla tive session enacted into law from the 2001 ses sion Senate 19 Republicans 12 Democrats 27 Men 4 Women of consecutive votes Sen Judith Zaffirini DLaredo has cast during her legislative career House 88 Republicans 62 Democrats 119 31 Women 1 American Martha Wong RHouston the first Asian American woman elected to the Texas House Widow of accident victim Couple separated BY RON MALONEY Staff Writer Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace Jennifer Saunders has ruled Saturdays death of a 29yearold San Mar cos man an accident Rescue workers said they believed Drake Andre Luera died instantly when his southbound 2000 Chevrolet pickup slammed into a York Creek Road overpass pillar at high speed just before 11 The truck then burst into flames The incident occurred on the east side Interstate 35 frontage road Department of Public Safety Trooper Randy Wells reported there were no skid marks or signs of an attempt to stop The truck was destroyed in the impact and resulting fire Detonating ammunition in the cab of the truck ham pered rescue attempts Firefighters from New Braunfels and South Hays County fought the blaze We may never know what happened for Wells said Monday Were calling this an At the scene Saturday members of Lueras family reported to rescue and law enforcement officials that he was despondent over his marital situation and that he might have killed himself Some workers reported at the scene that he was in despair over a divorce Luera was not divorced although he and his wife Dana were temporarily separated she said Tues day and she was staying with her parents They had hoped to work their problems out she said He and I were not divorced It was our first she said Every marriage has its She noted that she was staying in the York Creek Road area not far from the accident scene Maybe he was on his way to talk to me I dont INSIDE Key Code 76 8 i Front to bring coldest temps of season so far BY RON MALONEY Staff Writer The Arctic Express is arriv ing from Canada late Thurs day night and itll be bring ing brutally cold air to South Texas Wednesday will be beauti ful but Thursday night I think weie going to start see ing some of the coldest weath er weve seen this National Weather Service Meteorologist Joe Baskin said Look for lows Thursday and Friday nights in the low to mid 20s Baskin said Luckily we dont see any kind of precipitation with it Were going to warm up Fri day into the low 50s well get down below freezing again Friday night Saturday well reach the upper 50s and be below freezing again Satur day Baskin said Baskin advised people to take care of the four Ps people pets plants and pipes in the coming cold nights Thursday night when the wind turns north well see wind chills in the teens Peo ple who work outside need to be prepared Friday morning those kids at the bus stops really need to be wrapped Baskin said Its a good time for those electric socks to come
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