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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung: Friday, January 17, 2003 - Page 1

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   New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - January 17, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas                                NEW BRAUNFELS FRIDAY January 17 2003 imi i i y lay 16 pages in 2 sections HERALDZEITUNG Vol 152 No 56 Serving New Braunfels and Carnal County since 1852 50 cents Dynacast to cast off NB plant BY RON MALONEY Staff Writer Dynacast a manufacturer of die cast aluminum machine parts has informed its 100 New Braunfels employees that the plant will close in March The City of New Braunfels was told of the pending closure Wednesday under the provi sions of the state and federal Worker Adjust ment and Retraining Notification acts Dynacast is a nationwide manufacturer and its New Braunfels operations will be consolidated in other plants out of state News of the closure comes two days after Kmart announced the closure of its New Braunfels store as part of a slimming effort that will enable it to shed 326 stores and employees It is within one year of plant closures that cost more than local jobs Company pays off city tax abatement BY RON MALONEY Staff Writer Christmas can come in January Ask Chet Lewis chief financial officer for the City of New Braunfels who announced Thursday he had just received a check from Flextronics for in refunded city tax abate ments In December 2002 Comal County collected a similar amount from the firm that pulled out of New Braunfels this past summer taking hundreds of highpaying manufacturing jobs with it Lewis said City Attorney Charles Zech contacted Flex tronics to recover money for tax breaks extended to the company which makes cases for Dell computers Flextronics defaulted in its tax agreement and the City of New Braunfels sent them a demand for pay Lewis said The money will go into the citys general fund he said Businesses that bring jobs or create value that results in hefty tax revenues are often offered temporary tax breaks in exchange The thinking of local offi cials is that if they land a major manufacturer who then builds a milliondollar plant it is often going on property that previously gen erated little or no tax rev enue perhaps carrying an agricultural exemption WalMart Distribution received a tax abatement and county commissioners approved a small one in December for Whirlpool Corp to build a warehouse distrib ution center off Interstate 35 Under terms of the agree ments a company that gets a Dynacast spokeswoman Dawn Despault confirmed the pending closing Thursday but said she could not comment past what was stated in a halfpage press release the company issued in response to an inquiry by the HeraldZeitung The slow United States economy has had K JESSIE a very unfavorable effect on operations over The Dynacast plant at 2311 Industrial Drive will close in March consolidating operations See with outofstate plants Building a new LEGACY Sophienburg Archives to move K JESSIE In a roprn already filled with boxes as the Sophienburg Archives prepares to relocate Patrtctilpiptid researches the incoming materials of the late Oscar Haas Anytime some one rippled to know something about New Braunfels they went to Oscar Dodd saysiif dont think the man ever threw a scrap of paper Below Arftjffisfs render ing of the new Sophienburg at the old Dittlinger building BY SEAN BOWLIN Staff Writer The Sophienburgs lega cy is planning for its future To do that the history minded nonprofit founda tion created in 1927 and dedicated in 1932 to pre serve and promote the his tory of New Braunfels is embarking on building a cultural and educational complex at the old Dit tlinger building Why Since 1992 the archives which include taped oral histories about five million photographs plus documents and let ters have grown said museum board Presi dent Michael Spain So in 2000 the Sophien burgs board implemented a strategic study plan which determined more space was needed and it would be best to house the exhibits and the archives at one location Then in the summer of 2000 the City of New Braunfels built a new library and gave the old library the Dittlinger Building to the Sophien burg with the under standing that foundation would maintain city records and broaden its historic scope So the Sophienburg board came up with a plan The plan is to remodel Prime office space up for grabs with archives the Dittlinger building to accommodate the museum and archives to renovate the Emma Faust building to enable the current museum to operate as a community education cen ter to develop kidfriend ly interactive stateofthe art exhibits and to pro vide space for both perma nent and special exhibits One of the biggest charges is expanding the scope of the museums his torical emphasis to include not just GermanAmeri can history but also His panic and Native Ameri can history Were still trying to fig ure out how to do Spain admitted Thursday We want to broaden our cultural presentation But were not there There are three phases to the Dittlinger construc tion Spain said Phase one which stalled in late November is done That construction gutted the Dittlinger building removed the heating ven tilation and aiicondition ing ductwork and units removed 1960sstyle fluo rescent lights and ceiling tiles and knocked down a See Police following leads in Surety Bank robbery BY RON MALONEY Staff Writer New Braunfels police detectives are investigating Fridays Surety Baiik rob bery but have no news to report one week later Det Bob Parchman who is heading up the investiga tion into the midmorning robbery of the bank located at Walnut Avenue and Inter state 35 reviewed bank secu rity tapes Tuesday He said the NBPDs Crim inal Investigations Division and the Federal Bureau of Investigation were pursuing leads but offered no details At Friday a man walked into the Surety Bank brandished a large caliber handgun and demanded money Parchman would not say how much cash was taken No one was harmed in the robbery which was the second at the same bank in less than two months The suspect left the bank in a silvercolored vehicle which was found abandoned with the engine running in the nearby HEB park ing lot He was last seen on Walnut Avenue driving toward Interstate 35 See INSIDE Key Code 76 County to start repair without inmate help BY RON MALONEY Staff Writer Comal County commis sioners said Thursday they could wait no longer for help from a state prison work crew in the repair of South Access Road County Engineer Tom Hornseth said Thursday he is prepared to pull all road department crews off their other work around the coun ty and concentrate on get ting Dam Access Road open The TDCJ have had some funding and legal issues that came up and at this point they cant help Hornseth said At this point were pro ceeding without the help weve been hanging TDCJ prison work crews cleared debris from Hidden Valley Sports Park and have been working for weeks in New Braunfels rebuilding Cypress Bend Park Precinct 4 Commissioner Jan Kennady said she has been Inaring concern from constituents about the slow pace of he project Ive received more calls about than anything she said Precinct 1 Commissioner Jack Dawson has expressed anger that the project isnt completed already This past Friday both commissioners had a confer ence call with Bob Koenig the TDCJ official who over sees the work program Dawson said The good news is theyll start work on the Dry Comal Creek project on the Dawson said While Koenig is down here he will meet with county offi cials and go to South Access Road to reassess the project Dawson said But that assessment will take a week to complete and then perhaps it will take two more weeks to work up a contract Dawson said If you do the math on this were talking about Dawson said We just cant wait any Dawson said it no longer makes sense to simply wait See   

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