Wednesday, February 26, 2003

New Braunfels Herald Zeitung

Location: New Braunfels, Texas

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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - February 26, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas NEW BRAUNFELS WEDNESDAY February 26 2003 y W WvS pages in 2 sections HERALDZEITUNG Vol 1S2 No 90 Serving New Braunfels and Coma County since 1852 50 cents Arctic blast wreaks havoc New Braunfels Police officer Tim Brinkkoeter holds the hand of Jose A Velasquez who was trapped under his Ford Taurus after propping the car up on an icy concrete curb at HEB to work underneath it Brinkkoeter jacked the car up and rescue personnel per formed CPR Velasquez was listed in stable condition at University Hospital Tuesday after noon He was not breathing and had no pulse when he was transported from the scene DAVID HeraldZeitung Man escapes death after car falls on him BY RON MALONEY Staff Writer A 33yearold Austin man nar rowly escaped death Tuesday when the car he was repairing fell on him in a New Braunfels parking lot Police and firefighters per formed cardiopulmonary resus citation on Jose A Velasquez as he was pulled from beneath his car and taken by ambulance to McKenna Memorial Hospital From there he was driven to University Hospital in San Anto nio where a spokesman said late Tuesday afternoon Velasquez was in stable condition Police and firefighters were dispatched to the HEB parking lot at the corner of Walnut Avenue and Business 35 at 11 for a report that a man was lying trapped under a car Police officer Tim Brinkkoeter was first at the scene He saw Velasquezs lower body protruding from beneath the car Thejnan was unresponsive and was not moving Brinkkoeter pulled a hydraulic floor jack from the trunk of his patrol car and lifted the vehicle off Velasquez He pulled the man from beneath the car an older model Ford Taurus Brinkkoeter felt no pulse and Velasquez was not breathing We started CPR immediate Brinkkoeter said The officer was joined in the lifesaving effort by officers Chris Peltier and Usbaldo Patino Scattered beneath the car were socket wrenches and a cel lular telephone that rang while the officers worked to save Velasquez Police Sgt Mike Rutherford See Weather yields wrecks closures DAVID The lions head on the fountain at Main Plaza quickly froze after temperatures plummeted around New Braunfels Monday evening BY RON MALONEY Staff Writer A winter freezing rain storm closed both local school districts and many businesses and caused numerous traffic accidents early Tuesday Sandy Williamson with the Texas Depart ment of Transportation office in New Braun fels said at midmorning Tuesday the only local highway closure was on southbound Interstate 35 at Cibolo Creek in Selma Were detouring everyone onto the frontage she said As for the rest of Interstate 35 she said the closure situation could change at any time Were keeping it sanded as much as we can Everything is icing up so fast were having trouble keeping Williamson said New Braunfels police Sgt David Wilson reported 18 traffic accidents on roads and streets in the city limits between 6 Mon day and 7 Tuesday none with life At a glance Space heaters might have contributed to fire BY RON MALONEY Staff Writer A 43yearold New Braunfels man was killed and his wife critically injured in the fire that destroyed their mobile home early Tuesday New Braunfels Fire Marshal Darren Brinkkoeter said Dennis D Forster was found dead in his res idence in the Linde Avenue mobile home park His wife Susan 38 was taken to McKenna Memorial Hospital and then to Brooke Army Med ical Center for treatment of smoke inhalation A BAMC official said Tuesday afternoon that Susan Forster was in critical condition Brinkkoeter said neighbors who saw an orange glow through the windows of the Forster home called the citys 911 dispatch center at Neighbors helped Susan Forster from the resi dence through its back door Arriving firefighters found the Forster residence an older model mobile home fully in flames As soon as they got here they had a report that someone was possibly Brinkkoeter said Firefighters went into the home by the rear entrance but were defeated in rescue attempts by the flames inside Brinkkoeter said There was fire consuming the whole inside of the building Rescue was attempted but they were pushed back by intense Brinkkoeter said The fire appeared to have started in the living area of the home Brinkkoeter said He and Deputy State Fire Marshal Tommy Huber tus were continuing their investigation into the cause late in the afternoon It appears to be Brinkkoeter said The home was heated with electric space heaters Brinkkoeter said There were numerous heaters in the house It was cold and they were trying to stay he said Brinkkoeter said he would list the cause as Tara Brinkkoeter branch manager for the New Braunfels American Red Cross office said her agency offers aid to families displaced by She said the Red Cross would help Susan Forster if needed as she recovers It could help with shelter needs for up to two or three days food and clothing As of right now we pretty much have to let the hospital do their work We want to help and do everything we can but the hospital is doing everything thats needed right Tara Brinkkoeter said For information on Comal County roads call the County Road Department 6082090 For information on state highways call the Texas Department of Transportations road condition hotline 18004529292 or log onto threatening injuries After 7 as traffic picked up there were numerous more accidents on Interstate 35 five of them rollovers The frontage roads over the Guadalupe River and Texas 46 to Boerne are Wilson said Both the New Braunfels and Comal Inde pendent School districts cancelled classes Tuesday because of widespread icy road con ditions See DAVID Deputy State Fire Marshal Tommy Hubertus New Braunfels Fire Inspector Brett Neely and New Braunfels Fire Marshal Darren Brinkkoeter from left discuss the possible origins of a Tuesday morning fire that destroyed a mobile home and killed Dennis D Forster 43 Casteel drafts bill to use hotel tax for river cleanup BY DYLAN JIMENEZ Staff Writer State Rep Carter Casteel RNew Braunfels will rely upon the precedence of for mer legislation concerning state waterways to try to push a bill through Legisla ture that would use state funds for river cleanup New Braunfels City Coun cil unanimously voted Mon day night to support Casteel as she requests a part of the states share of the Hotel Occupancy Tax or room tax collected in the city to fund cleanup efforts on the Comal and Guadalupe rivers Room tax is 13 percent in New Braunfels Six percent goes to the state and 7 per cent goes to the city Casteel would like to retain a sixth of the states share for river cleanup Other Texas cities have asserted that their water ways and beaches are state property and should be part ly funded by the state Leg islation that gives HOT funds back to Galveston South Padre and Corpus Christi for waterway maintenance have been passed in the last four years See INSIDE Key Code 76 a i 18yearold student files in CISD race BY SEAN BOWLIN Staff Writer An 18yearold New Braunfels High School stu dent has announced his can didacy for the Comal Inde pendent School District Board of Trustees Randy Shelton said Tues day he is seeking election to the District 5 post cur rently held by Derald LaRue LaRue has not announced if he plans to seek reelec tion Shelton was filing his papers Tuesday afternoon he said Shelton who lives in Spring Branch in District 5 and whose mother teaches at NBHS said why he plans to run The reason Im running is the fact that Im tired of nothing being Shel ton said My constituents are tired of nothing being done and so I feel its nec essary for me to enter into this race Hopefully if Im elected I will see something being done more than what is being Shelton said that the state of Texas was squeezing funds local taxes were ris ing and people were mad about it What I want to see is a cooperation between the state and the school district so the school district can lower taxes and bring back a budget where we wont have to raise taxes so said the teenager Shelton joins Dora L Gon zales Rose Cervin board President Dan K Krueger and Randy Pawelek in announcing election cam paigns for the board Anyone interested in fil ing for the election must be a registered voter live in the singlemember district they are filing for and have been residents of the district for six months Early voting starts April 16 and ends April 29 Polling locations for all four CISD singlemember districts will be announced later