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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - May 6, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas NEW BRAUNFELS TUESDAY May 6 2003 14 pages in 2 sections EITUNG Vol 153 No 148 Serving New Braunfela and Comal County since 1852 50 cents Train strikes kills 30yearold man BY RON MALONEY Staff Writer A 30yearold New Braunfela man was killed Sunday morning when he was struck by a Union Pacific freight train New Braunfels Police Lt Mike Rust said Gabriel Gomez died at near the Union Pacific crossing at Alt gelt Road just off Loop 337 Mr Gomez was seen sitting on the Rust said The engine crew blew the whistle he got off the tracks and went back to retrieve something As he bent down to get it he got Rust said Union Pacific spokesman Mark Davis said the train involvedin the incident Was a 40car freight running from Chicago to Laredo He confirmed that the crew had seen the Victim and had tried to warn him to get off of the tracks The crew began to blow the horn and turned on the Davis said The person stood up and turned back toward the track to pick up either a backpack or a the company spokesman said The train traveled another feet before the crew was able to bring it to a full stop Davis said Sweet taste of life Florence Wipkes 105 years have stretched across 3 centuries BY RON MALONEY Staff Writer There are bragging rights and then there are brag ging rights the kind that cant be surpassed no matter who tells the next story or how much they embellish it And thats how it is for Florence Wipke Because not everyone can say theyve been on this Earth during three different centuries Thats right because Wipke who celebrated her 105th birth day Monday afternoon at the Arboretum of New Braunfels Nursing Garo Genter was born in St Louis in 1898 She expected a party but not like the one thrown for her I knew there would be a party but I didnt know my daughter was going to do all of Wipke said Her daughter Betty Drawe of New Braunfels said the Arbore tum planned the special affair Shes very Drawe said of her mother She remembers the St Louis Worlds Fair of 1904 She my father Albert and my brother and I we were just babies moved to Mercedes in the Rio Grande Valley in Drawe said It was pretty much Florence and Albert Wipke raised oranges tangerines and grapefruit on 73 acres in the val ley She moved to New Braunfels in 1981 Wipke kept her own home until she was nearly 101 Mothers always had a good constitution She ate everything she ever wanted to eat she never smoked never drank and never Drawe said She did many civic things and helped everybody she could Shes a good Christian woman and an See DAVID Florence Wipke checks the icing on her birthday cake at a party held Monday in her honor at the Arboretum nursing cen ter Friends and family helped Wipke celebrate her 105th birth day with the help of accordionist Bob Blang New Braunfels police officers Craig Christoph erson and Sgt Joe Vargas walk the railroad tracks close to Altgelt Road measuring the distance from the scene of a fatal trainpedes trian accident Sunday K JESSIE HoraldZollung Pinto Time to get handle on street woes PINTO BY DYLAN JIMENEZ Staff Writer The citys million street problem could be addressed by midsummer New Braun fels City Manager Chuck Pinto said Monday Residents voted down Sat urday two propositions thut would have divert ed million over the next four years from economic deve lopment to street re pair Pinto stressed the vote docs not mean residents are will ing to wait for street Its very impor tant to look at eco nomic development in this Pinto said of the election results But it is also im portant he said that the city get a handle on its street problem Every day those costs are the city manager said One of the propo sitions rejected Saturday would have reduced the 4B sales tux by twothirds The other would have created a street maintenance tux Proponents of economic de velopment say voters sent of ficials a clear message about the publics desire lor com mercial growth in economi cally tough times Pinto said the vote outlines for his staff how it should use the citys existing resources to address economic develop ment and street repair It appears that the people that voted felt it was very important to maintain the economic development sales tax and to stay focused in that direction And we need 2003 UNOFFICIAL RETURNS Complete but unofficial returns of Saturdays election can bo found on Pinto if you have a town with good eco nomic development and no streets to drive on then you have a City staff estimates New Braunfels needs million in street repair half rou tine repair and half drainage Pinto said deve loping a plan to ad dress street repairs takes engineering principles and poli tics He added just how the city council plans to tackle the street maintenance problem would be decided once the new council mem bers are sworn in Since 4B revenue was not reduced at least three major drainage projects should go ahead without a scramble for a different fund ing source he said Council approved earlier this year the use of 4B funds for the irucno Road and hike and bike and Coun ty Line Road projects The finance department already is putting together the paperwork so council can vote in the next few weeks on the issuance of bonds from 4B money for those projects Pinto said In April officials announc ed the completion of a city wide inventory thut report ed million in routine street projects The city currently spends every year on rou tine street repair Stall is try ing to increase thiw allotment by cutting city costs and in creasing revenue with addi See STREET INSIDE TV Key Code 76 Thrice was not a charm for fireplagued family BY RON MALONEY Staff Writer The third time was not the charm for a local family who lost its home this past weekend in a series of fires that started with a etovetop cooking blaze New Braunfela Fire Marshal Darren Brinkkoeter said Mar cus and Barbara Sanchez and their three children were left homeless early Sunday after their Savannah Hills Circle home was heavily damaged Firefighters went to the resi dence three times beginning at Saturday Brinkkoeter said In that incident cooking oil in an unattended frying pan flared up and atarted a fire that burned into the stoves exhaust hood It was extinguished with axi nimal damage Brinkkoeter said and firefighters turned off the atove and hood at the homes breaker box because of electri cal damage The value of the hood placed at about Brink koeter said At firefighters were called back out the fire marshal said when the family apparent ly turned the breaker back on That time an electrical short circuit caused a fire above the ceiling in the residence which Brinkkoeter said was a dou blewide mobile home Firefighters spent more than three hours at the residence in the incident because the electrical load had caused New Braun fels firefight ers attend to a fire at a Savannah Hill Circle home for the third time during their 24 hour shift The final call came at 3 Sunday The manufac tured hous ing unit was heavily damaged
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