Wednesday, January 7, 2004

New Braunfels Herald Zeitung

Location: New Braunfels, Texas

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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - January 7, 2004, New Braunfels, Texas NESDAY JANUARY LIFE ART PROJECT New Braunfels Art League is renovating its downtown space to look more like a commercial art gallery Page IB SAVINGS EL JARDIN El Jardin Restaurant offers daily specials including buy three breakfast tacos and get a fourth taco free Page 3A Semng New Braunfels and Comal County 1852 14 pages 2 sections com DEAR ABBY 4B COMICS 30 sesswooi Mostly cldudf High Low 45 40 Details 2B FORUM SPORTS TV GRIDS 4A IS 64 4B Womans body found death accidental Lisa Sportsman By Ron Maloney Staff Writer SPRING Spring Branch woman who disap peared four months ago was found dead Monday off the side of a cliff above Rebecca Creek Comal County Sheriffs detec tive Sgt Tommy Ward said human remains found near the womans vehicle were identified Tuesday as those of Lisa Rox ann Sportsman who disap peared Sept 3 Ward said Travis County Assis tant Medical Examiner Dr Eliz abeth Peacock ruled the cause of Sportsmans death as acciden tal the result of blunt force trauma after the vehicle plunged over the cliff and onto rocks 50 feet below 41 left her grand mothers Spring Branch home the evening Sept 3 saying she would return in a few minutes but she never did An extensive investigation by the sheriffs office and the San Heidi Search Center revealed no sign of her Sheriffs Public Information Officer Lt Mark Reynolds said a pair of hikers reported they found the vehicle off the end of Bluebonnet Hill Drive Sunday Ward said one of the hikers made the report Monday after going into a store in western Comal County and seeing a pamphlet that listed Sportsman missing She realized the vehicle shed seen a dark green Ford Explor er matched the description of the one in the Ward said The color of the vehicle and its location made it difficult to see from the top of the cliff See DEATH Page 3A FRONTand CENTER Commission gets first look at 2004 annexation plans DAVID New Braunfels resident Wayne Rudolph 73 has asked city council to consider freezing city propery taxes for homeowners 65 and older Texas voters passed a constitutional amendment in September that gives cities and counties that option Local governments weigh property tax break for seniors By Scott Mahon Staff Writer Officials say they are review ing legislation that allows cities and counties to freeze ad val orem taxes for senior home owners but wont decide any thing until they fully under stand the legislations impact Voters passed the constitu tional amendment in Septem ber It permits counties cities and junior college districts to establish an ad valorem tax freeze on homesteads of resi dents who are disabled or who are 65 or older The new legislation went into effect Jan said City Senior residents are usually confined to fixed incomes where as younger residents still have higher incomes to look for ward Wayne Rudolph New Braunfels resident Manager Chuck Pinto Ive already sent a copy of the law to city council members and I suspect theyll talk about it when we start our budget process in The amendment was intended to give elderly and disabled residents the same beneficial tax treatment that elderly currently get with pub lic school property taxes At least one New Braunfels resident has already urged city council to consider freezing property taxes for New Braun fels residents Wayne Rudolph 73 asked council in December to con sider freezing city property taxes for homeowners 65 and older Rudoph resides within the city limits of New Braunfels in Guadalupe County I know Guadalupe County commissioners are looking into he said And its my understanding that senior residents and disabled resi dents represent only 7 per cent of the population of Guadalupe Rudolph said school dis tricts set the precedent for freezing property taxes for senior residents Senior residents are usu ally confined to fixed incomes whereas younger residents still have higher incomes to look forward Rudolph said There are a lot of senior residents who have to decide every day to buy medication or food because See TAXES Page 3A By Scott Mahon Staff Writer The New Braunfels Plan ning Commission began its annual annexation process Tuesday and officials reminded residents at the meeting annexation is almost always controversial Almost every time we get into annexation its poten tially said Frank Robbins director of planning and community development Anytime we do annexa tion mere are always some landowners who oppose added Ace McAda who act ed as chairman Tuesday during John Dierksens absence But were just beginning the process tonight Were not going to take any action We just want to give the staff some direction So tonight is very Jocelyn Murphy a city planner outlined a timeline for the commission In February well give you a schedule and contin ue to identify areas to con sider for she said Then in March well prepare a summary of each area under consideration By April you should be ready to make your recom mendations to city council which will hold public hear ings in Murphy said areas for pos sible annexation this year include two areas adjacent to the airport a stretch of land adjacent to 135 north of New Braunfels and Coun ty Judge Danny Scheels property Were reaching out as far as we can up 135 to the Ski Robbins said Thafs almost to the point of the citys interlocal agreement with the city of San Marcos near Watson Robbins said the Planning Commission begins its review of potential areas for annexation in January In the past we worked with a fiveyear he said We did away with that last year Now we begin each year looking at areas of growth that are potential areas for See ANNEXATION Page 3A Areas to be annexed Other potential areas Meek challenges newspapers Texan of the Year award iy Ren Maloney Staff Writer Baas is abJgplace but theres only room The Dallas Morning News appar ently didnt realise this past week when they named President George W Bush Texan of the Year that there was another honor of the same name in New Brajjnjfels going back 30 years a recogni tion Bush received in 2002 Perhaps nobody was more suur prisedtiwji Greater NewBraiuifels Chamber of Commerce President Michael Meek when the Morning News gave Bwsli tbe award again Meek said his organization has bestowed the Texan of the Year award at its annual Texas Legisla tive Conference for the past 30 has trademarked the tejjn with the Texas Secretary of Slabs Office Now Meek ssi4 more precisely its teujtim is contacting the Morning News to try to clear the mattef up Were in to process them and giving mem a copy of Michael Meek our trademark registration infor mation thats on file with the sec retary of Meek said They probably didnt even know what they were Meek would like to see the news paper the largest in Texas change the name of its award Dallas Morning News Editorial Page Editor Keven AnnWUley said she was surprised to learn that there had been a Texan of the Year named in New Braunfels for three We were unaware of a promi nent Texan of the Year which is part of the reason we launched WUteysaM So far WUtey said she hasnt heard from Meek When she does shell decide what to do Ive only heard from the news paper I havent heard from the chamber of Willey said Ill be happy to consider it when I have something to respond to I just dont know at this For his part Meek was concilia tory Weve had a longterm rela tionship with the media out lets in the stale aaid Im sure this is just an oversight on their Meek said Someone up there probably said Hey lets have a Tex an of the it sounded good and they did it it sounded good here 30 years