Tuesday, September 7, 2004

New Braunfels Herald Zeitung

Location: New Braunfels, Texas

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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - September 7, 2004, New Braunfels, Texas MS KOI 1000571 SOUTHWEST HKROPUBLISNERS 2621 E VftMDFll EL PftSO e TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 4mr JL JL 1 IP GOLF After being ranked number one for the past five years Tiger Woods loses the top spot to Vijay Singh Page 5A FORUM GUEST COLUMN Duane Neel writes about how following AACOGs rules wont make a differ ence in air quality Page 4A Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1862 Vol 153 No 266 12 pages 2 sections CLICK DEAR ABBY 36 COMICS 2B Mostly sunny High Low 87 64 Details 1B FORUM 4A OBITUARIES IB SPORTS 5A TV GRIDS 38 Man 20 drowns in Guadalupe River By Ron Maloney Staff Writer A 20yearold Houston man became the summers fifth recreationrelated drowning victim in Comal County Sun day and the second in the Guadalupe River Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace Jennifer Saunders pro nounced Prapeep Johnson of Houston dead at the scene of the incident Sunday after noon Canyon Lake Capt Danny Ray said John son was part of a group who were tubing the river just before 2 Three individuals who were friends in their early 20s were tubing when they stopped to swing on a rope thats just a little bit above the fourth Ray said They were swinging OK but this guy apparently was walk ing back toward shore after ward and stepped off a ledge He slipped under the water and that was Members of the group searched 10 to 15 minutes before running up to a nearby home to call for help Ray said With that much time under water firefighters who arrived at the scene could not have recovered the man in time to resuscitate him Ray said They called for members of the South Hays Fire Depart ments San Marcos Area Recovery Team and initiated a search of their own starting See DROWNING Page 3A The last hurrah of summer Rain doesnt wash out Labor Day weekend By Ron Maloney Staff Writer The Labor Day holiday weekend was expect ed to be far from the summers busiest but it was far from a washout even with Mondays rainy weather Outfitters and public safety officials report ed about what theyd expected to to middling crowds moderated by bouts of rain Saturdays weekend fun was interrupted by a couple of cloudbursts as was Mondays Historically though Monday is often a travel day for the summers last holiday weekend As on most threeday holiday weekends Sun day was busiest Paul Rich said Monday hed seen less people than hed anticipated It was an OK weekend We had perfect con ditions and the weather was good until Rich said I know everyone said theyd had a good time There didnt seem to be as many people but it kind of overwhelmed me Every one I asked said It was great If they had a great time it might help next year or even next weekend We already have a festival going on up to 300 people coming tubing next At Canyon Lake fire Capt Danny Ray reported most calls for EMS service were rel atively mild except for a drowning near the fourth crossing Weve been fairly Ray said Most of it has been I hurt my I hurt my I hurt my that sort of In New Braunfels Sunday afternoon police and firefighters mounted a rescue effort at about 5 for a missing 12yearold boy He got said Frank Gonzales New Braunfels Fire Department battalion chief He was tubing with a group and went past the last exit on the MindM of an incident earlier in the summer when a Houston family had to be rescued from the falls at the old textile mill police and firefighters prepared a similar effort just upstream from Faust Street Bridge Before a boat was launched Gonzales said fire Capt Ray Hacker went upriver and found the group calling them to shore and warn ing them about the falls Ray asked them if they knew there was a dam Gonzales said See HOLIDAY Page 3A DAVID HeraldZeitung Above tubers enjoy a speedy ride through a chute on a less than crowded Comal River Saturday afternoon left tubers take a ride through the tube chute on the Comal River over the long Labor Day weekend Despite rainy condi tions over the week end visitors came to New Braunfels to enjoy the summers last holiday week end Cold wet weather causes few traffic accidents problems By Ron Maloney Staff Writer A cold front rolled through Mon day bringing with it rain wet roads and a smattering of local traffic acci dents but few major problems National Weather Service Meteo rologist Dave Swallow said Mondays wet weather was caused by a cold front going across the region Rainfall was expected to continue intermit tently into the evenuig to be replaced today by partly cloudy skies New Braunfels Fire Department Battalion Chief Steve Mabe reported numerous minor traffic accidents around New Braunfels and on Inter state 35 Around 3 Interstate 35 was turned into a parking lot for a short time by a multivehicle chainreac tion no injuries We had quite a big one on Inter state 35 with about 10 vehicles MORE RAIN ON THE WAY Whats the weather going to be for the next few days Check the local forecast on Page 1B involved a little bit ago that brought traffic to a complete Mabe said But there was minor damage and no Eariy in the afternoon one person was taken from a southbound acci dent to Brooke Army Medical Center with injuries that werent believed to be lifethreatening Except for that one on Interstate 35 South we had no transports out of any of them They were all minor accidents all weather Mabe said In Spring Branch firefighter Nathan Oxhandler reported no weatherrelated accidents or prob lems See WEATHER Page 3A Tax rate to be set for 2005 budget By Ron Maloney Staff Writer Comal County Commissioners Thursday will take their final action on the 2005 budget setting the tax rate that will fund it The county will also decide what path to take as it considers major repairs needed at the Comal County courthouse Commissioners Court meets at in the courtroom at 199 Main Plaza Comal Countys ad valorem proper ty tax rate will remain unchanged from the current rate of cents per of assessed value Property taxes will fund a general fund budget of approximately million an increase of about over the 2004 budget The increases come in creating a second County CourtatLaw pick up the salaries of sheriffs deputies hired under a fed eral grant and a 2 percent costofliv ing raise for employees The tax rate will remain unchanged because the differ ence will be made up of projected increases in the countys taxable value County officials warily eyeing a November ballot on a proposed tax freeze for seniors and disabled prop erty owners and further expected unfunded state mandates including a possible tax increase ceiling are con cerned the countys days of flatfund ing budgets could be over Except for 2003 when commission ers voted a onecent increase to pick up the costs of recovery from the 2002 flood Comal County has not had a tax rate increase during Danny Scheels administration as county judge Scheel offered scant hope during See BUDGET Page 3A COMING FRIDAY 2005 GENERAL FUND BUDGET The 2005 Gener al Fund budget comes in at million It will be funded by an ad valorem tax rate of cents per of assessed value which is unchanged from 2004 Where it goes Law Enforcement 52 percent million Judicial 19 per cent mil lion General and administration 13 percent million Finance 7 per cent mil lion 6 percent million Executive 3 percent Note Numbers rounded up or down to nearest