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   New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - July 4, 2009, New Braunfels, Texas                                 NEWS  Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852.  Vol. 156, No. 203 22 pages, 2 sections  Check out what's happening downtown. Pag« 12A  herald-zeitunfl.com i  o  HOT  High Low  102 75  Details____9A  DEARABBY 14A CLASSIFIEDS i COMICS 13A OK^^ñoiDiaA FORUM 4A SPORTS e-TA TV GRIDS 14A  Let Freedom Ring Mn resigns  Fireworks display, parade highlight Fourth of July celebration  By Soott SticlcMr  Tho Herald-Zeitung  Comal County's fireworks ban might have removed some of the sparkle from this year's Fourth of July but residents can still get their bang at the New Braunfels fireworks show.  Parks and recreation officials geared up for what they said would be a busy holiday weekend.  The main event will be today's fireworks display over Landa Park Municipal Golf Course, New Braunfels Parks and Recreation director Stacey Laird said.  The golf course wiU be open for the public to bring picnic baskets, blankets and chairs today, Laird said.  "Wve got bands playing at the dance slab from 7 to 9 p.m., and the fireworks will start aitmiid-tflS,^ shetaid.  Fireworks are always banned in the city. Extreme drought conditions led Comal County Judge Danny Scheel to issue a county-wide ban at Thursday's commissioner's court meeting.  The Keetch-Byram Drought Index, which measures fire danger probability based on soil moisture and other factors, rated the average fire danger level in Comal County at 660 out of800 Friday Parts of the county were as high as 721.  Comal County Fire Marshal Wayne Ellington said the county-wide ban even included sparklers.  "llie things that people can still buy are the little party poppers — the ones that you throw on the ground and pop," Ellington said.  Gov. Rick Perry signed a Declaration of Local Disaster for the county, declaring fireworks would be banned through 7 a.m. Monday.  Parks department employees were taking precautions to counter the historic drought, Laird said. "We've been watering the  See FOURTH, Page 5A  LMMA HeKBiZIE/Herald-Zeitung  The United States andTexas flags wave in the breeze Friday near the Comal County Courthouse. Fourth of July celebrations will kick off with a parade at 9:15 a.m. today in downtown New Braunfels.  on the FOURTH  „ «lût a m^OÊim  t9Q0m  LuéíéWÉA Ftoemmto  M Tlii«imiilFoiirttiofílu^(if«Morl» LarNfft tM itt 7 pm tteas Tkfe (a «Hhiibw BUÜH flflMif henift aiiMnn at th^  vPiWiy WPWiHOTIi w^fmma^ p^V^^^r ^^ W^V  tf Thsiiwioifci dhpli^ tpyntond by H-E*^ tu !T|ii goli oouiii wH bi Qptn for tfw puMc to  ■lilWiapwy'BBWWW^ PHWi BBw ClwWl»  M'flíi^BiMli Irf WMV MItiliÉto to Êtm Mo*'  Tubers enjoying increased flow on Guadalupe  By Scoti SticlcMr  The Herald-Zeitung  jean Tledman smiled as she pushed her sunglasses up on her nose, acyusted her sun visor and dipped her black inner-tube into the Guadalupe River Friday.  She was going with the flow that afternoon.  The flow of the Guadalupe River more than dmtbled from about 60 cubic feet persectmdto 133 cfe as (^Friday evenii^ ato tl^ d^ ofVictoria requested more wat^ be released fit)m Canyon Lake on  lUesday. Like many cities downstream, Victoria relies on the Guadalupe as its primary water source, and can request additional water in times of extreme drou^t  Tourists — such as Tiedman and her friends from San Antonio — streamed in to enjoy the river's fester flow Friday.  "We heard they were letting the water oirt,'"nedman sakLknew we wouldn't have to get out and walk our tubes. We came here because we thought there would be more water."  Before the rdease, she said she heard  horror stories about tubing the Guadalupe.  " Wb had friends come up who got their tubes stuck on rocks and had to get out aiKi walk," she said. "It didn't sound very fun. Now that there's more water, we're pretty excited."  Locri river outfitters were also pumped aboitt the increase.  River Sports Hibes manager Kevin Martin said they were all working fast to get everyone on the river.  unexpectedly  From staff and wire reports  K  Sarah Palin  WASII.I A. Alaska — Alaska (iov. Sarah Palin abruptly announced Friday she is resigning from office at the end of the month, a shocking move that rattled the Republican party but left open the possibility she would seek a run for the White House in 2012.  Palin. 45, and her staff kept her ftiture plans shrouded in mystery, and it was unclear if the controversial hockey mom would quietly return to private life or begin laying the foundation for a presidential bid.  Palin's spokesman, David Murrow, said the governor didn't say anything to him about this being her "political finale." He said he interpreted Palin's comment about working outside government as reflecting her current job only  "She's looking forward to serving the public outside the governor's chair," he said.  New Braunfels lU'puhlii an l\uty (;hair I iiny Niickols slid the news was unexpet ted.  "I'm surprised lo hear that, " Nuckols said. "I roni everything I've read and heard, she's done an i'xct'l lent job in that position. But I still think she has a very bright political future and could easily win and be successful in a higher oliice someday."  In a hastily arranged news conference at her home in suburban Wasilla, Palin said she will formally step down luly 26. and Lt. (iov. Sean Parnell will be inaugurated at the governor's picnic in Fairbanks. She said she had decided against running lor re-election as Alaska's gov ernor. and believed it was best to leave office even though she had two years Id! to her term.  "Miuiy just accept that lame duck status, and they hit that road, rhey draw a paychec k. Hiey kind ot tnilk it. And i ni not going to put Alaskans through that." she siiid.  rhe 2008 vice presidential nominee was seen as a likely presidential contender in 2012 and had proved formi dable among the party's base.  See PALIN, Page 3A  Vleek surprised to receive statewide chamber award  ByTharon Brittain  The Herald-Zeitung  Michael Meek almost missed the Texas Chamber of Commerce Executives annual conference this year, but it is a good thing he showed up.  Through some well-meaning Midiael deception,  family and colleagues managed to get Meek to the June 29 event, where he was the surprised recipient of the Marvin Hurley Lifetime  Achievement Award.  "I was quite stunned." said Meek, president the Cireater New Braunfels Chamber ol Commerce.  "My family and staff had been aware of it since April, and they did a real good job of keeping it from me." he said.  The award is given annually to an executive officer with a distinguished cr'r.-cr in his particular chamber.  TCCE officials said winning candidates generally have been in tlie profession for a significant amount of time, have proven themselves outstanding among their peers  See MEEK, Page 3A  V  J^-' I  LAURA McKBdE/Herald-Zeitung  JeanTiedeman, right and her friends prepare to get in See TUBERS, Page 6A the Guadalupe River for an afternoon of tubing on Friday.  New Braunfels Properties  f  4   

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