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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - February 3, 2011, New Braunfels, Texas THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 3,2011 Texas >dpNewspaper of the Year ^ m W Texas A; * Newspaper of the Year Zeitung Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852. 500 ■ PREP SPORTS, 7 Area athletes ink scholarships on Signing Day SMITHSON VALLEY'S LACH LABANNA, left, signs a National Letter of Intent to play football for University of the Incarnate Word. LAURA McKENZIE/Herald-Zeitunfl ■ WORLD, 12 Mubarak backers, foes clash in Cairo square Groundhog Punxsutawney Phil emerges, predicts early spring ■ STORY BELOW New Braunfels officials offer tips for dealing with extreme cold ■ PAGE 5 Blizzard spreads snowy shroud over nearly half of the nation ■ PAGE 5 I ► NB ATTORNEY ON TRIAL Jurors go home early Wednesday Sick witness, weather delays force judge to call it a day after just 5 minutes ALL CHILLY ON THE COMAL COLD FRONT ARCTIC BLAST Forecasters now calling for snow on Friday By Greg Bowen The Herald-Zeitung The freezing temperatures that caused rolling electrical outages across New Braunfels Wednesday morning are expected to continue today— and forecasters are now calling for snow in the city on Friday morning. “ Were pretty confident that we’re going to be getting some snow,” said Paul Yura, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office at New Braunfels Municipal Airport. “You could wake up Friday morning to a little bit of snow on the ground or seeing some snow falling.” Yura said the NWS is “looking at maybe one inch in the Hill Country around New Braunfels and the 1-35 corridor, with areas further east maybe getting into the two-to three-inch range.” He said temperatures today will remain “very, very cold. We’ll be struggling to get above See COLD, Page 5 PAYMENT EXTENSION With the concern about inclement weather, NBU customers with Feb. 3 due dates have until 5 p.m. Friday to make their payment without penalty. Customers with questions about their bill can contact NBU customer service at (830) 629-8400. D u LAURA McKENZIE/Herald-Zeitung Fat Hernandez tries to stay warm while helping children cross Walnut Avenue on Wednesday. Famous Phil doesn’t see shadow; early spring? By The Associated Press PUNXSUTAWNEY, Pa. — To the relief of the winter-weary, the world’s most famous groundhog predicted an early spring Wednesday. Punxsutawney Phil emerged just after dawn on Groundhog Day to make his 125th annual weather forecast in front of a smaller-than-usual crowd who braved muddy, icy conditions to hear his handlers reveal he had not seen his shadow. Including Wednesday's forecast, Phil has seen his shadow 98 times and hasn’t seen it just 16 times since 1887. There are no records for the remaining years, though the group has never failed to issue a forecast. The celebration took place on Gobbler’s Knob, a tiny hill in Punxsutawney, a borough of about 6,100 residents some 65 miles northeast of Pittsburgh. The celebration is rooted in a German superstition that says if a hibernating animal casts a shadow on Feb. 2, the Christian holiday of Candlemas, winter will last another six weeks. If no shadow was seen, legend said spring would come early. In reality, Pennsylvania’s prophetic rodent doesn’t see much of anything. The result is actually decided in advance by 14 members of the club’s Inner Circle, who don tuxedos and top hats for the event. The celebration usually draws 10,000 to 15,000 spectators when it falls on a weekday, Groundhog club spokesman Luke Webber said. Scooter Store, Sun Capital partner for financing By Will Wright The Herald-Zeitung The Scooter Store announced Wednesday that it has partnered with Sun Capital Partners, Inc. to help finance its current and future operations. “This is a big day for our company and a good thing for the community of New Braunfels," said Mike Pfister, The Scooter Store's executive vice president. “What this partnership allows us to do is to confidently go into 2011 — and into the future — with a partner that will help us do even better than we’ve done in the past.” The Scooter Store has 2,600 employees, making it the largest private employer in New Braunfels. Its short-term needs were immediate — financing that will help it weather a change in the way it will be paid for its top product, power wheelchairs. Recent changes in Medicare caused by the new healthcare reform bill change how companies are reimbursed for the rental or sale of durable medical equipment, such as the power wheelchairs sold by The Scooter Store. Now that the sale of many of those units won’t be completed until after a 13-month period, those companies are facing a cash flow dilemma. “We needed to have the funding to help get us through this first year," Pfister said. “We chose Sun Partners because of their ability to help us — not just through this See SCOOTER, Page 12 By Will Wright The Herald-Zeitung Jurors were dismissed after only five minutes Wednesday morning in the second day in the trial of a New Braunfels attorney charged with attempted sexual assault of a child. Citing the illness of one defense witness and the inability of two others to attend because of the weather, visiting District Court Judge Doug Shaver recessed the trial of Mark Clark until 9 a.m. today. “Because of the weath- C j ark er, witnesses coming from ‘ * other areas and the illness of another witness, it’s my judgment that we not go forward today,” Shaver told the jury pool. He advised the jury to remember instructions not to discuss the case with others before letting them go. “Have a good warm afternoon and we’ll see you at 9 o’clock tomorrow morning,’’ he said, wrapping up the session at 10:30 a.m. On Tuesday, the alleged victim, now 13, testified on the events of June 4, 2010, the day she testified that Clark offered her $1,000 to model lingerie for him in lieu of payment for her mother’s legal expenses for Clark representing her in a child custody case. Another witness, a 21 -year-old Wimberley woman, testified that Clark had made a similar request when she sought Clark to represent her in seeking child support from her then-unborn baby’s father. The prosecution rested its case against the 55-year-old attorney, charged with attempted aggravated sexual assault of a child and attempted sexual performance of a child, on Tuesday. Earlier Wednesday, defense attorney Joe James Sawyer and chief prosecutor Sammy McCrary argued over the potential testimony of four defense witnesses See TRIAL, Page 12 Vol. 158, No. 72 12 pages, 1 section Inside CLASSIFIEDS 10 COMICS 6 CROSSWORD 6 FORUM 4 OBITUARIES 3 PLANNER 9 SPORTS 7 TV GRID 11 Snow possible High Low 34 21 Details 9 qaKKwdofaiTOir) Nursing and Rehab Center You are invited to a VA benefits information seminar at Kirkwood Manor. Mark Your Calendars! Seminar - Tuesday, February 24,2011 5:30 p.m. Seating is limited so please RSVP a/rdf 2590 Loop 337 N, New Braunfels, Texas 7*8130 • (830) 620 0509
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