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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - April 4, 2007, New Braunfels, Texas WEDNESDAY, APRIL 4,2007 erald-Zeitung SPORTS PLAY BALL All area baseball and softball teams come out victorious on Tuesday. Page 6A LIFE EASTER TREATS Get some ideas for simple desserts that can be made ahead of time allowing for a easy Easter lunch. Page 1B Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852. Vol. 154, No. 123 22 pages, 2 sections 500 www: 40% chalice of storms High Low I 71 52 ; Details .... 2B DEAR ABBY 4B CLASSIFIEDS 5B COMICS 3B CROSSWORD 3B FORUM 4A OBITUARIES 3A SPORTS 6A TV GRIDS 4BExpert predicts active hurricane season By Dan Elliott The Associated Press DENVER (AP) — A top researcher predicted a “very active" 2007 Atlantic hurricane season Tuesday, with at least nine hurricanes and a good chance one will hit the U.S. coast. The forecast by William Gray predicts 17 named storms this year, five of them major hurricanes. The probability of a major storm making landfall on the U.S. coast this year is 74 percent, At least 9 storms expected this year with I hitting coast compared with the average of 52 percent over tile past century, he said. The forecast, issued two months before the hurricane season starts, is virtually identical to the one Gray issued before the 2006 season, which turned out far quieter than he and others had feared. "Our forecast skill does improve as we get closer to the start of the sea son,” said Phil Klotzbach, a member of Grays team at Colorado State University. “Stay tuned." Last May, Gray’s team forecast 17 named storms in 2006, including nine hurricanes, five of them major ones, and an 81 percent chance that at least one major hurricane would hit the U.S. Scientists with the National Hurricane Center and two other National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration agencies issued similar predictions. Instead, there were IO named storms in 2006 and five hurricanes, two of them major ones, in what was considered a “near normal" season. None of those hurricanes hit the U.S. Atlantic coast — only the 11 th time that has occurred since 1945. Gray's team said a late, unexpected El Nino contributed to the calmer season last year. El Nino — a warming in the Pacific Ocean — has far-reaching effects that include changing wind patterns in the eastern Atlantic, which can disrupt the formation of hurricanes. Over the past winter, a weak to moderate El Nino occurred but dissipated rapidly, Klotzbach said. “Conditions this year are likely to be more conducive to hurricanes,” he said. Swimming in muck Ex-janitor pleads guilty to indecency ■ Deal saves victims from testifying By Jessica Sanders The Herald-Zeitung A former Canyon High School janitor faces up to five years in jail after pleading guilty to two charges of indecency with a child. Pablo Gutierrez Garcia, 50, pleaded guilty in district court as part of a plea deal March 27 before visiting Judge Ron Carr. Garcia, a New Braunfels resident, was sentenced to two concurrent five-year sentences for two incidents that occurred in 2006 with a girl described as a family f riend, Comal County Assistant District Attorney Von Bunn said. He will be eligible for parole in 30 months, she said. When Garcia was arrested April 3, 2006, he also was charged with aggravated assault of a child and an additional count of indecency with a child for incidents that allegedly occurred with a female family member in 1999. Both girls were younger than 14 when those incidents allegedly occurred. “With this plea deal, the charges against the family member go away. That way the girls don’t have to go through with testifying,” Bunn said. “He will serve at least half his sentence, but he ll be branded a sex offender for life.” Comal County sheriff ’s investigators said Garcia was a Canyon High School custodian, but that none of the offenses occurred on school property or were connected to his employment. Comal Independent School District spokeswoman Kari I iutchison said Garcia was put on administrative leave without pay after See JANITOR, Page 3A Pablo Gutierrez Garcia Rains fill Canyon Lake with debris By Suzanne Ashe The Herald-Zeitung CANYON LAKE — Boaters on Canyon Lake need to be aware of large floating trees, limbs and trash that has been washed into Canyon Ixike by this past week’s heavy rains, officials say. Mary Collins, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers gate attendant at Cranes Mill Park in Startzville, said the lake was full of floating debris on Sunday. “I looked up the river and it looked like a road,” she said. “It must have been the width of the road.” Collins said the debris settled Saturday at the Cranes Mill boat ramp, then the wind shifted it to Mystic Shores, located on the north side of Canyon Lake. Canyon Lake Manager Lim Horn, said most of the debris is coming from the Guadalupe River and that small tributaries upstream also contribute. “When we have high flows coming into the lake, it tends to bring debris down with it,” he said. “Debris is also picked up from the lake’s shores and ends up in tile lake.” I lorn said a lot of debris accumulates at Cranes Mill. "It depends on the direction of the wind, but a lot of time Cranes Mill acts as a filter and grabs it (the debris),” he said. Mike Dussere, Water Oriented Recreation District of Comal County manager, said water recreation on Canyon Lake is still good but he cautions boaters to slow down. See RAINS, Page 9A Mill Street anticipated to be finished by May By Suzanne Ashe The Herald-Zeitung There is good news for residents and businesses along Mill Street coming from the New Braunfels Public Works Department. Director of Public Works Mike Short gave an update Tuesday on roadway construction projects at the New Braunfels Planning and Zoning Commission meeting. Construction along Mill Street will be completed in less than one month, Short said. In June 2006, the city hired contractor Valemas, Inc., from San Antonio to complete the road construction in July 2006. Short said in January that the contractor had until July 2007 to complete the project. Other projects discussed were: See ROADS, Page 3AFather of Spring Branch pilot remembers his son’s passion for aviation By Mark Koopmans The Herald-Zeitung The pilot who died in the single engine plane crash on Monday was remembered by his father as “a vibrant man who lived three lifetimes in his one life.” Scott Schilleci had been a pilot for Continental Airlines since 1984, and was a captain for the international carrier at the time of his death, said his father, Joel Schilleci of Houston. “Scott would have turned 47 next month. He was one of the youngest co-pilots ever hired by Continental,” said Schilleci, who also flew for the same airline. “I remember when Scott was a kid, he was always asking who my co-pilot was whenever I returned home.” The father recalls telling his son to learn “all he could about aviation, because its not all just about flying an aircraft.” “He was only 14, but Scott got a job at the local airport and began taking flying lessons," Schilleci said in a phone interview Tuesday. “He was also an excellent mechanic and even built the plane he was flying.” Aircraft safety inspectors with the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board continue to investigate the crash of the Vans RV-6, which happened just before 9 a.m. Monday at See PILOT, Page 9A iii ii iii nu ii ii ii    Ladies,go , onfllHlllllllltllllim Wednesday Nights! Downstairs in the Prince Solms Inn 295 E. San Antonio 830-70&-5411 Photos by DAVID INGRAM/Herald-Zeitung ABOVE: Everything from tree limbs to telephone poles to plastic containers floats on the surface of Canyon Lake on Tuesday after heavy rains washed items down the Guadalupe River into the lake this past week. BELOW: A signs near boat ramps at Canyon Lake warns of debris in the water. ;