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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - April 19, 1985, New Braunfels, Texas New Braunfels Herald New Braunfels, Texas Vol. 94 —No. 78i Friday April 19,1985 25 Cents 22 Pages—2 SectionsShuttle returns home safely, late CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - Discovery’s astronauts, their homecoming delayed 98 minutes by rain, glided safely back to Earth today at the end of a bittersweet journey that astronaut-Sen. Jake Gam hailed as proof that “man is needed in space.” The 103-ton space plane blew one of its six tires as it rolled to a stop, but the astronauts were not aware of it and the rupture did not divert the craft from its centerline touchdown. Fifty-five minutes after the landing, the crew left the shuttle for medical exams and showers. Gam walked unsteadily down the stairs, and waved and smiled weakly as he was helped into the astronauts’ van. Discovery, its final dash across central Florida heralded by sonic booms, dropped out of a clear sky and onto a 15,000-foot runway three miles from the launch pad it left a week ago and where shuttle Challenger is perched, IO days from liftoff. Like the landing, Discovery’s launch was delayed by rain. With commander Karol Bobko at the controls, the shuttle touched down at 8:54 a.m. EST, swooping in from the south after making a series of wide circles above this spaceport. The ship had traveled 2.5 million miles. “The Swat Team is home,” said Mission Control, referring to the makeshift, flyswatter-like tools the astronauts used in an unsuccessful attempt to repair a satellite. As the shuttle neared the end of its rollout, Mission Control told the astronauts, “I think you blew a right-hand outboard tire.” Inspection later showed that it was an inboard tire that had blown, and television pictures showed it to be frayed. Thousands of spectators at the landing strip and along nearby rivers and highways viewed the landing, the fifth here in 16 shuttle flights and fourth in succession. An hour before touchdown, Bobko and pilot Don Williams fired braking rockets more than 200 miles above the Indian Ocean to slow the shuttle’s speed and start it on a supersonic dive through the atmosphere. The landing had originally been set for 7:16 a.m. But Mission Control had delayed the landing just 19 minutes before Bobko and pilot Don Williams were to have fired the braking rockets. They were told to make one more circuit of the globe and try again. During seven days in space the crew of six men and one woman logged many accomplishments and one big disappointment: the failure, through no fault of their own, to revive the $85 million Syncom communications satellite. President Reagan and Gam, who is aboard as a congressional observer, had high praise Thursday for the astronauts’ efforts. Reagan, speaking to Discovery from the White House, told the crew it had “demonstrated a lot of ingenuity” in constructing makeshift tools, taking an unplanned space walk and flying to a rendezvous to try saving the powerless satellite launched from the ship’s cargo bay Saturday. Syncom could not be fixed because a switch which ground engineers thought was in the wrong position was not at fault. The astronauts had concentrated on moving See SHUTTLE, PageZA Loeffler mulling governor's race By ROBERT JOHNSON Editor He once said he wanted to be speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, but Tom l^oeffler’s political goals may be changing. Loeffler (R-Hunt) issued a statement Thursday saying he was giving “serious consideration” to running for governor in 1986. The U.S. congressman's two-sentence statement said, “I have been contacted by many people urging me to run for governor in 1906. I am giving that race very serious consideration and I will make the final decision rn the near future." Currently serving his fourth term in the House, l-oeffler, 38, was reelected rn a landslide last November. He serves as chief deputy whip — the third-highest GOP post in the House — and is on the budget and appropriations committees. Because of his promising future in the House, Ixieffler's announcement “came as a jolt,” Robbie Borchers, state Republican committeewoman for District 21, said this morning. “As fas as we can see, he is in a positon to become House whip, and then possibly minority leader,’’ she said. Borchers said that lx>effler had discussed the governor’s race with her husband, Jack, during the Texas Legislative Conference held here in March. Loeffler was a panelist at the conference. She added that at a recent meeting she attended, Loeffler had emerged as the odds-on favorite to win the nomination should he decide to run. Loeffler’s statement is the first indication that he would consider running for another office. In a speech to local Republican party officials two years ago, he said his constituents had urged him to run for the Senate seat being vacated by John Tower, who was retiring. That seat was ultimately won by Phil Gramm. But he said then he wasn’t interested. “My career will be in the House of Representatives,” he said. “Perhaps someday we will have the speakership — that is my goal.” The 21st District congressman, whose district includes Comal County, could not be reached for comment this morning. Other potential GOP candidates for the 1986 race against incumbent Democrat Mark White include state See LOEFFLER, Page 10A A road grader prepares Landa Street for a new coat of asphalt OEIIYl CLANK HE RA I DZf(TUNG Lands overlay work underway By DANA STELL Staff writer New Braunfels drivers should prepare for at least another week of bumpy driving. Overlay work and one-lane traffic on Landa Street continue this week as highway department crews repair base and subgrade failures before putting down Manholes were raised an inch late last month so the overlay work could begin. Bobbie Hasert, resident engineer tor the state highway department, is as ready as everyone else to get the work done. “I’m really quite anxious to get this work done,” he said. “People are willing to put up with the manholes for (only)a while.” Dean Word Construction Co. has the contract to resurface Landa Street from the Comal Creek Bridge to Walnut Avenue and to do the same work on South Seguin Avenue from Main Plaza to Highway 81. Hasert said the work on Landa Street is more extensive because base repairing must be done first and See LANDA, Page 2 A County, Corps near boat ramp agreement Almost all systems are go on reopening the private boat ramps as a contract between the county and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers nears completion. Only Commissioner Monroe Wetz voted against the latest contract Thursday during the commissioners court meeting. The contract proposed by the corps makes the county responsible for maintenance, bringing the ramps up to current corps safety standards, and insuring for injuries at the ramps. Some of the private ramps were closed seven months ago. Negotiations were still in progress but the ramps’ leases had run out. Originally installed by developers, the boat ramps became controversial when the developer, the county and the corps were involved in a lawsuit brought by David Saks after several members of his family died in an accident st one boat ramp in 1981. The insurance coverage requirement, the part of the agreement that has been the center of the negotiations, increased in the latest proposal to $1 million for personal injury with $3 million total per accident and $250,000 in property damages. Commissioners have to wait to see if they can get umbrella coverage which the county had until the reinsuring company went bankrupt recently. Commissioners also wanted a clause excluding lighting if the corps ever added it to their standards at the ramps. The cost of utilities, vandalism and upkeep make lighting prohibitive for the county. In other business before the court, Commissioner Bill George brought a proposal from the Sattler Veterans of Foreign Wan that would allow a Steubing new Pct. 3 constable By LILLIAN THOMAS Staff writer Commissioners appointed Ronald Steubing Thursday as the new constable of Precinct 3. Steubing replaces the late Hank English. Commissioners decided against another candidate for the position, E. Lee (Bo) Eoff. Eoff had the support of 177 Precinct 3 residents who signed a petition endorsing him as the interim constable. Eoff had been deputy constable under former constable Lester Jonas, another applicant for the position. He had also been named English’s deputy but never served. Steubing has the 70-hour reserve deputy training and plans to take the full 320-hour course to become fully certified. “I intend to get fully certified as soon as possible. This is my own idea, not something the commissioners asked,” Steubing said after the meeting. Commissioner J.L. (Jumbo) Evans brought Steubing's name up originally and moved for his appointment during the meeting. Other applicants included former paper server Ray Wilson Baker and communication engineer William M. Bitner. “We asked each of them if he lived in the precinct, where he worked now and how much time he would have for the job,” Commissioner Lorenzo (Yankee) Camarillo said after the meeting. “Mr. Eoff had a lot ofRonald Steubing support from the community and was very qualified, but he was out of the county every other day and was on call all the time with the railroad. Steubing, we felt, had the necessary background and the time.” “I would like to congratulate Ronnie Steubing on his appointment as interim constable of the Precinct 3 area,” Eoff said in a prepared statement. “I have worked with him before and I know he will do a good job out here. “I feel this whole thing is a slap in the face as far as Republicans are concerned in this county. When your elected officials do not go along with see CONSTABLE, Page 10A Developers, builders back pro rata policy By DEBBIE DeLOACH Staff writer At least 50 developers, builders and real estate agents indicated Thursday night they’re “comfortable” with the existing pro-rata policy used by New Braunfels Utilities to help recoup capital recovery costs. They did so by a show of hands at a workshop with Utilities trustees, who were seeking input on the present pro-rata policy and possible future adjustments to pay for central facilities such as wastewater treatment plants, and ground and elevated water storage tanks. Cost for those facilities and density factors are not included in the existing pro-rata policy, which was implemented in 1976 and modified in 1982 to provide a partial reimbursement of the capital funds invested in the Utilities system. Pro-rata charges here are based on the cost of construction per acre to provide water and sewer mains for hook-up within the Utilities service area, and are broken down into four categories with corresponding recovery factors. At Thursday night’s workshop, Tieken said the Utilities board was in the process of reviewing $20 million in future capital water, sewer and wastewater project costs to keep See UTILITIES, Page2AInside county satellite office to be placed on their property in the parking area across the road from the VFW Hall for $125 per month. The lease agreement will be for five years and will be renewable. It will have a 3 percent jper year inflation factor added to the lease payment in the renewed contract. “I want to commend Mr.(Clark) McCoy (county engineer) for putting this drawing together in one day,” George said. "We now have an idea of the possible location of the building See RAMPS, Page 2AWater Watch Comal Rtvaf    270    cts    (same) Canyon inflow....... 427    cts    (down    28) Canyon Dam outflow ..... 837    cts    (same) Edwards Aquifer .....424    98    (down    OI) Canyon Lake lava! .....902    99    (down    IO)Today's Was thor Though no rain is in the forecast for today, a fine mist fell over New Braunfels this morning, and rain could occur Saturday. The skies will remain cloudy to partly cloudy all day with southeasterly winds picking up to 15 miles per hour. Temperatures may reach the mid-80s and drop to the mid-60s tonight. Thursday’s high was 83 and this morning’s low was 68 Sunset will be at 7 p.m. CLASSIFIED    3-12B COMICS 2B CROSSWORD 1B DEAR ABBY 1B DEATHS 3A HOROSCOPE 3A OPINIONS 4A SPORTS 7.8A STOCKS 2A TV LISTINGS 2B WEATHER 3A ;