New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - April 24, 2001, New Braunfels, Texas
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By Martin Malacara
Thunderstorms rolled through New Braunfels Monday, dumping heavy rain in the morning hours.
Nezette Rydell of the National Weather Service in New Braunfels said thunderstorms brought at least 2 to 3 inches of rain to the area.
“Systems like this will dump this much rain,” Rydell said.
A cold front pushed through the state, firing off the storms.
Bexar, Comal and Guadalupe counties were under flash flood warnings throughout the early part of the day.
The Bracken Volunteer Fire Department reported four inches of rain.
Rydell said the area did not receive nearly as much rain at the same time this past year.
In April 2000, the area received about 1.22 inches of rain.
The storms also brought hail through Bexar County.
The weather caused at least one car wreck in the city.
At 10:30 a.m. Monday, a 23-year-old Austin man was injured when his car rolled over on northbound Interstate 35 near Canyon High School.
He was taken to Bracken-ridge Hospital, but his injuries were not life threatening.
A New Braunfels Fire Department spokesman said firefighters and paramedics were dispatched on a number of weather-related calls Monday morning.
At 8:30 a.m. Monday, firefighters went to a single family home in the 1500 block of Mission Valley Road to investigate a reported lightning strike. The home’s alarm system was short-cir-
K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herald-ZeitungNew Braunfels Police Officer Mike Penshom looks over a refrigerator truck that overturned Monday morning on northbound Interstate 35 just before exit 190.
cuited, and the home smelled of smoke.
At 9:50 a.m., another lightning strike sent firefighters to a Mission Drive home. A bolt of lightning damaged a chimney and blew out a set of glass fireplace doors.
Tile rain caused flooding on county roads, said County Engineer Ibm Hornseth.
“It’s typical with the storm
we had. The usual low water crossings were flooded for a short period of time,” he said.
All were re-opened by Monday afternoon.
The storm also caused a power loss Monday for residents living on the hill above Landa Park and West End residents, a New Braunfels Utilities spokesperson said.
Their power was restored later in the day.
The forecast for today calls for mostly cloudy skies with a few sprinkles early, then becoming partly cloudy.
Highs will be in the 70s with winds from the north at IO to 15 miles an hour.
Tonight will be mostly clear with lows between 47 and 50 degrees.
By Amy Clarkson Staff Writer
A proposal to move the fire administration from the New Braunfels Municipal Building sparked a heated debate about plans to expand the New Braunfels Civic Center at Monday night’s City Council meeting.
The Council voted to add up to $250,000 to the 2002 budget to move the fire administration. The funds include a feasibility study to either move the department into a city-owned, vacant building across the street or to add on to the existing Municipal Building.
Councilman Robert Kendrick suggested moving the fire administration across the street into the vacant building that previously housed the police administration. The recommendation had been made at the budget workshop held with city staff members and city council March 29.
City staff members estimated the cost to remodel the building at $250,000. That cost was merely an estimate, said Fire Chief Jack Collier. He said the fire administration would make that amount work if it would give them more space.
“We need more space,” he said. “That building would be a good fit. We could use the parking lot for training. If you agree to give us the money, we’ll make it work.”
Collier said he was not opposed to expanding the Municipal Building to give his administration more space.
Some council members questioned the cost of renovating the old police building. Mayor Stoney Williams said the cost would be too high.
“I think $250,000 is low,” he said. “The building needs plumbing. It needs air conditioning. Basically you just have walls in there. It’s beenOther Action
• Late Monday the Council still was debating a motion to rescind a request to the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission for a contested case hearing for a water-use permit. The issue has been a contentious one for the council — with a faction of the council claiming that they did not intend to vote in favor of a contested case hearing.
The vote to rescind takes a two-thirds majority of the council. Various civic and business leaders were present at the meeting to voice their opinion of the permit amendment.
• The council also passed the first reading of an ordinance to create a river management fee of $1 to be charged to anyone who rents water-recreation equipment and uses any of the public exits inside city limits. The fee also applies to people who have their own equipment but whom ride city-permitted shuttles.
• The council passed the first reading of an ordinance setting the proposed 2002 tax rate at about 31 cents. The rate is 3 percent higher than the effective tax rate of 29 cents. This year’s tax rate is 32 cents, but higher valuations forced the tax rate down for the 2002 budget.
City Manager Mike Shands said that if the Civic Center received funds needed to expand, then the building would be torn down for additional parking. Some council members questioned the need for the expansion.
“I’m interested in police and fire and public safety,” said Councilwoman Juliet Watson. “The chief has expressed a need for more space, and we need to answer that need.”See COUNCILy3A
Defense delves into Heiser investigation
By Ron Maloney
Defense attorneys on Monday chipped away at the investigation that led to the arrest of a Williamson County couple on charges they injured and endangered their 7-year-old daughter.
The disciplinary practices in the home of Joseph and Yevette Heiser, of Liberty HUI, also were discussed.
The Heisers, who defense attorney Roy Minton said don’t believe in spanking children, reportedly used an escalating system of sanctions with their daughter.
The system started with loss of television, progressed to “time out” and then, as a last resort, to making the 38-pound child hold a pair of 3.3-pound dumbbells over her head for up to IO minutes at a time. When she See TRIAL/3A
CL man dies in collision
A tow truck operator inspects a car involved in a fatal two-vehicle wreck Monday afternoon on FM 306.
By Ron Maloney Staff Writer
CANYON LAKE —A 51-year-old Canyon Lake man died Monday afternoon when his car collided with a pickup on a rain-slick-ened highway.
Department of Public Safety Trooper Jason Freedman said Rudolfo Falan Jr., 51, died in the 5 p.m. wreck on Farm-to-Market Road 306, just north of Longhorn Flats.
Falan was southbound on FM 306 in his compact, late model Mazda when Gary M. Stebbins, northbound in a one-ton Chevrolet pickup, lost control of his vehicle in a curve.
Storms dumped several inches of rain on the area Monday, and another DPS trooper said Stebbins reported he was rounding the
curve when his truck skidded on the wet road and went sideways across both lanes.
“The man in the Mazda had nowhere to go,” a sheriff’s deputy said.
Falan’s car struck the pickup broadside at the point where its cab meets the bed — breaking the truck’s frame and spinning it around.
The truck came to rest against an embankment and then rolled down onto the top and hood of the Mazda, pinning the drivers of both vehicles.
Justice of the Peace Howard Smith pronounced Falan dead. Stebbins was flown by helicopter to Brackenridge Hospital in Austin. His injuries were not life threatening. Freedman said Monday night the wreck still was under investigation.
New city engineer to start work May 7
By Amy Clarkson Staff Writer
When Michael Short and his wife, Barbara, visited relatives in Schertz, she fell in love with New Braunfels.
Years later, the Shorts not only live in the city — Michael recently was selected to work there.
City Manager Mike Shands hired Michael Short to be the new city engineer, replacing C.A. Bolner, who was fired in March. Short was one of five candidates for the position.
“My wife just fell in love with New Braunfels,” Short said. “She always said if we moved to Tbxas to be near my father, she wanted to live in New Braunfels. And it is outstanding that we not only get to live here now, but that I was hired by the city. We couldn’t be happier.”
The Shorts moved here IO months ago from Boulder City, Nev., near Las Vegas. Michael said they moved after visiting his father in nearby Schertz. For the past IO months, he has com
muted to Austin, where he has worked as project manager and engineer for Consort Inc.
On May 7, he plans to join the ranks of the city employees as city engineer.
Although he has been in the city less than a year, Short said he was aware of the streets and drainage problems he would face as engineer.
“After talking with Mike Shands, I think the biggest problems are streets and drainage,” he said. “I know about See ENGINEER/3A
Key Code 76
Storms drop 2-3 inches of rainWet weather brings wrecks, power losses
Council OKs funds for fire administration