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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung Newspaper Archives

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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - April 27, 2001, New Braunfels, Texas Immunizations come with Schlitterbahn pass K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herald-Zeitung Brandon Sroboda and Sarah Beth Hoots test the waters and the rides Thursday afternoon at Schlitterbahn. They joined other employees for trial runs on all the rides before Schlitterbahn’s opening on Saturday. By Martin MalacaraStaff Writer Summer returns to New Braunfels a little early this year. On Saturday, area school children will submit themselves to a needle stick in order to get in on the opening day of fun at Schlitterbahn Waterpark Resort. The park will host its seventh annual Shots Across Texas Free Immunization Clinic from IO a.m. to I p.m. Saturday at the Comal County Fairgrounds. Each child through age 17 who is immunized also receives a free pass to the water park. “This is a great way for parents to make sure their children are up to date on all their immunizations,” Schlitterbahn Chief Operation Officer Terri Adams said. “The combination of free shots and free tickets to Schlitterbahn has been a terrific incentive over the past six years.” The free ticket is valid from Saturday to June 30 or from Aug. 8 to Sept. 15. Parents must accompany their children to the clinic. Children also should have something to eat before getting immunized. The New Braunfels Children’s Museum will provide hands-on activities, and New Braunfels High School students will put on a puppet show about immunizations. Shots Across Texas is the TexasSafe Kids Fair held with Shots Across Texas./5A Department of Health’s effort to ensure all school-aged children receive immunizations. The program already has increased statewide immunization rates for children. In the 1990s, 40 percent of 2-year-old Texas children were fully immunized. That number now stands at about 75 percent. Office of Public Health Nurse Karon Preiss said Comal County’s rates rank high compared to the rest of the state.See SHOTS/5A Inside Abby.......................... ......7 A Classifieds..................... .5-12B Comics........................ ......9A Crossword.................. ......7 A Forum.......................... ......6A Local/Metro................. ......4A Movies.......................... ......7A Obituaries.................... ......3A Sports........................ ..1-3B Today........................... 2A Key Code 76 Comal County honored for CHIP enrollment levels By Ron MaloneyStaff Writer Comal County was recognized Thursday for its participation in the Children’s Health Insurance Program — surpassing by 148 percent the goal set for its first year of participation. Under figures released by the Tex-Care Partnership and the Community Council of South Central Texas, 2,391 Comal County children who did not have health insurance have been screened over the past year. Of them, 1,135 have been enrolled in the CHIP, 170 in the Texas Healthy Kids Corporation and 317 in Medicaid. Officials estimate that some 4,000 children in Comal County qualify for the programs. The challenges in CHIP’S second year will be to find the rest of them — and to get local physicians to sign on as health care providers. “We need more providers. We’d love to have some more people involved,” said Comal County Nurse Karon Preiss. ‘We would love to recruit more physicians, especially family physicians in our area.” The CHIP program, through the TbxCare Partnership, is working to do just that now, Preiss said. Guadalupe County Pct. 2 Commissioner Cesareo Guadarrama III, who also is chairman of the SCTCC, Bridgitte Schaefer, SCTCC Headstall Program Director, Family Service Specialist Dahia Arabula and Chris Douglas of Communities in Schools attended Commissioners’ Court to present a plaque and recognize the county’s work toward insuring children.See CHIP/5ATo enroll For information or help applying for the CHIP program, contact: • Communities In Schools: 620-4247 • Comal Independent School District: 625-8081 or 885-7674 • New Braunfels Independent School District: 620-6200 • TexCare Partnership: 1-800-647-6558 • Community Council of South Central Texas: 625-6268 For participating physicians and healthcare providers call: Community First Health Plan: (210) 358-6184 —-   I'",     YU _.    ■    -■      o ^    W..V., ^.i-.1./ .v.,....... . ..Mi,.ii, FRIDAYNew Braunfels    April    27,2001 "W" ’s,*r    w—wa    22    pages in 2 sectionsHer ALD-Z EITUNG EL. Vol. ISO, No. 143 Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852 50 cents Zany zinnias Downtown changes colors with the seasons Witnesses: Parents had little interest in oldest daughter By Ron Maloney Staff Writer The fester mother and caseworker for the two children removed from the home of Yevette and Joseph Heiser said the Heisers were obsessive about the foster care their youngest daughter received, but showed scant interest in the progress or welfare of their 7-year-old girl. The oldest girl is the alleged victim in a child injury and endangerment trial that enters its 10th day today. Her parents have been charged with injuring and endangering her by nearly starving her to death and failing to provide her with proper medical care. If convicted of injury to a child, the Heisers could face five to 99 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Endangering a child is a state jail felony punishable by 180 days to two years in a state jail and a fine of up to $10,000. Seven men and five women are sitting as jurors in the case. Child Protective Services officials took the then 7-year-old girl from Liberty Hill Elementary School on Jan. 5, 2000. She was hospitalized, treated for malnutrition and placed in a foster home with her then 15-month-old halfsister. Thursday morning, Laura Stearns, the caseworker who oversaw the conservatorship of the two children and their visits, talked about her interactions with the Heisers. In a meeting with Yevette Heiser on Jan. 7, 2000, Stearns said she was told by the hospitalized girls mother that the child was “very adaptable and easygoing.” “She also said (the girl) had a very vivid imagination,” Stearns said.See WITNESSES/8A Emissions test suggested to reduce pollution Committee suggests more expensive testing equipment By Martin MalacaraStaff Writer New Braunfels and the rest of the greater San Antonio metropolitan area might breathe cleaner air in the future. But it won’t be cheap. The Air Improvement Resources committee of the Alamo Area Council of Governments recommended the use of a special vehicle emissions test to help reduce air pollution. The test, known as Acceleration Simulation Mode, or ASM, can detect levels of volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxide emissions, which aid in the formation of ground-based ozone, the chief component of smog. The ASM is a treadmill test that averages 30 minutes and provides more data on VOC and NOx emissions in a variety of simulated driving conditions. The machine costs about $40,000 and would add $22.50 to the $12.50 annual state inspection. Comal County Commissioner Jay Minikin, also the county’s representative for the council of governments, said he was “very elated” about the committee’s decision. ‘That’s two years worth of heartfelt work by many of us,” he said. The ASM test is part of the committee’s 03 Flex Plan. The 03 Flex Plan is the committee’s overall plan to clean up air around the metropolitan area. It would require mandatory annual emissions testing for all vehicles registered in Bexar, Comal, Guadalupe and Wilson counties. The Dallas and Houston areas are phasing in the ASM as part of their vehicle inspection/maintenance programs. Committee members had previously favored the Two-Speed Idle tailpipe test, or TSI, for its simplicity and cost. The test takes about 15 minutes and the cost of equipment ranges from $13,000-$20,000. The TSI would have added $13 to the annual $12.50 state inspection fee. The TSI, however, provides little diagnostic data on VOC compounds and does not test for NOx emissions. Minikin had been pursuing the ASM option. “Th me, it would be inappropriate to test one insteadSee TESTING/8A City adds extra day of early voting From Staff Reports Voters in District Two for New Braunfels City Council will get an extra opportunity to vote early. The city decided to extend voting for the May 5 election to this Saturday, opening the Comal County Courthouse from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Early voting in the May race for District Two started April 18. According to city elections clerk Bonnie Sarkozi, 162 people voted in the election as of Tuesday night. She hopes the extended deadline will encourage more people to vote.See VOTING/8A K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herald-Zeitung Landscaper Jerry Williams plants Zinnias Wednesday morning around the plaza. The plants will last until the first frost. By Amy ClarksonStaff Writer How many zinnias does it take to fill the islands in downtown New Braunfels? Sounds like a riddle, but Jerry Williams and Lynn Fountain know the answer. Fountain’s Main Street Foundation replaces the flowers each season. This year, the islands will change from yellow to bright orange as zinnias replace the spring snapdragons. Williams is responsible for landscaping the downtown islands and oval throughout the year. In the fall, red snapdragons make their appearance and will bloom through the winter season, said Fountain, director of the Main Street Foundation. But the profusion of color doesn’t come cheaply. The city spent about $12,000 this year on flowers and gardening for the downtown area. Fountain said, “The budget would be much smaller if we didn’t have to keep repairing the beds from damage by cars.”See ZINNIAS/8A ;