New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - April 28, 1993, New Braunfels, Texas
Wednesday, April 28,1993New Braunfels
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Serving Comal County • Home of Ellen Nunez 50 Cents Daily, 75 Cents Sunday
Vol. 141, No. 113
By GARY P. CARROLL Harald-Zaltung
Chamber official, candidate at odds over accounting
Comal County Fire Marshall Milton Willmann is conducting an investigation into a series of firas in the Lakeview Park subdivision near Canyon Lake.
Since mid-March, Willmann said there have been four fires in the trailer park community.
Willmann said he believes at least three of the fires were deliberately set.
All of the trailers involved were severely damaged, he said.
They were all trailers that no one lived in or they were for sale," Willmann said.
"We've got a couple of leads. But we’re dealing with juveniles here, so it takes a little more time to get everything taken care of," the fire marshal said.
Willmann said some of the evidence from the fires was sent to Austin for analysis, but the fire marshal said he feels fairly certain three of the four fires were intentionally set.
Willmann said his investigation, in cooperation with the Comal County Sheriffs Department, has turned up several leads, but no arrests have yet been made.
Officer, K-9 arrest suspect
By GARY P. CARROLL Harald-Zaltung
New Braunfels Police K-9 Officer Scott Lang and his partner, Keisha, apprehended a man suspected of burglarizing Midtex Oil Inc. offices Friday on Frontage Road in New Braunfels.
At approximately 11:30 p.m. April 23, police responded to an alarm at Midtex Oil.
Once on the scene, officers found the building had been burglarized, and seven vehicles were broken into.
According to Captain Ray Douglas, various tools, equipment, and radios were stolen from the building and the vehicles.
The K-9 unit was called in and tracked 31-year-old New Braunfels resident Dennis Mitchell Alford, Route 6 Box 553, New Braunfels, into a field near Midtex.
According to police reports, Midtex property was found near where Alford was hiding, and he was subsequently arrested and charged with one count of burglary of a habitation and seven counts of burglary of a motor vehicle.
Judge David Perkins set Alford’s bond at $15,000 for the burglary of the building and $1,500 for each burglary of a motor vehicle for a total bond of $25,500.
Alford is currently in custody in the Comal County Jail.
Emergency medical technicians prepare to transport Rodney Schock of New Braunfels to McKenna Memorial Hospital Monday afternoon after he was involved in a three car accident at the intersection of Walnut Street and Business Highway 81. There were no other injuries reported in tho incident and Schock was treated for minor injuries and released. Photo by Karla Wenzel.
New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce Chairman of the Board Mike Dietert responded Wednesday to charges made by City Councilman James Good-bread that the Chamber has not provided adequate documentation of funds obtained through the city’s hotel and motel taxes.
Occupancy taxes are restricted by state law for use only in promoting the visitor industry, and Dietert said that is just what they have been used for.
Dietert said an accounting of the expenditures were provided to the city council and unanimously approved by the council on December 14, 1992.
The annual budget for the expenditures of room occupancy tax by the New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce received unanimous support from the City Council," Dietert said.
The presentation to the City Council by the Chamber’s Convention and Visitors Bureau included an itemized report on all expenditures for 1992 and a proposed budget that included an itemized accounting for 1993.”
Although Goodbread agrees the 1992 report was a somewhat better version than reports submitted by the Chamber in the past, said he thinks more financial disclosure by the chamber was necessary.
Goodbread said he thinks administrative costs for the chamber are too high and a full accounting of where the funds are allocated is necessary to ensure that the money is being spent correctly and fairly.
“I think we finally need to get the attention of the executive committee of the Chamber of Commerce. This la the taxpayers’ money and they need to assume the responsibility and not let one person run that chamber."
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“I think we finally need to get the attention of the executive committee of the Chamber of Commerce," Goodbread said. This is the taxpayers’ money and they need to assume the responsibility and not let one person run that chamber."
Goodbread said a disclosure of salaries for the chamber was not an unreasonable request, and he felt the chamber, as with other entities receiving tax dollars, should be held accountable for all expenditures.
However, Dietert said he feels it is unnecessary to disclose the salaries of the chamber’s administrative staff, and said the report by an independent accounting confirms the chamber’s fiscal operations.
“For City Councilman James Goodbread, who voted for approval of the budget, to now claim the budget was not itemized is not only erroneous and hypocritical, but damaging and divisive to efforts to improve the community’s economic well being," Dietert said.
The big thing about it is *Why are we a success?”’ Dietert said. “It’s because it’s working."
County child abuse incidents up in ’92, official says
By GARY P. CARROLL Harald-Zaltung
In spite of efforts by state and county officials, incidents of child abuse have increased in Comal County since 1992, a Child Protective Services official said this week.
Sherry Flume, a supervisor for Comal County Child Protective Services, said there is no way to determine if the incidents of actual abuse are up or reports of such incidents are increasing, but her
office usually sees an increase in April, which has been named Child Abuse Prevention Month.
“I think the incidents are always out there, I just feel the increase in the number of reported cases is a result of the media attention Child Abuse Prevention Month gets," Flume said.
In April of 1992, Flume said there were 26 child abuse investigations locally. This year, Flume estimates the number of investigations to be at least 35.
Flume said past trends have shown
reports of child abuse usually increase just before school lets children out for the summer, then drops off during the summer months.
The teachers see the kids all year and they notice changes in behavior,” Flume said.
“I guess their reasoning is ‘hey, this kid has to spend all summer in an abusive environment,’ so they report the cases just before summer vacation,” Flume said.
Once the case is reported, CPS conducts an investigation into the alleged abuse,
although with the strained budget and limited staff, Flume said often the most difficult task is opening a case for investigation.
“Our purpose is to determine whether or not the abuse occurred, and if it has to prevent it from happening in the future," Flume said. “Our main concern is that we make sure the kids are in a healthy environment.”
Suspected cases of abuse can be reported anonymously by calling l-(800)-292-5032.
House tentatively approves health insurance reform
AUSTIN — A bill that aims to make health insurance more affordable and accessible to small businesses has won preliminary House approval.
The measure by Rep. Mike Martin, D-Galveston, was ap proved 126-13 Tuesday. It faces a final House vote before being sent to the Senate for consideration.
“This is an opportunity to move forward and for once be a leader in
this country instead of being last in an area of significant social reform and social policy," Martin said. He added that only two other states have approved reform packages similar to the Texas plan.
The bill targets businesses with three to 50 employees. There are about 320,000 such businesses in Texas, employing about 1.2 million people.
Under the measure, insurers could not cancel or refuse to renew
a policy once the employer is insured, providing exceptions in cases of fraud.
The bill also requires insurers to provide health insurance to small businesses regardless of the health status of employees beginning Sept. I, 1995.
“What is so fundamentally good about this bill is if you get sick, you can’t get cancelled,’’ Martin said.
The bill requires that health insurers offer three benefits packages to small businesses. The
packages consist of a preventative and routine medical care plan; one covering hospitalizations and follow-up care; and a standard plan combining both.
The measure also provides for rate restrictions, such as a 15 percent limit on increases due to health status, prior claims history or future expected claims.
Another provision would create a statewide non-profit cooperative through which small employers could band together to purchase
Martin said co-op and other provisions in the bill would provide for more affordable rates.
Martin said that passage of the bill would pave the way for Texas to quickly implement a federal health plan.
“We’re going to be in a position to receive the federal plan without having to go into a legislative special session. This act actually authorizes the implementation of a federal plan," he said.
The New Braunfels Herald Zeiturig invites its readers to submit items to Stammtisch. According to the Sophienburg Archives and members of the German community, MStammtischm represents a sitting place reserved for a group of special people — ora time set aside for members of a community to gather and share the day’s happenings.
See more Stammtisch on page 2B.
The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung sends Birthday wishes to Virginia Isabel Fuentes, Carlon Scapper, John Baas, Carmen Torres, Kay Lynn Bundick and Kory Bundick.
Anniversary wishes go to Juan Carlos and Sylvia N. Moreno.
New Braunfels High School students will take on their teachers in a volleyball game at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the high school gym. Admission is $1. Proceeds support Project Graduation.
The New Braunfels Jaycees would like to honor the perfect boss with a Bosses Night Out on May 12. To qualify a boss for this award, employees may send a brief description of the qualities that you feel make him or her the perfect boss.
Nominations will be accepted until April 30, when they will be reviewed and a winner chose. Applications may be sent to P.O. Box 310432, New Braunfels, 78130. Call 620-6735 for information.
As the Comal County Women s Center promotes Sexual Assault Awareness Month, the number of reported cases in the New Braunfels area is on the rise. And one victim shares her story so her counterparts know they have somewhere to turn.
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