New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - August 3, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas
Prostate cancer support group gives men hope/1 C
High-tech voting machines come to county/4A
SUNDAY August 2003
28 pages in 4 sections
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Vol. 152, No. 225Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852
New school at a standstill
By Dylan Jim&nez
District 7 Comal Independent School District Trustee Bill Swint wants to be clear about the purpose of the new Canyon Lake high school before he votes to approve design drawings submitted by architects.
“When I know what to expect from the facility, I can approve the drawings,” Swint said Saturday.
The board could not approve drawings last week. Six trustees voted 3-3 on the issue.
Superintendent Jim Grunert advised the group to move forward with the project since approval of design drawings was only a preliminary step toward building the new school.
Once designs are approved, construction bids will go out in January 2004. Groundbreaking is set for March or April. The high school, which is supposed to relieve overcrowding at Smithson Valley High School, is set to open in August 2006.
But the project is at a standstill until trustees approve design drawings.
Board president Dora Gonzales is worried the lag time will cost CISD more money. If bidding is stalled, she said, the district might have less access to good contractors, many of whom are seeking work on the proposed San Antonio Tbyota plant, set for construction late this year.
In November, 2002, the board approved a tentative
County: Replace Graene bridge soon
By Ron Maloney
Comal County commissioners want the Gruene Road bridge replaced, and they want it to happen as soon as possible.
Commissioners passed a resolution Thursday urging that the Texas Department of Transportation replace the bridge.
Plans for the replacement have been in the works since 1997. Officials have cited safety concerns and traffic snarls as reasons for the
In the summer, the narrow concrete bridge is often choked with tubers and two-way traffic.
In the winter, the crossing is often closed for weeks at a time because any river flow above 3,000 cubic feet-per-second floods the low bridge.
Rafters and tubers have become trapped and injured underneath, and, every so often, someone gets hit by a car.
County officials were See GRUENE/5A
Sales tax break
K. JESSIE SLATEN/Hirald-Zeitung
Above, Keaton Whitworth, 6, eyes a pair of boots he wants as he searches Saturday morning through a rack of belts at Cavender’s Boot City at the Outlet Mall in San Marcos. Below right, Stacey Beard helps her daughter, Katelyn, try on a backpack Saturday afternoon at the Frilly Frog on Comal St. in New Braunfels
Shoppers crowd retailers to save on clothing
By Ron Maloney
Saturday, it was standing room only at the Frilly Frog — Pam and Jody Oppeit’s children’s clothing store.
Why shouldn’t it have been?
This weekend, everything in the cute kids’ shop on Comal Avenue was on sale, and is the state’s annual, “back-to-school” sales tax holiday.
Trisha Chase took advantage of the weekend to bring her daughter, Addison, 5, to the Frilly Frog. She also brought her friends, Stacey Beard, of Abilene, and daughter, Katelyn.
“She’s from out of town. I told her we have to come to this store,” Chase said. “I bought bracelets and boys clothes. My son’s not here. We left him home — we just couldn’t handle the two-year-old.”
Chase said her two shopping stops Saturday would be the Frilly Frog and Target.
Each year for five years, Texas has set aside one weekend for a “tax holiday,” so parents could purchase school clothing or footwear without paying more than 7 percent in sales taxes.See SHOPPERS/8A
Dawson seeks third term as commissioner
K. JESSIE SLATEN/Heraid-ZMtungA raft full of tubers tries to duck low enough to pass under the Gruene River bridge Saturday evening. Several in the boat had to bail out before the raft cleared the low bridge.
By Ron Maloney
Precinct I Commissioner Jack Dawson wants to continue working for the people of Comal County.
Dawson announced he will be a candidate for re-election in 2004. If he is elected, Dawson will serve his third term in office. His district includes the south side of Canyon Lake, Spring Branch and part of New Braunfels.
Comal County Clerk Joy Streator said the fifing period for the 2004 election cycle is Dec. 2, 2003 to Jan. 2, 2004.
The primary election will be conducted Tuesday, March 3, 2004. The general election will be Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2004.
“I think the most important reason I want to stay on for another term is to help maintain the low tax rate we have had for seven years and still provide the services our citizens deserve and expect,” Dawson said. “Our most impor
tant achievement is the growth management plan we have in place.”
A retired Shell Oil Co. executive, Dawson and his wife, Bonnie, are licensed realtors — although the only real estate work Dawson has done since taking office in 1997 has been on behalf of the county. He worked on the extension office, commissioners’ court and parking purchases, and also negotiated buyouts of homes damaged in the 2(X)2 flood.
Dawson also serves on the Hill Country Mental Health/Mental Retardation board of trustees.
Fire causes several million in damage
By Ron Maloney
ZORN — Fire damage at the Lower Colorado River Authority Zorn substation could reach several million dollars, officials said Saturday.
Lower Colorado River Authority Communications Manager Bill McCann said the fire that damaged two transformers was extinguished with foam by about 9 p.m. Friday.
Officials had one of the transformers back online Saturday morning, McCann said, but the second would require
extensive repairs that could take several million dollars to complete.
Firefighters contioued to pump water overnight Friday and Saturday morning onto adjacent equipment in an effort to keep it cool enough to avoid reignition.
Friday evenings’ hundred-foot flames and clouds of thick, black smoke were caused by burmng mineral oil, McCann said.
“It can burn pretty intensely. One of the reasons we use mineral oil as an electrical insulator is it’s nontoxic,” McCann said.
Guadalupe County Emergency Management Coordinator Wayman Krueger said no one was injured by the fire or the smoke.
“Everything’s safe. No one got hurt,” Krueger said. “Look at it like a turkey fryer that caught on fire. Its the same type of situation. If a turkey fryer catches fire, you can try to put it out, but the oil is still hot until you cool it down.”
At the height of the fire, firefighters from 17 fire departments, including New Braunfels, either fought the blaze or relayed water to the scene.Inside
It’s going to be a scorcher: Temps to reach triple digits
From Staff Reports
Stay close to a fan or an air conditioner Monday.
National Weather Service Meteorologist Ken Widelski reported temperatures in Comal County could reach IOO degrees for the first time in 2003.
Today's high is expected to be in the upper 90s in New Braunfels.
“Due to dry soil conditions, it hit IOO twice in July in Austin,” Widelski said Saturday. “I’d say we have a very
good shot of making the upper 90s Monday If we get enough daytime heating and that high pressure system is strong enough, we’ll get to IOO degrees.”
It would be a good idea to limit outdoor activity as much as possible during the afternoon and peak heat times, Widelski said.
“Drink plenty of fluids, avoid alcoholic beverages in the sun, and stay in air conditioning as much as possible,” Widelski said.