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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - August 5, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas New (Braunfels Water Restrictions ■ New Braunfels Utilities customers with addresses ending in 0,1, 2, 3 or 4 can water before 9 a.m. ana after 7 p.m. today. Well users cannot water today. 6 Vol. 149, No. 191 18 pages in 2 sections August 5, 2000 Saturday Serving Comal Countv K. JESSSIE SLATEN/Herald-Zeitung Steve Stigall holds up the shorts he was wearing when a shark he had caught turned around and bit him on the leg.CL man sharkbit at coast By Ron Maloney Staff Writer CANYON LAKE — There are fishing stories, and then there is Steve StigalTs fishing story. When he tells his children or his children’s children about the one that got away a week or so ago in Galveston Bay — taking his expensive Penn rod and reel with it they will probably believe him. They should: Stigall still may have the scars to prove his story. The Canyon Lake resident was wade fishing in the bay with a buddy at the west end of Galveston Island on July 28 when he snagged a shark — and reeled the razortoothed little carnivore in. Bear in mind here that Stigall was standing in water up to his chest on the third sandbar out from the island, and that, when one wade fishes, one is usually tied to a “shark buffet” made up of a stringer of wounded fish already caught — and a bucket of bait shrimp. Who would stand in water and pull a shark to himself? It is easy to ask. But what Stigall did next was just incredible. The shark, which the fisherman points out was a “little one — a black-tip shark only 3 or 3-1/2 feet long” was all wrapped up in his line, so he grabbed it by its tail, thinking he would untangle it. But the shark had other ideas. While Stigall held onto its tail, the fish w hipped its head around and sunk its jaws into his upper right leg — through his swimming trunks clamped dow n, and held on for three or four seconds. Ouch. “It wasn’t ‘Jaws’ or anything, but it hurt like hell,” Stigall said. “I screamed.” Stigall shook the shark loose. He does not remember it, he said, but he apparently dropped his rod, because the shark took off w ith it.See SHARK/10A Residents keep vigil for troopei By Jo Lee Ferguson Staff Writer Trooper Randall Vetter’s home looks almost normal. Tile lawn is perfectly manicured. Two metal posts support a young tree in the front yard. Flowers and bushes of many colors decorate the yard in front of the light-colored, brick home. A green lawn hose is wrapped carefully around a rack on the wall, and a “For Sale” sign sits in the front yard. Everything is normal except that a trooper from the Texas Department of Public Safety sits in a patrol car in the driveway. The trooper is waiting and watching out of love for a fallen comrade while Vetter’s family holds a vigil at the hospital, hoping for his recovery. Vetter, a six-year veteran of the DPS, was shot in the head while on duty. A 72-year-old man Vetter stopped on a traffic violation near Kyle is suspected of shooting the trooper with a semi-automatic Ruger Mini-14. Authorities described the gun Thursday as a “high-powered, assault-type rifle.” Vetter remained in critical condition at Austin’s Brackenridge hospital Friday VETTER afternoon. Until recently, Vetter was stationed at the New Braunfels DPS office. And now the troopers who worked with him are keeping a vigil at his house. A trooper will be parked in the driveway 24 hours a day for the next several days. “This is a courtesy we provide to the family,” said Trooper Robert Annstrong on Friday. As Armstrong sat in his patrol car, several of Vetter’s neighbors walked up to his car door. They wanted to know Vetter’s condition and expressed their sympathy for Vetter’s family and the other troopers. They often left food, like the bag of See TROOPERS 50 cents Inside Your guide to New Braunfels River conditions, weather, what to do, where to go, road work map. Gary P. Nunn will entertain the crowds with his original country tunes at Gruene Hall tonight. •y-..Judge allows Brookshire to continue By Jo Lee Ferguson Staff Writer New Braunfels and Brookshire Homes both claimed victories Friday in a decision granting the developer a temporary restraining order against the city Judge Charles Ramsay, the 22nd District Court judge, telephoned attorneys representing the city and Brookshire Homes in a conference call Friday, both sides reported. The restraining order he granted allow s Brookshire Homes to continue work on 12 homes already under construction in the Meadow Creek subdivision off Pahmeyer Road in New Braunfels. However, work on 13 other homes Brookshire I louies has contracted to build but begun remains stalled. “Its a major victory for Brookshire I lollies, a major victory,” said T.J. Connolly, a spokesman for Brookshire Homes. “What we're so pleased about is finally this issue has been taken away from the city hall politics mid a city attorney and a city manager acting way outside the bounds of their authority .... It was moved into the courtroom where an impartial judge looking at the facts made a decision based solely on those facts.” Brookshire Homes and the city are embroiled in a legal battle that began earlier this year when the city revoked building permits and refused to grant additional building permits for the Meadow Creek subdivision. City staff' said the homes violate city ordinance because they are not the same average value, size and type as other homes in the area. Brookshire Homes sued the city and appealed the city’s actions to the New Braunfels zoning board of adjustments, w hich sided w itll the city. That led the developer to seek a restraining order against the city so it could continue building homes while the lawsuit continues. Ramsay heard arguments about the restraining order from attorneys representing the two sides on Thursday and called them w ith his decision Friday. Connolly said the judge is allow ing the 12 homes already under construction to be built as they were sold. In other words, the judgeSee BROOKSHIRE/4A Tax holidayShoppers hit local stores By Heather Todd Staff Writer Jamie Smith, a Wimberley resident and mother of two, began her back-to-school shopping at K-Mart in New Braunfels Friday morning w ith one goal in mind to avoid the outlet mall in San Marcos. Smith was one of many parents tryuig to beat weekend crowds while staying away from busy malls during the first day of tax-free shopping Friday morning. Maria Williamson, a San Marcos resident and mother of three, said traffic along Interstate 35 near the outlet mall in San Marcos was heavy and the parking lots were packed. And, w ith construction at the 1-35 bridges, she said it would be impossible to get to the outlets from w here she lives. “There’s no way to get to them,” she said. “Its absolutely stop and go” Rather than fight traffic, Williamson decided drive to New' Braunfels to make some exchanges at K-Mart, 1050 Interstate 35 East. “I shopped earlier. I’m just making exchanges. I don’t think saving a few dollars is worth the crowds you have to put up w ith,” Williamson said. Residents can take advantage of a three-day holiday on local and state sales tax on most clothing and shoes costing less than $100. The tax-free holiday ends Sunday night. Smith said she took a day off'work Friday to get a head start on her shopping. “Its too busy (on Saturday),” she said. “And, most of its already picked over,” Williamson added. Smith said she shopped during the sales tax holiday last year and saved a lot of money buying clothes for CHRIS PACE/Herald-ZeitungStanley Slater takes advantage of a tax-free day Friday afternoon at K-Mart in New Braunfels. People still have Saturday and Sunday to buy clothes, shoes and other items without paying sales tax. her two school-aged children. “I bought about $300 worth of clothes, so whatever the sales tax on that would be," she said. Last year, Texans spent more than $400 million on tax-exempt clothes and shoes during the first three-day sales tax holiday, saving more than $32 million in sales tax. Shoppers are expected to save $37 million this year. This year, layaway purchases have been added to the list of qualified tax-exempt items. Consumers can set aside eligible items during the tax holiday and reserve the tax break until the items are paid for in full. Smith said she planned to visit two or three stores to get her kids outfitted in clothes and shoes for the next school year. See HOL! DAY/3 A Sophienburg finds well in parking lot By Ron Maloney Staff Writer Volunteers at the Sophienburg Museum and Archives uncovered a little bit of history Thursday — right under their ow n feet. As volunteers left at the archive’s 4 p.m. closing time, a depression was noted in the parking lot behind the archive, which is located in the old city hall building on Seguin Avenue. John Rightmire, an archive volunteer for several years, investigated and found a softball-sized hole in the asphalt. “I couldn’t see anything,” Rightmire said. I Ie stuck a pipe into the hole, and could not touch the bottom. They cordoned the area off' for safety, covered the hole with plywood and went home. When Rightmire returned Friday, he brought a I OO-foot tape measure and a rock hammer and set to work, opening up a hole he could peer into. What he found was carefully laid stonework around an empty well a little more than a yard in diameter. He put a weight on the end of the tape measure and dropped it into the hole. T he well is 32 feet deep. “We were all excited,” Rightmire said. “Its literally a hole back into the past.” Workers at the archive checked old maps, trying to find a reference to their historical hole, but an 1885 map ends right in the middle of the archive building, bisecting the reception desk, said Becky I ombardo. The well would have been just behind one of the two houses that sat w here today s archive is. A 1912 map places some structure about where the well is something that looks like it could have been an outhouse. Lombardo said John Specht, a Sophienburg board member and director of its facilities and grounds, called the city and NewSee WELL/3A Inside Abby................................5A Classifieds.......................4-8B Comics...............................3B Crossword..........................5A Forum.................................6A Local/Metro........................4A Movies..................................5A Obituaries..........................3A Sports............................1-2B Today.................................2A Television..................................3B Key Code 76Coming Sunday Gruene Hall is the stage for weekly gospel brunches that have soared with popularity' among local residents and tourists. With a smatter of old-fashioned harmonies and a lavish meal. patrons are rarely disappointed./Lifesty le ;