New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - August 6, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas
New Bdko^ELSWater Restrictions
■ New Braunfels Utilities customers with addresses ending in 5, 6, 7, 8 or 9 can water today before 9 a.m. and after 7 p.m. Well users cannot water today. For information, call 608-8925
JL/1 A I
Vol. 149, No. 192 44 pages in 4 sections
August 6, 2000
Serving Comal County since 1852
Trooper remains ‘critical’
From Staff Reports
AUSTIN — The Texas Department of Public Safety trooper who was critically injured in a violent confrontation near Kyle Thursday managed to get off two shots before he was gunned down in the seat of his patrol car.
An official with Brackenridge Hospital late Saturday afternoon said DPS trooper Randall Vetter, who lives in New Braunfels, was still in critical condition.
Vetter, 28, was shot in the head after pulling over Melvin Edison Hale, 72, of Kyle, for not wearing his seat belt on an Interstate 35 frontage road.
Hale is being held on $ I million bail in the Hays County Jail on a charge of attempted capital murder of a police officer.
DPS spokeswoman Tela Mange said in a prepared statement that investigators determined Vetter was able to fire two shots.
The Texas Highway Patrol Association is collecting donations for Vetter’s family. Donations can be made directly to the account: Texas Highway Patrol Association, C/O Compass Bank, Trooper Vetter Fund, acct. # 84065714, PO. Box 9600, Austin, TX 78766 Checks can also be sent to Texas Highway Patrol Association, Trooper Vetter Fund, 8906 Wall St., Suite 407, Austin, TX 78754.
Mayor Stoney Williams cajoles the crowd at Friday’s Starlight Gala at the New Braunfels Civic Center to open up their wallets in the auction. Proceeds benefited the American Cancer Society. The miniature corvette was bought by Darren Bueche.
No carts but cool hats
K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herald-Zeitung
The New Braunfels Public Library brought some of its favorite things to the Back-to-School Fair Saturday afternoon at the Children’s Museum of New Braunfels. Mom Jennifer Lopez helped son Trevor and daughter Erin (not pictured) try on the special Cat in the Hat hats.
► Gospel brunch
For the past three years, Gruene Hairs Gospel brunches have soared with popularity among local residents and tourists. Find out why./ 1C
The NB Warriors are back from the Triple Crown World Series in Steamboat Springs, Colo. Find out how they did in Sports./I B
Surprise: Mostly sunny and hot
By The Associated Press
A heat wave across much of the state is expected to continue through the weekend, with only a few spots that may get rain.
A few areas in North Texas, including the Dallas-Fort Worth area, hit temperatures of I OO degrees and above Saturday. Afternoon highs on Sunday throughout the region are once again expected to climb near the triple digits.
Temperatures throughout South Texas will remain mostly in the 90s on Sunday.
Key cod* 77
► Feeing stressed?
Back-to-school shopping, work, bills, car maintenance and play dates — it’s enough to drive you over the edge. Are you feeling the effects of stress? Columnist Mike Fitsko offers a test to help you find out./1C
School districts keep eye on prices at pump
By Heather Todd
Drivers have seen a slight decrease in gas prices since they soared earlier this summer, but local transportation officials aren’t breathing a sigh of relief just yet.
Transportation directors still are concerned they might exceed their fuel budgets this year if gasoline and diesel fuel prices rise during the winter months.
Gas prices soared to about $2 a gallon this summer, thanks high crude oil prices and tight petroleum supplies caused by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ production cutbacks.
Compared to the price of a gallon of gas a year ago — less
"Its still a little on the high side, but it s stable and it s not going up at all right now ”
Gary Schlather NBISD transportation and safety director
than or around $ I — the surge in gas prices created a strain on many pocketbooks.
Nationwide, prices at the pump have crept down from their highs in early June and, so far, have remained stable.
Gary Schlather, transportation and safety director for New Braunfels Independent School District, said, “It’s still a little on the high side, but it’s stable and
it’s not going up at all right now.
“The main thing is it’s stabilized. It’s not quite as much of a concern as it was earlier this year.’’
Ken Franklin, transportation director for Comal Independent School District, said, “It has gone down a few pennies and it looks like it’s going to continue to go down, but I don’t think it’s ever going to get back to what it was earlier this year.’’
Transportation departments saw a IOO percent increase on fuel costs from May of this past year to this year.
At the end of the 1999-2000 school year, the district paid about 40 to 45 cents per gallon of fuel, Schlather said.
Earlier this summer, school
districts were paying 90 cents a gallon. School districts do not pay state or federal gas tax.
NBISD has 37 buses running routes throughout New' Braunfels.
CISD operates about 147 buses covering a 600-square mile area of Comal County.
The majority of school buses in CISD and NBISD run on diesel fuel, which is a little cheaper than gasoline, although both districts have buses that run on unleaded gas.
Typically, the NBISD transportation department buys a load — about 7,000 gallons of fuel every three weeks.
Franklin said CISD typically bought three loads of fuel —
By Ron Maloney Staff Writer
Comal County Commissioners are considering a $19 million general fund budget for 2001 that will increase wages for all county employees by up to 4 percent and for commissioners by nearly IO percent.
The budget also includes spending increases in public safety and law enforcement areas.
The county tax rate will remain unchanged from the current year’s 32.4 cents per $ IOO of assessed valuation, county auditor David Renken said.
The level tax rate will be permitted despite an 8.5 percent spending increase over this past year’s $17.5 million county budget, Renken said. That is because the county’s taxable property valuation, as reassessed this spring by Comal Appraisal District, has grown by 13 percent.
The increase is roughly split between new growth and higher assessments of existing property.
Much of the increase in this year’s county budget will be in spending at the sheriff ’s office, jail and the court system, Renken said.
“A lot of the increase is law enforcement-related, going to costs associated with growth the county’s experiencing,” Renken said.
The county population is growing between 7 and IO percent each year.
Countywide, employees will get cost-of-living raises of 2 percent, with an additional 2 percent in merit raises added on.
And support has been expressed on
See PAY HIKES/5A
K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herald-Zeitung
Richard Schumann, left, and Michael Guardado were looking for horses Tuesday when they found remains believed to belong to Roger McCown, who disappeared nearly 11 months ago.
‘Nobody else is missing’
Man finds remains of fellow who disappeared in ’99
McCowti, who disappeared nearly a
By Ron Maloney Staff Writer
There’s a hand-painted sign on the gate at the 235-acre Schumann ranch northwest of New Braunfels that warns: “Keep gate closed or stay out.”
The reason for the sign isn’t that the Schumanns aren’t friendly — even though there’s a “no trespass
ing" sign nearby. They are, and it’s probably a good thing, because they’ve had a lot of extra company over the past week or so.
Skeletal remains were found on the ranch Tuesday. As of Friday, a positive identification hadn’t been announced.
However, Richard Schumann believes they belonged to Roger
“Nobody else is missing around here,” he said Saturday.
The reason for the sign at the Schumann place is the animals that freely roam the property — including 15 or so horses.
Michael Guardado, ll, wanted to See MISSING/5A