New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - August 26, 1999, New Braunfels, Texas
20332 11009 10/22/99
SO-WE ST ll I CRO PU BL I ^ 2627 E YANDELL D
EL PASO, TX 799(Vol. 148, No. 200 14 pages in I section August 26, 1999 jnRSPAY Serving Comal County since 1852 50 cents
How To Help
The Herald-Zeitung is accepting donations for the Hernandez family, whose clothes were damaged by smoke in a Wednesday morning fire.
Edward Jr., 7, wears size 10 Husky jeans, large-sized boys’ shirts and size 2 shoes.
Ramon, 6, wears size 6 pants, small- or medium-sized shirts and size 13 shoes.
Karisa, 3, wears size 3 pants and shirts and size 9 or 10 shoes.
Jonathan, 2, wears size 4 pants and shirts and size 8 shoes.
Donations will be accepted at 707 Landa St. during normal business hours.
For information, call Rachelle Garza at 625-6913.
Fire destroys duplex
among items lost in morning blaze
By Peri Stone-Palmquist Staff Writer
A mother, grandmother and four children were forced out of their duplex early Wednesday morning after a fire ravaged a neighboring unit and their attic.
Smoke pervaded their two-bedroom red brick home at 123 Morales Court, off Farm-to-Mar-ket Road 725, soaking their clothes, rugs and bedding with its stench.
School clothes purchased Saturday with a $150 gift certificate from a boss also were lost.
But 7-year-old Edward Hernandez Jr., a first-grader at Memorial Primary, and 6-year-old Ramon, a kindergartner at the same school, attended the first day of classes Wednesday.
“I tried to pick out clothes that didn’t smell too bad,” said their mother, Yvette Hernandez.
She did the same for 2-year-old Jonathan and 3-year-old Karisa, who spent the day with their father while Yvette put in a full day at Debonair Cleaners, 130 S. Interstate 35.
Yvette said their loss wasn’t substantial.
“We didn’t have much to begin with,” she said.
The Herald-Zeitung is accepting donations for the family at its office at 707 Landa St.
Other homes along the duplex-lined court, all owned by the Housing Authority of New Braunfels, were not damaged.
Susie Guerrero, who lives nearby at 119 Morales, was the first to notice the fire at 121 Morales, a vacant unit connected to the Hernandez’ home.
Guerrero said she saw the flames through her shades and could smell smoke through an air conditioning vent.
Sunlight pours through the ceiling of one of the bedrooms at 123 Morales Court. A fire started in the attic in a vacant apartment next door and spread into the home of Yvette Hernandez, her mother and four children.
Karisa Hernandez, 3, and brother Jonathan, 2, stand in their living room Wednesday, where damage from an early morning fire is evident. New clothes for Karisa, Jonathan and their older brothers were destroyed in the blaze.
“They were lucky,” Guerrero said. “That smoke was pretty bad.” Guerrero called 9-1-1 and woke up neighbor Ida Hernandez, who lives at 117 Morales.
Yvette didn’t know about the fire until Ida pounded on her bedroom window about 5 a.m. Wednesday.
“It sounded like she was going to break the window,” Yvette said.
She woke up, grabbed her children, who share the bedroom with her, and woke her mother, Lupe.
“I didn’t know what was going on,” Lupe said. “I followed her out and she said, ‘Look Mom, a fire,’ and I was like ‘Oh my God.’ I didn’t even know.”
Units were on the scene within five minutes of dispatch and reported heavy smoke from both 121 and 123 Morales.
Three engines, a command unit and one EMS unit responded with
Bids for river cleanup rejected by city
By Peri Stone-Palmquist
The Guadalupe River will soon be cleaned, but the effort won’t be funded with city money.
After three months of discussion, New Braunfels City Council opted to reject all three bids Monday for tourism-related cleanup on the Guadalupe and Comal rivers.
“Since it’s so late, we decided to hold it and do it next year,” Mayor Stoney Williams said.
Friends for Rivers will conduct their annual volunteer cleanup Sept. 18 on the Guadalupe.
And Ramon & Sons of San Antonio will start flood-related cleanup work in the next few weeks
on the Guadalupe between Faust Street and Grant Avenue, as well as the Dry Comal Creek from Landa Street to Altgelt Avenue.
Council mentioned no plans to clean the Comal River.
Williams said the city would start looking for bids for tourism-related cleanup on both the Guadalupe and Comal after the first of the year.
Hopefully, the process will be smoother than this time around.
Discussion started in May when District 2 councilman Larry Alexander made a motion during budget talks to allocate $20,000 for river cleanup.
In June, council approved a list of several ways the city could spend the $20,000, including buying
more trashcans and hiring park rangers. The list was forwarded to officials in the parks department, who were directed to draw up proposals.
But in July, council voted to seek bids on river cleanup, instead of hiring their own personnel.
The city received no bids by its Aug. 3 deadline.
The deadline was extended until Aug. 23, and three contractors turned in bids — all rejected by council Monday.
The bid proposal asked that vendors clean the surface of the water, five feet down, the islands and both banks a minimum of three days a week until Labor Day.
Bulverde council votes to keep tax rate
By Heather Todo Staff Writer
BULVERDE — Residents of Bulverde will continue to pay property taxes based on an 18-cent tax rate in 2000, but senior citizens will benefit from a $40,000 homestead exemption.
Bulverde City Council unanimously voted in favor of keeping the current 18-cent tax rate Tuesday.
Alderman Rick Gravens initially voted against the 18-cent tax rate because he said it built the city’s reserve hinds too high. He also said
he wanted the city to develop a longterm plan to gain a better understanding of the budget.
“I believed that the tax rate could be lowered until we, No. I, find something to do with the reserve money,” Gravens said. “I think the budget will cover all the expenditures in the coming year. With the 18-cent tax rate, I think the reserves will be a little excessive.”
However, in a second vote, Gravens cast his vote for the 18-cent rate.
Gravens said he made the change
because voting against it would only prolong the issue.
City secretary Elaine Kass- rhomas said if Gravens voted against the tax rate, it would have required a re-vote because Alderman Bill Krawietz was absent.
An ordinance setting the tax rate requires a four-fifths majority vote of the council.
Gravens said, “It would have been a 4-1 vote no matter how it goes. And the county was waiting for our input.”
See TAX RATE/5
Key code 76
Jarrett Ellis (right) opens his schultute Wednesday with help from his brother, Jacob, and mother, Becky Bradbury. Giving kindergarten students a schultute, or “school bag” is a German family tradition.
First day has special meaning for local family
Schultute, or ‘school bag,’ presented to new students
By Heather Todd
Forget about first-day jitters for kindergartner Jarrett Ellis.
While many of his peers might have been anxious about starting school Wednesday morning, Ellis was sharing a German family tradition spanning generations.
The Memorial Primary student received his first schultute — German for school bag — filled with his favorite candy and school supplies. The schultute is a cone-shaped gift made out of poster board and filled w ith small gifts w rapped in tissue paper.
“He’s been really excited about getting it,” said Becky
Bradbury, Jarrett’s mom.
More than 6,000 students in New Braunfels Independent School District headed back for classes Wednesday Many were dreading the return to classrooms and homework, hut the day couldn’t come soon enough for Jarrett.
Jarrett’s older brother, third-grader Jacob, got a schultute on his first day of kindergarten.
The tradition of giving kindergartners a gift on the first day of school is not commonly practiced in the United States, but Jarrett’s grandmother, Gertraud McCamant, said it was a custom she had carried on for two generations.
For more than 30 years, McCamant has made a schultute for her own children, including Jarrett’s mom, and for seven grandchildren.
McC amant, a German native, said she decided to continue the tradition of giving schultiites as a way to make the day special for the youngsters and to calm their fears about the first day of school.
“No child in Germany goes to school without them. The government even gives them to underprivileged children if their families can’t afford it,” she said.
McCamant decorated the outside of Jarrett’s schultute with markers. She said the schultiites given to children in Germany were more elaborate.
“They buy them there. I saw pictures of some first-graders who had some as big as they were. But I make mine,” she said.
Jarrett’s schultute came complete with a poster of Michael
See FIRST DAY/5
Jarrett Ellis’ grandmother, Gertraud McCamant, displays a photo of her son with his schultute on the first day of school.