New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - August 27, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas
■ 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
Vol. 149, No. 210 44 pages in 4 sections August 27, 2000
Serving Comal County since 1852
► Football guide
Catch the Herald-Zeitung’s comprehensive look at District 27-4A as well as prospects for local grads now playing at the college level./ INSIDE
► Volleyball play
Fans of New Braunfels and Canyon volleyball got the match-up they wanted Saturday afternoon./1B
► Great Strides
The Barry family is more than casually interested in cystic fibrosis research; they live face-to-face with the reality of the disease./1C
Texas crops pay high heat price
DALLAS (AP) — Clay Anderson, a National Weather Service meteorologist for the Austin-San Antonio office, said that although Central Texas had some soaking rains in the spring, record high temperatures have baked the landscape, with Texas crops paying a high price.
Statewide, agriculture and livestock producers estimate they’ve already lost $595 million this year, Texas Agriculture C ommissioner Susan Combs said Wednesday.
Tires are also a problem. By Saturday, firefighting crews had almost contained a fire that ravaged 1,800 acres of East Texas forest near Nacogdoches.
Key code 77
Cops want to hear from baby’s mom
Abandoned child with foster family
By Ron Maloney
New Braunfels police want the parents of the infant girl left at McKenna Memorial Hospital two weeks ago to come forward for help.
“I think a lot of the concern is that the mother is going to be arrested,” New Braunfels Police Detective Sean Gabbard said. “That’s not our primary concern. We want to make
“I’d be willing to just take a phone call... my concern is this young lady may need medical care, some counseling."
Detective Sean Gabbard NBPD, 608-2185
sure the mother has gotten die medical care she needs and get a family history if the baby is to be adopted out.”
The newborn Hispanic girl was
abandoned near an employee entrance at McKenna Memorial Hospital about 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 11. Hospital officials believe the image of the mother might have been captured on videotape.
The next Tuesday, the baby was released from the hospital and was placed with a foster family.
Now, Gabbard is asking that the baby’s mother contact him.
“If anyone is concerned that we’re going to throw handcuffs on the mother, that is not our objective,”
K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herald-Zeitung
McKenna Hope, who now has a new, undisclosed name, was placed with a foster family, and is reportedly very healthy and well-cared for.
Ban vote countdown
City preparing for big crowd at Monday meeting
By Jo Lee Ferguson Staff Writer
The New Braunfels City Council could vote to ban alcohol consumption on the two local rivers Monday.
The council meets at 6:30 p.m. at the New Braunfels Municipal Building, 424 S. Castell Ave. City officials say the subjects of Monday’s'meeting could draw a hug crowd.
The city plans to make special accommodations for those who cannot find a seat in the council chambers Monday.
City Manager Mike Shands said a speaker would be in the hallway outside the council chambers that will enable those standing in the hall to hear.
Also, the city will place a big-screen television and chairs in the municipal building’s conference room to hold overflow from the council chambers. Those w ho sit in the conference room can watch the meeting on television.
“It doesn’t hurt to be prepared as much as possible,” Shands said.
The proposed alcohol ban is a hot topic for the community.
Mayor Stoney Williams said people must behave properly in the meeting, no matter how emotional the subject may be. He has long complained about the bad behavior of audience members at the council meetings.
“There won’t be a lick of bad behavior tolerated,” Williams said. “We’re not going to have any signs.”
Yelling, name-calling, accusations and applause also are not allowed, he said. People need to learn how to control themselves at meetings, Williams said.
“I’m going to have an off-duty officer there,” he said, “lf someone gets out-of-hand even slightly, if someone can’t behave themselves, they’re going to be escort-
Ryan Rogers participated in the “Build-a-float” parade Saturday afternoon on the Comal River. Rogers’ float was a plastic lawn chair with sports balls attached via netting and two halves of a foam knee board beneath him. He seemed unconcerned with the upcoming alcohol ban vote by the city council.
ed out.” The council provides the of key issues, such as: a proposed
public time to speak out on issues during the council meeting. Normally, each side of im issue — for and against — get 30 minutes, w ith 5 minutes for each speaker.
However, Williams said public input on all issues before council Monday is limited to 15 minutes for each side, with 5 minutes per person.
“There’s too much stuff on the agenda,” Williams said.
The agenda includes a number
drainage ordinance, a proposed ordinance governing transportation of animals and consideration of Comal County’s moratorium on lots smaller than I acre.
“There’s not enough time in the day to do a full 30 minutes for each side,” Williams said.
The proposed alcohol ban would prohibit the consumption of alcohol and possession of open alcoholic beverage containers in See BAN VOTE/5A
NB City Council
New Braunfels city council meets at 6:30 p.m. in the New Braunfels Municipal Building, 424 S. Castell Ave.
Council will consider:
• A drainage ordinance establishing a watershed management utility fee, watershed development fee and watershed management fund.
• Appointing river task force committee.
• Support for the Comal County
Commissioners Court decision to temporarily suspend new development on lots smaller than 1 acre; and
• A request for voluntary annexation from the Gardens of Hunters Creek subdivision.
• A proposed ordinance limiting the purchase of Landa Park Golf Course 30-round passbook to Texas residents; and
• A proposed ordinance to prohibit “transporting animals in an unsafe manner,” and “leaving animals in motor vehicles under dangerous circumstances.”
Connections closing thrift shop
BETTY TAYLOR Herald-Zeitung
Lucille Garcia and Lennie Cooper check out customers at the Connections Thrift Shop.
By Betty Taylor Staff Writer
After 16 years of providing clothes, appliances, furniture, posters and more, Connections Thrift Shop is closing its doors at 1414 W. San Antonio St.
Shoppers have until Thursday to take advantage of skirts for 50 cents each, Pappagallo shoes for $1 and baby clothes that, in some eases, are like brand new.
“Atter that, everything is going to the senior citizens center,” said Lucille Garcia, the person w ho created the thrift shop.
Garcia was on the board of directors for Connections when she got the idea to use leftover donations to start a thrift shop. Garcia said she opened shop in June 1984 in the back of what then was the Zoeller Funeral Home building.
“We had no air conditioning or heating. In 1987, we moved over here,” Garcia said, referring to the metal building that now stands behind the Connections shelter.
A grant from the Meadows f oundation enabled Connections to construct the
See THRIFT SHOP/5A
Blue Cross battle puts schools in the middle
By Heather Todd
Hundreds of school district employees and thousands of their dependents — insured through Blue Cross/Blue Shield could pay more for medical services at McKenna Memorial Hospital or local physicians’ offices if those providers end their contracts with the insurance provider.
Local school district officials say they hope McKenna Memorial Hospital and Hill Country Medical Associates and other physicians can work out their differences with Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Texas.
Frank Witting, an insurance consultant for both New' Braunfels and Comal school districts, said getting another insurance carrier if local medical service providers do become “out of network” providers for Blue Cross/Blue Shield would probably not be an option because it would cost the districts more money.
McKenna Memorial Hospital trustees voted July 28 to end the hospital’s service agreement with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas effective Dec. 31, meaning McKenna no longer will be an “in network” provider of health care.
The changes mean some 14,000 workers in the area whose health insurance is provided by Blue Cross/Blue Shield w ill have to pay higher deductibles and co-payments if they want to use McKenna for anything other than emergency services.
Emergency room patients will not be affected by the change as long as they are treated for conditions that are true emergencies as defined by Blue Cross/Blue Shield.
In the spnng, McKenna CEO Tim Brier-ty warned Blue Cross Blue Shield and area employers whose health insurance plans were provided through or administered by Blue Cross/Blue Shield that the hospital w ould dump the agreement if the insurer did not raise reimbursement rates for services provided at McKenna.
Those rates have not been increased in the 10 years Bnerty has worked at McKenna, he said.
Comal County has about 4(X) employees who are insured through Blue Cross/Blue Shield — along with more than I ,(XX) of their dependents.
Witting said 1,700 employees in C1SD and 8(X) employees in NB1SD were insured by Blue Cross/Blue Shield. That count does not include spouses or dependents, he said.
Witting said both CISD and NB1SD were self-insured and used Blue Cross/ Blue Shield to administer claims.
As self-insured entities. Witting said school districts would pick up any increase in the cost of medical serv ices if McKenna becomes an “out of network” provider for Blue Cross/Blue Shield.
“This is not Blue Cross/Blue Shields money we’re talking about, its the school district’s money,” he said.
Blue Cross/Blue Shield spokesman See BLUE CROSS/3 A