New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - August 29, 1999, New Braunfels, Texas
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Vol. 148, No. 197 40 pages in 4 sections
August 29, 1999
Serving Comal County since 1852
► Football preview
The Cougars, Rangers and Unicorns — we’ve got them all in today’s special section, “Comal County Football: Rush to Judgment.” Read up on your favorite teams with season previews on Canyon, Smithson Valley, New Braunfels, Marion and Navarro. /INSIDE
Bingo — it’s not just a game; it’s a social event. Local bingo fans come ready to play. Find out where they play, how they play and why they play. /1B
► Volleyball tournaments
New Braunfels and Canyon took on the field this weekend at the Fraulein Volleyfest at Canyon High School while Smithson Valley traveled to the North East Tournament in San Antonio. /10 A
This ought to sound familiar — mostly sunny and hot. See the extended forecast on Page 2A.
Key code 77
New laws go into effect Wednesday
Comal County Sheriff’s Office employee Angie Valdez demonstrates the breath test while Deputy Wayne Lehman observes.
Legal blood alcohol level lowered
By Heather Todd Staff Writer
Beginning Wednesday, local and state residents will face more than 900 new state laws that will - among other things -lower the legal blood alcohol limit and charge higher vehicle inspection fees.
State lawmakers approved a number of new measures during the 1999 legislative session that will affect both traffic safety and criminal laws.
The Department of Public Safety and
New laws at a glance —
local law enforcement officials enforce a lower blood alcohol limit starting Wednesday. The driving while intoxicated threshold will drop from . IO to .08.
This change in the law also will affect the administration license revocation program, which allows for suspension of driver licenses for those who refuse a breath test.
That’s because more suspects are expected to refuse to submit to breath tests, say officers at the Comal County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputy Wayne Lehman, an instructor in standard field sobriety testing, said many of the drivers suspected of driving while intoxicated probably would refuse to take breath tests for fear they will be in violation.
But he said it wouldn’t matter in some cases.
“I can prove my case on impairment,” he said. “I don’t need it.”
A video camera mounted inside his patrol car and a microphone he wears on his shirt capture the details of every traffic stop. When that videotape is shown during a trial, the jury sees everything Lehman saw and hears everything Lehman heard.
See NEW LAWS/5 A
A little bit louder now
A San Antonio chorus makes a joyful noise during the SPEBSQSA Southwest District Division Competition for choruses and quartets Saturday at the New Braunfels Civic Center. Barbershop performers from Austin, Houston, San Antonio, Spring and Lake Jackson competed.
County mulls water district options
By Heather Todd Staff Writer
Comal County Commissioners soon will have to decide the next step for a new underground water district over the Trinity Aquifer in Comal County.
State legislators approved creation of the Southeast Trinity Groundwater Conservation District along with 21 similar districts across the state during die 1999 legislative session.
County officials sought an underground water district over the Trinity Aquifer, which extends into Kendall, Blanco, Bandera and Hays counties, as a way to protect the water resources in the county.
But, Senate Bill 1911, filed by State Senator J.E. “Buster” Brown, R-Lake Jackson, fell short of expectations
because it gave very limited authority to manage the aquifer.
Under the new law, the underground water districts will have the power to control well permits over the aquifer but little else.
Water districts w ill have no authority to conduct elections, assess taxes, make long-term management plans, have eminent domain, issue bonds or annex and consolidate districts.
The water districts can regulate but not prohibit the transfer of groundw ater out of the district.
Commissioner Jay Minikin said the
Southeast Trinity Groundwater Conservation District would have to serve as a temporary district until the next legislative session in 2001.
In the meantime, Minikin said commissioners faced three options.
“We can do absolutely nothing, we can appoint a temporary board or we can act as the board ourselves," he said.
Normally, counties conduct elections for water district board members, but the new law prohibits elections, so the county must appoint board members.
The water district would not be able to levy a property tax or conduct an election until September 2001.
Comal C ounty Judge Danny Scheel said commissioners probably would review their options and decide what
See WATER DISTRICTS
Riverside Marina closes; owners explore options
By Peri Stone-Palmquist Staff Writer
A locally-ow ned riverside restaurant closed this past week, but plans to use the building already are intact.
Riverside Marina Grill and Yacht Club, one block north of the Main Plaza at 444 E. San Antonio, officially closed Aug. 22.
Gregg Weston, who ow ns the building with his wife Monique, said they would lease it to a “large organization for group meetings of all kinds.”
Weston would not release
“Sales growth had leveled off, and there were more opportunities in using the building in other ways.”
—■ Gregg Weston owner
the name of the organization but said this information would be released in mid-October.
Officials from the organization approached Weston about three weeks ago, he said.
“Sales growth had leveled off,” he said, “and there were
more opportunities in using the building in other ways.”
Weston has ow ned the building since 1991. It was built in the mid-1970s.
After extensive renovation, Weston opened Tree Tops Riverside Grille and Bar in 1992 but changed the name a year ago to the Riverside
A move in fair’s future?
Association polls members about vision
By Peri Stone-Palmquist
A lack of space at Comal County Fairgrounds has initiated an analysis into whether the fair should stay put or find another home.
The Comal County Fair Association’s longterm planning committee sent out a survey this past week to its 650 members to get a handle on their vision for the fair’s future.
“I see four scenarios.” committee chair Doug Miller said. “We can slay and do nothing, find another home, acquire property and look to move in five or 10 years, or try to revitalize the fairground.”
The county’s fair has been conducted for 105 years on the 34-acre fairgrounds off Common Street. But the county has grown a lot during that time.
“We’re pretty hemmed in,” Miller said. “And there's no real parking available.”
He estimated 75,000 people attended the fair in its six-day span this past year. This years fair is scheduled for Sept. 21-26.
“When you have that kind of traffic going through there, it’s a burden on the neighborhood,” Miller said.
But the most important issue, he said, was keeping the fair a “hometown event.”
Comal County Fair Association president Nathan Rheinlander said the focus of the association would be to “preserve our small-town county fair atmosphere for future generations.” “I want to stress that whatever major decisions may finally be reached, the fair association w ill make them as a group and only after full consultation with our membership.” he said.
Glocal Vantage, a business and economic development consulting firm in Austin, is collecting and compiling data from the survey.
Marina Grill and Yacht Club.
“It was a tongue-in-cheek thing,” Weston said. “A big inflatable tire is a Texan yacht”
Just outside the restaurant, beneath the terraced patios, tubers float along the Comal River “Its a great view,” he said.
People enjoyed that view while dining during a casual meal, wedding reception or class reunion.
The restaurant could accommodate groups up to 2(X) in a single room or as
Staff at Riverside Marina Grill and Yacht Club, one block north of the Main Plaza at 444 E. San Antonio, gather one last time Friday in front of the restaurant.