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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 9, 2005, New Braunfels, Texas 2627 E vWll DR EL PASO TX 79903 SPORTS TIP OFF Canyon, New Braunfels host Smithson Valley and others in River City Classic. Page 8A I mmmmmmmmmmmm ■MOH INSIDE NEW BOSS After narrowing the list of candidates, New Braunfels City Council is close to hiring a city manager. Page 7A Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852. Vol. 154, No. 325 18 pages, 2 sections 50$ I 000011 H pfPartly Cloudy High Low 47 32 Details .... 1B MMMM . _____ DEAR ABBY 5B CLASSIFIEDS SB COMICS 2B CROSSWORD 2B FORUM 4A OBITUARIES 3A SPORTS 8A TV GRIDS 5B County to subsidize fire service for 76 homes By Ron Maloney Staff Writer The county’s taxpayers are going to have to ante up more than $1,300 a month beginning Ian. I to provide fire and emergency medical service to 76 homes west of New Braunfels. The homes are located in an area west of Krueger Canyon Road between the city of New Braunfels and the boundaries of ‘No mans land’ residents likely to face tax election Emergency Service District 6, which provides fire and emergency medical response to Bracken and Garden Ridge through contracts with the Bracken Volunteer Fire Department and Schertz EMS. Most of the homes fall in the district of Precinct 3 Commis sioner Greg Parker. The remainder are in Precinct 2 Commissioner Jay Minikins district. Minikin refers to the area as “no mans land” because, while outside the city of New Braunfels in that city’s Extraterritorial Jurisdiction, it also isn’t part of ESD 6 because when its bound aries were drawn, they did not include any of the ETJ. In 1989, the Legislature passed a law creating the state’s rural fire protection districts, giving them authority to set a property tax of 3 cents per $ IOO to pay for fire response. In 2003, the state converted all rural fire protec tion districts. Residents of the area voted in June 1989 not to become part of the fire district, but the district still provided emergency response in the area because Comal County paid the fire districts $40,000 a year. Over the years, the county has gradually phased out those subsidies because the districts had taxing authority, and commissioners See SUBSIDIZE, Page 10A 4, Commissioner Jay Minikin •w t' J L -/■ I J I O y SPc rf'?c. c :. _/•    J    '    -    V    *    -rf    r CHILLED TO THE BONE For most, it’s business as usual after arctic front By Jessica Sanders and Ron Maloney Staff Writers Schools were open for business Thursday morning, but plenty of seats were empty. Freezing rain Wednesday night and Thursday morning coated some Comal County roads and bridges, but the winter weather event wasn’t enough to grind Thursday’s activities to a halt. Betsy Nash, principal at Frazier Elementary and Goodwin Primary, said she saw an 86 percent attendance rate. She assumed the cold weather and the possibility of icy roads were keeping kids at home, though all area schools started at their regular times. “Some of our buses from the I fill Country area were running late, but I’m really proud of how well the district’s handled the whole weather situation,” she said. Though students were transported safely, some drivers ran into problems. Several accidents were reported throughout Central Texas on Wednesday night and Thursday morning. Lt. Mark Reynolds of the Comal County Sheriff’s Department said impatience and not ice-covered roadways caused quite a few fend-er-benders Thursday morning. “People need to take time to let their cars defrost,” he said. “Even though your windshield is clear, you still need to see out of the side and back windows.” Reynolds said none of Thursday’s accidents was serious. New Braunfels police Sgt. Heath Purvis said the city saw only a handful of minor accidents related to the weather. The Texas Department of Trans- Photos by DAVID INGRAM/Herald-Zeitung Water freezes as it cascades off of the fountain in Main Plaza on Thursday morning. Freezing temperatures are expected to hit Comal County again this morning and tonight. portation “got out there really quickly and was putting sand on the roads,’’ Purvis said. “I think that prevented a lot of accidents.” County Engineer Tom Homseth reported road crews were out all night dealing with icing on the county’s roads. Four trucks carrying gravel were put out on die roads to provide tracdon on bridges and areas where the roadways were most likely to ice over, he said. “We were prepared, but it was a lithe more intense than we expected,” Hornseth said. “We had some See CHILLY, Page 3A Man left homeless after house burns down By Ron Maloney Staff Writer A man was left homeless early Thursday just a week after moving into a Flaming Oak home. New Braunfels firefighters were called to the residence, located off PM 306, just after 6 a.m. Friday. Comal County Deputy Fire Marshal Wayne Ellington said they arrived to find the home, rented by Don Ennis, in flames. “We were lucky here that no one was hurt,” Ellington said. “The neighbor noticed this fire, banged on the door and told the guy his house was on fire.” Ellington estimated the loss at $50,000. “The home is about 75 percent gone. It could be rebuilt, but it would take a lot of money,” Ellington said. Ennis, who had just moved to the area and is set to start a job in San Marcos, lost everything, Ellington said. “He didn’t have renters insurance,’’ Ellington said. “He hoped to get it sometime this week.” Tile fire started outside the residence, spreading to the bedroom and closet area, Ellington said. “It started on the exterior electrical panel. The neighbor said the pipe leading up to the attic from the panel was glowing bright red when he first saw it,” Ellington said. “Right now, the cause is undetermined, but it’s related to the electrical panel.” Ellington said the American Red Cross has been contacted and asked to help Ennis. The I lerald-Zeitung was unable to reach Ennis on Thursday. RINDS RAISED $3,456 THANKYOU H-Z READERS! Dr Steven J. Slagle, Comer and Barbara Alden, George and Cheryl Guidroz and Joyce Barker have contributed to help bring food to 250 needy families this Christmas. To donate to the Cheer Fund, stop by the Herald-Zeitung office at 707 Landa St. between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday or mail a check made out to the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung to Cheer Fund, New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung, 707 Landa St., New Braunfels, 78130 To volunteer to deliver for the Cheer Fund, call 625-9144, ext. 203, or show up at the Herald-Zeitung printing plant on Industrial Drive at 8 a m. Saturday, Dec. 17. Christmas giving slower than usual By Leigh Jones Staff Writer The New Braunfels Police Department’s Blue Santa program is not the only local charity suffering from a lack of donations this holiday season. The Community Service Center, which also gives Christmas gifts to needy families during the holiday season, is scrambling to find enough generous locals to provide for the 400 families on this year’s list. “A lot of local groups that usually adopt more than one family have cut MAKING A DIFFERENCE ■ Seven-year-old Tommy Solito gives to help a family in need, see Page 7A back this year,” said CSC Director Suzie Garcia. “We’re just going to try and help as many as we can." Garcia attributed this year’s donation slow down to extremely high levels of giving earlier this year in the wake of hurricanes Katrina and Rita. “I definitely think that’s going to have See GIVING, Page 7A Board decides not to fund development By Leigh Jones Staff Writer San Antonio developer Koontz McCombs will not be getting any city money for its proposed development on the old Sundance Golf Course. The city of New Braunfels Industrial Development Corporation (4B) board declined the company's request Thursday for $1.3 million for infrastructure improvements surrounding the 84.3-acre property between Common Street and FM 306. Koontz McCombs submitted their request in response to 4B’s offer of funding for mixed-use development that would bring new jobs to town. “We think it’s a great project, and we’re glad you’re in town,” said 4B Chairman Matt Harrison after the board met to discuss the request behind closed doors. “But we were hoping to get proposals for an industrial park project. This wasn’t quite what we were looking for.” See FUND, Page 2A IVo games to go The Smithson Valley football team prep. chati for its biggest ch of the season. ares enge Players, coaches from NB lead Texas State toward tide game By Rick Breland Correspondent IF YOU GO • What: Texas State vs. Northern Iowa in NCAA Division 1-AA semfinal ■ When: 7 p.m. today N Where: Texas State University in San Marcos SAN MARCOS—A year ago, no one thought the Texas State football team would still be playing in December. Heck, not even the coaches or players expected to make it this far. But a breakout season will continue at 7 p.m. today when the Bobcats host Northern Iowa in the Division I -AA semifinals at Bobcat Stadium. The winner will meet either Appalachian State or Furman for the national title Dec. 16. A pleasant surprise in the Bobcats’ recent success has been the key roles several former Comal County coaches and players are playing in helping the Texas State football See BOBCATS, Page 3A ■MN ;