New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 10, 1999, New Braunfels, Texas
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Vol. 149, No. 16 22 pages in 2 sections December IO, 1999
F RI DAY
Serving Comal County since 1852
Lawmen link Marion robber to S.A. holdup
From Staff Reports
Lawmen believe the woman who robbed a Marion bank Tuesday morning also robbed a San Antonio bank in early November.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Marion Police Department are investigating the robbery at Marion Sate Bank, 301 W. San Antonio St. in Marion.
Darren Holmes, special agent and spokesman at the San Antonio office of the FBI, said no arrests had been made in the Marion robbery case.
He said officials believed the woman also robbed the Security Services Federal Credit Union at 6301 North Loop 410 in San Antonio on Nov. 3.
Witnesses who saw the woman at Marion State Bank on Tuesday described her as Hispanic in her mid-to-late 30s with wavy brown hair, about 5-foot-5 and weighing about 140 pounds.
Marion Police Department officers said the woman approached the teller counter about 11:30 arn. and made a “verbal demand” for the teller to hand over $4,000.
Officials said the woman did not display a weapon but gestured with her hand in her pocket that suggested she had a weapon.
The teller gave the woman money from her work station. The FBI could not disclose the amount of money the robber took from the bank, Holmes said.
The woman ran out of the bank and sped away in a four-door 1980s blue Toyota, officials said. Witnesses did not get a license plate number.
The robber last was seen traveling southeast on Farm-to-Market Road 78.
She was wearing a white shirt, brown pants, a brown suede bomber jacket and a dark-colored baseball hat. She also was wearing prescription wire-rimmed glasses with dark sunglasses over them and was carrying a large shoulder bag.
The San Antonio office of the FBI joined the Marion Police Department’s investigation of the robbery early Tuesday afternoon because bank robbery is a federal offense.
Anyone with information concerning the robbery should contact the FBI at (210) 225-6741 or the Marion Police Department at (830) 914-2391.
Comal County nurse Karen Preiss (right), Comal County Engineer Tom Hornseth (center) and Comal County Commissioner Jack Dawson take part in the Y2K crisis simulation at the Comal County Emergency Operations Center on Thursday. Below: Joe Moore of McKenna Memorial Hospital makes an important call about disaster responses.
Y2K disaster drill
Emergency service agencies put responses to the test
By Erin Magruder and Peri Stone-Palmquist Staff Writers
Riots in the jail, a shooting at a service station, even a finger stuck in a champagne bottle — whatever the Y2K emergency, city and county officials are ready to deal with it.
On Thursday afternoon, about 30 community leaders gathered at the Comal County Sheriffs Office to run through emergency operations procedures in preparation for New Year's Eve.
The training also applies to any emergency situation.
"We're gathering the major players here to deal with whatever might happen," Comal County Sheriff Bob Holder said. "We are thinking of every little thing that could possibly go wrong New Year's Eve."
Holder, New Braunfels Fire and Rescue Chief Jack Collier, the city emergency management coordinator; and Comal County Fire Marshal Lin Manford, emergency management coordinator for the county, headed up the drill.
Officials from Comal County Sheriffs Office, New Braunfels Police Department, Department of Public Safety Officers, New Braunfels Fire and Rescue, Red Cross, local utility companies also participated.
Although officials don't expect any Y2K catastrophes, Thursday's drill wa was good practice, Manford said, and forced people
involved to think about what their actions might be in any given situation.
On New Year's Eve, the headquarters will be the Emergency Operations Center at the Comal County Sheriffs Office, equipped with technology to respond to potential disasters.
During the drill, Carol Edgett, the city's assistant emergency management coordinator, called out hypothetical emergency situations and officials called out how they would respond.
Within a couple hours, Edgett had gone through most of New Year's Eve and a long list of disasters: a shooting at a service station, a fire at the high school, a broken water main at Main Plaza.
Reports of icy roads sent several officials scurrying to their phones to see if they had chains for their vehicles.
If county vehicles ran out of gas, the county could dispatch a service truck, which can be operated man-ually, county engineer Tom
H-Z’s Cheer Fund in need of donations
Time is running out for Dec. 18 deliveries
From Staff Reports
Donations for the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung’s Cheer Fund are falling behind previous years’ efforts, and organizers are becoming concerned.
Herald-Zeitung employees and volunteers are planning to deliver food baskets for 200 needy families in the New Braunfels area on Dec. 18.
“Right now, we are about $ 1,700 short of what we need to buy the food for the baskets,” Cheer Fund coordinator Rosie Willingham said.
The newspaper collects money every year to buy food baskets for needy families identified by the Community Service Center.
The food baskets include ham, canned vegetables, shortening, flour, sugar, pie filling, bread, eggs and fruit along with other items for a complete holiday meal.
Putting the food baskets together and delivering
them truly becomes a group effort as employees and volunteers begin working early in the morning and often do not finish until well after lunch.
“We encourage everyone to give to the Cheer Fund so these families will be guaranteed a nice holiday meal for C hristmas,” Willingham said.
Donations to Cheer Fund can be made at the Her-ald-Zeiiung, 707 Landa St. in New Braunfels. For information about donating money or time to the Cheer Fund effort, call Willingham at 625-9144 ext. 203.
Family mourns as authorities search for local man’s killers
Reward now up to $6,000 on Interstate 35 slaying
By Erin Magruder Staff Writer
Authorities are no closer to finding the two men who shot and killed 28-year-old New Braunfels resident John Adkins two weeks ago on Interstate 35.
Meanwhile, Adkins’ mother, Cheryl, 51, and grandparents came back to New Braunfels this week to settle legal affairs and spend time in the comforts of those who knew and loved the San Antonio high school teacher whom students called “Coach.”
Adkins was killed about noon on Nov. 24 as he traveled southbound on 1-35 near Schertz in what police believe was a case of road rage.
Adkins’ trailer now sits empty at the Hill Country RV Resort, 131 Ruekle Road.
Even his “beloved mutt” Cookie has found a new home with close friends of the family.
While visiting the home of one of her slain son’s friends, Cheryl Adkins, a school teacher in Korea, reflected on the roller coaster of emotions in the days since John Adkins’ untimely death.
“John always wanted to be in the ‘help’ field somehow. He was always working on someone. Lately, he was trying to get me to quit smoking,” she said as she smiled and lit a cigarette.
A reward for information leading to the arrest and grand jury indictment of Adkins’ killers already has reached $6,000 — $1,000 from Crime Stoppers and $5,000 from the North East school district where Adkins taught.
“I talked to the police Tuesday, and the detective said they have so many phone calls from people with information,” she said. “They have had to investigate every lead, whether the person calling is legitimate or not.” Adkins taught health and physical education for the past two and a half years at the Center School, an alternative high school for troubled adolescents in San Antonio.
Cheryl and family members attended a memorial service Tuesday honoring Adkins at the Center School cafeteria. More than 150 students and faculty members, many of whom spoke about their beloved teacher and friend, were in attendance.
Cheryl said attending the memorial service helped her deal with her grief and anger toward her son’s killers.
“It is a very small school with only 125 students,” she said. “They are still very emotional about what happened. One girl walked up to me and gave me a hug and said, ‘You’re Coach’s mom.’ It was important to hear how John affected their lives.”
Dan Beck, Adkins’ grandfather, said he could not put into words what he felt sitting in the packed cafeteria, lis-
See VICH M/5 A
This photo of Adkins instructing his students was included in a program for his memorial service.
Open-air market plans meet opposition from neighbors
Photo submittedThis rendering details shopSmarfs plans for a $7 million open-air market at Interstate 35 and Doeppenschmidt Road.
By Peri Stone-Palmquist
Supporters say a proposed open-air market off Interstate 35 will benefit the whole community, but neighbors say it will ruin their quiet, peaceful way of life.
ShopSmart, a San Antonio company less than a year old, is proposing to put a 196,000-square-foot market at Interstate 35 and Doeppenschmidt Road, where more than 1,000 vendors could sell a variety of items during daylight hours on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
The estimated $7 million project would be shopSmart’s first open-air market. Everett
Collins, principal of shopSpiart, said it could boast sales of up to $80 million annually.
The market would be on a 40-acre site, surrounded with several businesses in metal buildings and some homes.
At a public hearing before the city planning commission Tuesday, neighbor Brian Wetz described the area around the site as friendly and calm, with children playing in the streets and in the front yards.
"It’s a great area to grow up in," he said. "I can’t see how this would benefit us."
Wetz and others cited concerns about traffic, water pressure, security and overall ambiance of the area.
All these concerns will be addressed, Collins said.
"We want to do whatever we can — we’re very pro-community," Collins said. "We feel this will benefit the whole community."
The market could give local small business owners and national vendors a chance to display goods with low overhead costs, he said. Vendors could rent a spot for an average of $20 a day.
Several vendors already have expressed interest in selling items, including furniture, jewelry, computers, apparel, silk flowers, sporting goods, oriental rugs, leather goodsSee MARKET/5A
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