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View Sample Pages : New Braunfels Herald Zeitung, December 16, 2005

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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 16, 2005, New Braunfels, Texas FRIDAY, DECEMBER 16,2005    ^ ERALD-i. all FOR ADC 780 MOI 1000571 12/30/05 SOUTHWEST HICROPUHLISHERS 2627 E YANDELL OR EL PASO TX 79903 j.'mG SPORTS ALL STATE Two Canyon football players join a New Braunfels star as honorable mention all state players. Page 5A INSIDE LIFE SAVERS Two Comal County sheriff's detectives are honored for saving a man who was drawing on Canyon Lake. Page 2A Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852. Vol. 154, No. 331 16 pages, 2 sections WWW? DEAR ABBY 3B CLASSIFIEDS 5B COMICS 2B CROSSWORD 2B FORUM 4A OBITUARIES 3A SPORTS 5A TV GRIDS 3B J ii Ll.Race for Casteel’s seat heats up quickly By Leigh Jones Staff Writer State Rep. Carter Casteel, R-New Braunfels, is wiping small traces of mud off her face as the fight for her District 73 seat seems to be heating up. The mudslinging started earlier than expected, Casteel said, especially since she doesn’t even have an opponent yet. The fight started this week when Casteel began getting calls from constituents angry over a telephone poll being conducted to gauge voters’ reactions to their representative’s voting record. Based on input from people who received the calls, Casteel labeled the survey a “push poll,” one designed to elicit specific answers from respondents. Casteel indicated she views the p bi oil as the first shot in what could ecome a negative campaign, something to which she does not intend to contribute. “I intend to run a good, clean campaign,’’ she told the Herald-Zeitung earlier this week. “I’ve never run a negative campaign, and I won’t start now. I’m too old.” Even if she intended to send some mud back, Casteel would not know in which direction to aim her throw. “We know which firm conducted See CASTEEL, Page 3ARESERVE NOW OR NEW YEARS Downstairs in tho Prince Solms Inn 295 E. San Antonio 830 708 541 I ' ' Turnout high as Iraqis vote for parliament By Robert H. Reid Associated Press Writer BAGI IDA!), Iraq — Millions of Iraqis, from tribal sheiks to entire families with children in tow, turned out Thursday to choose a parliament in a mostly peaceful election — among the freest ever in the Arab world. So many Sunni Arabs voted that ballots ran out in some places. The strong participation by Sunnis, the backbone of tile insurgency, holstered U.S. hopes that the election could produce a broad-based government capable of ending the daily suicide attacks and other violence that have ravaged the country since the fall of Saddam Hussein. Difficult times lie ahead, however. The coalition of religious Shiite parties that dominates the current government is expected to win the biggest portion of the 275 seats, but will almost certainly need to compromise with rival factions, with widely differing views, to form a government. Up to 11 million of the nation’s 15 million See ELECTION, Page 3A Wedding bells Hone Macias realizes a lifelong dream when she gets married to her longtime boyfriend. Homebuilders vow to appeal drainage ruling By Leigh Jones Staff Writer T he city of New Braunfels probably has not fought its last court battle over its drainage ordinance. Although he and several other plaintiffs lost their bid to have a district court judge throw out the ordinance and its controversial stormwater connection fee, attorney David Pfeuffer said he would be surprised if the group decided not to seek another opinion. "We haven’t officially decided to appeal, but I would be shocked beyond belief if we didn’t,” he said. Admitting he was disappointed by visiting District Cxjurt Judge Weldon Kirk s decision, Pfeuffer said he was not completely surprised. “Often, a trial court is afraid to make a decision against a governmental entity. We feel confident in our ability to win on appeal,” he said. If the case does go on to the appellate court, Pfeuffer expects each side to get some heavy-hitting help. The plaintiffs, tile Greater New Braunfels Home Builder’s Association; Robert, Jean, Michael, David and Susan Pfeuffer; Oakwood Estates Development Co.; and larry A. Koehler could be joined by the Texas See DRAINAGE, Page 3A FUNDS RAISED $6,657.05 THANKYOU H-Z READERS! Garnet and Verna Buster, Calvin and Margaret Branle, Mr and Mrs, Samuel J. Wotipka and Ann Phelps 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, THE SOUND OF MUSIC Carolers ring in Christmas with joyous melodies By Leigh Jones Staff Writer The Sign Ordinance Committee put the final touches on its proposed regulations Thursday, paving the way for the document to go to New Braunfels City Council for approval. Committee members thought they were finished with their 18-month-long work several weeks ago when they voted to ban billboards within city limits. Despite protests from Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce President Michael Meek and pleas for the committee to change its mind immediately after the vote, the billboard issue never came up Thursday. Earlier in the day, Meek told the Herald-Zeitung he had other obligations that would prevent him from attending the meeting but also acknowledged the fight was probably over anyway. “We’ve said our piece, and I have nothing further to add. I doubt if See BAN, Page 7A Billboard ban moves to council By Winter Prosapio Correspondent New Braunfels was filled with the sound of music Thursday as close to 400 people gathered to celebrate the holiday season with melodies of celebration and joy. Temperatures just under 50 degrees didn’t discourage the crowd during the 24th rendition of Caroling on the Plaza. Warmed by a combination of holiday spirit, hot chocolate and zipped up coats, everyone from babies to great-grandparents was drawn together by a love of Christmas and singing. After a warming performance by Gemischter Chor Harmonic and the Kinderchor, Cathy Clark led the crowd in song after song as Griselda Median interpreted for the hearing impaired. Santa hats were everywhere in the crowd, but Jana Malish’s addition of white braids worthy of a holiday party were a festive accent. Her sister, with her own snow man/Santa hat, Jomarie Montague, has been caroling on the Plaza for three years — each year bringing another family member to the event. “If I get my husband here, that will be the year,” laughed Montague, keeping a close eye on her 15-month-old son, Kyle. "(My husband) is a Scrooge, but I’m Christmassy enough for both of us.” Samson is a veteran of many events in the plaza. With his ears dyed a cheery red and tail a festive green, the toy poodle leapt in rhythm as his owner, Gayle Dobbs, sang along. “Knowing him, he probably thinks everyone is singing for him,” joked Dobbs, who estimated she has been caroling at the plaza for at least IO years. Mario and Celia Barragan caroled for the first time Thursday, joining the crowd in popular and unusual renditions. “Our kids are grown, so now it’s time for us,” Celia said. “This is wonderful. Its like going back in time.” Jim Lester was another first timer — with good reason. He and his wife, Linda Stel-macher-laster, just moved to New Braunfels in August. Being new in town didn’t slow Jim down a bit as he belted out the men’s verses to the smiles of his wife and Theela Dodge, a friend visiting from New Mexico. “We just love Christmas,” said Jim, as his eyes twinkled in the canopy of lights filling the plaza. Mayor Bruce Boyer opened the celebration, telling the crowd, “In New Braunfels, we still say Merry Christmas.” For at least 400 people filled with the holiday spirit, there’s clearly a fair bit of singing, too. unotos Dy umviu inuham neraia-^euung Members of the Kinderchor sing "Ihr kinderlein kommet" to the small crowd gathered around the Main Plaza Bandstand for Caroling on the Plaza onThursday night. Center, Jo Marie Montague, left, and Jana Malish sing “Silent Night." Bottom, Carolers sing "Joy to the World." “In New Braunfels, we still say Merry Christmas/’ — Bruce Boyer New Braunfels mayor ;