New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 25, 1984, New Braunfels, Texas
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New Braunfels. Texas
December 25, 1984
20 Pages —2 SectionsCrews seal mine after fire flares
ORANGEVILLE, Utah (AP) — Crews working to seal a coal mine to extinguish a relentless fire that killed 27 miners were forced to evacuate when a meter registered a “sky high" reading of volatile gas, fueling fears of an explosion
It may be two or three days before the crews can go back into the VVilberg Mine and resume efforts to seal it, Robert Henrie, spokesman for Emery Mining Corp., said Sunday.
Twenty-six men and a woman, working to break a one-day production record, were trapped in the mine by the blaze that broke out Wednesday night. By Sunday, two bodies still had not been discovered, but officials said they were presumed dead.
"The first two. three or four days the fire could have been extinguished much more easily," Henrie said Sunday. “But our effort was to save lives — not put out fires."
Now, "we don’t want to send a bunch of people up there w here there’s going to be threats or problems. We simply want to let the fire get past the seals, secure the seals and then extinguish the fire,” he said.
Seven bodies were found Friday, but officials still hoped some miners Lid retreated to a safe area. Rescuers found late Saturday that none had. Attempts by some of the trapped miners to erect a barrier had failed.
It was the state’s worst coal-mtnmg disaster since 1924, when 172 miners died at a mine in nearby Castle Gate. It also was the nation’s worst mine disaster since May 1972, when 91 miners died in a fire in an Idaho mine. In March 1976,26 people died in a Kentucky mine.
On Sunday, the fire jeopardized crews trying to remove 25 bodies and find the other two, prompting officials to order the mine sealed. Then bgildup of methane gas prompted an evacuation order for the IOO workers in the Wilberg and two adjacent mines, all operated by Emery for Utah Power & light Co.
The fire, about 1,100 feet inside the mine’s main tunnel, had grown to 2,200 feet in length Sunday, Henrie said, and was "sporadic, difficult and unpredictable.”
Crews had worked about six hours before a firefighter "put on his methane meter and it went sky high," Henrie said.
Pray er services were held throughout the area Sunday, though victims' families had yet to make plans for memorial servic s. said Larry Guymon, Mormon bishop at Huntington and an Emery Mining construction manager.
Emery will pay transportation expenses for the victims’ immediate families. Henrie said.
We want them to have their families with them at this time and give them the ability to go through their time of mourning now and then get back to living their lives," he said.
An investigation into the tragedy will not begin until the new year, said John McGrath, spokesman for the U.S. Mine Safety and Halth Administration.
"We’ve made no judgments" on blame, he said.
Henrie said the conveyor belt where the fire was believed to have started was operating at only lialf-capaeity when the flames erupted.Woman dies in 1-car wreck
By DEBBIE DeLOACH Staff writer
A 42-year-old New Braunfels HeraldZeitung carrier died Sunday night after her car struck a telephone pole on Walnut Avenue anti flipped earlier that morning.
Mary Lots Jeffrey of 770 Herrv Place was in the middle of delivering her Sunday morning newspapers when her compact car traveling south on Walnut for unknown reasons went up a telephone pole behind the Comal Pawn Shop She was taken to McKenna Memorial Hospital around 6: JO a.m by New Braunfels Emergency Service personnel.
At 7 40 a.m.. Miss Jeffrey was transferred to Methodist
Hospital iii San Antonio, where she later died. Her body
was taken to the Bexar County Medical Examiner's Office fur an autopsy to determine the cause of death Her mother, I .asea Jeffrey, said doctors told her Mary l«ois “may have had a massive cerebral hemorrhage, and that's why she went up the pole. But we don't know that for sure
"They asked me if she d ever had any seizures,” Mrs. Jeffrey added. "I said there were none.”
Mary l.»ois had w orked as a Herald Zeitung carrier since
Funeral arrangements for Miss Jeffrey are pending at Zoeller Funeral Home. She is survived by her parents, Mr. and Mrs VV P Jeffrey of New Braunfels, and her sister. Mrs. William Palmer of Claremore, Okla.
Christmas all year
New Braunfels High School groups 'adopt' Head Start classes
By ULLIAN THOMAS Staff writer
Two New Braunfels High School groups have thought of a way to make Christmas last all year for two groups of Headstart children.
For a community service project, both groups of students decided to adopt a classroom of Headstart children and gave their little friends Christmas parties.
For the Coordinated Vocation Academic Education class this was their second year of adopting a group of Headstart y oungsters. But this year there was only one class of the
vocational students, so they only took care of the Rosa Park Headstart children.
The Future Business Leaders of America club sponsored the Marjorie Chambers Headstart children, beginning with a Christmas party w ith gifts for all of the kids.
Each of the high school students in the two clubs took the name of a child and got a present for him or her.
"Our sponsor-a-child program will not end with the Christmas season We will sponsor the Headstart group for the entire year," Becky Sandburg, sponsor of the business club, said.
The party thrown by the business club had Santa Claus play cd by Tom Kiesting.
The vocatonal students, some of whom were tonner Headstart pupils themselves, liked this project so much last year, that they wanted to do the same thing again At their party John Cook played Santa Claus "The students gave the children a V alentine’s and Faster party The Headstart kids also got to visit us one day last year and we showed them what vocational education was about,” Gloria Koiacek. high school
See HEADSTART. Page 12 4
County officials eye grievance hearing
The district clerk and county treasurer plan to lake their requests for raises to the grievance committee, hoping they can get a full 5 percent.
District Clerk Hazel Kulm and County Treasurer Betty Engelhard! both only got 2*a percent raise, while the majority of county employees received 5 percent.
They found out about being singled out for the smaller increase after the budget was passed. Both officeholders came before commissioners court earlier this month and tried to have it amended, but the
vote was tied and Commissioner Bill George w as absent.
"Last year they tried to not give Betty and I any raise, then someone corrected it. It was suppose to have been an oversight and we did not know about it until it was over,” Kuhn said "I think our strongest argument is this is suppose to be a cost of living increase, not a merit increase. Well, the cost of living has gone up for us just as much as it has for anyone else," Engelhard! said.
See GRIEVANCE, Page VIX
Hanging victim moved to S.A,
A 22-year-old woman found hanging in her jail cell Dec. 19 was transferred Sunday to a San Antonio Hospital, where she remains in intensive care.
Jailer Mike Doerr found Mary Ruth Bell Grote, also known as Debbie Bell, hanging from the bars by a rope made of bedsheets tied around her neck.
Another prisoner had alerted the jailer that she suspected something was happening. It was estimated that Grote had been hanging for about 5 to 7 minutes. She was unconscious when she was found A spokeswoman at Humana Hospital San Antonio said ti rote w as in intensive care, but no report on her condition was available.
For a look at what the Cheer Fund food drive accomplished, see the pictures on Pages 2 and JA and 9B. .Also, all contributors are listed on Page 10B We thank you
Man-made comet debuts for Christmas
Comal Htvet Canvoo lake inflow Canyon Dam outflow I if w at tit, Aqu it et Canyon Lake level
194 vt* lop 31 300 eft idown 6051 476 cts (down 24) 623 IO tup 041 900 36 Idown 111
The cool front that blew in with Christmas will make today cloudy and cool with temperatures this morning in the mid 40s, increasing only to the lower 50s this afternoon. Wednesday’s high will
stay in the low 50s, with partly cloudy skies. Monday’s low was 64. The sun will set tonight at 5:39 and rise Wednesday at 7:24 a.m.
CLASSIFIED 9 11A
DEAR ABB I 3B
SPOR IS 6,7A
TV LISTINGS 9A
WEATHER 2 A
LOS ANGELES (AP) What scientists have dubbed "he year of the comets" gets a dramatic Christmas Day sendoff when the first man-made comet is created out of chemicals spewed from a Wst Grunin satellite
The artificial comet should be visible in the southern or southeastern sky from the Midwest to Hawaii and Tahiti, and from southwestern Canada and most of northern Mexico west of a line from Hudson’s Bay to near Chicago through Mexico City It should be visible to the naked eye for up to IO minutes, to people using 7x50 binoculars for about 20 minutes and to astronomers using telescopes for an flour or more However, viewers are cautioned not to expect too much.
"lf you expect this to exceed Fourth of July fireworks, you’ll be disappointed,” said phy sicist Morris Pongratz of Los Alamos National laboratory in New Mexico.
"Everybody who wants to see it should get well away from any city
lights and should by alt means take a pair of binoculars," said Gerhard Haerendel, a coordinator of the project and director of Hie Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Pin sics in West Germany A real comet consists of a frozen ball of dust and gas trailing a tail of loose atoms and particles Ie manmade version is composed of a cloud of barium a metallic element used in another form to mak the digestive trai t visible undet X-rays The sun will energize the Linum atoms and make them radiate colored light.
The chemicals w ill bt- launched at 4 18 a in., when the West German satellite is 70,160 miles above the Pacific Ocean The comet is part of a $78 million, U S -Bntish-Wst Grimm study of how the solar wind internes with Earth’s magnetic field
Comet photo tips
LOS ANGELES (AP) Scientists offer the following advice for
See COMET, Page 12A
A NBHS student helps a Head Start youngster