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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 29, 1995, New Braunfels, Texas FRIDAY Aggies end their season on a positive note. See Sports, Page 5. 50 CENTS The Lands Park Gazebo New Braunfels Herald .n^/QQ    I    BO 4 1.0    ISHINO 30-WEST HICRUFUBLI- 6 27 E MUELL LR TX 799OS- 16 pages in one section ■ Friday, December 29,1995 f.-1 pA-BB Serving Comal County and surrounding areas for more than 144 years ■ Home of ALICE AQUIRRE Vol. 144, No. 34 Inside Editorial...........................................4 Sports..............................................5 Comics...........................................6 Classified..................................9-13 Stammtisch Birthday wishes from the Herald-Zeitung! The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung extends birthday wishes to: Sabrina Brinkkoeter, Paul Hudson, Haley McCullough, Alice Aguirre (belated), David Serna (Saturday), Robert Morales (Saturday), Brooke Campbell and Ruben Gonzalez. Happy 10th anniversary to Lee and Susie Graham. Downtown Association to meet The Downtown Association will meet at noon Tuesday, Jam 2 at TBarM. Tickets are $7, and items to be discussed include the downtown sidewalk project and 1996 calendar events. New members will also be recognized. GOP filing party The Republican Party of Comal County will have a filing party at New Braunfels Smokehouse Tuesday, Jan. 2 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. The candidates for the 1996 primary election will be introduced. Come meet and visit with the candidates. For more information, call Dona Bruns at 625-0872. LORA sets workshop The Lower Colorado River Authority will hold a workshop in New Braunfels on Thursday. Jan. 4, 1996, to inform area leaders and nonprofit groups about LCRA’s new grant program to assist community development projects in its service area. The workshop will be at the New Braunfels Utilities board room, 263 E Main Plaza, from 6 to 8 p m. At the workshop, LCRA staff will be available to assist participants in filling out grant applications. Those eligible for grants include cities, counties, volunteer fire departments, regional development councils and other non-profit economic and community development groups. Invited to the workshops are mayors, city managers, county judges and commissioners, school superintendents, volunteer fire chiefs, chamber of commerce representatives, and general managers of electric cooperatives and other LCRA customers. For more information, contact Frank Morgan, LCRA, 1-800-776-5272, ext 3340. Garden Club to meet The Guada Coma Garden Club will meet Tuesday, Jan 9 at 2 p.m. at the home of Ella Hall. The program will be on the spectacular annual Philadelphia Flower Show held in March. Cheer Fund donors Although the food baskets have already been delivered, donations continue to the Herald-Zeitung Cheer Fund. New donations include: Roland and Elnora Kraft - $20, Mr. and Mrs. Warren Elbel -$25, Barbara J. Montanez -$25, Fischer Veterinary -$7 40, and an anonymous $20 donation. Thank you New Braunfels for supporting the Cheer Fund again in 1995. This newspaper is printed on recycled newsprint Two wrecks leave three men injured By SUSAN FLYNT ENGLAND Staff Writer Airbags may have saved the life of a man whose car hit concrete pylons at the side of Loop 337 this morning. The 32-year-old man was driving his silver Taurus east on Loop 337, going toward Interstate 35, when the car left the road and slammed into the pylons at about 7:50 this morning. Witnesses said his speed was up to 70 miles per hour, said New Braunfels Police Officer Sean Gabbard. Both airbags in the car were deployed, Gabbard said. “At that speed, he was pretty lucky.” The man was cut from the car using the Jaws of Life. New Braunfels EMS drove him to a Baptist AirLifc helicopter, which flew him to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio. He was moving in and out of consciousness when he was put in the EMS unit. Police are still investigating what caused the man to leave the road — whether he fell asleep, his car malfunctioned or some other reason. Witnesses told police that another car did not cause the Taurus to run off the road. The man’s name is being withheld pending notification of his family. His condition was undetermined at press time His car may have played a part in his surviving the crash. The Taurus has the highest car safety rating on the road, according to DPS officers. In another incident, two New Braunfels men were injured when their pickup hit a semi in the 2600 block of Interstate 35 last night. Rudolfo Hernandez, 34, was entering the IH-35 southbound at a high rate of speed at about 7:25 p.m. when his pickup struck a tractor trailer driven by Pedro Sanchez, 45, of Eagle Pass, Texas, according to New Braunfels Police reports. Fernando Hernandez, 40, of New Braunfels, was a passenger in the pickup. After the impact, the tractor trailer veered to the right to avoid crossing the median and jackknifed. The pickup went across the median and came to rest in the northbound lane. Rudolfo and Fernando Hernandez were taken to McKenna Memorial Hospital where they were treated and released. Sanchez refused medical treatment. No charges have been filed. Herald-Zeitung photos by MICHAEL DARNALL Police have not released the identity of the man injured in this accident on Loop 337 this morning, but police say the airbags in his Ford Taurus may have saved his life. This tractor trailer truck jacknifed on interstate 35 last night in a two-vehicle wreck. Two men in this truck were treated and released at McKenna Memorial Hospital. NBU leans toward bonds to finance improvements By SUSAN FLYNT ENGLAND Staff Writer New Braunfels Utilities is giving the city council choices for Christmas — five choices of how to plan funding for NBU’s five-year capital improvements plan. NBU approved its first draft five-year plan in August, General Manager Paula DiFonzo said, then showed the plan to the city council in a workshop. That plan featured funding improvements for the five year period with a $4.9 million bond issue and no rate increases. The city council wasn’t delighted with that idea — they sent NBU back to the drawing board to come up with funding alternatives and a prioritized list of capital improvements. “Council recommended that we should move toward water and sewer being self supporting revenue-wise,” DiFonzo said. In other words, NBU should consider some kind of rate increase for water and sewer service. NBU priority capital improvements — To be funded by bonds Water Cost Hwy 46 N. Extension $101,225 Hwy 46 N. Elevated Tank $500,000 Solms Upgrades Phase I, ll and III $1,512,000 Sewer Cost Rebuild Rio Lift Station and Force Main $850,000 Solms Upgrades $250,000 Total Cost $3,213,225 NBU has traditionally lost money on both water and sewer service, but revenues from electric service have made up the difference in the bottom line. Jeff Thompson, NBU assistant general manager for administration and finance, outlined “five scenarios” for funding the next five years of improvements. NBU will show these scenarios to the city council at a Jan. 8 workshop, along with recommendations from the NBU staff'and NBU Board of Trustees. Scenario I) NBU Board of Trustees’ onginal 5-year plan — it has a $5 million bond issue abd no rate increases. Scenario 2) Reduces the bond issue to $3.3 million. It has a one-time rate increase of 5.75 percent for water and 3.25 percent for sewer on April I, 1996. Scenario 3) Has the $3.3 million bond issue. It has the one-time rate increase, only at 10.75 percent for water and 8.25 percent for sewer. Scenario 4) Has no bond issue but increases rates twice — on April I, 1996, and Aug. I, 1998. Both water and sewer would increase 9 percent both times. Scenario 5) Has no bond issue but increases rates five times — April I, 1996 and Aug. I, 1996, 1997, 1998 and 1999. The rate increases would be 5 percent for both water and sewer each time. The city council would have to approve any bond issue. “It seems to mc .that a bond issue is a given,” said Trustee Robert Orr. “Doing it just with rates makes no sense to me.” Thompson recommended Scenario 3 as the staffs best choice. “I agree with Mr. Orr about the bond situation and I would like to see some headway made against water and sewer losses ." The board of Trustees voted unanimously to recommend the same plan, Scenario 3, with one change. The rate increases would be "ramped,” or staggered within one year. All of the above scenarios include "re-fundmg" bonds that NBU already has at lower rates. That would free up more cash for use on capital projects. Roger Biggers, NBU assistant general manager for technical operations, and the NBU engineering staff came up with a new capital projects list in order of pnonty. See the accompanying chart for the pnontized list. Dry weather makes fireworks a special hazard this holiday By DENISE DZIUK Staff Wi iter Everybody will be welcoming in the new year this weekend, but if you live in the New Braunfels city limits, that celebration better not include fireworks. If it does, the police will be looking for you. Sergeant David Wilson with the New Braunfels police department said the city has a prohibition against fireworks within the city limits. He said it is a class C misdemeanor to possess, store, sell or shoot fireworks within the city, which carries a penalty of up to a $500 fine. New Braunfels Assistant Fire Chief Elroy Fnesenhahn said the fire department will have care responding to calls, as well as patrolling for any they may see. He said the Fourth of July is usually the busiest time for fireworks However, there are still a lot of calls on New Year’s Eve and Day, especially around midnight. “We do get quite a bit of calls, and we do the best we can. We also patrol for any that weren’t called in,” he said. Friesenhahn said the ordinance is to prevent injury and reduce fires. He said people are always getting hurt because of misuse of fireworks. He also said that the grass in many areas is extremely dry and can easily ignite. Many of the bigger fireworks can even start a structure fire if parts of it land on a roof. However, he said the city’s ban has limited the number of instances. “We’ve been very fortunate in this community,” said Friesenhahn. “We’re an aggressive fire department, and we try to deter the actions that lead to it.” Wilson said the ban is in place for the public safety. He said the city works hard at enforcing it, and encourages people to not even attempt to set off fireworks, or even buy them. “You shoot them and we’re going to be out there with a citation for you,” said Wilson. No need for kids to be bored during school break By SUSAN FLYNT ENGLAND Staff Writer The presents have all been opened and tried. It will be 361 days before Santa makes the next final “naughty and nice” count. School’s still out — AND THE KIDS ARE CLIMBING THE WALLS. Several New Braunfels establishments have come to the rescue of kids and parents nearing the end of their respective ropes. ■ Children of all ages can travel to Africa, Sweden, Germany and England through this month’s exhibits at the Children’s Museum in New Braunfels. In the “Christmas Around The World” exhibit, they can play in the snow and make ornaments for Swedish, English or German trees. The Kwanzaa exhibit lets children explore African-American history and culture during this week of the Kwanzaa celebration. Each day of Kwanzaa has its own theme, and activity of each day will follow that day’s theme. “This is one place where it’s not too cold to play in the river,” said Susan Williams, museum director. “Our major exhibit is the Guadalupe Riv er. Kids can have fun while they learn about the river and the Edwards Aquifer through hands-on exhibits. “Also, there’s always the art room. Williams said. “There are always plenty of things to do, even if you’re not at the major exhibits.” The CMNB is open 9 a rn to 5 p m weekdays; IO a m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays; noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $2.50 per person. Children under 13 must be accompanied by an adult. ■ The Comal Bowl is making it easy for even small kids to bowl, even beginners. Every school child in New Braunfels should have received a pass for one free game a day during the holidays. If they don’t have one, they just need to tell the folks at Comal Bowl which school they attend, anti one will be provided. After that first game, it costs $1.75 per game for kids age 16 and under to bowl, with a $.95 fee for shoes Beginners can "bumper bowl,” with bumpers raised that keep the hall from going in the gutter. They’re just about guaranteed to knock down a few pins w itll each hall. Parents can drop kids off beginning at age 12, depending on how well behaved they are. Friday night is "Rockin Bowl” IO to midnight. For $5 the older kids can bowl all they want. This Sunday a New Year’s Eve Party begins at 8:30. Admission is $16 — $1 oft' if you bring the Herald-Zeitung ad. Hours are Thursday 9 a m. to 11 p.m.; Friday 11 a m. to midnight; Saturday 11 a m. to I am; Sunday starts at I p.m.; Monday 5 to 11 p.m. ■ The Landa Park Recreation Center is free to children and adults They can play basketball, pool, ping pong and foosball. The Rec Center has a weight room for people age 16 and older There is a $ IO per month charge to use it The only other charge is 25 cents for a ping pong hall for those who play, and they get to keep the halls Well behaved children can come unescorted starting at age nine The Rec Center is open from 3 to 9 p m. For information call (>08-21<>7. ■ Mr. Gatti’s is offering buffets for 99 cents plus drink for children up to IO years old ■ At CiCi’s kids IO and under can eat all they like for $ I 69 For subscription or advertising information, call the Herald-Zeitung at 625-9144. ;