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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 30, 1983, New Braunfels, Texas Merci /Le < , inc, --ct . Hitch bomble P.O. -DOX ^5^3e OallPS , J>xr*^ 75'5/^ corn,; By DYANNEFRY Staff writer The recent spell of dry, cold weather could make this an especially hazardous New Year’s weekend from a firefighter’s point of view. Next to the Fourth of July, New Year’s Eve is the biggest night of the year for fireworks, said New Braunfels Fire Marshal Elroy Friesenhahn. And the dead winter grass is dry as a tinderbox. “The way the wind’s been blowing lately, it wouldn’t take much. A stranded spark or ember down in the weeds could start a fire that would be difficult to extinguish,” the fire marshal said. “That’s what we dread right now.” The fact that a number of water pipes have suffered freeze damage this past week just adds to the danger. New Braunfels firefighters were called to assist Lake Dunlap volunteers around dinnertime on Christmas Day, when an errant firecracker started a healthy blaze in the Green Meadows subdivision. “That’s what I was told,” said Lake Dunlap Fire Chief Henry Pearce on the cause of the fire. The first report said a mobile home was burning. When the volunteers got there, they saw that it was only grass. “But there were five or six mobile homes in danger in the immediate area,” Pearce said. “There were a lot of residents that didn’t have any water to fight the fire, because of frozen pipes.” A grass fire broke out behind Maldonado’s Nursery, at FM 725 and Zipp Lane, within IO minutes of the Green Meadows fire. I,ake Dunlap trucks went out shortly after noon, and they weren’t all back in the garage until after 6 p.m., Pearce said. He hadn’t determined the cause of the nursery fire. But Friesenhahn said he had seen at least one other blaze started by fireworks this week. He wanted to remind everyone that it’s illegal to shoot fireworks in the City of New Braunfels. Outside the city limits, there’s no law against it, but local firefighters are advising extreme caution. “If (children) absolutely have to shoot off fireworks, do it in an area free of grass, and hopefully supervised by an adult,” Friesenhahn said. A rash of arctic cold fronts has so far failed to drop any ice or snow on Comal County, so the grass is “at least as dry” as it is every year about this time, Friesenhahn said. And thanks to a good summer growing season, there’s more of it out there than usual, he added. New <4UeU Braunfels New Braunfels, Texas Herald-Zeituno .I no Mn OCH    IOO____ OO_____ FRIDAY December 30,1983 25 cents Vol. 92 - No. 260 18 Pages —2 Sections (USPS 377-880) Jackson begins quest to rescue U.S pilot FRANKFURT, West Germany (AP I — Ignoring a cold shoulder from President Reagan, the Rev. Jesse Jackson flew toward Damascus today to try to gain the freedom of a captive U.S. airman But Syria’s defense minister said no release was possible while a state of war" exists. The Democratic presidential candidate left New York on Thursday night and made a morning stopover in Frankfurt. He was to arrive in Syria later today. His mission to win the release of Navy Ll. Robert 0. Goodman Jr. had the blessing of the flier’s mother, but Goodman's father said Jackson “should be held responsible” if the effort prolonged the detention. Goodman was wounded and captured Dec. 4 when his attack jet was downed during a raid on Syrian gun positions in Lebancn’s central mountains. Jackson, heading a delegation that includes several U.S. churchmen, retired to a VIP lounge in the airport to rest after his arrival in Frankfurt. He planned to meet with reporters at the airport later in the morning, his spokeswoman Florence Tate said. Ms. Tate said the delegation would be met in Damascus by someone from the U.S. Embassy, possibly Ambassador Robert Paganelli. “We don’t know what the program there is yet,” she told The Associated Press at the airport. Jackson, before leaving New York, said he had “virtual assurance” from the Syrian government that he would at least be able to meet with Good man, as have Paganelli, the Red Cross, and others. Jackson said he had a telegram of welcome from the Syrian government, and said he hoped to meet with Syrian President Hafez al-Assad. But he conceded he had no assurance Goodman would be freed, and in Damascus, Syrian Defense Minister Mustafa Tlass appeared to reject the possibility. Tlass said Thursday, rn an interview with The Associated Press, that a ' state of war” exists between the United States and Syria and that 'military traditions are that prisoners of war are exchanged after the war ends.” There has been no declaration of war and American officials have said repeatedly that the United States does not consider itself at war with Syria. A U.S. Marine contingent is part of the multinational peacekeeping force requested by Lebanon after the Israeli invasion drove Palestinian guerrillas out of Beirut in 1962. The Marines are supported by U.S. Naval forces off the coast of Lebanon. At a Kennedy Airport news conference, Jackson said, “We have a moral obligation to do something other than stand idly by .” Marilyn Goodman of New York, the flier’s mother, attended the news conference but said she would not accompany Jackson because “I don’t think it’s my business to go.” She said Jackson was carrying a personal letter from her to her son.InsideToday's IWeather The Comal County forecast calls for cloudy and cold today with light winds. The clouds and light winds will remain tonight, but temperatures will not be as cold. Mostly sunny and not so cold on Saturday with winds out of the east at 5-16 mph. The New Years weekend forecast predicts cool temperatures and increasing cloudiness Sunday, becoming mostly cloudy with a chance of rain on Monday. Sunset today will be at 5:43 p.m. with sunrise Saturday at7:2Sa.m.Cooking With Bass The San Antonio Spurs won their first game under replacement Coach Bob Bass Thursday night, whipping the Kansas City Kings 136-127 at the HenusFair Arena. George Gervin had a season-high 44 points in the contest Sports. Page 7ACarty Sunday edition Remember what we did just a week ago for Christmas? Well, we’re gonna do it again for New Year’s Eve. The Sunday HeraldZattung will be printed and delivered Saturday morning so our families may enjoy a safe and sober New Year’s weekend. Our office will be closed Monday as well, and will re-open for regular hours Tuesday. The circulation department will be open from 7-11 a.m. Saturday in case you didn’t get your paper. CLASSIFIED.....................1    7B COMICS..........................8B CROSSWORD.....................8B DEAR ABBY.......................2A Deaths  ...............ioa ENTERTAINMENT..................6A HOROSCOPE......................3A OPINIONS............‘...........4A RELIGIOUS FOCUS.................BA SPORTS.................  7,8A STOCKS........................10A TV LISTINGS......................8B WEATHER........................2ASchools to re-open as plannedCold takes toll on water pipes By DEBBIE DeLOACH and DORIAN MARTIN Staff writers Energy has been in short supply and even curtailed during the recent cold blast through Texas. So it may have been a blessing that school bells weren’t ringing at the same time. But the bliss will soon be over with Comal ISD students returning to the classroom Monday. New Braunfels ISD will come back to reality on Tuesday. CISD Superintendent Edgar Willhelm said he’ll stick to that schedule, “unless we’ve got ice everywhere Monday morning or lots of water problems. “Even if we didn’t have water at one school, I’d still probably try and keep the rest of the district open,” he added. 'We’ll really have to wait and see what the weather brings our way.” The weather has brought water problems to CISD since record-low temperatures invaded New Braunfels over the Christmas holidays. Almost every campus has had broken pipes and-or pump problems. The water pump that brings water from the Guadalupe River to Mountain Valley School froze, and had to be replaced. It was operational again Thursday. “T! ..ain pipe at Canyon Middle School was repaired Wednesday,” Willhelm said. “The pump at Bulverde was also down, but is operational again.” New Braunfels ISD schools’ plumbing has been more fortunate. Superintendent Charles Bradberry See SCHOOLS, Page IOA While they're hot Reimer, Zipp crack down on bad checks By DORIAN MARTIN Staff writers Balancing the checkbook isn t considered a holiday tradition in most homes. However, writing checks on a account with insufficient funds — which can plague a person throughout the year — is a pesky problem which often strikes after the holiday rush. Not surprisingly, merchants and officials find the Christmas season brings an increase in the number of hot checks. "That just goes with the tide," said County Court-AL-Law Judge Ron Zipp. "You get more checks because you get more business,” K-Mart manager Ed Moss said. He finds customers often "misjudge” the float time between the initial deposit and the time the money is actually available in the account. But with the store’s $9 service charge and the bank’s fee, "it’s expensive for them (the customer ),” Moss said. Connie Williamson, an assistant to the county attorney, said, “I guess people really don’t have enough money to pay for their gifts.” She said “people who know how to write hot checks” use tile method By the time the merchant put the check through the bank twice and notification is made, the writer finds he doesn’t have to pay until January or February. Although the number of hot checks drops after the holidays, the strict enforcement against them doesn’t end. In fact, while Comal County is growing, the number of hot checks has dropped 50 percent in the last 24 years, according to figures from the county attorney’s office. “We were running 306-350 cases a month when we first started out," County Attorney Bill Renner said. Now, he sees 150 cases a month. He says tougher prosecution is behind the decrease. “I don’t believe in being (just) a debt collection agent for businesses,” Renner said. Hot check cases have decreased from 300 to 350 cases a month in 1981 to around 150 a month this year, County Attorney Bill Reimer said. Noting most county and district attorneys make collections (“It’s almost Uke a tune-payment plan”), Reimer said his office is “in the minority. We’re here for the purpose of upholding the law. "I want to give them (the writer) a record,” he said ”1 want the whole nine-yards done to them so they know how serious this is.” "The only ones we don’t prosecute through are those we can’t find,” Reimer said. Zipp said honest mistakes can be handled with notices to the check-writers, but malicious use of checks means a day in court. “If a person has been wronged, we’U see that restitution is made to the merchant or person (who has been wronged),” he added. "We believe in very fair, but very strict enforcement of the law.” There are two classifications for hot checks and their writers: — Issuance of a bad check: A Class C nusdemeanor, itis determined if the issuer is believed to have had knowledge of his account's msufficent funds. The issuer then is given notice by registered or certified mail (any other notification will not hold up in court). An offease under this category can be punishable by a fine up to $200. — Theft hy check: Although the knowledge of msuficient funds is included, this also presumes an “intent to deprive the owner of property ...or to avoid payment for service” if the writer has no account See HOT CHECKS, Page 16A Latest cold wave sets more records By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Temperature records toppled across the state again this morning as readings plunged into the teens as far south as Victoria, but forecasters predicted that the frigid weather would give way to seasonally mild temperatures for the New Year. The mercury fell to IO degrees at San Antonio this morning, breaking the all-time low for December of ll degrees set Christmas Day. A reading of 8 degrees in Dallas broke a 66-year-old record for the date of 14 degrees Pre-dawn readings were below freezing statewide, but the National Weather Service predicted that temperatures would warm to the 30s and possibly 40s later today. “Actually, it looks Uke we’re getting to a gradual warming trend ... up to where we'll have normal temperatures next week, and it should be dry period. with only chance of showers in East Texas on Monday.” meterologist Michael Mach said Thursday night. But the warm news was of Uttle comfort to citrus growers, who estimate the cold hand of winter took up to HOO million worth of crops last weekend Insurance officials say the cold spell has caused more than $50 million in damages to homes and businesess — mostly as a result of broken water pipes and mains. Authority's also said the big freeze put a chill on illegal alien crossing the border, particularly in Texas, where most Border Patrol checkpoints are reporting a sharp dropoff in activity The mercury fell to IO degrees at San Antonio this morning, breaking the all-time low for December of ll degrees set Christmas Day. “It's just too dadgum cold for 'em to hit that river,” chief agent Jack L. Richardson said. “This is the most dramatic slowdown we’ve seen, and I’ve been in the Border Patrol for 30 years." Weather-related deaths, meanwhile, continued to climb, bringing the number of people killed to at least 36 since the arctic front began plaguing the lx>ne Star state on Dec. 18 The latest victim apparently died of asphyxiation. Authorities said Thursday Ardell Bunton. 59. was found by ambulance attendants in his east Austin home. A bucket of still-hot charcoals was found in his home. Agriculture Commissioner Jim Hightower said a H>-<iay embargo on all citrus being shipped out of South Texas was to take effect at midnight today and would end Jan. 9. Most citrus producers endorsed the action, which exempts oranges and grapefruit picked before the freeze and that fruit bound for juice processing plants Staff photo by Dyanne f ry new blast of cold air Thursday night, but the forecast called for a milder New Year's Eve. Employee hurt in mishap on job A Seguin man employed by Fischer Construction Co. Inc was injured at a Conroy Industries job site Thursday, and is now in the intensive care unit of McKenna Memorial Hospital. Julian Hernandez, 28, of Seguin was reported in stable condition Friday morning A hospital spokesman said he had sustained fractures, and had undergone surgery. The Emergency Medical Service report said the victim’s neck and spine were immobilized en route to the hospital Possible internal injuries were indicated. A Conroy spokesman said Hernandez was an employee of Filcher, which has been contracted to build the foundation for a new warehouse at Conroy Industries, located on 1H 35 South near Loop 337. The company refused comment on the accident. The EMS unit picked Hernandez up at the site just before 5 p.m. Thursday.Frozen springs More record cold temperatures have turned water from springs on River Road into icy sculptures South Texas got a ;