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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 30, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas Page 4A — Herald-Zeitung — Saturday, December 30, 2000 NIKKEN Great Company. Great Products. AMAZING WATER! "c3T Pat Lynch 830-625-8282 www.5pllldis. com/blesslngs ( cdftng#texd$ net Independent Distributor Two days later, Cooper was cornered in an uncle’s home by the Comal County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team. Two of Cooper’s uncles and a friend were arrested for aiding him white he was on the lam. The next day, Weirich turned himself in. Weirich and Cooper, no longer trusties, face escape charges. The Comal County Jail, under new supervisor David Ott and Capt. John Bell, is re-examining its policies and procedures. 1-35 CONSTRUCTION It was as unavoidable as potholes, and will continue to be — construction on Interstate 35. A $93 million project to widen 1-35 put the squeeze on Walnut Avenue drivers by shutting the road down to one lane each way early in 2000. Then delays blamed on utility lines and weather pushed the completion date on that project from May to August. The Texas Department of Transportation has not determined whether the Walnut and 1-35 project is behind schedule. That’s because they still are negotiating with the contractor, the Dean Word Company, about adjusting the construction schedule to reflect days lost to those uncontrollable delay factors. U.S.A. Mini Storage Opp & Covered RV Storage 452 FM 306 On Site Resident Manager Security Gate & Fence • MOVE IN SPECIAL • Call or Come By 830-625-2872 County LOCAL State  fT"’ ’ ASTHMA RESEARCH Centra! Texas Health Research is conducting an asthma study involving an investigational medication. Qualified patients ages 12 to 85 will be compensated for their participation. Study medication, laboratory test, and physician monitoring will be provided at no cost. lf you are interested, Call: (830) 609-0900 From the Dispatch ^-Structure fire A 5-year-old and a 2-year-old accidentally started a fire Christmas night on the 1000 block of Linde, fire department officials said Friday. ‘The ignition factor was children playing with matches,” Fire Chief Jack Collier said. “We also found a cigarette lighter (several) feet inside the door.” Adults were home at the time of the fire that destroyed the apartment. Because of the children’s ages, no charges have been filed. It is not uncommon to discover children started a fire, Collier said. ‘That’s something that we continually try to educate the kids in the schools when we do our fire prevention programs and education programs,” Collier said. Although firefighters contained the fire to the apartment it originated in, residents from neighboring apartments had to be evacuated in case the fire spread. Upcoming Meetings : NEW BRAUNFELS COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT ADVISORY COMMITTEE — 6 p.m. Tuesday, conference room A/B, New Braunfels Municipal Building, 424 S. Casten Ave. NEW BRAUNFELS HOTEL OCCUPANCY TAX COMMITTEE — 7 p.m. Tuesday, conference room A, New Braunfels Municipal Building, 424 S. Casted Ave. NEW BRAUNFELS RIVER ACTIVITIES COMMITTEE — 6 p.m. Wednesday, conference room A, New Braunfels Municipal Building, 424 S. Casten Ave. NEW BRAUNFELS INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT — meeting, 6:15 p.m., Jan. 10, in the Education Center, 430 W. Mill St. Holiday Closings Many government offices will be closed for New Year’s Day on Monday. • New Braunfels city offices, including the public library will be closed. Trash collection schedules do not change. • Comal County offices will be closed Monday and reopen at 8 a.m. Tuesday. • New Braunfels Utilities will be closed Monday. • The New Braunfels Post Office will be closed Monday. • The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung will be closed New Year’s Day. Click on us at 2000/From 1A HOTEL/MOTEL TAX New Braunfels hotel occupancy tax committee is nearing the end of its work to make recommendations for spending a portion of the city’s hotel tax revenues. In May, New Braunfels voters approved Special Election I, which, among other things, required the city to spend a minimum of 30.714 percent for maintenance and improvement of the civic center, historical restoration and preservation projects, arts, historic downtown and other historic buildings and/or city-operated promotional programs allowed by state law. The measure was approved largely by residents .opposed to using bed tax money to fund a new convention center, as proposed by the Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce. After Special Election I was approved, council appointed the hotel occupancy tax committee to ALCOHOL BAN Thousands of people who usually tube on the Guadalupe River made their way to the Comal River this past summer when a lack of rain resulted in low water flows. Local residents complained of bad behavior on the rivers — nudity, drunkenness and obscenity. Homeowners near the last public exit were particularly upset as thousands of people exited the Comal River into a residential neighborhood. Shuttle buses and pedestrian traffic caused traffic congestion and other problems in the neighborhood. The city responded by stepping up police enforcement. However, many in the community called for a ban on alcohol on the rivers as a way to solve the problems. Councilman Robert Kendrick launched an initially unsuccessful effort for the city council to approve a ban on open alcoholic beverage containers and consumption of alcohol on the rivers inside a qentral business district. But local residents then completed a successful petition drive in support of the ban, forcing the city council’s hand. The council approved the ban as a result of the petition drive. However, the ban could not be implemented without approval from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. The commission was hesitant to give the ban its blessing because of concerns about whether the area the city designated as a central business district met the state’s definition of a central business district. BOND ELECTION On May 6, a record turnout of New Braunfels voters said no to all but one of seven propositions in a $32.72 million bond package. At the time, the city had 23,651 registered voters. Of those, 23 percent,*or 5,439 people, participated in the election. City officials said that was a 50-year record. Voters approved one proposition — $700,000 for an emergency communications system. However, the city decided it would not be cost-effective to go into debt for that small amount of money and has found alternative ways to pay for the system. New Year’s Special Ends Wednesday! ‘Subject to credit approval Any insurance charges will be earned from date of sale Interest charges will be assessed from date of purchase at a maximum APR of 21.8%. but the APR may vary. Credit offer good December 28. 2000 through January 3. 2001. Furnishing Homes for Over 62 Years 971 West San Antonio • 625-7324 Monday-Friday 10-8, Saturday 10-6, Sunday 1-5 make recommendations on how to spend the city’s share of the bed tax money. City officials previously said that 30.714 percent would be about $403,000 this year, but part of that was already budgeted for the New Braunfels Civic Center operation. That leaves the committee with about $250,000 to address. BLUE CROSS/BLUE SHIELD McKenna Memorial Hospital and Hill County Medical Associates threatened to end agreements with Blue Cross/Blue Shield late this past summer. The move would have affected 14,000 county residents and their dependents insured through the provider. McKenna and Hill Country reported this past summer they could stand no more of a squeeze in reimbursement rates. Hill County Medical Associates administrator Sid Harrell compared Blue Cross/Blue Shield reimbursements to Medicare reimbursement rates— renowned in the health care field for being wholly inadequate. Negotiations were on, then off, and in August, Hill County Medical Associates said it would end its relationship with Blue * Cross as well. In October, agreements were reached in which McKenna and Hill Country would continue to be in-network providers of health care to Blue Cross/Blue Shield clients. WATER WARS Texas is working to create its 50-year plan to provide water for Texans. The local regional water-plan ning group for the 21 county area that includes Comal County submitted its plan in October. Now, the state will merge 16 such regional plans into a single document. On the horizon will be pipeline projects, a desalination plant and forced conservation. The local document, called the Region L Plan, was developed against the backdrop of a very Hot, dry summer in Comal County — particularly in its western reaches, where wells driven into the Trinity Aquifer dried up during much of the summer. The City of Bulverde declared a water emergency as water was trucked in for residents of two subdivisions. New Braunfels residents were restricted in the number of days they could water lawns. County officials seeking more authority to protect a tenuous water supply declared a nine-month moratorium on high density, small lot construction in unincorporated areas in August. ABANDONED BABY A 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 11, someone left a newborn girl near a McKenna Memorial Hospital entrance. The child’s biological parents were never found. Hospital staff who cared for the infant dubbed her “McKenna Hope.” She was placed with a local foster family that will adopt her, said Donna Garrett of Child Protective Services. JAIL BREAK In the predawn hours of Nov. 27, trusties Wayne Edward Weirich, 37, and Johnny Lee Cooper, 27, scaled a wall and escaped from the Comal County Jail while on an IT’S NEW WATER! Enjoy the Benefits of PiMag~ Water ;