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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - February 8, 1996, New Braunfels, Texas THURSDAYSigning    day comes and (joes for local talent. See Sports, Page 5. 50 CENTS Salute to the dough boy 12 pages In one section ■ Thursday, February 8,1996 New Braunfels IVamaIjI Herald 41.0 HO 16 10/22/99    1.76 S 0 -WES I n IC R 0 PUB 1.1S HING 2627 E YANDELL DR EL PASO, TX 79903- Serving Comal County and surrounding areas for more than 144 years ■ Home of MARY ANN AND ALEX LABOWSKI JR. mg NCI JR. Vol. 144, No. 63 Inside Editorial...........................................A Sports.......................................•.....5 Comics............................................7 Market Place.............................9-12 Stammtisch Birthday wishes from the Herald-Zeltung! The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung extends birthday wishes to: Darryl Schmklt, Debra Koepp, Robert Fell (belated), James Tarlton, Ray Farias III, Joel Rodriguez, Lillian Jacoby, Marty Holies, Deivan Clark, and Frances Silguero. Happy anniversary wishes to Jack and Angie Bushe (55 years) and Mary Ann and Alex Labowski Jr. Pollen Count Mold —323 Cedar—1,644 (Poten measured in parts per cubic meter of air. Readings taken yesterday. Information provided by Or. Frank Hampel.) River Information Comal River—274 cubic feet per second, down 4 from yesterday. Edwards Aquifer Panther Canyon Well — 624.79 feet above sea level, down ,03. Herald-Zeitung searches for Eagle Scouts The Herald-Zeitung is attempting to develop a list of all those in Comal County who have attained Scouting’s highest honor, the Eagle. . lf you are an Eagle Scout, please call the newspaper at 625-9144 so that your name may be included. We will request your address, phone number and the yeaI you earned the award. Creation of a local organization of Eagle Scouts is being considered and. should that materialize, the list compiled ' by the Herald-Zeitung would be used to contact potential members. As the list develops, it will be published periodically so that readers may look for the names of Eagle Scouts they know, and may offer the names of those not yet on the list. SM the Spurs March 2 will be New Braunfels Community Night at the San Antonio Spurs-Philadel-phia 76ers game in the Alam-odome. Sponsored by the Downtown Rotary Club and Vivroux Sporting Co., the event will benefit the New Braunfels Art League Building Renovations Fund. Tickets and seat selections are available at Vivroux Sporting Co., Walnut at Hi-35 near HEB, for $10.50. $22.50 and $32.50 each. Another $10 will take care of bus transportation if desired. For more information, call Vivroux at 606-4080. The New Braunfels Art League is renovating its two-story building with basement as money is available. The NBAL Gallery at 239 W. San Antonio St. is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a m. to 5 p.m. The winning numbers Lotto Toxas8,15, 26,27, 33,37 Est. $40 million jackpot —TEXfiS-r. LotteryThis newspaper is printed on recycled newsprint CLEAN wins battle against Ingram plant By DAVID DEKUNDER Staff Writer AUSTIN — On Thursday afternoon, the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (TNRCC) rejected Ingram Readymix’s attempt to build a concrete batch plant in Bulverde, pleasing dozens of residents who were present at the meeting. “This is a story of a community who united, worked hard and didn’t quit," Kate Mathis, president of Citizens League for Environmental Action Now (CLEAN), said. “I think the commissioners were fair and ruled on the law." The TNRCC commissioners voted 2-1 against the standard exemption for the plant, with Chairman Barry McBee and commissioner Ralph Marquez voting against the recommendations of TNRCC staff attorney Scott Humphrey and Administrative Law Judge Bill Ehret, who presided over the hearings on the matter in September. Commissioner John Baker voted for the standard exemption, which would have given the plant the opportunity to operate without a permit. The plant would have been located on a 4.2-acre site at the intersection of Highway 281 and FM 1863. Fifteen people, including State Senator Jeff Wentworth, State Representative Edmund Kuempel, County Judge Carter Casteel, Commissioner Danny Scheel and .Qpmal Independent School District board member Robert Loop, spoke out against die plant. All of them cited concerns of air pollution, traffic and having the plant located on the Glen Rose aquifer, which Bulverde resident Cameron Wiley said was designated a critical water area by the old Texas Water Commission a few years ago. The speakers raised concerns that the potential air pollution from the plant could affect the health of 70-year-old Louise Lindsey, who suffers from cardiovascular problems and lives within 440 yards of the site. McBee and Marquez cited computer generated air modeling evidence introduced by CLEAN during the September hearings which showed the plant’s air emissions would exceed its property lines during busy hours of operations. This would be a violation of the standard CLEAN President Kate Mathis testifies yesterday. exemption. “The evidence brought before us was not controverted,” McBee said. “It showed the facility could violate operational conditions regarding standard exemption #71 Humphrey said the air modeling evidence was not applicable for standard exemption cases because that type of model had not been used before, the factors in the model were wrong and the model had not gone through proper model protocol through TNRCC’s engineering division. Ingram, which was represented by Vice President Gary Johnson and San Marcos attorney John Hohn, argued that the plant met all the requirements for the standard exemption. “We properly applied for the application more than a year ago and we gave the residents their constitutional right to be heard," Hohn said. “Mr. Johnson has been in this business for over 20 years and knows about equipment that controls air pollution, having purchased them and researched them. The model that they (CLEAN) used is different from the models that the TNRCC uses.” Ingram could apply for a permit if the company so desires, but CLEAN attorney Stuart Henry of Austin said he believes Ingram will not do that. “I do not think Ingram will apply for a permit because he would have to use air modeling evidence, which would kill them,” Henry said. ,    Herald-Zeitung    photos by MICHAEL DARNALL Firefighters from 10 area departments battled heavy smoke as a brush fire raged out of control yesterday. ‘ t Firefighter burned as blaze consumes 320 acres of brush By SUSAN FLYNT ENGLAND Staff Writer Firefighters from IO departments fought a Sand Hills grass fire for seven hours before they went home last night. The blaze burned about 320 acres, according to Guadalupe County Fire Chief Don McFarland. “We had a total of 14 brush trucks and five tankers out there,” said Don Hamilton, Sand Hills fire chief. One Sand Hills unit was called back early this morning to fight a small rekindle, Hamilton said. A tree began to flame again. One Sand Hills volunteer firefighter’s arm had second-degree bums. “As far as I know we didn’t lose any homes, but a couple of sheds were consumed,” Hamilton said. High south winds helped make the fire as bad as it was, Hamilton and McFarland said. Heavy brush with structures hidden from view in the vegetation made the firefighters’ job still harder, McFarland said. “The fire jumped a major road,” McFarland said. “We put in a fire break. It didn’t reach the break, but it came close.” Fire officials are still investigating the fire, but burning in violation of the bum ban is believed to be the Smoke shrouds the scene at the Sand Hills brush fire, where one firefighter was injured, and several sheds were burned. No homes were damaged by the fire. cause, McFarland said. “As it stands right now, Guadalupe, Comal and Hays counties all have bum bans in effect,” Hamilton said. “It’s going to be dangerous until we get a substantial amount of rain. Until yesterday’s blaze, the bum bans had considerably reduced the number of fires in McFarland’s area, he said. Firefighters and equipment assisted the Sand Hill Volunteer Fire Department from Longhorn, Lake Dunlap, Marion, Berlin, McQueeney, Stockdale. Nixon, Seguin and Randolph Air Force Base. The Kingsbury Fire Department sent personnel. Hamilton said. Many people don’t realize how expensive fighting a large grass fire can be, McFarland said. ‘Tm sure several thousand dollars in all were expended yesterday fighting this fire,” he said. “They had to drive quite a distance — many of these folks have to leave work to come fight fires.” CISD change will mean many students will change schools mid-year By DENISE DZIUK Staff Writer In preparation of the opening of three new intermediate schools, the Comal Independent School District has announced the realignment of the grade levels at CISD elementary and primary schools. CISD Superintendent Jerry Major said plans are to have the three new intermediate schools completed and occupied by the second semester of the 1996-97 school year. He said this means grade level realignments will be effective when students come back from the holiday break in January. Major said moving the students midway through the year was a concern for would be better to move students at the beginning of the year. However, he said, the new schools will not be completed until the end of the semester, so there was not much choice. “A mid-year move is not the ideal situation, but it will be freeing up some much-needed space,” he said. Major said the realignment was based on the fact that the fifth and sixth grades would be moved to the new schools. He said the remaining population was then looked at. He said moving the two grade levels made extra ‘A mid-year move is not the ideal situation, but it will be freeing up some much-needed space.’ — Jerry Major, CISD supenntendent space at some campuses, so younger grades were moved to different campuses. However, other campuses still did not have any extra room even after the move, he said. “The numbers dictated that,’’ said Major. Major said students changing campuses will still remain in the same area as their former schools. However, he said the district is looking at populanon growth across the district to see if attendance boundaries need to be put in. The new schools, which are part of the 1994 bond issue, are located adjacent to the Mountain Valley Elementary in the Sattler/Canyon lake area, near Frazier Elementary School in New Braunfels, and just west of Bill Brown Elementary School on Highway 46 in Spring Branch. As of the beginning of second semester of the 1996-97 school year. grade levels will be organized as follows: ■ Goodwin Primary (no change) Grades Prc-K — I ■ Frazier Elementary Grades 2 — 4 ■ Comal Elementary Grades Pre-K — 4 ■ Bulverde Primary Grades Pre-K — 2 ■ Bulverde Elementary Grades 3 — 4 ■ Bill Brown Elementary Grades Pre-K — 4 ■ Mountain Valley Elementary Grades Pre-K — 4 Marion City Council votes to pursue funds for water improvements By DAVID DEKUNDER Staff Writer MARION — The Mahon City Council began the long, arduous application process on Monday for the federal funds it will need to make improvements to its water system. The council voted to send its application for a $250,000 grant from the Texas Community Development Program (TDCP). The program is administered by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs and the funds are provided by the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development. “We will not know until this fall whether or not Mahon is a candidate (for the grant),” Philip Ruiz of Community Development Mar.agement in Lockhart said. “It could be the early part of 1997(when we learn) whether or not Marion gets the grant.” Duhng a public heanng on the application before the regular council meeting, Ruiz told the councilmembers that Marion will be competing with other rural cities and counties for the grants. But Ruiz is optimistic about Manon’s chances for getting the grant. “To qualify for the grants, your town must have 51 percent moderate- to low-income people,” Ruiz said. “We are above that range with 70 to KO percent of your residents who are in that category ” The grants can be used for water system improvements, wastewater improvements, drainage, fire protection, community centers, parks, cleanng and demolishing of property and other “basic human needs,” Ruiz said. “The programs must benefit 60 percent of the moderate- to low-income people, which it will do since Marion has 70 to 80 percent moderate- to low-income population,” Ruiz said. Manon will have to match IO percent of the $250,000. The city also has an option of applying jointly with another city or county and getting an extra $50,000, Ruiz said Last summer, the council approved a plan to build a 4.5-mile eight-inch parallel water transmission line which would connect the city's 300,(X)0-gallon storage tank at the intersection of Cireen Valley and Old Marion roads The line would parallel the present eight-inch line going into Manon. Depending on funding, the project is expected to take five years and cost $400,000. Manon has already received a $123,000 Community Block Development Grant from the state to pay for the improvements. Excess bond funds of $65,000 will also go towards the projectRural    areds endangered by Supreme Court    decision. See Opinion, Page 4. fa ;