New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - February 9, 1995, New Braunfels, Texas
THURSDAYLew Carpenter on the hunt for new NFL coaching job, See P.8
New Braunfels Sesquicentennial March 21. 1845
12 pages in one section ■ Thursday, Feb. 9,1995
Serving Comal County for more than 143 years B Home of MAURICE WARDInside
StcimmlischBirthday wishes from tha Herald-Zeitung!
The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung extends the following birthday wishes to; Ban Schneider, Leonard Hummel (Happy 70th!), Larissa Lynn Morales (1st), Vince Velez, Maurice Ward, Mary Ellen Cabello, Juanita Hernandez (belated), Hatto M. Berg, James Bredewater.Happy Anniversary to Robert & Mary Ann Saenz (9 years!)
Harald-Zaitung seeks Citizen of the Year nominations
The Herald-Zeitung is currently accepting nominations for the annual Citizen of the Year award and also the Unsung Heroes awards.
Deadline for submitting nominations is Wednesday. Feb. 15. Nominations can be mailed or brought by the Herald-Zeitung office, located at 707 Landa St.
Citizen of the Year is awarded to the person in our community who has contributed significantly to the betterment of the community and members of the community' during the past year Unsung Heroes are members of the community who regularly do things to help others, but do not normally receive much credit for it.
For more information, contact managing editor Mark Lyon at 625-9144
Festival of the Armed Forces set at RAFB
Performances by the Thunder-birds, the U S Air Force aerial demonstration team, and the Golden Knights, the U.S. Army's parachute team, will highlight the 1995 Festival of the Armed Forces at Randolph Air Force Base May 13 The gates will open at 9 a m and close at 5 p.m.
The theme for this year's festival is "Remembering the Past... Defending the Future." The festival will feature demonstrations, flybys, static display aircraft, entertainment, games and food.
AARP lax holp continuos
AARP tax aid continues through April 15 at the Dittlingcr Memorial Library each Tuesday from noon to 3:30 p.m., Thursday from IO a m. to I p.m., and Saturday from IO a m. to I p.m.
AARP assistance can also be obtained at the Comal County Senior Citizens Center Monday from 8 a.m. to noon, Wednesday from I p.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a m. to I p.m.
AARP assistance can also be obtained at the Canyon Lake Action Center in Sattler on Wednesdays from I p m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a m. to noon.
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Douglas named new police chief
By CRAIG HAMMETT
The city of New Braunfels has a new police chief.
Veteran Ray Douglas, interim chief since late last year, was named police chief yesterday said City Manager Mike Shands. the man who promoted him to the position.
Only three candidates were interviewed for the $53,969 job, all local according to city charter which says the city must first look at qualified local candidates and if not finding any,
City manager chooses ‘home-grown’ candidate
should then look elsewhere. Those interviewed were Douglas, Assistant Fire Chief Elroy Friesenhahn and Police Lt. Felix Roque.
“The bottom line was that all three would have been an excellent choice,” said Shands. "Ray Douglas was the one who had the edge."
Shands cited factors including Douglas’ tenure with the department; he began as a patrol officer in 1978. He has served as a detective and commander of the Criminal Investigations
Unit, and was top-ranking assistant to the police chief.
"He’s one of our own, homegrown,” said Shands. "It shows someone can work his way up.”
The previous chief, Dick Headen resigned under pressure last year. Douglas has been interim chief since that time. Shands said his performance during that period was also a factor.
One of Douglas’ goals is to return officers to a greater familiarity with the people and the streets they patrol.
“I’d really like the officers to get back to knowing the people in the neighborhood,” he said. "...We’ve come full circle from the days of the beat cop.
Society is a more mobile society...and police officers have become more mobile.”
Douglas has served under only two
chiefs in his 17 years on the force, Bernie Beck and Headen. He says that is unusual, because the position often involves high turnover, especially in smaller towns near larger cities with higher paying jobs.
“Our average tenure here is IO years. That’s pretty good for a small town next to a larger one...,” he said.
Douglas added he would like to increase the presence of specialized patrols, with higher surveillance in areas of greater need or problems.
‘Real Dollars For A Real Problem’
TxDOT officials to hear comments on ’96-’98 TIP tonight
By CRAIG HAMMETT
The intersection of U.S. Hwy. 281 and Farm-to-Markct Road 1863 continues to a be a problem for many county residents as rushhour traffic backs up for miles, and accidents occur.
"That intersection, we’ve had a lot of public concern,” said David Kopp, local engineer for the Texas Department of Transportation "I receive a minimum of two letters each week."
Within three years, that pile might go down. TxDOT officials will provide information and hear comments on the 1996-98 Transporation Improvement Plan (TIP) at 7 p m tonight at the New Braunfels Municipal Building, Room I).
The 281-1863 grade separation, or o\er-pass, is included on the three-year TIP plan Projects in the TIP are guaranteed funding by the state so construction can start “It’s actually scheduled for June of 1998. We would go out and bid, construction would start probably two months later." said Kopp Last spnng, county and highway officials urged the project be moved up in the 10-year plan toward the three-year or TIP.
"Once it’s in that three-year plan, it has real dollars and can be built at any time dunng that three-year period," he said This particular project, which would look like the intersection at Hwy. 281 and State Hwy 46, would could cost nearly $37 million
The intersection of U.S. Hwy. 281 and FM 1863
and take up to a year to complete It is one example of how projects can be moved forward is public need demands.
Repairs of railroad underpasses on Seguin and Landa streets w ere also moved up in con
struction plans, due to special funding projects and a cntical need as deemed by the state, said Kopp.
City leaders have wanted Interstate-35 widened for some time. The distnct did
Herald-Zeitung photo by MICHAEL DARNALL
receive $16 million extra dollars for an I-35 project north to Solms Rd., but still not into the city. Conversion of the two-way access roads to one-way here in town, however, could start by this fall or sooner, said Kopp.
Unemployment rate sees significant decline, shows growth in local economy
By SUSAN FLYNT ENGLAND
1994 unemployment figures arc out for Comal County and the news is
The number of unemployment claims in Comal County dropped 42.8 percent from December 1993 to December 1994, according to the Texas Employment Commission (TEC).
The dollars spent on paying those claims in Comal County dropped from $1,884,351 in December 1993 to $1,057,415. That’s 43.9 percent, a considerable improvement.
"The fact that less people are unemployed indicates that the economy is better," said Comal County TEC director Bob Bluhm.
The average rate of unemployment for Comal County in 1994 was 4.4 percent. That’s down 1.5 percentage points comparing Dec. 1994 to Dec 1993.
Total employment in Comal County was up by 494, while the number of those filing unemployment claims was
down by 459, according to TEC figures.
The 1994 employment figures for Guadalupe County are also good. The Guadalupe County unemployment rate for Dec. 1994 was 2.9 percent, down from 3.5 the previous year.
This growth of the local economy can be linked to growth in the manu-factunng sector of the economy, said Chamber of Commerce Vice President Michael Meek. "The reason that we emphasize industrial development is that it creates jobs both directly and indirectly."
With new jobs created in industry, more arc "spun off’ in other sectors of the economy to support the new workers
"The H E B. expansion, the new Target, Wal-Mart expansion, are all spin-offs of a good healthy industnal economy," said Meek.
That’s the reason the chamber emphasizes industnal growth to spur growth of the whole local economy, said Meek. "You don’t just divvy up the same pie, you grow the pie," he said.
Corps of Engineers indicate willingness to consider faster Guadalupe flow rates
By CRAIG HAMMETT
Officials with the Water Oncnted Recreation Distnct are working toward a more constant river flow. Members of the W'ORD Governmental Affairs Committee met with officials of the Guadalupe-Bianco River Authonty and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers last night at the Guadalupe Valley Telephone Cooperative auditonum to discuss flow and report on other issues WORD is addressing.
A representative of the Corps indicated they might be willing to work with those concerned about low flow dunng the peak dry, summer months.
"If we’re in late spnng or summer, there are no hurricanes or something like that, we might be able to accommodate a different release rate," said Jimmy Baggett of the Corps’ Civil Design Branch When the level of Canyon Lake nses above 909 feet conservation pool, the Corps takes over flood prevention Their concerns are not letting the level nsc above the 942 spillway, which it nearly did in 1987, or flooding downstream communities But Baggett mentioned a term called "deviation" which allows the Corps to either release more or less water for certain pcnods, when the level is between 909 and 911 The Corps did so last year for the July 4 weekend, when they cut back what were higher flows.
Both the Corps and CiBRA, however, asked that WORD present an organized request for flow devia
tions and that WORD give them some sort of ideal flow conditions during different points of the season.
"I’m certain we can do that," said Paul Rich, chairman of the committee and also a campground operator and outfitter. "This setting helps because we’re starting to work together and I think WORD can help with that."
OBRA controls water levels below the water conservation pool. Most of that water is intended for customers who have state-controlled, age-old water nghts, reflected by the term, “First in time, first in right."
GBRA General Manager Bill West said having IO counties in their territory was like having IO kids, each with different needs West did speak of the importance of what he termed "cco-tounsm" in this arca, just as areas dow nstream have their own industries.
West did say the policy of state w ater nghts, some given in the early 1900’s, was "questionable” when compared to the changing face of Texas
He said others have mentioned the possibility of a free market control.
"Whoever has got the money gets the water." said West
Although the state gave GBRA its authonty, GBRA draws its income by selling water and utilities. But WORD or Comal County could not afford enough water to increase nver flow in the dry months
West said any downstream customer that can buy the water, such as a large municipality, wouldonly help the flow because that water would have to flow downstream from Canyon LakeThe Marketplace Classifieds - One-stop shopping five days a week!