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View Sample Pages : New Braunfels Herald Zeitung, February 11, 1999

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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - February 11, 1999, New Braunfels, Texas Hope Floats Th© third annual Hop© Floats walk-a-thon and float-for-a-cure is scheduled for May 1 in Cypress Bend Park in New Braunfels to raise funds for A-T research. Amy Madison, who has three children with A-T, is helping to organize the event. All the money raised by the event will be donated to A-T Children s Project. He I the boss ROB* CORNETT /Herald-Zeitung Sandra Aguirre, Wal-Mart electronics manager, pins various movie buttons onto Paul Munoz’s vest Wednesday. Munoz, who has cerebral palsy and was diagnosed with Ataxia Telangiectasis this past summer, spent the day as the store manager. Wal-Mart makes cerebral palsy patient manager for a day By Heather Tooo Staff Writer Eleven-year old Paul Munoz might not look intimidating, but he’s not afraid to show people who’s the boss. Wal-Mart employees answered to a new chief Wednesday when Paul, a Canyon Intermediate student, was promoted to store manager for a day. Paul has cerebral palsy and was diagnosed with Ataxia Telangiectasis this past summer. Despite his handicaps, he had no problem being the head honcho. While touring the store with Wal-Mart account auditor and family friend Lana Harrell, Paul found an automotive part lying on the floor and instructed an employee in the automotive department to have it cleared. “Paul’s the first store manager-for-a-day we’ve had here at the store,’’ Harrell said. “I just wanted to introduce him to the people here at Wal-Mart, so they could learn how special Paul is.” Although Paul’s mother, Sandra Munoz, said her 11-year old son was usually a “talker” at home, he was noticeably shy around Wal-Mart employees and the media Wednesday. Harrell said Paul had admired her See BOSS/3 NEW<ritiliiKFELSHerald-Zeitung.Vol. 148, No. 60    14    pages    in    I    sections    February    ll,    1999    rnTTTTT^rtT^    4    _    ,    Serving    Comal    County    since    1852    SO    cents Thursday Cold front expected to arrive by noon By Chrs Crews Staff Writer ' The weather gods have smiled upon Central Texas. •* The early days of February have been spring-like. People meander about in shorts and shirtsleeves. Even a couple of early bluebonnets have been spotted in the area. You had to tune in the Weather Channel if you wanted to see snow and cold weather. But forecasters predict the balmy weather will leave the area by this afternoon, bidding a temporary farewell to the warm days and pleasant nights. Officials at the National Weather Service in New Braunfels said to expect a front to come through sometime before noon today. The front will bring a chance of showers and thunderstorms and cooler temperatures to the area. By Friday night, forecasters predict temperatures below freezing in the Hill Country and in the mid-30s elsewhere. Temperatures should begin a gradual warming trend on Saturday. The cold temperatures could pose rn threat to trees and plants in the area. Marty Gibbs, county extension agent-agricuhure, said many warm season plants such as oak, pecan and mesquite trees and Bermuda grass, had begun to bud unseasonably early. “Once the temperature drops below freezing and stays there for four hours or more, we’re going to get some tissue damage,” Gibbs said. Budding fruit trees, such as peach, apricot and pear trees, might lose this year’s fruit if a significant freeze sets in, Gibbs said. “There might not be much of a crop this year,” Gibbs said. Gibbs said established trees would not be greatly affected, just set back about three to four weeks. People with perennial garden plants such as asparagus should cover them with a commercial woven netting available at most gardening outlets, the extension agent advised. He said milk jugs had been used for the same purpose in the past. “Basically what you are attempting to do is set up a greenhouse effect,” Gibbs said. Because no crops are in the ground this time of year, agriculture will not be affected by the cold temperatures, Gibbs said. . Even if plants get through the Upcoming weekend unharmed, they might not be out of danger. The average date for the last freeze in the area is March IO, Gibbs said. Back to business State, Comal flu cases on the rise By Heather Tooo Staff Writer Texas physicians are reporting a rapid increase in flu cases throughout the state in the second week of February. The National Flu Surveillance Network has declared the state at an influenza warning stage this week after surveillance sites in Texas reported peak levels of the flu in February preceded by a steady rise in flu cases in January. Shel McWilliams, Comal County health department nurse, said physicians throughout the county reported 75 cases of influenza during the last few weeks df January. “In all of 1998, we had 104 cases of the flu, so 75 cases in January is a marked increase and this is pretty much following the trend across the country,” she said. McWilliams said the flu season generally ran from January to April each year. The NPSN, a network of flu surveillance sites around the country, reported an ear-»    ly outbreak of influenza in I    Texas at the first of Novem- \    ber, which put the state at influenza watch status. ) The organization put Texas on influenza alert status in late December when cases of the flu occurred at a surveillance site every other day. Dr. Dorothy Overman with Hill Country Medical Associates said she had examined a steady stream of flu patients since January, but the number of influenza cases was not above normal. “We generally see an increase of cases about this time every year,” she said. lb the millions of Americans who contract it each year, the flu is nothing more than an annoying four-day virus that usually results in the loss of a day of work or school. However, physicians warn that influenza can be a potentially fatal illness for individuals susceptible to complications. The NFSN estimated that more than 20,000 influenza-related deaths occurred on average each year in the US. Overman said the elderly, children, patients with cardiac problems or diabetes, or anyone with compromised immune systems were at risk to develop serious complications from a case of influenza. “Many older patients can develop pneumonia or become dehydrated and have to be hospitalized,” she said “People who are more at risk for additional medical problems should see a doctor if they are coming down with influenza symptoms.” Flu symptoms include fever, cough, headache, muscle aches, chest congestion, sore throat, runny nose and extreme fatigue. ROBIN CORNETT/Herald-Zertung Anne Swaney, manager with Security Finance Corporation, carries boxes Tuesday from the back room that was damaged in the Feb. 3 fire. Castell Avenue shops recover from Feb. 3 fire By Bill O’Connell Staff Writer The Feb. 3 fire that ignited three doors away from Dale Moeller’s florist shop on North Castell Avenue could not have come at a worse time. Fortunately for Moeller, the fire spared his business and left him and his staff time to concentrate on Valentine’s Day, one of the most profitable days on the calendar of any professional florist. “We’re definitely back in business,” Moeller said. On Wednesday, other businesses at the IOO block of North Castell continued cleaning up in the aftermath of the fire. New Braunfels Fire Department investigators said Wednesday the circumstances surrounding die incident were suspicious but it was too soon to call die blaze arson. City fire marshal Elroy Friesenhahn said the investigation could last another few weeks. Most of the businesses affected by the file suffered minimal smoke damage. The blaze began around 3 a.m. at First Plaza Finance, a loan company at 140 N. Castell, and caused an estimated $100,000 to $150,000 damage to that business. Security Finance, a loan company next door, was the only other business on die See BUSINESS/3Inside •    Abby................................5 *•    Business.............................5 Classifieds.....................11-14 •    Comics...............................7 Crossword..........................5 •    Forum.................................6 .    Local...................................4 Obits...................................3 *'    Sports..............................9-11 ,    Today  ..........................2 Television...........................7 ( Master plan: High-paying jobs critical to city’s future I (Editors Note: Today's story is the fifth in a series on the comprehensive plan for the city of New Braunfels.) By Bill O’Connell Staff Writer Attracting and keeping high paying jobs within the area was seen by a group of strategists as a key element to the success of New Braunfels’ economic development. Providing city residents with a high quality of Ufe depended on cultivating a qualified workforce to keep up with anticipated population growth, the strategists concluded. “New Braunfels’ vision and goals are not achievable without a vibrant economy and tax base,” the sub-committee said in a 31-page draft document prepared for city officials. The sub-committee was one of nine formed in 1997 to help create a 20-year guideline for city officials. Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce, Inc., president Michael Meek said, “This element (economic development) is probably the cornerstone of the other eight, because without money and wealth you’re not going to get the things you want on your wish list.” The economic development strategy proposed by the sub-committee put a high priority on the ability of the local workforce to sustain the city. “The community’s tax base generates the funds that pay for community services and projects and support the local school districts,” the sub-committee repotted. Bill Cone, president of the New Braunfels branch of Norwest Bank Texas, “There’s nothing terribly new in this that we haven’t heard before.” Cone served as chair of the sub committee that assisted a private consultant with the economic development section of the proposed comprehensive plan. The plan was designed to guide city officials during the next 20 years. The input from about 330 city residents serving on nine sub-committees will be discussed Tuesday at a public hearing before the planning and zoning commission.See MASTER PLAN/3 ;