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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - February 16, 1999, New Braunfels, Texas NEWjttihiFELS Herald-Zei UC'.ST ;ROf VU c-AVl X Vol. 148, No. 62    12    pages    in    I    section    February    16,    1999 Tuesday Serving Comal County since 1852 50 centsFiling period opens for May I council, mayoral races City to elect new mayor By Bill O'Connell Staff Writer Today marks the beginning of the filing period for the May I city elections. Three New Braunfels City Council seats can be contested this year. Mayor Jan Kennedy, District 5 city council member Cathy Talcott and District 6 council member Juliet Watson are at the end of their three-year KENNADY terms. Candidates have until March 17 to file their intent to run for office. Kennady has been on council for six years. Her first term began in 1993 as a council member, and she was elected mayor of New Braunfels in 1996. New Braunfels term limits prevent an elected official from serving more than two consecutive three-year terms. The city has seen its share of highs and lows since Kennady took office. Among the highs were the renovation of the Faust Street Bridge and the pending comprehensive plan for the city’s future, Kennady said. 'The comprehensive plan was something I said I wanted to accomplish when I was running," she said recently. A public hearing is set for today to discuss the plan, which was scheduled for approval by city council this spring. Talcott and Watson each are eligible for another term, but neither had declared a re-election bid as of Monday. Talcott, whose district begins near Landa Park and and East Torrey Street and runs eastward past Farm-to-Market 1101 toward the Comal-Guadalupe County line, has said publicly she planned to move outside of her district to another part of the city, which automatically would disqualify her for running for another term. Watson has yet to announce her plans for the District 6 seat, which covers most of downtown New Braunfels south to Interstate 35 and west just beyond South Walnut Avenue. Watson was unavailable for comment Monday. Master plan addresses land use By Bill O’Connell Staff Writer Some of the hottest debates around New Braunfels Lately have centered on the development of real estate within city limits. Land use and zoning was just one of several city issues set for discussion at a public hearing at 6:30 p.m. today at the municipal building, 424 S. Casten Ave. The topic of tonight^ hearing is a comprehensive plan prepared for the city by a national consulting Turn. Assembled in part from public input on behalf of about 330 residents serving on nine subcommittees — one which specifically addressed land use and zoning — the plan could be passed as official city policy this spring. According to a 42-page section of the comprehensive plan titled "Land Use and Zoning,” future city officials will be able to use the ordinance to "reflect the community’s values" with regard to "how, when and where the city should develop in the future." City officials readily admit the time for an updated comprehensive plan is overdue. The most recent plan was adopted by city council in 1978, although the chamber of commerce updated that document in 1984. Recent public meetings on rezoning and land use issues have been highly animated. A contentious series of arguments followed a proposal to convert more than IOO acres of vacant fields near Gruene into a $30 million mixed-use development dubbed "Cotton Crossing” by its developers. The proposal was approved by city council, clearing the way for a 150-room resort hotel near the Guadalupe River. Homeowners across the river in the Sleepy Hollow neighborhood objected to the rezoning of the property to allow the mixed-use development, but council still approved the project.See LAND USE/3 Link to learning Year later: Murder still unsolved ROOM CORNETT/Herald-Zaitung Frazier Elementary School student Hailey Dowell carefully links together the answers to her President’s Day worksheet Monday. Dowell and other second grade students in Rebecca Rojo’s class spent the afternoon learning about presidents and virtue, which tied into learning social studies and Texas Assessment of Academic Skills objectives. One files for Comal ISD board seat Taxpayers’ group officer seeks District 4 post Bv Heather Togo Staff Writer Candidate filing for two seats on the Comal Independent School District board of trustees began Monday with one clear candidate already in sight. Positions on the board of trustees for single member districts three and four are up for grabs in a May I election. Maters also will cast their ballots on a $141 million bond issue. Interested patrons can file for a place on the ballot Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Central Administration building, 1421 North Business 35. The filing deadline is 5 p.m. March 17. John Bertelsen, a Canyon Lake resident, filed for a place on the single member district four ballot Monday morning. Doug Nail, the current representative for district four, cannot run fore-election because he recently moved out of his district. Nail ran against Thomas Bruce, a Canyon Lake resident, in 19%. Bertelsen is vice president of Concerned Taxpayers of Comal County, an organization of C1SD patrons formed after the district^ failed 1997 bond election. Bertelsen, who said he did not want to discuss his platform yet, said he was not aware of any other candidates running for the district four seat. Jo Schwab, bookkeeper for C1SD, said Bertelsen was the only candidate officially to declare his intention to run on the first day of election filing. Scott Watson, the current representative for district three, said he See COMAL ISD/3 Lawmen seek clues about woman’s death By Bill O’Connell Staff Writer Comal County investigators have not abandoned a yearlong search for the killer of a young San Antonio woman. Saturday marked the one-year anniversary of the discovery of 26-year-old Virginia Ybarra’s nude body in a brushy area near Farm-to-Mar-ket 1863 and Roa drunner Way on Feb. 13, 1998. Suspects wer^ identified almost as soon as Ybarra was found, but investigators said this week that "some” individuals had been cleared. Ybarra dropped out of sight hum her San Antonio neighborhood more than a month before her decomposed corpse was found by a Comal County resident. Family members told criminal investigators that Ybarra last was seen on Jan. 11, 1998, as she left home to attend a birthday party. Her mother reported her missing three days later. Students walking to a bus stop near the Bexar-Comal County line on Feb. 13, 1998, tipped their parents to a number of buzzards circling nearby. A parent checked the area and came upon Ybarra’s body. Investigators appealed to the public this week to help solve the case. "We need to work with the public to get some help,” Comal County Criminal Investigator Tommy Ward said. Homicide detectives from Comal County and the San Antonio Police Department have collaborated on the inves-On the Books Three unsolved deaths remain on the books for Comal County homicide detectives: ■ Virginia Ybarra, a 26-year-old San Antonio woman, was found Feb. 13,1998, in a brushy area off Farm-to-Market 1863 in southern Comal County. ■ Michael Henry, a 21-year-dd Comal County man, was discovered about 7 a.m. on July 28, 1996, near Farm-to-Market 306 and Purgatory Road. He was beaten and stabbed to death. ■ Fermin Flores, a 46-year-okj Seguin man, was found June 7,1996, in a field off Doeppenschmidt Road near the Guadalupe-Comal County line. A single gunshot wound killed Flores, who was a wellknown produce worker at an H-E-B supermarket in Seguin. ligation for a year. Ward said. Analyses of evidence gathered at the scene where Ybarra was found came back recently from two crime labs, Ward said. Ward said interviews he conducted with Ybarra’s family and friends in the San Antonio area indicated she was a warm, single mother who was the victim of a terrible crime. Anyone with information about Ybarra’s disappearance or death can call Crime Stoppers at 620-8477. Tree ordinance still undergoing changes By Bill O'Connell Staff Writer A draw was declared this past week in what appeared to be Round 4 in a bout over a proposed tree ordinance for New Braunfels. Officials looking to pass a tree preservation ordinance at a Feb. 8 New Braunfels City Council meeting spent more than two hours refereeing an ongoing public debate about how much preservation is needed. The ordinance could result in fines of up to $500 for unlawful destruction or removal of trees designated for protection. The Feb. 8 reading of the ordinance approved by council was the first of three required before it becomes enforceable.See TREE/3 Inside Abby......................... ......5 Business..................... .......5 Classifieds................... 9-12 Comics....................... .......7 Crossword.................. .......5 Forum......................... .......6 Local........................... .......4 Lottery........................... ........4 Obituaries..................... ........3 Sports......................... . ...8-9 Today......................... .......2 Television................... .......7 Books in hand New Braunfels High School librarian Deborah Spicer will start checking out books today as the new library opens to students. Students have not been able to check out books as the library has shifted from the old room inside the high school to the new building in front of the high school. ROBIN CORNETT/H«raid-Zetfung ;