New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - February 16, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas
CHS students learn art of jewelry making/1 C
Guest harpist performs with Mid-Texas Symphony/Inside
Smithson Valley kicks off baseball season Monday/1 B
SUNDAY February 16f, 2003
42 pages in 5 sections
■■■■■■ ~ PaRes m se(-'ti<
- i rn. t:
Vol. 152, No. 82
Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852
State swimming champ
K. JESSIE SLATEN Herald-Zeitung
Canyon senior Justin Ashby checks the scoreboard to find he is the winner of the state gold medal in the boys 50-yard freestyle swim Saturday during the Swimming and Diving State Championships at the University of Texas at Austin. For complete coverage, see Page 1B.
Photos by K. JESSIE SLATEN/HerakJ-Zertung
Couples take a spin on the dance floor Saturday at the Knights of Columbus Hall during the Eighth Annual Polka Fest. The hall opens at 11 a.m. today featuring Oma and the Oompahs, Litt’l Fisherman, the Cloverleaf Orchestra and others.
Couples keep polka tradition alive and well
By Sean Bowlin
It was happy music — the beat said so.
And hundreds of mostly seniors were happily hopping, shuffling, twirling and stepping to an oom-pah, oom-pah, oom-pah-pah beat, celebrating the German and Czech heritage of the Hill Country as they grinned, ate barbecue and bought Polka CDs.
They were enjoying the New Braunfels Polka Fest — and the music that made them smile.
And as they heard a succession of Polka bands, the seniors talked, danced and remembered a time when life was a lot simpler, when there were country dance halls, a happy beat in the background — and when they were young and in love.
One of the seniors was Polka Fest organizer Gordon Zunker. Zunker said it
was important to promote and keep the Polka alive.
(Above) Alfred and Mary Ann Till of San Marcos twist and twirl the day away at Polka Fest Saturday. This was the couple’s fourth year to attend. (Left) Terry Cavanagh stepped in after the first act bowed out because of illness.
“The last few years its been dropping off,” Zunker said. He’s a New Braunfels native and Bergheim resident who started playing Polka music as a high school sophomore in 1949.
Zunker’s seen the ebb and flow of the music come with births and funerals —
his band, the Cloverleaf Orchestra, has turned over IOO percent in 50 years.
But the beat was alive and loud in the Knights of Columbus Hall, and it was plain to see that last night, Polka music wasn’t on a downtrend as couples bobbed, hopped and waltzed until 9:30 p.m.
Pat Mollenhauer, 65, who was planning to waltz with his wife, Doris, said the Polka was locally historical.
“Its part of our heritage in New Braunfels,” Mollenhauer said. Mollenhauer said Polka dances were held at the old Echo Hall and other dance halls. ‘That’s where a lot of us met our wives. The parents would take the children along to the dance, and if you were real small and you didn’t know how to dance yet, they’d fix a pallet for you and you crashed out there.”
Mollenhauer and Doris were members of a Polka dance club — “The Good Time Polka Waltz Club.” Mollenhauer said the club unites a lot of people that rarely get to see each other
See POLKA/8AFiling begins for local races2 seats on city council open
By Ron Maloney Staff Writer
The official filing period for the municipal election in New Braunfels opens Tuesday morning and runs through 5 p.m. March 19.
A write-in candidate can declare candidacy through Monday, March 24.
Election Day is Saturday, May 3.
Liz I^adshaw. who works in the city secretary's office, said filing would open Tuesday because Monday is the Presidents’ Day holiday.
“We have the packets here ready at our office for any candidates who are interested in applying. They can just come by and pick them up,' Ladshaw said.
So far, two candidates have announced their intentions to run for seats on the New Braunfels City Council.
Gale O’Hara Pospisil
See COUNCIL/8A4 CISD spots up for grabs
By Sean Bowlin
The annual board of trustees’ election in the Comal Independent School District is Saturday, May 3.
Candidates interested in filing for one of the four seats up for election can do so between Monday and March 19.
The school district is divided into seven single-mem
ber districts. For 2003, only patrons in districts 1,2,5 and 7 will vote in the CISD school board election.
Trustees currently representing those districts are Dora Gonzales, District I, secretary; Dan K. Krueger, District 2, president; Deraid LaRue, District 5; and Randy Pawelek, District 7.
All are completing their three-year terms on the school board except Pawelek.
Pawelek was appointed to the board in November
Seguin man dies after car slams into bridge abutment
By Ron Maloney
A 26-year-old Seguin man died early Saturday when the car he was riding in slammed into a Seguin Avenue fridge abutment.
Comal County Judge Danny Scheel pronounced David Neal Prophet, 26, dead in the McKenna Memorial Hospital emergency room minutes after the 6:30 a.m. accident.
Prophet was the right rear passenger in a 1976 Oldsmobile driven by Jay Lee Benefield, 33, of Seguin.
New Braunfels Police Sgt. Mike Rutherford reported
police, firefighters and paramedics who went to the 700 block of South Seguin found Benefield’s southbound car had slammed into the stone and concrete railroad overpass bridge abutment at high speed.
The vehicle was heavily damaged. Benefield and two other passengers, a man and a woman who were not identified, were aU flown to University Hospital with major injuries. A hospital official Saturday night said Benefield was in stable condition. The conditions of the passengers were not known.
Edgett: County not a likely target
a 56825 00002 8
By Ron Maloney
Comal County Emergency Management Coordinator Carol Edgett said the public should make the preparations recommended with the nation’s week-old, level orange terrorism threat, but shouldn’t be overly alarmed.
“We’re monitoring the situation, but I understand San Antonio is not one of the cities where we’re expecting activity,” Edgett said.
Terrorism bulletins have stated New York City and Washington D.C. as likely targets.
A third unnamed city also could be a target, Edgett said.
Bush: Leave worrying to professionals/9A
But that city is not believed to be in Texas.
A report earlier this week from a purported former associate of Osama bin Laden that a “dirty” nuclear device would be used in an attack in the United States has been debunked, according to the Associated Press.
“We don’t want panic. We don’t want people t| be highly alarmed. If we do have an incident in San Antonio our emergency management office would be one of the first to know, and we would be
able to respond accordingly to get the message out,” Edgett said.
“I work closely with San Antonio and Bexar County emergency management. I really don’t foresee any great impact for our community. If there was, it would probably be people evacuating the San Antonio area. We don’t have any facilities in New Braunfels that would be priority terrorist targets.”
Comal County Judge Danny Scheel told commissioners Thursday the county is monitoring the threat on a continual basis.
“Understand that we have
annThe happy dance